These ads are found across the internet from professional handicappers offering you their winning picks for a promotional price. But, is it really worth it to fork out a few bucks for what you hope will be picks that translate to winning bets? Unfortunately, there is no simple right or wrong answer to that complicated question.
A tout is someone who gets paid for bet selections that are supposed to make the bettor money. Why do they take on the aggravation of running an advice business? The answer is that to support yourself just betting on the NFL takes a huge financial stake because your edge is relatively small.
Finishing 20 bets ahead after the to odds you must give to the sports books is tough over the course of an NFL season.
The exact amount depends on your winning percentage, the number of games you bet, and other factors, but for a pro who depends on his bankroll for his living and has no other way than sports betting to replenish it, a very substantial betting stake is required.
To make a decent living, there is nothing wrong or inconsistent with a capable handicapper selling his selections to those who prefer others to do their handicapping.
Most bettors expect a sports picker to win a huge percentage of the time. This is despite the fact that virtually every handicapping tournament has shown that the best anyone can do selecting NFL or NBA games over the course of one season is in the low to middle 60 percent range.
I know of no sports service that has done better than about 60 percent over a number of seasons. And those that consistently reach 60 percent are very few. Yet, despite all the evidence available, customers still want someone who claims to win 75 or 80 percent against the point spread.
Many potential customers are turned off when I tell them not to expect those percentages from me, especially when other services out there are making those claims. Other would-be customers are often under-financed.
This would mean that the customer ended up Over the course of the season, I would have to end up more than six bets ahead just to cover what this person paid me. I remember one year in the NBA playoffs where I lost nine bets in a row.
Because I had the money to continue betting, I ended up hitting just over 60 percent for the playoffs, or nine bets to the good. However, if I had used too large a betting unit, I would have tapped out before I got to my win.
In , I had one week where I went Despite this horrendous week, I ended up the season a winner. Someone who was under-financed, however, might have tapped out that week and never seen the profits.
Just as bad weather, an injury, a bad call, or bad bounce of the ball can turn a winning bet into a losing one, a number of bad beats can turn a winning season into a losing season.
For a truly winning handicapper, an entire losing season is rare. But it always remains a mathematical possibility. Other potential customers are hampered by not having access to early- and late-week lines. The lines are most valuable early in the week when professional bettors are pouncing on mistakes made by the odds makers in their attempt to read the betting public.
Unfortunately, most bettors who follow touts like to bet at the end of the week, and often have betting access only then. Not betting early takes away early-week plays for bettors following me, and will often cost them wins.
This may not only deny them wins, but turn those wins into losses. I remember a time I gave a bettor just one selection for the week. I told him not to take fewer than six points on the Falcons. He followed my advice and took six points early in the week. However, as the week went on this man craved more action.
But no matter how many times he called me for more picks, I kept telling him that the rest of the games that weekend were not good investments. Still, at the end of the week he bet more.
First, he increased his bet on the Falcons. Then, he bet two games that were on television.
You can probably guess what happened. The Falcons lost by exactly six points and the two television game bets lost.
A week that should have ended with a push bet ended up for him. I have noticed through the years that many bettors who use touts crave action. To get it, they are willing to take the worst of the betting line after it has changed during the week. Giving up the to, betting with the moves, and taking the worst of it costs money.
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Some are able to win but most of them have been consistent losers when they bet. Many have actually gone broke betting and are looking to get money from others to make up for their poor selections. Many touts have multiple services within one service.
This way they can almost always truthfully claim that at least one of their services is doing well. For instance, a tout may operate the following services: a An early-week newsletter giving selections on each game, emphasizing two or three ; b A midweek newsletter giving selections based on "new" information ; c A weekend phone service giving selections over the weekend ; d A late phone service giving selections in the two hours before game time that have the latest "inside" information ; and e An exclusive phone service giving the absolute top picks within a half-hour of game time.
Typically, the last option will cost bettors the most and the first will cost bettors the least. Typically also, as the week goes on, the tout will switch sides on some games because of "new" information.
In this way, the tout can truthfully advertise that one of his services had the winner of the game. In addition, by systematically switching sides, the tout makes sure that at least one of his five services will have a good week.
In his next ad, he will brag about going the week before. To top it off, some tout services are owned by others. If one service of the empire is doing poorly, another within it that is doing well can mail a flier to the disgruntled customers of the poorly performing service.
Other sports services give out selections on numbers. Sometimes there are additional charges for extra minutes.