Let’s face it. Everybody who bets on sports wants to win money. But in their quest to beat the books, they not only fail to answer the most important question, they fail to even ask it. Most people have no idea of what the question is. So what is it?
Why is it possible for me to win money betting on sports?
The fact is, if you don’t know why it is possible to win in the first place there is almost no chance that you will be able to do so. How can you manipulate a game to work for you if you don’t understand how it is working against you now? Most people just start placing bets with no idea of how to win the game they play. The results are good for the books, but bad for your bankroll.
Many think that winning more bets is the only answer. After all, if you win more bets than you lose you will win money. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?
It’s not that simple. Winning more bets does not mean you will win more money. Or even win money at all. In fact, most of the time winning more bets means you are less likely to win money because to win a lot of bets you have to bet a lot of bad lines.
I’ll give you an example from the real world. When I posted picks at Best Sports Picks Today back in 2011 – 2012, there was a guy posting I will not name. His record was amazing at first. He won over 75% of his bets for about three months. Over the next few months his winning percentage dropped but was still about 65% after almost a year of making picks. That is an amazing number for anybody.
One would think this guy was making a fortune off the books. But when you checked the history for the entire year, he hit that remarkable winning percentage yet still managed to lose over 20 betting units while doing it.
On the flip side of the coin, I was winning about 40% of my picks during the same time frame with a profit of about 28 units for the year. You might ask yourself how that is even possible. You may even doubt that it is possible at all. Trust me, it is. And it’s not even that difficult to do.
I give you this story to show the difference between understanding how to win money betting on sports, and being able to pick a lot of winners. They are NOT the same thing.
The unnamed handicapper consistently picked favorites that paid -150 to -200. While he won a lot of bets, the monetary disadvantage he played under made it impossible to win much money. In fact, it made the only possibility losing a lot of money.
Good ole’ Sam played exclusively on big dogs that usually paid between +150 and +250. Sometimes even more. While I lost a lot of bets, the monetary advantage I gained on each bet was too much for the books to overcome. The way I played made it almost impossible to lose money.
The biggest difference between myself and the other guy is that I know how to win a lot of money, and he knows how to win a lot of bets. Of course, I know how to win a lot of bets too. I just choose to focus on making the money.
So why is it possible to make money betting on sports?
It’s because you get to control the rules you play by. You never have to place a bet you don’t like, or that gives the book an advantage. If you make the right rules, you will only place bets when you have the advantage.
In every other game the casinos offer, they control the rules of the game. The odds are fixed. They can make one simple change to the rules of a Blackjack game and calculate almost to the dollar how much money they will make on a certain amount of money bet.
They can also adjust the payouts on slot machines and exert similar control over every other game they offer. If they could not build in an advantage for themselves, they would not offer the game. It’s that simple.
But when it comes to sports betting, they have no such control. So they try to offset that by offering bets where the winning side pays them off the top out of their winnings. Point spreads and totals are their two main sucker bets.
They also know that most people like to bet on favorites, so they shade the lines making it more expensive to bet on them. For example, if a dog has a line of +150, the favorite will be going off at -160 to -170.
You can look at it like this. As far as probabilities go, the book has decided the +150 dog has a 40% chance of winning the game and is going off at even money in relation to the probabilities. The favorite has a 60% chance of winning, and is going off at -120 in relation to the actual probabilities. The monetary disadvantage inherent in a point spread bet and paid by the winner is shouldered by the favorite bettor on the money line.
That may be an oversimplification, but is a good illustration for our purposes. In the end, the numbers the books put out are not the true probabilities as computed. They also include the bettors tendencies as a part of the formula, and are adjusted accordingly and as needed to guarantee the books advantage. The only probability that really matters to the book is the one that says it will profit 100% of the time.
So what can you do about it?
To gain a monetary advantage all you have to do is avoid bets where the books has one.
We can look at Blackjack for an analogy.
Imagine that we could find a Blackjack game with the following rules:
All winning hands pay a minimum of the 3/2 Blackjack payout (+150)
The house would have a built in card advantage that guarantees they will win 60% of the hands dealt, and a basic strategy player will win 40% long term.
The card count for the entire history of the table is posted right behind the dealer.
You get to see the actual payout before deciding whether to bet the hand.
You get to see the first card before you decide if you want to bet.
The reason you will never see a table with those rules is because the casino not only has no advantage, but it would be impossible for the casino to win at that game. The disadvantage it would have to accept is too great to overcome no matter how bad the players were.
But with sports betting, you can create for yourself a game with rules similar to those. You can bet only games that have a +150 payout, or more. You can bet only on teams that have winning records. You can look at the stats before the bet is made, which is like looking at the card count. And you can see the most recent form of the team, including injuries and recent record, which is like looking at the first card.
It’s all out there in the open, for anybody to see. And it is for you to decide if you want to bet or not. The book can’t force you to if things don’t look right. You never have to bet for the sake of making a bet.
So there you have it. You can win money sports betting because you control the rules you play by. You never have to play when the books have an advantage on the bet. Instead, you only bet when you have an advantage. On days you can’t find an advantage, sit out.
The one who holds the monetary advantage on the most bets will be the long term winner. Since you get to make the rules, that should ALWAYS be you.