What is the difference between sports betting and other forms of gambling? In the latter you have not much to go by in making a bet. For example, when you are asked to choose between heads or tails in the toss of a coin, you may wrack your brains trying to decide which to choose. But whatever you choose, either option has an equal 50% chance of winning. Assuming of course that the coin is not doctored.
It is a different thing with sports betting. You choose between two opponents who have different characteristics. You may have two teams with different line-ups, different strengths and weaknesses, different coaches, different playing styles, etc. After careful analysis, a bettor makes his choice and places his money on one ream. That’s handicapping.
Sports handicapping is basically the process of using available information that one has to make a betting decision. Just about everyone who is serious in betting in sports contest is a handicapper. I say “serious” because many sports bettors bet just for fun. Many fans for example will bet on their college alma mater or their home team simply to show their support. Other bettors would bet on the underdog. These people really don’t care much about making money in betting; they just enjoy the sport,
For the serious sports bettor, every bet entails serious analysis. That’s why many serious bettors spend much time researching on upcoming games and developments in their favorite sport. Still, with all the information that they can gather, the best amateur handicapper can only muster 45 to 48% accuracy with his forecasts. (Imagine, he even has better odds in betting on the outcome of a coin toss!)
Enter the Professional Handicapper
Certainly any sports bettor would love to have a higher “winning” percentage than just 48%. That means, at the end of the day, with all his research, he still lost money. In fact, if he were betting using the pointspread, he would need better than a 50% clip to come out in the money. In the pointspread system, odds makers set the odds at 11:10. That means that a losing bettor must pay out $11 for every $10 he wagered – with the $1 going to the betting house. In winning percentages, he must have a 52.4% winning clip for him to end up with a net profit,
Now, who can forecast with (relatively) high accuracy? There’s a certain group of people who can do that. They are known as the professional handicappers. Yes, you heard it right: handicapping is their profession. They eat, live, breathe and sleep their favorite sport. They are practically a walking encyclopedia of their sport. Researching on their favorite sport is a full-time work for them.
These full-time handicappers then peddle their picks for a living. Based on their diligent research, they make their calls as to who would win in certain contests. You will find these handicappers in sportsbooks, pick services and even their own offices or websites. Just type in the key words “sports handicappers’, “professional sports handicappers,” “NFL handicappers” or similar keywords and you will get sites where hey can be found.
Now, if you’d gotten this far reading this article you’d probably want to hire a handicapper who has a 90% or even 80% accuracy in forecasting winners. Unfortunately, you won’t find one with that high a winning percentage. Not among the legitimate handicappers that is.
In fact, posting a 65% success in calling games for a season is already very good – and rare – for good handicappers. The really good ones post a success rate of around 56 to 57%. Some handicappers even have a “losing: season with, say, a 46% success clip. But just like the good teams in professional sports, the good handicappers can bounce back from a bad season to a consistently good clip of 56 – 57%.
Boosting Your Confidence in Betting
When you avail of the services of a professional handicapper, you pay a service fee. For that amount, you will be alerted of his picks for a given time period – be it one week, one month or one season – depending on the package you chose. You may have been impressed by his past records of making the right calls. But more impressive is how he forecasts each contest. That is why it is important for a bettor to get to know his handicapper. A sports bettor must find the time to grill his prospective handicapper and find out how he comes out with his forecasts. More than the handicapper’s past record, it’s his methodology that should really impress the bettor and boost his confidence level in going for the handicapper’s picks
Beware of Scams
Still, many bettors look for people who can promise 90% success rate or “guaranteed results.” You won’t see anyone forecasting that accurately. (Not yet anyway.) Nor can anyone guarantee the outcome of a sports event. These people most likely are scams. Avoid them like the plague
There are not too many good and truly professional handicappers out there. If you are seriously seeking a sports handicapper, you have to do some serious research. You can’t leave your choice to chance.
Like the tossing of a coin.
When you make the right choice you can feel the results in more winning games and more pay-outs.