So you're a bettor who wants to make some money by following the betting tips of expert tipsters. Should you pay for betting tips, signing up for a tout service costing hundreds of dollars for advertised “expert picks”? Or should you find free betting tips you can trust and follow those?
Should You Pay For Betting Tips?
Speaking generally, you probably shouldn’t pay for betting tips. History has made it very clear that most customers paying for the betting tips of “touts” take the worst of it with their betting bankrolls. The purchased selections don’t outperform the market and customers are also out of pocket for whatever fee they paid for the services in the first place. The betting tips industry is not an industry full of success stories in terms of pick performance. You’re more likely to hear horror stories than raves. It's an industry that has gathered a bad reputation, and in many cases, it is a reputation that is well deserved.
If you apply the power of analytics (plus a heavy dose of common sense), you’ll discover why the majority of betting tip services represent bad investments and how a handful of successful and truly profitable tipsters have managed to beat market.
#1 - Don’t Be Impressed By Gaudy Winning Percentages
The numbers in this field typically lie. It’s very easy to create illusions with winning percentages. The betting tips industry is basically a living, breathing example of how to trick people with illusions created about 50/50 handicappers by cherry-picked situational winning percentages.
Some tipsters just make up winning percentages, and fake documentation if it’s asked for.
Other tipsters, after experiencing the normal ebb and flow of variance that happens in all fields of gambling, advertise only what happened during the hottest part of their run. Handicappers who are 50/50 with their overall picks will have better percentage short stretches just as a natural result of the laws of probability. They’ll tell you about the good runs, while leaving out the bad runs that brought them back to 50/50.
Other tipsters create a variety of “clubs” that offer different sets of selections (usually pegged toward categories along the lines of “recreational bettor,” “serious bettor,” and “high roller”), and then only advertise the record from the most successful of the clubs. A 50/50 handicapper may be 65/35 in one club, but 35/65 in another. Guess which one you’re going to hear about?
It’s now very common online to find “groups” of tipsters under one corporate umbrella, with websites advertising the most recent positive variance of their “hottest” handicappers. Out of a group of several 50/50 calibre handicappers, somebody just had a winning week. That’s who you’re going to hear about. Or, you’ll hear about the “hot” picks of one guy, and the “hot” club offered by another. Just as those options regress back toward 50/50.
Why does this happen? Because it works! It works from the perspective of pick sellers, because too many gamblers demand hearing about gaudy winning percentages. They won’t pay unless they hear a high number. So, many betting tip services oblige them either through fraudulent means or “lies of omission.” It works very much against serious bettors trying to find legitimately successful betting tip services because there’s so little clean data to apply analytics to.
If you want to follow and pay for access to a betting tips service, make sure their pick results are fully disclosed and, evaluate a meaningful sample size of at least a few hundred selections so you're accounting for the peaks and the valleys. Transparency is the key here. For example, not only are all the tips at bettingexpert free, but you can easily research any of the tipsters posting tips. Every tip by every tipster is recorded and you can simply search and compare the results for any tipster in any league and/or sport across any time-frame.
Don’t be a mark for places trying to sell illusions. There's a reason why most tips sites don't disclose their results. If you want to make genuine money by following picks, don't be fooled by marketing. Do your research. Ask around on betting forums or Twitter to see what other bettors have to say about the picks service you are considering. You'll soon discover if it is truly what it claims to be.
#2 - Focus On Content
Many pretenders expose their weaknesses when forced to discuss an actual game. They’re experts at persuasion when trying to sell themselves or take your money, but not experts at analysis when handicapping. Because so many tipsters currently make online videos or post content on their websites, you can apply the fundamentals of analytics to their abilities.
Are they talking about the nuts and bolts of how games are actually won or lost on the field? Or, are they talking about general, big picture historical trends that have little to do with the “chess” elements of any matchup?
Are they talking about skill sets, and how competing skill sets match up? Or, are they talking about “intangibles” like “rising to the occasion” or “choking under pressure” that are usually crutches used by those incapable of really understanding a skill set matchup?
Are they talking strategy? Or, are they trying to impress people by saying as many player names as possible to create the illusion of insight? Are they speaking realistically about the variety of ways a game could go? Or, are they using some overly aggressive terms from salesmanship to suggest their way is the only way a game could go? Are they aware of the nuances of value based on the market price? Or, are they saying something like “the line doesn't even matter here,” in a way that disrespects an informed market?
Analyse their presentation. If it’s not a tout who makes videos or writes articles, get him on the phone and ask him directly. Once you start looking for these tells, you’ll see them everywhere.
#3 - Remember That True Success Stories Tend To Specialise In Softer Markets
It’s very difficult to consistently outperform widely available odds in mature, high volume markets. Opening lines are fairly strong to begin with. Then, the smart money pounds the number to the right spot quickly as a general rule. This is not to say that closing lines cannot be beaten. But if you're not ahead of the market, your profitability will be limited. And if you're already paying a high subscription fee for picks, you may find your profitability next to nothing.
Touts who are telling you that they are experts at beating the market even after the sharps have bet need to be treated very sceptically. That’s not how you beat the NFL! Or any other sport.
But, let’s say you run into a person selling picks who passes the litmus tests we just outlined about legitimate expertise and he’s talking about how he only bets college basketball Over/Unders in the US, or only bets the WNBA, or only bets one of the top leagues in European football that he’s followed closely his whole life. That’s much more realistic, and more believable. They still may not win for you over a certain period of time. But, you’re more likely dealing with a 55/45 volume tipster who will help you show a profit than a 50/50 salesman playing off the weaknesses of gamblers.
Now, let’s put it all together
Best To Avoid: Tipsters emphasising what are likely cherry-picked misleading win percentages against the largest global betting markets, who don’t express a true understanding of skill sets and strategies when providing game analysis.
Best To Consider Seriously: Tipsters emphasising and expressing their expertise in smaller, more vulnerable markets, who will not only disclose their full set of results, but likewise talk to you realistically about likely win percentages moving forward.
This may sound like we're telling you that nobody can be trusted to beat the odds in higher volume established markets. We wouldn’t go quite that far. Just remember that waiting until kickoff to attack widely available numbers that have already been bet into place can be very difficult to beat.
And, it’s an even more difficult market to profit from if you’re starting out in the hole because of an over-priced up-front payment to a selection service. If you're considering purchasing a subscription for a betting tips service, work intelligently through the process so you can make the best possible decision for your bankroll.