The Three Pillars of Sports Betting: Rules for Becoming a Successful Sports Bettor

As many sports bettors, I lost money because I made mistakes that can be easily fixed. In this article, I will describe what I consider to be the three pillars of sports betting. It consists in simple rules to follow to become a successful sports bettor in the long run. The three pillars are the bookmaker, the bankroll management and the pick selection. At the end I will show you how I implemented those rules for myself.

Bookmaker: The unsuspected importance of odds

When I started sports betting, the choice of the bookmaker was not important. I just wanted to place my bet and enjoy the feeling of winning. So I opened an account in a bookmaker that was well established in the sports betting industry and it gave me an interesting bonus, I was sold. There was nothing wrong in choosing that bookmaker, if I was just betting for the fun of it. But I wanted to bet on a consistent basis, so the odds from that bookmaker would hurt me in the long term. Why you may ask?

The bookmaker sets the odds based on the probability that an event will occur and then adds its margin, so it can make a profit. In a two-way market where both sides are likely to win equally, the probability to win for each side is 50%. So the implied odd should be +100 (2.000). If you look at the NBA game against the spread market, the odds are never +100 (2.000) for each side but commonly -110 (1.909) which is equivalent to a margin of 4.76%. Some bookmaker offers lower margin like Pinnacle Sports (2.5%).

What does low margin means for bettors? You need to win less bets to break even.

So if you win 52% of your bets with a traditional bookmaker, you would have lost 0.732 units but in comparison with a low margin bookmaker you would have won 1.504 units. It’s a huge difference when you bet 500 times or more.

When you buy a product in a store, would you buy it where it’s cheaper or more expensive? For bookmaker it’s the same thing, place your bets where the margin is lower. Remember if it’s easier for the bookmaker to win money, it’s harder for you to win. So think twice before choosing your bookmaker.

Bankroll Management: Don’t chase. Don’t be overconfident.

In your betting career, you will hit cold and hot betting streaks. It’s important to know how to deal with them to avoid bankruptcy. If you look at my results since the beginning, you can see that I had cold and hot streaks. It did not matter because I treated all my picks as equal. Each one of my picks is worth one unit.

I often talked to sports bettors who change their behavior during a cold or hot streak. They increase their bet size when losing to recoup their losses quickly. It’s a very bad idea because a cold streak can last for many more bets, and you could go broke. The same is true if you bet more during a hot streak. If the hot streak ends, you will quickly lose what you earned during the hot streak.

Don’t chase. Don’t be overconfident. Each bet is independent from each other, so you don’t know when the streaks will end.

I advise you to play one unit per bet, but how much is one unit. You have to set aside a dedicated bankroll for sports betting. Your bet size will be 1% or 2% of that bankroll. The reason to have a dedicated bankroll is to avoid emotional behavior which leads to bad decision. During the end of November I was down by 17 units, and I had two soccer picks to play which was Charlton ML @ 5.059 and Rotherham ML @ 5.119. Each bet have around 20% chance to be winners. I played them without fear because I knew my bankroll was still 70 units. Let’s say your initial bankroll was only 20 units, with 3 units left, would you have place those bets? Both of them ended up winning.

Pick Selection: Fully Transparent Systematic Selection

Even if you follow the two previous rules, if your pick selection is poor you will lose money. My selection is based on trends that are profitable for more than 10 years. I follow every pick that the computer finds, pure and simple. The computer has no emotion, and emotion is bad in sports betting.

I think transparency in important, especially in the sports betting industry. My picks are available at least 2 hours before game time. My picks history is also available so you can decide by yourself if you should follow me.

Sports Picks System Selection and Philosophy

I mentioned Pinnacle Sports which is the best bookmaker in the industry. The problem is that it’s not available for all sports bettors due to legal reason (country restriction). There are other alternatives but I decided to play at a Bitcoin bookmaker. It has the advantage of accepting everybody from any country but using Bitcoin can be risky. The major problem of Bitcoin is its value that can skyrocket but also can vanish forever.

I always play the same amount of Bitcoin even if its value changes every minutes. Since my bet size is 2% (50 units) of my bankroll, each bet will be 0.1 bitcoin. I don’t care about Bitcoin value fluctuation because 0.1 bitcoin will always be 2% of my initial bankroll (5 BTC). Don’t make the mistake to adjust your bet size on the Bitcoin value, you will end up breaking rule #2 without knowing it.

Sports Picks System is available on Android