Can you make money from sports betting?

Sports betting continues to explode as billions of cash is won and lost on a yearly basis and yes, you can make money out of it. Most sports bettors are fans themselves, but it’s not unheard of for casual fans to turn a profit. All it takes is to win 53% of your bets. Yes, that means winning just above half of the bets you place. But in order to do so, you’ll have to learn the intricacies of sports betting.

Why consider sports betting?

Sports betting is one of the few industries that keeps growing regardless of global events. With the continued legalization of online gambling and the eruption of eGaming and fantasy sports, the total amount of money wagered on sports goes over $150 billion each year in the US alone.

Although most of this money is spent between the “sharks” (the professional gamblers), regular folk including casual sports fans have come away winning thousands or even millions. Not everyone can do it. But it is doable.

A profitable sports bettor wins at least 53% of their bets. They usually have a strategy, do intensive research, and use the best sports betting sites to find the best promotions.

But why just 53%? Let’s break down the numbers.

The math behind sports betting

In any other case, having a 53% success rate doesn’t inspire confidence. Can you imagine if your surgeon boasted to you that he gets it right only 53% of the time? But in sports betting, having a winning record means you are beating the books and taking home some cash.

Say you bet on 200 games and have a 53% win percentage. This puts your record at 106-94. Assuming every bet you make is lined evenly at -110, you’ll be up by 2.6 units meaning you’ve increased your initial deposit by 2.6%. This is just slightly under what TFSAs get annually.

Let’s push the success rate a little higher at 56%, which would put you in elite territory. Betting the same amount of games would put your record at 112-88 and you’ll be up by 15.2 units. A 15.2% ROI is almost five times your TFSA’s annual return and is even better than most index funds people put their money in.

This is considering that you get more than half of your bets correct. Remember that if you invest in sports betting, it’s a long-term gamble. If you want a chance to win big overnight, play the lottery.

Also, do not be discouraged when you start to fall below 50% or if you finish the season at a net negative. Keep an eye on the bigger picture. Keep improving and stay focused.

Now, the other half of this equation is where to start betting. Let’s look at how to find the best sportsbooks.

What to look for when selecting sports betting sites

You’ve probably seen or heard of online sportsbooks. There are countless of them and there seems to be a new one popping out every week. But recognizing the best of the bunch shouldn’t be too hard. Keep an eye out for these criteria when reviewing books:

Reputation and legitimacy

What do people say about the sportsbook? Chances are, the most reputable sportsbooks are also the most popular. Sure, there will always be a few bettors who will rip the book with complaints but the good books will have significantly less than the shady ones. Also, learn what customers say about the customer service and how long the book has been operating.

Bonuses and promotions

Almost all sportsbooks have bonuses and promotions, but some stand out. Most books will

offer to match your money deposit with an equal amount of betting money but with restrictions. Some will match more money and some will have fewer restrictions. Other books also have special offers for specific sports. Find the books that offer promotions on the sports you want to bet on.

Quality of betting lines and markets

Last but not least, look through the betting lines of the sportsbook. Are they offering higher or lower odds than others? And when do they release them? Some books release lines faster than others. Books also focus on specific sports depending on their clientele. For example, UK-based books focus heavily on soccer and are some of the first to release soccer betting lines.

The bottom line is, you can make money from sports betting. But just like investing, this will take time and patience and is not a get rich quick scheme. Be diligent and realistic and maybe you will beat the books and earn some coin.