How I Use Unabated – Dr. Harry Crane
October 27, 2022
When given the chance to learn about how the smartest people in sports betting think, I make sure to listen. That’s why I use Unabated.
Depending on your goals and other skills, there are a few ways to use Unabated. For me, Unabated’s content, tools, and community are a much needed source of motivation, validation, and inspiration. On a good day, Unabated helps me improve and evolve as a bettor. On a bad day, it just helps to keep me going.
Whether the constant struggle to get and keep accounts, the never-ending challenge of finding new betting angles, or the daily grind and inevitable losing streaks, the life of a serious bettor can be very frustrating. And the more serious you are, the more frustrating it can be.
Though dealing with these issues comes with the territory, there are still a few periods in any given year during which I find it hard to stay motivated, when it’s hard to keep putting the work in because nothing seems to be working, and even when It’s emotionally hard to place bets because they all seem to be losing. Times when betting starts to take an emotional toll are when I find having a network of other serious bettors to be most valuable.
Positive interactions with other bettors, even on topics unrelated to betting, help me snap out of these periodic episodes. Knowing other bettors who face the same challenges helps me to re-focus on the big picture and re-engage at times when it would be easier to just give up for a little while.
Unabated’s Discord channel and other private betting communities are great outlets to develop friendships with other bettors who are in the same position, ranging from the best in the business to those just starting out. In my experience, it’s hard to feel anything other than optimistic and energized after walking away from a conversation with Captain Jack or Rufus or the many other serious bettors I know.
I already have my own version of several tools provided by Unabated. These include an NFL futures model, alternative line calculators, and odds screen. One (narrow-minded) way to view Unabated’s release of these tools is that my edge is diminished as more people gain access to similar tools. While there may be some truth to this, there’s also an important lesson. If the source of my edge can be easily replicated and produced for mass consumption, then it’s not much of an edge to begin with. Similarly, if my success relies on someone else’s information or techniques, I’ll never have a sustainable long-term approach to betting.
In gambling especially, getting a credible second opinion is both immensely valuable and extremely rare. But this is exactly what Unabated’s tools allow me to do. Comparing my own methods to the corresponding tool on Unabated is like getting feedback from the best betting minds in the world – without having to give up any information about my own approach!
Sometimes this comparison can reveal a costly mistake in my own approach. Such findings are the most valuable, but are also very rare. Much more often, I find that my approach differs from Unabated in a subtle way. Both are valid but they use different techniques which if combined would produce an even stronger method.
At minimum, this allows me to refine my approach by incorporating both opinions into my betting decisions. To take it one step further, I try to reverse engineer Unabated’s method whenever possible. This is so I can incorporate those new techniques directly into my own models. This not only makes me less dependent on a third-party for information. And therefore more sustainable long-term. It also gives me another skill that I can apply to other models. Many of which aren’t available on Unabated.
Case Study: NBA Alternative Lines Calculator
Here’s a comparison of an early version of my own Alternative Lines Calculator with the one from Unabated.
For NBA totals, I fit a model for alternative lines based on the main line. I used a technique called quantile-matching to the Gaussian distribution with a standard deviation of 16.5. Based on this model, if O 207.5 is +100, my model projects an alternative line of O 210.5 at +134. Using the Unabated alternative lines calculator gives a value of +136.
Continuing in this way yields the following comparison between my model and the Unabated calculator:
Notice a few things:
- Both calculations are (pretty much) symmetric around 207.5. In my calculation, O 204.5 (3 points below) is -134 and O 210.5 (3 points above) is +134. The Unabated line is O 204.5 (-137), O 210.5 (+136).
- Both models agree reasonably well for values close to the main line of 207.5. They disagree by more as we move toward more extreme values.
The nature of the disagreement suggests that Unabated’s model puts more probability close to the main line (near 207.5) than my model does. I can then reverse engineer the Unabated model in my framework. Doing so, I find that their calculations match pretty closely to a quantile-matching model with a standard deviation of 15.5. Of course, the model underlying Unabated’s calculator might not be Gaussian, but figuring that would be a later step in the process.
So now I have two different models for NBA alternative lines. For most practical purposes they are pretty close, but the difference between them becomes more significant when used for extreme alternative lines (e.g., O 223.5 in the above example is priced at +566 on Unabated and +502 by my model).
I already suspected that my method is reliable only for alternative lines that are close to the main total (+/- 10-12 points in either direction). My comparison to Unabated has given a useful second opinion along those lines. After some further analysis I was able to incorporate ideas from both Unabated’s and my earlier approach to build a more robust model.
Beyond the need to constantly improve is the need to constantly evolve. This is why my favorite tools on Unabated are the ones that I think are completely useless. On a related note, my favorite ideas from other bettors are ones that I don’t think make any sense.
Such “useless” tools and “nonsense” ideas are especially valuable when they come from a credible source like Unabated or its Discord community. In these cases, my opinion almost always reflects my own ignorance rather than a mistake on the part of someone else. If I can overcome my blind spot, it gives me a deeper insight into what other top bettors are thinking about. But even when I can’t figure out how to use a tool, I refuse to dismiss it. Considering the source of the information, it’s a strong signal that I’m not seeing something that someone else is.
Opportunities like those above are why I use Unabated.
Dr. Harry Crane is Associate Professor and Chancellor’s Excellence Scholar in Statistics, Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Statistics, and Affiliated Faculty in the Graduate Program in Philosophy at Rutgers University. He is co-founder of Analytics.bet, a premier sports betting education site offering advanced curriculum for aspirational bettors.