For those who are new to sports betting, the whole thing can seem daunting. Where do you begin? What do you look for when selecting a market? Well, we’re here to help you out with the stats that will make the difference when you place an in-play bet. So, let’s get stuck in.Here’s our NJ Online Sportsbook lowdown on the stats that matter.

Look at the games, not the bet

Focusing on a specific bet can blind you to other opportunities. Begin your research with a particular game, not a specific bet, such as a spread bet – because you might find that you’re better off making a moneyline bet instead. When you’ve researched a game,you have more chance of forecasting how it may play out live. You’re also in a better position to decide what bet would be the best option.

Start with the big picture

We think it’s best to start with the major stats and work down from there to the smaller fry. Take the example of a forthcoming NFL game.The first step is to study the stats on each team’s recordthis season, and whether any big-picture factors could affect team or individual-player performance in the upcoming game. Are there any major injuries, suspensions orhome-field advantages to take into account?

Drill down

Now it’s time to start drilling down: check the team stats for recent point totals, defensive and offensive performances and coaching trends. Then drill down even further to individual players and their past performances. Based on the results, split the upcoming game into quarters and try to use the stats to gauge how many points each team is likely to score in each.

That is more nuanced than pre-emptively opting for a spread bet on, say, the underdog, just to cover the spread. With stats like this informing your choice, you might make a good deal more cash by betting outright on the underdog.

This “top-down” approach is more logical and structured than randomly sifting through stats, and it gives you a better overall picture. Missing out the “big picture” layer can deprive you of vital information.Why bet on a team, for example, that has nothing to play for in the upcoming game against a team that could still make the playoffs?

Where to look for stats

Major sites like ESPN will give a good overview of recent stats, and they sometimes offer breakdowns of calculations to help in forecasting. But you’ll struggle to get further than recent history on sites like that.

By all means,take a look at what professional pickers are saying. Still, we’d strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with making your forecasts from your research and conclusions first. Going straight to a picker may unduly sway you – and you’ll never learn the ropes of doing your research. Thorough research will make you more self-assured about making decisions on what, and when you should place a bet.