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What Are Sports Betting Databases and Stats Sites?

Written by: Richard Janvrin
10 min read

Serious sports gamblers have a secret weapon that the average punter probably doesn’t even know exists: sports betting databases and stats sites. These sites give you years of historical data which, when used correctly, can help you make smarter bets and win more money.

Like anyone who dives into the sports betting world, you want to be a winning bettor. Whether it’s just a few wagers here and there or the life-long journey of a gambler, the point of placing a bet isn’t just to feel the rush, you also want to win.

Sports betting databases are an amazing way to tap into a huge volume of statistics that can guide you in your betting. Whether you’re betting on the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, or any other major sport, you can definitely benefit from the lessons that a thorough understanding of historical trends provides.

This article will tell you what sports betting databases are, how they work and it will also point you in the direction of some of the best sports stats sites around. We’ll cover everything you need to know including why they are called handicapping databases, how they are meant to be used, and how they can be used to your advantage across all major sports leagues.

The first lesson in sports betting is to do your homework. Sports betting databases are a great way to get started.

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How Do Sports Stats Sites Work?

Sports betting databases are crucial for anyone planning to research teams and players.The collections of decades of data are not only helpful on a specific case bases, they can give valuable insights lots of other things too, including:

  • Rivalries
  • Location-based results
  • Time-of-year indicators

Think of them as an almanac of statistical resources for you to find information on every event you’re thinking about wagering on.

Each sports database is different and they have some unique language you will need to learn to become familiar with how to use and read them. The best advice is to locate the site’s FAQ or search for their manual (usually downloadable).

Sports databases give you access to all players’ and teams’ historical results in lots of different pro sports, and the data goes back many years. By seeing what’s happened most often under certain conditions in the past, you can find key indicators of what’s most likely to happen in the future.

Ever wonder how many yards Russell Wilson (quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks) has passed for on average in every away game he’s ever played? Maybe you’d like to check out how different stadiums affect a team’s success kicking the ball?

You can look up stats that correlate directly to the bets you’re making and it’s a massive advantage in spotting weak lines set by the sportsbook.

How to Search Sports Stats Databases

With lots of sports stats sites you can get super granular in your searches. Coming up with creative ways to apply past data to future results is one big way savvy gamblers can outsmart the casino.

The good databases actually present their categories in ways that help you get creative and think out of the box.

For example, let’s look here: http://sportsdatabase.com/nfl/query

While the user-interface might not be especially pleasing to the eye, the categories give you tons of options for setting up different searches. They list all of the game parameters for special teams, offense, and defense.

Since these databases give such specific categories, the true derived value might come more from specific prop bets as opposed to picking a money line winner or picking on a point spread.

The reason is that the details are so specific that they might not sway the course of a game but they can win you a big bet. Dig around in these types of areas to find edges.

When it comes to making better sports bets this resource is priceless. As the saying goes, history tends to repeat itself. The value that can be derived from studying previous sports outcomes, and taking into consideration all external factors, can give punters the edge they are looking for when seeking good value.

Why Are they Called Handicapping Databases?

In sports betting, the term handicapping refers to the different ways the sportsbook evens the odds between teams with different skill levels. Since one team is usually more likely to win, casinos need a way to make both sides of the bet equally appealing.

The people who set the lines for casinos and sportsbooks are called handicappers or oddsmakers and these sites are known as handicapping databases because the handicappers use them to help set odds and betting lines.

Handicapping databases are huge collections of sports data that allow people to review and study all historical match-ups either on a case-by-case basis or as a large aggregate of events.

Whatever the purpose of the research, the handicapping databases are meant to offer access to historical data that can participate in evaluating and estimating outcomes in future events, aka handicapping.

It is important to remember that the information that is collected in these databases, when it comes to statistics like point spreads, will be the final listed spread for each game. Remember, spreads can move up or down before a game begins. What is registered into these databases are the final lines.

How to Use Databases to Make Better Bets

Databases and stats sites are really helpful as a general guide on betting odds and lines but their real power is unleashed when you get creative with your searches.

Start with the basic matchups and work backwards. After you’ve covered all the surface level analysis take a step back from the game and ask yourself if there are other things about this match that aren’t being considered but are also measurable.

Examples include:

  • Is your team home or away?
  • Is the game at an outdoor stadium where weather can play a factor?
  • If so what were the weather conditions?
  • Which pitchers started? Who were the relievers and closers?

Important to keep in mind, however, is that bookmakers spend their lives swimming in these same waters. That alone should indicate the importance of looking up past results. That being said, it isn’t always about what you study or the amount but rather the means and the approach. Study smarter, not harder.

There are also new possible correlations and semi correlations to look for in sports because the games and the athletes are constantly changing and improving. Just consider power in baseball, for example. We’re seeing record numbers of +100 mph pitches compared to years past yet at the same time home runs are surging like never before.

A savvy punter would look at that and find new approaches to navigating databases with the modern game in mind. Perhaps something like researching pop flies that are carrying farther in comparison with which outdoor stadiums have the most wind pushing into the outfield? Couple that with pitching matchups in games with hurlers who get most of their outs on pop-flies and you might have an angle on an Over/Under, for example.

With the advent of the internet, a lot has changed in the world of sports betting databases. Not only are the databases more thorough than ever before, but they are also more user-friendly and readily available to the general public.

We suggest you stretch your reach to many at first and then narrow it down to your few (or one) favorites that you can rely on on a daily/weekly basis. In fact, it is good practice to keep all databases bookmarked as there may be events where one site outshines another.

The following are some sites we think can benefit the studious gambler and help find key edges in value. Take a look at them and bookmark the ones you find helpful. Some are free but you must pay for others.

  • http://killersports.com/
  • http://shrpsports.com/
  • http://donbest.com
  • http://sportsdatabase.com/
  • https://www.stats.com/statspass/
  • https://www.mysportsfeeds.com
  • https://www.sports-reference.com/

NFL Sports Databases

Using historical data to figure out the best way to bet on football can take a lot of different shapes and forms. For starters, you can use stats sites to look at the game itself and the size of the rosters.

In football, the rosters are huge, way bigger than any other major sport. This means that there are so many micro-statistics available to break down with databases that anyone willing to put in the work can find unexplored areas of the game where gambling edges exist.

Since the game has three different phases (offense, defense, and special teams), there are virtually endless avenues of digging through databases to find hidden gems of info. Let’s look at some of the common approaches to get you started.

Offense Stats

The offensive line is huge, and not just in stature. Every team’s ability to put up points lives and dies with their offensive line. It impacts how much time the QB has to make plays and how much room the RBs have to find holes.

Remember, every play in football begins with a play-call from a coach or player. Someone is making these critical decisions and if we know what’s most likely, it gives us an edge.

Here are some things to consider from a database perspective:


  • The ratio of pass protection vs run blocking. Does this change at home or on the road? Does this change in indoor games vs outdoor games with inclement weather?
  • Does the offensive coordinator have a history of being pass-first or run-first? Compare pass-attempts and rushing-attempts for all of his previous teams and current team.
  • Consider focusing on the first-half of games as this is when most teams are trying to stick to their original game plan whereas teams will change and make adjustments at halftime depending on whether they are winning or losing.
  • Does the team historically rush or pass more against divisional rivals?
  • Which teams pass the most/least in games with inclement weather?
  • Which teams kick the most/least field goals in inclement weather?
  • How often will a coach gamble on 4th down and in what part of the field or what quarter of the game?

Defense Stats

  • How many times per game a team blitzes?
  • Which player(s) do they normally send on blitzes? This is important if the opponent has an inexperienced tight end or running back trying to defend against it.
  • What down are they most likely to blitz?
  • In what situations does the team most often blitz?
  • How often does a team employ zone vs man-to-man defense?
  • Which team has the most interceptions, strips, recovered fumbles, tackles for losses, kick blocks?
  • Does the defensive coordinator prefer to double team the opposing team’s top receiver?
  • How frequently do the outside linebackers play cover defense on running backs or receivers?
  • How many points does the team give up in fare vs poor weather conditions?
  • Are they better against the run or pass?

Special Teams Stats

  • How often does the team send pressure on punts?
  • How many times has a team had their own kicks blocked?
  • How many average punt return yards to they gain or give up?
  • What percentage of the time will the coach let his kicker try a long range field goal vs gamble on 4th down? Is this impacted by weather conditions?
  • How many kick/punt return yards do they average per game?
  • How many kick/punt return TDs have they scored or given up? Is this impacted by weather conditions?

Everything listed here is to give you a basic level guideline of how the statistics within a database can give you valuable information. To dig even deeper you can combine different questions into a new query and see if anything significant arises. If you want to start betting on the NFL then you’ll want to know if it is legal or not. Check if you can bet on the NFL in your state!

NBA Sports Databases

Two of the best basketball sports databases are killersports.com and sportsdatabase.com. As mentioned earlier, you will definitely want to read the sites’ manuals first to fully understand all the language being used. It can look confusing at first glance but it isn’t as complicated as it looks.

One great way to learn how to use sports databases effectively is to sign up to sports and gambling forums. Not only can you learn how others do their research and try out their methods of using all the data, you can also join the discussion and ask questions to learn more.

Many people will seek trends like how well a team does covering a spread after they post a low scoring game or how teams do when they face opponents who beat them the last time they met. The reason these types of searches are made is because the teams in question should be practicing in different ways to correct their previous mistakes. As well, it is a way to find information that perhaps the oddsmakers have overlooked.

Things to consider for NBA database queries:

  • Which teams score the most/least at home or on the road? This can be dissected into many forms such as via three-point shots, points in the paint, getting to the foul line.
  • How well do they spread the ball? Look at team assists.
  • How well do they rebound? Compare offensive vs defensive rebounding. Which teams get the most second or third opportunity points from offensive rebounding.
  • How many minutes do the starters get? How many shots do they take?
  • How each team’s bench is employed and when. Does the coach like to bring in a 6th man to play with the starters before utilizing the rest of the bench or does he have a full rotation of secondary players who prefer to play as their own 5-man unit. This can play an important role in NBA Live Betting.
  • Does the team shoot many 3 pointers? Does this percentage change if they are at home or on the road? What about against their own conference?
  • How many times does a player get to the free-throw line per game? What is his shooting percentage there? If matched against an aggressive team/opponent this could result in a high scoring night for that player.
  • How does a specific team fare after a win/loss? Does it change if they’re home or away?
  • Does distance-traveled impact a team’s record on road trips? Perhaps a team with a deeper bench, that can spread out their minutes, can handle longer road trips than others.

Again, thinking outside of the box is a powerful way to find an edge. For example, something like fatigue, which is not a quantifiable measurement, definitely plays a pivotal role in how players and teams perform. Thinking of ways to quantify it could make you money as a savvy gambler.

If you want to start betting on the NBA then you need to make sure you’re not breaking the law. Some states have legal sports betting and some do not. Check if your state has legal NBA betting! 

MLB Sports Databases

The best way to use MLB databases for gambling is to start by focusing on something specific. Since every play begins with the ball in the pitcher’s hand, many databases will zoom in on an aspect of how different types of pitchers, namely starters, middle-relievers, and relievers tend to do in various circumstances over a large enough sample size.

Included in that breakdown is whether they are right or left-handed and how that factors in when they face a right vs left-handed batter.

Even if you want to look at hitters and how they bat in different situations, it is always going to be valuable information to know what pitcher they are facing and how that hurler tends to perform in that scenario.

In addition to looking at pitchers and hitters, baseball also is unique to all other sports in regards to how much each ballpark effects the game. Since no two stadiums are the same, digging into how their differences affect the stats can be really valuable in betting. You want to start betting on MLB? Check if you can bet on MLB in your state.

Things to consider when accumulating data for MLB:

  • Pitching matchup result
  • Team stats going into game (W/L record, OBP, BA, etc)
  • Home or Away for specific team
  • Starting pitchers
  • Starting pitcher stats going into game (ERA, WHIP, etc)
  • Opening moneyline
  • Closing moneyline
  • If playoffs, which game in series
  • End of game Box Score

NHL Sports Databases

Hockey statistics, while fairly in-depth in their own right, are generally less complex than the other major sports, mainly because scoring is lower. Most databases and most queries will deal with teams playing in any (or a combination of) these categories:

  • Head to head matchup
  • Back to back games
  • Divisional/conference game
  • Home vs away record
  • Power play and penalty kill efficiency

The deeper levels for team-to-team comparisons include looking into how each team’s goalie has performed against this specific opponent and in which building. Pay close attention to any other recent changes of the coaching staff and impactful rookies who would otherwise not factor into the historical data of the teams.

Be sure to do the data analysis for these results on both moneyline and puckline results as this will factor into your conclusions in a big way. Some sites might only list +/- 1.5 on puckline historical data but it is possible to take shifted puckline results for games that are +/- 2.5 if you so desire.

Decode the Data, Pick Up the Profit

It takes time to learn how to understand and use sports databases. It might seem overwhelming at first but trust us, it isn’t as confusing as it looks. All it takes is some practice and a good understanding of what we covered in this guide.

And remember, the different online databases all have FAQs explaining how their systems work. YouTube video tutorials are also a great resource for figuring things out.

Once you become familiar with how these sites work, you can use the numbers, categories, and statistics as tools to help answer whatever questions you wish to ask. That’s the beauty of it all. By thinking outside the box you can work backwards, input all the pertinent data, and solve a question that can give you a statistical edge on your wagers.

Just remember, don’t get swayed by alluring answers from small sample sizes. It’s important to use big data sets to see if what you’re seeing is statistically relevant or just an anomaly.

One thing you can be certain of, the more you dive into the world of sports and numbers, the better you will become at understanding the odds and picking winners. You can check out any of our sportsbook reviews and put your knowledge into practice.

Good luck.

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Richard Janvrin

548 Articles

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.

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