Calculating percentages is a fundamental skill in sports betting mathematics, and it has numerous practical applications, especially when normalizing stats for the purposes of comparing players from different teams. Here’s a simple tutorial on how to calculate percentages and an explanation of why they are important, especially in the context of sports betting.

Understanding Percentages

A percentage is a way of expressing a number as a fraction of 100. It’s denoted using the symbol “%”. The word “percent” literally means “per hundred.”

Basic Formula for Calculating Percentages

The basic formula to calculate a percentage is:

\text{Percentage} = \left( \frac{\text{Part}}{\text{Whole}} \right) \times 100 \

Steps to Calculate Percentages

  1. Identify the “Part” and the “Whole”: In any percentage calculation, you need to identify what represents the ‘part’ of something and what is the ‘whole’ or total amount.
  2. Divide the Part by the Whole: This gives you a decimal number.
  3. Multiply by 100: Converting the decimal to a percentage is done by multiplying it by 100.

Why Percentages are Important in Basketball Statistics

Percentages in basketball provide a standardized way to compare players and teams, regardless of the number of attempts or opportunities. They offer insights into efficiency and performance in various aspects of the game. It’s not enough to know that a player made 5 shots. Did he attempt only 5? Or did he attempt 20. Below we’ll go through the formula for calculating the aforementioned stat, Field Goal Percentage.

Examples Using Basketball Stats

Example 1: Field Goal Percentage (FG%)

Field Goal Percentage measures how often a player successfully makes a field goal attempt.

  1. Formula: \text{FG\%} = \left( \frac{\text{Field Goals Made}}{\text{Field Goal Attempts}} \right) \times 100
  2. Example Calculation:
  • If a player makes 9 out of 20 field goal attempts, their FG% is calculated as ((9/20) \times 100 = 45\%).

Example 2: Free Throw Percentage (FT%)

Free Throw Percentage assesses a player’s accuracy from the free-throw line.

  1. Formula: \text{FT\%} = \left( \frac{\text{Free Throws Made}}{\text{Free Throw Attempts}} \right) \times 100
  2. Example Calculation:
  • If a player makes 7 out of 10 free throw attempts, their FT% is  ((7/10) \times 100 = 70\%).

Example 3: Three-Point Percentage (3P%)

Three-Point Percentage evaluates the efficiency of a player in making three-point shots.

  1. Formula: \text{3P\%} = \left( \frac{\text{Three-Point Field Goals Made}}{\text{Three-Point Field Goal Attempts}} \right) \times 100
  2. Example Calculation:
  • If a player makes 5 out of 15 three-point attempts, their 3P% is ((5/15) \times 100 = 33.33\%).

Understanding these percentages can help in analyzing a player’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall contribution to the game compared to their teammates / opponents. As a sports bettor, it’s important you become 100% (no pun intended) fluent in working with percentages as they will be one of the most frequent representations of statistics you’ll encounter.