- Make A Living Sports Betting Introduction
- Why People Not Consider Sports Gambling for a Living?
- Is Gambling So Bad Compared with Investing?
- (1) Advantage Play – Matched Betting Assessment
- (2) Advantage Play – Sports Arbitrage Assessment
- (3) Advantage Play – Value Betting Assessment
- Make A Living Sports Betting – Conclusions
Make A Living Sports Betting Introduction
Can I make a living off sports betting?
Whether people can make living sports betting or not is a long-disputed subject, and discussed everywhere like gambling forums or sports betting for a living Reddit.
There are 2 obvious facts. The first fact is that there exist people who live off of sports betting/gambling. The 2nd fact is such people are not many.
Have you ever watched the movie of professional gamblers’ story “The Hustler”? Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson plays the lead role. His dream is to prove himself as the best pool player by beating the most renowned player of all times, Minnesota Fats.
From the perspective of how to make money gambling, the essence of this movie is what Bert Gorden played by George C. Scott said (see the script image).
Yes, “Character”. Eddie was beaten by Fats due to the lack of the Character but finally, beat Fats because Eddie got the Character. This character can be interpreted as “Emotional Toughness” in this movie.
There are 2 types of people who bet on sports. Recreational Punter who bet for fun as a hobby with the hope of winning. On the other hand, Non-Casual Punter bet seriously for living or at least Not only for fun.
I said people who can make a living sports betting is not many. It’s supposed to be far less than 5% of sports bettors who constantly win and they are called “Sharp”.
We don’t know if such 5% Sharp bettors can make ends meet with just sports betting but at least they don’t lose to the sportsbooks.
The rest 95% of recreational punters lose in the long run.
What makes the difference between the 2 punters? Yes, “Character”. And if you become a part of 5% with the Character, you may have a chance to make a living off sports betting.
Sharp Uses Advantage Plays to make a living through sports betting
Many professional gamblers don’t actually gamble which we define Count On Chance. Instead, they do advantage plays based on mathematical edge to beat the bookies.
That’s exactly what we do based on our policy of Betting On Luck is for Losers, Stop Gamble Betting But Bet on Only the +EV (Expected Value) To Win Reliably, and it’s effectively our way to promote Responsible Gambling under the regulation. Needless to say, we strongly support GamCare being explained in about us.
We have 6 advantage plays though in sports betting, we use (1) Matched Betting (2) Sports Arbitrage (3) Value Bets On Proven Systems / Tipsters to lock in a profit or consistently earn extra income reliably for the long-term.
Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to assess if it is really possible to make a living in sports betting by examining the above (1) – (3) sports advantage plays.
Can our Assessment on Live Off Sports Betting Apply Anywhere in the World?
The sports betting we discuss in this document is online betting. Then, some of you may wonder if betting online is legitimate in your country or you can physically access online betting sites.
Don’t Worry, we have issued;
In Short, except for 8 Countries (Cyprus, Poland, North Korea, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia) where on-line gamble is legally prohibited, all of you can make a profit from the 3 sports betting Advantage Plays we examine in this document.
BTW, we encourage all of our members to use the world’s best offshore sportsbooks, which make you far less worried about any account restriction than European, especially the notorious UK bookies, just FYI.
So let’s get down to the real subject.
Why People Not Consider Sports Gambling for a Living?
Firstly, see the below table (sourced from Statista ) showing the number of money people lose through gambling.
In the US, the loss accounts for around 0.6% of the whole nation’s GNP. Whatever the American Gambling Association says or justifies, it’s a huge amount.
No wonder people perceive gambling as a loser’s game and never even think about chances to make a living from betting;
However, there are clear common reasons why people lose in gambling. As the later video explains there are the following 4 basic traits that ordinary punters can’t manage;
- Greed (when loose try to recover quickly when win try to earn more & faster)
- Don’t Manage Bankroll Properly (some use 20% < out of the total money per bet)
- Willing To Gamble (take long odds thus very risky)
- Undisciplined (can’t stick to the original strategy)
Well, many of you think these are cliche, but, without exceptions, losers fall into at least one of these – these are the part of the factors described as “Character” before.
And advantage players have the Character.
Is Gambling So Bad Compared with Investing?
BTW, have you ever wondered what is the difference between Investing & Gambling?
There have also been numerous arguments over this subject. One of the most logical & simple explanation is to measure the Certainty of Profit or Loss Outcomeas illustrated in the below diagram;
The certainty of the outcome is expressed as the Level of Probability to gain profit. EV (Expected Value) which, simply put an average profit or loss, is the most straightforward & best way to measure it.
The higher the certainty of Positive EV, the better chance you can live off of the method due to the stronger level of return stability.
Assessment Of Positive / Negative EV Certainty
In the above breakdown of the Investment / Gambling spectrum, needless to say, Lottery’s EV (Expected Value) is the lowest.
Its EV is always negative. According to a business insider, the $450 million Powerball Jackpot lottery’s EV is – $1.37 per ticket. This means you lose an average $1.37 when you buy a $2 ticket, so the loss accounts for 68% out of your investment.
This terrible return applies to all lotteries.
When it comes to the Casino games, there is House Edge you can’t mathematically overcome.
It’s the margin casinos build in all through the games, and as long as the house edge exists the EV is negative. The % of the house edge depends on the game.
According to The Wizard of Odds, it ranges between the lowest 0.3% of Blackjack and 25% of Keno. The American Roulette is 5.6%, means if you stake $100 on Roulette you will lose an average $5.6.
Don’t misunderstand the above comment. Always Variance comes in, thus you are not necessary to lose $5.6 whenever you bet $100 but the more you bet the closer to this number the loss will be.
Say, if you stake $10,000 x 1 or $5,000 x 2, you may win a lot or lose everything, this is due to Variance. However you play $100 x 100 or $10 x 1,000 times, then you will quite likely lose $560.
That’s how the mathematics of EV works based on the Law of Large Numbers (LLN).
There is a poker game you compete with a machine called video poker. It could be a part of casino games though, interestingly just a handful of video poker that is Full Pay Deuce Wild Poker gives Player Edge 0.77%.
This means you have the edge and you will make a 0.77% profit average in the long-term, the Positive EV.
When you talk about the Poker Competition, it’s a skewed Skill and this is the category where you can create Positive EV as long as you follow the poker mathematical logic. The below video from splitsuit.poker shows the EV concept application to Poker;
Financial Products – Equity (Stock) & Fixed Income (Bond)
What about financial products which are usually perceived as investment such as Equity (Stock) or Bond (Fixed Income)?
Annual Returns on Stock, T.Bonds and T.Bills: 1928 – Current shows S&P 500 (US Stock Index) average is 11.41% while 10-year T-Bond is 5.23%.
However, when it comes to the standard deviation (fluctuation of return), of course, Stock is much higher.
According to CFA Digest, stocks are about 3 times more volatile than bonds on average. This means the certainty of outcome in Positive return of Fixed Income is surely higher than Stock.
The below chart is just giving you how the magnitude of the difference of volatility between these 2 asset classes are (sourced from Market Realist);
Where Can our 3 Sports Betting Advantage Play Be Positioned?
Then, where should we place Sports Betting?
Some of you may have noticed that the fundamental difference between Lottery / Casino and Equity / Fixed Income is whether you are controlled by the house or not.
Lottery & Casino is a Zero Sum game and the winning rate is controlled by the organizer or house. If you compete with the house under such circumstance it’s impossible to win in long-term.
On the other hand, Equity / Fixed Income is not Zero-Sum but as long as the underlying products perform well you can win endlessly.
When it comes to Sports Betting, we compete with bookmakers in Zero Sum world. Yes, they are our enemies. And off-course they have built-in margin called Over-round (or Vigorish or Juice), which is up to 10%.
With this business model, the giant UK bookies are making record profits as Bet365;
Means, theoretically you will lose the over-round % in the long run, then it can be positioned between Casino and Equity.
However, bear it in mind that Casino is basically governed by the law of probability (when you throw dice, the probability of 1 is always 1/6) but Sports Betting is largely governed by Knowledge, Data & Skill (nobody can accurately predict Barcelona’s next win % against Real Madrid). For these particular points, you may want to see Beat the Bookies Nicely By Knowing How They Make Money.
Besides, once the bookmakers’ bonus/various promotional offers come in, we will see a completely different picture.
The level of certainty of Positive EV will become very high, effectively 100%.
Bottom line, when we apply advantage plays into these 2 areas of Bonus Offers and Skill-Based, we can Turn Bookmakers’ Edge into Our Edge, therefore the certainty of our 3 sports betting methods can be higher than investing.
Then, let’s examine how that can enable you to make a living advantage play.
(1) Advantage Play – Matched Betting Assessment
Let’s start up with Matched Betting which makes the best use of Bonus (Free Bets) / Promotional Offers provided by bookmakers.
Matched betting is a conceptually very simple technique and the easiest sports bet to win. We cover all the outcomes of the sports event by backing at the bookmaker and laying at the betting exchange (or among bookies if you use Dutching method).
Since backing stake at a bookmaker is free bets, it is a Guaranteed Profit with 100% Risk-Free.
For those who are not familiar with Matched Betting, suggest going through Matched Betting For Dummies.
People generally rake thousands of £/€/$ only from bookmakers’ welcome (sign-up) bonus. Sadly, some matched bettors believe matched betting is all about the welcome bonuses and neglect all the subsequent offers. Actually, the real tasty part is the abundance of Reload bonuses for existing players.
You can continuously make a decent solid income as long as you can manage to keep your account alive (the biggest obstacle for matched betting is the bookmaker’s account restriction called “Gubbing” which I will talk about later).
Remember, matched betting is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chances, so you always get a Positive EV.
Therefore, we position matched betting at the right end in the above gambling/investment spectrum because it is even more certain outcome than fixed incomes.
Bond still has various risks such as interest, credit or inflation but a large part of matched betting is absolutely risk-free with instant guaranteed profit – people call it easy bet to win money.
Living Evidence – Full Time Sports Betting
Let’s examine if people can make a living matched betting. Probably the best way to examine is using Profit Accumulator (PA) case.
PA is one of the most popular matched betting premium subscription services with over 20,000 members in the UK. The members’ average monthly income from the matched betting is said to be around £1,000. See Profit Accumulator Full Review – Should We Believe 20,000 members’ Earning Claim? for full details.
At the end of the above review report, you will find the section of “Going Full Time”.
In the private forum of PA, there is a thread of that subject and people actively discuss the possibility of making matched betting full time.
Let me share the below member’s comment I included in the report;
I can’t conclude that you can make a living full-time sports betting with matched betting just due to only this evidence.
However, as Profit Accumulator’s founder says
It’s the fact that if you can make a strong commitment, the opportunity surely exists.
Anyhow, the best way to examine is you yourself try it. You can go to our GEM Matched Betting Instruction Index, which is all Free.
One of the benefits to use them is 0% Betting Exchange Commission thanks to their partnership with Smarkets, Matchbook & Betdaq (this report shows all top 4 betting exchange latest sign-up offers & how to extract cash risk-free from each offer).
Only with this, you can cover years of their subscription fee. When it comes to which service you should take, check our Comparison of these 3 services & software, which will help you decide the best-fitted one to you.
Risk Management – Gubbing (Account Restriction)
As briefly mentioned, the largest hurdle to your sustainable matched betting is the bookmaker’s account limitation called Gubbing.
Actually, it’s just a matter of time before most of the soft bookies limit your account if you do matched betting without any precautionary actions. Therefore, we have prepared the following 2 guides;
(2) Advantage Play – Sports Arbitrage Assessment
In the Gambling / Investment Spectrum, I place Sports Arbitrage in the same position as matched betting. The risk-free mechanism of matched betting which covers all the outcomes by back & lay was originated by arbitraging.
However, arbitrage betting doesn’t use bookmakers’ bonuses but take advantage of inefficiencies in the market including the bookmakers’ mistakes or slow adjustment of the odds etc.
Theoretically, it’s No Risk and one of the most powerful & famous advantages plays.
Given the extremely short life of the arbing opportunity in the market, nowadays it’s almost impossible to make it manually. You will definitely need very sophisticated software to make a serious profit.
So far, the industry’s number one software is Rebel Betting. You will find more about it in Rebel Betting Full review – The Truth about World Best Sports Arbitrage Software.
So, can we live off Sports Arbitrage?
There is 1 famous arbitrager in the UK. His name is Mr. Alan Seymour. Alan started Sports Arbitrage in 2002 and published his quarterly trading account in his blog up to the end of 2015. That’s one way to answer the standard question of how much can sports arbitrage make? See the below image;
He raised his trading capital up to £75,000 and achieved around £25,000 quarterly net profit. Means £100,000 / year. Obviously, it’s more than enough income for ordinary people to manage their life.
I once communicated with him. Although I could not get a clear answer on how he had been able to get around without being restricted/limited by most of the bookies, I didn’t get the impression that he exaggerated his trading figures.
Currently, his site seems to be dormant and his e-mail address of firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t work, so looks his arbitrage trading is no longer active. But 14 years of lucrative trading from 2002 up to 2015 is absolutely stunning.
However, again, I can’t conclude if Sports Arbitrage is the method allowing you to make ends meet with just this example.
One sure thing is that nowadays, bookies are so sensitive about arbers and they usually limit arbitragers’ accounts much earlier than matched bettors’.
Having said that, I would personally not suggest going full-time with it.
(3) Advantage Play – Value Betting Assessment
So far, 2 advantage plays are risk-free because they are hedged betting.
We are now moving on to the Not-Risk-Free Advantage Play – Value Betting by Proven Software Finder) / Top Tipsters (Handicappers) / System.
Firstly, let’s review what we need to gain decent earnings (means the amount ordinary people can make ends meet) in numbers.
Make Living Sports Betting – in Numbers
So, how much do professional sports bettors make? There are several studies. We will examine based on the following assumptions;
- The probability of 50%: 50% is a break-even point, which is transformed into decimal odds of 2.0. However, given the bookmaker’s say 10% of built-in margin (called over-round or vigorish or juice), the actual odds at a bookmaker is 1.91 (in fractional format 10/11, and -110 for money line).
- These 1.91 odds are a 52.4% of probability of the outcome, therefore you need a 52.4% winning rate rather than 50% to achieve break-even. So it’s a betting Magic Number. Bookmaker’s margin unfairly forced you to win a 2.4% more rate to achieve equal return (means you win the exact amount of your own stake). Well, from a different perspective, you don’t need any unrealistic winning rate like 70% or 80% to be profitable as often advertised by rogue tipsters. You need only 52.4%, and anything over than that is your profit.
- In this examination, set 57% as the winning target.
- The bankroll set to start (Initial capital) is $1,000
- The bet Amount per game is $50 (5% of your total bankroll)
- The average number of games you need per day is 2.
- The above 1. – 5. set produces around 7% net return per week, 28% per month, and 336% per year respectively.
- Employ Compound Interest mechanism based on the above 28% monthly rate, your $1,000 bankroll would become nearly $80,000 in 2 years.
The 1st concern is the compounding & stake limit. If follow the above process with compound mechanics and increase your bankroll to $20,000 after 1 year, your every bet would become over $1,000 (5% of total bankroll) and exponentially increase afterward.
In practice, you will find no bookmakers that can keep accepting such high-rollers’ bet except a few.
Anyhow, let’s assume you stop compounding when you reach $20,000 bankroll, and bet $1,000 for each game, then;
- Total bets / year = around 700
- Winning rate 57%, so You have 399 win (700 x 57%) & 301 lose (700 x 43%)
- Add 10% losing bet as a margin of the bookmakers, so the final loss to be 301 x 1.1 = 331
- The net winning bets numbers is 399 – 331 = 68
- Your total winning $ Amounts is $1,000 (this is your stake per bet and also the winning amount because you basically bet 2.0 odds bet) x 68 winning games = $68,000
It’s well over the GDP per Capita in the United States which is equivalent to 408 percent of the world’s average. You would agree that this amount is surely enough to spend a decent life. 57% Winning Rate
The 2nd concern is the 57% winning rate. Is it something everybody can achieve?
The video assumes we get 100% winning amount of our original bet amount when we win (namely 2.0 decimal odds).
However, that’s the return we can expect under the magic break-even rate of 52.4%, therefore we have to achieve nearly 9% better (57% / 52.4) winning rate than the probability of outcome the actual odds at bookmaker suggests.
It doesn’t seem to be so easy as the video discusses. For this particular point, suggest you take a look at 3 Methods To Eliminate Fake Tipsters & Select Genuine Best, which gives you better insight into the winning rate.
You really have to locate the good Value Bets of which true value is different from the actual odds the bookmakers set, otherwise, you can’t beat the bookies’ odds.
It’s not impossible to go full-time sports betting. However, even by doing so, it takes a long time to develop your edge over the bookmakers in data collection, analysis, acute insight on the specialized sports category.
All of these may take years and you may lose a lot before you acquire that expertise.
Need 2 Things to Achieve Those Numbers
Theoretical numbers prove you will make living sports betting, but practically you must solve the above 2 concerns, so you need;
- Bookmakers that welcome Professional by accepting High Stake & not restricting Constant Winners
- Real Quality, means Proven Software (finder) / Tipsters (Handicappers) / System who can identify true Value Betting and suggest you in safe & practical way
You can see the information of A) & B) as follows;
A) Sharp Bookies Accepting High Stake & Not Restrict Winners
Bear it in mind that there are very few reputable bookmakers that accept Sharp (Professional) Punters.
We have prepared and regularly update the below lists;
Best Sharp Bookies
Let me just present you the following 5 bookies, which are supposed to be Best of Bests when it comes to Competitive Odds / High Stake Accept / Welcome Professionals / Extensive Market Coverage.
The “” icon underneath displays Full Contents;
Alternatively, you can use a Betting Exchange where you will never be restricted because they provide the only market place and you will not compete with the house but with other individual punters.
Note that what we use betting exchange in matched betting is LAY bet (net on “NOT win”) but here we use BACK bet (bet on win) which we do in bookmakers. The “” icon underneath displays Full Contents;
B) Proven Sports Betting Software / Tipsters (Handicappers) / System That Provide Average 57% Win Rate Tips
Let me put what we have reviewed in this way;
- The bookmakers have an edge of built-in margin but unlike casino where pure mathematics governs the sports betting is pretty much a skill-oriented game thus successful Software / Tipsters (Handicappers) / Systems turn their edge into ours
- Those proven methods can identify a True Value Bet in the form of UNDER-ROUND in the selected sports category where they have absolute skill edge for handicappers and all through the sports categories for software.
- These will result in Positive EV (Expected Value) which’s a mathematical formula to allow you to achieve average long-term profit.
- This +EV will be translated into the additional winning rate of 57%.
For further details of EV and its rationale, you may want to read the one I introduced at the beginning, especially the Value Bet section; 3 Advantage Gambling in Sports Betting – Guide For Ordinary People To Beat Bookies.
Most losers base their judgment on a subjective feel for the forthcoming event, relying on an inkling or a hunch about what may happen.
The quality software, system & skilled tipsters have huge advantages over the recreational bettor by finding “value” in the odds, where the true chance of a win is greater than that estimated by the bookmaker.
Many punters fail to appreciate the importance of value betting, preferring to subscribe to the “back winners, not losers” school of gambling, which will not make you win 57%.
We list the Following Programs that provide you with the proven sports betting software/choices of quality handicappers/systems;
Trademate is said to be a forerunner & most established Value Bet Finder Software and RebelBetting that is world no.1 arbitrage software company as already introduced extended their service into RebelBetting Value Betting;
- Both software are for players all over the world given their wide range of established bookmakers both soft & sharp
- Both software is trustworthy and world top quality.
- The key success factors are bank management (use Kelly Criterion) and place many bets as possible to avoid variance, the whole concept resorts to LLN (Law of Large Numbers).
- You will find more details of Value Betting Software & 2 of this software in Value Bets Finder – List Of The Best Value Odds Software.
Proven Tipsters (Handicappers)
SBC (Smart Betting Club)
SBC is said to be the Most Reputable Proofing as well as Tipster Rating service in the industry;
- Mainly For UK & European Punters Who bet Football & Horse Racing
- 85.1% of the subscribers reported they constantly beat bookies
- You will find the true value of the High-Quality Tipster Rating Service in our full review, take a look at Smart Betting Club Review – Inside Analysis Of Ultimate Sports Betting Method.
This betting system is often referred to in the discussion of “Make A Living Sports Betting” in various forums & Quora’s several threads. You get Computer Produced Tips & Human Experts’ Tips;
- For Punters All Over the World Who bet American Sports of NBA / MLB / NHL / NFL & More
- Probably one of the best sports investing software/systems with over 800 parameters analysis.
- Tens of successful systems such as NBA system / Tennis system / Line Reversal system
- You will find the details in ZCode Review – Full Inside Analysis / Founder Interview / Secret Of Winners Worldwide
- One of our GEM members turned $1,500 into $20,000 in 2 years via ZCode System, which was not luck at all but based on strict disciplined & strategy. He now earns an average of $3,000 / month from his betting bank, which pays all his daily expenses including mortgage (I’m not sure if he quit his daily job). Strongly suggest take a look at the below to report where you will find another model (very safe approach) of starting Value Betting at ZCode System;
Proven Betfair Trading System
Caan Berry who is the most reputable Betfair Trading experts produced the article of “6 Full-Time Betfair Traders Answer 3 Questions Exclusively…”
, which will give you some good insight on how real pros use Betting Exchange for living.
You may want to visit Betfair Trading system prepared by Caan Berry who produces Best Selling Betfair Training System including Betfair Scalping technique etc. The 3 Simple Horse Racing Trading Strategies (for Betfair) is also very useful for you to understand how Betting Trading works.
See also the list of Caan Berry’s products.
Make A Living Sports Betting – Conclusions
It’s the facts that with an increasing number of web sites providing historical data & stats, more and more well-educated ordinary people started considering sports betting not only as a means of entertainment but also as a means of living.
The objective of this guide is to examine if people really can make living from sports betting and if so identify how we can. We assessed 3 advantage play sports betting methods and I will leave the final judgment to you.
Please read me correctly, I’m not personally supporting the notion to make a living sports betting, especially for long-term because your enemy bookmaker restricts your account if you take too many values from them.
Our GEM’s basic mission is to provide you with the safety methods to create EXTRA money, which means make such income On The Side for your rainy day.
We explained the detailed background & rationale behind this concept in this guide. If you have time, take a look.
However, unlike sports betting, you don’t need to worry about any account limitation imposed by the house for online Poker, which can be a long-term solution if you have a good commitment.
As said, we have separately issued Play Online Poker For A Living – The Most Practical Solution, which will give you a very good insight how much money you can realistically make from an online poker cash game. Just FYI.
Know Yourself – Mental Discipline
You don’t need physical toughness but need strong mental discipline. Allow me to remind you of the importance of the “Character” we talked about first.
The critical thing is to Know Yourself and fostering the proper “Character”.
As proven by numbers, you need only a 57% win rate. This means you are allowed to lose 43%. However loosing in nearly half of betting can be quite tough experiences for some people, and feel intolerable.
Pinnacle writer describes it Patience (as explained before Pinnacle is a must bookmaker for professional punters, so again strongly suggest see our Pinnacle full review, if you’re serious about sports betting).
Without patience, people quit early or do aggressive betting to recover loss quickly.
That’s why we keep stressing that you should Know Your Level of Tolerance and develop proper “Character” to control the basic 1. – 4. points defined at the beginning.
You need Character to ignore variance but focus on the long-term profit by believing the mathematical advantage expressed in +EV.
In case you don’t have confidence in building such character or disciple, strongly suggest concentrate in Matched Betting where you will find Risk Free Guaranteed Profit – basically, no lose.
Finally, there used to be a mystery lady called Maria Santonix who created Maria Laying System. Let me excerpts its brief history from sportstradinglife;
She consistently put her selections up on the board in good time before the racing began and the actual selections and strike rate was never in doubt. Many people cast doubt over the true identity of Maria Santonix. Some said it was a man called Adrian Massey who owned a well-known horse racing website at the time.
The only images available by Maria online are heavily edited so you can not clearly see her. Remember, in 2005 sites such as Facebook were not even invented yet so having your picture online wasn’t as easy or as common as it is today. Therefore, the fact there are no images available of Maria does not mean she is a fake. Sadly, the original thread has been deleted however you can still see the part of it from an internet archive website. Sportstradinglife
There are many skeptics but the fact remains that such profits were generated & proven at least on paper.
It’s another evidence that disciplined profitable sports betting systems have good potential to produce solid income in such fast velocity.
Joshua Walker (bio)
Editor – Global Extra Money (GEM)