There exists Area51 proposal called Sports Betting. (Admittedly, it is not very active so far and it might get deleted for inactivity. One of the reasons for writing here is making the users of this site aware of it; since there might be an overlap between people interested in this site and people interested in that proposal.)

When discussing whether this proposal should be merged with sports.SE site; one of the followers suggested that questions about betting (or at least some of them) could be appropriate for this site.

I have seen that several questions about betting have been asked here before, for some examples see here.

My question is:

Would some of the following questions about sports betting be on-topic for this site? Would most?

(Judging by the questions I have found so far, I would guess that some could be, but not most, but I guess there is no harm in asking.)

I'll list here example questions from the proposal (to get an idea about the kind of the questions which might be asked there - but keep in mind that Sports Betting proposal is still in definition phase):

  1. What are the pros and cons of level stakes betting?
  2. Under what assumptions is Kelly staking 'optimal'?
  3. What are some good bookmaker comparison sites?
  4. Why do odds offered by the bookmakers tend to change rapidly during the last few minutes before the start of the game?
  5. How do odds comparison sites get the data with the odds for the events at various bookmakers?
  6. Why some bookmakers do not offer multiple bets (accumulator bets)?
  7. How is potential profit from an arbitrage bet (a.k.a. surebet) calculated?


I have posted several comments on betting-related questions asked on this site about this proposal. I hope it is ok. (It was mentioned in this meta.SO questions as one of the possibilities how to make potentially interested users aware of a site proposal.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have noticed that several per-site-metas use the tag (area51) for questions about site proposals. For example, french, academia, electronics, math. Such questions have been asked here before, so maybe such tag might be useful here, too. By I cannot create tags on meta. $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ We have some questions related to odds in sports under the tag games, but I believe most of Sport Betting's scope does not fit here. See if it helps. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 19:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Surely some questions could fit here; they need to be statistical in nature, though. Some questions (eg, websites, where to get data, etc) would be off topic. You might also try on math.SE & finance.SE for some pure how-to calculations & Qs about the nature of arbitrage. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @gung If you mean Quantitative Finance (quant.SE), then some of the questions can be on topic there according to a discussion on their meta. Personal Finance & Money (money.SE) state explicitly in their help center that questions about gambling or wagering are off-topic there. $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 6:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you asking if some of the Sports Betting questions will be on topic here, or if the proposal should be merged into this site? If the former, I think the answer is "yes, probably". If the latter, I think the answer is "no, probably not". $\endgroup$
    – hairboat
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 14:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your comment @AbbyT.Miller. My intention was to ask both these questions. (And I've expected the answers you wrote in your comment.) And, by posting this, I also wanted make users of this site aware of the proposal, in case some of them are interested in it. $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin Good idea - relevant site metas are a great way to drum up participation on A51 proposals. $\endgroup$
    – hairboat
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 15:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd say q's 2 and 7 are on topic here, while 1,3,5,6 would quickly be closed as off topic. 4 is possibly on topic; with a bit of editing it would probably stay open. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 2:41

1 Answer 1


I'd say that some sports betting questions could find a home on CV, but not enough to not justify their own site. To use an example that's actually an official SE site: http://rpg.stackexchange.com has some potential questions that are probabilistic - what's the distribution of values from a particularly opaque dice-rolling system, or particular optimizations (a sword with a higher mean value versus one with a lower mean but a narrower variance in terms of damage).

But its faster, and likely more productive, to ask someone who is already up on the longsword vs. greatsword debate.

This is true for sports betting as well - you could ask many of those questions here, but a huge amount of time would be spent on "defining your terms" in a way that wouldn't be required with field specific expertise. There are occasionally sports-related questions that are on here, but I don't think there will ever be a sufficient concentration of them to satisfy the sports-betting enthusiast. And if the questioner can't properly define their terms and lay out the problem in a generalizable form, they're well and truly out of luck.


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