With baseball season coming back in about 4 months, many sports gamblers will be seeing ads from different sports services claiming winning percentages of 65-percent for baseball, and that’s entirely possibly, but what the services aren’t saying is that the majority of their selections were favorites of -200 or more, turning that 65-percent handicapping into a losing proposition.
The only statistic that sports bettors should be concerned with is units won, which is the amount of profit, or loss, they have over time, and not worry nearly as much about winning percentage. In the question above, it would be much better to be a 55-percent handicapper if you were playing 150 games a month, as opposed to a 60-percent handicapper playing one game a day. A winning percentage of 55-percent sure doesn’t sound as sexy as a 60-percent handicapper, but if your volume of plays is high enough, it can certainly be much more profitable.
. At the end of the month, the 55-percent handicapper would have gone 83-67 for a gain of 9.3 units, while the 60-percent handicapper would have gone 18-12 for a profit of 4.8 units, so the 55-percent handicapper has made nearly twice as much.
If somebody were to ask you if you would rather be a 60-percent handicapper or a 55-percent handicapper, which would you choose? The obvious answer is that it’s better to be a 60-percent handicapper, but that isn’t necessarily true.
The 55-percent handicapper is using what is commonly referred to as the Wal-Mart Approach, which is to have a lot of volume with the expectation of grinding out a small profit. And as is the case with the Arkansas-based giant, many times this will be more profitable than being extremely selective and doing a small amount of volume, even if the mark-up is higher.
Making it more difficult for sports bettors is that some sports services will claim to have won 200 units in a particular sport, but don’t mention that they release 10- or 20-unit plays, along with several 100-unit “locks” at the end of the year if things aren’t going so well and they need something to base next year’s advertising on.
For the bettors that do their own handicapping, however, units won is really the only thing you should be concerned with, as that ultimately is going to translate into the bottom line