Finding an edge in constantly evolving betting markets is a difficult challenge. Technology has without doubt made profitable edges harder to find and to sustain. Once an edge is found it invariably evaporates over time.
To quote the legendary sports bettor Billy Walters:
“I probably had to re-invent myself 25 times in the last 20 years. If I hadn’t re-invented myself, I would have been out of business. That goes for anyone in any business. There’s going to be constant change of any industry you’re in and if you don’t change with it and you don’t change ahead of it, you become like a dinosaur; you become extinct.”
The markets with the biggest potential earnings attract the most attention. This high attention creates a strong consensus market and the ‘wisdom of crowds’ is certainly one that needs to be respected. Profits are still possible but swimming against a strong tide requires you to be a better swimmer.
Edges are easier to find in less popular events and markets. Your challenge then becomes overcoming lower betting limits and bookmakers being unwilling to take your action.
The term ‘value’ is often misunderstood. Some bettors and members of the sports media suggest it means you’re always looking for underdogs or teams at big moneyline odds.
But the truth is value can be found at any part of the spectrum. A team at -300 might be better value than another team at +300. A team getting 10 points doesn’t (on its own) mean they’re better value than one giving up 10 points.
You can’t just go out and create value. But successful bettors recognize it and capitalize on it.
Value can be defined as when the probability of an outcome to occur is greater than the probability implied by the odds available.
To quote Billy Walters again:
“If you value something at ten, then you’re a buyer at eight and a seller at 12.”
Examine your current position and where you want to be. Conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to help establish the path. Focus on financial position, return on turnover, number and type of events available, number of wagering operators available, staking plans, quality of data.
Faith is an essential element of any long term endeavor. It generally builds up over time or through extensive research. Whether you are using a personally generated position or advice from another source, if you lack faith it will hinder your success. Any long term endeavor will involve challenges and betting is no different. From my observation the successful professionals bet with a level head. They don’t allow wins or losses to change their path or opinion.
Every bettor has a different risk personality. Engaging in an unsuitable position will lead to stress which in turn will lead to errors and poor decision making. Success can be found at all risk positions but only by people suited to the environment.
Some successful bettors lose touch with the true value of the dollar. Their bets become like monopoly money and quickly spiral out of control. Discipline goes out the window and failure follows.
A great betting tip to always remember is that it’s not profit until it’s in your pocket.
Handicapping games can become all-consuming but to have long term success bettors need to switch off and get away mentally. The sedentary nature of professional sports betting makes exercise essential.
Healthy body, healthy mind.
Eliminate the word ‘luck’ from your vocabulary because good or bad luck doesn’t exist. They counter each other over time.
Expect to get hit in the mouth and be sure to stick with your plan.