Sports & Gambling – Where Is Sportsmanship?

It was only a couple of thousand years ago that sports was culminated by the Romans when they had what they called their own version of the Olympic games. The progress of these games saw what we now have as the modern day Olympics.

Since then, many other sports have risen in popularity in modern times with the biggest being football which is followed by almost 2 billion followers around the world. Many of these sports have made millionaires of the players who excel and represent their sports in the international arena.

The most famous being Tiger Woods (#1 ranked golfer in the world) who has been proclaimed as the 1st billionaire sportsman since the beginning of sports.

There is also Michael Jordan (rated by many as the greatest basketball player of all times) who is a few hundred million short of becoming a billionaire himself.

With these players one cannot easily say that they have not performed 100% each time they go out and play. Looking at their performance record it would be more easy to say that they have excelled 90% of the times they have played. Being humans we all have our bad days due to illness, stress, family issues etc. Thus, the few substandard performances.

But there are sports that is so glaringly transparent that gambling has got a hold in their hallowed halls of management. The sport that I am talking about is FOOTBALL.

Take the recent World Cup for example. There were more than 20 incidences where a wrong call or no call by the referee or linesman made a critical difference to the outcome of the match. This would seem insignificant to most viewers except those who had bets on the outcome of the game. And it is the belief that at least 5% of viewers bet on the matches around the world. This would amount to 100 million viewers globally. If the value of each bet was $10 that would make the value of each match a cool $1 billion. There were more than 30 matches throughout the tournament. That’s more than $30 billion at stake. Astounding isn’t it. Just over a period of about 30 days.

You see, the mistakes that were made by the referee or linesmen could have been avoided if FIFA (world governing body for football) had agreed to install the video playback which is currently used by other sports like tennis and badminton. It takes only a few seconds for the playback verification. It also takes out the ‘unfair play’ factor. Joseph Blatter (FIFA chairman) has made a statement on ‘fair play and respect’. What fair play? Millions were lost to syndicates. So why the indifference by FIFA? Could it be that the gambling syndicates have their support even within FIFA???

This means that past history on football could very well have changed if video playback technology was implemented and I would like to recall that most famous incident involving Diego Maradona and his ‘hand of god’ incident against England. He scored with his hand which is in effect a foul. Not a goal.

Let’s take a look at one example, a top team playing with a team ranked in the 70s. The odds of the top team going through would probably be 3 or less to 1. That means whoever betted on the top team stands to win $30 or less if they had betted $10. If 10 million viewers did the same thing then the stake of the match would be about $300 million. It is very easy to BUY someone for let’s say $1 million when the stake is $300 million wouldn’t you agree? It is very hard as a human to ignore this kind of temptation when you earn about $100 to $200 per game (as in the case of the linesmen and referees and to not make a call at a critical stage during the match).

Let’s take a look at the same example but with a different betting stake. Most bets are on a variable stake. That means that the bet is broken down into several stakes. Take team A (top team) and team X (ranked 70s). The bet would look something like this:

Team A beat Team X = Odds are 3 to 1

Team A beat Team X by 1 goal = Odds are 3 to 1

Team A beat Team X by 2 goals = Odds are 5 to 1

Team A draws with Team X (90 minutes) = Odds are 10 to 1

So if there is a result where Team X beats Team A or draws with Team A (full match including overtime), it’s all profits for the syndicates.

There have been recorded incidences in the past about referees and linesmen being involved in match fixing. There were also recorded incidences in the past about football players being involved in match fixing. So with all this sordid history, wouldn’t you think FIFA would want to implement video playback technology? If they have not done so and are postponing this glaring truth technology you have to ask yourself why? WHY?

This would not even be considered if video playback technology was implemented.

Quantity vs. Quality in Sports Gambling

We have all heard a handicapper or sports gambler boast of their ability to win at a 60% or better clip. Is it possible to win at that percentage over a short period of time? Absolutely. If someone is able to maintain that winning percentage over the course of years – enjoy your riches, and I wish you all the luck in the world. Now the truth. It’s not going to happen – forget it, 60% is nearly impossible over any substantial length of time. 55%, maybe, but anyone who claims a 60% win rate over multiple sports and seasons is simply lying – or they are betting a very small number of games. Don’t give up yet however. Below I will show that winning 54 out of every 100 games (54%) can turn a nice profit.

The example below will examine the attainable profits from different amounts a games wagered and different winning percentages of those games. For the sake of argument

someone could claim that they have hit 60% winners betting on sports the past three years, for example. But if they only bet 10 games a year – 30 total over the three year span – and they win 18 of those, I guess they have the right to claim they can handicap sports at a 60% win rate. Technically correct, but a very weak claim.

Wager size $110

Betting $110 to win $100

60% winning percentage over 30 games

18 winners = $1800

12 losers = $1320

Profit = $480

For someone who claims to pick 60% winners over the past three years, and is betting roughly $100 a game – a $480 profit does not look all that impressive. So much for that impressive 60% winning percentage.

Let us now look at a different example. A guy claims that he has hit a conservative 54% of his games over the past 3 years (52.38% is the break even point). However, over the course of that time he bets roughly 3 games per day on all major sports. His total games bet would be 3285 over that time span. Let’s examine his numbers using the same bet size as the so called 60% bettor.

Wager size $110

Betting $110 to win $100

54% winning percentage over 3285 games

1774 winners = $177400

1511 losers = $166210

Profit = $11,190

You can see from these simple examples that it is important to not only look at winning percentages, but also the number of games wagered and the bet size to realistically analyze potential profits. Be sure to take this into account when analyzing your bets, or when you hear outrageous claims of 60% or better winning percentage over a long period of time.

Good luck with your wagers, and I wish you the best of luck this year!

The Eight Basic Rules of Sports Gambling

The below are the rules that avoid most common mistakes made by sports gamblers. Follow these 8 basic rules and you will find your sports betting balance growing quickly:

1. Never, no matter what, bet more than you can afford to lose.

2. Always bet no more than 2.5% to 3.5% of your balance per wager. For example, if your wagering account balance is $1,000.00. You would not bet more than $25.00 or $35.00 per bet.

3. Only increase the amount you bet per wager once you have increased your balance by 25%. For example, if your starting balance was $1,000.00 you would bet $25.00 per bet until you reached $1,250.00. At this point you would increase the amount you wager per bet to $31.00 per wager. You would continue to wager $31.00 per bet until your balance increased again by 25% (when it hit $1,560.00).

4. Never decrease the amount you wager per contest. This is a sure fire recipe for dissaster.

5. Always play the same amount on every wager. In other words, do NOT play $25.00 on one game and $15.00 on another game. Bet 2.5% of your balance on every play you make.

6. Do not play parlays. Parlays have great payouts, but the odds of winning and the Return on Investment (ROI%) can be poor. If you want to play a parlay for the potential big payout, play less than 1% of your balance on the parlay.

7. Track your Return on Investment (ROI%). Return on Investment is a mathematic formula that tells you how much money you win for every dollar that you bet. For example if your ROI% is 50%, then for every $1.00 you bet you win $0.50 (or for every $100.00 you bet, you win $50.00). ROI% is expressed as a percentage and is figured by dividing the total amount of your winnings by the total amount you have wagered.

8. Track your ROI% on each sport individually. You will learn your strengths and weaknesses.

How to Profit From Sports Gambling

The goal for sports punters is to earn a profit whilst enjoying our favourite sport. The sad truth is that for the majority of gamblers, this is an elusive dream. However by developing and carefully following a stratagem anyone can make this dream a reality.

There are two factors to consider to profit from sports gambling:

  • Bet Selection
  • Staking Plan

Bet Selection

The first, Bet Selection, is obvious – we need to back winners at least some of the time. Let’s consider Horse Racing, anecdotally there are many professional punters who earn a comfortable living from picking horses, but the key word here is professional. Research and analysis of each horse in the 59 racecourses across the UK takes a sizeable amount of time and experience. If you want to be successful then it’s a full time job! For the majority of us this means we have to use the advice of experts to do some of the legwork for us.

Horse Racing Tipsters

UK horse racing has no end of self-proclaimed “experts” on the Internet charging up to £100 per month. When selecting a horse racing tipster the most important factor we need to consider is long term results.

The Internet is awash with tipsters who have had one good month but then go on to post a loss for the next six – but you will only see this one month on their home page! Never follow any tips without first checking the tipster’s full result history. Choose a tipster who publishes all their horse racing tips history, ideally where the results of the tips are published the next day along with a complete history of all their tips.

Take a look at a Tipster Proofing site such as Racing-Index who grades the results for a number of tipsters. Consider which tipster gives you gave for money and fits with your own betting profile – can you actually place the 100s of tips each month some tipsters require?

Following tipsters alone is not likely to earn us riches – the best tipsters are locked out for new members or charge such high rates that any profits are lost immediately. The solution is to develop our own system using tips from expert sources combined with our own research. This is the strategy successfully used in greyhound racing by followers of the site. As with most things; the more you put into your system the more you will get out.

Staking Plan

Once we have a betting strategy in place it is time to look at a staking plan. The simplest is Fixed or Level Stakes where we simply bet the same amount, for instance 2% of our initial betting bank, each time on our selected horse, however we would want to increase our wagers as our betting bank grows. This leads to Percentage Staking where a percentage of the current betting bank is wagered each time. This means as we win our stakes are larger and conversely the stakes shrink when the betting bank decreases.

However, intuitively we know these staking plans to be overly naive as we would be putting the same amount of money on a horse with low odds compared to a horse with high odds. As we are looking to maximise our profits we should be putting a larger stake on a low odds bet as the return will be less.

To find the optimal staking plan we could take a correspondence course in statistics and dedicate several years into research. Fortunately we live in age where this research is at our fingertips. From probability theory we have the Kelly Strategy where the optimal percentage of our betting bank is calculated from the odds of the bet and our own estimate of the probability of the horse winning.

Using an online Kelly Strategy Calculator just feed in the values to get the percentage of the betting bank to put on each horse. Now the Kelly Strategy can give us some scary percentage stakes if we have an initial run of high odds horses so we could adapt it to a Half Kelly Staking Plan where we wager half the percentage advised by the Kelly Strategy. This would result in a slower accumulation of gambling profits but a less hair-raising ride.

The most important sports gambling advice to heed is only bet with funds you can afford to lose. Always gamble responsibly – if you feel you need help and advice with problem gambling visit http://www.gambleaware.co.uk.