Sports Bettors are more connected than ever before. You can basically find the information in one minute with your phone and you can connect with other sports bettors in seconds via social media.

There is still a lot of very bad information about betting out there… but on the other side there is also a lot of great information about betting, many very good bettors, handicappers, sharps, investors,…or whatever you name them, who share their experiences, share their knowledge, share their views and I think (this is my personal observation) that more and more people see that following picks is not the right way in dynamic sports betting World, where seconds can decide if you catch the right price or not. And this can be the difference between losing and winning on the long run. More and more people look for betting knowledge instead of turning themselves into another followers who will never make any profit.

Which is great of course.

If we exclude all the bad information and all the picks from social media handicappers, who throw picks like it is a flip coin experiment, we have some great source of information too. Joseph Buchdahl, Pinnacle Articles, Spanky, Betting Podcasts,…you can find good information if you know what to look for.

Topics about closing line value, betting simulations, algorithms, distributions, betting steams, investing, projecting the lines, betting models,…that’s all great and all these people do amazing job with these topics.

But there is one BIG problem…

Most bettors don’t understand the concept of 2 numbers. At least they can not connect this to betting, despite they use this concept in everyday’s life. I spend a lot of times to understand why they can not understand this and how they can not connect this to betting, but I still didn’t find the right answer how they can not understand this simple thing. One of the possible reasons is the way how our brains operate and the amount of dopamine that is released in such situations, so they can not think rationally anymore. I realised this when I was talking to people who have math background and they still look for “winners and picks” in sports betting, instead of looking for the value. There were situations, where explained these things to a person and it was all clear, but later this person went back to looking for “winners and picks”. But of course the majority of bettors simply struggle to understand this simple concept in sports betting.

Today I will try to explain this on the most simple way possible.

Skipping sports betting basics is the first Problem

I respect what many experts do in this field trying to explain the numbers, the market, writing books, explaining all the things about statistics, numbers, closing lines, etc… but we must understand that an average bettor struggle to understand the very first basic thing.

Explaining the theory of efficient market, closing line value and poission distribution for an example is completely useless for most bettors if they can not even understand the concept of 2 numbers. It is too complex for most bettors and unfortunately most people will not even read this article until the end, which is the problem of modern society, where we want quick things, where we want all the money without investing anything (time, money, effort). This is how it is, but I think that we all must understand the concept of two numbers, because it will change your whole perspective and give you the chance to make a first step into the World of Successful Betting..

Once bettors will completely understand this simple concept, that is used in their everyday’s life anyway, then they can start digging into the market, numbers, bookmakers,…

But without this…you have only two reasonable things to do. First is to stop betting, because you will not win on the long run – it’s not that easy anyway. Or second, you don’t bother with betting theory, with other people’s picks (most of them don’t have edge anyway) and simply try your luck. This is also one way. Don’t make a big deal out of it. You don’t even need to spent any time to watch, follow or read anything about betting theory and you can still hope that you will win because of luck. And if you win because of luck, don’t forget to take profits too.

But if you are just little bit serious about betting, the very first thing you must understand is…

The Concept of Two Numbers in Everyday’s life

When I was at college, one of the main problems of very smart professors was, that they didn’t know how to explain complex things in a simple or dumb way. And I am sure this is the problem with many smart betting experts, who have great knowledge, but they can not explain things on very easy way. They can simply not identify with an average person and they simply don’t understand that some people don’t understand the things, that they think are very easy. But his is how it is…probably everywhere.

Fortunately, I am not that smart 🙂 and I am not the best in the World so I hope that my dumb explanation will change your whole betting perspective.

So, you want to make money in your life? Right? Let’s check quickly couple of real life examples and I believe that everyone will agree with this.

EXAMPLE 1: Car selling

What do you need to do if you want to make a profit by selling cars?

The Answer is very simple: You need to buy a car for $5,000 and sell it for $10,000. The difference between these two numbers is your profit (we exclude taxes, etc… for simple explanation). I hope you agree with me. If you live in one city, where you can sell the car for $10,000 you must be smart to find another city (or person) who is willing to sell you the car for $5,000 because if you buy it for $15,000, you will not make any profit. This difference can be called your value. And this is the only way to make a profit in car selling – to find the difference between two numbers. One number is in your city and other number is in another city. We can call this the concept of two numbers. We are not going here into the details how you come to this numbers, because we first must understand the importance of this simple concept.

EXAMPLE 2: Stock Market

What do you need to do if you want to make a profit in stock market?

The answer is very simple again: Buy low – sell High. Or in other words, you must buy stocks for one price and sell them for higher price later. But you need to have 2 numbers again. The very first is the number, when you buy stocks and the second is when you sell it.

EXAMPLE 3: Coca Cola

You run a restaurant and you want to sell Coca Cola with the profit. What do you need to do?

The answer is simple: First you decide for which price you will sell Coca Cola (we are not going into the details here how you set this price) and then you must find a supplier who is willing to sell this Coca Cola for lower price (the second price). The difference between these two numbers is your profit. You sell Cola for $3, you find a supplier that is willing to sell you Cola for $1.20 and you make a profit of $1.80 by selling each Cola.

What we see here is that we always have 2 numbers to compare.

When it comes to selling Cola you can  simply call a supplier and he will tell you the second price and then you see if you make enough difference for your profit. I hope you agree with me.

Let’s explain this concept in sports betting…

The Concept in Sports Betting is The Same

The final goal in sports betting is profit. There are some “masochists” like me 🙂 , who love betting and the numbers and writing such things, but in general most bettors are here just for one thing – profit.

And to make a profit (anywhere) we need to create the difference between 2 numbers. I hope we agree with this. There are different ways how to come to this numbers, but at the end of the day you must understand what are you paying and you must have that difference. Some people use betting models and projections, some people say “that they pay the right price”. But the concept is the same. If you say, that you must pay the right price, you have in your mind the second number that is compared to bookmakers number.

If you can not create both numbers you will not win at selling cars, in stock market and not even at your restaurant selling Coca Cola. And you will not win at sports betting either. We are not talking here how to come to these numbers and what are the right prices, but the raw concept, that most people miss.

What are 2 numbers in sports betting?

I hope we understand now the concept of two numbers in such businesses and how important is to find the difference between 2 numbers. So the question now is – what has this to do with sports betting?

Everything

In sports betting if you want to win long term you need to be disciplined, you need to have strong money management, you need to beat the closing line,…

…but everything starts with “creating” the difference between two numbers. In sports betting we call this – finding a value.

FIRST NUMBER

First number is very easy to find. You can just open your bookmakers account and you check the odds. Odds are nothing else than the prices on the market. We will not go here into the topic of margins and implied probabilities, because this is not our topic today…. but what you need to understand (and you already understand this – I am sure) is that the odds are prices on the market. You can look at the odds as the price of a Milk in your market. You step into the market, you see the price of the Milk and then you decide if you will pay this or not.

The same is in betting. You check the lines and you decide if you will bet or not. When bookmakers offer Red Sox -120 (or in decimal odds 1.83) that means, that you MUST PAY $120 in order to get your product (profit of $100). This is the price you pay. And this is the first number.

SECOND NUMBER

If we decide that we will not just drink Milk, but we want to make a profit, then we need to estimate somehow the second number and create that difference between 2 numbers.

If you want to make a profit in sports betting long term, you need to start paying good price. Not looking for winner, but looking for good price. Like you must start buying Cola from Supplier for lower price, that you will sell later.

The “good deal” with Red Sox -120 (1.83) you will make only, if you think that Red Sox should be 1.50 (-200) for example. In this case you say this:

“I am willing to pay $150 for this product (profit of $100)”

but then you see that someone (bookmakers) are willing to pay you more for the same money. Or if you like, for the same product, you must pay less. So once you estimated your number and after you see bookmakers number you can say…

“I am willing to pay this product (profit of $100) $150, but hey they are willing to sell me this product for only $120. I will pay less that I am willing to pay. This is great!

So you have 2 numbers. You have 2 numbers to create a profit. And this is the basic of everything. And this is the simple thing that most bettors in the World miss.

  • The first number is always bookmakers number

  • The second number is your number.

This is why you see some very good bettors who play underdogs, despite an underdog means, that the other team has better chance. For example: A bettor is willing to pay NYY at +120 (pay 100 to win 120), but then he sees, that bookmaker is willing to give him more for his money (NYY +190 for example. Which means that they pay $100 and get $190, instead of paying $100 for $120).

It is always the concept of two numbers. When experienced handicapper says, that Lakers -7.5 is good price to buy he has his second number either in his head, either he estimated this number somehow with betting model or any other method. We are not going here into the details how bettors come to these numbers, but the concept is the same.

The concept of two numbers is the concept of value. If you pay bad price, if you can not create the difference of two numbers in your favour, you will not become a profitable bettor. Or if I am more precise and we include the phenomenon of survivorship bias and luck factors, you will have very very little chance to ever make money in sports betting. Period.

The Problem of Picks

I hope we agree now, that we need to have 2 numbers in order to make the difference and then this leads to profit. I hope we all understand this. The odds are the prices on betting market that you pay. You must know what you are paying. These odds are expressed with the numbers and to make a profit you must find the second number, discrepancy between numbers and then this will lead to a profit. How you will you find the second number is your problem now and we will not talk about this, but recognition that you need two numbers will show you the right path from losing to potentially winning.

So here we come to the big problem of sports betting picks or sports betting tips if you like.

If you listen to the best bettors in the World, they will tell you how minutes and even seconds can be the difference when to bet for which price and how. On the other side we have bettors who are constantly looking for picks and how to become followers and what is funny thing even after reading this, they will keep doing the same thing.

We often see something like this

  • Play on Red Sox +132 (plus some written analysis)
  • Bet 3 units Red Sox 2.32
  • Red Sox ML
  • Red Sox Whale Play

What are these information?

All these information are only THE FIRST NUMBER. This is not the second number. But first!!

When I say Play Red Sox 2.32 we have bookmakers number that is taken from bookmakers site:

Red Sox 2.32 – this is (THE FIRST) information taken from bookmakers. This is not the second number yet.

But we all agree (I hope) that for making money you need to create the second number. For me it is very strange when I see people betting on teams without creating the second number. I am not talking here about the method how you come to this number, but betting without creating the second number. It is the same if you would promise someone a car for $10,000, when at the same time you have no idea for which price you can buy this car. It is complete gambling and dumb guessing.

In order to make a profit you need to establish a method, where you can estimate the second number. When you sell Cola you can call a supplier, but when it comes to betting you need that second number and you need to get it somehow.

And…

…No, picks are not “SECOND” number. Picks are ALWAYS the first number. When you see pick “Red Sox +132” on social media, this is just the information that is taken from bookmakers. Someone just copy/pasted information from bookmakers. You must ask him, what is his second number.

Why?

Because the basic concept of making money (even changing your wife to new wife) is comparing two things. In the game of making a profit is always comparison of two numbers.

All these betting picks, betting previews, betting analysis without the second number are basically useless. Most bettors and handicappers don’t have the second number. And most bettors will lose on the long run.

Betting Projections – The Future

Betting World is getting smarter and smarter and we all know that betting is a relative competition against others. So, the level of knowledge and the way how we bet also changed during the years. More and more bettors understand how important is to pay the right price at the right time. You can be 5 minutes late every time and you are out of the game, once you make enough bets. Reading analysis 2 hours and then waiting for the email or betting on closing lines, whatever your social media handicapper tell you will not make any profit for you. And people who disagree with this probably never make any money in sports betting. Every person can check his lifetime betting account for himself and if focusing on one number was profitable for you so far. I am not here to judge, but just say what I see after observing thousands of bettors and followers in last 20 years, including myself. Today I want to give you the value with information and my view, that I strongly believe will change your betting experience forever. And then you can do with this whatever you want.

Betting analysis and previews are great entertainment, the same as picks. Taking into consideration, that most bettors can not connect simple “two number concept” to betting,  sharing picks and writing betting analysis can only be great way to build a community and attract bettors. That’s all.

But the real value in the future will be in that SECOND NUMBER. The concept of 2 numbers is the key and the more bettors will understand this simple concept, the more bettors will focus on how to find that second number, instead of looking for handicappers that will give them that FIRST NUMBER only.

I am not talking here how to estimate the second number, because this is another topic and this is A Journey for each and every one of you, but for god’s sake – we all must start understanding this simple concept:

  • The odd are the prices on the betting market that you must pay
  • You will make profit only if you find the difference between two numbers and you must pay the price in your favour
  • To pay lower price you must know both numbers (you can not compare only one number)
  • To know second price you must find the way how to estimate that price
  • Once you create the difference between 2 numbers, you have a chance to make a profit
  • You can call this – A VALUE

People who can not understand this simple concept will have big big problems making money in sports betting.

With the internet and social media, many handicappers were born. Most of them don’t show the second number and most of them never educate an average bettor about simple concepts that everyone should understand. But inside chaotic betting world and all kind of “picks”, “whale plays”, “guaranteed plays”, “sharp world champions bettors”, there were born many who provide a lot of very good content, despite most of this content is too complex for an average guy. There are also people who share information that will make you a better bettor. And I believe that the power of quality information will hit the level, where an average bettor will understand, that picks represent only FIRST information. And this is usually the information of TEAM (or other possible bet information) and the information of the odds that is copied from bookmakers  – In the best scenario. In many cases bettors share only “Red Sox ML” type information. They don’t even include the first number. It is like telling your wife to buy a car – Mercedes. But you don’t tell her for which price. And the dealer can sell her the same thing (same bet, same pick, same team) for double price. And with double price you will not make a profit.

We need to start talking in terms of TWO numbers. The concept of two numbers is the key for profit.

Example:

  • Bookmakers offer Boston Red Sox +120 (first number)
  • My projected is Boston Red Sox -130 (second number)

I call this bettingprojections or projected odds. The game and the focus now should not be anymore where to find picks or who to follow, but how to improve methods of creating projected numbers and how to find the method, that will estimate my numbers so, that my betting decisions will find +EV and beat the closing line. But this is another topic – BUT the first step into the World of successful betting is to understand the concept of comparing two numbers.

My last words:

My dear sports bettor, You already understand the concept of two numbers. At least I hope so. Please sit down for a minute and use your own brain. Don’t listen to me and don’t listen to any other person on the Planet. Just ask yourself what is the concept of making money. How you make a profit? You can use any example you like. Even goats and sheep selling on market.

You will realise that the concept is very simple. You must compare two numbers – always. The difference in your favour is your potential profit. This is the first thing to fully accept and understand. Of course you will not win every game. Of course creating a method to estimate that second number will not be that easy, but there is NO EXCUSE to not understand the very basic concept of making money in sports betting.

And this is the concept of two numbers. You can call this a value or whatever you like and I wanted to explain this today on a little bit different way. On a simple way, without adding into the conversation probabilities, statistics or something like that.

What many betting experts don’t understand is that many bettors struggle with simple math. I personally saw situations, where bettors think that 2+2*3=12. It is of course NOT 12, but 8. Explaining Monte Carlo simulations to most bettors is completely useless, when they struggle with basic math. This is why we must start with the concept of two numbers. Understanding this is the starting point of those who will have a chance to win in sports betting and those who will not have any chance.

Cheers, MB

 

MLB baseball season 2020 will start in less than 10 days and this situation now is one of the strangest ever for every baseball bettor. Some people say, this is bad, some people say this is good. But honestly we don’t know what is good or bad. We can only say, this is the situation we never met before, but if this is good or bad we will see. The only thing we can do is to focus on things we can control. And when it comes to betting, this is the analysis of the game, selecting right bookmaker, staying disciplined, etc…

We must understand one thing. The betting concept is the same, no matter what you bet. There will be the odds, which will represent the prices on the market and you will need to estimate your prices, compare them with market prices and at the end outsmart the market.

But to do this we need to take a look at some new things, that could be important when real-time betting comes.

In this article I will try to explain some new things about MLB season 2020 and what you should pay attention to when it comes to betting.

COVID situation and the lineups

So the first thing which is important is that we will need to keep checking health status of players, because they are tested regularly. Some players have already decided to opt out of the 2020 season (Ian Desmond, Mike Leake, Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross).

To use lineup based betting models and analysis will be even more important. There will be a separate COVID-19 injured list for players who test positive. It can happen, that some players get tested positive and the analysis must be adjusted accordingly. The player can go in quarantine and the team will need to play without him or it can happen, that more players from the same team must go in quarantine. So we can have a situation, where in one week we have very strong team and then the next week, they will play without key players. So, if you use teams numbers only, you can make a big mistake.

Schedule: Short 60 game season

MLB season will start much later and with different spring training. There was a routine for every baseball bettor before every MLB season. First spring training, players getting in shape, even some betting on spring training games, then I usually wait couple of games to get familiar with the new season and then we start betting.

Well… this season will be little bit different. The first regular game will be on July 24 between New York Yankees and Washington Nationals. It is basically 4 months later and this means 4 months bigger break for players.

Some players are probably not going to be in the best shape and there were already some news, that some didn’t come out of the quarantine in best condition.

Shorter season will also force teams to make less mistakes and play very game little bit seriously. Regular baseball season is 2,430 games, plus the postseason. Every team plays 162 games and they always had more room for mistakes. They could rest players more and every win was not “must Win” situation. Well this season, the mindset will be definitely different. There is no room for a lot of errors and things can change quickly. One team can fall in bad streak, at the same time they start playing next games without their best players and here we have completely wild and unexpected season with some underdogs winning.

What should we do as bettors?

I will simply analyse game by game. Situation by situation and estimate my numbers with the information that I have. And then of course compare my estimations with bookmakers numbers. Step by step – single games.

DH Rule also for National Teams

In baseball we have 2 leagues. One is National League and the other one is American League. This is especially interesting for people who are not that familiar with baseball. But the rules are little bit different and American League teams they could use DH (designed hitter) for hitting, while National League must hit with the pitcher.

Why is this important?

Because pitchers are in general very bad hitters and this changed whole dynamics (and statistics). Well, this season all teams will use DH. In general this mean, that we can expect slightly better hitting from National teams.

So, if you use lineup betting models or lineup betting based analysis, you will need to adjust this based on the current lineups and instead of pitcher hitting, we need to take into calculation DH for National Teams.

Runner on second in extra innings

One completely new and I think pretty cool rule is that in extra inning teams will start with player on second base. How this will affect on betting?

8.6% games went into extra innings in 2019 and with starting a player on second games will simply finish earlier. Which is pretty cool idea, because we saw 15+ innings games and then players need to play the next day…so this is not bad idea. At least this is my personal opinion.

I will not make any big changes because of this, because 8.6% of extra innings games we already saw and once they are in extra innings, teams must score before the game is finished. With runner on second base, they will just accelerate the process and give teams to score early and finish games quickly. If you are interested into learning about RE24 (or run expectancy based on the 24 base-out states) you can read it here.

Of course, there will be a difference who is on the second base, because if you have Hamilton on second base who can run, the score is almost sure. But the rule is: “The runner will be the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter (or a pinch runner).”

So we don’t know who exactly will run and what kind of strategy will coaches have in these situations. I will not make some extra changes because of this rule. Some % of all games will go to extra time and in extra time teams always score. With the runner on 2nd base this process will be quicker, not necessary that they score more runs, but the games will finish sooner.

RP must face three

This is another interesting rule. All relief pitchers must face a minimum of three batters (unless the inning ends). In the past coaches could change pitcher for every batter depends on situation. Right now it looks like they must face at least 3 batters. This is definitely small advantage for hitters.

Some other interesting rules and changes

  • Regionally based schedule
  • Expanded rosters at the start of the season
  • Each team will have a chance to have 30 active players, which will go to 28 after 15 days and then to 26. There is no limit on the pitchers on active rosters.
  • There will be no restrictions on position players pitching in 2020.
  • If weather forces a game to be cut short before it is official, it will be continued at a later date rather than started from scratch.

What about betting?

Bookmakers without “pitchers listed” information

Some bookmakers already announced, that they will not list starting pitchers. Of course I can not say this for every single bookmaker, but definitely many will decide to offer bets, where they will offer bets without pitchers listed.

Why is this important?

Pitcher is the most important player when it comes to betting. Pitcher dictates the line. The line can go from -120 to -180 just because team decided to change pitcher just before the game, while all other players stay the same. And the price is the key when it comes to betting.

When bookmakers offer “pitcher must start” type of bets, then your bet with this pitcher is locked. If the team changes the pitcher the bet was canceled.

I wouldn’t say that this is bad or good. As I mentioned above we must daily check who will play and check players status. We must monitor starting pitchers carefully and once the price is locked by bookmakers this can be the advantage for serious player.

Sports betting is a relative competition against others. We all know that. It is not some “absolute” game versus bookmakers, but against the market, against other players as well. And most bettor will not go deep into the details, most bettors will not track carefully daily news and most bettors don’t use any estimations or lineup based numbers.

I think this could be the advantage for some serious players who will go deep with the information this season.

How will I bet MLB 2020?

MLB baseball is my favourite sport to bet and analyse – at least so far. There is many reasons fo that and this is definitely also one of the sharpest sports markets out there. A lot of people complain how hard baseball is, which I understand, because once you have 2430 games in one season and if you make hundreds of bets it is much harder to fake with “luck factor” and “we are on a run of 19-8 in last 27 games” statements. I hope we understand this – the more bets you make the harder is to fake it or if you like – to keep good (or bad) results if you don’t have the edge.

I will use my MLB sports betting model, where I will estimate my own lines (odds).

After I estimate my own odds, then I will compare my odds with bookmakers odds and then I will bet the games, where I will find enough big discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers numbers.

This is example of my table (pitchers, teams and the odds below are randomly chosen for this purpose):

 

The model will calculates my projected odds (both decimal and US) and automatically compare with the bookmakers odds, that I put in the model from the bookmaker. With adjusted kelly criterium, the model will calculate the “discrepancy” which I call adjk value. I will look for the discrepancy of 1.50 or more (thinking to go bigger to 1.80 and be more selective this season).

If the discrepancy is 1.50 or more, then this will be a qualified bet. If not, I will stay away. And this is how I will qualify and select bets.

Every day I will check the lineups, covid status of players and other injuries to adjust the lineups. I will do this as soon as I get the information.

Every lineup is created with 9 players and every player stats will be separated on how he plays against left handed and right handed pitchers. And then in late innings how he hit overall, because we can not be sure if he will face LHP or RHP late when he faces bullpen, so the most optimal way is to use overall hitting numbers (vs rhp/lhp) later in the game.

I will of course track every single bet against opening odds, against taken odds and against closing odds. If you need a free betting tracker you can download it here. Combination of more stats that you track for yourself will tell you how good you are and if your betting can be profitable in the future. Profit or ROI alone are insufficient information about betting results. Especially if we have small sample size.

Anyway…

Betting model is important to get the information of the value. I hope we all understand the concept of +EV and I can not imagine betting without estimation my numbers. If we want a profit we need always two numbers. One is bookmakers number – for example Boston Red Sox +145, the second is your estimated number, for example Boston Red Sox +101. Once you see that you get more than you expect, this is called a value.

Picks alone hold only one information – the name of the team and the bookmakers odds.

If we want to sell coca cola with the profit, we must know the price for which we can sell cola (example $2.50) and for which price we can buy it from supplier (example $0.80). In this case the profit for you is $1.70. You can call this “your value”. Every time when we want to make a profit we must compare two prices. With cola price, we can simply call our supplier and he will tell us the price. In sports betting we must estimate the second number somehow. Maybe some people can do this in their head or with intuition, but I don’t have this superhuman power and I need a model to calculate the numbers for 2430 mlb games every year.

All my projections will be posted in our membership group and all my bets will be posted on my Youtube channel.

You can subscribe to my Youtube channel here

I tried different social media channels to show projections and my bets, but I believe Youtube is the best way, because the numbers must be commented. And the only way I can do this is on youtube. Videos will be always posted before the first games will start. I will look to post them at least 30 minutes before first games starts.

There will be also days, when I will take a day or two off. But I will comment daily what I am doing and in which direction the season will go.

Of course all my picks will be free. I don’t sell picks. I want to show my work, stay transparent and keep in touch with the people who follow my work. I don’t believe in constantly and blindly following picks – it is completely wrong focus and one of the biggest reasons why so many people are disappointed in betting. But this is a topic for another time and I talked about this many times in my other articles and videos.

I wish you a good season. Cheers,
MB

If you want to learn how I build a betting models in google sheets and start betting on your own, subscribe to FREE BETTING VIDEO COURSE.

 

At the end of 2019 nobody expected, that in next couple of months all leagues will be shut down. Sports betting is a huge business now, we all know that. No matter if you bet for fun or professionally, shutting down all leagues would be a nightmare for most bettors all over the World. And this is exactly what happened in the first part of 2020 because of COVID-19. Biggest sports markets were shut down and most bettors stop betting or turned to online poker or even gambling.

The most popular events to bet on are still “sports” events. Which makes sense, once you understand how betting market works. If you are a bookmaker and you want to make money, you need three things: running events, people who are emotionally involved and the edge that you create for yourself (margins/juice). The big pool of sports, leagues and their fans is perfect for that. We have a lot of sports fans (mostly men), who love sports and they somehow create false feeling that they know sport, which will help them to make money when they make bets. So it is perfect formula for bookmakers. There is a lot of sports, there is a lot of sports fans and even a lot of betting communities, who gather a lot of people. The only thing needed for bookmakers is that money is rolling. Because of commission, they win.

I hope that we all understand this now.

If there would be something else, that is much more popular than traditional sports, where we could gather people, who would place money, get involved, we would probably bet something else. It could be trees growing, reality shows, even porn movies or whatever is popular. More people involved, more money turned around, more profit for bookmakers.

And so far, the best market was sports market. You can easily gather a lot of people who love sports and at the same time you give them false illusion that betting is about sports, not about numbers and investing. With this they did a very smart job to turn whole sports communities into “illusional investors” who place a lot of money on sports events, where at the same time they have no clue about probabilities, odds, market,… And this is the game, where they will always win. This can be easily visible anywhere. Just check any betting community, where everyone wants to share picks, have an opinion about the game, about players, about sports,… but not much knowledge about betting basics and betting market.

Sports betting has very little to do with the sport alone. Sport is just the “tool” taken from bookmakers, because they know they can easily gather a lot of people, who will emotionally put a lot of money.

Betting, where the motivation is money has almost nothing to do with the sports alone and here is why

If you want to win at sports betting you must outsmart the market. I hope we agree with that. I also didn’t discover hot water here, but from time to time it is ok to remind ourselves what we are doing. Bookmakers offer the odds, which are nothing else, than probabilities turned into the numbers and this is the price we pay – you pay. And to win, we must pay “better” prices than the rest. The same principle is everywhere when we want to make money. Either you buy stocks, you must buy them low and sell them high, or you buy coca cola for $0.70 and sell it in your restaurant for $2.50. Making money in such kind of business is always about these prices and how you estimate them, plus compare them with market and then execute.

Everything else is either gambling (that will not work for most people) or sports fans, who will end up with negative lifetime balance. Unfortunately.

And because of this problem – not understanding the difference between betting and sports (fans), many bettors had big problems during COVID-19, because they thought that they don’t know how to bet anything else, where in fact if you don’t have the edge, if you don’t look at betting as investing you would end with negative balance anyway (if you make enough bets, when the noise settle down), no matter if you bet on your favourite football league, baseball, esports or even on reality show or trees growing. With no edge, with no numbers, with no estimating odds results will regress to the mean and this is where bookmakers win because of margins.

So the problem is that most bettors are basically not bettors, but sports fans. They are emotionally connected to “their” sports/leagues and this is what bookmakers love.

But the World is changing. New things are coming. We don’t know exactly what the future will bring. Viruses, wars, new generation, that likes more playing video games, than playing ball outside… and in the future bookmakers will also adjust their game.

If we understand that the only thing bookmakers need is a lot of people that are emotionally involved, they can switch from sport to reality shows (for example) at anytime, if they will see that this will generate more bets and turnover. I am not saying this will happen soon, because sports is not going anywhere yet, but it is very important to understand, that the only thing they need are bettors who are willing to bet their money. No matter if this is on sport, trees growing, porn movies or anything else. Because every time you bet, they take commission, no matter if you win or lose that bet. Because of margins they have unfair advantage. And the more people bet, the more commission they take.

Bettor vs Sports Fan

True bettor (investor) will always adjust. Because sport fan is emotionally involved to his sport, his league or his team. I constantly get the emails like… I like to bet soccer. I like to bet basketball. I played basketball when I was young…

It doesn’t matter. I am bettor. I am not interested in sports talk. If playing football would be correlated to betting quality, then Leo Messi and Ronaldo will be the best sports handicappers in the World in next few years. Successful betting has almost nothing to do with sports. Sports is like a whore used by bookmakers, so they can build what they need and exactly what I am talking here.

Once this is clear in your mind, you have a chance to win at betting. No matter if sports betting or booboolu betting, whatever this is. It is still betting and the concept is the same.

Most “sports bettors” talks, forums, chat groups, facebook groups,… has nothing to do with betting. Let’s be honest about this. This is all more sports talk. Sports fans talk about players, about excitement, about coaches,… professional bettors always talk about the numbers and the value. This is the key difference.

The real question is – is your motivation fun or profit?

If the motivation is profit, then your only three questions are:

  • what is the market price
  • how do I calculate my price, so I can compare it with the market
  • how do I find the value (+EV = money)

The bettor or investor if you like, whose motivation is money will try to do exactly this. The motivation is intellectual challenge, where you want to outsmart the market and take your piece of cake. Whether it is football, tennis or betting on growing trees.

The concept for true bettor is basically the same. Bookmakers will offer the odds (prices), then you must somehow estimate your own prices and invest, where you think you have +EV.

And we basically saw big struggle during COVID, because most people who thought they are bettors, they simply turned back to fans. There was no sports. And if you don’t focus on betting (money, investing, analysing, using statistics, finding +EV, beating closing line value,…) your only thing (sport) was simply not there.

On the other side, some bettors who are here for the money game, not for the game or the sport they love, started to adjust. If your motivation is money, if your motivation is how to find the value and how to outsmart the market, where you take your piece of cake, then it is basically irrelevant what events will be offered. Sport, porn movies, reality shows, growing trees, drinking alcohol competition,…. We just need to take information, analyse information, analyse market, compare with market price, find the value and invest smartly small pieces of our bankroll.

This is the difference between betting, sports betting and sports alone. Sports component is the least important for a bettor. It is just one pool where we take the information. It could be anything. It could be any competition with two or more possible outcomes.

Betting on eSports new big thing?

And here we come to eSports, which is maybe the only “sport” that benefited during pandemic 2020.

Esports is a form of sport competition using video games. In other words, we have teams (players) who play video games and these events are placed on betting market, where we can bet.

Newzo estimate that the global esports market will generate revenues of $1,059.3 million in 2020

Anyone who follow new trends will agree that this could be the next big thing. Younger generations are heavily connected to video games and whole communities are build around that. Twitch, social media, video games,…

Isn’t this something that bookmakers need and will offer more and more? 

Exactly! A lot of people with the same interest, a lot of fun, excitement, where emotions are involved. In the article (Pshychologytoday) about esports Patrick Markey explains that: “… video gaming raises dopamine levels in the brain to about the same degree that eating a slice of pepperoni pizza or dish of ice cream does (without the calories). That is, it raises dopamine to roughly double its normal resting level, whereas drugs like heroin, cocaine, or amphetamine raise dopamine by roughly 10 times that much.”

From the article “What is eSports and why do people watch it?” by Juho Hamari: “People who watch others play online are an attractive audience to marketing professionals. They tend to be younger and intellectually motivated, demonstrating an excitement for learning through their fandom (Hamari & Sjöblom, 2017). They are also active on social media platforms (Sjöblom, Hassan, Macey, Törhönen, & Hamari, 2018)”

Our members introduced eSports to me 2-3 years ago

I am pretty sure, that eSports has a bright future and during COVID bookmakers started to promote it big time. Many bettors started to bet on it and I decided to dig deeper into this thing too.

I was introduced to eSports probably 2-3 years ago, but because I have only 24 hours per day, I didn’t have time to learn about that back then. But in 2020, because of COVID situation, when all sports and leagues were shut down, I decided to start researching it and decided to create my own betting model, where I will get my probabilities of the outcomes. Independently from bookmakers calculated numbers. With this I can find the value.

I didn’t panic much, because baseball was shut down (my favourite sport to bet, because I had the most success in the past). I knew that betting is not about sport, but about your ability to find the value. Things will change in the future, or maybe they will not – it doesn’t really matter, but the concept in profitable betting is the same for all bettors.

First step – learning basic

I am always amazed, when I see people blindly following some handicappers (even me) on social media, when at the same time they have no idea about handicappers work, handicappers strategy and even worse – about the sport, the numbers and the value. But this is how it is. I am not here to say what to do, I will just try to explain what and how I do it.

I knew that eSports will be a big thing in the future and during Covid-19 it was a great chance for me to learn about it. So, first I asked some of our members, who are following eSports for some time, to give me some advice where to start. I wanted to learn first about the sport. Are there any leagues? Teams? Can we watch the games, so I can get the feeling.

At the same time (and this was even more important for me) I researched what market offers. What kind of eSports events they offer.

So I found that most popular leagues are:

  • DOTA
  • League of Legends
  • Counter Strike – Global Offensive (csgo betting)

Look for information and the stats

These three leagues are most popular and I found that we have basically teams, players who are paid pretty decent amount of money (Johan “N0tail” Sundstein – $6.9 million (Dota 2)). The teams have players, lineups, there is a lot of money involved, we have fans, we have people who watch this, their players are stars, there are even some trades or players changes,… a lot of similarities with our traditional sports and leagues.

So, what I needed next is to find information and stats.

I can not even imagine betting without getting my numbers first and then comparing with bookmakers numbers. How can you sell coca cola for $2.50 if you don’t know if you will get it for lower price? You must know that you will get coca cola for $0.70 and then you can sell it for $2.50. If you can not do this, you will make a loss. When it comes to coca cola, you can just call suppliers and they will tell you this price, but in sports betting you must estimate for yourself (or if you have someone who will do it for you – not picks, I hope we know the difference). But you must come somehow with your price. For successful betting (or any other money making) we always need 2 numbers (to compare).

So, I researched the sites and the stats from all three sports (if I can name them sports). I found that the best organised stats and information was about CSGO (counter strike) on the site HTLV.

They have pretty cool organised stats, rankings, results and I decided that I will focus on this league. Such thing always take time, learning, testing, trial and errors. Most people who don’t bet, have no idea how much time and effort is put in successful betting in the past. But without this, we can not expect any profit.

Building a statistical esports betting model

The next step was to build a model, where I would get my numbers, so I can compare with bookmakers numbers. And this is how I find the value, which is the only logical way to place any money.

There is many betting models or systems out there and no model is perfect. We all know that. But the good thing is that betting is a relative skill compared to the market. And this market is full of sports fans, that are emotionally involved, who make a lot of irrational decisions, that are not based on any analysis or numbers. This is where small % of profitable bettors have the chance.

I use pretty simple statistical methods for my betting, which worked for me in the past and hopefully it will work for me in the future too.

The first thing I needed was to organise the stats. Despite we have some nice information there, it is still not perfect. We must not forget, that eSports is pretty new thing and that more and better information will come in the future for sure. But right now, we must operate with the information that are available.

So, I decided to create all teams with lineups and players stats and then use simple logistic regression.

And the rest is turning these information into probabilities, which gave me directly my estimated odds.

All my models, where we bet on moneylines are made so, that I get my probabilities and then I use adjusted kelly criterion to find enough big discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers numbers. Based on this I also decide if I bet bigger or lower unit.

If we look at the sheet above you can see:

  • Win % – this is my estimated win%
  • My odds – simply turning win% into the odds (1/win%)
  • Bookie odds – I test all my models against sharp bookmaker (Pinnacle)
  • Qualified or better – this is the last price (odds) where my bet is qualified
  • Value/AdjkValue – I set the criterium at 1.50 (if I get adjk 1.50 or more – then this is qualified bet. If not, then it is not qualified)

And above we have the results so far. I waited to reach at least 100 qualified bets (after analysing hundreds of games) to write this report.

Dirty Job

The next thing was something I call a dirty job. There is many smart bettors and many smart betting theorists who I deeply respect. Many of them are very smart and much smarter than me. In fact I think I am just an average guy and this maybe the reason, why many bettors can identify with me, because I try to explain things on a dumb way. So, I don’t want to compare my work with other people’s work, because definitely there are better, smarter and more intelligent bettors than me. Some of them I even know.

But not everyone is willing to do the dirty job. We can talk about betting theory, about betting models, about backtesting, … but what I do is to test (and bet) real time and publicly show this. Wake up, check the odds, do the job. And then next day the same. And the next day the same.

So, I tested my work against pinnacle odds and every day I posted this table with analysis in our members discord channel, FB group and twitter. Some of them were also on my youtube channel.

Opening, Real Time and Closing Odds

I decided to test my model against opening odds, against real time odds and closing odds to see the results. So why is this important.

One of the keys to win at sports betting is to bet early to outsmart the market. The most relevant theory about profitable betting so far says, that if you beat the closing line, you will be a profitable bettor. This is the only thing that matters. Of course we can go into the details about fully efficient markets and not fully efficient markets (which I think eSports still isn’t fully efficient), but I will leave this for another time.

Anyway, tracking those results is a great information to see how much profit you would make if you bet on opening odds, because once you are not follower (or picks subscriber) and if you have betting model (or a method) to find a value, you can bet on opening odds if you are committed enough.

Tracking on real time odds will tell you about your betting habits and it is great to compare how you will do against opening and closing odds in real life and real time, based on your lifestyle and timezone.

And tracking results with closing odds, I wanted to see how would my model do if I would bet on latest odds and this is in many cases good indicator how much money followers lose when they follow other people’s picks.

Flat betting and Adjusted Kelly Criterium Betting (Adjk)

When it comes to analysing games of course sometimes we will find more value and sometimes we will find no value. And in the past I found my way how to find this value with adjusted kelly. I named this adjk and this is my way to calculate where I must bet more or less. For example in my baseball betting, I found the bigger the value, the better yield and better clv (closing line value).

Results: +15.74 units and finding the best discrepancy

The results after 100 bets:

I won with my betting model 46 bets and lost 54.

But as we all know, W-L record is not important for professional bettors. It depends on the average odds you play. Horse racing bettors have constantly W-L record below 50%, 40%,.. and they make a lot of money. So this is not even a conversation for serious bettors anymore.

My average odds was: 2.34 (+134)

So, it makes sense, that the record is below 50%.

The next thing which is interesting is the difference between the profit if I bet on opening odds (+17.24 units) and taken and closing odds.

If you are winning bettor in most cases profit on closing odds will be much lower than on opening or taken odds. Which makes sense. Sharp moves the lines, they take “the best profit” and the rest get the worse price.

The funny thing is that if you would follow picks you would be almost break even, where at the same time I would make +17.24 units or +15.74 units on taken odds.

In other words, if your unit is $100 per game and if you follow picks on late odds, you would make +$63. But if you have a model and if you estimate your odds, plus try to catch early odds (you can if you estimate projections for yourself and not being a follower), then you would make +$1,724. And if we check the flat betting, where we simply ignore the importance of value, the difference is almost 6 units.

These results were based on the discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers numbers, where I was looking for 1.50 (which will calculate my formula). The bigger the number the bigger the value.

Bigger value – more profit (+27.87 units)

If we understand what was the idea behind it (I estimate my odds, I compare it with bookmakers odds, I find the value and I bet more where I see more value), we can also go deeper and see if I would be more selective, what would be the results.

So I quickly eliminated the bets where there was less discrepancy between my projected odds and bookmakers odds (or if you like where adjk was lower).

The results are even better. So if I would be more selective and if I would look only for bigger discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers numbers, I would make even more profit.

Positive closing line value

Of course I also tracked closing line value. Based on bookmakers and some other experts that I respect (Joseph Buchdahl) this is the most important indicator whether you are winning or losing bettor. Despite I think esports betting is still not fully efficient market and the bookmakers will also need some time (probably not a lot of time, but still…) to fully adopt to this new and exciting markets, it is ok, that we go trough these numbers here as well.

Closing line value will tell you the difference between your odds and closing odds. If you bet on a team at 2.40 (+140) and then you see that the latest odds were 2.05 (+105) you feel great. And you are completely right. This is a good sign. I will not go into the details here, but this is very important for every serious bettor. And I see more and more bettors who take this information seriously as well as betting models and projection the lines. Which is also ok. Better technology, smarter markets, smarter bettors,…and those who want to survive this game will either learn and adjust or will be forgotten by the market. Unfortunately this is how it is. This is life. This is also betting life.

And definitely closing line value is one of these things, that is more and more popular and more and more important in conversation between bettors.

I saw bettors tracking clv (closing line value) on two ways. First one is simple. You simply compare your odds versus closing odds. It will give good information whether you get better odds and this will give you bigger clv in percentages. I named it CLV.

The second is where you eliminate margins. I tracked it against closing pinnacle odds without margins. It will give you much lower  number and it is much harder to keep positive number. This is where you see that betting is not that easy at all. I sometimes call it for myself expected yeild. This is why I named it xCLV.

But whatever you name your tracking numbers, I always say, how you name terms is not that important. It is much more important, that you know what you track, what you do and how you can improve your betting.

I am satisfied that my closing numbers are positive, but definitely I will try to improve my betting results in eSports in the future.

My personal bets

So, these are the steps, I usually make when I make my first bet. I never look for picks in my life. I rather invested time, money and effort in my knowledge and I always do my best to become better. This is probably a reason, why I have a chance to write this on my site and this is probably the reason, why I took small part of the betting cake in my life too.

There is no crazy betting on something that I don’t understand and there are always steps before I make a first bet. Research the market, research the sport, build a model, that will estimate my odds, so they can be compared to bookmakers odds. All my bets are always on my site here.

It is just the start, but I am very excited about the future of eSports betting.

How to bet CSGO and what I have learned?

eSports is a new (I believe big) thing in betting World. I am not sure if we can name it sport or something else, but at the end of the day for serious bettor this is not important.

We have teams, we have games, where some outcomes “will happen”. These outcomes have some probabilities, that can be calculated on different ways.

Bookmakers have their own way, where they also take into account the behaviour of the market. They offer these prices and we can bet or if I am more precise, we pay the price.

So, our goal is to get our odds and probabilities and compare with theirs. If we find a value, we bet. In other words we need a method. I use my betting model and if you want to learn how to start building a model in google sheets click here for a free course.

I learned couple of things about csgo:

  • The competition is almost every day (at least so far) and the good thing is that we don’t need stadiums, the weather also don’t affect the game, which makes this much easier  in these uncertain times of Covid-19.
  • All trusted and respected bookmakers offer eSports now. They also know that this is big thing and huge market.
  • The market is still soft I believe. There were some nice line movement and I didn’t see yet a betting model for eSports. I am not saying that it doesn’t exists, but at least I didn’t saw it in betting communities. It is all based on eSports lovers and writing analysis, which is basically the same, what most sports fans do in other leagues and sports. Because of that, there is no such competition like in NBA betting or English Premier League betting for example, where we have a lot of sharp bettors and a lot of betting models/algorithms. This is definitely a chance for many.
  • I also learned, that csgo games are played in different maps and the information about maps come out later. Most of the times teams play on 2 wins (winner out of 3). In grand final they can play up to 5 games (winner of 3) and in some cases they play only one map. Some teams are better with some maps and the other teams are better with other maps, which makes sense. So, I stay away from games with only one map, because it can be a gamble. I lost bet or two, when I was testing the model, because of this, but later I stayed away from one map games.
  • In-game betting can be interesting if you focus on maps model. The maps information come out at the start of the game, so after the first map, we know which map they will play next. So, the model can be built also based on maps and those who love live betting can create a model for this second map betting. I am not big fan of in-game betting, but my model is part of our membership, so anyone can download it and with some additional work add this feature with maps.
  • The margins from bookmakers are still little bit bigger than on other sports (4.79% on my example), but this is completely normal at this stage now. It is a new sport for bettors and bookmakers take little bit more commission to secure their business. But on the other side (I believe – maybe I am wrong) there is not many “sharp esports” bettors, so this margin can be beaten probably easier than 2.5% vig on sharp markets, like NBA.
  • I also learned that teams will change players from time to time. This is why it is also important to follow these changes and trades, so you can incorporate this information into the model.
  • Almost all games are live on TWITCH, where you can watch two teams shooting at each others, with commentators and many viewers. I watched 2-3 games just to get the feeling about it, but in general I don’t care about excitement and watching games. For me most important is to find the value. This is the only focus I have. But if you like watching these games, they are live and can be exciting too.

Exciting Journey

While most sports fans were depressed now, because there was no sport, I believe the true bettor will always look to find the value. No matter if this is betting on sport, betting on girls, betting on politics,… whatever it is.

The concept is basically the same if you invest in stocks, if you run a restaurant and sell coca cola or if you bet. We always must find the way how to compare the price we are willing to pay with the price that market offers.

Everything else is more sports fans talk and this is exactly what bookmakers need. And honestly profitable bettors too. If there wouldn’t be betting communities and sports fans, who are main base of money involved, profitable bettors couldn’t be paid. This is how it is and it is up to each person if he decide to be a sports fan, picks follower or try to become an independent profitable bettor. In most cases you can not be all three.

But I am excited about this new thing – eSports, because I always try to learn new things and my focus is always on the value. If they shut down all sports and even eSports and we start betting on Reality shows, I would probably analyse reality show participants.

I am a bettor. Not a sports fan. And this is big difference.

  • Sports
  • Sports Betting
  • Successful Sports Betting

Three very different things, where “sport” is the least important thing for a bettor – investor.

With this article I hope I motivated some bettors to start researching eSports and at the same time I wanted to share some of my betting philosophies with you.

eSports is not going anywhere. eSports will be there for many years and I wish you a lot of profit.

Cheers

MB

How to start building a betting model – join free course

WHO officially declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic.

Because of this a number of sporting events and leagues have taken measures to prevent further spread of the disease either by limiting live attendance or total/temporary suspension of the games.

Among those leagues are all the major Soccer leagues, the MLB, NBA, the NCAA, NHL, and many other smaller leagues and less popular sports. 
It’s a massive hit, not only for Bookmakers, Las Vegas and companies, that work in Sports Betting market,…but also for sports bettors around the Globe. 

These times can be hard now for all involved in this industry, but we also must understand that those times will pass. When such things happen, we usually have two choices.

We can blame a situation on which we don’t have any influence anyway, or we can focus on small things, that we can do. The question is not only when the sports and all major leagues will be back, but also how many bettors will respond to the situation now. 

Two things are for sure: Bettors will not stop betting and Bettors have a lot of times now sitting at home with their phones and computers. 
What can we bet on and what can we do during this global pandemic times?

  1. Online Casino and Poker

Most people bet just for fun and we know that. Casino in the first place is fun and the house will always win, because we basically know the chances for most games and entertainment is what they also describe and promote their business.

Everyone can try luck and there are a lot of people in the past who made a lot of money by playing Casino.

There is of course much more of those who lost, but the fact is, that during pandemic times, when people are at home, they will find a way to have fun and some excitement. Many of them will try luck and most of them understand that this is it. If you can control how much you lose and how much fun money you can afford, online casino can be pure fun. 

Completely another story is poker, which is already very popular online. Many sports bettors will take a sit and play poker too – online.

2. Entertainment Props Politics Betting (Celebrity, Film, Movie, Weather)

When it comes to politics, everyone has an opinion and more and more people bet on such events.

Nothing will change for upcoming U.S. elections 2020. It is expeceted that even more people will make a bet now, especially after the Brexit betting and Trump vs Clinton Elections.

The Metro reported, that Vincent Tchenguiz won $1.5 million thanks to betting on Trump. According to the Independent(UK), one unknown gambler won $622,00 on a bet on Trump, and many other bettors placed several six-figure wagers other candidates. With market growing, more and more people bet such things too. Not all like to bet or predict the events from sports. 

3. UFC and fighting Betting

UFC and fighting sports are more and more popular in the World. Some of the highest paid sportsman comes from fighting World.

It is Worldwide phenomenon and despite the latest news show that UFC will postpone its next events as the coronavirus outbreak continues, Dana White insists that show must go on. UFC will be one of the first sports back in the action. It is of course much easier to organise such event in quarantine, where small group of people are needed. 

4. Racebook

Horse racing is there for centuries. It started in the UK in the early 1600s during the reign of King James I and I don’t see it going anywhere soon. Some of the best and richest gambler experts come from horse racing World.

There are countries that postponed their events, but some countries (like Ireland) is set to continue behind closed doors despite coronavirus. This is another great opportunity for many bettors to bet on those events. 

5. Virtual Sports Betting

With no “real events” many bettors will turn to virtual sports. The great thing about virtual sport is that can be played nonstop. 24 hours, seven days a week. Virtual sports is simulated using computer graphics and all events are protected by complex algorithms. Betting on those events is a new phenomenon supported by new technologies.

6. eSports

eSports is a new beast and we should not confuse it with virtual sports. Virtual sports is simulated, while eSports is played by real people. Total eSports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023, per Business Insider Intelligence estimates. Markets rely on the growing popularity of the virtual gaming world, which is getting bigger and bigger. Sports and video gaming are already bigger than Music and Movie Industries Combined. We have real players, real teams and the teams have even coaches. Their events are very popular and millions of people watch those events. This is another great opportunity for this market to become even bigger. With very small amount of other sports and leagues, eSports betting is one of the best solutions to bet online. eSports has definitely great future in betting too. Many bettors will start betting eSports now. 

7.Learn How to Bet

Hard times will pass and we will be back again. Sometimes life show us what we need to do and sometimes we need to take a step back, so we can then move two steps forward. 

This is something people always forget. Sports betting World became a crazy World with social media in last years. It is basically the combination of the hype, marketing and the dopamine, which is very dangerous and has almost nothing to do with the real analytical betting, investing and generating extra income.

If we look around we see everyone selling picks, wrong hopes, locks, winners and all kind of crazy things. There is much more marketers and very good sales persons then good bettors. I explained this here. Not many can show enough big level of knowledge when it comes to betting (understanding the market, probabilities, using models and algorithms for projecting the lines, yield, closing line value,…). After all this was not needed. There was enough hype anyway. 


With all those sports, all those leagues, flashy things all around us, Las Vegas stories and all kind of handicappers, that have that huge winner for you,… we all forget what is most important. The knowledge and understanding betting market in the first place.

We forgot that there is no such term as a winner, but only the value and if you can find it. We forgot that the odds are always expressed in the numbers and we need to start using statistics if we want to have a chance to win at sports betting.

The problem of sports betting market is that anyone with 5 minutes free time, can bet on games. This is why the market is considered as a dumb market, this is why 97% of bookmakers win and this is why this market is getting bigger and bigger every year. Many new bettors dream about becoming professional bettors who will have the edge against the market, but not many are willing to invest time, money and effort to learn the basics in the first place.

It is also unique business and the market, where many people are considered as experts, despite they lack of knowledge. It is called a survivorship bias and most people fall into the trap of wrong illusion and false hope. I am sure that lack of sports events and leagues hit hard many bettors, gamblers and those who dream about being a professionals. 

But now is the time to learn. Bettors sit at home, with a lot of time and the difference is making now. Some bettors will become better than others. And I hope we already understand that when we are winning at the market, we are winning against others. 3% of people make money because of other 97% lose.

This is how it is and on the long run, we don’t need to focus on “winners”, but on the vlaue and beating closing line, which is directly the result of the market. In other words, if you want to win at sports betting on the long run, you need to outsmart the market. 

And this is the best way to become smarter than the rest of the market. Most bettors don’t use statistics in betting at all and they have no clue how to project the odds, lines or totals before they bet. This is a chance for many now, who want to learn and improve. This will have positive consequences later. Most gamblers will not improve at all in the meantime. 

Sports and the leagues will come back and we will be back in that race of daily bet again, but the time and the effort you put now for being a better bettor will pay off on the long run.

Remember that most handicappers promote only short term results, which creates hype. The reality is that only 3% will have positive lifetime record. And those are bettors who have knowledge and skills. Like in any other sport or business. The Best Professional Athletes work hard during off-season and they are training hard now too.

This is what the best and professional bettors should do now too. There was no better time to learn. Plenty of time. No sports to bet. Whole population is at home. 

There is more ways to start learning about the betting market and probabilities. There are couple of great free courses, where you can learn about basic statistics, like khanacademy or edx.org.

Or you can start with MY FREE BETTING COURSE, where you can learn how to start using statistics in google sheets. It is up to you how you will deal with this crisis. But definitely, nothing is lost, soon things will be normal again and this is the best time to learn about betting. There was no such opportunity in the past, because of constantly daily betting.

We also don’t know if we will have such opportunity in the future once we come back to normal life. Focus on things you have in control. Sometimes the things that looked very bad at the start, turned out to be the best. I believe this is the time to learn and become better bettor. 

I wish you and your families all the best during. Keep safe. Stay strong. Take Care. We will be stronger and wiser when this mess finish.

MB

FREE COURSE

A JOURNEY BETTING COURSE

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:

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?

But this is just bullshit and I will be harsh here, because we need to repair 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.

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 don’t know and understand what is yield, ROI, CLV,… learn today or just stop betting, go do something else in your life. 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 basics about sports betting 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, learn fucking basics.

Well…if I think twice…such lazy and foolish people should lose money, so bookmakers can pay us who make that small profit and that work hard on analysis and understanding betting. I don’t sell picks and will never sell picks, because I think it is wrong. But if I think twice, the prices should be much bigger for picks subscriptions. They should charge you $5000 per month.

YES. $5000 and more per month!

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. And those 95% of foolish people pay and work  for those 5% that make money in sports betting world. They pay bookmakers, betting services and of course winning 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 in 2018 or 2019 with all the free information about betting on the internet, then you deserve to lose. Period.

So, let’s go trough couple of things, that bettors, gamblers,  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 to soft now and when we lived in caves we were always under some risk and people need 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 anywhere 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 fucking number one rocket science: THE CONCEPT OF MAKING MONEY

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 fucking number two rocket science: THE PRICE IS THE KEY – NOT STUPID WINNERS

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?

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 fucking number three rocket science: THE PRICES are THE ODDS

In sports betting those prices are the odds. It is not rocket science again and if you can not understand this, stop betting.

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 fucking number four rocket science: DON’T BE A FOLLOWER

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 fucking number five rocket science: LEARN FIRST – BET LATER

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, then either go and learn or simply do something else in your life. Do you want to bet $100? Send to red cross. There are people that need this money.

So, you don’t know what is yield, what is ROI, what are implied probabilities, how to calculate bookmakers margins? You have no chance. You are just wasting your time. All those things are free on the internet and the only thing you should do so far is to use one site, which is called “google”. If you can not do this, you will lose.

The fucking number six rocket science: SUCCESSFUL 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 “winners”, “locks”, “guaranteed plays” or other marketing material for foolish people.

It is all about the price. It is not about winners. And if you think that you are a “good” sports fan that can pick winners you will lose sooner or later. If you are looking for winners instead of value, you will lose. Even if you find someone with good “picks” you will not get the same price and if you are want to follow other people’s 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 bettor.

Write it down 10x times on your paper until you don’t learn:

  • Don’t follow anyone
  • Don’t look for picks, rather look for numbers, probabilities, win %, knowledge,…
  • Learn to bet for yourself. This is the only way how to win
  • Following = losing mentality and you are wasting your time
  • I saw a bettor 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 about betting on the internet, rather than looking for picks.

Final note: If you made it this far and read my texts, you must understand one thing –  I intentionally wrote such harsh post, because I want to shake heads little bit and 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 not even where to start. But at the same time they are to lazy to research the whole thing and learn how to bet. 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. It was not intention to offend anyone, but I wanted to shake your head,  motivate you, so you start thinking out of the “gamblings” box. Hate me because of this post, but use my advice (stop following anyone and start learning how to bet, what are probabilities, etc…) and come back after one or two years. I am sure you will see sports betting world with different eyes. Start researching: “CLV in betting”, “Projections in betting”, “Betting models in betting”.

All the best

MB

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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

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