We’ve all been there. You’re on a heater and can’t seem to get a single bet wrong. You’ve hit on five straight bets, you’re flush with cash, and you start to think that maybe you’ve got this gambling thing figured out. Other bettors will do stupid things like “research” or “watch the games” but you have a secret weapon no one else does – your gut. Somehow, you just know how every bet will hit without even trying. You are blessed by the Gambling Gods and no man alive can stop you.
We all know how this story ends. Your luck runs out, you lose 10 straight bets, and you’re starting to wonder where it all went wrong. We’ve covered how to break out of a gambling slump in the past, but today’s topic will be much more specific – which sports data sites you should be using to research your bets.
That’s right, it’s time to stop relying exclusively on your gut and start trusting the numbers. Gambling’s a long game, and if you actually want to make money like a pro, you need to start doing your research and looking at cold hard data. That’s not to say you should blindly follow the numbers. The insights you get from these sites should be part of your decision-making process, but not 100%. It’s still okay to trust your eyeballs and your gut (at least a little bit.)
So, start betting smarter with some of our favorite sports data sites that are 100% free for you to use.
The Best Free Sports Data Sites for Bettors
Nata Silver, aka King of the Nerds, has built an incredible site at FiveThirtyEight.com that combines in-depth data analysis with easy-to-understand insights to cover topics in sports, political races, and scientific issues like COVID and global warming.
While there’s a ton of great info on the site, the value for bettors comes in their breakdowns of win percentage for each game (useful for daily betting) and total wins predicted for the season (ideal for finding value in futures betting). They also have very specific algorithms for individual sports, like the ELO and CARMELO systems for NBA that measure both team and player performance based on things like head-to-head results, the margin of victory, and comparing players’ trajectories to similar players. The best part is, they present the data in a way that’s digestible and easy to understand.
My favorite feature is their MLB predictive data, which is very in-depth. Here’s a quick look at how they’re breaking down today’s game between the Nationals and the Braves:
As you can see, the system covers everything – team rating, starting pitcher rating, and home vs. away performance – and spits out a clear rating for the chance of winning.
FiveThirtyEight has a treasure trove of data that you need as a sports bettor. Make sure you check it out before you make any bets this weekend.
This site is just a treasure trove of useful data and actionable insights to help you place your wagers. There’s a paid version of this site with more info. But honestly, you are more than fine with the free version, which gives you the following data.
A full, regularly updated table of betting lines across all the major sportsbooks. This is a great resource when it comes to line shopping and finding value in standard bets (they only give info on ML, spread, and over/under vs. more specific bets like props). If you’re looking for a clean, simple view of the entire gambling space, this is where you should head.
Free Betting Trends
An in-depth view of where the public is betting for each major sports game. If you love to hedge against the public sentiment and need to know what percentage of people are betting on Portland tonight (66% by the way), this is the place to do it.
While their paid version has lots of good information around betting strategy, Sports Insights also provides detailed guides for free. I’d recommend their overview of hedging NBA money percentages for anyone looking to put action on the playoffs.
Give this site a try and if you’re looking to make a little investment, sign up for a subscription to some of their services like the Player Prop tool or Best Bets.
While it’s not as fancy as sites like FiveThirtyEight or Sports Insights, this site is simple and easy to understand, with all the sports data that you need to make your bets. Team Rankings offers 100% free insights and trends for all major sports, including betting picks, standing projections, odds, and trends.
My favorite feature is their betting picks grid, which is clean, simple, and easy to understand. Here’s a look at their picks grid from last night:
The star rating feature is very helpful as well, as it indicates the degree of certainty to which they’re making these selections. In case you’re a doubter, check out their prediction accuracy section, where they provide a full breakdown of the winning percentage of each star level bet over the last 10+ years and the units you could have won for each type of bet.
On top of the betting data, TeamRankings also houses a ton of standard data like player statistics and historical team performance. So you can make your own picks or waste a few hours at work looking at who had the 4th most tackles on the 2009 New York Jets (Kerry Rhodes, 81 total tackles).
KenPom.com (NCAA Basketball Only)
Even though our boy KenPom’s site is just for college basketball, it’d be a sin to leave him off this list. This site is hands down my favorite data source for all my betting needs. Out of all the sites on this list, KenPom.com definitely has the strongest algorithm, best success rate (at least in my experience), and just the highest volume of data available.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of data analysis you can find on the free version:
- Win Rating
- Defensive Rating
- Offensive Rating
- Total Team Rating
- Luck Rating
- Strength of Schedule Breakdowns
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but luckily it’s all organized in one clear table that can be sorted by stat and either from lowest to highest. It’s very helpful for betting games, particularly when it comes to over/unders, where you can take advantage of the adjusted defensive and offensive ratings sections to spot market inefficiencies.
In a sport like college basketball where anything can happen, KenPom makes the unpredictable a little less scary.
Before you place your wagers, make sure you bet smarter, not harder, and do your research at these sites tonight.