When Using Unabated's Tools - Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

When Using Unabated’s Tools – Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

Jack Andrews
September 27, 2021

Mistakes made when betting with unabated

While Unabated prides itself in helping bettors make more intelligent wagers we have noticed a disturbing trend. It’s very possible for Unabated to steer you in the wrong direction if you misuse our tools. We want Unabated to be your authentic source for sports betting information, but we also don’t want to see you put your money in bad situations. Let’s look at five examples at how you can cause more harm than good by not fully understanding what we intended with our tools and resources.


Using Unabated Tools For Other Sports

Currently, our Trading Tools support NFL, College Football, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Each of those sports required extensive data science work to identify coefficients and determine proper pricing. In fact, while our plan was always to offer College Football, we weren’t able to get that product done to our satisfaction until just a few weeks ago. The NFL and CFB have very different rules and different strategies. As a result, their scoring distributions are very different. Anyone who has ever wagered on both sports could attest to this. Here is an example from our Alternate Lines Calculator of going from +3 to +4 in both NFL and CFB:

NFL versus CFB odds comparison

Similarly, you wouldn’t want to use our NBA tools to analyze the WNBA. You can’t use our MLB tools to analyze Minor League Baseball. These tools are specifically crafted for their assigned sport. Those sports continue to evolve as well. Before the start of each season we’ll stop and reassess the data we have. It will definitely change slightly year to year as leagues evolve. That’s why it is always a good idea to keep coming back to our tools rather than attempt to build a static table from the results.

If there are other sports you would like to see added, let us know. So far the popular requests have been Soccer and Golf. Soccer is complex because each league plays slightly differently which affects distribution. Golf doesn’t lend itself to these type of tools necessarily. However, we will be exploring both.


Using Unabated Tools For Partial Game Derivatives

In creating our Trading Tools, Unabated helped a lot of bettors answer some gnawing questions they’ve long had. Questions such as “How much is the 7 worth in the NFL?” “How much is a half point worth in an NBA total?” “Which line is better?” It’s only natural that many bettors want to continue their quest for answers when it comes to partial game derivatives such as 1st Half betting, or 1st Quarter betting, or 1st Five Innings. Unfortunately, we do not currently offer a tool to assist you with partial game derivatives. If you use our current tools you’ll get some spectacularly incorrect answers.

The reason is because the value of various points or totals is greatly based on the probability of the game landing on those numbers. When you have a half or a quarter, your distribution of possible outcomes shrinks dramatically. As such, the value of each point increases. I’ve seen people suggest you can just double the value for halves, and quadruple the value for quarters. However, that’s not necessarily true. Key numbers in halves and quarters can sometimes be drastically different than their full game counterparts. For instance, in most sports the 0 is in play for halves and quarters, but completely dead for full game.

The good news is Unabated will soon have partial game derivative trading tools. Again, this will be a tool that has been completely missing from the resources currently provided to sports bettors elsewhere. Bettors will finally be able to find out the value of a half-point in a 1st quarter total. Price out the proper 1st half price given the game line and total. We believe it’ll be another valuable tool in your everyday search for line value.


Rufus Peabody’s Picks

We built the best-in-class NFL season simulator and we made it clear that it was based on the same code that Rufus has used to bet the NFL for the last decade. We also provided the Massey-Peabody Power Ratings, which besides being published in the Wall Street Journal, are widely respected as strong analytical ratings. Unfortunately, that led a lot of people to think they now had the tools necessary to become Rufus Peabody. It seems simple, plug the Massey-Peabody Ratings into the simulator and you’ve got the keys to the kingdom.

Rufus Peabody on ESPN Sportscenter

Well, unfortunately it’s not that easy. As Rufus pointed out, the Massey-Peabody Power Ratings are top-down ratings. While they take into account the starting quarterback and the backup quarterback, they really don’t know any other players. They also don’t recognize off-season coaching changes. Massey-Peabody learns a lot from each game of the season, but preseason, it is a very narrow view of the season ahead. For instance, the ratings didn’t know JJ Watt went from Houston to Arizona or Urban Meyer took over in Jacksonville.

Merely choosing the Massey-Peabody Power Ratings is not going to give you Rufus’ picks. As Rufus explained on our launch event livestream, even he wasn’t solely relying on the Massey-Peabody ratings. Instead he was taking a blended approach between various ratings systems.

Unabated offers you the ability to download ratings systems and blend them together offline to come up with your own ratings system that takes into account everything you need. For instance, the Massey-Peabody injury projections are stellar. Placing them into a model that might pay more attention to personnel changes could be very strong. 

We have been careful at Unabated to craft these tools and the simulator to assist you in quantifying your opinions instead of just providing you with picks. There’s a lot of strength in the Massey-Peabody Power Ratings, but they are not how Rufus beats markets or finds +EV wagers. 


Using Our Tools To Fit Your Opinion

One mistake that bettors make in their research is to subjectively use only data that agrees with their narrative. We’ve seen this mistake being made with the tools and resources at Unabated. Maybe it is bumping a power rating on a team higher than it realistically should be. Perhaps changing a primary line just to make your alternate line show value. 

As mentioned earlier, we designed the tools to help bettors quantify their opinions. However, the old “Garbage in – Garbage out” theory applies. You need to be careful you have unbiased opinions for that concept to work for you. 

Example of Rating Update FunctionThe RUF (Rating Update Function) of the simulator is a good example. We allow you to make a wholly qualitative opinion about whether a team is going toperform close to expectation all year or if they will experience more variance than average. The more aggressive the RUF, the more likely tail events become. Tail events such as a dark horse winning the Super Bowl. 

RUF is an important part of our simulator. Most sportsbooks (and most other simulators) don’t properly account for dynamic uncertainty. It’s to your advantage to have simulations that account for it. However, don’t dial up the uncertainty just to be able to give your favorite team a +EV Super Bowl wager. 


Understanding Vig 

When using some of our tools, entering the vig-free line may be a better approach to finding expected value. For instance, in using the Closing Line Value Calculator, if you made an NFL bet at -6 -110 and the line closed at -6.5, you would probably enter -6 -110 and -6.5 -110. That answer would tell you the relative line value between -6 -110 and -6.5 -110, +3.34%. That doesn’t mean you had a +3.34% edge on that wager, it just means your bet was +3.34% better than someone who made their bet at the closing line price. 

Calculating CLV with vig

More often than not, what bettors really want to know from the CLV Calculator is what was their edge on a wager. To do that, you enter the closing line expressed without the vigorish. Entering -6 -110 as Your Bet and -6.5 +100 as the Closing Line would show that you still had a slightly negative expected value on that wager (-1.32%). You overcame a lot of the inherent negative EV in making a wager at -110, but not all of it. 

Calculating CLV without vig

Similarly, using the Alternate Lines Calculator with vig-free pricing can help identify positive expected value. The tool itself is vig agnostic. It doesn’t care if you enter a price that includes vig or not. It is still going to march off the proper amount of distance between the price of the primary line you enter and the alternate line. 

Suppose you have an NFL total of Over 45.5 -110, and you want to price an alternate line you found of Over 48 +130. If you enter 45.5 -110 as the Primary Line and 48 as the Alternate Line, the calculator will tell you that +124 is the equivalent price. Since the sportsbook is offering +130, you believe you’ve found a positive expected value wager. However, all you’ve found is that it is better to play Over 48 +130 than Over 45.5 -110. That Over 48 +124 that the calculator recommended still has vig factored into the price. You can go back and enter 45.5 +100 as the Primary Line and you’ll find the alternate price is now +134. This means that +130 isn’t +EV by itself. 

In the future, we plan to enhance the tools to help you remove the vig from your lines if you’d like. For now, it is BYOV – Bring Your Own Vig. If you want to find the vig-free alternate price, enter the vig-free primary price. If you want to price it out with vig, enter it with vig. 


Key Takeaways

  • Unabated’s tools are powerful, but designed to handle specific situations.
  • Don’t attempt to use tools designed for one sport for another.
  • Partial Game Derivatives are much different and will require their own tools.
  • Massey-Peabody Ratings ≠ Rufus Peabody’s Picks.
  • Don’t use Unabated’s tools to justify a bad bet you want to make.
  • Utilize vig-free pricing to get a better estimate of expected value.

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