Published: 20th March 2014 - Updated: 24th February 2015
Can you get rich from betting? Unfortunately, sports betting is no get-rich-quick scheme. But today on the blog Joachim Marnitz gives us a 10 step guide to making serious money from betting on sports.
Betting professionals like Matthew Benham, Tony Bloom or Billy Walters have developed mathematical models that they have continuously refined over the years. There's one thing they have all in common: They became rich through sports betting.
Billy Walters has proven that it's possible to become filthy rich outside soccer betting – he is specialized in NFL football and NBA betting. As the youtube sample of the documentary about him shows: Once you're placing bets for a lot of money there's some organizational trouble you have to go through first.
While Walters commands a small army of “runners” (people placing bets for him in Las Vegas) Matthew Benham went ahead and founded a whole company to provide data for his model, and to develop it further.
You want to be like them? First things first. Let's get to the 10 things you need to become rich from sports betting:
#1 - To Get Rich You Need To Find Value
Getting rich with betting consists of several components. The most important cornerstone is being able to spot value. Being able to spot value means that you are able to spot odds that are too high, consistently and systematically – and capitalize on those opportunities.
In principle this is not unlike successful trading with stocks: It makes sense to buy a particular stock when it is undervalued, as this means it likely will appreciate in value later. If you are focused on sports betting, than your job each match day is to find the undervalued teams, and “buy their stock” in a manner of speaking.
Your value for a 50% shot at 2.30 odds
Spotting value is in essence about judging probabilities more correctly than the market does. Of course it is difficult to do just that for every game and every sport, but that isn't necessary: Your big advantage over the bookmaker lies in the ability to skip matches with unfavourable odds – just like you don't have to purchase all stocks available. The bookmaker pretty much has to offer odds for almost all games, at the very least in the most popular leagues.
Spotting value is the hardest thing to do in this business, and you will need a lot of practice to pull it off consistently. Only once you are sure to have a systematic edge you are well and truly on your way to getting rich through betting.
#2 - Money Management
It isn't just all about value though – the ability to correctly manage your money is almost as important. Money management is about two fundamental goals, that partially contradict themselves:
- growing your bankroll as quickly as possible
- . while avoiding bankruptcy in the process
Provided you find value regularly, your bankroll will of course grow faster if you stake more per bet. But if you stake too much per bet, you risk bankruptcy. Sadly this aspect is often severely underestimated by most people. The random swings can be brutal even if you mostly place value bets. Luckily this can be handled easily by a very simple rule: Personally I would recommend you never stake more than 1-2% of your bankroll on any given bet.
If you are able to come up with a reasonably accurate estimation of your actual value, you can use the Kelly-formula to make the most of your edge – and stake ever more efficiently.
#3 - Have Patience
Never forget: Betting, like any other form of serious investment, is a marathon, not a sprint – especially if you're aspiring to get rich. Accordingly it will take a while for your bankroll to grow. If you’re patient and successful however, the compound interest effect will be on your side. What will look like painfully slow growth initially will end up picking up a remarkable exponential dynamic.
You will have to deal with more swings, losing streaks, winning streaks, making the curve less smooth and requiring a greater number of bets. Nevertheless the general dynamic holds true – how far you can get with 5% value is quite amazing, and doesn't even take all that long.
#4 - Find The Right Bookmaker(s)
If you want to bet successfully, you need the right bookmaker. If you want to get rich through betting you can only use bookmakers that actually let you win. Sadly it's an ugly truth that most bookmakers won't and will limit their successful customers. or may even outright ban them.
Of course that way you can't possibly plan for success, as your winning would always stay fictional. Happily there are certain bookmakers that do not limit or ban their successful customers. One of the most well known bookmakers of this kind is Pinnacle Sports (residing in Curacao), as well as the Asian bookies SBObet and IBCbet. The
latter two also happen to be the worldwide market leaders when it comes to soccer betting.
The business model of all these bookmakers is based on low margins and high volumes. This means they simply want to have as much action as possible, encouraged by a small bookmaker margin which translates into better odds for the customer. These bookies do not accept winners because they want to make the world a better place (that's just a side effect), but rather because they can use that information to their advantage, for instance by adjusting their betting lines.
#5 - Bet With Betting Exchanges
In addition to the bookmakers mentioned in #4, you should also make use of betting exchanges. Betting exchanges will not ban you for winning either, as you are betting against other customers on the exchange, rather than a bookmaker directly. Some betting exchanges are good alternatives to bookmakers in terms of the odds and bet sizes available on major sports and leagues, even for professionals:
Betfair and Betdaq are especially interesting if you're betting the bigger soccer leagues or UK horse racing. Matchbook is best suited for the North American sports leagues as well as Asian Handicap betting in soccer.
#6 - Bye Bye Parlay
If you want to get rich with betting, you will have to say goodbye to the idea of winning big with a huge accumulator. This isn't about winning the lottery, since you cannot plan for that. There's a good number of reasons why it isn't practical either (for German speakers: I wrote a whole blogpost about this very topic ). But if you want to make a fortune with sports betting, there's one particular problematic aspect:
Bookmakers have an upper limit for money you can win through accumulator bets, regardless of the actual odds. They do this to limit their risk.
#7 - Find The Right Sport/League
If you want to make it big in betting, value alone will not cut it: You need to find that value in sports and leagues that you can bet at reasonably high betting limits (these are limits that apply to every punter, rather than just a select few winning ones). Getting rich with soccer betting is comparatively easy, if you can find value in the major leagues, as it's generally the sport with the highest limits.
But soccer is not the only avenue. For example for American Sports Pinnacle Sports and Matchbook allow for high staking as well, British Horse Racing is another good possibility on Betfair and Betdaq .
On the other hand it will be pretty tough in more exotic sports and leagues, even if you find great value there. Bad odds and low limits are usually insurmountable obstacles in that regard.
#8 - Follow The Right Experts
Finding value oneself isn't for everyone, but this doesn't necessarily have to keep you at bay. At bettingexpert you have the opportunity to follow our most successful tipsters. They just may compliment your weaknesses nicely.
You might find our stats tool useful. it lets you search our tipster database using various criteria.
You may also find it useful to take a look at these users, as they currently have the most followers:
#9 - Find An Agent
Or maybe the agents (also called “bet brokers”) will find you. Either way, betting agents offer you the opportunity to bet way more money than you otherwise could. Even for rather small leagues, like the Dutch Eredivisie, stakes in the higher five figure sums are entirely normal. In return you give the agents some space to the screen price of certain bookies.
For example, if SBObet offers 2.00 (decimal odds) for a certain bet, you would give the agent a price of 1.97 in return for a much higher stake. These agents make their money by pocketing the difference, and possibly by following your bet for even higher amounts through their connections to the Asian market.
#10 - Found A Betting Factory
Technically this is only an option once your betting has made you somewhat rich already. Matthew Benham is somebody who has done that already. His success is based on a statistical model that he has continuously refined over the years. To get the data he needed he founded his own company in 2004 – it has more than 80 employees. If you speak German, soccer magazine 11freunde did a four-page interview with him that is very interesting .
His betting success is also reflected in the fact that he's the owner of both Brentford F.C. and betting exchange Matchbook.
The Bottom Line
There's no way around it: To find success in betting you need to put in the hard work. You will have to say goodbye to the idea of suddenly winning the lottery with a huge accumulator. But however long it may take you, the good news is: Getting rich through betting is in fact possible – as long as you know where to bet, how to find value and how to manage your bankroll.
This article was first published on the German bettingexpert blog .