Want to be a Pro Sports Bettor?
You may not want to hear this, but there is a really good chance that you will never be a professional (legal) sports bettor. Like really good. We're talking 99.9% good. It is not because you can't pick games well enough though. You most likely can't, but even if you could, that is not the main reason. It is not because you don't manage your bankroll properly. You most likely don't, but even if you were the type of guy to not bet 25% of your bankroll on one play, you still have an uphill battle ahead of you in your journey to support yourself simply by betting sports.
While there seems to be so much excitement amoung sports bettors in the United States given that every state in the Union seems to have a sports betting bill in their courts, the "type" of sports book that is coming is cause for concern. There are two types of sportsbooks, "real bookmakers" who actually make their own lines (BetCris, Pinnacle, 5Dimes, BetOnline) or "fake books" who simply copy the real bookmakers lines hours after the real bookmakers post them (Bovada, William Hill, Draftkings, Fanduel) and let the pros hammer in the right price. Given the taxes and "integrity fees" associated with the US regulated market, I don't think that the real bookmakers' business model will ever work in the US which only leaves room for the fake books in this market.
Real bookmakers do all of the real work and take on all of the real risk. They generally take high limit wagers from anyone and hope that this drives their volume which it does. They profile all of their customers so they know who is betting what and when someone they respect bets something, they move the line. For example, the real books open their MLB lines at about 2 pm EST for the next day's action. They do so at a low limit early on so they can shape their lines and not get killed at the same time for any "mistakes" they made with their openers. The skilled bettors go through these lines, bet them for the low limits and as they do so, the books move the numbers. After the numbers have moved enough, the bets stop coming in (because there is no more perceived value) and the market is set. This is when the fake books copy these numbers and post them as their own. What a world.
But even if you can beat the fake books' numbers which means beating stomped on lines as well as outrageous holds, you will still run into a problem that NOBODY can get around. The biggest advantage the fake books have is their ability to only take bets from people they think will lose. If you look at the terms of service of most books, most will actually say they only take bets from "recreational players" or something to the like. This means, IF YOU BEAT THEM OR THEY FEEL LIKE YOU WILL OVER TIME, THEY WILL BAN YOU OR LIMIT YOUR ACTION TO LESS THAN $100 PER BET. You literally have no chance to legally bet sports for a living in the United States. Legalization is great, huh?
Hopefully there will be books that take "sharp" customers but even those are sure to limit those customers to $2000 or less per bet after awhile. I hope I am wrong on that but I don't think so. $2000 a bet may sound like a lot to some guys but if you are trying to support yourself betting sports, you will need much higher limits or 100+ outs to do so at that range. I just don't see it happening. In my opinion, your best bet is to just try to fly under the radar with your bet sizes and try to pay your bills with your winnings each month. No matter what, you will need another source of income.