A free tool for determining the cover probability and expected value of a bet based on a projected line and market line
Put simply, cover probability is the probability that a particular team will cover the market spread available at sportsbooks. Since bettors are always on the hunt for opportunities to make money, any spreads that have better than 50/50 odds tend to be bet down until sportsbooks adjust the line.
As a result, the cover probability for most spreads is expected to be 50%. But what if you have a point of view that differs from the market and you want to know the odds that the team will cover? This is where our model comes into play.
The nfelo cover probability looks at a historic distribution of NFL spreads and game outcomes to determine how likely it is that a team favored by X will win by Y, or conversely, how likely a team getting X points will cover Y points. The model is fairly complex, but you can read more about how it was constructed here:
To make it easy to leverage this model, we’ve created a calculator that tells you the cover probability and expected value of a bet given a team’s “true” value and the current market spread.
The “true” value of a team is how many points better or worse they actually are, while the “market” value of a team is how many points better or worse they are according to a consensus spread from sportsbooks.
When a team’s true value is higher than their market value, their chances to cover the market spread rises above 50% and there’s the potential for a bet with positive expected value.
You might think that any team with a greater than 50% chance of covering makes for a positive expected value bet, but this isn’t always the case. For a bet to be positive EV, the team’s cover probability has to be high enough to compensate for the additional vig the sportsbook charges. This is where a cover probability calculator comes into play..
By using a cover probability calculator, you can see whether or not your line on a team is different enough from the sportsbook line to create a positive expected value bet--assuming, of course, that your line is right!
NFL Analytics and Betting