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