Sports Betting Record Keeping Spreadsheet Explained 

The goal of every sports bettor is a profit and success and every time when it comes to profit we must track our performance. It is fundamental aspect of successful sports betting and it is nice to see more and more sports bettors keep tracking their bets. It is very important to keep accurate and honest records for your betting activities.

Many sports handicappers use betting spreadsheets to track betting records, but not many track their performance properly. I saw many blog posts, downloadable bet spreadsheets, videos and even many bettors records on the internet, but most of them don’t track all the statistics that is needed to make a better picture about betting record. This is why I will point out important statistics that everyone must start tracking and will help you better to understand your betting activities.

Why keeping your sports betting records is important?

Anyone who is serious about making money in sports betting, will need to see at some point if sports betting activities brings him profit or just joy with his friends. Don’t get me wrong, betting with friends can be fun, but if we focus on profitable betting,  every professional sports will tell you how important is to invest time to track and analyse betting records.

Only if you keep tracking your bets, you will see how much money you make, how much you have invested and what is maybe even more important – in which direction your sports betting investment is going. One of the scariest things in sports betting is creating an illusion after couple of bets that someone is a winning bettor, but in fact he just win because of luck.

How to start tracking your bets?

Once you decide to bet more seriously, the first thing is to learn and understand sports betting and betting market. The next thing is to establish a sports betting bankroll and lock it for longer period of time. This is the money that will work for you. If you will not have the edge and if you will lose in betting, you will be out of the game. And tracking your bets will give you the answer on this.

There are 3 important steps how to start keeping your sports betting records:

  • Learn how to read betting results in a bet tracker. A lot of sports bettors track their bets, but they have no idea how to read their records. Yield/ROI  of +30% on 50 bets will not tell us anything, but many will create an illusion that they are the best sports handicappers in the world.
  • Bet Tracking Spreadsheet / Tool / Software. After you understand what will you track and what every bet tracking statistics tell you about your record, you can either create your own bet tracking spreadsheet or you can find some other tool or software that will track your bets. I recommend betting spreadsheet in excel or in google spreadsheets, because it is easy to use, anyone can learn how to create it or use it. Once you learn how to use it, you can later add extra information and statistics that you need. There are some services, tool and software that will track betting records, but most of them miss one or more important betting statistics.
  • Take time and track your bets accurately and honestly. Once you understand what are you tracking and once you have your betting spreadsheet, simply take some time every day and put all your bets in betting spreadsheet. Usually it is just couple of minutes, sometimes seconds, but the reward of understanding your betting is huge.

Poor Sports Betting Record Keeping

Before we dive into 5 important statistics, that most bettors don’t track let’s check some of the very bad examples of bet tracking records that we can see on the internet. Remember that poor bet tracking record not only that it will not help you, it can be bad, because either you create wrong illusion about your betting skill, or you follow sports handicappers that have no edge.

This picture above is very bad example of how not to show or track your bets.

  • W-L (Win%) Record is not enough! Here we can see this example. First of all 12-2 is very small sample size of bets. Secondly if we check other numbers, we can see 86-65, 74-58,…. This will not tell us anything. First of all we don’t know what are his units played on these games. Professional sports bettors bet different units on different games depends on the value they get. 86-65 can be a losing record if he played 65 games (that he lost) for 10 units and 86 games (that he won) for 1 unit. If he can not provide this information about his units, we can just guess. Secondly, we also don’t know what is average odds. 86-65 record is a negative record (-2.8 units if he played 1 unit/bet) if his odds were -143 (1.70). And of course I will not even start talking about profit, because profit can vary in this type of bet records. Because we don’t have all information, we can just guess. You will see many sports handicappers showing their betting records in W-L format, but this is not enough if you don’t have more information.
  • Win%, ROI is not enough. Example: Win% = 70%, ROI = +25%. Another poor example is Win% and ROI. Many bettors added ROI/Yield to their sports betting tracker, but this is again – not enough. ROI (Yied) is heavily dependent on the number of bets. Yield (ROI) of 5% on 1000 bets is much stronger than ROI (Yield) of 30% on 10 bets. Sample size matters and if you don’t have the number of bets, win% and ROI (Yield) is completely useless information.
  • W-L Record based on last X games. such records are taken out of the context and you can always take the record and manipulate it as you wish. Just take sample size that you need and ignore the sample size you don’t want to show. Two things are important here. If you keep betting records for yourself, be honest with yourself. Don’t be blind on big sample size. Such records are usually showed on social media or some sports betting websites to create hype with intention to sell sports betting picks.

5 Statistics Bettors Should Track

I believe that many of you already track W-L record, maybe average odds, profit for sure, maybe game dates and game time, different bet types, etc…

But here are 5 statistics every sports bettor must track to have better idea about his betting performance.

ROI – Return on Investment

The best chance to finish your betting career with profitable result is to start with investment mindset. I see a lot of sports handicappers that confuse Yield and ROI and the main difference is probably in the mindset. I explained the difference between ROI and Yield here. Once we decide to start betting more seriously and once we decide to make a profit, we also must decide how much money are we willing to risk in sports betting. This happen even before we make a first bet. Or at least it should be so. This amount of money is your starting investment. Imagine that you want to open a restaurant. You must exactly know how much money you are willing to invest and this is your invested money in sports betting. After let’s say 5 years, you want to see how much profit you made compared to your starting investment. If you locked $10.000 for 5 years and you make +$7.000, simply divide the return (net profit) by the resources that were committed (investment).

ROI = $7.000/$10.000 = +70%

Yield – Betting Efficiency

Yield is something else than ROI and many many sports handicappers confuse Yield with ROI. Tracking only ROI completely ignores starting bankroll and not having unlimited bankrolls. It will also ignore that investment mindset of locking bankroll for some time and then looking back how much money you made in sports betting.

Yield will tell us our betting efficiency. It will tell us how much money we made every time when we bet. For example Yield of 10% will tell us, that every time we made a bet, we made +10% of profit in average.

The formula is simple. Yield= profit / sum of all stakes 

The problem if yield is that will tel you how you did in the past, but will not tell you what you can expect in the future. Plus there is another problem that many miss – sample size. Yield is heavily dependent on the number of bets. Small sample size of bets will give us much bigger and unrealistic yield, which later regress to the mean. Yield is a good statistics, that many bettors don’t even track, but it is still not enough to make a final conclusion about sports handicapper.

CLV and xCLV – Closing Line Value

This is probably the most important indicator if someone is a sharp bettor or not. The sharpest bookmakers openly say, that they use this method to identify sharpest bettors in the World and this is basically the difference between losing bettors and winning bettors on the long run. First we must understand what closing odds are. Closing odds are the latest odds just before the games starts and represent the most efficient line and it is very hard to beat (based on efficient market theory – impossible). This is why it is important to bet early, catch better price on the market than the rest and then we simply track this performance. This will tell us if we truly have the edge against betting market, because never forget, that you are not betting only against bookmakers, but also against others. Sports betting is a relative competition against other bettors.

Closing line value will tell us if the odds drop after we bet and for how much. This is the simplest explanation. More and more bettors track their bets versus closing lines, which is very very good for sports betting world, because it will filter the rest, who don’t even talk about this.

I see that sports bettors track their bets against closing line value on two ways:

  • Compare taken odds versus closing odds. (CLV)
  • Compare taken odds versus (fair) closing odds minus margins. (xCLV)

The second is more correct because it is not enough to beat only the closing odds, but you must also beat the margins. We can call it also expected yield.

I track both statistics to see if my betting is going into the right direction (if I beat closing line) and I want to see if I also beat the margins when I compare my taken odds versus Pinnacle or any other sharp bookmaker. I named the first statistics CLV and the second xCLV.

BTL – Beating The Line Percentage

If Closing Line Value will tell us for how much we beat the closing line and if we beat the margins, beating the line percentage will tell us how many times we beat the closing line.

P-Value

The simplest explanation of p-value for betting is that this statistic will tell us if our results are by a chance and what is this number out of 100. For statisticians, a p-value less than 0.05 (typically ≤ 0.05) is statistically significant. In other words, if you get the number 0.05 that will tell you that you record is happening by a chance in 5 out of 100 times.

Joseph Buchdahl explained in his book How to Find A Black Cat in A Coal Cellar p-value and it’s combination with the yield and number of bets:

How to calculate it?

You can use this formula in betting spreadsheet:

P-Value =iferror(TDIST(A,B1,1),“”) where 

  • A … number of bets
  • B … t-statistic (=Yield*(No of bets^0.5)/Standard Dev)

Betting Spreadsheet Download

All these information are important. The more information you have about your betting performance, the more you will learn about yourself and how to improve it. Never make any conclusion about yourself, other handicappers or any betting services if you don’t have bigger sample size of bets, because it can be pure luck. Very good indicator of knowledgeable sports bettors is closing line value topic, if they talk about it and if they track this important statistic. Closing line value can tell us much more about your betting performance on smaller sample size than yield and profit. Profit alone, win% and even Yield (US bettors call it – ROI) don’t give you enough information about your betting performance. It is like a quick blind date with a random hot girl, but for a long and happy relationship, we need much more information. ROI, profit and win% is good for marketing, social media and maybe selling sports betting picks, but if we start talking about elite sports betting and serious bet tracking, then we must see sports betting performance from different angles.

If you will track your bets from more perspectives and with more statistics, you will have better chance to become a truly profitable bettor.

I have created a betting spreadsheet for you with video explanation, where you track all these statistics.

DOWNLOAD BETTING SPREADSHEET HERE

Cheers, MB

If you want to learn how I bet and how I use statistics for sports betting you can learn more in Free Betting course.

 

 

Updated: 28. September, 2020

Total: +123.23 Units

Dime bettors made $123,230 of profit

(Join Free Betting Course)

A lot of people asked me what is the best sport to bet and my answer is always the same – baseball. At least for me. Bookmakers are very smart and they know how to attract bettors with all kinds of promotions and other bonuses and they also know very well psychology of bettors and gamblers. They know how to attract them and a lot of people will fall into this trap. They will bet on sports, that they like to watch, not to invest. Of course, NFL is great to watch, but from an investing point I think, that there is no sport that is close to MLB and betting on it, when it comes to sample size of data, statistics and information.

Keep reading and I will explain, why baseball is the best sport to bet for me, what is my baseball betting strategy and how I bet on baseball.

Why I bet baseball and what MLB betting system I use?

The most popular sport in the USA is the NFL. There are 32 teams, that play 256 games in one season. The regular season starts in September and ends at the start of January.

Let’s take a look at how much money can make one very good sports bettor in one regular NFL season if he plays every single game (1 game = 1 bet, spread for example). Let’s take an example, that he is very good and he will reach a yield of 10% (some people call it ROI).

  • 256 games * $1000 = $256,000 risked money
  • Yield 10%: 0.1*$256,000 = $25,600

A very good NFL bettor will make $25,600 of profit if he plays every single game and if he is very good.

On the other side, take the example of a very good MLB bettor, with the same yield, and if he also bet on every single game in regular MLB season.

One regular MLB season has 2430 games and if we take that he bet on every single game (1 bet = 1 game).

  • 2430 games * $1000 = $2,4300,000 risked money
  • Yield 10%: 0.1*$2,4300,00 =$243,000 of profit

Very good MLB bettor with a system and a strategy will make $243,000 of profit, which is close to 10 times more than NFL bettor.

Of course, reaching yield of 10% playing all NFL and MLB games is not possible, but I wanted to show you that potential in baseball is much bigger. Every day we have 10-15 games and if you are prepared to work hard on MLB analysis and your betting strategy, I think there is no other sport that has so many opportunities.

There are also a couple of other key reasons, why I bet baseball:

  • Huge market: This is not the second league in volleyball, where the lines move quickly and where the limits are low. MLB is one of the biggest markets in the sports betting world and on average you can bet much more than on any other smaller leagues.
  • Statistics: I am investor, not a gambler and I can not bet without analysis and without any statistics. Even if I made some intuition plays, I look first at the numbers. Statistics is very important to me. Baseball is a sport with the biggest information about statistics. And we all know that statistics and analytics is most important when it comes to predicting future results. All successful businesses us it and I am a huge believer, that traditional handicapping without analytics will be dead soon too. So, when you have a lot of data, you can also make better predictions and analysis. It is much easier to analyze a sport with 2430 games and data sets than only 256. I hope you agree with me.
  • Underdogs: An average bettor is afraid to bet on underdogs. I think the main reason for that is because most bettors bet a huge proportion of their bankroll (if they have one) and they are basically in a must-win situation every day. Underdogs, in general, are the teams, that have less than 50% of chance, and of course, they don’t want to be in a must-win situation, that has less than 50% of chance. Usually the public is heavily with favorites and usually the public loses a lot too. But in the MLB baseball league the difference between the best team and the worst team is not that big. The best teams will win around 60% of games and the worst teams will still win around 40% of games. There is a lot of underdog wins every day and because of that a lot of chance for us, who are looking for the value, not for the winners.

My own baseball betting strategy

Most of my plays are moneyline bets. I don’t like to make special bets and I rarely play totals. I stick with high limits bets, where I can invest more money. But before we go deeper in my baseball betting strategies, let’s explain a couple of other things, that are important.

We can look at one baseball game as one EVENT, right? And every event has two outcomes:

  • Home win
  • Away win

Every outcome will have some probability or if you like – Team A has a chance that will win this game and Team B has a chance to win this game.

Bookmakers estimate these probabilities and then they turn these probabilities into the odds (plus they add some margin of course, which is their “commission”  they take every time when you make a bet). These odds are basically the price that you pay. I hope we all agree with that. We will also agree that the price that we pay is the key in betting and in our life too. It is not not the same if you buy the same car for $10k or for $30k, or the house for $300k or for $400k. It will be the difference between losing and winning if you don’t care about the price and your money.

Bookmakers will use this price and move the price based on different reasons (line movement). And our goal is to pay the right price, not the bad/wrong price. The overall concept is pretty similar to other investments or if you like betting is some kind of relative competition not only against bookmakers, but also against other bettors or the market.

If you constantly pay/invest in better price than the rest, then you can expect positive results. And this is the key. Let me explain this little bit, because this is very important.

Understand sports betting – couple of basic things

Imagine that bookmakers offer the odds on Boston Red Sox at +150 (decimal odds 2.50). If we ignore the margins for simplicity of this explanation, then +150 will represent the probability of 40%. In other words, this is the chance that bookmakers give to Boston. If they are correct, then Boston will  win 40 out of 100 games if we can repeat this game (same situation, same players,…) many many times.

+150 is also the price that you pay. If you bet $100, you will get $150 for Boston. $150 of profit is your reward or the “product that you buy” if you like.

So the question is what is the right price to take. It is never about should we take Boston or not. But always if we should pay this price for Boston or not. This is the concept that is hard to understand for many bettors. Bettors focus on teams, potential winners, not on the numbers (prices). Sharp bettors always focus on the price, not on the teams.

But the question is how to know if the price is good or bad?

We will come to that…just keep reading, because understanding the concept will save you a lot of time, plus you will better understand how I bet.

Imagine, that you run a restaurant and you want to make a profit by selling Coca Cola. You need to know suppliers price for Cola and the price for which you can sell it in your restaurant later. Imagine that you want to sell Cola for $3 in your restaurant, but at the same time you don’t care what is the Coca Cola price, when you buy it. Supplier can sell this Cola for $4, but because you can sell it only for $3 in your restaurant, you will make a loss. Coca Cola can be a popular (team, winner, pick, lock,…), but if you can not make a profit by selling Cola on the long run, you should not invest in Cola. You should not bet on teams (Cola) but on the price and the discrepancy between suppliers price and the last price in your restaurant.

Let’s explain odds little bit more…

How to understand betting odds?

So, what are the odds? The odds are the prices, that you will pay when you bet. When you buy Cola, you pay that price. When you bet you also pay “some” price. The only difference is that if you have a Cola supplier, you can call him and he will tell you the price. At the same time you also know what is the price you can sell Cola in your restaurant. So it is pretty simple and you need one call. In sports betting the things are little bit more complicated, because most bettors have no idea how to estimate that first price. Picks are not the first price. Picks are always just “Team information” + “bookmakers odds information”. And many bettors blindly follow that second price.

What we need is to project our odds independently from bookmakers. Yes, even before bookmakers open the odds. We must know what is the price we are willing to pay. What is the last price we are willing to pay. If we can not do this we can walk like a blind bettor our whole life and it is only a matter of time, when bookmakers will start winning because of margins.

So, for example, if I estimate, that Boston Red Sox have a chance of 56.44% to win a game versus NY Yankees, my fair odds would be 1.77 (US odds: -130). In this case, I expect, that when I bet $1000 on Red Sox, bookmakers would pay me $770 for Red Sox win. And based on this number I decide if I will bet this game or not.

If bookmakers set the odds on Boston Red Sox 1.60 (US odds: -167), I will get only $600 if my bet (Red Sox) wins. In this case, I was expecting at least $770 in profit, but I get only $600. And this is not a value for me. I would stay away from this game.

On the other side, if bookmakers set the odds of 2.1 (US odds: +110) on the Boston Red Sox, I would get $1100 of profit, which is $330 more than I would expect. And this is something I call it a value. In this case, I would bet on Red Sox because I get more for my money. Of course if my estimations are correct. The discrepancy between your estimated probability and bookmakers probability is the value. If the value is positive and in your favour (you get more than you would expect), this is potentially good bet.

The concept of value is pretty simple and it is something you face every day. When you go to a store and you see two jackets, totally the same quality and you like them equally, the logical decision would be to buy the cheaper one. Why? Because you get more for the same money. And if you will do this constantly, you will save money. If you will look for the value constantly in sports betting, you will make a profit.

So your question is probably how I analyse games and how I come to my estimations….

How I estimate odds for my baseball betting system?

Betting Model – bet numbers

We have learned that in sports betting these prices are the odds. These odds (prices) can also change during the day or during the week, even month. So you must have an idea what is the good or bad price to pay and even when.

If the price on the market on Boston Red Sox is +150 (bookmakers give Boston 40% of chance), but you estimate somehow that fair price should be +108 (you give Boston 48% of chance), you will make a profit on the long run, despite both estimation are below 50%.

If your estimation is correct (you give Boston chance of 48%):

You will win 48 out of 100 games. Record: 48-52 at the odds of +150, Profit: +20 units

Of course you have no idea if your next game will fall into that 48 L or into 52 W. But because you are constantly looking for positive expect value in betting (+EV), you can expect the profit on the long run.

And this is the first answer on the question how to bet baseball and win: You must estimate the probabilities before you bet, because probabilities represent the prices, that you pay. Either you do this in your head, which is not recommended, because many bettors try to do it and bookmakers love it or you find the way how to use information and statistics and turn them into the odds.

I use my MLB BASEBALL BETTING SYSTEM, or even better we should call it baseball betting model that I reveal and teach you in my online betting course (start with free betting course here).

I simply estimate my own probabilities and then I turn those probabilities into the odds. Then I compare my odds with the bookmakers odds.

Here is the example of my table that I create every day during MLB season:

  • Projections are my estimated numbers
  • Value report is the discrepancy between my estimated numbers and bookmakers numbers.

Many bettors are looking for betting systems that win 97% of times and they are all based on high risk martingale (or different variations) systems. This is why I don’t like to call it a system, but rather a betting model, because I estimate the probability of every single game and every single game is analysed with the numbers. Then I bet only those games, where I think I have enough value.

Join the free betting course to start using statistics and get into my private MLB betting model

Using my PREDICTIVE MODEL I project my own odds and probabilities for every single game in the MLB season. Then I simply compare my estimated odds with the bookmakers odds. The difference between the numbers is value. My baseball betting system idea is to compare team’s offense with other team’s defense, which is a combination of starting pitcher and bullpen.

When baseball season is on, I analyse every single game. Every day I calculate win % with the right starting pitcher and the formulas in the model, that I have created for baseball. Most of my data is automated and automatically pulled from the internet.

I just type:

  • The name of the team
  • Pitcher and his hand

And the model outputs winning percentages and my projected odds. Then I use Kelly criterium to estimate the optimal bet size.

Learn more about my premium course and download my MLB model and use it for yourself

Some useful mlb betting strategies you can use right away

Bullpen and statistics are important!

There are many mistakes rookie mlb bettors make, but two mistakes that I would like to point out here, are very first mistakes many make, when they start betting baseball:

  1. They use mainstream statistics, found on ESPN, Yahoo, and other mainstream sites: One nice example is ERA, which is probably most popular statistics in baseball and most bettors will rely only on it. ERA will show you how many runs one pitcher (or a team) allows per 9 innings. The problem with ERA is that is not the best future predictor. Much better are some others like FIP, xFIP, SIERA, whip, …
  2. They ignore bullpen: The average pitcher will pitch around 5.5 innings per game. The game has 9 innings and most bettors simply ignore a big part of the game (approx. 38% of the game) and this is the late game, where the game will be decided.

I don’t use mainstream statistics and I pay special attention to the bullpen too, because the game is usually decided late by bullpens.

How to bet baseball and win on the long run

Winning baseball betting requires extreme discipline, expert money management, and constant analysis and research.

I can teach you how to analyze games, how to create and use betting model, but there is also one other part that we all must fight on a daily basis: Work and discipline.

Sports betting is not a passive income, like many want to show you, because every game is unique and the line movement is so dynamic now, that it is almost not possible to follow the right prices, especially if you follow someone. You must understand that sharps never follow anyone and those who lose they either make bets based on gut feeling or they constantly look for picks. With the social media, this game of following and looking for that big winner is even more dangerous. Sports betting triggers the brain’s reward system which are linked primarily to the pleasure and motivation centers and releases dopamine into the body. This makes sports bettors feel excited while they’re taking risks. The story is even more complicated when bettors win or see other people win. Potential winning and dreams about winning lead to a lot of irrational decisions, which means a loss on the long run for a bettor and a win for a bookmaker.

This is why we also must pay a lot of attention discipline, focus and strategy/money management of course. If we can not control our emotions, then we will probably not stick to the strategy that we set before the season. I did this misake in the past and I saw bettors who had a good strategy for 10 months, made profit and they they lost everything in 1 month, because they lost focus, discipline and they became overconfident.

It is very important to pay attention to this part of betting as well.

I meditate every morning, which helps me to stay focused and I don’t watch games. Watching games is basically collecting the data, but with a lot of errors, because our brains can not properly collect the data from 5 games at a time if you watch them. There are some sites, that collect statistics about games much better. Plus if we take into account the hours of baseball games, it is not possible to watch all games. There is 2430 games and it is simply not possible to watch them all. And if you don’t watch them all the “same way” then you will make an error. While other gamblers try to watch games for couple of hours per day, I try to improve my knowledge. Imagine that you invest 3 hours of time into learning about betting instead of watching games for next 6 months. It can be a huge difference. Once the game starts, you can not do anything about it. It is only a dopamine game, which can lead to addiction. Watching games is in most cases waste of time, except if you bet live and you must be there.

Money Management – professional sports betting strategy

I use proportional money management Most of my bets are 1-2% of my current bankroll (I use adjusted Kelly criterium to estimate the bet size). If the value (adjusted kelly criterium) is bigger, then the bet is slightly bigger, if the value is lower, then the unit is little bit lower.

Intuition vs Analytics in MLB betting

Statistics and analytics are more and more important in baseball betting. This is something that I always repeat and in the world of dynamic sports betting, following other people’s picks is not the smartest idea. People who look for picks and follow other handicappers never make money in sports betting – at least not on the long run. Following other people’s picks is much more expensive than learning how to bet and creating your own unique betting system that will work for you. Funny thing is that those who disagree with this statement, usually don’t make any profit in betting. The line movement and betting world has changed so drastically that you can be 10 minutes late after your handicapper send picks and you will have a losing season. If you get the odds of 1.91 (-110) instead of 2.00 (+100) it is a big difference and it can be the crucial line between losing and winning. This is why I think (I am very confident about this) , that estimating the numbers and betting on your own is very important. After all bookmakers offers are expressed with the numbers. This is what is really important.

But still, I see a lot of handicappers, that say, that they have “good info” and “experience”. Of course, this can not work in the long run. Good info is easy to find with the internet and intuition, which is basically some sort of experience that can not be measured. Because of that a lot of bettors and also some old successful bettors can no longer make a profit.

A good example for me was a 2017 baseball season when I made 738 picks. 65 picks were made by my intuition, which means, that I didn’t follow my betting system and math model, but of course I tracked it all. In the past 20 years, I made a lot of profit with some extraordinary “so-called” intuition plays, but the times are changing. At least for me. Why? Because in 2017 I made -3,185 units of loss on my intuition plays. At the same time I made 673 picks that were based on my math model and I made a profit of +4,109 units on MLB baseball picks.

How do I know which is my intuition bet and bet that was supported by my baseball betting strategy? Because I tracked all bets and I wanted to see what are my results based on my model and my intuition. This is why I mark Intuition plays as GUT PLAYS (G) and my math model plays with (M)

HERE ARE ALL MY BETS IN 2017: DOWNLOAD MY MLB BETTING RESULTS

Chart 1: All MLB bets (including Intuition bets) vs baseball betting strategy bets

ALL BETS (including intuition bets): Profit: +924, WON 358 LOST: 357 PUSH 23 AVG odds 2.05 (+105), Yield: +0.67% Total Picks: 738

MLB BETTING MODEL BETS: Profit: +4,109 WON 338 LOST 316 PUSH 19 AVG ODDS: 2.04 , Yield: 3.17% Total Picks: 673

Performance with different odds

In the previous chart, I showed you how important is to use analytics and that intuition bets were disastrous. On the other side, my baseball betting model and strategies have an edge and I made a profit!

So I went a little bit deeper to see what results my MLB betting model has with the different odds and I found that the best yield would be if I would play the odds between 1.80 and 2.20. But then again, I would play less games and I would make less profit. So I also wanted to see what is the odds range with the best profit and the most profit I made with the odds between 1.75 and 2.85.

baseball betting spreadsheet

Chart 2: Betting Model vs Adjusted Betting Model

Betting Model vs Adjusted Betting Model

Chart 3: All Bets vs Adjusted Betting Model

All Bets vs Adjusted Betting Model

Flat vs Kelly Criterium

I use (adjusted) kelly criterium to estimate my bet size. In a very simple explanation, when I see a bigger value, I bet more and when the value is lower, I bet less. Or if you like, when the difference between my estimated odds and the bookmakers odds is bigger in my favor, I bet more and when the difference is smaller I bet less.

I wanted to see the MODEL performance in the difference between flat strategy, where I would ignore kelly criterium and actual betting (with Kelly Criterium).

The average bet size was 1.777 units/game, so I couldn’t use 1 unit for flat, because the profit would be lower with flat analysis, right? This is why I use 1.777 units/game for flat analysis. I also didn’t take a proportion betting strategy for this comparison.

FLAT BETTING STRATEGY (1.777 Units/game):

flat baseball betting strategy results

ACTUAL KELLY CRITERIUM BETTING STRATEGY:

kelly criterium baseball betting strategy

As you see, both baseball betting strategies would make a profit with my system, but still, if I use kelly criterium when I estimate actual bet size has better results.

baseball betting strategy flat versus kelly comparison

How much money would you make using this betting strategy in 2017?

I can not imagine sports betting without using analytics anymore. My MLB Betting System (betting model) is the heart of my sports betting.

Why?

Because I estimate the winning percentages for the games and then I calculate my own odds. This is the only way I see how to beat bookmakers.

But there is a big difference between some so called betting systems and my betting model strategy.  Most bettors usually use martingale-based systems where they try different odds, different stakes, etc… But they don’t estimate winning percentages or spreads for games. The same is with the trends. Trends will tell you what happened in the past, but will not tell you if this will happen in the future and if you don’t include them somehow into the model, they have no predictive power. If Red Sox are 6-1 in last home games, when they played in the rain and the other team had green shoes, that doesn’t mean, that they will be 7-1 in the same situation. It is complete nonsense.

With my baseball betting strategy (model), I look at each game independently and I see one game as one event, where I estimate future probabilities for outcomes.

If you used my math model and if you stick strictly with the model, you would make a profit with a combination of  progressive strategy and my adjusted Kelly Criterium you would make:

  • 673 Picks
  • 338 Wins
  • 316 Losses
  • 19 Pushes
  • +$4109
  • +3.17% of yield

If you used my math model and if you stick strictly with the model, you would make a profit with a combination of flat (not proportional)MLB betting strategy and my adjusted Kelly Criterium and if you are $100 bettor you would make:

  • 673 Picks
  • 338 Wins
  • 316 Losses
  • 19 Pushes
  • +77.64 Profit
  • +6.49% of yield

Despite progressive will outperform flat in the long run, if you used flat strategy with a combination of Kelly criterium for bet size, that was the best option in 2017.

I always recommend, that if you are a $100 bettor (1 unit = $100), then you must have $10,000 of starting bankroll. In this case you would make +$7,764 of profit. Or in other words, if your starting investment is $10,000 at the start of MLB season, your ROI (return on investment) at the end of the season would be +77.64%.

If you played the odds between 1.75 and 2.85, then you would make +$10,520 of profit.

Major league baseball handicapping 2018-2020

In 2018 I have improved my betting model, betting strategies and I pay more attention to closing line value. According to bookmakers this is the most important factor how they filter sharp bettors from losing bettors.

So what is a closing line in baseball betting?

Closing line is the last line (or the odds if you like) just before the game will start. It includes all the information and it represent the most efficient price on the market. If you can beat it, you have a good chance to be a winner on the long run.

  • Example: You bet on Red Sox +145 and just before the game starts the odds on Boston are at +110 -> THIS IS GOOD, YOU BEAT THE LINE
  • Example: You bet on Red Sox +145 and just before the game starts the odds on Boston are at +175 -> THIS IS BAD, YOU WERE BEHIND

Here is what Pinnacle, which is one of the sharpest says about the importance of closing line: “According to the efficient market hypothesis the closing odds are on average more accurate than the opening odds in predicting the probability of how a fixture will play out. One of the main concerns among successful bettors is whether their success represents a genuine edge over the bookmaker or simply a stroke of luck. By tracking your ability to beat the closing odds, you have a measurable way in your hands to differentiate between reliable strategy and blind luck. A consistent track record of beating the closing odds is, therefore, an indicator of consistent profits in the long run.”

If the yield will tell us about betting efficiency, CLV (closing line value) is a good indicator what you can expect in the future. In other words if you take some odds and if these odds drop most of the time before the game starts, you can expect positive results in the future, because you beat closing line. If the odds go against you most of the time, maybe it is a time to change something.

Tracking closing line value is something every bettor should do. I am giving you free downloadable tracker and you can use it for yourself. Once you know this information, there is no excuse not to track CLV anymore.

You can download FREE betting tracker that also tracks CLV (closing line value) here.

In 2019 I wanted to see my CLV numbers based on the value. So I wanted to see do I beat the line more often if I bet on the games with bigger +EV (positive expected value):

I saw that the bigger the ADJK value (if I am more selective), I also beat the line more times (75% of times).

baseball bets 2020

During COVID-19 I decided to be little bit more selective, because we had a strange season with some adjusted rules, without fans, with big gap between 2 seasons, no DH rule, some other new rules (extra innings),…

So, I decided to take betting selections, where the discrepancy between my estimated numbers and bookmakers numbers are little bit bigger – adjk 1.80 or bigger.

In 2020 I started to track also what would be my record if I bet on opening odds, which is possible once you have your own betting model, because anyone who follow picks is always late. And I wanted to see what would be the record if I would bet on closing odds. This is also one of the mistakes many bettors make. They wait until the last minute before the game starts and then they bet on most efficient lines, which are based on theory not possible to beat especially in sharp markets.

The difference between taken odds and closing odds is 3.22 units. The difference between opening odds and closing odds based on my betting selections is 4.90 units.

At the start of the season, I started to bet little bit earlier than usually and most of the negative xCLV (versus closing pinnacle odds without margins) came from that period. Later in the season this number was much better.

So I finished with +16.03 units

Yield: +11.25%

Which is pretty good.

 

Overall MLB betting results since I run this site:

+123.23 Units

It depends how much we bet on games. There are bettors who bet only $10 and there are bettors who constantly bet $10,000 per game. But if your base unit was $1000, +123.23 units represent the profit of $123,230 of profit since 2016.

The question is always the same: how to bet baseball and win

The question is much much bigger. Every day bettors and handicappers all around the world look for gambling advice, sports profit system, sports betting strategy, baseball betting trends, baseball tips and picks, mlb parlays, mlb picks and all kind of different quick ways to make money. 

In last 20 years of betting I tried many different ways how to make money in betting, but unfortunately there is no shortcuts. Every single game must be analysed and researched and what is very important to understand, before you bet you must estimate your own probabilities. Probabilities represent the price that you are willing to pay. Without doing this, we just guess the price and this is what bookmakers love – guessing.

Why?

Because they have the edge. Every time when we bet, they take a commission (juice, vig, margins). Most bettors have no clue about what price should be paid and most gamblers just guess. It is only a matter of time, when their results will regress to mean and they start losing.

Before I started with my site, I saw this huge problem in sports betting world – to many bettors focus on picks and following (which will never work) and they simply don’t focus on the knowledge and building their own betting strategy, betting system or even a sports betting spreadsheet.

This is why I have decided to create this webpage to help bettors, who want to make a next step and start creating their own unique betting system, instead of being follower.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

One very important thing: Underdog Chance is not picks service and I don’t sell any picks. Focusing on picks (selling, buying or even only following free picks) is bad for you and we all can write our own successful sports betting story.

If you pay for picks, you will pay from $100 up to $1000 per month for their picks. Maybe you win, maybe you lose, most bettors don’t have an edge anyway and nobody can guarantee a winning month or even a season.

When we take into account odds dropping and how hard is to follow other people’s picks on a daily basis, the only way to make money is to learn how to bet on your own. I am pretty confident about this statement.

Whatever you decide, I hope my view on baseball betting will help you somehow and check my social media @underdogchance or youtube channel to get the updates about my work, results and new betting systems, models, strategies.

But if you like my work and want to learn more:

Start With Free betting Course 

Cheers, MB

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

 

How to turn CSGO gambling into a profitable betting strategy?

This was one of my first questions at the start of 2020. I found that there is a growing CSGO gambling community and more and more sports bettors are interested in this. Esports was a new thing for me and when you start betting and researching a new sport or the league it can be a tricky thing. But every time when I research a new sport or the league I take it seriously and here was the same – I decided to research esports.

Covid 19 and No Sports to Bet – The Problem for Most Sports Bettors

At the end of 2019, nobody expected, that in the next couple of months all leagues will be shut down and that CSGO betting will be something I will start digging into it.

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 turned to online poker or even gambling, but only a few very passionate gamblers who bet basically everything started showing interest in CSGO gambling.

The concepts and understandings of sports betting markets can be used in CSGO gambling

The most popular events to bet on are still “sports” events. Which makes sense, once you understand how the 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 a false feeling that they know the sport. They think they know sport enough and this will help them to make money when they make bets. But this is not enough. We must understand how betting works if we want to win.

The perfect formula for bookmakers

So it is a perfect formula for bookmakers. There is a lot of sports, there are 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 the commission, they win. No matter if this is basketball, soccer, NFL, politics, or even CSGO gambling. The concept is similar.

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 the sports market. You can easily gather a lot of people who love sports and at the same time, you give them the false illusion that betting is about sports, not about numbers and investing.

illusional gamblers

With this, they did a very smart job to turn whole sports communities into “illusional investors and gamblers” 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.

These concepts of value bet and chances were used later for CSGO betting

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 the market and then execute. This is what we call the concept of value bet and it must be used for CSGO betting too.

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

Sports and betting are two completely different things

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.

No matter if you bet on your favorite football league, baseball, esports, or even on reality shows or trees growing – betting without the advantage will result in a loss. And it will happen in eSports betting and CSGO gambling too. 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.

Betting World can change any time

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 any time, if they will see that this will generate more bets and turnover. I am not saying this will happen soon because sports are not going anywhere yet, but it is very important to understand, that the only thing bookmakers 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 a commission, no matter if you win or lose that bet. Because of margins, they have an unfair advantage. And the more people bet the more commission they take.

Sports Bettor vs Sports Fan

True sports bettor (investor) will always adjust. Because sports fan is emotionally involved in his sport, his league or his team. I constantly get emails like… “I like to bet soccer”. “I like to bet basketball. I played basketball when I was young”… and I bet that eSports fans will say they love to place wagers on CSGO, Dota, League of Legends and other eSports bet types, leagues and events.

All of these things are not important. I am not interested in sports fan talk. If playing football would be correlated to sports betting success, then Leo Messi and Ronaldo will be the best sports handicappers in the World in the next few years. Successful betting has almost nothing to do with sports. Sports are like a whore used by bookmakers, so they can build what they need and exactly what I am talking about here.

Once this is clear in your mind, you have a chance to win at betting and you will have a chance at betting eSports and CSGO. 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 (odds)
  • how do I calculate my price (odds and probabilities), so I can compare it with the market
  • how do I find the value (+EV = money) to place a value bet

The bettor or investor if you like, whose motivation is money will try to do exactly this. The motivation is an 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 the professional 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.

We basically saw a big struggle during COVID, because most people who thought they are bettors, they simply turned back to fans. There were no sports and for many traditional sports gamblers, CSGO gambling was not acceptable.

But the funny thing here is this – most bettors never focus on betting (money, investing, analyzing, using statistics, finding +EV, beating closing line value,…) – it is always just sport. And their thing (sport) was simply not there.

Sports bettors that use betting models, statistics can always adjust

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 will 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, analyze information, analyze the market, compare with the market price, find the value, and invest smartly small pieces of our bankroll.

This is the difference between betting, sports betting, and sports alone. The 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 betting, 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 the 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 told me about CSGO eSports Gambling to me 2-3 years ago

I am pretty sure, that eSports betting has a bright future and during COVID, many 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 heard about eSports and especially about CGSO gambling 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, because I was occupied with other sports mostly MLB baseball betting.

But in 2020, because of COVID situation, when all sports and leagues were shut down, I decided to start researching CSGO betting opportunities and I decided to create my own eSports CSGO betting model, where I will get my probabilities of the outcomes. Independently from bookmakers – calculated numbers. With this I can find the value bet situations and place wagers on CSGO events.

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.

The steps I used to create the CSGO betting model:

The first step – learn and research eSports markets and CSGO betting opportunities

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 gambling will be a huge 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 CSGO leagues for some time, to give me some advice where to start. I wanted to learn first about esport. 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 esports bet market offers. What kind of eSports events, leagues, teams, players,… they offer.

So I found that most popular leagues are:

  • DOTA
  • League of Legends
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)

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.

Second step: Look for information and the statistics

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. 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.

And I decided to focus on CSGO betting

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.

Third step: Building a statistical CSGO 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.

CSGO Betting Spreadsheets

I use pretty simple statistical methods for my betting in spreadsheets, 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 predictive bet 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 CSGO betting spreadsheet 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.

Fourth Step: Dirty Job 

The next thing was something I call a dirty job. There are many smart sports 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 may be 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 member’s discord channel, FB group or twitter. Some of them were also on my youtube channel.

Opening, Real Time and Closing Odds

I decided to test my CSGO betting 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 and CSGO gambling markets still aren’t fully efficient), but I will leave this for another time.

Anyway, bet tracking those results is great information to see how much profit you would make if you bet on opening odds, because once you are not a follower (or picks subscriber) and if you have a 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 the latest odds and this is in many cases a 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 CSGO 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 a couple of things about CSGO betting:

  • 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.

CSGO Gambling – Focused Sites

With the popularity of esports, I believe that we will see more and more betting sites that focus heavily on esports. Currently we already have some very good sites, that focus on esports betting. Let’s check the best csgo betting sites, that are focusing on esports betting and their odds.

  • Unikrn.com is US Friendly and basically accessible from anywhere in the World betting site dedicated for eSports and csgo betting. They are one of the most reliable and trusted csgo and esports betting sites out there. Very cool thing is that bettors can be players too and they can test their skills by connecting Steam.
  • Cyberbet is another great growing site for csgo betting, which offer 10 EUR risk free bet to all new costumers.
  • Arcanebet is esports and csgo focused betting site that is already known for very happy costumers. Players love it and they already built amazing reputation among esports bettors.
  • Thunderpick was established in 2017 and it is one of my top 5 selections right now in eSports betting. They offer very competitive odds and wide variety of live betting options.
  • Loot.Bet is another great and good looking site for esports betting with good costumer support (24/7 live chat) and many payment options, including bitcoins and cryptocurrencies.

Exciting CSGO eSports Handicapping 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 sports 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 and CSGO is not going anywhere. CSGO betting and different variations of eSports gambling 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 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: