You may look at this post’s title and think that I’m trying to sell you an online sports betting course or software.
But the truth is that I just want to discuss the feasibility of making millions of dollars in sports wagering. Furthermore, I want to explore what steps you need to reach this goal.
Many sports bettors fantasize about turning their small bankroll into a fortune. But very few lay out a clear path to get here.
I don’t guarantee to have a magical formula that’ll make everybody who reads this a multi-millionaire. Otherwise, I definitely would be selling an online course at the end of this post—and for quite a bit of money!
But you’ll at least learn how you can build your bankroll into the millions through calculations, bankroll management, and proper strategy.
The first thing that you should know before embarking on a journey towards millions is how often you have to win.
The breakeven point for wagers with 10% juice (a.k.a. vigorish) is 52.4%. You start to win profits when winning anything higher than this rate.
Sportsbooks usually take 10% juice from the losing side. This means that you need to win 11 out of every 21 bets to break even (11/21).
Many beginning sports bettors think that this sounds realistic. After all, you only need to win slightly over half your bets to reach the breakeven point.
Some of the same sports bettors even turn their nose up at experts who “only” win 55% of their bets. How can these people be expert handicappers when they’re only winning a little more than half their bets?
The truth, though, is that this is actually an outstanding winning percentage in the long run.
Most professionals win somewhere between 53.5% and 55% of their wagers. Anybody who wins above this rate is a rare breed.
The reason why even the pros don’t win 60% of their bets is because sportsbooks create lines to draw equal action on both sides. As long as they can create equal action, they’re guaranteed a profit with their 10% vigorish.
The average bettor, meanwhile, stands to win 50% of their bets. But since they also have to pay 10% vig on every losing wager, they’ll lose money over the long term.
Considering how sportsbooks set their lines to split the action 50/50, it’s difficult to win at a high percentage. This is why the best are only able to win around 55% of their wagers.
You should consider it a victory if you can break even in the beginning. But you’ll, of course, want to improve and win at least 53% of your bets.
Unless you’re able to magically win 70% of your bets, you’re not going to earn millions of dollars from sports betting with a small bankroll. You instead need a large amount of money so that you can make bigger bets that earn more profit.
Here are a couple of examples to illustrate this point.
You can see the drastically higher profit when you have a huge bankroll.
I don’t expect anybody to have a $1 million bankroll any time soon. But the idea is to grow your funds so that you can maximize your profit potential.
You can also bet a larger percentage of your bankroll on each wager. The examples above only see you risk 1% of your funds.
But as I’ll cover later, it’s a good idea to limit the percentage of your bankroll that you’re willing to bet.
The average sports bettor can barely cobble together $1,000, let alone a six- or seven-figure bankroll that’s capable of making a fortune.
Don’t let this discourage you, though, because I’m not emphasizing that you make millions of dollars within a year. Instead, this is a process that sees your winnings grow exponentially over time.
You might only win a few thousand or even a few hundred dollars in your first year of sports betting. But you can use these winnings to continue multiplying your bankroll.
Set a profit goal so that you have a clear vision on how much you can realistically make in a single year. This allows you to figure out what kind of bankroll and average bets you need to reach this goal.
Here’s an example where you aim to make $500 during the basketball season.
We’ve figured out how much profit you’ll earn for every 100 wagers. Now you can use this info to calculate how many total wagers you’ll need to reach the profit goal of 5 units.
$500 certainly isn’t a lot of money in the sports betting world, especially when you’re trying to win millions. But this example shows the type of calculations you need to use to reach your profit goal.
Of course, you’ll need to make much larger wagers to win big in sports betting. This is why the pros often bet 5-figure sums on many games.
If we swap out the $100 bets with $10,000 bets in the above example, you’d only need an average of 2.13 wagers to win a $500 profit.
You likely won’t build a small bankroll to massive proportions through winning alone. This is why you should add a certain percentage of your disposable income (i.e., 15%-25%) over time to increase your bankroll.
I’ve covered how you stand to make far more money with larger bets. But betting limits are one problem that you run into as you keep winning and increasing your wagers.
Sportsbooks don’t just allow people to bet whatever amount they like. Instead, there are limits on bet sizes, online deposits, and withdrawals.
Bookmakers claim that this is to protect compulsive gamblers. But while this is one reason for wagering limits, another big reason is that they want to protect themselves.
If a smaller sportsbook took a $1 million wager, it would heavily tilt the action to one side. And the sportsbook would be in serious financial trouble if the bet went against them.
This problem doesn’t just apply to small operations, though, because larger sportsbooks also take serious risk with huge wagers. In their case, they don’t want to be on the losing side of massive wagers and have a bad financial quarter.
Anybody who’s wagering large amounts in pursuit of millions needs to know the betting limits at their sportsbook. The last thing you want to do is limit your profit potential by not being able to make the large wagers you need.
Read the terms and conditions at an online sportsbook before making your first deposit. And visit with the casino/sportsbook host to figure out the limits at a land-based sportsbook.
Big online sports betting sites let players deposit up to $10,000 and cash out up to $100,000 in a single transaction. Some of the large Asian sportsbooks allow deposits up to $100,000 and cash-outs worth $1 million.
The max bet allowed at smaller betting sites ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending upon the sport. The biggest sportsbooks let players risk anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 in a single bet.
You don’t need to worry about this when you’re a small bettor working your way up the stakes. But betting and deposit limits become a bigger issue as your bankroll grows and you look for larger action.
Much of what I’ve discussed up to this point involves how your bankroll and bet size affects your winnings. But these aren’t the only variables that you can change in terms of earning more profits.
Another important variable is your winning percentage. If you’re winning at a 53% rate, you obviously stand to improve by winning at a 54% rate.
But how much improvement can you expect?
Here are a couple of comparisons.
You stand to win an extra $1,050 every 100 wagers just by improving your winning percentage by one point.
Now imagine if you extend this advantage out over thousands of bets. If we’re talking about a span of 5,000 wagers, instead of 100, the total profit difference is $52,500.
Improving your win rate is easier said than done. But a few of the sports betting tips below will help you in this matter.
Winning money through basketball and football betting is difficult in the American market. The reason why is because these sports are the most popular and draw the sharpest sportsbook lines.
Likewise, soccer (football) is a very tough sport to wager on in European markets.
I’m not saying that you can’t win money by betting on the most popular sports. After all, many professionals make a good living this way.
But I’m a fan of taking the least path of resistance. And the best way to do this in sports betting is by choosing less popular major sports like baseball and hockey.
These games are just popular enough to where they draw a decent betting volume. Therefore, sportsbooks are still willing to create lines for all of the games.
But baseball and hockey don’t draw the same betting volume as basketball and football. Bookmakers know this, which is why they don’t always have the sharpest lines for NHL and MLB games.
You can find a lot of good value by betting on these sports. And this is great for improving your winning percentage and increasing your bankroll.
Keep in mind that the betting limits on these sports is often less than football and basketball. But if you’re not up to high-roller status yet, then you don’t even need to worry about this.
You can’t win $1 million in sports betting profits if you don’t pick winners. This is why it’s crucial that you’re able to find value in lines on a consistent basis.
Value is an easy concept to understand because people look for this everywhere in life. If an office chair normally costs $200 and you get it for $120 online, then you’ve gotten $80 in value.
Sports betting is similar in that you need to figure out which side of the line is giving you the best deal. Ultimately, you’ll develop your own personal system or use sports betting software to consistently find this value.
One of the easiest ways to value bet is by looking at lines when they’re first released. You can look for lines that you think the sportsbook has totally wrong and bet on them before the price moves.
Free apps like Valuebet can help you spot good lines faster than visiting all of the major online sportsbooks yourself. These apps can also alert you to line movements at different sportsbooks.
Of course, no app or sports betting guru can find line value with 100% accuracy. This is because, unlike office chair prices, we don’t have a concrete price to compare lines with.
But you can make an accurate guess by using a combination of factors to handicap the odds. Here are some factors that you can use to come up with a price.
Nobody is a sports betting pro immediately. Instead, you gradually improve over time with this form of gambling.
You should bolster your sports betting strategy by reading articles, watching YouTube videos, and finding advice on forums. You can also invest in software that helps you come up with useful trends and stats.
A simple way to find value in sports betting is by betting the underdogs on point spreads.
You’re obviously not guaranteed anything by taking an underdog. But research indicates that you’re more likely to get value this way.
University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt discovered that bookmakers set point spreads slightly against favorites. The reason why is that the public likes betting on the favorite more than the underdog.
Commenting on Levitt’s study, FiveThirtyEight notes that people often consider which team is most likely to win when looking at a line. This makes for an easier wagering process than analyzing in-depth data to determine which team will cover the spread.
Tennessee Titans +9.5
New England Patriots -9.5
Covering 9.5 points as a favorite is tough in the NFL. But the point spread shows that the Patriots are a big favorite in this home game.
Therefore, a simple way for casual bettors to make this bet is by picking the favored Patriots. Likewise, they could take New England as a big moneyline favorite in a straight-up bet.
Sportsbooks know that the public will choose the favorite more times than not. This is why the true value lies in the underdog over half the time.
Matched betting describes a strategy where you seek out free bets across different online sportsbooks. You then hedge bets on two opposing sides of a line so that you eliminate risk and collect the free wager.
Internet sportsbooks commonly offer free bets to entice new customers. For example, many sites give a free $25 bet when you make your first wager.
By placing bets on both sides of the line and claiming a free bet, you guarantee yourself a profit.
Check out the site’s terms and conditions on the wager, though, before depositing. Most bookmakers either require that you satisfy certain conditions to receive the bet or meet rollover requirements (i.e., 6x the bet amount).
Anybody with a six- or seven-figure bankroll won’t benefit from matched betting. The amount of free cash they stand to win with regular free bets isn’t significant enough to their bankrolls.
But you should certainly consider this strategy if you’re trying to build funds so that you can eventually have a huge bankroll.
Sports bettors usually win between 47% and 53% of their wagers. This means that sports betting is low volatility in comparison to other forms of gambling, such as slot machines, the lottery, and video poker.
Nevertheless, many sports bettors underestimate how streaky this game can be.
One month might see you on a hot streak where you win 65% of your bets. The next month could see you lose 75% of your wagers and decimate your bankroll.
You obviously don’t want the latter to happen, which is why you should be prepared with proper bankroll management. Pro sports bettors usually only risk 1% or 2% of their bankroll on a single contest.
They may occasionally bet up to 3%-5% percent of their bankroll on something that feels guaranteed. But even this is an incredible risk when considering the volatility involved.
Think of sports betting like blackjack or baccarat in that you can easily lose several hands (bets) in a row. And you could have a downswing that includes losing 15 of 20 hands.
But this won’t cripple you as long as you’re not risking too much of your bankroll in individual wagers.
You won’t find any secret that will help you make millions of dollars in sports betting. But it is possible because sports bettors like Billy Walters, Bob Voulgaris, and R.J. Bell have accomplished this feat.
Of course, you must learn to walk before you can crawl. In sports betting terms, you need to develop the type of bankroll and skills to reach your multimillion-dollar dreams.
Handicapping skills are the most important part in the beginning because you need to consistently find value in lines. All bets being equal, you’ll become a long-term winner by winning over 52.4% of the time.
You should aim to improve this winning percentage as much as possible. As I covered before, just boosting your win rate by 1% has a dramatic impact on your profits.
A large bankroll is necessary because you can’t win millions of dollars through $100 or $200 bets. Instead, you need to make 5-figure wagers that will bring back serious profits.
Becoming an advantage sports bettor takes time and effort. But again, this is possible for those who dedicate enough time and money towards the matter.
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