What if someone told you what to bet on?

We’ll make it clear right away that this post is all about sports betting, not casino, though you may want to still read on. We all know that sports betting can be time consuming, which is the reason why gamblers avoid it, but what if someone gave you Football Predictions and therefore took all the work out of the equasion and just gave you winners on a platter? Let’s examine this scenario and see why it could work and win us money, and what are the reasons why it might not work.

How to make predictions

The process of picking a bet is always the same. You do research, you find the outcome that’s either most likely to win or represents value (better odds than the chance), or both. Then you place a bet, on that educated guess that’s supposed to be better than the much more educated guess of the odds compiler. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t, and the goal is to be in the green in the long run, something around 10% ROI is excellent while 15% is almost unattainable. In the long run at least.

There are professionals, called tipsters, who are sometimes not even betting themselves but their calling is to provide reliable winners to clients.

Sometimes that service is a one-man show, sometimes it’s more tipsters, each of which is covering one sport or one league, and sometimes there’s a computerized model that tries to predict winners. Sometimes you get an elaborate explanation for the pick, and these are designed to have you make the final decision yourself, and then there are picks that are simply presented to you. There are many flavors to a tipping service, so we need some common denominator that can rank all these services against each other.

Prediction statistics

The one and only most important statistical data point is ROI (return on investment). It divides the total amount of money won, including stake, with the total money staked. In most cases you’ll see this range between 5 and 8%, and this will be good enough to double your money pretty quickly and without too much risk. If you’re making bets of €100 and are winning €106 in average, it will take you 17 bets to double your initial investment of €100. That’s just to explain that although with 6% ROI you only win €600 but have staked a total of €10,000, your actual risk in one bet is only €100. That’s how it works. Slow and steady gains. ROI is always a small number because there are so many bets so the stakes accumulate.

Perhaps a better data point is profit per pick (PPP), which takes the total number of units won and divides it by the number of bets. Bettingmetrics have a +1600 unit profit in 188 bets on a 50 unit flat bet, so that would be the same as 32 units profit in 188 bets on a 1 unit flat bet. This means PPP is 0.17, which isn’t bad at all.

Long losing streak and various types of struggles are expected in sports betting. You will see negative runs on almost any tipster graph, and what you want is a tipster who can stay on course and dig himself out of the hole simply by making good educated guesses in line with how sports betting should be done. You definitely don’t want a tipster who’s only good when winning, but one who can stay sane and confident when losing. Find four or five of these to spread the risk and you’ll likely be making money on sports betting in the long run without ever doing the bet research yourself. And Bettingmetrics is a good place to start.

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