If you put $5,000 into a bank savings account and let it draw interest for a year, you could expect to make about $100 to $150. (I think even two or three percent is unlikely these days, but we’ll use this as an example) But many of us get very greedy when using that same $5000 to bet sports and feel that a $1000 or $2000 seasonal profit is unacceptable. Yet this is roughly 10 times what you would have made by putting the same amount of money it into the bank and, personally, I don’t know of too many investment advisors, individual stocks, ETFs, bonds, or mutual funds that can make you a consistent 15 -30 percent each year, do you?
On the flip side, I bet sports as basically a second income. I am very thankful to have a job in engineering that affords me the opportunity to bet enough to accomplish this and leaves me a safety net to lose what I put in and be okay. Just an example is for college football season this year (2018), I put in $10,000 for the regular season. I can do what I want within the season with that but will not buy back in. I also will never exceed $10,000 in bets at one time. My account will always be viewed as having $10,000 during this season because I never want to bet more because I have won and have profits. That is a common problem for gamblers and it really is difficult to avoid the thought of well I can make so much more if I bet this much more. It is 100% true that money management is the most important aspect of sports betting. If you can’t do this well, you may get into serious financial trouble at worst, and less important but still relevant, you will not be able to beat the sports books constantly or over time without understanding which bets make sense by realizing how much to bet, which lines to bet and which matchups offer the highest win and payout percentages. Most hobby betters bet based on how much they can win in a bet, a handicapper or shark bets where they are getting the best odds for their money. Maybe they don’t even believe in the team to win, but if the value makes sense, they will wager on it because it makes sense financially. So an example is you have $2000 and want to bet on at most two games. The average person would tend to bet on as many outcomes as possible but in this case would take two teams and we will say standard line of -110. What has happened is that you have really damaged your chance of making a profit on this bet. This is due to beginning each matchup with a basic, implied odds of 52.38% which means you have this % chance to win one game. This comes from the line of -110 (if it was -100 or even odds, you would have a 50% chance to win) which converts to 1.91 decimal odds. You divide 1 (one bet) by the decimal % (1/1.91) and get 52.38%. So on two games, at -110, you will have 13/5 fractional odds (just an example here) to win or 2.6 decimal odds so you should divide 1 by 2.6 which gives you 38.46% implied odds to win both bets. What would the bets pay out? Win one at $1000 with -110 (1.91 decimal odds so 1.91*1000=payout) and you get $909.09 profit from the win and a total back of $1909.09 with your bet amount returned. So maybe you can see why 2 bets wouldn’t be a great investment. If not, here’s why. Say you win just 1 of the two matchups, you get the payout of $1909.09 so you have lost money on your bets for the day. And with only a 38% chance to win (usually will be a little less maybe a little more depending on the odds and line) both bets and taking $1818.18 in profits, you are not going to beat those percentages over time which is the only thing that matters to a professional bettor. Putting all of your money on one outcome offers the best chance to win and the same payout amount so obviously you are getting a better return on your money and will have a better chance to walk away with a profit at season’s end. So this is a very simplistic example and doesn’t take into account lines or the options of taking the points for an underdog with a decent positive moneyline. Just a rule to state here: never bet more than you can afford to lose or care about losing.
Money Management is as critical to a sports investor as picking winners. I have devoted many hours of careful analysis and math to optimal money management systems, which I have painstakingly outlined in my Money Management articles. Sports betting is more high risk (higher volatility and standard deviation of return) than stocks, but also results in a higher return if you follow a proven long term winning handicapper (of which there are very few).
Focusing on a single sport also allows you more time to concentrate on finding value in the markets. You can analyze every opportunity in great detail, giving you a better chance of identifying where the very best value lies. This is much harder to do when betting on several sports, as you have many more opportunities to look at. It’s simply not possible to analyze them all in the same level of detail.
If you had $20,000 that you could comfortably afford to risk as your sports wagering bankroll and $3,295 went to pay for the all Football and all Basketball service, then you would have $16,705 left for wagering. As explained above the expected return on the combined Dr Bob Football and Basketball and NBA Guru Basketball services is +68.0% per year (using a less optimal flat betting approach), which would result in a return wagering profit of +$11,359 on the $16,705 initial bankroll. The overall profit, after factoring in the cost of the services, would be $8,064 (($16,705 x 0.68) – $3,295 = +$8,064), which is a very good 40.3% expected return on your $20,000. That percentage return is higher for higher bankrolls and lower for lower bankrolls since the cost of service becomes a smaller percentage of higher bankrolls and a higher percentage of smaller bankrolls. If you want to subscribe to the all Football and all Basketball package you would need a total of at least $4,846 to invest to expect a positive return after factoring in the cost of the service. The calculations above are based on expected results based on long term records and some years are better and some years are worse.
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As the baseball season moves through June, July and August, it’s time to prep for the NFL and college football. In September, you’re getting ready for the NBA, NHL, and college basketball. All of a sudden, football is being played again. By the way, at one point football, basketball, hockey, and baseball are all being played. It’s a crazy time to bet.
Total O/U is the amount won on OVER or UNDER bets. When it comes to the Premier League, any factor that can influence the game can help you decide if you want to bet the OVER or the UNDER. These factors include how capable each club is on offense and defense, weather conditions (wind being especially influential since it can change how far/fast the ball travels when kicked), and injuries sustained before the match (real injuries, not the flopping around that is done in-game when a cleat grazes a player’s shin so slightly that the only thing you can do is roll your eyes at the telly). For example, if Man United’s goalkeeper suffers an injury to his hand and cannot play in their matchup against Brighton, you should take that into consideration when making your totals bet. You don’t know if their secondary netminder is going to let in more goals or play better against Brighton then their primary goalie.