Professional sports betting requires expertise like any other profession. With numbers, players can successfully gauge the odds, calculate variances (negative possibilities), and ensure they're collecting wins on more than 52.4% of the games they are betting. In addition, being emotionally intelligent benefits the player by controlling their emotional investment in the game.
What Makes a Professional Sports Bettor?
Successful professional sports bettors earn around 40% on their investments, depending on the value of the assets and other variable factors such as the number of games, variances, etc. Factoring in the 10% commission that the house makes, the profit-making benchmark for professional sports bettors is to collect returns on 53% to 55% (60%, although possible, cannot be sustained for long) of their bets. The breakeven threshold is making returns on 52.4% of all bets. 52.4% is the result of accounting for probabilities of wins and losses in the breakeven formula, factoring in compound interest. The difference between 53% and 55% becomes significant for larger bankrolls. A good practice is to bet no more than 5% of the bankroll.
Steps to become a professional sports bettor
Look for value in sports wagers
A professional sports bettor knows how to separate the noise of promotional activity and herd mentality, trusting their calculations and instinct when placing bets that generate value.
Value, however, needs to be sought with careful precision as it's often masked under the layers of information, some useful, while most are generally noise. This type of mentality is betting to win instead of betting to risk. Bookies may use attractive odds and other marketing techniques to hook players into betting on their platform. Consider comparing bookies and the consequences of betting through different channels to calculate the best outcome. However, loyalty is rewarded in the lower tiers to encourage players to increase their stakes. As a professional sports bettor, in the upper tiers, the landscape changes and becomes steeper in difficulty, causing a shift in probabilities of winning. Hence, professional sports bettors need to identify and take on the opportunity of a good deal when offered by the bookie.
Professional sports bettors do their homework before gauging whether a bet is worth their valuable time or money. They can make detailed predictions based on their knowledge of the game. Proficiency in math can assist players further in putting actual percentages to the likelihood of the outcomes they are most sure of, helping them map the results. Percentages of probability are also a constant reminder of the picture they choose to look at, whether an event occurs or doesn't occur. Only time can unravel these probabilities and tell the player if their calculations were correct or not.
Value is finding the bookie that echoes the bettor's calculations. Comparing the bookie's deals based on the player's calculations will provide them the impetus to decide on betting. The player might review their thoughts and understand why there are differences in odds. Reassessing confidence in the bet is another step. The aim should be whether the bet will likely be a win or loss, breaking even, or making a profit. Value bet hunting is how successful bettors can get rich in sports betting.
Know how to handle wins and losses
A professional sports bettor paints losses into their journey of growing bankroll. Having a goal in mind is helpful. Remember the magical range of 53% to 55%? This range is where a professional bettor operates and accounts for losses, not just the wins.
A loss is often associated with an absence or even failure. However, professional sports bettors aren't in for the short-term wins and losses, and they're in it for the long haul. The ultimate aim is to grow the bankroll and to wager favorable odds when the opportunities present themselves. So, it is essential for professional sports bettors to not dwell on their losses, especially not perceive them as failures, because they are part of the journey to success, as long as they do not go over 45% of all their bets.
Wins are easier to handle in any sport or profession. As humans, we are wired to celebrate the good times and reward ourselves. However, the journey to becoming a professional sports bettor doesn't begin or end here. Dependent on the player's choices. Therefore, the player must not dwell on their success and have a firm grounding in their professional goals as a sports bettor. Wins and losses account for experience, so leverage these experiences for improvisation. Grow the bankroll like an investment fund manager by monitoring returns and saving the funds for a rainy day.
It is better to re-evaluate stakes for the next set of bets in the event of a win or loss. Even the best instruments need to be recalibrated once in a while, and the human mind is no different. We have trained ourselves to seek patterns, but we must take caution as we cannot always trust what the human mind tells us to believe. Hence, remaining grounded in goals and taking a step back can be beneficial in the event of a win or loss to stay on track.
Focus on one type of sports and consistently do research
The options of betting on sports are growing with the evolution of game formats, numerous new leagues, and evermore fantasy leagues in popular sports such as cricket, football, and rugby. A professional sports bettor knows their game well and has adjusted to a rhythm balanced between research, betting, calibrating, and repeating the process from the beginning. As a beginner, most bettors think it wise to spread their bets across different sports. However, professional sports bettors usually only focus on one sport to study and analyze. Once they have conquered a level of mastery by sustaining their more significant than 53% returns on all bets placed, it is then that they have the luxury of venturing into new sports or alternative formats of the game to spread their bets.
Information is the economy, and money is the tool for most professionals in the industry. Continuous research is the key to a career as a professional sports bettor. With the rapid pace and advancement of sports monitoring technologies, the variables at play, the information presented, and the sources they are given from are more significant than ever, adding a layer of complexity to betting decisions.
Research for professional sports bettors goes beyond the key players of the game. Additional variables such as their past performance, interactions with teams (hostile or friendly), health, and previous injuries are considered. Most professional sports bettors have an eye for detail that many miss considering. This quality is their edge. However, this edge needs to be sharpened and objectively assessed after every game, win or loss. The professional sports bettor is increasingly self-aware and knows when to play and when to pass.
Ensure to take only valued bets for time and money, with a clear purpose fostered by a vision that extends beyond the wins and losses. Remember, a professional sports bettor knows how to separate the noise of promotional activity and bypasses the herd mentality by making calculations on the payouts and their chances of winning.
Importance of Bankroll Management for Pro Sports Bettors
Bankroll management is the total amount of funds accounted for by the professional sports bettor to spend without having to worry about alternative expenses or liabilities.
The long-term strategy for any professional sports bettor is to grow the bankroll, which makes sports betting a job than an entertainment activity. Setting limits on expenditure and comparing different bookies allow them to leverage the balance between what they have and the best well-thought and calculated means to get there, given the options.
Usually, professional sports bettors wager 5% of their total bankroll. The range begins at 2% and rarely exceeds 10%. Professional sports bettors make multiple bets and account for each one, win or lose, on a given day. Exercising self-control and discipline are vital to staying in the game. In addition, paying attention to detail is the single most winning trait of becoming a professional sports bettor.
A healthy bankroll management plan for professional sports bettors puts them in control of the game instead of vice versa. They know how much they are spending, the frequency of their expenditure, their odds, and their outcomes. Every piece of knowledge adds to their experience, which helps them sharpen their edge. Good bankroll management results in a stable ROI of around 1% to 5%, which leads to long-term growth.
The professional sports bettor assesses their performance by monitoring the percentage of their bets that generated returns (greater than 53%), spending 5% of their bankroll, and calibrating after each outcome.
This article was published on November 7, 2022, and last updated on October 6, 2022.