The Truth About Winning And Losing Sports Bets

Winning is about counting the money in the long term, not counting wins and losses.

While that seems obvious, the majority of sports bettors are fixated on their winning
percentage under the false perception that a good winning percentage will lead to money
to count.

Here is the truth about winning percentage that nobody seems to care much about.
There is only one thing that determines your winning percentage and it is NOT
handicapping skill. Winning percentage is ALWAYS going to be a reflection of the lines
you bet. The best handicappers will win their break even winning percentage based on
their average line, plus 3% or so. Losers will hit about 3% under their break even point.

It does NOT matter if you pick big favorites, big dogs, or point spreads. A good
handicapper that bet every line at +150 will win about 43% of their bets, while a good
handicapper that bets lines -150 will win around 63%. For the spread bettors, 55% is to
be expected for a very good handicapper.

It always works out about the same.

Most will tell you that it takes a 52.4% win rate to break even in sports betting. That is
true for a bettor that bets nothing but point spreads and totals at -110.

However, it is also true that it takes a winning percentage of 60% to break even if you
place every bet on a favorite at -150. It is also true that it takes a winning percentage of
40% to break even if you place every bet on a dog at +150.

I submit for your consideration that it is much easier to win 43% of your bets at +150
than it is to win 63% of your bets at -150. That’s because if the dog is at +150, the
favorite will be going off at -160 to -170. The books have to pay more for a dog bet, and
those who bet on favorites are willing to sacrifice profits for a win rate.

The first step to winning is to quit worrying about your winning percentage, and the first
step to losing is focusing on it as the measure of success.

It is well known that on every spread or total bet, the book does it’s best to calculate a
spread/total that makes the bet a 50-50 proposition, with a goal of equal betting and
having the losers pay off the winners so they can keep the profit created when both
players accept a monetary disadvantage just for the privilege of betting.

It is equally well known that most bettors will pick a favorite more often than a dog,
seeking a higher winning percentage. Knowing this, the books will take a monetary
advantage while hiding it through the line on the favorite. That is why if you add up the
probabilities indicated on both sides of the line it will generally total about 103%. That
extra 3% is the books profit and is charged to the favorite.

The books get away with this because most people are not willing to lose more bets than
they win, even if it helps their bankroll. Do NOT be one of them.

While there may be a time for a spread or total bet, your betting should be focused on
good dogs with good lines. Always bet to win more than you risk because that is the
one certain way to make sure the books do NOT have a monetary advantage.

If your average line is +150, you will be far more than happy with a winning percentage
of 42% than the guy who takes the other side and wins 60% of theirs. You will have a
Return on Investment of about 10%, and they will lose money fairly quickly.

The key to winning is to understand where the most profitable lines generally fall and
focus your attention on those games. It takes a good understanding of the lines and a
different approach to handicapping the games, but that is where the money is and the
focus of these systems.

I have found that the higher the lines, within reason, the more profit potential there is in
the bet. I have found the most profitable range to be +175 to +225. Most people do NOT
have the stomach for losing the number of bets it takes to play within that range.

If your line average is +200, you will have to be prepared to lose 65% of the time, and
look at 35% as a good win rate. If you were to win 35% of 100 bets at +200 you will
win 70 units, lose 65, and pocket 5 units. If you win 36% that is 72 units won, 64 lost an
8 units of profit. A 60% increase in profits for a single percentage point improvement.

By contrast, the guy took all favorites at -200 and won 68% would win 34 units, lose 32
and show a profit of 2 units. At 69% that would be 34.5 units won, 31 lost, and a show a
3.5 unit profit. At 70% he would finally equal the 35% winner at 35 units won, 30 lost,
for a 5 unit profit.

The reason that matters is because it illustrates that a 1% difference for the +200 bettor
increases the profit by 3 units for every percentage point of increase in the winning
percentage, while the big favorite -200 bettor shows 1.5 units of profit for each point of

Those are extreme average lines and most bettors will fall much closer to the +/- 150
numbers, but the exercise does provide sufficient proof as to which side of the bet stands
to make the most profit if all else is equal, and which will see more and quicker results
from their improvement.

The truth about winning and losing is a paradox. You will win more money by losing
more of your bets. This book will teach you how to profit more while winning 40% of
your bets on good lines than you could ever win by hitting 55% on bad lines like
spread/total and favorites.

If you can accept that fact, you have taken a big step towards winning.

In the end it is about winning money. The books put that money in the lines of the dogs
for those who are willing to trade their winning percentage for profits. There are NOT
many of us!