Are profitable sports bettors lucky or talented?
We all read a few stories about people placing big accumulator bets and making $10,000 from a $100 stake. Was it the result of pure luck or skills?
In this article, we will explain the concept of luck when it comes to betting.
The key to successful sports betting is to extract value from a bet. Value means that the odds you are getting are higher than the actual probabilities of your bet to win, for instance odds of 2.15 on a “fifty/fifty” event.
Can a beginner ignore the concept of value, place 10 random bets and end up winning money? The answer is yes.
The most basic situation to explain this is a fair coin toss. To expect either a head or tail implies a probability of 50%, which is the equivalent of odds of 1.95 (margin included).
Anyone can toss a coin 10 times and get a head 7 times. The probability of it landing heads up 5 times is actually of about 25%.
But now, if anyone had the courage to toss a coin a million times, he will necessarily get a head 50% of the time. That is because long-term high variance comes into play.
If we apply this to sports betting, it means that winning 7 out of 10 bets on odds of 2.00 right after your first deposit, does not necessarily show you are a good punter. The same way losing 7 out of 10 bets does not necessarily mean you are a bad bettor.
On the other hand, if you have placed 5,000 bets and you have secured a profit, then it is very unlikely this could be the result of luck and is more likely the outcome of talent and sharp betting choices.
The luck we are talking about is just long-term variance. Many punters think way too short term when it comes to betting and they either make a large sum quickly or lose a large sum. Remember, sports betting is a long-term high variance form of gambling. Over the long course, your skills will always overcome the luck factor and dictate whether you are a winner or a loser.
From our experience, we could advice that a sample size of between 800 to 1,000 tips would be the minimum number you should take into consideration before assessing whether or not a particular tipster is blessed with either great luck or great talent.
Two final reminders:
– Always make sure to apply strict money management rules to your betting bankroll. Unfortunately, almost every punter soon or later make the mistake to increase their stakes while on a losing streak.
– Choose a bookmaker that applies low margins to their markets, as value opportunities are more likely, because unlike a coin toss the odds are influenced by numerous factors.
If you have any question, please drop a comment or contact us directly.