They say the richest 1 percent own half of the world’s riches. We’d all love to get there, but that’s just not how life works. Even if you worked incredibly hard for years, you would still need luck to become a one-percenter. But, maybe it’s not hard work that’s the key to success, maybe we should think outside the box and focus on luck instead? Maybe you can get your fortune through sports betting?
It’s often said that when gambling is involved, the house always wins. However, there are some real-life examples where that’s not the case all the time. Have you heard of Zeljko Ranogajec, Bill Benter, or Billy Walters? These are some of the most successful gamblers in the world today. It wouldn’t be ridiculous to say that they make a living out of it; these guys make millions of dollars on sports betting. If they can do it, who’s to say that you couldn’t do the same?
What’s the Catch with Pro Sports Betting?
In the words of Gordon Gekko from Wall Street, “the most valuable commodity I know of is information”. The more you learn about sports betting the better your chances of winning. The bad news is that unexpected things happen all the time in professional sports, which, when you think about it, is the reason why everyone’s so attracted to it.
You have to be prepared to lose some money in order to win it. Don’t make your loses matter much, make your wins count. This is why ‘value betting’ is the term to remember. Basically, it refers to the bets for which the probability of winning is higher than what’s implied by the bookmakers’ odds. For instance, if the odds on the favorite are better than -200.00 but you had expected them to be somewhere in the range of -1000, you can think of it as a value bet.
Finding Value Bets
There are many tricks you can use for the purpose of identifying a value bet, including the famous Kelly Criterion, a formula commonly used on the stock market. If you’re not very much in the mood for big mathematics work, you can always use software solutions. There are many tools and websites out there which you can use for this purpose, some of which are free, some which come with a paid subscription.
The big problem here isn’t calculating whether a bet is a value bet or not; the problem is picking the outcome which is going to win. Unfortunately, there’s no golden rule that can help you find a winning bet.
It’s all up to your knowledge about the event you’re betting on, latest information about the game, and, of course, your luck. Still, in a long run, you’re much more likely to make some money if you keep on looking for value bets. A good value bet can make up for the money lost on other bets.
Sportsbook’s Profit Margin
There’s an easy way to make any bet a value bet – by betting at a sportsbook that gives good odds on the favorites. The thing is that all sportsbooks in the world work on a simple principle. The odds they offer on an event are set (and adjusted) in a way that the sportsbook always gets a profit, regardless of the outcome.
Some sportsbooks are greedy, choosing to go with a high profit margin, which in turn means more unfavorable odds offered to the players. But, why would they set up a lower margin, you might ask? Well, the sports betting universe is a dangerous place, where the books need to use all they can to attract new players, while keeping the old ones interested.
And the best way of doing it is by offering attractive odds. Plus, some books, like these offshore sportsbooks, have lower expenses than those that pay their taxes in the US, so they have the luxury to use a lower profit margin. At this point, you might not think the difference between odds is too important, but if you want to go pro, even a tiny difference in the margin can mean a lot.
The Right Betting Strategy is the Crucial Factor
If you want to make a comfortable living betting on sports, you need to think of it just like any other kind of job. And same as any other job, this one too requires a good business plan in order to play out your way. You just can’t rely only on your hunch or your knowledge about sports.
Instead, you need an elaborate sports betting plan, which you will need to stick to. The good news is that there are all sorts of betting strategies you can use, each having its own pros and cons. Some of these tactics are expected to bring more money quicker, while also bringing along more risks. Others are meant to lower the chances of losing too much money.
Whichever strategy you choose, you need to understand that there will always be some risk involved. After all, this is gambling we’re talking about here. But, if you’re not too much of a risk-taker, there might be another option for you. We’re talking about putting money on sure bets.
When gambling is involved, there’s always some risk that you can lose money. But, sports arbitrage isn’t gambling. At least not in the real sense of the word. Sure, you do have to put your money on sports bets, but in the case of arbitrage betting, you never lose.
How it works is that you are supposed to cover all possible outcomes of an event, so that whatever happens you will win. This may sound strange, especially after reading in the previous part about how sportsbooks make their profit. The answer is that you don’t bet at one sportsbook.
You might have noticed that we mentioned sportsbooks always adjust their odds in order to get their profit no matter what. What this means is that when someone puts a lot of money on TEAM A, the odds on that outcome will drop suddenly. But, not only will they drop, the odds on TEAM B will improve because of that.
An arbitrage bettor (arber) will take advantage of such a situation and place a bet on TEAM B, which at this point comes at a pretty awesome odds. At the same time, the arber will place some money on TEAM A as well, but at a book where the odds still haven’t dropped. And the arber will do it in a way that they’ll get a profit regardless of whether TEAM A or TEAM B wins.
Of course, most arbers aren’t too crazy about doing math; instead, they’ll let their computer calculate how much money they need to place on each outcome. There are plenty of sites out there that can calculate these things for you, but more importantly, there are some tools that can find arbs for you and even place bets on your behalf at different books. The only bad thing about these tools is that they’re not free in most cases. Instead, you need to pay a monthly subscription, which can take a toll on your arbing profits.