• ESPN putting their Matchup Predictor and betting odds right next to each other is a tactic to expose inexperienced bettors.
  • The New York Knicks are favored with -140 odds against the Boston Celtics, but ESPN gives them a 42.8% chance to win.
  • ESPN’s discrepancy between their betting odds and Matchup Predictor is intentional and harmful.

NEW YORKESPN has provided their Matchup Predictor with ESPN Analytics to predict the outcome of a game for a long time. However, it’s a problem when this win probability is right next to their legal sports betting odds when viewing a game preview.

ESPN Bet Analytics

As pictured, the betting odds on ESPN BET and the ESPN Analytics do not match up. Although the Knicks are betting favorites according to ESPN Bet odds, ESPN tells its viewers that the Celtics have a 57.2% chance to win.

ESPN’s analytics are based on the stat titled “Basketball Power Index”, where the Celtics are No. 1 and the Knicks are No. 8. These analytics don’t factor in momentum, home court advantage, injuries, and other key stats factored into betting odds.

Odds/Prediction Discrepancy Targets Inexperienced Bettors

The placement of the betting odds and Matchup Predictor gives the impression that bettors are getting an advantage. This likely increases the chances of fans to bet on the NBA, but it doesn’t mean the analytics are accurate and should be trusted as information to bet on.

A similar situation occurred in yesterday’s MLB game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels had a 57.0% chance to win according to ESPN’s Matchup Predictor, but had +115 moneyline odds as an underdog at ESPN BET.

This discrepancy encourages inexperienced bettors to believe they’re getting an edge. The Angels ended up losing 4-2, so anyone that bet with ESPN’s online sportsbook on Los Angeles lost money.

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