Sport Betting

Yo FTP. Those familiar w/my exploits away from the felt will know I’m a small to medium stakes recreational sports handicapper & subscribed to professional gambler newsletter, this is an email that contains analysis from some of the worlds best sports handicappers across almost every variant of sport being played. Occasionally the newsletter also has helpful articles which give a great insight into sports betting & in the most recent edition I read an interesting article regarding “Winning %” detailing the fine line between winning bettors & losers, & knowing we have some followers who are keen sports bettors whether it be at a recreational level for micro stakes or HS professionals, any & all I believe will enjoy this article & find the content both interesting & helpful. The question all non-gambling, recreational, or beginner sports handicappers all ask; “When laying odds on 11:10, what % of bets do professional gamblers win?” IMO it can't be answered simply but can be answered accurately which isn’t a cop out but a warning to expect a detailed explanation. Many people believe professional level sports bettors win 60%+ of their bets. It's understandable that people think that, but it's just not true. The fact is the difference between the % of bets won by successful sports bettors and the % of bets won by chronic losers is relatively very small. We'll ignore money line bets here for the sake of clarity & address only those bets wherein the player is wagering odds on at 11:10 pointspreads & over/under bets vs. this type of bet, anyone at all can expect to win 50%…after all the only thing required is to flip a coin and pick a side. The bookmakers' profit comes from the difference between what a bettor must wager & the bettor’s expected ROI. Every time a player wins, the bookmaker withholds slightly north of 9% of the winnings (£1 for every £11 risked) so consequently, a bettor w/50% win rate will eventually blow their BR. Professional sports bettors, by comparison, rarely sustain a long term winning % higher than 58% & it's often as low as 54%. People find that hard to believe & understandably get more sceptical when told that for a genuine professional level sports bettor, a long term winning expectation of 60%+ is actually too high. That last paragraph sounds crazy at 1st, but I’ll explain if a bettor has 5 bets on a given day w/11:10, so risking £110 to win £100 per bet (£550 total) & wins 3 of them that's a great winning ratio of 60% & a net profit for the day of £80 (The bettor wins £300 and loses £220). If another bettor has 14 bets on that same day, risking £110 to win £100 (£1540 total) per bet & wins 8 of them that's a much poorer winning % of only 57% but almost twice as much profit for the day w/£140 (The bettor wins £800 & loses £660). The 2nd bettor was not necessarily less skilled at picking winners than the 1st bettor; the 2nd bettor simply chosen to apply all his advantages including those which had less than a 60% chance of winning in the 1st place & ultimately spread the variance over 14 bets rather than 5. If the ultimate goal is to make money, it is obvious which of those 2 bettors was more successful. The real goal is of course to make money;

JR Miller "The measure of success of a sports handicapper is not his % of winning bets, but the relative amount of profit he made over any given period of time."

Although there are propositions that offer more than a 60% expectation of winning, such propositions are relatively few and far between, and are only a very small part of the overall picture. 53% is the break even point w/11:10, so genuine professional bettors know there is no tenable excuse to pass up propositions offering expectations of 55%+ because although a small advantage applied over and over is very +EV effective. Mathematicians will confirm that a profit is more assured from a group of 200 bets w/55% expectation per bet than from a group of 50 bets w/60% expectation per bet. In other words, like variance in poker the more bets placed = the more predictable the outcome. This is 1 of the facts of life of which successful bettors must be familiar…it's a basic principle of math that the more bets you are able to place, the more likely it is that your winning % will be close to your expectations. A pro bettor must be more concerned w/profit than w/establishing a great winning % & those 2 conditions are not always compatible. A real pro applies all his advantages as often as possible, not only the best of his advantages when they occasionally arise. To illustrate the point, consider casino BJ. The house advantage w/6 deck vs. accomplished BJ player is 0.64% winning expectation, yet every casino nationally (worldwide more than likely) have BJ tables. Casino executives know that if they can get enough players to make enough bets they will end the day w/approximately the % of profit expected. They also know that the fewer bets placed, the less predictable the % of winning bets so they would rather see you place 10 x £10 bets than 2 x £50 bets in order to have their 0.64% edge applied 10x rather than 2x. Can you imagine a casino wanting to limit the number of times you place a BJ bet? Math dictates the house edge will always negate the player & the more bets placed the more likely that is. Below is an illustration showing results of different winning % over different numbers of bets when wagering odds on at 11:10. Standard charges of 4.55% are calculated into the numbers (The bookies' net commission is 4.55% of all monies risked when wagering on 11:10). Notice in the illustration that winning 55% of 250 bets is more profitable than winning 65% of only 50 bets & remember that a profit is more assured/dependable because of the higher number of trials;

Generally speaking recreational gamblers go wrong due to lack of discipline & BRM by risking too much of their BR on individual bets. They don't spread their risk thin enough over a big enough number of bets. Professional gamblers use smaller bet sizes in proportion to their BR over larger numbers of bets. As a matter of fact, 1 good way to spot an inexperienced or amateur bettor is that he often has fewer than 6 bets per session whether that be daily, weekly, or however they calculate a session & their usually risking over 2% of their BR per bet. If you're a part-timer w/huge crazy money to risk, it may be okay to risk 4% of your BR per bet, but don't expect to play that way for long...sooner or later this poor BRM practice will bankrupt you. Theirs as many bad BRM bettors as there is bad handicappers & in order to succeed you must have both in check, hence why by rule of thumb I seldom risk more than 2% of my BR per bet & many professional gamblers would advocate even less making the general consensus approximately 1%.


1 comment:

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