Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sports Betting – Handicapping

September 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Tips & Tricks

Handicapping is very simply the attempt to predict the outcome of sporting events. And though we include this article on handicapping in a section that is dedicated to outlining winning strategies for sports betting, the sad fact is that many handicappers offer a losing strategy. When it comes to handicappers, or “touts” as they are sometimes called, oftentimes your winning strategy is to recognize how many of them are fraudulent. This article will show you just how to do that, and conversely how to recognize a good handicapper.

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Sports betting is a big money business and as you might expect wherever you find big money you find con artists. Out of the 3000 or so handicappers working in the US these days only a very few are experienced, knowledgeable sports analysts with good records in picking winners. The number of handicappers continues to grow almost daily, and most of them use the same old tricks to get hold of your money. There are probably a hundred different ways these scam artists try to sucker you out of your cash but their methods usually fall into three most common practices. Those three schemes are; claiming an unrealistic winning percentage, using high pressure sales and giving picks for both sides of a game or series of games.

Claiming a 70% success rate – For some reason, a lot of touts have settled on 70% as a nice round number to advertise as a success rate for their sports picks. For an even more mysterious reason, a large segment of the betting public seems to believe them. If you have read even half of the articles posted on this website you know that the number of factors that can influence the outcome of any given sporting event are varied and any one of them can completely upset the odds. For anyone to claim that they can consistently pick sports winners in 7 out of every 10 games under these conditions is just too absurd for words.

We have already seen that the most profitable sports bettors got that way by Bankroll Management and by making conservative picks in order to achieve a solid 55% winning percentage. Perhaps you have dug yourself a hole by betting too much on a single game or by failing to secure the proper odds from the available betting lines. Do yourself a favor and don’t compound your mistake by chasing after lost money while clinging to a hope that your handicapper can predict winners at a rate never before accomplished in the history of sports betting. If he really could pick 70% winners he would be betting on his picks, not selling them to you.

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High Pressure Sales – You may have seen advertisements for free sports picks on an 800 number. They may boast about having a great success rate or having the inside track on some information that will guarantee them to win some particular game. But what’s much more likely is that they are a shop with a bunch of sales agents who don’t have any better ideas about who will win this weeks Green Bay Packers game than you do. If you are going to be honest with yourself you probably need to admit that when you are out looking for free picks you have probably had a run of losses and are trying to get some of that money back. In such a situation you may well grasp at what these guys are selling.

The worst part of this scenario is not simply that you have spent money on a product that is basically worthless, it’s the aftermath. Even if you decide that the service was a rip off and you are determined never to speak to them again, they have other plans in mind. Often as not they have sold your contact information to a network of touts as unreliable as they are. Or they might call you using a different name and try to get more money out of you. You might actually have to disconnect your phone in order to get rid of them.

Picking both sides of the line – This is one of the favorite tricks used by no talent handicappers. Let’s say that the Bears are playing the Chiefs this weekend. When someone calls in looking for a free pick, these scam artists will tell half their callers that the Bears are guaranteed to win. Then they will tell the other half of their prospects that the Chiefs are guaranteed to win this one. The group that loses their bets will be angry but will not be able to do much about it except promise themselves never to call these crooks again. But the other half of bettors will win their bets and they may now believe that this service is the best thing since sliced bread. Now they are willing to pay hard cash for the next pick, and they will do so long as they are in the winning group. The handicapper meanwhile just keeps churning the incoming calls into more money while offering absolutely nothing of value.

The bottom line is that if a handicapper’s promises look too good to be true they probably are. If you really must seek out a handicapper to get your picks, make sure and find one who is honest. Look for realistic percentages and also for facts about how the games are analyzed. If you see reasonable assumptions based on player performance and power rankings factored into a handicappers picks then you are probably on the right track.