DEC 19 - Sportsbetting 101 What Is Situational Betting

Sportsbetting 101: What Is Situational Betting?

Written by on December 19, 2016

The situational betting angle is one of the most undervalued handicapping strategies in all of sports betting. Maybe it’s because too many situations can affect the outcome of a bet, or maybe it’s because few people understand how to use this handicapping strategy. Whatever the case, we believe it’s about time we appreciate this betting strategy and add it into our sportsbetting acumen, considering how successful it has proven its value as an extremely powerful betting tool in virtually every sport known to mankind.

Sportsbetting 101: What Is Situational Betting?


What is Situational Betting?

In layman’s terms, situational betting is a betting strategy that concentrates on trying to find value in situations that generally lead to profits. Often, these situations are trend-based or trend-related. However, the overall and most important guiding factor in situational betting is that, instead of focusing more on stats and other numbers-related information, the situations here are based more on human elements and factors that influence games. Take a look at the examples below to have a better insight and understanding as to what we mean by situational betting.

Common Examples of Situational Betting

Revenge: Losing to a team in the past season (like in football) or within the same season (like in the NBA, NHL and MLB) is usually considered as big motivation for the losers to go for revenge in future meetings. This is not always the case for all teams, but it does apply strongly in many sportsbetting lines, pushing he team looking for revenge to cause an outright upset, or at least a cover of the spread.

Look-ahead: This situation simply refers to those instances where a team is set to play an important game in its next game, either against a big rival or a top opponent, which often makes them to underestimate or not play to their best of strengths against the current opponent.

Letdown: Here key reference is a team coming off a big win, which tends to breed complacency in their next game hence setting them up for a letdown performance.

Back-to-Back: Playing on back-to-back days—like in the NBA, NHL and MLB—comes with the element of fatigue, especially after long road trips. As such, teams playing on back-to-back nights often find themselves vulnerable on the second night of the back to back.

Packed Schedules: Playing 4 to 5 (or even more) games in a week is often physically draining to teams, which can easily lead to unexpected losses or less-than-stellar performances. For example, an NBA team playing its fourth game in five nights potentially offers a good spot to bet against them on the SU or ATS lines because of their fatigue.

Other Situational Betting Examples

Rest: Playing with little rest means a quick turnaround that can affect the players, be it in the NBA, soccer or even the NFL. While handicapping a game based on rest, be sure to also consider if the key players were rested in the course of the previous game (i.e. did the starters play in the fourth quarter of their last NBA match?) or other rest-related factors like playing overtime in the previous game.

Streaks and Skids: Teams on winning streaks will always want to keep on winning while the skidding ones will want to put an end to their rots, setting up an important situational angle whenever such teams are playing.

Weather/ Seasons: This is self-explanatory. Playing in snowing conditions presents a different situation to playing in humid conditions. Similarly, playing in the summer and winter bring with them different effects on player and team performances.

Time Factor: When talking about time, we are not only referring to time zones, but also other time-related factors like playing at night as opposed to during the day. The element of time also loosely applies to situational handicapping for aspects such as playing during the holidays or at a ‘special’ days of the week that comes with special influences on the games (like Monday Night and Thursday Night Football that tend to be different from Sunday Football due to their unmatched national audiences).

Suspensions and Injuries: Missing certain players due to injuries or suspensions can hugely alter the course of games. Having players back from suspensions or injuries also apply similarly.

Conclusion on Situational Betting

Considering the ever-changing nature of situations in sports, situational handicapping is often characterized with plenty of changes in game odds and line movements. As a bettor, you must therefore be prepared to adapting to the different situations and factor them accordingly in every situational betting decision you make. Finally, you should remember that the situations don’t always apply negatively to all teams. I mean, not all teams play bad on back-to-backs, or not all teams play badly when they are missing key players, or not all teams are affected by letdowns after big performances. A case-by-case assessment is therefore required if you are to find the true value of different scenarios and their respective situational betting impacts.