Who are participants of Sports Betting World, who fund the market and who profits the most?

Why followers who look always for other handicappers picks are the biggest losers of Sports Betting World?

Where are you in this story?

The global online gambling market is anticipated to be valued at more than 94 billion USD in 2024. The current size of the market is almost 46 billion U.S. dollars, which means, that is expected to double in upcoming years. (statista).
Another prediction was made at investors event sponsored by Stanley Morgan. Sports Sports betting market is expected to reach $8 billion by 2025 in USA (predicted by executives from MGM Resorts, Hard Rock and Mohegan Sun). The number is even bigger if we take into account the whole World and if we take into account, that USA might legalise sports betting in next years.
Now imagine that we add to this all the services, that are connected to betting (picks services, sports tipsters,…), but don’t accept bets.
The whole market is bigger and bigger every year. With the marketing, internet and social media this is a huge beast now.
But the question is – who are participants, who really profits and who lost.
Who brings the money to the market? Who built the market?
Which group is the most vulnerable group of all participants and why they have almost zero chance to win?
The market alone doesn’t create anything useful or something that would make the World a better place. The only value is the pleasure on one side and a lot of profit on the other side.
There is someone, who brings the money to the market and those people bring it a lot. This is why market is so big.
Who are the winners and who are the losers of this market?
We are not talking about winners of short periods, but the winners when the show is over. Most bettors will have negative lifetime balance in sports betting. 97% of them lose and this is a fact.

A) THE WINNERS – Those who profit from Soprts Betting World

1. Bookmakers

Bookmakers (and other services that accept bets, like exchanges, bet brokers,…) run the show. They win because of couple of reasons . We understand that the odds represent the probabilities turned into the number.
We also know from our high (or basic) school that P(A1) + P(A2) + … + P(An) = 1 . But when we turn bookmakers odds into probabilities and we put the numbers in equation, you can see that P(A1) + P(A2) + … + P(An) is never 1. The difference represent the margins or the commission that they take every time anyone bet.
Even if we understand the odds, probabilities and how market works and even if we have a bettor, that is very disciplined, patient and has investment mindset (which is the main problem for most bettors anyway), bookmakers still have the edge.
They have time, they have marketing, they have experts and they know they will win. Yes, they will lose to some bettors small amount of money, but overall profit is theirs. They don’t care for  tiny 3% that win, because they know the other 97% will lose.
  • Bookmakers = Big winners of sports betting World
  • How they are funded: from people who bet on sports

2. People who don’t bet, but are involved in betting world

Those are the people who are hired from bookmakers, from services, from the sites and they don’t bet. All kind of developers, marketing experts, mathematicians, data scientists,… They just work for them, but they are paid by the people who bet. The money first go to bookmakers or the services and one part of this is then released to them.

  • Risk = none

  • Reward = depends on salaries

  • People who work in this business, but don’t bet = Winners

  • How they are funded: indirectly from people who bet on sports

3. Affiliates

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting bookmakers sites (also betting services, handicappers,..). US affiliate marketing spending increases annually by 10.1% and it’s expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2020 (Source: Digital Global).
Usually when we see sites, that promote bookmakers or their banners, those are the sites, that take commission from bettors. Usually they provide some info about bookmakers, reviews and they even give some exclusive bonuses. They understand the marketing and that most bettors will bet a lot, but in reality most bettors have no discipline, no knowledge or the advantage against the market on the long run. It is only a matter of time, when they start earning.
Commissions are paid either by how much money sports bettors lose (they share profits with bookmakers) or based on turnover. Bigger affiliate marketing sites are also paid by bookmakers for marketing.
Sport betting affiliate marketing is such a huge business and a community, that they even run their own conferences and seminars how to run successful sites, attract players and more. In 2016 there was an article about Paruyr Shahbazyan, who makes millions just by sending players to bookmakers sites.
  • Risk level = none (Affiliates will always make money. No risk.)

  • Reward = big to huge

  • They are winners.

  • How they are funded: indirectly from people who bet on sports

4. Betting Portals and forums and chat groups

Sports betting communities re bigger and bigger. And those portals build communities os sports bettors. They share information about betting, share picks (paid or free), they even let bettors to bet with imaginary money.
With the internet and user-friendly apps (fb, twitter, instagram, telegram,…) it is even easier to connect all those bettors.
Once you have community, you can either sell your product or take a commission from bookmakers. Most betting portals are funded by bookmakers commission (affiliate marketing). The difference between them and strictly affiliate marketing sits is that they also provide sports betting tips, information and they “talk” about games, bets, etc… Every time we see banners on their sites for example, this is how they make money.
Many portals/forums/chat groups are also funded by selling services (picks,…) with combination of bookmakers or even other betting sites commissions. Even if an average bettor thinks, that they do the job completely for free, there is no such business model. Free business model is always a bad business model.
I personally saw and was part of completely free forum, which had no chance to survive. Time is at the end too valuable to do the work completely for free all the time. Not to mention that money is crucial for improving and growing. No matter if this money is from donations, money is crucial and it is only a matter of time when free portals die. The intention of most betting portals are good and to create environment for pleasure.
And this money comes again – from sports bettors. Bettors that lose, bettors that pay for the service, bettors that are part of communities.
  • Risk level = none

  • Reward = good

  • They are winners.

  • How they are funded: indirectly from people who bet on sports and click on their affiliate links and banners. Or directly from selling their services (picks,…)

5. Pick Monitoring Sites

Selling picks and other advice services in sports betting becomes bigger and bigger business. With this also so-called monitoring sites were born. They try to monitor picks from picks services and paid handicappers.
They charge handicappers and picks services to monitor their picks. And this money comes indirectly from bettors again. Bettors pay first betting services, then they pay picks monitoring sites.
Some pick monitoring sites sell picks too. One of the problems with those sites is that we are never sure if they are honest. There were couple of complains in the pat that they work together with handicappers. So, if handicapper pays them more, they can rank him higher and manipulate with the results. Not to mention all other manipulation with bookmakers odds, yield, not tracking clv,… Monitoring service is imperfect service because of many reasons….but this is a topic for another time.
  • Risk level = none

  • Reward = small to medium

  • They are winners.

  • How they are funded: indirectly from people who bet on sports. They pay handicappers first and then they pay monitoring sites later.

6. Sports Handicappers, Touts, Tipsters and Betting Services

Those are the people or sites, that sell so-called betting advice. Most popular are the picks. This business is bigger and bigger and it is huge opportunity for many.
In general we can divide them into two groups.

First group are very good marketers and they sell hype. 

They use rule 80/20 where 80% of their work is based on marketing and creating hype. 20% is based on actual betting analysis, researching the market and the knowledge.
They can be big betting portals selling picks or services, social media handicappers or any other handicappers that sell picks.
The problem with this group is that many of them are just a product of survivorship bias and once their results regress to the mean, they turn into the marketers and sell based on hype and marketing. Every time we see anyone creating a hype based on small sample size of bets (“he is 37-14 in last 51 games”, “boom boom winners yesterday”,…) it is probably built on marketing.
If we understand that sports betting market is similar to financial market and that the odds are basically prices that we pay, then we must also understand that there is no such term as a “winner”. The term “winner” is just marketing tool that creates false illusion about betting success.
There is only a “value” or “no value”. The odds are represented in numbers on betting market and this is how we should come to the market – with our numbers. Information turned into the numbers are the odds. And those information move the market price.
Most (probably all) of those handicappers or services have no ability to calculate the most important thing – their own price, which can be compared to bookmakers price.
Sports betting success is always a combination of skill and luck. The problem is that many confuse luck with the skill. And to see skilled bettor that has the edge against market we need to look at his results from different angles. The profit alone or w-l record will not tell anything if you don’t have thousands of betts organised in a table to show.
Better theory is closing line value theory that can tell us much more about the bettor and his future results on smaller sample size.
The problem is that none of them show detailed results, including closing line, yield,…
Some have the knowledge and understand this, but can not show honestly everything, because they lose costumers. This would destroy the complete illusion and make them lose most of their customers.
And some simply don’t have a clue how market works, what are the odds, closing line and we can not blame them. It is a matter of time, when they start losing and this is where marketing comes into a play.
Many of them don’t bet at all and they make most money by selling picks, not from betting on sports. Most of them don’t have lifetime profitable balance. Their bets are funded from their costumers, but by actual building a bankroll.
  • Risk level = Small to none

  • Reward = medium to big

  • They are winners.

  • How they are funded: directly from people who bet on sports and pay for their service

The second group is a tiny group of betting services,

that are honest, that have the knowledge, that provide projections and calculated probabilities (which are crucial), that talk honestly about all problems of sports betting World and they also show detailed results including closing line value.
They spend much more time for actual betting and researching, than just marketing.
Most of those in second group are unattractive, boring and they don’t create enough illusion and hope for most gamblers out there. Imagine one follower who dreams about living from sports betting, making a lot of money and then this group of people told him ugly truth,  that in fact sports betting is much harder than most people think.

Risk level = small

Reward = small to medium

They are winners.

How they are funded: directly from people who bet on sports and pay for their service and some part of their betting winnings (profit from betting on sports)

Anyway…
The whole idea of paying and following picks (free too) is imperfect and is almost not possible to find anyone, with such edge where paying for the service, plus following his picks (and dropping odds) can still be profitable. Anyone who doesn’t understand this will be a disappointed a the very end making summary of his betting career.
Most of these services (no matter if good or bad) are just a waste of time and money, selling something that can be hardly achieved by anyone. Not to blame anyone. The model of selling picks is simply too bad for an average bettor without a deeper understanding of how the whole thing works (probabilities, odds, market efficiency, closing line, projections,…).

7. Sharp bettors (incognito)

Those are bettors that bet for themselves and create extra income with betting in their life. Usually those are very smart people, who probably have strong background in math, statistics,… (after all sports betting has more in common with finance and statistics, than with sports alone).
Bookmakers are the only one who have their information. Not social media, not forums, not people from blog, … but only bookmakers have the information who they are. Period.
The term “sharp” is used too many times in sports betting world from the people who are creating a wrong illusion for foolish people.
Anyone can tell that he is professional, sharp or that he is +EV bettor, but at the very end, bookmakers are the only ones who really see who took their money.
What bookmakers say about them?
Pinnacle’s Head of Trading Marco Blume has made it clear that a reliable indicator of whether a bettor holds long term profitable expected value – that is to say they are sharp – is whether they can beat the closing line.
Sharp bettors are bettors that simply outsmart the market. Bookmakers will pay them their profits. And from all the losses that other brings to the market this is just a tiny amount of money. After all, bookmakers need them too, because they can balance the price and create efficient market.
Most of those bettors are smart enough to understand that sports betting is high risk business and it is irresponsible to rely only on only one income stream and especially relying if this is high risk business like sports betting.
  • Risk level = medium to big

  • Reward = small to medium

  • They are winners, if they work hard and smartly re-invest money to lower risk business as well.

  • How they are funded: directly from bookmakers

8. Social media handicappers

In last 10 years the social media becomes a huge beast. Not only from sports betting perspective, but in all other businesses. Social media becomes the main tool for marketing and businesses to build their brand.
People spend less and less time with the books, reading articles or any other “hard work” and they find much more pleasure in social media apps that are easily accessible with the phone.
Those flashy things create a lot of pleasure. People create wrong illusion about many things and their brains become addicted to the things they don’t have, but want o have.
To understand this phenomenon we need to understand little bit how our brains work.
Neuroscientists are studying the effects of social media on the brain and finding that positive interactions trigger the same kind of chemical reaction that is caused by gambling and recreational drugs. According to an article by Harvard University researcher Trevor Haynes, when you get a social media notification, your brain sends a chemical messenger called dopamine along a reward pathway, which makes you feel good. Dopamine is associated with food, exercise, love, sex, gambling, drugs … and now, social media (source: Northrop Group).
New York University professor Adam Alter explains what happens to your brain on  social media platform.
All of those experiences produce dopamine, which is a chemical that’s associated with pleasure.
One of the problems with social media is that everyone presents the very best versions of their lives. What that means is, every time you look at someone’s life, you’re getting only the very best aspects of their lives, which makes you feel like your life, in comparison with all its probably isn’t as good.
Social media is used now to trigger our brains, which create wrong illusion of everything and our brains say – “We want this”. This is how the things are sold.
So we have created a World of followers who bring money and the rest who live because of them.
The same is with sports bettors and handicappers on social media. None of them have detailed results with all information needed to see if they are really +EV bettors. In fact they are good marketers and they know how this “dopamine game” works. They push that button in our brains talking about “winning picks” and the lifestyle anyone wants to have.
The idea of getting rich quick or getting an information about the next “winner” is pure dopamine. And this is what people want now. Like hot girls, like idea of easy success, like the idea of good living. But not many are willing to work or learn to achieve that.
20 years ago, when I started betting, there were mostly forums and we were reading a lot. We didn’t use phones like now. We need to sit down and read the content.
With phones and social media revolution, nobody sits down and reads anymore. With one finger you can fill your brains with full of pleasure, dopamine and free picks. You can even bet with the phone.  And honestly,  who is crazy enough to spend hours and hours with numbers and information, when quick pleasure is available anytime and anywhere with just one finger.
And all businesses use social media for selling products. Costumers don’t buy products, that they badly need. The best selling products are those who sell the hope.
The brains respond differently when you expect to lose and when you expect to win. There were couple of gamblers brain researches and how they respond to gamblers pictures.
(Picture: nrmscience.org)
And many social media handicappers understand this well. If you have million followers and you can create a lot of dopamine and false hope with social media hype and pictures, you can sell millions of picks, despite you don’t have advantage in sports betting market.
Those handicappers (like many above – portals, tipsters,…) use words like “guaranteed”, “winner”, “boom boom” to create perfect environment for dopamine. They even create false hope of passive income, which sports betting is NOT.
The hope and the pleasure is what people buy. This is the phenomenon of modern society, which brings on one side a lot of wealth for some people and a lot of lost money by all kind of followers.
If your only source of information and the most time where you spend your day is mobile phone and social media or groups like telegram, discord, etc… you have very small chance to win by actual betting on sports.
  • Risk level = small to none

  • Reward = small to big (depends on marketing skills, not betting skills)

  • They are winners

  • How they are funded: directly from bettors – followers

9. Scams

Most of the groups above are not scams. Sports tipsters, handicappers, portals, even most of the social media handicappers are not scams.
Many of them were simply lucky and are the product of survivorship bias. Some of them are still winning, despite they don’t have the edge agains the market but they don’t understand the whole thing and they truly believe that they will continue to win in the future. Not to blame them. For most of them it is only a matter of time, when they start losing.
But there are also scams. People who lie, who sell something that doesn’t exist. Their intention is to take money from people and then run away with fake accounts.
In last 20 years I saw couple of such scams, but with social media those people have couple tools now that makes their job easier:
They can access to large number of people with fake social media accounts
They also know that more and more people are affected by illusion and dopamine and with good marketing you can sell them anything.
There were couple of exposures about those scams, I even saw some journalists who made a deeper research…
So how they work?
Those so-called scams usually come from poor countries, where instinct for survival is much bigger and many of them would do anything to survive and make that extra money. The pattern I saw and many of them contacted me trough social media too, is that they struggle with money.
The problem is much bigger and it is a Worldwide challenge for all of us, but if we focus strictly on sports betting, those people usually offer:
  • Fixed games
  • Sure games 
  • Guaranteed games
  • and similar (dopamine, pleasure false hope) words
They build a group of followers, mostly on social media and then they say they have fixed game. The game and the 100% winner. They also say that they will send them this winner for free, so they proove that they are not scams.
Then they split this group of followers into 2 (it can be more) groups. And let’s say that we have a  baseball game between Boston and Yankees for our explanation.
They will then send BOSTON bet to one group and YANKEES bet to the second group.
One team wins of course, so one group is sure they have “winners” and the second group lose. They block second group.
But they still have the first group of people, who got “the winner”.
Then they tell them that they have another “100% sure winner” but this is not free anymore. They need to pay $100 for example for the next game. Of course those followers who created wrong illusion about them will pay, because they are sure about the next winner.
Scammers simply split this group into 2 groups again and send them different bets. And they can do this until they are out of people. Then they can close account and create new one.
The whole thing is a combination of naiveness of people, social media and false hope, pleasure and dopamine.
Some of them say they have connection with criminals who set those games. But anyone who has just little common sense, knows that criminals would never sell picks (even if they would have them) on social media for $50.
And even if they have connection with them, I believe many people are smart enough not to have any business with any criminals. Crime is a crime. Period.
  • Risk level = small to none

  • Reward = small

  • They are still some kind of winners, because they always find some foolish people and take them some money

  • How they are funded: directly from bettors – followers

B) LOSERS – Those who bring the money to betting World

Those are people who bring money into the sports betting World. The word “losers” is not here to describe their characteristics or even how those people live. Many of them run successful businesses, they are successful family people, students,… but we want to see who are the people, who bring the money to the market and how this market which is expect to reach more than $90 billion USD in next years funded. Their lifetime balance against betting market is negative. So they have losing lifetime record. This is why losers, not because I want to insult someone.
Who are those people who pay bookmakers, handicappers, tipsters, affiliate marketers, betting portals,…and even scams. Who are those people who are basically f****d by everyone in terms of profit/loss of their betting career.
Profit is not a profit if you die with negative balance. I hope we all agree here. This is why the whole thing about making a hype about last 100 games, last day, last bet,… is crazy. It is pure marketing, wrong illusion, wrong celebrating or even wrong panic. Not many people see bigger picture.
Most bettors are happy that they had one positive season, but they keep betting and their lifetime balance is negative. At the very end they bring more money to the market than the market bring them.
We could divide them in three groups (recreational bettors, gamblers and followers), but because many followers are also gamblers in most cases, I think classification into two groups is completely ok.

1. Recreational bettors

Those are bettors who bet for fun. They are probably the most sympathetic group here.
They control their money, they bet only what they can afford to lose. I saw many recreational bettors in my life and they bet because of fun. They don’t read betting articles, they don’t follow or pay other handicappers for advice. They are not even in sports betting groups, sports betting chat forums, they are more sports fans, who just have fun and don’t make a big deal of it.
They simply bet their games and then brag about their winnings with their friends. They know they will not win on the long run, but the pleasure they get from this is worth the money. After all, people spend money for different things, excitement and pleasure. Why not betting?
They fund the market. At least one piece.
The only difference between them and the group below (followers and gamblers) is that they control their money and they only fund bookmakers. No one else.

2. Followers and gamblers

This is the group of people who basically fund everyone and makes sports betting huge. They are the main reason why betting market will reach more than $90 billion USD in next years. They are the reason why many handicappers, services, marketing experts, profitable bettors, developers and all other that are involved in betting world have salaries.
They are also the reason why winning bettors are paid by bookmakers. If bookmakers would not get the money from them, they would be out of business.
So why they are most vulnerable group and why they bring the most money to the market?
Most of those bettors/followers/gamblers (I will call them followers) are heavily affected by false hope, dopamine, which is created trough social media and they are connecting with other similar followers.
With all this they start creating this hope and looking for information about betting, about picks and human mindset is set so, that we always look for shortcuts and how to minimise the amount of money/time put into something, but at the same time we profit the most.
The handicappers (most of them don’t have results history and the edge anyway) push the button on their brain system with amazing marketing (“Join our winning team – we won yesterday again”. “Joe Sharp is 46-17 in last 63 games and is the hottest handicapper out there. Join now and start winning”, “Guaranteed pick = $75”…)
This is what is promised these days trough social media or on some betting sites and portals. And this article will not change this, because most followers will not read whole article anyway and will not get this message.
On the other side I will probably get a lot of hate from people who’s business is based on marketing…and their survival depends on those followers.
However, if we go back to the topic… those followers bring the most money into the betting World, because:
  • They bet without any understanding about the market, about probabilities and with no edge
  • They focus always on picks. If you’re actively looking for betting picks and ask yourself all the time what other people bet (no matter if paid or free) – you are a follower, because of many reasons including that you don’t understand how market works, what are the odds and how those prices are changing and why. Anyone who understand this – does not follow anyone. And those who think they are following successfully don’t have big enough sample size or are just product of survivorship bias and it is only a matter of time when they start losing. Period ! (topic for another time). With looking for picks and looking how other people “win” (most of them don’t anyway) you motivate your brains even more to do stupid things. But the knowledge level and the actions of followers are almost never aligned with their dreams. You can not make millions by spending 10 minutes on your mobile phone as a follower per day and following other people’s hard work (no matter which business)
  • Their brains are always targeted by huge marketing beast from all sides (bookmakers, handicapping services, affiliate marketing,…)
  • They act like most followers who fund rich people (celebrities, businesses,…), that means that they fill their brains with quick hope and pleasure on social media or other groups. Either by looking at someone who is successful or in our case “had winning picks”.
This is then motivation for betting more and more money. Looking for more and more social groups and seeing “other successful bettors” to convince themselves that there is still hope and they can do it. Some handicappers will tell you that the only thing you need to win is to open their email (and of course pay them). So, any average smart guy understand that this makes no sense, but once you are affected by marketing and dopamine even the smartest guys fall.
Many of them become addictive gamblers, which is very dangerous thing. We can see first signs of addictiveness in social groups, when followers obsessively look for the picks, when they start acting very emotionally no matter if they win or lose.
They also never see the big picture, which must be basically “lifetime record”, but quick and short term results, which is typical of dopamine, pleasure and addiction.
Recreational bettors from the group above who bet for themselves and are not affected by social groups, forums and all kind of betting picks are also not affected by false hope and dopamine like this group.
The biggest problem gamblers are so-called followers. Not only that they fund bookmakers, they also fund portals, social media groups, handicappers,…
Followers are the main source for all participants of the sports betting world.
If you become winning bettor and if your lifetime record is positive, you were paid by recreational bettors and followers. I hope we all understand this. You didn’t beat bookmakers. They needed you and you are just part of their equation. After all they also need to show some “winners” so followers get the hope.
Bookmakers are paid by both recreational bettors and followers/gamblers
All other participants are funded by followers only. Followers will build most of the $90 billion market in next few years.
I know many handicappers and betting portals, even betting chat groups will hate me because of this article. But if you are one of them, you don’t need to worry, most followers who are affected by quick pleasure and are looking for quick winners (betting picks)  either on social media, either they pay betting services, they will not read whole article anyway.
It is the general problem of today’s society. The companies and good marketers will tell you that you need Rolex watch and with social media they easily create this hype and they know how to target your brains. Your brains respond – I need this, I want this. The biggest money is made on things we really don’t need in our life.
Pretty same process is in sports betting World.
Here is the funny thing and how we can see followers. I run email list with some free betting course and I see what kind of emails people open the most. When I send – FREE PICK, the ratio of opened emails is much larger than when I send the article about betting.
To learn something or read something requires time and energy. It is not pleasure. While reading about the hope or getting quick picture about success (like betting picks) is easy and fun.
The average follower will always look for picks and most of them don’t see any passion in math, statistics, investing combined with sports. Most of them like the dream about better life and quick money. They don’t love betting. And this is exactly one of the biggest problems of modern society.
Whole betting communities were build on picks and followers who look only for picks.
But who can judge them or who can blame them for that? At the very end the foolish average Joes get what the foolish average Joes deserve.
Most followers are looking for picks anyway. Looking for someone who will give them winners. They want everything for free or to pay pocket money but expect professional work from others and at the same time they don’t do anything or bring any value for themselves.
If they bet or even if they follow someone, they jump from services to services, from social media groups to other social media groups,… but at the end the result is the same:
They fund the whole betting World.
Both followers and recreational bettors fund this huge betting World. The difference is that recreational bettors fund only bookmakers, they usually control their money and their brains are not affected by social media, betting chat groups, following picks and addictive gambling.
Followers on the other side fund bookmakers, because they almost for sure don’t have the edge against the market. Most of them can not identify what makes you a sharp bettor in the first place (finding a value and beating closing line). They can not stop betting because they are affected by dopamine and hope, which is served on social media and the internet. The marketing beast is so big that they can not even fight against it. And we should not judge them.
I got a message that I need to focus more on winners, not on beating the line. This message is heavily affected by social media and marketing and despite I send huge email with reference articles and explanation, I never got the answer. The answer I got – it is just my opinion.
Followers create a lot of opinions and don’t back them with any facts or deeper understanding. And those opinions are based on information that you absorb during the day. No matter if this is betting, business, sexy girls, cars, clothes,… This is how things are sold easily.
If you spend your whole day on the instagram, where thousands of accounts target you with yesterdays “winners” of course your brain will respond differently comparing to my boring “projections and probabilities”.
We can not blame them. It is a huge problem of our society.
We are all followers somewhere. Expensive cars, sexy girls, villas, travelling,… and all those things are affected by social media and the hype.
The only difference is that when you buy an expensive car, that you don’t really need, you at least drive that car. When you are a follower in a Complex Sports Betting World  full of probabilities, numbers, prices and experts, which looks more like a math world, than sport world alone, you will lose. Period.
Quick Summary:

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I received an email from our member if I can create a simple model, where he can project College Basketball games and with this tool he can make a better decisions. He said, that there is a lot of value betting those games.

Honestly I never bet on college basketball. It is a league with a lot of teams, with a lot of players and probably some “betting rules” that I am not familiar with. After all, we Europeans follow mostly major league sports and college is still little bit far away.

But I believe that every sport can be and must be described with numbers before you bet. It is a market of numbers and if you don’t have the numbers, then you are just guessing. And if you are guessing, then it is only a matter of time, when you will see that you are wasting time.

I am also not a fan of jumping from sport to sport and I always recommend that if you bet, you should stick with one sport, one league and even one bet type is enough if you are good. Especially if you don’t do this as a full time job like me. I bet on my sports (MLB = main sport), but at the same time I also research betting market, learn, improve all the time and challenge myself in other sports and then I share this knowledge with our members. My goal and my full time job is to help bettors to understand market, to use numbers before they bet and become independent handicappers. So they don’t send me messages like: “Hey, what is your play today?”  . I hate those questions. Because I know that those people don’t want to become better, they are just looking for “winners” and there are no winners in sports betting world. Only different probabilities of outcomes.

And this is how I decided that I will spend part of my time for CBB to help our members who already bet CBB. I researched the market, I have created simple betting model, that anyone can use and I think it is very useful especially for those who already bet on CBB.

I wanted to describe games with simple basketball ideas that were already implemented fo NBA and European basketball. With this I wanted to project the games, where I will get my:

  • spreads
  • totals

And then I will compare my numbers with bookmakers numbers.

Here is the example (on my site all projections are free every day and I show 10pts diff projections – read below for more info):

Because of simplicity of the model, where you basically need 10 seconds to prepare after it is already created, I started to track bets based on:

  • 5pts difference (or more) between my projected spread and bookmakers spread (Exaple: my projected BYU -15 Bookmakers BYU -10; I would take BYU -10 because it is 5 pts difference or more)
  • 6pts difference (or more) between my projected spread and bookmakers spread (Exaple: my projected BYU -15 Bookmakers BYU -9; I would take BYU -9 because it is 6 pts difference or more)
  • 7pts difference (or more) between my projected spread and bookmakers spread (Exaple: my projected BYU -15 Bookmakers BYU -8; I would take BYU -8 because it is 7 pts difference or more)
  • 8pts difference (or more) between my projected spread and bookmakers spread (Exaple: my projected BYU -15 Bookmakers BYU -7; I would take BYU -7 because it is 8 pts difference or more)
  • 9pts difference (or more) between my projected spread and bookmakers spread (Exaple: my projected BYU -15 Bookmakers BYU -6; I would take BYU -6 because it is 9 pts difference or more)
  • 10pts difference (or more) between my projected spread and bookmakers spread (Exaple: my projected BYU -15 Bookmakers BYU -5; I would take BYU -5 because it is 10 pts difference or more)

So far I have projected 631 games. I will make projections up to 1000 analysed games and then I will stop doing this. It takes a lot of time, because there is a lot of teams and I track a record with different pts spreads and also closing spreads. With other sports, that I already successfully bet I will not bet CBB in the future, because I simply don’t need it. But I think it is great tool  for CBB bettors who love this sport. With this model they will get projected numbers before they bet on a very simple way and with this they get the picture where they have value and where they don’t have a value.

RESULTS AFTER 631 ANALYSED GAMES

5 PTS DIFF

  • Record: 260-229 +10.20 Units
  • Spreads:139-118, +9.88 Units (BTL: 53.15%)
  • Totals: 121-111, +0.32 Units (BTL: 45.13%)

6 PTS DIFF

  • Record: 203-189 -2.24 Units
  • Spreads:113-97, +6.96 Units (BTL: 53.07%)
  • Totals: 90-92, -9.22 Units (BTL: 48.03%)

7 PTS DIFF

  • Record: 155-140 +2.60 Units
  • Spreads:85-74 +4.20 Units (BTL: 52.55%)
  • Totals: 70-66, -2.60 Units (BTL: 61.22%)

8 PTS DIFF

  • Record: 115-99 +6.80 Units
  • Spreads:65-53, +6.80 Units (BTL: 50.00%)
  • Totals: 50-46, +0.00 Units (BTL: 52.50%)

9 PTS DIFF

  • Record: 89-67 +14.88 Units
  • Spreads:49-38, +7.08 Units (BTL: 45.33%)
  • Totals: 40-29, +7.80 Units (BTL: 51.79%)

10 PTS DIFF

  • Record: 57-45 +7.44 Units
  • Spreads:34-26, +5.28 Units (BTL: 49.02%)
  • Totals: 23-19, +2.16 Units (BTL: 51.35%)

Note:

Record is based on -108 odds. You can probably get better or worse odds, but in general betting on the odds of more than -110 vs -110 is not recommended, because you probably don’t have such an edge against market. 5Dimes has -105 vs -105 or -105 vs -107 for most games, so the record could/should be even better. But I took -108 which makes my record worse.

BTL = beating the line and the tracking of BTL here is flawed, because I just check closing spreads/totals without adding the odds. I also use pinnacle closing odds and take those lines from early other bookmakers that are on the market, so it is definitely not perfect tracking. I should track actual odds, nut just spreads. -7 can be at -115 or at +102. Secondly, it is also not the same if you bet the line 60% of times with CLV +6% and 60% of times with CLV +0.01%. But if you have time and if you bet only CBB it would be great if you compare your taken spreads with odds and then compare with actual pinnacle closing odds. Some lines change quickly and it looks like that there are games where lines can be easily moved. Still BTL number is not good so far. Those numbers should be better.

What have I learned after 631 analysed games?

Bet only CBB if you decide to bet CBB

There is a lot of games every day. With 353 teams we also have a lot of games every day. I believe that if you go really wide with this league I think this is the only league you should bet at a time. Lines also move very quickly and the odds can open later or not at the same time for all games.

Team Names

In first games I struggles little bit with team names. Now I am little bit more familiar. I used google to check every single team. For example somewhere we have Virginia Military, somewhere we have VMI and there is couple of such examples. Of course this is new for me and I believe that if you bet CBB for long time you don’t struggle with this. Definitely I would recommend new bettors to take first year to get familiar with the league and bet tiny amount just to feel the bookmakers, numbers and how much time they need to do this on a daily basis.

Home Field Advantage

A lot of games are played on neutral field and because if this I need to check every single game. Some games are played in Jamaica, Bahamas and then I need to adjust this without home field advantage where I use 3 pts advantage for all teams. This takes extra time.

Small vs Big/important games

Our members who bet on CBB told me, that some games are not that important and the limits are much lower. But still I projected the lines for every single game. My goal was to create a simple model, where you can project your own spreads and totals and then make better decisions. I simply tracked my projections versus bookmakers spreads.

The best results

The best results so far are on games, where I look for 9 pts difference between my projections and bookmakers numbers. Both for totals and spreads. With bigger difference I am more selective and we exclude games that are “too close” with bookmakers numbers. It also makes sense that when we are more selective we also have better results.

  • 9pts diff ROI (Yield) = 9.5%
  • 10pts diff ROI (Yield) = 7.3%

I would definitely stick with 9-10 pts difference. On my site I show projections with 10pts diff.

Around 10% of all analysed games are qualified bets

I also track percentage of qualified bets based on my model. We have analysed 631 games so far and if we look at the best results (9pts and 10pts) we have:

  • 9pts: 156 qualified bets (out of 631 analysed and every game has 2 options – spread and totals this is 1262 “opportunities”), which is 12.36%. In other words cca 12 out of 100 analysed games is qualified for betting.
  • 10pts: 102 qualified bets (out of 631 analysed and every game has 2 options – spread and totals this is 1262 “opportunities”), which is 8.08%. In other words 8 out of 100 analysed games is qualified for betting.

CBB is definitely one of the main sports for betting in USA and it can be very attractive for bettors from USA, especially if you have access to low juice odds. With betting model I wanted to help our members and I will keep doing all projections until I reach 1000 analysed games. You can find all info here. For me it takes a lot of time to complete these projections, because I am not familiar with team names and many times I have to use google to check if I used the right names. For example we have 7 or 8 different Florida teams. Florida State, North Florida, South Florida,… and all kind of other Floridas. I also need to check every single game if they are playing in their home field or if they are playing on Bahamas. I am not sure why students travel so much, because I think they should study, but it looks like this is now huge business as well. And this makes for me job even harder. I need to check every arena and google it if this is their home field, so I can use home field advantage or not. BTL is not really good, but also use flawed tracking system for this, because I simply don’t have time to go with every closing odds and percentage. It already takes a lot of time for me to complete those projections checking team names and home fields.

But definitely it is very useful for those who already bet on CBB. If you want to get CBB template it is ready to download and explained how to use it in our membership area. You can become a member if you join our A Journey betting course.

Cheers MB

 

 

Yesterday I saw a guy on instagram, who bought daily card (all picks from one handicapper for one day) for $499. He received 3 bets, moneyline, handicapp and a parlay.
The guy put togehter $1400 on all 3 bets.
All bets were lost. The guy lost $1400 and extra $499. Combined $1899 in one day.
So, who is to blame? The guy, who sold the picks or the guy who bought picks?
The answer is simple for me. I would definitely not blame handicapper, if he is honest with results, if he explains what sports betting is (speculative and high risk business) and if he has in his terms and conditions, that nobody can guarantee, that one game will be 100% winner. After all he charged his work, he set the price and the offer was accepted.
So, 100% responsibility goes to the guy who bought that pick. If he would understand, that sports betting events are single events, where anything can happen, he would never buy one game. Nobody can guarantee that one game will be profitable. Secondly, behind those bets, there were no estimated probabilities, no last prices (odds) to take and the bets were not value based, but simply “winner” based. In other words, his focus was on a winner, he was expecting that the game will be a winning game. No matter if he bet at +110, +105, -110.
When you decide to bet on something, you decide to pay something. The odds are nothing else, but the prices that you pay. And when you buy something with intention to make a profit, this price is crucial.
So, there are couple of critical mistakes – one game, no estimated price that can be compared to current price on the market, not understanding the market, the risk and how things work in general.
And it is the same with all followers, who are blindly following all kind of bets. If you are a follower and if you are looking to bet other people’s picks, you will probably never make any money in sports betting. And I will try to explain this now.

We don’t know that we don’t know

Most bettors we see, are just lucky. Even if you see a tipster, that has a winning record for last 2 years, he is maybe not skilled bettor. He was just lucky. And doesn’t have extra skill or better skill, than someone else, who made a loss in last 2 years.
And the reason is simple. Most bettors simply don’t understand, what is important to win at sports betting. I am not talking about how to win a game, I am not talking about how to make a profit here.
I am talking here about recognising the skill and the knowledge to beat a bookmaker. It’s easy to confuse whether a tipster’s track-record shows a statistically significant predictive ability, or just a good run of luck
From pinnacle: “Let’s say we run a simulation which sees 10,000 tennis tipsters (or monkeys, it really doesn’t matter) each with a 50% chance of either making $10,000 a year or losing $10,000 a year. If any tipster has a losing year, they are eliminated. The tipsters/monkeys make their predictions by simply pushing one of two buttons. If we run the test for one year 5,000 of our tipsters would be $10,000 in profit and the same number $10,000 in the red and binned. In year two we would have 2,500 monkeys with perfect record and if we keep going by Year 5 we would have 313 monkeys from that original cohort that would statistically be able through pure luck to make successive accurate predictions and $50,000.”
After 5 years, 313 monkeys (bettors without any skill) made $50,000. And we have a lot of monkeys in real world, that were lucky. Nobody is talking about other 9,687 tipsters, that were lost on twitter, that stop betting, that closed their accounts, but the funny thing is that those 313 monkeys start believing that they have the skill.
And this is how that guy paid $499 to the monkey.
Most bettors don’t know that they don’t know.
So what is important and how to win at sports betting?

Luck

As we see here, you can always win by pure luck. And you know what…you can always rely on luck. You don’t need to follow anyone, you don’t need to pay anyone, you don’t need to work a lot. For this, you don’t need any method, any huge research, any huge analysis. There is still a chance, that you will make a profit.
You don’t believe me?
Check monkey story. You can always be a monkey and you still have a chance to win. After all, most paid handicappers are just monkeys.
After all, when I started betting, I was lucky too. I was probably lucky first 2-3 years and this was probably a reason, why I continued. Maybe if I wouldn’t have such a luck a the start, maybe I would quit back then. And on the other side, maybe someone else, who had more skills, but was unlucky stop betting.

Skill

Of course most of us don’t want to rely on luck. We want to be in a position to say, that we have a skill and with that skill, we can say with bigger probability, that our future results will be positive.
Is it possible, that you are skilled bettor, but still don’t make a profit?
Yes, of course. Unfortunately, this can also happen. Like with monkeys without skill, who still make a profit in 5 years of betting, it can also happen that even if you are skilled bettor, even if you understand everything, even if you beat the line and the market, you will not make a profit.
But this is a risk, that is taken into account. We will never have control on such things. As we don’t have control on many things that will happen in our life. Sometimes you do everything right, but you are unlucky.
Despite we understand, that we can be always victims of luck or bad luck, we still don’t want to be monkeys. I hope you agree with me. The only thing we can do is to understand what is important, how to recognise if we are going into the right direction and hopefully we win on the long run. This is, I believe, how skilled bettor would think.
If you still want to be a monkey, the good news is that you still have a chance to make profit. You will probably not know, that you don’t have the skill, but you will make some money. If you decide to go this way, you don’t need to read anymore.

What is important?

But if you decide to become a skilled bettor and hopefully survive in sports betting world not only 5 years, but to make this a lifetime income, then you need to understand couple of important things:

Numbers and the odds are the key. Ability to estimate your numbers for all games before you bet.

At the end of the day we end up with the numbers. Period.
The odds that you see on betting market are the prices, that you will pay. When it comes to casino or for example rolling a dice, we are absolutely certain of the chances (for example throwing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Casinos (also bookmakers) are making money with margins. It is amazing how gamblers still think they have the edge against Casino, when we know exactly the probability of such event (flipping a coin or rolling a dice). When the house builts margin, you don’t have any edge and it is impossible to win on the long run. In other words, they have the edge and house always wins.
In sports betting, we can never be sure exactly what the chance is of particular outcome. The odds or the prices are just the reflection of the estimated probabilities. The good thing is that also bookmakers can never be sure about the price.
And this is why it is possible to make a profit with sports betting. But to do this you need to come with your own numbers and compare your numbers with bookmakers numbers. This is so crucial, that this should be pinned on every single betting site.
It is not a rocket science to understand this after all. I am not talking here how to estimate the numbers (or about betting models) but about the importance of getting your numbers before you bet.
I know, a lot of monkeys will say now, that intuition is important, that motivation is important, that jersey colours are important, that referee is important, that coaches wife’s feelings before the game is important,…
Great!
But you need to turn those information, because at the end of the day, you will need to compare your price with bookmakers price. Nothing else.
You say – I pay max $15 for pizza.
Pizza costs $45. You will not eat that pizza.
Pizza costs $9. You will eat it.
Same pizza, but you decide based on two prices:
  • one that you estimated (and you are willing to pay)
  • one that you see in a restaurant
If you will always take pizza, no matter what the price is, you will lose.
I am not saying, my models are completely perfect, but I am can say with pretty high confidence, that handicappers, bettors and gamblers that don’t come with their numbers/spreads/totals, before they make final bets, are just monkeys. Some of them very lucky.

Beating the market and beating the closing line.

I didn’t track my closing line value in the past and this is my fault. Maybe I was monkey too. I made some nice profit in last 20 years of betting, but maybe it was just luck.
Luckily I try to grow as a bettor every year and I see now how important this is.
After all (and I will repeat this until most of our followers will start understanding this), pinnacle, which has the sharpest odds and one of the biggest sample size of sharp bettors says:
“The key to becoming a winner at Pinnacle is not focusing on results (which can be lucky or unlucky) but concentrating on value and beating the closing line.”
and
“Beating the closing line doesn’t itself guarantee an individual bet will be profitable, but given that Pinnacle is regarded as one of the sharpest bookmakers online, consistently beating our closing line in the long run is the best indicator of winning bettor.”
And this makes sense. Why?
First of all, if you think twice about the concept of making money is almost everywhere same:
  1. Know your price
  2. Know market price
  3. Compare prices
  4. Get better price and beat the market
If you are a stock market investor, you want to buy stocks for lower price and then sell it later for bigger price, right? To do this, you need to know what is your price when you buy and for what price you will sell it later.
The difference between those two prices is your profit.
In sports betting, bookmakers try to estimate what is the chance of particular outcome. This is then turned into the price. The easiest way is when you divide 1 by the probability.
But this price will not stay the same whole day. The price will be changed during the day (or more days if the odds are open couple of days before the event is played), because of different information, market adjustments, public money, sharp action,…
Just before the game will start, we like to say, that those odds are most sharpest odds and gives us the best reflection of true probability of this event. Because they took into account all possible information.
The goal of skilled bettor is to beat this price. If you can bet on Red Sox at +120, while other people bet on closing line at +105, you are smarter, you are more skilled and you beat the market (very simple explanation). And to beat the market is the goal of a skilled bettor.
When you start tracking your actual bets taken and the odds with closing odds (latest odds just before game started) then you see if you get better prices and as pinnacle says, this is the best indicator if you are skilled bettor or not.
So, if you want to win at sports betting, you can do two things:
  • Go like a monkey and try luck, which is completely ok. But you don’t need to follow anyone. Especially not other monkeys :-)
  • Try to become skilled bettor (2 things: come with your numbers for all games before you bet; beat closing line)
In both situation you can win or lose, but I believe that in life we can not rely on luck. And the only thing we can do is to gain as much as possible knowledge (so we don’t end like a monkey who buys 1 day picks) and try to become skilled bettor. The profit on the long run is just the result of those two things. Numbers before you bet and outsmart the market (beat closing line).
.
Remember – don’t follow other monkeys. You can be very good monkey too. If you want to win at sports betting, the only thing you can do is to work hard to become a skilled bettor. Invest time and effort into your knowledge and become one.
Most of bettors, that you see,  are just monkeys anyway. And the best part is that most people can not recognise monkeys.
Cheers
MB
It’s May 2019.
Soccer leagues ended, NBA is finished, NFL regular season will start in September. This is couple of months from now. What to bet now? I need betting, I need adrenaline.
Are you asking the same question somewhere in May, June every year?
I see this pattern every single year. Somewhere in May people start writing me how to bet baseball. Some of them just need action and after all leagues and sports ended, they try to find another way how to spend their money on betting. And of course there is a baseball. Basically it is the only big market team sport at that time available and in full swing. In 2018 we had World Cup and a lot of gamblers put their money there, but in 2019, there is no such event and I believe that somewhere in May, June there will be huge interest in how to bet baseball.
But of course this is not the right way how to win baseball season. Baseball has 2430 regular season games and if you add couple of playoffs games, then you see that this is more than NFL, NBA and soccer league games combined.
If you can fake it with NFL league, where you can just win the season by luck on 50 games and when we see many gamblers showing their results like “we are on red hot run 20-9 in last 29 games”,  in baseball it is little bit harder to fake it.
First of all most bettors have no strategy, not enough knowledge, no discipline, nor the patience to stay alive whole season. Up to 15 games every single day are very tempting for a regular gambler, who can of course not fight against the bookmakers on a regular basis.
After NBA, Soccer, NFL and other more attractive leagues and sports most bettors will turn to baseball. But most of them will say, that baseball is much harder sport to bet, because the best team will win around 60% of all games and the worst team will win around 40% of all games. And we all know that amateur gamblers like to bet on huge favourites and then they like to brag about their wins. So, when you have a sport where you almost never have “sure” winner, as they like to say, then of course the sport is hard to bet. But they don’t understand that their focus is wrong (looking for winners instead of value, but about this little bit later).
Baseball is all about numbers. And when you have an average gambler without any knowledge about statistics, of course he will say that this is too much for him. But still, adrenaline and betting is  more tempting. How can he be without betting for next 3-4 months? No way. So let’s find a way how to gamble.
And he starts to search on the internet about MLB betting. He finds some sites, that guarantee huge profit and he is ready to find good handicappers for MLB. So he can sit at home, open email once per day and becomes a millionaire without a work. Yeah 🙂.
But of course, the list of handicappers is huge. Every single handicapper you see on twitter or anywhere else is a World Champion of betting. There is many old guys from Vegas, who have “special” gift to tell you who will win the next day. So, who to follow? How to bet baseball? What  should I focus on? Where to start?
And this is why I will try to help you with couple of practical advices how to bet baseball, on what you should focus and I hope I will give you better chance to win.
Let’s start with the first important thing… simple understanding of the concept.
I like to compare betting with some other for us trivial things. Car selling, tomato selling on market, importing bananas,…
Let’s say you want to make money selling bananas. What will you do first?
I would probably start researching bananas first. There is probably big science about bananas. Different types, green, yellow, blue, orange, black, pink bananas… I don’t know. Then I would try to learn everything about those types of bananas and find out how would I make a profit with them.
How much I need to invest in bananas, where to buy them, how I will transport them here, for which price I can sell them here. What are my expenses for everything. And I can tell you that in my country we have a millionaire who is importing bananas. I think he knows everything about bananas, maybe he talks to them every night. But one is for sure, he knew exactly how much was his initial investment and how much he gains now.
He didn’t just google it for 5 minutes one “Vegas Banana Joe” and ask him for a pick. I think he made a huge research and how to make money with bananas. Not only he must understand bananas, but he also must be disciplined to work every day, he must understand business little bit, economics, etc…
Secondly, after he researched the market and understand what are bananas, then he started researching how he will make profit. And the basic concept of making money are always at least two prices, that you need to have.
First is the price of banana, that he bought from a farmer in Columbia and the second is the price of banana, that he will sell it in USA.
Banana price in Columbia = $1
Banana price in USA = $2
(let’s say that expenses are $0.5)
His profit = $0.5 per 1 kilo
What he needs to understand/estimate?
  1. The price of banana in Columbia
  2. And he needs to know for which price he can sell in USA. Without this, he is in the dark and is risking a loss.
It is not about how big or how yellow is banana. You can have the most sweetest and biggest and most yellow banana, but if you sell it for lower price than you bought it, you will lose. What I want to show you here s that it is not about “winning bananas” (it is not about that big fat yellow banana), but about that difference between your deal in Columbia (your estimated price) and that market price in USA. The better you estimate those prices, the better chances you will have to make profit.
So, what about you?
You want to make money in sports betting, right?
How much time and effort did you put into sports betting knowledge?
Do you understand the market? Do you understand the concept of betting, the concept of value or are you looking just for sweet and fat bananas (winners) no matter what the price is? Do you understand that small sample size of bets will not tell you anything? Can you estimate your odds and winning percentages before you bet? Do you have realistic expectations or you want to become a millionaire with your $500 bankroll?
Sports betting is a huge business and 95% of all bettors bet without any goal. This is why bookmakers will probably always win. When I say, that the knowledge is very important and if you want to win at sports betting, you must first have the right mindset, right strategy and the goal. What you want from it, what is your realistic goal, what are you willing to invest at the start (in terms of money, time and effort) and then what are you willing to pay every day.
Baseball season will start soon and many gamblers, bettors, handicappers and other people involved in sports betting will be part of the season.

#1 Mindset

My first advice is always the right mindset. No matter if you will find the way how to beat the market and no matter if you will have the best formulas to estimate baseball prices (odds), if you will not have the right mindset and if you will not understand what are you doing, you will probably lose. I saw many handicappers, that had 8 good months and then they lost everything in just 3 weeks. They were good, but they didn’t have discipline, they didn’t have the right mentality and this is one very important thing.
Sports betting is an active income, it is not passive income like some people want to show us. Because in sports betting and especially in baseball you need to bet and analyse games every single day. You will need to put some work into it. If not, don’t expect any results. Sometimes I receive emails from people that want money without doing nothing. If this would be so easy, then we would all sit at home and we would be already millionaires, right? Be serious. Even if you create passive income, you need to be very active before that. No pain  – no gain. Simply as that.

#2 Basic Knowledge and understanding

One part of preparation for MLB season is the knowledge. I hope you understand that the odds represent the prices on the betting market.
For example if you have the odds 2.00 (US +100), this means, that when you bet $100, you make a profit of $100. Right? (2*$100 = $200, $200-$100 = $100).
And if you have the odds of 2.20 (+120), this means that when you bet $100, you make a profit of $120.
Odds are nothing else then market prices, that you will be paying. Those prices are offered by bookmakers. They will always take some fees for their service and to beat them you need to find a way how to come against them with your prices. Remember that business with bananas? You need to find the way how to buy banana for $1 in Columbia and sell it for $ in USA.
This is the main concept of making money in sports betting. Not looking for winners, but the value. The value represent that difference between your price and market price. Between banana from Columbia and that price in USA. If you don’t agree with this or if you don’t understand this simple concept and if you think, that Vegas Joe will make you rich with his winning pick the next day, then you are wasting your time here. But I believe with the internet and more and more information more and more people will learn the concept.
Another thing here which is very important is the probability. Odds represent the probabilities and I will show you here how to turn bookmakers odds into implied probabilities and how to calculate their fees (margins).
Colorado Rockies 2.48 (+148 US odds)
LA Dodgers 1.60 (-167 US odds)
When bookmakers release their odds, which are the prices on the betting market, they show us basically what they think about probabilities of the the outcomes in one game. Of course thy will move the line before the game will start because of different reasons, but if we focus on this game between Colorado and LA Dodgers, you can easily estimate quickly the probabilities for this game.
Odds
US odds
Impl probabilities
Margin
Fair
Fair odds
Fair US odds
Colorado
2.48
148
0.4032258065
1.028225806
0.3921568627
2.55
155
LA Dodgers
1.6
-167
0.625
0.6078431373
1.64516129
-155
Implied probabilities = 1/odds
Margin = Implied probability (Colorado) + Implied probability (LA Dodgers). 1.028225806 – 1 = 0.028225806. And this is the fee, that you pay to the bookmakers every time you make a bet 2.8225806%
Fair = Implied probability  / Margin
Fair odds = 1/Fair
Formula to turn decimal into US odds:  =ifs(A1>2,((A1-1)*100),A1<2,(-100)/(A1-1),I2=2,”+100”)
Formula to turn decimal into US odds: =IFS(A2<100,(abs(100/A2))+1,A2>100,(A2/100)+1,A2=100,2,A2=-100,2)
Where A1 = decimal odds (example: 2.48) and A2 = US odds (example +148)
You can simply put this function into the cell (google sheets)
And as you see we can estimate quickly what kind of chances bookmakers give to the teams. If they give LA Dodgers around 60% of chance to win this game, usually this number is somewhere there.
The number 60% means, that if they can repeat this game many times, that Dodgers will win around 60 out of every 100 games. Bu they will still lose around 40 games.
And then we see handicappers on the internet that give us guaranteed picks, lock picks, sure games,… I hope that people are not falling into this trap anymore. If there would be sure game (probability 100%) bookmakers would never offer such a game. You must understand that baseball teams and players are professionals and on every single day any team can beat any team. 
The question is what is your probability for this baseball game. Because as we saw it, probabilities are directly the odds. And the odds are directly the prices. And the basic concept of making money is to compare two prices, right?
 –

#3 Understanding The concept of the value

We have another example.
Bookmakers odds:
Miami Marlins 4.40 (+340)
Yankees 1.25 (-400)
and…
…let’s say, that you perfectly know the chances of two teams (not what bookmakers offer you). Let’s say, that you get those numbers from the God.
He will tell you that Yankees have 66.67% of chance to win the game and Miami has only 33.33% of chance to win this game, who would you take?
Most bettors will take LA Dodgers. The majority of bettors will take huge favourites, no matter what the price is.
Of course – because you get probabilities from the GOD here and he told you that Dodgers will win 66.67% of time, right? And 66.67% is more than 33.33%.
BUT THIS IS VERY WRONG IN THIS SITUATION!
So, what we have here?
  1. We have bookmakers odds:
Miami Marlins 4.40 (+340)
Yankees 1.25 (-400)
  1. We have true probabilities from the GOD
Miami Marlins 33.33%
Yankees 66.67%
But we also learned that we can turn those probabilities into the odds, right? So, if you know the true chances for those two teams – The fair odds in this case would be:
Miami Marlins 33.33% -> 1/0.333 = 3.00 (+200)
Yankees 66.67% -> 1/0.6666 = 1.50 (-200)
If one team will win 33.33% of games, does that mean, that they will win every third game? NO. Miami in this case can lose 10 games in a row, but then they can also win couple of games in a row. You don’t know, when this will happen. But we can stick with probabilities here and true chances.
What will happen if you will bet only on a team, that has better chance (not the better price)?
You will lose money. Don’t you believe me? Keep reading….
If you bet always on better team, no matter what odds are:
Yankees 67% bets won = cca 67 games: +$1675
Miami 33% bets lost = cca 33 games: -3300
Net Profit: -$1625 (As you see, you will make a loss, not a profit on the long run)
What will happen if you will bet on a value and not on a potential winner?
Here is 100 bets on Miami on the odds of 4.40 and the real chance of 33.33%. Every bet is $100.
33% bets won = 33 games: +$11220
67% bets lost = 67 games: -$6700
Net Profit= $990 – $677 = +$4520
As you see, if you bet always on a winner, you will lose money, but if you bet on a value, you will win money. Yes, you will lose more games, than you will win, but at the end you will make a profit.

#4 Bankroll and Strategy

And here we come to the strategy and money that you will need for betting. After you understand basic things, then you need to set the goals and lock your money for the season (or even more… I don’t even touch my betting money anymore, until I will not reach my goal).
Once someone told me that he has bankroll. He takes $200 every weekend and this is his bankroll for betting. Well, this is not a bankroll. This is just gambling money. Money for fun, like when you go out have have a party.
When you decide to make money in sports betting, you must understand one thing. Sports betting is one of the riskiest business out there. If you ask any financial advisor, they will all tell the same. Spread your investment money. And you can always have one % of your investment money in high risk investments, because the possible return can be big. And here we come to the unrealistic expectations from gamblers around the world. I see many times bettors with their $1000 dreaming about making a living from speculative business. Of course this is not that easy.
So, the first step you need to do is to take some money, that you don’t need for a living and you can lock it for some time. Here you can read the difference between bankroll and a budget, but for the start lock your money for the rest of the season and stick to the strategy.
Let’s say hat you have 100 units (simply divide your $ budget/bankroll into 100 units). And then my recommendation is that you never bet more than 1-2 units per game. No matter what happen, no matter if you lose or win, simply stick with the strategy. Then you must commit that you will research games every single day and try to find the value (this is what we talked above).
Looking for the value will give you the chance to make a profit, because when you are looking for the value, you are looking for that difference between your price and market price. And the strategy will give you the chance if you lose couple of games in a row. Because if your team has 50% of chance to win the game, that doesn’t mean, that they will win every single game like:
WLWLWLWLWLWLWL
Maybe in perfect world, but not here. It can be WWWLLLLLLLLLWLWLLLWLLLLWWWWWWWWWWWW and you don’t know it. But if you make unlimited bets, win% for that team will be still 50%. But you need to survive those L’s. This is why strategy, discipline and patience is very important.
With this you can also see how many handicappers manipulate with results, when they say:
“We are the hottest betting service winning 20 out of last 27 games”
of course, you can take this:
WWLLLLLLLLLLWLWLLLWLLLLWWWWWWWWWWWW
12-1 record
 –
or you can take this
WWLLLLLLLLLLWLWLLLWLLLLWWWWWWWWWWWW
2-10 record
Where basically we have the same handicapper and same record and same betting skills, but the handicapper took the range of “last bets”, as he wants. Every single record can be manipulated for marketing purposes on a small sample size. With big sample size bets (500+ bets) it is much harder to manipulate the results.

#5 Bookmakers

We already have some basic knowledge and how things work. We also set right strategy and we locked the money for the season. We also decided that we will work hard on analysis and we will stay patient and disciplined.
So we need to find a good bookmaker, who is willing to accept our bets and pay us a the end of we win. Three things are important here:
  1. You need to find safe and trusted bookmaker. Usually big bookmakers have ability to pay you. No matter what you say, but usually big companies will pay you, because they have resources to do this. I am very skeptical to small companies.
  2. Margins. You need to find bookmakers with good margins. If you read above, I showed you how you can calculate the margins for yourself with every bookmaker.
I would group bookmakers into 3 categories. First are US friendly bookmakers, that will mostly accept American players. Second group is Pinnacle bookmaker for international players. And the only problem with Pinnacle is that they don’t allow players from many countries, including USA. Another way to play on Pinnacle or some Asian bookies, that have good odds and big limits is Sportsmarket. And then there is third group which will solve many problems with anonymity and country restrictions – bitcoin bookmakers. Here is my filtered list of bookmakers recommended for MLB season. (Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a bet there, I can earn a commission. This commission comes at NO additional cost to you. Please understand that I recommend those sites because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to bet there. Please do not open accounts on these bookmakers unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. If you’ve signed up from my links before, thank you very much! I greatly appreciate your support!)
 US PLAYERS
INTERNATIONAL
BITCOIN

#6 Track all your bets

No matter if you win or lose. No matter if this is your first season or not, simply track your bets. You will see where you are, you will see if you can improve and what you can expect. Anyone serious about betting will track his records and measure predictive skills. The best way to do this is to look how you do against closing odds and by tracking other important information, like yield, profit, etc. CLV will show you if you have the edge over the market and if you have constantly positive CLV, you will be a winner on the long run.
According to Pinnacle (which is the sharpest bookmaker in the world): “The most accurate way we have found, to distinguish winning and losing players is to look at the odds a player received when they made their bet, and compare it with the Pinnacle Sports closing line on the game. If a player consistently beats our closing price, they are likely to be a long-term winner – period. Interestingly, we have found that this test is more reflective of a player’s future winning potential, than their historical win/loss record with the company.”
For example my highest value plays from 2019 (adjusted kelly criteruim >2) were: CLV: +3.48% and beat the line 73.39% of times.
I prepared betting tracker for you, where you will also track your CLV numbers. You can download it here.
Download file
Open with google sheets!
CLV is one topic, that will be researched more in the future on my site and we will try to improve our models in that direction too. But for now, one very important first step is that you track your record.

#7 Analysis, statistics and handicapping

You have a bookmaker, you have a money and you are ready to bet baseball.
Baseball game is all about numbers. I will not explain the game and the rules, because I think you should learn this by watching couple of youtube videos or even play some game on playstation.
It is very important to get your probabilities before you bet. It is probably most important when it comes to handicapping. If you don’t agree with me, go check your bookmakers account. Usually bettors without money or any other long term success in their betting career will tell you that statistics is not important. It is very important. Like every step I described here. From the right mindset, mentality, hard working, discipline, patience, analyzing, picking a right bookmaker, estimating probabilities,…
Usually bettors without money or any other long term success in their betting career will look for picks and they want to be followers. I am sure 90% of them will not read whole text and will not watch video below.  Usually those bettors are very lazy (read – not motivated for betting) and they like more the idea of “not doing anything and making a lot of money. Are you looking for picks? Are you here to find free picks and make a lot of money without putting any effort? Are you looking for some formula and some method, where you will not work anything, learn anything, pay anything and at the same time you want to make a lot of money? Check your bookmakers account now (that number of $ usually top right, when you log in). The reason is mindset with combination of all other things explained here (patience, discipline,…). 
Those who say, that those things are not important and that the only thing you need to win at sports betting is “real source” and “real information” don’t make money with betting. 
After all, information are overrated these days. Anyone can find information on the net. It is not like 20 years ago, when some secret information was gold. Right now, anyone can read or find newest information about players on twitter. Data, models, probabilities, statistics, meaningful numbers,… those are much more valuable information to look for these days. 
But for now I will give you couple of tips how to bet baseball and on what you should focus on:
  1. Don’t try to catch a team to end a streak. The season is very long and the best team will win little bit more than 60% of games and the worst team will win little bit less than 40% of games. They are playing almost every day and when some team fall into a streak (bad or good), don’t go against the streak. Almost every single team in the league will have 5-6 wins and also losses in a row.
  2. Bullpen is more and more important. Most bettors will pay attention only on starting pitching. But if we just look at last 2 calendar years, the average innings per game by a starting pitcher is just 5.60. In other words, in average starting pitchers don’t go more than 6 innings. I took as an example 264 pitchers from last 2 calendar years. Clayton Kershaw is the pitcher who pitched 7.11 innings per game and this is by far the highest. One baseball game has 9 innings and if you pay attention only on starting pitching, you are basically ignoring big part of the game.
  3. Lefty / Righty match ups – There are teams, that play much better against lefties and there are teams, that play much better against righties. There are couple of reasons for that. One is that, when a team has a lot of left handed hitters, they could struggle against left handed pitchers and you should pay attention to this.
  4. Exclude mainstream stats like ERA and batting average. Other ERA metrics like xFIP, FIP and SIERA have better predictive power for pitching and OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ for hitting.
  5. Don’t blindly follow betting trends. Betting trends will tell usually what happened in the past, not what will happen in the future. If someone tells you San Diego Padres won 6 out of 7 games at home versus left handed pitcher, this is usually not useful text that is needed for betting analysis. If they won 6 out of 7 home games at home verus left handed pitcher, this is not a guarantee that this trend will continue. It tells us only what happened in last 7 games. You can always turn streaks and situations so, that will be in favour of your pick. But at the same time other handicapper can find situation for the same game, where the trend will go against you. Trends are very flawless information. 
  6. Useful sites :http://www.fangraphs.com/ – statistics, datahttp://www.baseball-reference.com/ – statistics, data, historical data, play-by-play,…
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ – a lot of great articles, projections,…

    http://dailybaseballdata.com/cgi-bin/index.pl – pitcher vs batter, weather, bullpen usage

    http://killersports.com/ – a lot of historical data, trends,…

    http://www.rotowire.com/baseball/matchup.htm – pitcher vs batters, daily lineups,…

    http://www.donbest.com/mlb/matchups-classic/ – nice match ups statistics

I will share my bets this (and next seasons) on my youtube channel on a daily basis.
Remember that there is no sure thing in sports betting, but if you put a lot f work and a lot of effort, you will raise your chances for making money.
NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR MLB SEASON. Not in May!
I wish you profitable MLB 2019 season.
MB

Making big money, winning bets, locks, guaranteed bets, huge winners,… sounds good, right?

Sports Handicappers

Thousands and thousands sports bettors look for magical sports handicappers who will make them rich. No matter if you follow paid or free sports handicappers, usually this following mindset will end as a disaster. Not even to blame sports handicappers, because most of them truly think they are good, but simply don’t take into account very big sample size. How many times you see a sports handicapper that starts selling picks after his 100 or 200 bets?

I see them constantly. And even those who have hundreds of bets, most of those sports handicappers don’t track bets properly.

Sports handicappers will guarantee sports picks and winning bets, all kind of winners and how you will make big money in sports betting…

..but this is just bullshit and I will be little bit harsh here, because we need to repair sports bettors minds and if I can change at least one mind, it is worth. I don’t care about what some people will say, because conclusions are based on my 20 year experience in sports betting world.

Even if we find a good sports handicapper, who can beat the closing line, who uses probabilistic methods, who has the edge over big sample size,…. it is almost not possible to follow such picks. Good sports betting picks beat the closing line. And once you are late, you are late. Nobody has such edge to cover all the line movement + the cost of subscription + your bankroll. Most sports gamblers struggle with small bankrolls anyway and the is no logical calculation to cover all these things and end with the profit. At least on the long run and at least it will not work for most people, even if they follow the best sports handicapper.

I saw a guy who made more than 2700 bets with yield of more than 17% and his followers can not make profit with his picks. If you still don’t know after years of betting  what is yield, ROI, CLV (closing line value), +EV (concept of positive expected value in sports betting),… it is maybe to re-think if betting still makes sense.  It is the same if baseball player would not know what is double play or QB doesn’t know what is touchdown. If you didn’t have motivation so far to learn sports betting basics like yield, basic probabilities, ….  you will never win and you will lose money. And those basics are free on the internet. Instead of watching Game of Thrones or being on instagram whole day, take couple of hours and learn.

Well…if we think twice…such foolish people will almost for sure lose money, so bookmakers can pay the rest who make that small profit and that work hard on analysis and understanding betting. I don’t sell sports betting picks and will never sell any bet predictions, because I think it is wrong. But if I think twice, the prices should be much bigger for bet prediction / betting picks subscriptions.

The foolish average Joes get what the foolish average Joes deserve. In the wild, weakest animals die. In sports betting naive bettors will lose money and will not survive. Think twice about this. The only record that matter is lifetime sports betting record. If your betting bring you the money in life or you lose it. And we all know that 95% of sports bettors pay and work  for those 5% that make money in sports betting world. They pay bookmakers, betting services and of course winning sports bettors. Winning bettors will get paid from bookmakers, because they are paid by foolish bettors. Is this ok? Well…it looks ok,  if there are bettors/gamblers who invest in something that they don’t understand.

If you can not understand the concept of sports betting and making money now with all the free information about betting on the internet, then you deserve to lose. Period. As I said, I want to be completely honest and little bit harsh here, because sometimes this is the only way to spread the message. Despite I know that 95% of all people who will read this will be the next minute on social media sharing or looking for picks. It is a magical circle, which makes magical money for bookmakers.

So, let’s go trough couple of things, that sports bettors, sports gamblers, sports betting losers or whatever you call them, can not understand. And you know what it is amazing when I see smart people, from college, from universities, from math background, that still don’t understand what I will write here.

Why is this so? Some people will say, that our society is too soft now and when we lived in caves we were always under some risk and people need gambling risk, this is why they gamble. But this should not be the reason, because when you start losing money all the time, I don’t know if this is fun anymore.

So what I will write here is not a rocket science. If you can not understand those simple concepts, you have no chance in sports betting or any other speculative business based on numbers, which is similar to betting. There are still other jobs and ways to make money. Go buy a garden and sell beautiful flowers. Flowers are always good. But don’t bet if you can not understand those simple concepts.

The number ONE rocket science – THE CONCEPT OF HOW TO:

Make Money in Sports Betting

If you want to make money in sports betting, you need to take an investment approach (I don’t know which other approach could work). What is the concept of making money if you invest?

The concept is very simple. You need to invest in something with big potential. You can buy a real estate now for $300,000 and later sell it for $400,000. You made a profit. You can buy a car for $10,000 and sell it for $15,000. You can invest in stocks for low price and sell it for bigger price. Right? I hope you agree with me.

There is no other way. The concept of making money is to invest in something with big potential.

The number TWO rocket science:

Value Bet, Not Bet Winner!

But what is the key here?

THE PRICE. THE PRICE. THE PRICE.

You need to be smart enough to buy a car for $10,000, so you can sell it later for $15,000. Right?

This difference is a value or in sports betting – value bet.

I think this is not hard to understand. Just take an example. We have two cars. Ferrari and Ford. Ferrari is let’s say a winner and Ford is not a winner.

So let’s say you are a car dealer….and  you have a wife and you send her to buy a Ferrari, so you can sell this Ferrari later for bigger price. But you don’t tell her what is the last price to buy a Ferrari. She can buy Ferrari for 1 mio USD or for $20,000. But she doesn’t care, because she got a “PICK”, she got a “WINNER”. She will buy it no matter what the price is. And she will buy it for 1 mio USD. But you can not sell this car for more than 1 mio USD and you lose money because of this. So, you have winning pick, but you still lose. Wife = bettor who make a bet from other people without understanding anything.

On the other side you can make a profit with Ford if you can buy it for $4,000 and sell it for $5,000.

It’s not rocket science to understand this.

It is always about the price. It is always about understanding the price. You must understand for which price you buy this car and for which price you can sell it.

But what most bettors do? They look for winners, locks. Not odds, not closing line value, not probabilities, expected value,… but “winners”.

If you don’t understand the price, you will never make money in sports betting (not anywhere else).

How to come to the numbers and prices, well… this is another topic, which I will left for next time.

The number THREE rocket science:

Sports Betting Odds Comparison is basically Price Comparison

In sports betting those prices are basically the odds. It is not rocket science again.

We have the same bet or pick if you like:

NY Yankees -110

after 3 hours

NY Yankees -135

It is not the same price is you bet on Yankees -110 or Yankees -135, because if you bet on Yankees -110 you need to pay $110 to win $100. If you bet later, when the odds drop you pay more. You need to pay $135 to win $100.

It is not the same if you pay a car $5000 or $7000

It is not the same if you bet $110 or $135 for the same profit. Come on….this is not hard to understand.

It is not focus on who will win, but what is the price.

Winning bettors and potential future winning bettors understand this.

The number FOUR rocket science – Bettors ask this question many times:

Best Betting Accounts to Follow?

DO NOT!

One of the problems you will face is odds dropping. For example, this season I beat the line 83.78% of time on international basketball league games. What this mean? This mean, that when I bet the odds drop later most of the time.

You as a follower will never get the same odds (price) and this is why you lose money.

Following is not winning mentality (I hope you agree with me – to understand this = not rocket science) and you need to find the way how to beat the market by yourself, because you have your own prices.

Just take an example of the bet Goyang +5.5 on December 5th, 2018

I took Goyang +5.5 at 1.93 (-107 US odds)

then the odds dropped to 1.66 for the same bet (Goyang +5.5)

What this mean for an average bettor when they follow other people’s picks?

We have the same bet. If you follow other people’s bets on the long run, you will probably lose money. Sharp bettor, who bet for himself (and has his own method and the knowledge how to pick games) can make nice profit. I took my basketball record and I took an example if bettor is playing with $100 per bet. So he will make more than +7000 USD of profit in this example. On the other side if you are a follower and if you are too late and if you don’t know for which price you buy the odds (= bet), then you can fall into the group of Follower 1 and Follower 2.

Most bettors don’t have any money management, nor the discipline to bet anyway. But let’s take “rare example”, that Follower 1 and Follower 2 have enough basic knowledge how to bet and they both started with $10,000 of a bankroll and their initial bet is $100.

They would make a huge loss in both cases. And usually when bettors follow good picks, they pay for subscriptions too. Most services charge at least $100 per month or more (there are services, that charge $1000 per month, but let’s take $100 per month as an example). So follower needs to pay $1200 for subscriptions in one year. This is $6000 in 5 years. And one bettor will basically lose his whole bankroll in first or two years, despite his advisor make a profit.

Of course not all games and the odds will drop in advisors favour. But in general if you follow profitable bettor, he will beat closing line and that means that most of the time you will get worse price.

The number FIVE rocket science:

Learn Sports Betting FIRST, Bet second

Do you think that doctors first make surgery and then they go to medicine school?

Come on guys. I think my 4 year old daughter understand this.

Do you think you will drive safely on a road and then go to driving school?

Do you you think that engineer builds a bridge first and then he learns about building the bridges?

NO. All those things lead to a disaster.

But what bettors do?

They bet first. This is the first thing they do. They think that they watch games and they will find winners. And we saw, that it is not point in finding the winners, but finding the right price or value, if you like.

So, if you don’t know how to turn probabilities into the odds, you will for sure face all kind of problems and lose money on the long run.

So, you don’t know what is yield, what is ROI, what are implied probabilities, how to calculate bookmakers margins? You have very little chance.Note also, that all those things are free on the internet.

The number SIX rocket science:

Profitable Sports Betting has nothing to do With Sports watching 

“I am big fan of baseball, I watch every game. I can pick winners”

Come one guys. Be serious. This has nothing to do with reality.

Watching sports, love for the sport is one thing. Betting/Investing on sport is another thing.

When you watch sport, you are focusing on the winners, on fun and to do this you need just a beer and good company. Of course you will hit winners sometimes, so you can brag about yourself on twitter. After all, there are usually 2 possible outcomes if you watch games (home win, away win). Of course you will hit something.

But when it comes to investing/betting I believe your goal is to make money. And in this case, this has more in common with investments, probabilities, statistics, math, then with watching sports. You need to beat the market if you want to make money. If you still don’t understand this simple concept, you are wasting time reading this. After all, we need you to lose, so bookmakers can pay us.

It requires good strategy, analysis, so you know what is good price to bet, discipline, realistic expectations,….

What do you think, who is on other side? What do you think who are bookmakers? Do you think that those are some kids playing with computers? No. Bookmakers are very smart companies with best experts who work 24/7.

Why do you think, they change the price (odds) if this the odds are not important? Odds are important. Not “bet winners”, “lock bets of the day”, “guaranteed profit betting” or other marketing material for foolish people.

It is all about the price. It is not about lock bets of the day. And if you think that you are a “good” sports fan that can pick betting winners you will lose sooner or later. If you are looking for winners instead of value bet, you will lose. Even if you find someone with good “sports betting picks” you will not get the same price and if you want to follow other sports handicappers picks, you are in that stage “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT YOU DON’T KNOW”. If you are in the dark when it comes to the prices, then you will never be successful trader, investor or a sports bettor.

Write it down 10x times on your paper until you don’t learn and thank me later :) :

  • Don’t follow sports handicappers
  • Don’t look for sports betting picks, rather look for numbers, probabilities, win %, knowledge,…
  • Learn to bet for yourself. This is the only way how to win
  • Following betting accounts = losing mentality and you are wasting your time
  • I saw a sports handicapper who made more than 2700 picks with the yield of +17.08% which is absolutely amazing. But his clients/followers couldn’t make a profit, because they didn’t have a clue about money management, betting, statistics,….
  • Spend extra time to learn how to bet on the internet, rather than looking for sports betting picks.

Final note: If you made it this far and read my texts, you must understand one thing –  I intentionally wrote such post, where some words could be harsh little bit for someone, because I want to shake your mind. I hope this will change some people’s minds. The problem is that most bettors don’t know that they don’t have a clue about whole thing. And the problem is that there is so many information on the internet, so we don’t even know where to start. If I can change at least one mind and one gambler, so he starts researching betting and because of this he becomes a winner or he just sees, that this is not for him (and because of this stop losing money), I am happy. It is enough for me.

All the best

MB

Sign up for Betting Course

In 2017 I have created betting model for basketball and after 1373 bets we made a profit of close to 70 units. In other words, $100 bettor made $7000 of profit in last 2 seasons. And more than 1000 bets is not small sample size anymore. And what I am most happy at this moment, is that since I started tracking CLV numbers, we beat the line in more than 80% and CLV is more than +4%.

The beauty of the model is simplicity. Anyone can use it, anyone can implement for any league that he wants and I saw some great results from my members, who have this model, also in some other sports (rugby, handball).

So, I was thinking how to take the ideas from basketball betting model and use it for NFL betting.

NFL is a new sport for me and I wanted to give some simple betting model to my members, so they can project the numbers before they bet. It still amazing how many people bet without numbers and without using any statistics at all. But more and more people are aware that betting without numbers will not make any profit on the long run.

After all, lines, spreads, totals, odds and handicaps are nothing else than some kind of probabilities turned into the numbers. And those numbers directly represent the prices on betting market, that you pay (bet) at the end. So, it is crucial to have statistical method, that will estimate those prices even before bookmakers.

This is not rocket science. It is basic concept of making money. You need to know the price before you buy. You need to know if you can sell it later (so you can make profit) for a bigger price. In sports betting that means, that when you see Green Bay Packers -7, you need to know if this is good spread to bet or not. You need to know what is the last spread that you are willing to take Green Bay Packers (in this case).

So, I wanted to get those spreads and totals before bookmakers open their lines.

And this is how I combined my basketball model with NFL stats. It gives me my projected (or expected) lines and totals. Then I simply compare those spreads/totals with bookmakers numbers.

When I see big enough difference between my numbers and their numbers, I simply make a bet.

Because of simplicity and because of very small number of games in one season, I look for big difference and I bet 1 unit per game on each game.

After 11 Weeks the results are:

35 -17, +16.64 units

 

The question is… can this continue?

From my perspective I simply used the ideas of my basketball betting model and put it here with some adjustments. So, at the end of the day, I get my projections (spreads/totals) before I make final betting decisions. And I am not even NFL bettor. I think this is much more powerful to those who bet NFL on a regular basis, so they get the numbers before placing bets.

The only concern is CLV number so far. But I would also say, that NFL market is very special, because a lot of people with zero betting knowledge (and a lot of NFL “sports fan knowledge”), who don’t use any statistics, analytics or any other mathematical/statistical method bet huge amount of money. It is very small sample size of games and a many people are simply gambling. So, the market is definitely little bit different than NHL or MLB betting market.

However, I will try to improve this betting model in the future and will track my progress to see where we can improve it. I will keep informing bettors what is important to win and on what they should focus, when they bet NFL.

Cheers and good luck in Week 12

MB

Learn How to Build a Betting Model in Google Sheets to make smarter Bets!

FAVOURITE:

Philadelphia (Pivetta) 1.53 / -189

Philadelphia Phillies lost yesterday and they will definitely try to bounce back after a loss. And I see nice chances for them with some +EV compared to bookmakers odds. They will start with Nick Pivetta, who is 6-9 to the season with the ERA of 4.40, but if we check his performance, he is pitching much better and we can expect the ERA will go down. I rank him much higher than league average pitcher, he struck out 152 batters in 124 innings this season and he has been also very hot lately (ERA 1.50, whip 0.877) in last couple of starts. Mets on the other side will start with Vargas, left handed pitcher, who has ERA of 8.10 and his pitching is not great at all. All other ERA metrics are against him (SIERA 4.95). So, I think that Philadelphia will have huge pitching advantage today and one another bad thing for Mets is that they have one of the worst bullpen in the league (I rank their bullpen #29 out of 30 teams). Based on my projections, I give Philadelphia 69.51% of chance to win this game.

UNDERDOG:

Milwaukee (Chacin) 2.07 / +107

Milwaukee Brewers lost yesterday, but I think we have two very good teams this season and honestly we didn’t expect, that Milwaukee will be a winning team in August, but it looks like that both teams will fight for playoffs this season. Milwaukee will start with Chacin and on the other side St Louis will start with Gant. In this pitching match up, I don’t see any advantage, I rank both pitchers close to league average. But I think that Milwaukee will have the advantage in the second part of the game. Their bullpen is among the best in the league (#5 ranked based on my rankings) and St Louis bullpen is below league average (#25). The big question for Milwaukee are still Thames and Braun if they will play or not, but I think that this will be close game and bullpen could be crucial later in the game. Note that there is just tiny value with Milwaukee and it depends on the odds you get from your bookmaker.

TOTAL:

Baltimore / Cleveland – Over 9

Cleveland ballpark is one of the most hitters friendly ballparks this season. And if we check Indians at home, they also score 5.6 runs per game. Cleveland will start with Clevinger, who holds ERA 3.38 (home 4.01). He has been very solid this season and I rank him just little bit above league average pitcher. On the other side Ramirez will play for Baltimore and his ERA is above 6 and above 10 in last 3 starts, but as I said many times ERA is not good future predictor and I am not betting on this total because he has ERA above 6. I rank him below league average and his realistic ERA should be around 4.70. So we have two close to league average pitchers in a hitters friendly ballpark this season and what is interesting, but teams are hitting well lately. In last 30 days I rank both teams in terms of hitting in top 10. Note also, that Baltimore has one of the worst bullpen in the league and after two low scoring games in Cleveland I expect more runs today. I especially expect from Cleveland to score more and I also expect from Baltimore to score couple of runs.

Cloudbet-2017

Quick basics

  • Favourites: plays on teams/outcomes, where bookmakers opinion is that the outcome has more than 50% of chance to win. Please understand, that the chance of winning is totally different than, expected value.
  • Underdogs: Bets on the outcomes with +EV, but based on bookmakers opinion we have less than 50% of chance to win a bet/outcome. Underdog bets are recommended for advanced players with strong money managements.
  • Totals: Betting on total runs/goals/points
  • CLV = closing line value is the most important indicator if you will be a long term winner or not. According to Pinnacle (which is the sharpest bookmaker in the world): “The most accurate way we have found, to distinguish winning and losing players is to look at the odds a player received when they made their bet, and compare it with the Pinnacle Sports closing line on the game. If a player consistently beats our closing price, they are likely to be a long-term winner – period. Interestingly, we have found that this test is more reflective of a player’s future winning potential, than their historical win/loss record with the company.”
  • Betting projection = my estimated winning percentage turned into the numbers (odds). I project winning percentage for every single game and then I look at the games, where my odds are different than bookmakers odds. I use statistics and my betting models. I reveal betting models in A Journey Betting Course.

Whether it is learning a skill or having success in any job or career, there are proven ways to succeed, and it is important to understand and use them. It is no different in sports betting. Anyone serious about becoming a winning bettor knows that it will take some time and dedication to become a professional bettor, but the reward at the end is huge. Of course, talent can play a part in being successful, but if you follow these basic principles you will have big chance to win in sports betting in the long run.

Building knowledge

This is the first step to become a professional bettor. It includes everything from betting skills, sports expertise and understanding the concept of betting, concept of value, probabilities and all other things.

Building Predictive Skills

Professional bettors make money by predicting the outcome of a match based on their skill. The most important is to find the edge over the bookmakers or if you like find different (or better if you like) probabilities than bookmakers probabilities. I use my betting models to calculate my winning percentages and my own odds, that are later compared with bookmakers odds. Bookmakers will always adjust the numbers based on market and there is a chance.

Raising funds

Usually bettors raise funds first and then they bet without enough knowledge and without predicting skills. Huge mistake. But we all made same mistake.

Selecting a bookmaker

Every professional bettor will tell you that this can be a headache if you pick wrong bookmaker. Most bookmakers in the world will ban you if you will constantly win and you should always pick a bookmaker with low margins.

Money Management

Even if you have all the skills, huge funds and understand the concept of betting you can not win if you don’t have strong strategy. I saw skilled bettors, but without any strategy. They lost whole money in 2 months, despite they were winning in other 10 months.

Tracking your record and measure your betting skills

Anyone serious about betting will track his records and measure predictive skills. The best way to do this is to look how you do against closing odds and by tracking other important information, like yield, profit, etc. CLV will show you if you have the edge over the market and if you have constantly positive CLV, you will be a winner on the long run.

Discipline and mentality

Betting discipline is one of the most underrated betting skills, but if you don’t work on your discipline, all other skills above are useless. It is also very important to control emotions. Never celebrate when you win and never panic when you lose.

Ability to learn and adopt

The things are changing quickly. Professional bettors are willing to learn, improve and adopt to new situations. Sports betting world is changing quickly and the time when sports fans were winning is gone. Sports betting has more in common with financial investing, math and statistics than with watching sports or being a fan.

Sign up for Free Betting Lessons

​​Hi,

how are you? I hope you are dong well and I hope you are making some profit as well.

The World Cup group stage games will be over today and if you watched my betting course about World Cup, you would make cca +10 units of profit so far. Depends on the odds you got, but I made +10.39 units of profit so far. The best odds are on Cloudbet.

If you didn’t watch the course about World cup and ideas how to beat the market, you can watch it here:

WATCH FREE COURSE (1:14:48)

….because it will be closed on 2 days. ​So hurry up. 

At the end of the course you get also a chance to learn how to easily turn the probabilities into the odds for football/soccer.

If you didn’t watch it – in short….

  • ​World Cup is special event with 64 games
  • There is almost no betting model for this world cup and if there is one, it is very hard to estimate probabilities. To many obstacles, like ranking teams, not enough statistics, huge psychological​ factors,….
  • Nobody can guarantee a profit and mostly amateurs bettors and sports fans take this competition as a serious competition from sports betting perspective.
  • This is biggest event in 2018 and many people that don’t watch sports, right now watch every single game. Many of them bet too and there was huge amount of money added to the market
  • So, if we are regular daily bettors, right now we are not alone and there is huge amount of extra money involved
  • Because of all that also the bookmakers don’t know how to set the odds properly, but they know one thing. They know how amateur bettors and sports fans think.
  • Amateurs bettors will bet a lot on World Cup games, without any strategy or pre-research, they talk about every single game, they take this world cup very seriously, they also like to bet on huge favourites and we have probably couple of millions new “betting experts”.
  • Because of all that, bookmakers offer them “tricky” odds on favourites.

Before the world cup, I researched the market and I saw, that betting blindly on underdogs in last couple of big competitions was profitable ting to do. This was announced in my video above. It is a combination of all those tings I mention here. 

“What is your point to bet on all underdogs?” 

That was the question I received yesterday. If this is so easy, why everyone don’t bet on all underdogs?

Why you bother with watching games, reading news, when you know that you don’t have any edge?

Many bettors think they have the edge in those games, but in fact they don’t have. I don’t have the edge in any of those games, you don’t have the edge and bookmakers don’t know how to set the odds, but they have margins and they have a lot of amateurs gamblers, that will lose money anyway. But in general it is almost not possible to have the edge compared to betting prices. And if there is someone who won couple of games without some strict strategy, system or estimation of the odds, it was probably pure luck.

Nobody can guarantee a profit in world cup games and nobody can guarantee that one team will win. We saw how Germany lost to Korea and focusing on one single game is in my opinion not right way.

It is little bit easier to beat the competition than one game. Even this is not a guarantee, but if you look at bigger picture, you have bigger chance.

Instead of focusing on on game, I focused on whole competition and on whole 64 games. I saw that betting on underdogs was profitable on big competitions and this is sample of 254 games now since 2010 (added 44 games now). I also recommended two other strategies, that have not such a good record in the past, but both could be profitable as well (betting on draws and betting on double chance against favourites – explained in video). I didn’t check the record on those two strategies, maybe some of you play this too and you can show us what is your record.

254 big competition games (EURO, WC) since 2010:

  • +33.98 Units
  • Yield: +13.38%

I think you can not do much better than this. 

So, the answer on what was my point is this: I researched the market before the world cup. I didn’t just say – bet on underdogs without reason. I understand how bookmakers think and I know how sports fans/recreational/amateur bettors think. They also act very emotionally and they like to bet on huge favourites. So I looked at the bigger picture and I didn’t want to predict one game. I found some patterns, I researched past competition with betting odds (not who won, but how you can make money compared to the odds on the market). And of course when we take into account common sense and mentality of recreational bettors, I came to final conclusion.

When I see bets on the internet like Switzerland over 3.5 or Germany 1.40, I really don’t understand how those people come those those prices. So, if you bet on Germany 1.40, then you must estimate somehow, that this price should be lower (like 1.25 for example) and it is very hard to estimate those prices on such event. No games, very small sample sizes, confusion with the market, etc…

So, the point is that when I recommended to bet on underdogs, that was with the reason and there was some work behind this. The reason was – betting market and understanding it. I don’t care if Germany needs win, I didn’t care if Korea is not playing for anything. I knew, that betting on underdogs has probably some advantage, that was the pattern in the past and if we take into account mentality of amateur gamblers, who bet on huge favourites, there are strong reasons for doing this. I would probably never come to this conclusion if I would not understand the market, I would not come to this conclusion if I would not make every single mistake in the past and learn on my own losses.

If blindly betting on underdogs is very easy thing to do, why most bettors don’t do this?

I mentioned many times, that blindly betting usually doesn’t work, because bookmakers take such things into account. For example, betting blindly on underdogs or betting blindly on favourites will lead to a loss in MLB baseball. But bookmakers know how to set the odds there, because of many games, where it is easier to set the odds. On the other side, they are also confused with World Cup and because of this there was a chance to take the advantage. 

There is of course NO POINT , if you wake up in the morning and you say, I will bet blindly on underdogs without a reason and have fun. 

On the other side…

There is A POINT, if you wake up in the morning and say, I will research the market, I will research mentality of bettors, I will look at how bookmakers think, how bettors think and what was most profitable thing to bet in last big competitions, because of the same nature of event. After that I will make a conclusion and I will share those information with my followers, so they can look at the competition from different perspective than some amateur gambler, who will try to analyse every single game and bet on Spain 1.50 and Germany 1.40. If the message was completely understood, I think you could take the advantage so far and even have fun watching those games.

I bet only for fun….

In the video I said, that I will bet for FUN, I will bet SMALL and I will bet on underdogs (I recommended 3 different strategies, one of them was betting on underdogs). Why I decided for underdogs? Because I bet for fun, I don’t take this competition seriously and for me it is more exciting to cheer for underdogs. And also if we strictly stick with the research, the most profitable betting in the past was on underdogs:

  • ​Bets on Favourites (last 210 big competition games): -14.46 Units
  • Bets on Draws (last 210 big competition games): +11.04 Units
  • Bets on Underdogs (last 210 big competition games): +23.59 Units

So, it was logical for me to bet on underdogs from both perspective. ​

This is not project for me – this is entertainment for me

I don’t gamble with such competitions. I bet for fun and very small. I could spend this money for parties, for drinking, cigarettes, but I decided that I will forget that amount of money. If I lose all, no problem. But if I bet it will make games more interesting to watch. That was my reason – just fun.

I know some people started to panic and this is what I announced in video as well and some people think that this is some serious project for me. I don’t gamble with those competitions. And this is not a project for me. With the video and with my information I wanted to help YOU, so you don’t make mistakes like most amateur gamblers. And I would not recommend to take this competition as some serious project.

Project for me is MLB for example. This is for me project, where I estimate the odds, try to beat closing line value, etc… but not World Cup. So, no matter what happen, this is not serious project for me and if you read and watch my videos, you should understand this.

If I say, that this is very risky competition, if I say, that I will bet only for fun and very small, if I say, that nobody can guarantee a profit,… and if you still decide to put your whole bankroll on this competition, it is your decision. I would definitely never recommend to bet big on such events. There are some ways how to take the advantage of this competition (like I explained in video above), but this is still not a guarantee, that it will work. It gives us just better chance against others.

So, what to do know if you still bet big and if you took my advice from video?

Right now the record is +10.39 units with the yield of +23.61%

If we go back and if I tell you before the world cup, that you will make exactly 64 bets and you will finish with the yield of +10% and +6.4 units of profit, I think everyone would take it. Yield of +10% or everything above +5 units on 64 games (if we bet 1 unit flat on each game) is very very good.

Right now we (or me) made more than +10 units. You can not expect much better result.

So, I recommend to take profits and don’t bet anymore on World Cup if you bet big and if you took this competition very seriously. This is nice profit. If you bet seriously always take profits. Simply take money, so you know, that you made a good thing. And expecting that you will finish this world cup with the yield of +30% or more is very optimistic. I don’t say it can not happen, but if you bet big, take profit if you listen to my advice and that’s it.

This is what I recommend now!

What about me?

I don’t care about this competition that much. I usually watch couple of minutes of every game, because I usually don’t have much time because of other work. I don’t even know if I watched full game yet. But I still have lot of fun. I consciously​ took some small amount of money to bet for fun in this world cup. And I will keep betting just for fun. I don’t care that much for profit here, because I bet one coffer per game. I still believe that I will finish with profit at the end. Maybe only +5 units, maybe less, maybe more, but I believe I will finish in profit. 

WHAT TO DO NOW?

I am not important here, or what I will do, because I do this for fun. It is more about you and I wanted to help you with advice before the world cup and I want to help you with advice now. If you took my advice earlier, you made a profit so far. Right?

So here is my last advice if you bet seriously on this competition:

Stop betting and take profits, because you can not expect much better result than +10 units and yield of more than +20%. We call this – realistic epectations and sometimes you need to know when to stop. 

If you bet for fun like me with the money you can lose without any problem, than keep having fun. I like to act as a sports fan here, I like to make some “fan tweets” on my twitter and I will say Croatia will be world champion and will beat England in final :-) :-) 

But if you bet seriously – I recommend to take profit and stop. This is amazing result so far if you followed my advice before World Cup and you can not expect much better result than this. 

Cheers

MB