How To Make A Living Sports Betting – Full Assessment of 3 Methods
Is it Realistic to Make A Living Sports Betting?
Whether people can make a living sports betting or not is a long disputed subject. There seems to be 2 obvious facts. First fact is there actually exists people who live off of sports betting. The 2nd fact is such people is not so many. Have you ever watched the gambler movie “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. The core theme of the movie is about gambling on pool games as well as ambition and drive, love, betrayal and Honor.
Now if we see from gambling perspective, the essence is what Bert Gorden played by George C. Scott said. See the left script image. Yes “Character”. Eddie was beaten by Fats due to the lack of Character but finally beat Fats because Eddie got Character. Character can be interpreted as “Emotional Toughness” in this movie.
There are 2 types of people who bet 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 so many. It’s supposed to be far less than 5% punters who constantly win and they are called Sharp.We don’t know if such 5% can really make ends meet with just sports betting but at least they don’t lose to the bookies. The rest 95% recreational punters surely loose in the long-run. What makes the difference between the 2 punters? Yes, “Character”.
Before getting into the subject, allow me to stress that although we have used the word gambling several times so far, we never gamble. Our aim of playing Sports Betting is to create solid Extra Money based on Advantage Play Concept which gives us the mathematical edge over the bookmakers. Therefore any methods we discuss don’t count on luck or chance at all but on positive EV (Expected Value) which will bring you profit in long-term without fail. In other words, we believe the 5% use more or less this Advantage Play,
In this special report we examine if we can Really make a living sports betting with the 3 chosen advantage play methods. Although I will briefly talk about why the 3 methods later, if you’re interested in the full rationale behind, please take a look at 3 Advantage Gambling in Sports Betting – Guide For Ordinary People To Beat Bookies;
Firstly, see the below table (sourced from Statista ) showing the amount of money people loose through gambling. In the US, the loss accounts around 0.6% of the whole nation’s GNP, 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 it;
However, there are clear common reasons why people loose in gambling. As the video in the below 4) explains there are 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 much higher thus risky odds)
- 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.
2) Is Gambling So Bad Compared with Investment?
BTW, have you ever wondered what is the difference between Investing & Gambling? There has been numerous arguments over this subject. One of the most logical & simple explanation is to measure Certainty of Profit or Loss Outcome as illustrated in the below diagram;
Simply put, certainty of the outcome is expressed as the Level of Probability to gain profit. EV (Expected Value) which is an average profit or loss, is one 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 break down of Investment / Gambling spectrum, needless to say Lottery’s EV (Expected Value) is the lowest. Its EV is always negative, according to business insider, the $450 million Powerball Jackpot lottery’s EV is – $1.37 per ticket. Means you lose average $1.37 when you buy a $2 ticket, so the loss accounts for 68% out of your investment. This terrible negative return level applies to basically all lotteries.
When it comes to the Casino games, there is House Edge you can’t mathematically overcome. It’s the margin casino 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 o.3% of Blackjack and 25% of Keno. The American Roulette is 5.6%, means if you stake $100 on Roulette you will lose average $5.6. Don’t misunderstand, always Variance comes in, thus you are not necessary to lose $5.6 every time when 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 make 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 to lose $560. That’s how mathematics of EV works.
There is a poker game you compete with 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%. Means you have the edge and you will make 0.77% profit average in long-term, the Positive EV. When you talk about the Poker Competition, it’s purely Skill based and this is the category where you can create Positive EV as long as you follow the 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), off course Stock is much higher. According to CFA Digest, stocks are about 3 times more volatile than bonds on average. 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 assets class are (sourced from Market Realist);
Where Can Sports Betting 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 house or not. Lottery & Casino is 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, there are Bookmakers . We compete with them in Zero Sum world and off-course they have built-in margin called Over-round (or Vigorish or Juice), which is up to 10%. Means, theoretically you will lose this % long-term, then it can be positioned between Casino and Equity. However, bear it in mind that Casino is basically governed by law of probability (when you throw dice, the probability of 1 is always 1/6) but Sports Betting is largely governed by Skill (nobody can accurately predict the Barcelona’s next win % against Real Madrid). For this particular points, you may want to see Beat Bookmakers 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 it will not be impossible for you not to win average long-term.
Let’s examine how that can be realistic.
3) 3 Chosen Methods – 1. Matched Betting
Let’s start up with the Bonus Offers based Advantage Play – Matched Betting.
Matched betting is conceptually very simple technique. We cover all the outcomes of the sports event by backing at bookmaker and laying at exchange. Since free bets are used for the backing at exchange it is Guaranteed Profit with 100% Risk Free. For those who are not familiar with Matched Betting, suggest you go through Matched Betting For Dummies – 9 Essential Things You Should Know Before Staking Any Real Money;
People generally rake thousands of £ only from bookmakers’ welcome (sign-up) bonus. Sadly, some matched bettors believe the welcome bonus is all about matched betting and neglect all the subsequent offers. Actually, the real tasty part is the abundance of Reload bonuses for existing players. You can continuously make 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 which I will talk later). Remember, matched betting is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance, basically you always get 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 large part of matched betting is absolutely risk free with instant guaranteed profit.
Let’s examine, if people can make a living sports living of matched betting. Probably the best way to examine is using Profit Accumulator (PA) case. PA is one of the most popular matched betting paid service 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’ Eaning Claim? for full details;
At the end of the above review report, you will find the section of “Going Full Time”. Because 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 sports betting with matched betting just due to only this evidence. However, as Profit Accumulator’s founder says “The total value of all the reload offers that had been posted to the Platinum members area was around £1000 over the past 7 days. That means if you had done EVERY SINGLE offer that had been posted to the Platinum members DAILY/RELOAD section, you’d have made around £1000 in 7 days.“. It’s the fact that if you can make strong commitment, the opportunity surely exists.
As briefly mentioned, the largest hurdle to your sustainable matched betting is bookmaker’s account limitation called Gubbing. So once you start, you need to read 22 Smart Tactics To Avoid Bookmakers’ Restriction & Solutions After Being Gubbed;
Anyhow, the best way to examine is you yourself try it. You can go to our GEM Matched Betting Guide;, and use all the instructions For Free.
Allow me to repeat it’s 100% Risk Free, and unless you do careless mistake it gives you an Instant Guaranteed Profit. Just sign-up William Hill account and bet £10 (your own money) and get £30 Free Bet. You will finally extract around £25 genuine profit while collecting your original £10 back from this sign-up deal. All work pretty much like this, so simple instant profit. Once you get familiar with how it works, it takes less than 5 minutes for the entire process. Even your bookmaker’s account is eventually gubbed, you will lose nothing and you will have been able to rake enough money by the time all your accounts are gubbed, which is quite unlikely. It’s worth doing.
As you noticed, in the Gambling / Investment Spectrum, I place Sports Arbitrage in the same position of matched betting. The risk free mechanism of matched betting which is covering all the outcomes by back& lay comes from arbitraging. However, sports arbitrage doesn’t use bookmakers’ bonuses but making the best use 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 advantage 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 decent profit. So far, the industry 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 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 2015, 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 used to communicate with him a few years ago. Although I could not get clear answer how he had been been able to get around without being gubbed 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 alan.seymour(atmark)sportsarbitragereview.co.uk 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 bookies are so sensitive about arbers and they usually gub arbitragers earlier than matched bettors. Having said, I would personally not suggest go full time of it.
So, we now move on to the Skill based Advantage Play – Value Bet located by Proven Top Tipsters.
Firstly, let’s review what we need to gain decent (means the amount ordinary people can make ends meet) earnings in numbers.
Make Living Sports Betting – in Numbers
I quoted an interesting video below, and the summary of the simple formula explained in the video is;
- 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 bookmaker is 1.91 (in fractional format 10/11, and -110 for money line).
- This actual 1.91 odds is a 52.4% of probability of outcome, therefore you need 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 2.4% more rate to achieve equal return (means you win the exact amount of your own stake). Well, from other 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.
- Bankroll you need to start (Initial capital) is $1,000
- Bet Amount per game is $50 (5% of your total bankroll)
- Average 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.
Now, watch the video;
Two Concerns in the video
The 1st concern is the compounding & stake limit. Just don’t take literally on the compound part. If follow the above process with compound mechanics and increase your bankroll to $20,000 after 1 year, your each bet would become over $1,000 (5% of total bankroll) and exponentially increase afterwards. In practice you will find no bookmakers that can keep accepting such high-rollers’ bet except a few.
Anyhow, even 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 lose 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 decent life. 57% Winning Rate
The 2nd concern is 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;
This gives you better insight on 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 for anybody assuming you go full time with it. 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 those expertise.
So, Realistically What do We Need?
Theoretical numbers proves you will make living sports betting, but practically you must solve the above 2 concerns thus you need;
- Bookmakers that welcome Professional by accepting High Stake & not restricting Constant Winners
- Real Quality Tipsters who can identify true Value Bet and suggest you in safe & practical way
You can see the information of A) & B) as follows;
A) Bookmakers Accepting High Stake & Not Restrict Winners
Bear it in mind that there are very few reputable bookmakers that accept Sharp (Professional) Punters, see the below list; “List of 20 World Best Online Bookies That Never Restrict Your Account”
Best of The Best
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;
- Started 1998, probably the world best bookmaker for professional punters
- Officially welcome educated professional – See this page where you find “Welcome Professional” policies, Encourage arb trading in their site.
- Famous for low juice operator in the industry means the most competitive offer to achieve high volume with low margin business model.
- Probably the highest wagering limit in the industry.
- Restricted Countries: US / UK / Ireland / France / Spain / Germany / Netherlands / Denmark / Poland / Slovenia / Chech Republic / Syria / Sudan / Turkey / Singapore / Korea / Philippines
- Undisputed No.1 bookmaker for Sharp Punters. They operate on unique business model with the lowest bookmaking margin, namely the best possible pricing to attract sharp punters rather than promotion such as bonus. It allows the highest concentration of sharp players to shape its line, which in turn shaped the rest of the sports betting market. The next Bookmaker.eu and Pinnacle are the most watched bookies by the whole industry including Las Vegas. High roller, professional punter, accepted, even sports arbitrage is officially promoted in the site. You will find more about this bookmaker in Pinnacle Sports Exclusive Review – True Voices of Insiders;
- Since ‘85, BetCris’s (Costa Rica International Sports) flagship, The biggest offshore betting site providing Competitive odds with the slogan of “All line starts here”
- Officially declares “cater to professional & recreational gambler alike”, the manager I spoke said “We never fear professional”
- Various promotional offers available, but they may restrict on promotional activities if they find matched betting (but actually never heard any gubbing incident)
- Restricted Countries: France & Costa Rica
- This bookie is a high-volume bookmaker that takes $5,000 bets as routinely as most books take $100 bets. This is a very large and established operation that is best suited for the sophisticated player as well as large recreational players who typically wager $500 per event or more. Use exclusive code “BB878” to ensure you get lucrative welcome bonus.
- Since ‘91, fast growing in the US and accept all countries in the world with the business principle is 1st priority Service over Sales
- No account restriction declaration, relatively high wagering limit – worth noting that they allow re-bet on the same game means which effectively allows you to circumvent limits.
- Excellent promotion especially permanent offers called lifetime bonus, yes you read it right “Lifetime”.
- They don’t restrict any country, yes accept every player from all over the world.
- This is a good choice for a new or experienced bettor, especially those seeking relatively high wagering limits. Not only does BetOnline offer high limits, but they also offer Re-bet capabilities allowing players to circumvent limits by waiting for a change in the odds or 61 seconds. Use bonus code “FIRST” to ensure you get updated welcome bonus.
- Founded in ‘96, run by one of the sharpest bookmakers the industry has ever known, many bookmaker review sites rank 5Dimes within top 3 constantly
- Welcome high rollers & low juice up to 102
- Probably the most extensive sports market coverage & wager type offered in the industry – you will find any sports event market all over the world / beware their restriction policy on price trader seems to be tighter lately
- For the offers, there are 2 reward options – 1) Reduced Juice Rewards(default) 2) Bonus & Cash Back Rewards (need to contact Live Chat to set your account for it)
- Restricted Countries: UK, France, Portugal, Hungary, Ukraine & Costa Rica
- Achieved A+ (top rate) in most bookmakers review site, famous for Reduced Juice. They welcome large players and offer attractive reward programs for the small player.
- Founded in 2004, said to be the punter’s dream same as Pinnacles mainly because high stake limit
- Welcome professional punters and allows arbitrage (bet one side only per match)
- Very competitive odds especially for Asian Handicapping
- Basically no promotional offers except welcome bonus which renew regularly
- Restricted Countries: US / UK / Ireland / France & Territories / Spain / Germany / Netherlands / Belgium / Denmark / Greece / Poland / Slovenia / Chech Republic / Syria / Sudan / Somalia / Libya / Ivory Coast / Nigeria / Turkey / Iran / Iraq / Afghanistan / Singapore / North Korea / Taiwan / Hong Kong / Philippines / American Samoa
- Better To Have for all sharps, and for those who can’t access due to the country restriction, consider bet broker.
- It’s a leading bookmaker in Asia and has some of the highest limits in the industry. By far the highest between Asian operators while providing some of the best odds available online. It offers amazing Asian Handicap Betting odds to add for the thrill and excitement of conventional fixed odds betting, by eliminating the possibility of the draw outcome.
B) Quality Tipsters who provide average 57% win rate tips
Let me put what we have reviewed in this way; The bookmakers have edge of built-in margin but unlike casino where pure mathematics governs, the sports betting is pretty much skill oriented game thus successful tipsters turn their edge into ours. They can identify a True Value Bet in the form of UNDER-ROUND in the selected sports category where they have absolute skill edge. These will result in Positive EV (Expected Value) that’s a mathematical formula to allow you achieve average long-term profit. This +EV will be translated into the additional winning rate to 57%. For further details of EV and its rationale, you may want to read the one I introduced at the beginning, especially Value Bet section;
Most losers base their judgement on a subjective feel for the forthcoming event, relying on an inkling or a hunch about what may happen. The skilled tipsters has a huge advantage over the recreational bettor, 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%.
The Reputable Tipsters
I just list Two Programs that provide you with the proven successful prediction systems / choices of quality handicappers;
This betting system is often referred 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/system with over 800 parameters analysis.
- Several 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
SBC is said to be the Most Reputable Tip 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 High Quality Tipster Rating Service in our full review, take a look at Secret Betting Club Review – Inside Analysis Of Ultimate Sports Betting Method;
The objective of this special report is examining if we can make a living sports betting, and if so identify how we can. I examined 3 selected sports betting methods and I will leave the final judgement to you. Please read me correctly. I’m not personally supporting the notion to make a living sports betting. Because our GEM’s basic mission is providing you with the safety methods to create EXTRA money, means On The Side for your rainy day. If you have time, I would like you to check the detail background & rationale behind this concept, so please read; 3 Smart Ways To Create Extra Income Stream From Home & Why We Need Extra Money.
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 first. The real critical thing is Know Yourself and fostering the proper “Character”. As proven by numbers, you need only 57% win rate. Means you are allowed to loose 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). Thus quitting 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 mathematical advantage expressed in +EV.
For this particular “Character” aspect, the below Video produced by the ZCode System insider gives a good insight on Discipline to success in Sports Investment:
In case you don’t have confidence on 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; Maria’s Laying System originated back on the 2nd of September 2005, when “maria” from Latvia started a thread on the “Expert Betting Advice” forum where she would chart her daily lay selection of the horse racing, followed up by posting their profits the following day.
Whoever was behind “maria” turned £3,000 into £100,603.78 (after 5% Betfair commission deduction) in 303 days! She consistently put her selections up on the board in good time before the racing began and the actual selections and strike rate were 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 of 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. There are many skeptics like this but the fact remains that such profits were generated & proven at least on paper. It’s another evidence that solid disciplined betting system has good potential to produce solid income in such fast velocity.
BTW, we GEM deal with 6 Advantage Play as follows;
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