In the world of sports betting, everybody is looking for an edge. While most experienced sharp bettors realize that building a bankroll involves careful money management, detailed analytical research and a great deal of patience, many new bettors are looking for easy ways to win big.
Often times, these individuals will contact us asking why we don’t win at the 80+% rate that many handicappers promise. The reason? Nobody in sports betting wins over 80% of the time. In fact, even the legendary Billy Walters claims a winning percentage of “just” 57%.
Knowing what is necessary to be a profitable sports investor over a prolonged period of time, it can be very irritating to see handicappers promise impossible results to novice sports bettors who are swept away by grand promises of easy money. In the past we have exposed scamdi-cappers such as John Morrison, a.k.a. “The Sports Betting Champ”, who claimed a historic winning percentage of 97% and a weekly income of over $50,000. Yet despite this success, Morrison spent his time trying to sell his winning system for just a fraction of his weekly earnings.
These bold claims remind me of an old cliché: “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is”. If you have a system that can’t miss, you don’t share it with the world. You utilize it until sportsbooks refuse to take your bets or until you can afford to spend your days swimming in a pool full of gold ala Scrooge McDuck.
Recently, a similar handicapper by the name of Chad Smith (or as he’s more commonly known the Sports Betting Star) has come to our attention with seemingly unattainable claims of a 95% winning rate. You would think that somebody with such an unbelievable system would simply bet these games on their own and then begin the arduous decision of which private island to buy. Amazingly, you can receive a lifetime of these nearly unbeatable picks for just $175.
The system seems simple enough. In exchange for a one-time payment of $175, you will receive a daily e-mail with Mr. Smith’s best picks. All you have to do is log into your sportsbook or visit your local bookie and place your bet. In fact, his website claims that you don’t have to know anything about sports nor do you have to be a “computer genius”.
Much like the Sports Betting Champ, the SportsBettingStar makes his money by heavily marketing his product to the public, selling his system by inflating his winning percentages and covering up negative reviews (or creating fake positive reviews for that matter). The website http://sportsbettingstarreviews.blogspot.com has a glowing review of the Sports Betting Star; however it was very odd to see that there have been no other posts on this website and that the author has not penned any other articles.
For those who stumble across his website without a background in sports betting, the promises of easy riches can be extremely enticing.
Of course, the curiosity over such a staggering figure as 95% is hard to overcome. Still not convinced? Okay, but here is what The Sports Betting Star is not telling you:
His Winning Percentage is Not Based on Actual Won/Lost Records
The SportsBettingStar system utilizes a three-tiered betting structure, in which individual bets are not counted towards wins or loses. Instead, they use a three-bet chase system which basically means that a certain team must win at least one of three games. Chad Smith directs his customers to bid on that team, one game at a time, doubling their bet size until the team finally wins. Only if the team loses all three bets is it considered a “loss.”
In other words, a team that loses twice and wins once would have a record of 1-0 in Smith’s system, not 1-2 as would be expected. The result? A very risky system in which a single three-game losing streak can cripple your bankroll. Unfortunately none of that information is detailed under the “how it works” section of his website.
His “Units Won” Results are Never Displayed or Disclosed
Smith doesn’t flaunt his units won on his website, but almost every page on the site makes mention of the 95% winning rate. The reason behind that is that his artificially inflated 95% winning record looks much better than what his units won results would. With this system you are constantly making large bets for small returns as you try to make up for previous losses. The Martingale System itself only “guarantees” a one unit profit in theory (the original wager), and the theory is reliant on having unlimited funds to wager.
A terrific explanation of why Martingale systems can be so dangerous can be found here: http://scams.wikispaces.com/Martingale+Systems.
This System Requires an Unlimited Bankroll for Marginal Success
Also known as a loss recuperation method, the martingale theory of wagering states that a win can be assured if a wager has even odds and a 50% chance of winning and each betting loss is doubled on the subsequent bet.
For example, if a $50 bet loses, you would bet $100 dollars to recoup those losses. If that fails, bet $200 on the next contest, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. For a $50 bettor with a $1,000 bankroll, this system would come to a harsh conclusion after just four losses in a row as you would already be in the hole by $550 ($50+$100+$200+$400=$550). At that point you would have just $450 remaining which is not enough to recoup your original losses. All that just to chase a $50 profit.
What’s more, this theory doesn’t even account for the vig/juice. The vig ensures that each bet has to be progressively larger in order to recoup previous losses. Following our previous example, you would essentially go broke after only four consecutive losses chasing a $50 profit if we assume the traditional 10% vig:
$55 bet to win $50 – $55 lost
$115 bet to win $105 ($55+$50) – $170 lost
$245 bet to win $220 ($115+$55+$50) – $415 lost
$520 to win $465 ($245+$115+$55+$50) – $935 lost
This also plays into what’s known as the gambler’s fallacy. Also referred to as the Monte Carlo fallacy, this theory surmises that if deviations from expected behavior are observed in repeated independent trials of a random process, future variations in the opposite direction are more probable. In other words, if you flip a coin ten times and heads comes up every time, many people will believe that the next result must be tails because the odds of heads coming up 11 times in a row is 0.000488 (0.5 to the 11th power). In fact, each coin flip is an independent event and that there is still a 50% chance of tails coming up on the 11th flip.
What You Can Expect by Following the Sports Betting Star
In reality, there are only three possible outcomes you can expect by using this system:
1) Wager a lot to win a little.
2) Wager a lot to lose a little
3) Wager a lot to lose everything.
The main factor in determining which outcome will apply to you is your bankroll and your luck. If your bankroll is large enough to make continuous large bets (1,000 times the size of your unit bet), than you will probably win a little in the long term. However, if your bankroll is that large, you are probably wise enough to realize this system is a scam and not worth your time.
If your bankroll is medium to small then it would be nearly impossible for you to turn a profit in the long run. You will most likely lose either a little or lose everything, all depending on how lucky you are. If you hit a losing streak early on, you will be broke. If you hit a losing streak in the middle, you will be a loser and probably broke. If you are lucky enough to avoid a losing streak for some time, then you may win a little. To keep your winnings, you must walk away and never wager again because every time you start this system over, you increase your probability of going broke.
Betting with the Sports Betting Star’s system gives you the same edge you would receive at a casino, which is to say none whatsoever. Feeling lucky? Instead of paying $175 for this service you could go to Vegas, sit down at the blackjack table, and keep doubling your bets until you’ve turned a small profit or — much more likely — gone broke.
The Good News
The good news in all of this is that there are legitimate ways to make money in sports gambling. Like any marketplace, the sports betting world is full of inefficiencies that can be exploited by shrewd bettors. Litanies of systems exist that utilize hard data rather than gimmicks, and these systems find inefficiencies in the market and exploit them. This does not mean that there are such things as guaranteed winners or five-star, platinum club locks. Rather, it means that certain situations present opportunities where there is value in taking one side over another based on historical data and precedence.