Sports Betting For Beginners – Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of our guide to sports betting for beginners. Go to Part 1.

Stay Away From Accumulators

If you’re betting on sports you have heard at least one story about a guy who played a 10 fold accumulator, won the bet, and got something like 1000€ from his 5€ stakes. It’s basically the dream come true. The lucky day. Except that you only got to hear about this guy’s one successful bet and not about the countless bets before and after where one or more teams let him down. I get it, everyone likes these flashy accumulators, but you have to know that these bets get riskier with every game added to the betting slip. And as I already said in Part 1, teams choke and there’s absolutely no guarantee that the sure favorite won’t let you down.

At the end of the day everyone wants to win big from a 5€ stake, but you have to be incredibly lucky to pull that off and relying on luck isn’t a good strategy to make money with sports betting. Betting on singles only will drastically improve your chances to have a positive balance.

Track Your Betting

For most people, this isn’t a fun thing to do but I believe that it’s necessary to track the bets you place. You want to make a profit and you need to get data on how you’re actually doing with your betting. You can use online tools or you can create your own Excel spreadsheet for this.

I’m personally using the Betting Tracker Excel Worksheet by aussportsbetting.com

Bet Tracking

It gives you columns for date, bookmaker, sport, selection, bet type, tipster, event, score, stake, odds, and commission and automatically shows the potential payout and the actual profit. You can keep track of your available funds with different bookmakers and get a detailed performance summary that you can filter and sort as you see fit. There’s also an advanced version which lets you collect even more data on your betting endevours.

What is Yield?

Yield is the profit/loss ratio of the total amount staked.

Example: You staked 100€ during your bets in the last month. Your bank grew by 5€.
5 / 100 = 0,05
0,05 = 5%

You divide your net profit by the total amount of money staked and the result is your yield. A good bettor will have a yield between 5% and 10% in the long run.

What is Return on Investment (ROI)?

Return on Investment is the ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

Example: You have a bankroll of 200€. Your initial deposit was 50€. This month you won 20€.
20 / 50 = 0,4
0,4 = 40%
Your Return on Investment for this month is 40%.

Note that ROI is always calculated for a fixed period of time. That may be monthly or annually.
Read more about definitions and formulas.

That’s it for Part 2 of our Sports Betting Guide for Beginners.

Sports Betting Guide For Beginners – Part 1

There are generally two types of people who bet on sports. The first group is people who have some money to burn and enjoy the thrill of betting and being more engaged and invested in the result and the game itself. They don’t really expect to make any significant money with betting and it doesn’t hit them too hard when they’re on a losing streak. They bet with their gut and place bets based on very subjective factors. It’s an absolutely legit way to go about things in sports betting if you’re ultimately not in it for the money but in the end, these people are just gambling.

The other group is a way more dedicated bunch. They analyze game and team stats and stick to rules they set themselves. These people track their progress, play the odds and want to maximize their rate of interest. They view sports betting as a way to make money.

This article is aimed at the beginners of the second group. We want to make money with our betting and we hate losing. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly won’t be easy to achieve any monetary gain with sports betting, but there are some guidelines which will greatly improve your chances of success with this hobby. For the sake of simplicity and because it’s the sport I’m personally betting the most in, I will mostly refer to soccer in this article, but the basic concepts are viable with any other sport.

Bankroll Management

We will start with the most important lesson of all the little things that will follow: Be really strict with your bankroll management. The key to bankroll management is not going broke too quickly. You will have upswings and downswings in betting just like in Poker. You will have winning streaks and you will have losing streaks. It’s absolutely normal and everyone has them. It’s of existential importance that you’re not going broke during these losing streaks even if they’re lasting longer than they usually should.

Bankroll

Let’s say you have 100€ in your bankroll. You see a match that looks promising, you research a bit and come to the conclusion that it’s worth your money to bet on a win of the away team with the odds your bookmaker is giving you. The question now is how much of your 100€ do you actually bet? Long answer short: There is no set in stone right answer or the right amount to bet. Most people who are successful with sports betting bet between 1% and 5% of their bankroll on their individual bets, with 5% being on the risky side of the spectrum already. Now you might be thinking that 1% to 5% seems extremely low and tedious to bet with but remember that we don’t want to go broke. With a 100€ bankroll and 1% stakes, you’re betting 1€ on a single bet. That’s 100 bets you can lose in a row before you go broke. With a 100€ bankroll and 5% stakes, you’re betting with 5€ on a single bet. That’s just 20 bets you’re losing in a row to go broke. That’s a huge difference.

Sure, betting just 1% of your bankroll is more tedious and when you catch a special game and win your bet with odds of 5,00 you’ll obviously ask yourself why you didn’t stake more but that’s not healthy thinking. Be grateful for your win and move on. You also need to avoid chasing losses. It doesn’t make any sense to bet double the amount of your last lost bet to recover what you lost. Don’t let winning or losing get to your head and stay with your 1% stakes.

Stay Away From Low Odds

I’ve seen it time and time again with soccer betting. Someone thinks they’ve just discovered a brand new get-rich-quick-scheme and is from now on only betting on odds of 1,05. What a great idea. If the bookie is giving you these poor odds the favorite team surely must win! The reality is: No they don’t. Teams choke, they always do and even the absolute top teams in the world sometimes do. There’s nothing worse than betting huge amounts of your bankroll on the one or two games Bayern/Barcelona/Real Madrid lose every season, but somehow people still go for this system.

I just read about someone who plans to go from £10 to £100 with betting on odds of 1,02 or 1,03. He would roll over what he won with the previous bet as the stake for the next bet and be at £118.14 after 100 bets if everything went the way he wants it to go. That’s 100 bets in a row this guy is expecting to win. I probably don’t have to tell you how incredibly unlikely that is.

Odds

Let’s see why it’s a bad idea to bet on low odds. To do this, we have to understand what odds really say about a game. Let’s take an example of Team A versus Team B. Team A is a huge favorite in this match. If you’re expecting Team A to win every match out of an imaginary 100 matches played between these teams you would have odds of 1,00. You gain nothing because there’s absolutely no risk in betting when one team always wins. If you’re expecting Team A to lose 2 matches out of these imaginary 100 matches played then you would have odds of 2/100 or 1/50 or 1,02. The odds the system mentioned earlier wants to use.

It’s obvious to see that even as a huge favorite it’s absolutely possible that a team drops 2 matches out of 100 and it’s absolutely possible that your bet is one of these matches. You don’t want that.

I would generally stay away from odds that are lower than about 1,40 or 1,50. You’re only betting 1% of your bankroll and the monetary gain from winning a bet with 1,20 odds is nothing compared to the risk involved. Of course, these figures are extremely debatable and subjective but since this is supposed to be a guide for beginners I think it’s useful to provide at least some rules of thumb.

That’s it for the first part of our guide for sports betting beginners. Stay tuned for part 2.

Review: Sportsologists

Website: sportsologists

Instagram: @sportsologists

Sportsologists provide picks for soccer, football, tennis, baseball and basketball. We tracked picks from every category but due to the volume of picks the focus is pretty heavily on soccer and football.

Sports

  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Basketball

Pre-Game/In-Play

  • Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Type

  • Point Spread
  • Money Line / Full-Time Result

Stats

  • Picks tracked: 202
  • Hit rate: 58.9%
  • Return on investment: 1.0%
  • Net profit: 6.80 units

Notes

First of all, I have to say that I like sportsologists approach with publishing picks on the website and on Instagram. It’s a refreshing change from Twitter and its bombardment with goal alerts and affiliate links. Speaking of affiliate links, those are nowhere to be found on the website.

When it comes to actual performance there’s a pretty significant difference between sports. We tracked 70 soccer picks and although they had a hit rate of 61.4% we just had a return of 1.0% and 2.10 units profit. The most profitable category were the NFL picks. We tracked 51 picks with a hit rate of 62.7% for a return of 9.2% and 18.05 units profit. The MLB picks were also profitable with a hit rate of 57.1% for a return of 6.1% and 4.15 units profit. With that said, the MLB sample size is pretty small with 21 tracked picks.

The tennis, NBA, and NCAAF picks weren’t profitable during the time we tracked the picks which results in the overall hit on the return on investment.

It seems like there’s money to be made with the NFL, soccer, and MLB picks.

Review: YBK

Website: YBKPicks.com

YBK posts picks for NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NCAAB, and MLB. We tracked picks from every category.

Sports

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball

Pre-Game/In-Play

  • Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Type

  • Point Spread

Stats

  • Picks tracked: 150
  • Hit rate: 51.3%
  • Return on investment: -6.0%
  • Net profit: -23.8 units

Stats provided on the YBK Website (not verified by us)

Current Seasons:
MLB ’17: 393-335-31 +121.84u
NBA ’18: 56-52-5 -2.85u
NFL ’17: 42-52-4 -29.90u
NCAAF ’17: 129-121-8 +9.60u

Previous Seasons:
NBA: 500-453-25 +63.45u
March Madness: 32-34 +3.15u
NFL: 92-91-11 -27.60u
NCAAF: 138-116-5 +60.70u
MLB: 40-25 +39.93u

Notes

First of all, I have to say that I love the transparency of the website and the no-bullshit-presentation of YBK’s picks. As far as I know, there’s no social media activity at all and everything is just done on the website alone.

We tracked 13 NCAAB picks (-14.2% ROI), 27 NFL picks (-10.6% ROI), 69 NCAAF picks (-2.4% ROI), 29 NBA picks (-3.3% ROI), 11 MLB picks (-7.8% ROI), and 1 Baseball pick from another league.

Unfortunately, YBK wasn’t profitable for our tracked picks. However, if you compare our sample size of the various sports to the overall number of picks stated on the website (for comparison: we tracked just 11 out of 759 possible MLB picks – about 1.45% of all possible MLB picks) you can see that this review should be taken with at least a grain of salt.

We have no indication that any of the stats posted on the YBK website itself might be false.

You could very well give parts of his picks portfolio a chance and see for yourself.

Review: In-Play Man

Twitter: @InplayMan

Website: InplayMan.com

“Top notch bets and top notch banter. The winning and sarcasm is endless!”

“In-Play Man” posts pre-game soccer picks on his website and in-play soccer picks on his Twitter. For this review we only tracked the “#IPMBetOfTheDay” from his website and his in-play picks. There are some challenges and accumulators posted on the website, but he mentions that those aren’t serious bets because they won’t be profitable in the long run.

The BetOfTheDay was tracked with 4 units per pick and the in-play picks were tracked according to his staking plan with 1 to 3 units per pick.

Sports

  • Soccer

Pre-Game/In-Play

  • Both

Preferred Bet Type

  • Match Goals
  • Multiple other bet types

Stats

  • Picks tracked: 106
  • Hit rate: 64.2%
  • Return on investment: 2.8%
  • Net profit: 7.35 units

Notes

While these stats may not seem overly impressive, we have to note that “In-Play Man” hit a losing streak late during our review. His ROI hovered between 5% and 10% for the majority of our time tracking him. Unfortunately, he lost a few of his BetOfTheDay (4 unit stakes) in a row which put a damper on the final results.

Should you choose to follow his Twitter you will get snarky remarks towards followers who ask annoying (in his eyes) questions. You will also get a lot of “BOOOM” and updates on how the picks are going.

Easily the best part of his service (apart from the picks themselves) are the stat packs he releases on a regular basis. They will be a tremendous help for your own betting adventures.

Review: Brilliant Bets

Twitter: @BrilliantBets

Website: Brilliant Bets

Membership Price: £3.99/Month

“We provide high probability insight and analysis, allowing you to finally bet with confidence.

Brilliant Bets provides a mixture of free picks and picks behind a paywall. The picks are offered on their website and they also operate through a separate Telegram channel. Unfortunately, Brilliant Bets wasn’t interested in a review of their paid picks so we can’t comment on those. They do however post (some) of their free picks on Reddit and that’s where we collected this data.

Sports

  • Soccer

Pre-Game/In-Game

  • Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Type

  • Both Teams To Score
  • Full-Time Result
  • Total Goals

Stats

  • Hit rate: 57.9%
  • Return on investment: -7.9%
  • Net profit: -9.90 units

Notes

We asked Brilliant Bets for free access to their premium picks for review purposes and were denied. Their reason for this was that their premium picks are made public after a few days so we should just track them then. However, that makes it impossible to tell if the picks have been edited or if the posted odds are realistic. Long story short: It would have been against pretty much all of our review policies.

Instead, we chose to track their free picks posted on Reddit with the results above. Brilliant Bets claim that their picks are profitable if you follow all picks from the website. We can neither confirm nor deny that. Maybe the most profitable picks (and thus the picks that allegedly keep their balance in the black) are kept behind the membership paywall.

Review: SpreadWizard (free)

Twitter: @SpreadWizard

SpreadWizard is a free tipster on Twitter with about 11.6k followers.

Sports

  • Basketball (NCAAB)
  • Ice Hockey (NHL)
  • Tennis

Pre-Game/In-Game

  • Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Types

  • Point Spread
  • Game Totals
  • Money Line

Stats

  • Hit Rate: 52%
  • Return on Investment: -5%
  • Net Profit: -5.25 units

Notes

SpreadWizard is a tipster who borders on profitability every week but ultimately couldn’t achieve positive black numbers for us. His NCAAB picks had a ROI of -6.2%, his NHL picks had a ROI of 1.2%, and his Tennis picks had a ROI of -16.5%. If you decide to follow SpreadWizard, you should follow his Game Totals (5.7% ROI), and Money Line (5.7% ROI) picks while ironically staying away from his Point Spread (-12.1% ROI) picks.

His Twitter is absolutely spam free and will just provide you with his picks and the results of those picks.

He is not affiliated with any bookmakers.

Review: Nigel Seeley (free)

Twitter: @seeley_nigel
Website: The Sun Favourite

Nigel Seeley writes betting articles for The Sun and that’s where we have tracked all his free picks from. He also picks Darts, Tennis and Football as part of paid membership programs. You can find more on that on his Twitter.

This review will be a little different than the previous ones because Nigel Seeley always picks three different bets for any game or event he writes about. He calls these bets “Star”, “Next Best” and “Outsider” and the odds reflect that. We chose to track bets of all three categories with the same stakes.

Sports

  • Soccer
  • Golf

Pre-Game/In-Game

  • Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Type

  • Full Time Result
  • Both Teams To Score
  • To Win Outright

Stats

  • Hit rate: 28%
  • Return on investment: 58,63%
  • Net profit: 59,80 units

Notes

The stats above are the combined stats for all three of Nigel Seeley’s categories. It should be noted that the 100 tracked bets weren’t distributed equally on these categories (44% “Star”, 30% “Next Best”, 26% “Outsider”).

Interesting is that the “Star” picks alone weren’t profitable (Hit rate: 43,2%, Return on investment: -24,4%, Net profit: -10,75 units) but were overall saved by two spectacular hits in the “Next Best” and “Outsider” categories with the biggest overall win coming from Danny Willett (“Outsider” pick) winning the US Masters 2016 with odds of 67,00.

Two huge Golf wins are what kept Nigel Seeley afloat during the time we tracked him. These two wins came at a respectable hit rate of 16,7% though. The only other category that proved to be profitable were his “Next Best” Soccer picks with a return on investment of 16,2% and a hit rate of 25%.

Review: PinchBet (free)

Twitter: @pinchbet
Website: PinchBet

“The leading Inplay Football Tipster on Twitter. FREE. A consistent winner.”

A pretty bold claim to make. Let’s see what PinchBet has to offer.

Sports

  • Soccer

Pre-Game/In-Game

  • Mostly In-Game, occasionally Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Types

  • Asian Handicap (44%)
  • Goal Line (19%)
  • Total Goals (16%)

Stats

  • Hit rate: 41%
  • Return on investment: 3,7%
  • Net profit: 3,85 units

PinchBet’s own stats (not tracked by us)

Notes

PinchBet picks a pretty high number of in-play bets and you would be well advised to turn on notifications on Twitter for them if you want to keep up.

Due to their sheer volume of bets, it should also be noted that it’s only natural to have a lower ROI. Instead, it results in a higher absolute return. Thus the fact that we track tipsters for a fixed number of bets and not for a specific amount of time puts PinchBet at a disadvantage in terms of net profit. Over the course of a month or half a year, PinchBet would have picked a significantly higher volume of bets than most tipsters which would result in a higher net profit.

Their Twitter is absolutely spam free and will just provide you with their picks and an update if the bet was won or lost. Furthermore, they’re genuinely nice people who will go out of their way to answer your questions.

Review: Europe’s Elite Dave (free)

Twitter: @EuroEliteFL
Website: Europe’s Elite

“Follow for pre-game football picks on a daily basis, honest, transparent and reliable.”

That’s what Dave says about himself on Twitter. We tracked 100 of his picks and put his performance to the test.

Sports

  • Soccer

Pre-Game/In-Game

  • Pre-Game

Preferred Bet Types

  • Full Time Result (77% of picks)

Stats

  • Hit rate: 42%
  • Return on investment: 19,6%
  • Net profit: 20,05 units

Notes

The return on investment for his full time result picks is (just) 8,6% which seems small in comparison to the overall return on investment of his picks, but is still an extremely good value in the world of sports betting. The overall return on investment is pushed higher by a few won doubles, draw no bet, team goals, and full time result + total goals picks.

His Twitter is absolutely spam free and will just provide you with his picks.

He is not affiliated with any bookmakers.