Antoine de Saint–Exupéry once said that “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. That holds true in life and everything else. Failing to plan is planning to fail and I would say that without a plan for your sports betting is paramount to your success.
Yes indeed, a goal without a plan is just a wish and you would be surprised at just how many potential customers don’t have any sort of plan whatsoever.
That my friend is a recipe for disaster.
We’ve put together a series of questions in order to help you formulate a sports betting plan that will hopefully lead you to success.
Why Sports Betting?
Sports betting is a difficult proposition and my first question for any potential customer is why you want to bet in the first place?
Are you looking for a supplementary income? Retirement money? Maybe you want to afford a fancy vacation or maybe purchase a second home? Notable and worthy reasons for sure and identifying these reasons is the first step on the journey.
How Much Money Are You Willing to Risk?
It takes money to make money and you will need to figure out exactly how much money you are unafraid to lose without being upset and use that money to fund your bankroll.
The reason we say “unafraid” to lose is that sports betting is an extremely volatile business. We’re wagering on games involving human beings and losing streaks can last for a month or more.
Once you come up with that number then you can come up with a money management system best suited for your individual needs.
How much time do you have to reach your goals or better yet how quickly do you need the money to reach your goals?
If you are looking for a short-term fix for your money woes or looking at sports betting as a “get-rich-quick-scheme” then you are looking in the wrong venue to arrive at your goals.
Sports betting is a daily grind and depending on your goals, it could take YEARS for you to achieve your goals. Do you have that kind of time?
Now that you’ve answered the questions above your next step is to come up with a system to manage your money. There are a couple of them out there and you can read all about them HERE.
Bankroll management is the NUMBER ONE key to this entire thing and failing to plan for this is a sure-fire way to fail at sports betting.
Where to Make Wagers
Currently, 15 American States allow for online or in-person sports betting and unless you live in one of those states listed HERE, you are doing something illegal. While you may not suffer any penalties if caught you still stand the risk of legal trouble and you have to decide if sports betting illegally is even worth it.
There are plenty of online sportsbooks to choose from and you need to find the best available sportsbook for you and that will require some work in order to find that book.
How much is the juice or vigorish? A standard Against the Spread line for NBA hoops is -110, meaning the books are going to take roughly ten bucks on a $100 dollar wager. I would always look for -110 or less and you’ll need to compare a few of the books along with their payout prices in order to find the best one.
Many successful sports betting sharps have accounts at several books in order to find the best prices as well as the best online bonuses. Read THIS post to help you find the best bonus for you to enjoy.
Making sports betting picks is easy and we suspect many out there are merely flipping coins and hoping for the best.
On most days, Cash with Flash spends about two hours per pick each and every day and while your mileage may certainly vary, most pros we know spend a couple of hours researching in the morning and another 45 minutes or so prior to making their wagers for the day.
Sports Betting requires time and if you don’t have the time that it takes to adequately research a wager then you’ll likely need to hire a professional.
Like any other business in the world, there are good sports betting handicappers as well as bad ones and you’ll need to find the best one for all of your needs.
This is an excerpt from Phil’s book Betting Baseball 101: Winning at the Sports Books and Daily Fantasy Baseball that we hope will help you find the best situation just for you!
Sorting Through the Noise
It doesn’t matter what you are into these days, everyone and their mother seems to have an opinion about everything, and the internet has made it so that anyone and their mother can share those opinions.
Some opinions are well thought out and articulate; others are just noise and the sports handicapping world isn’t any different.
Follow Twitter or Instagram for any length of time and you will quickly discover multiple accounts “touting” free picks to whoever follows them.
They brag constantly about how many “units” they and their customers are winning on a daily basis yet never seem to lose.
Some tout “20 Unit Plays” and plays of the day that amount to nothing more than flipping a coin and landing on a team.
Others offer fifty percent of the customers one side of the game while offering the rest of their customers the opposite team in order to always be at least 50 percent right. The law of averages in this scenario allows for just enough winning customers to appear legit.
Others sell “lock of the day” and “lock of the decade” picks and sometimes guarantee their pick with a free pick if for some reason the lock of whatever doesn’t pan out.
So much for a lock of the day, right?
It’s easy to get led astray by these unscrupulous characters but the best way to avoid being scammed is to learn how to handicap baseball games for yourself.
There are also legitimate handicappers providing a wide array of services and these are the ones we should be focusing on. These handicappers are seasoned professionals and know what they are doing and not just flipping coins.
Handicapper or Gambler
So there is no confusion, I think it’s important that we define our terms here. Not all handicappers are gamblers and not all gamblers are handicappers. There is a difference between the two and to avoid getting burned we need to be able to recognize one from another.
What is a Sports Handicapper?
A sports handicapper is someone who studies and predicts the outcome of professional sporting events.
Usually, a handicapper tells you why he or she believes a certain way and can describe their reasoning for their prediction with stats and or trends.
There are two types of handicappers. Those would be general handicappers and specialists.
General handicappers are usually people who can handicap more than one sport or sports. I’m considered a general handicapper because I can handicap more than one sport. This is my full-time profession and I have proven success finding an edge in each sport or contest that I am asked to handicap.
There are two types of specialists; there are in-season only specialists and full-time specialists.
In Season Specialist
These handicappers work a sport for an entire season and that’s the only sport that they will do. NCAA Football specialists will only focus on the NCAA season from beginning to end and then move onto another sport.
These types of specialists are involved in their sport of choice 24/7 and there isn’t much that escapes them. When the season is finished, they do the same in another sport.
These are handicappers that only focus on one sport and they are studying this sport 365 days per year. There aren’t many full-time specialists these days but finding one of these handicappers is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
There isn’t a single thing about a specific team they don’t know and this kind of knowledge and dedication to one sport isn’t easy to find.
There isn’t any proof that one is better than the others. There are three types of handicapping styles that I know of. For the record, I’m more of a stats guy but I do combine the best of all three when offering selections to my customers.
In this style, the handicapper uses stats as the primary basis for making the picks that they make. There isn’t a certain formula and no two handicappers are alike and no two handicappers use the same stats to find an edge. In the next chapter, I share the stats that I use to reach the conclusions I reach.
In this style, it’s all about one team and how they have played historically and how they have fared against the team they are playing on that day. Just like people, there are no two trends alike, and learning to separate good trends from bad trends is an art all to itself.
A good trend will look something like this; “X team is 5-0 against the spread with one day’s rest”.
A bad trend will look like “X team is 7-0 against the spread when the opponent scores more than 100 points in their previous game”.
These are handicappers that arrive at their conclusions based solely on specific situations. They will use “revenge spots”, “the schedule”, “rivalries”, “home and away” and whatever else they can find to help them reach an opinion on the outcome of a sporting event.
Hopefully, the situational handicapper has more than just the “revenge factor” when reaching an opinion and the best situational handicappers often do provide stats to support their opinion.
Most handicappers I know use a combination of all three of these styles and I am one of them. I would never use just one style to reach my conclusions and I hope that you won’t either.
A gambler is someone who wagers something tangible on games of chance. It doesn’t matter how they reach the conclusions that they do, these folks make wagers in the hope of making money.
The Handicapping vs Gambler Myth
Not all handicappers are gamblers and vice versa.
Some handicappers don’t live in an area where sports betting is legal while others prefer to handicap games and let someone else take the risk with the handicapper’s conclusions.
It isn’t necessary for a handicapper to stake his own money behind his or her picks. That’s a myth that doesn’t have much in common with reality.
Some handicappers stake their reputations behind their picks by signing their real names to their predictions. A good reputation is hard to come by in this business and wagering one’s reputation on the daily is no small matter.
This chapter is all about sorting through the noise and here are a few things to look for when choosing who to put your hard-earned money behind.
Track Record is Important
This is probably the most important thing to look for in a sports handicapper. You obviously want someone who wins more than they lose, and you want them to be able to prove it.
Most handicappers on the internet offer links and spreadsheets of all their picks and willingly provide this information for anyone who asks.
Betting slips are nice but can be altered and therefore not as trustworthy as a link to a website and a corresponding spreadsheet with their picks.
Obviously, longevity is important but the handicapper in question should have records dating back to at least one year if not more. They should be able to provide a success rate with a minimum of 53 percent for an entire year. If they can’t then maybe this is noise better left avoiding.
Handicappers will need a 52.4 percent success rate just to break even on -110 bets and the best way to examine how well a handicapper is actually doing is the number of units won or lost in correlation with his or her winning percentage so be sure to ask for both.
National TV and Radio Appearances
I’m not talking about the guys and gals either hosting their own show or starring on one daily. Those folks are contracted people and not just there for their sports handicapping prowess. I avoid those handicappers like the plague.
The type of handicapper I’m talking about is the one’s radio and TV producers seek out as knowledgeable guests. These handicappers aren’t on the program because they have the right “look” or are “funny” or whatever; they are on the program because they get their picks right and the listeners and viewers are winning money. Follow these people on social media; listen to them whenever they are on the air and you will likely have some success with their picks because they win often.
It seems like everywhere you look someone is offering a free pick of the day or something like that. Not all free picks are equal, and we need to be careful with these.
Usually, but not always, top sports handicappers will either offer a free pick on their own website or are invited to make free picks for a website in exchange for the opportunity to promote the handicapper’s paid services.
The top sports betting websites are where you want to find these guys, but we don’t want to just follow anyone blindly.
There are usually three types of handicappers offering free picks and we will identify each of these for you.
1). The Sportswriter Trying to Pay Their Bills
This is especially true now that sports betting is becoming legal in more and more of the 50 states in America. Websites are popping up and paying folks to handicap games but not all the “handicappers” are actual sports handicappers.
The content directors have too many games and while some sites don’t pay enough to attract a big-name handicapper, they do pay enough for a sportswriter to pick up some extra cash. These writers are easy to spot as they usually adhere to maybe one of the three handicapping styles described earlier in this section and often recommend favorites of more than -200. Their goal isn’t to be a handicapper but to pay their bills and I generally leave them alone when I spot them.
2). The Handicapper Building Their Brand
Everyone must begin somewhere, and most handicappers get their start by handicapping for well-known sites, and usually, these picks are free.
These handicappers will employ at least two of the three handicapping styles and they will try hard to convince you just how good they are.
Obviously, some are very good while others are still a work in progress.
The best thing to do with these handicappers is to follow them for a minimum of sixty days and chart their picks before investing hard-earned money behind their suggestions. I would recommend charting at least five handicappers from a website or sites and go with the most successful ones and discard the rest.
3). The Well-Known Handicapper Fishing for Business
Top handicappers with known brands and websites will often exchange a free pick for the opportunity to attract new customers. Usually, these handicappers will make one of two free picks a week for a website and these are the ones you want to pay close attention to.
These handicappers care about getting new business and they want to get the pick right so there is a good chance the play they suggest pans out. Otherwise, they don’t make any money and could damage their reputation.
I love these free picks and sometimes use them as a “sounding board” against my own picks. Maybe something was missed in my process and it never hurts to check your homework against someone with a solid reputation.
Watch Out for Fee-Based Social Media Handicappers
There are 100’s of fee-based accounts out there all promising to deliver “locks” and whatever else based on some sort of sketchy track record.
Many of these accounts aren’t linked to any credible website and oftentimes are operated under the veil of anonymity.
These aren’t to be confused with credible websites and handicappers utilizing social media to feed their families.
What I’m talking about here are handicappers anonymously tied to nothing more than a social media account.
You want nothing to do with these people ever. Maybe one out of ten might be legit but why take a chance on someone with little motivation to do the right thing?
Handicappers Offering Lock of the Day Picks
Locks belong on doors and there is no such thing as a “lock” in sports betting. Anyone who tries to sell you a “lock of whatever” pick should be avoided like the plague.
Handicappers and Sports Handicapping services are everywhere offering all sorts of daily, weekly, monthly and per sport at a wide array of prices.
Whatever package you eventually decide on, consider the cost of the package and include that cost in whatever your potential return of investment might be.
You want to decide if whoever you hire is going to give you the most bang for your buck and you do this by figuring out what kind of gambler you are.
If your unit price is ten dollars or less, chances are you want to hire someone who has a decent package of at least twenty picks per week.
You obviously can’t play every pick at ten dollars a pop so what you want to do is go with your picks based on your own handicapping and pair them with the highest rated plays of your chosen handicapper.
Do this long enough and two things are likely to happen;
1). You will build your bankroll to the point you can hire an even better handicapper or,
2). You will decide to go it on your own and handicap your own games without anyone’s help at all.
Like anything else, a failure to plan is planning to fail and you’ll need a real plan if you want to be successful at sports betting. We hope that you take this information and use it to find the best sports betting situation for you.
Cash with Flash Best Bets has several pricing plans and packages available to suit all of your needs. Anyone can sign-up for a day, week, or month package (VIP Packages are discretionary) and I hope that your sports betting experience is a fruitful one!