Well, the first week is now finished, and what an amazing week it’s been. If every week was just like this, I could easily be retired by now. Of course, it makes me really nervous, knowing what’s coming next. Anytime you go on such an awesome winning streak, the inevitable losing streak is right around the corner, waiting to bitch-slap your ass back down to Earth.
This week is also a great example as to why winning percentages don’t really matter that much; ROI (Return on Investment) is all that matters. Because 2 of my systems overlap each other (but have different lines, due to one being a live betting system), I am often betting on a game twice, which artificially inflates my win percentage.
I also made a mistake in the math on my spreadsheet, that was causing my bet/risk amounts to increase much faster than normal. I discovered the error yesterday (Sunday) morning, and corrected the bet amounts. Future growth won’t be as fast as this last week’s was, and I’m okay with that.
Alright, so let’s get down to it.
I made a total of 70 bets. I won 53 of them, and lost 17, giving me a 75.7% win percentage. Awesome. I put $1,379 into action (this is the cumulative total of all the money that I risked over the week; I didn’t risk that much on any given day), and made a net profit of $743.26. I produced an ROI of 53.9%. Like I said, if I could produce that every week, I would be retired by now.
I made the most money from the NBA this week, with the NFL providing the highest ROI.
I like seeing how each individual sportsbook does for me. I have a theory that I want to test over time, but I’ll need much more data before I can do that. My theory is that certain sportsbooks will either consistently win or lose me money, so I’m curious how this will play out over thousands of bets.
BetOnline made me the most money, while Bovada provided the highest ROI. Bovada is an absolutely great sportsbook for betting the dogs.
I have 3 systems that I created, and I’ve named them FP, PR, and LB. I’m also betting MMA picks from a handicapper that I pay for. There are 2 additional handicappers that I am interested in trying their picks, but I want to wait about 3 months before doing that.
I only had 2 bets this week, and they both won. My FP system doesn’t always produce a lot of bets, but they win at a pretty high rate. The ROI (listed under ‘Return’) is incredible at 177.14%, but that’s only because I used a free-play (a deposit bonus). I’m just about out of my free-play bonuses, with the exception of one sportsbook, so my ROI will be much more realistic in future weeks. I made a net profit of $38.97.
Amazing week. Out of 26 bets, I had 21 winners, producing an 86.47% ROI, and a net profit of $364.04. There is no way that is sustainable, but I’ll fully enjoy it while it’s being given to me.
Also a really great week. My LB system is my Live Betting system. It does overlap with the PR system. It’s actually the same system, but sometimes with the Live Betting system, some of the plays are eliminated. Out of 21 total bets, 16 won, for a 76.2% win percentage, producing an ROI of 50.45%, and a net profit of $199.78. Simply amazing.
I am currently paying for one handicapper’s picks, and he’s very good. He doesn’t always win; he’s very streaky. He’s been losing for the past few months, and pretty much won it all back and made a profit this month. That’s just how sports betting goes sometimes.
Out of 21 picks, I won 14 of them, for a 66.7% win percentage. I put a total of $540 into action, and made a net profit of $140.47, giving me a 26.01% ROI.
Great handicappers are out there, you just have to find them.
Since this is my first week, the cumulative results are the same as my first week results, so there’s no need for me to repeat those.
Since I first started 7 days ago, I’ve made an average profit of $106.18 per day. That’s simply incredible, but I would be a fool to expect these kinds of results to continue. I’ve made a total of 70 bets, for an average of 10 bets per day. Those results are skewed, because a lot of bets come in on the weekends, primarily because the MMA handicapper I use releases a lot of picks on fight nights (typically Friday and Saturday nights).
I’m very excited about these results, even as atypical as I know they are. But still, what an incredible way to kick this experiment off. I can’t wait to see how the results level off as the losing streaks come. I know, it sounds kind of messed up; I’m actually anticipating the losing streak.
I know what all my data shows me, but data and money in the bank are 2 entirely different things. 2 years from now, my goal is to be able to quit my job and live entirely from sports betting, and the income that this blog generates. One week down, 103 to go.
I'm going to guess that you're not a math genius (that's okay, neither am I).
There's nothing wrong with that most of us aren't.
There's also many sports fans who seem to know every stat, about every player, on every team, and they think that their knowledge is going to give them the edge needed to beat the sportsbooks.
It won't. The line already includes every bit of knowledge they have.
Sure, they'll have their winning streaks, and that causes them to wonder if they could actually do this for a living.
To those people, the answer is NO! They will not be able to make a living betting on sports.
If knowledge of the game was all you needed, there wouldn't be anybody working at ESPN, FOX Sports, or SKY; they'd all be rich from staying home and just betting on the games.
So for the rest of us who aren't delusional die-hard sports fans or math geniuses, that leaves us with the option of paying professionals for their opinions. These professionals are either called handicappers, touts or tipsters, depending on where you live in the world.
This blog is about my experiment to see if I can make a living just from betting on sports.
I'm not rich, so I still have a day job.
I'm starting with a $2,000 bankroll that I will be depositing into various sportsbooks.
One of the systems that I use (I developed it myself) is a live betting system, and BetOnline has one of the best live betting platforms (with decent limits) for Americans.
I will start off using the following sportsbooks:
They're all pretty much the same. They all pay fast, they all offer plenty of different wagering options. Most of them accept Americans and have great welcome and reload bonuses (only Pinnacle doesn't).
I have my reasons for having accounts at each of them. There are a few other European sportsbooks I will be creating accounts at eventually, because they offer a lot more bets for soccer.
For now, I'm sticking with the above sportsbooks.
Since none of my bets are any stronger than the others, I will be betting them all for the same amount.
Some handicappers release plays for multiple units, but I strictly bet the same amount on all bets. Therefore, the records I report for those handicappers will be slightly different than what they have.
I don't know how they pick their games, so I don't know if they rate their games based on a mathematical edge, or just how strongly they feel about the game. For this reason, I flat bet the same amount (level stakes).
The only time I would consider following a handicapper's unit rating system is if I knew that the picks came from a model, and the unit rating was directly related to what percent edge that pick had.
I will be betting to risk 1% of my bankroll, and this number will change daily. My spreadsheet keeps track of this for me, and tells me how much I should be risking per bet.
I will be as transparent as I can be. I will be tracking everything with a spreadsheet, and will be sharing those results with you.
I will be doing a weekly update post, and my weeks run from Monday to Sunday.
I have 3 systems that I developed myself. I probably won't ever reveal what they are, but they are definitely profitable.
I will also be purchasing picks from a few different handicappers that I trust and that have been in business for years.
Let's face it, most handicappers give the entire industry a bad name.
They're mediocre at best, but they're absolutely great at marketing, and manipulating your emotions.
They want you to think that something is wrong with you, and that you can't win without their advice.
They tout seemingly incredibly winning percentages (which are either extremely cherry-picked subsets of their bets), or more than likely, just outright lies), and frequently have Game of the Year bets every weekend.
They advise you to bet 10 units, or 10-20% of your bankroll on their plays. This is a quick way to lose all of your money. If you regularly risk more than 3% of your bankroll per bet, you WILL have to reload at some point. It's a mathematical certainty.
It's only a matter of when, not if. It will happen.
A lot of them say they have insider information, or used to play the game, or used to be a coach, or try to use trends, weather, or even "bad" game schedules (like east coast teams having to fly to the west coast for a late night game and then back the next day for an early game).
It's really no wonder they have such bad reputations.
Unfortunately, sports bettors fall for their scams every day, and then once they lose their money, they swear off handicappers for life, and never end up making money from betting on sports.
Obviously, I won't be using any of these types of handicappers. I have my own criteria that I'll be using to pick which handicappers that I'll be buying picks from.
I know that by restricting handicappers to the above criteria, I remove most of them. I’m fine with that. I’m incredibly picky about who I go into business with. You should never do business with a handicapper that you’ve never researched or never heard of before. They don’t have insider information. There are very few reliable betting models that work, so you have to go with professionals that use one of these models.
If you’re bored and you get a tout on the phone, try asking him how he gets his picks. What model does he use; how is he actually determining who is going to win the bet (whether money line, spread, total or 1st half)? Does he make his own lines and then look for discrepancies in the published lines (I wouldn’t ask a handicapper this directly, as they can simply say yes and that’s pretty much it)? Ask him what his ROI is over his last 1,000 picks. His winning percentage doesn’t matter. ROI is all that matters. You’re looking for somewhere around a 5% ROI, plus or minus a few points either way. Ask him if he assigns a rating to his picks (some of them refer to this as stars, units, dimes, etc), or if he bets everything for the same amount.
I know that people make money from betting on sports – and not just the sportsbooks. I know that my systems produce winning picks. I want to eventually quit my job and be able to bet on sports for a living, supplementing that with income produced by this blog.
I know that it will take at least a couple of years before I can hope to produce an income that I can live on. Since I’m starting with a $2,000 bankroll, my bets will be very small in the beginning. I will add more money to my bankroll as I can afford to do so, but $2,000 is what I’m starting with.
I want to be able to prove to people that the sportsbooks do not always win. It will take discipline and consistency, but I want to be able to prove that yes … you can make a living by betting on sports.