Sports betting is a huge business and more and more people try to follow free, guaranteedor even paid sports picks. Since I started betting in 1998, sports picks selling became a huge business. It is not a secret that many toutd make a profit by selling picks and not by actual betting.

So, if you are looking for sports betting tips and you want to follow someone (free or paid), continue reading, because I will explain why being a sports picks follower is worthless. And why I see only one logical reason to bet.

Following sports betting picks – is a non-optimal way to win at sports betting

A sports bettor who looks for picks has very little chance to win at betting. Either he has a small bankroll or does have not enough betting knowledge to understand how the market works or how to identify a winning bettor.

Even if such sports bettors can identify +EV bettor, the betting market is simply not friendly to followers. Especially now, when the lines move faster and when we have overload (bad) information and overload handicappers.

But let’s break down sports picks subscriptions and compare betting with other investments a little bit…

There are three key reasons why people bet on sports and only one makes sense

  • MONEY – most people want money and their dream is to achieve financial goals through betting. Which at the first look sounds good. The problem is that if the only motivation is the money, there are other better (or similar) investment options (high-risk, mid-risk, and low-risk), where you don’t need to pay, follow or even analyze the games.
  • LOVE FOR THE SPORT (BEING A SPORTS FAN) – if you love the sport you can play it or watch it. No need for betting. In this category, many people think that they know the sport and they will make money. The funny thing is that betting is not a sport, but a market. And those are 2 different things. Love for the sport is a bad reason to bet. Not only that is very bad reason, but many bettors also fall into gambling addictions.
  • LOVE FOR BETTING – which in translations means numbers, math, statistics, market, investment. I see only one logical reason to bet – this one. Most people don’t think this way and because of that they lose and struggle. Sports betting can not be passive income, because professional betting is always long-term, where you divide bankroll into small units and then place small units on games. And to do this, we need to analyze games every day. Because of efficient markets, line movements, etc.. following picks makes no sense, and following picks can not beat traditional investments in terms of ROI + time invested + risk tolerance.

How people follow betting picks and why this is the wrong way

People who look for picks are usually looking at how to make money. Their motivation is making money, not actual betting. let’s be honest here. But they choose the wrong industry because betting, in general, was not made for following.

Once you take into account the whole industry, this will not work for them.

This is a conversation from bettingadvice forum a couple of years ago, which will give us a different perspective about how the whole thing of following picks, paid betting services, picks monitoring sites, etc.. is an imperfect thing and in general, following picks is a dumb thing and at the very end, an average bettor pays the price…

From a betting forum…

“A lot of paid services push their yield by taking advantage of using European bookmakers, early bets and using exotic sports for their services to achieve a higher yield, that makes them looking more attractive to potential customers.
For the average Joe is yield criteria number 1 that makes him becoming a new customer. Take for example a look at your competitor Blogabet.
Top 25 is homeland of Bet365 bettors, with just a few exceptions are all guys going the easy way by using exotic bookies, exotic markets and all the other things that make the work much easier.
Why is it that way?
Because +10% on the long run with Pinnacle in combination with a bigger soccer or basketball league is hard to achieve.
So they publish ITF tennis, Romanian 2nd league handball and all this ***. But who can blame them for that?
At the very end the foolish average Joes get what the foolish average Joes deserve. Most guys are stingy with monthly fees, want to pay pocket money but expect professional work with big bookies, never changing odds, 20% yield, no losing months and so on. They run away after just 7 bad days and jump from service to service as there really is one messiah outside they could miss in the meantime. “

“…bookie like Pinnacle open markets with a much lower max-bet that can easily be changed just by tiny investments. For example, the basketball Eurocup market starts just with a few 100 bucks a day before match-day. On match-day at around 10:00 it reaches max-bet of around 2k.
So it makes of course a difference if a paid service says today bet on Vilnius -3 points
where market size is around 450 € at the moment or you make your shot tomorrow, where around 1.900 € can be invested.
Just for info, I am using an agent and have not the original max-bets of Pinnacle anymore available to avoid confusions by the numbers I used for the example!
So I suppose you can imagine what it means that 1 minute after recommendation was published by a service 15,20 or more customers, or their bots, immediately make their investments? Conditions will be not still the same anymore.
Another criteria is of course the max-bet itself, that is different at different sports and different leagues. Hence it is of course a big difference following somebody who is beating NBA match-day or Bulgarian basketball league early.
At the very end, and this is no critique into your direction betverified, because it is a general problem of the complete industry.
A verification service is an organisation that is imperfect – or better said it can just be imperfect because of many reasons.
What you show is the yield calculated by original odds, in the best case checked by yourself or in the worst case non-existing numbers that were valid a few minutes earlier before tipster made his own bet or gave bet to separate customer that made an exclusive deal with him.
But who gets in these times original odds where bots make a lof of the work just during seconds and odds immediately change just a few seconds after the pick was published?
No one does, may be the fastes 2 gunmen with the fastest internet but all the rest get worse conditions. At the very end it is more the illusion organisations like yours can create than the reality.
You can do nothing against this because also organisation like yours need successful paid services, because a paid service without success is a service without customers and without customers they will lose sooner or later their interest to pay your monthly fees by their own money. The illusiveness level can just be left by following the odds in the next 1-10 minutes after pick was published, by calculating a new real yield with the changed numbers that would lead to a much more meaningful yield.
To end this monologue where I ran off the topic, I am not that naive to believe that there is a party who is really interested in that.
The paid service guys themselves do not want this because it would destroy the complete illusion and make them lose most of their customers.
The organisations like Blogabet, Betadvisor and all the others that are not mentioned do not want this either, because they could also close their doors.
The only group left, who should be really interested in that, are the thousands of fools paying such services without a deeper understanding of how it works, where the dangers lurk and why most of these services are just a waste of time and money, selling something that can be hardly achieved by anyone.
But as I said before, I do not want to blame anyone in that game because a lot of problems are caused by the greed and foolishness of the customers themselves hence I can just repeat myself by saying that the foolish average joes get what the foolish average joes deserve in the most cases and this is the illusion of a possible better life they could live by the money they will never make by becoming a customer of such a service. But if you ask the same guys to donate money for the third world they would laugh at you because this is wasting money.”

The foolish Joe and sports picks

The funny thing is that most bettors think that they love betting, but in fact they love only sport and money. And these two reasons are not good enough for betting.

An average bettor whose only motivation is money would have much bigger chances if he would constantly invest 10%-15% of his money in the stock market and the world economy that grows and he doesn’t need to bother with results, games, and the stress that comes with all that.

Criticism of my statement above

Someone can say…

“But with betting, I can make better ROI.”

Yes, for sure. But we also have stocks that go +1000% in one year. We also have cryptocurrencies that go 1000%. The only difference is that you don’t need to pay subscriptions or you don’t need to follow anyone on a daily basis – which requires action and focus.

Identifying high % stocks or crypto is the same as identifying a sports handicapper, that will have positive future results. It’s a gamble, especially for an average Joe, who doesn’t understand probabilities, markets, odds, closing line value, the importance of betting models and algorithms, has no strategy or money,…

How following picks work anyway?

If you want to follow someone, you must use his strategy and catch his every pick at the same price, which is possible only in theory. If you can identify a winning bettor that has the edge, he will probably beat the closing line, which means that when you will be late, you’ll not get the same odds and the same profit. Following picks becomes a 24/7 job, because you must catch every pick and if your sports handicapper is a professional he will also make different bets during the day, because of catching right odds.

If we add picks subscriptions, this is then your full attention 24/7 + effort (open email, bet, risk) + money for the service.

The same risk-reward can be gained through the stock market or cryptocurrencies.

But I can not identify good stock markets, crypto… Can you identify a sharp bettor?

This is a funny thing when I hear because an average Joe can not identify winning bettor and the whole situation that will:

  • take into account line movement
  • size of bankroll
  • the edge that his handicapper has
  • the knowledge that his handicapper has

Most followers when they select a sports betting expert, they simply don’t understand the market enough to make a good selection. They will select a sports handicapper based on profit, maybe ROI or yield. And most of them will not even pay attention to the sample size of bets, the knowledge, etc…

And even if they have enough knowledge, the sample size beats them. 

Stock markets are based on 100 years of sample size data (The average stock market return is about 10% per year for nearly the last century. The S&P 500 is often considered the benchmark measure for annual stock). If you are lucky you’ll find a sports bettor who has maybe 10 years of sample size data.

Do all sports gamblers who follow sports picks lose?

Of course not.  Not all followers will lose, but the question is how much luck is involved and how much survivorship bias is involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to discredit any sports betting, expert, because there are many who do a great job, but the whole “following picks, paying picks…” makes no sense and will not help most bettors.

Nishikori tennis tipster is a great example of a very good tipster, who sells his picks. I have a big respect for him.

But if we talk about the most optimal way to win at sports betting, I am pretty sure after being part of the betting community for the last 20 years… is the combination of personal betting skills, knowledge, and effort.


Sports betting vs Other Investments

Let’s go a little bit deeper to explain why picks make no sense if you love money.

Here I compared 3 different options:

  • Investing in stocks
  • Investing in stocks + adding $2000 in average from betting every year (this is +20% per year on average with 10k bankroll as an example. I had negative seasons, but I also had a season, when i quadrupled my money, but let’s take +20 as an average)
  • Investing in stocks + crypto, where I took both averages as +30% a year (in reality, investing in bitcoin is much higher than 50% per year, over the long run, but let’s take +30%) + adding $2000 of profit per year from betting.

The idea is this:

  • Take the first 5 years:
    – to invest $300 every month in stocks (no betting, no crypto)
    – learn betting with smaller bankrolls or even paper betting and save $10,000 for betting
  • After 5 years of investing $300, you have $21,978.36 (no betting yet)
  • Then stop investing $300 and leave it + try to make a profit of 20 units per year with starting bankroll of $10,000 (which was saved during 5 years, while you were learning).

After that:

  • add every year $2000 (from betting profits)

Stocks market, bitcoins, sports betting,…

I took for our calculation stocks that are 10% for the last 100 years (S&P500), I took bitcoin + stocks average as +30%, which is very very low and in reality is much bigger. Plus I added +20 units every year from betting.

After 20 years it’s $100,000 – $200,000K

Most people retire broke at the age of 65. And patience here is important. Most people don’t have it.

And I used very conservative numbers and took 5 years to learn about betting.

With so many investment options in the modern World, this % can be +50% easily. And if you can add some profits from betting to this is great

Here is one of my crypto portfolios that made +961% in one year (screenshot taken on April 6th, 2021):

The whole idea of betting is to generate more income streams… and in this case, generating extra income streams is a great way.

Paid Sports Picks Example – FOLLOWERS

And now let’s see if following sports picks even make sense, where you need to hunt picks, be ready to open the email, be ready 24/7 to bet and get the same odds,… and at the end, you must pay subscriptions. Even following free picks is in most cases complete nonsense. And when I talk about sports betting, I am always referring to long-term focus. People who are in sports betting for quick profits or are focusing/paying one month or season picks,… this is always a gamble and can be pure luck.

The first problem is identifying a winning bettor… but let’s say you are lucky to find one

So we will have a sports betting picks follower (99% of people are looking for picks, let’s be honest), who will pay for picks. It all depends what is his bankroll size, what is the subscription charge and even with this, his handicapper must make a very good yield.

Let’s take one good handicapper (source pyckyiopicks monitoring website) as an example, he is one of the best tipsters there. But I don’t want to discredit his work, because I think he is doing an amazing job. Of course, I excluded all “shady” big betting portals and social media sports handicappers that don’t have a big sample size of bets and at the same time, they have no knowledge about betting (, understanding the market, closing line value talk, ROI, yield, analysis,..).

I just want to show you that for most people sports picks following idea is very bad. Nobody’s fault. Sports betting was simply not made for the following. If you want passive income or make money with less effort, simply invest.

Following a good sports tipster…

Paid sports picks services

  • 50 picks – 286.30 EUR
  • 200 picks – 564.85 EUR
  • 1000 picks – 169.55 EUR

Odds drop if you find a good sports handicapper

If you follow him (take into account that we have one of the best tipsters here – and average Joe can NOT find him or identify him), your yield will be lower.

So, let’s say that you follow him and in reality, you can not catch all his odds or bets, and you will be late, but let’s say you still reach the yield of +7%.  (His taken odds vs closing odds are +8.4% vs +5.4%)

Can sports picks following beat an effortless stock market (+10%) in terms of money, stress, and subsriptions included?

We will take an example of 1% unit for betting and taking into account realistic results (if they continue). This is compared to stock market, which is based on 100 years sample size. Note that bettors don’t have 100 years’ sample size of results. But let’s ignore this :-)

Picks subscriptions taken into account…

#1 option – buy 1000 picks

The first option is to pay 1000 picks, which costs 1694 EUR (2000 USD). This will last for a little bit more than 1 year (his avg year picks are 756)

To benefit from this, you must:

  • Pay 1694 EUR for a betting tips subscription (every 1.5 year)
  • Have starting bankroll of 5.000
  • In total, you must have at least 7000 EUR to start
  • also expect that he will continue with the same exceptional results

In reality, most bettors will not have a bankroll and a start with 5000 EUR ($5,900 USD) and will not pay 1694 EUR  at the start.

This option makes sense, if this sports handicapper will continue with the same results and if you have at least 7000 EUR. We didn’t take into account the time that you will have to spend for opening emails and be ready 24/7, which is not the case in the stock market, where you invest once per month and then you don’t need to bother with it (at least this is how investment should look like). It all depends on how you value your time.

#2 option – buy 200 picks

So if you take the second option, it costs 564 EUR (667 SUD) per 200 picks

To benefit from this, you must:

  • Pay 564 EUR (667 SUD) for a betting tips subscription (approximately every 3rd month)
  • Have starting bankroll of 30.000 EUR (35,000 USD)
  • also expect that he will continue with the same exceptional results. The problem is that you paid for shorter period of subscription and in a short period you can face negative results too, even if he is a long-term winner.

In this second option, if you play safe with the bankroll and with 1 unit = 1%, you will need at least $30,000 to beat stock market in terms of annual %. We took into account how many sports betting picks he made, subscriptions price and stock market results that are based on 100 years. And again, we are ignoring the time you will need to invest for following picks and opening emails.

#3 option – buy 50 picks

So if you take the third option, it costs 268 EUR (315 SUD) per 50 picks

To benefit from this, you must:

  • Pay 268 EUR (315 SUD) for a betting tips subscription (approximately every month)
  • Have starting bankroll of 100.000+ EUR (118,000+ USD)
  • also expect that he will continue with the same exceptional results. The problem is that you paid for shorter period of subscription and in a short period you can face negative results too, even if he is a long-term winner.

Does this searching for sports picks on the internet even make sense?

So, why would you pay a subscription, follow everyday picks (this is extra work), when you can get the same results just by investing and at the same time playing with the kids and family.

And again, I don’t want to discredit this handicapper, because I think he has amazing results. But unfortunately, an average bettor who is looking for sports betting picks has no $7,000, not $30,000, and not even $100,000 to start. Let’s be honest about this.

Most sports bettors fall in the third option anyway…

The third option, which I think most bettors will fall (paying for 50 picks) is most common. In general following and paying picks is a complete waste of time, unless you have a big bankroll of 100k. And when you have big bankroll, you will face another problem with bookmakers.

It is very hard to identify a good handicapper like this above and the prices on betting market are very similar to this if you find a quality one.

  • Ninety percent of gamblers will fall to recognize such handicapper. This is the first problem
  • Secondly, they will not have such bankroll and the money to pay this
  • Then you must pay every year and nothing is sure in betting
  • Even he can lose the edge

What about following FREE sports picks?

The word guaranteed should not be used in sports betting. Betting portals and sports handicappers use this word for false marketing. I also think that the responsibility of everyone who wants to start betting is to learn about the market and the risk involved.

When it comes to following FREE picks:

  • Most good handicappers don’t share picks anyway.
  • Some share picks, but an average follower can not identify a good betting expert
  • Being a betting expert is not just throwing some picks, but also showing some level of knowledge.
  • Following bet picks is boring
  • Following picks takes even greater discipline because you must do something like open email, bet, watch games every day without being creative. Do you think that an average Joe has the discipline to open an email every day for the next 365 days and catch every single of 750 picks? no way
  • Following is not creative. Being creative is what life is all about. Being not creative, not putting any work will kill your soul, while at the same time you are involved in this (open email – bet – follow results – stress). Wheter you like it or not, you’ll still need to do the daily dirty job. Even if this is just following. Because if you invest in the stock market. You do this every month only once. On the salary day, let’s say 15th in the month, you invest 15% and that’s it. It takes exactly 1 minute per month, just to invest in your fund or it takes 5 minutes to invest in bitcoin. If you follow bet predictions and picks, you must do this every day. You must bet every day. You must be ready for emails because picks can come anytime. You must be ready 24/7 to catch his picks. And you are not creative – this is very important. You don’t love numbers. If You don’t love statistics, analyzing games… I simply don’t see any point here

I try to think like a follower, but my mind can not relate to it. Of course, connecting (not blindly following) with other betting experts will bring you value… but in the long run, I think there must be some joy, creativeness, and something that we love.

Not even healthy

If someone spends 5 hours being just an “automation follower machine”…. that’s a very dangerous game for a mind/health.

This is why I think there must be some passion for numbers, markets, and investments because you’ll need to put some effort.  Sports bettors simply don’t see the bigger picture, that money is not a good reason to bet, because if you don’t have the edge and the knowledge, you will probably be a follower or a loser. But I think I think I explained that many other options will beat betting if you don’t love betting.

Love for the sport is not the same as love for the market.

Sports betting is not for everyone… what is the solution?

In fact, I think that betting is not for 99% of the people that I met in my life and many of them wanted to bet because money is very attractive. Mostly because they saw the quick solution to profits.

But in my living bubble (which can be biased too of course) I think that the most optimal way is to learn to bet, connect with the same thinking people, build unique methods, make profits on your own.

This is why I decided to show how I use spreadsheets in betting and I believe that this is what brings the most value to bettors.

Sports betting must be always a long-term focus and If you bet for yourself, you can have solid yield, make a profit for yourself, re-invest and that’s it.
Most bettors who pay for picks usually don’t have even close to $10,000 starting bankroll and it is very optimistic to expect that your handicapper will reach a 7% yield in the next 20 years.

Investing in knowledge is a cheaper option

Investing in knowledge is a much better option because people who don’t love betting will always have a hard time making profits. The hardest thing is sometimes to be honest to yourself and say… “I don’t love betting. I am just a gambler and sports fan. I like excitement”.

There are people who bet for fun and they can afford some losses. But they don’t need to follow anyone. The beauty of following is in making your own plays.

People who love money should invest in other passive income streams and assets without any effort.

And people who really love sports betting will always try to find a way how to make their own bets.

I bet on sports because I love numbers, I love investing, I love the challenges of the market. If I would not love this, I would not bet. And this is what I recommend to everyone. Don’t bet just because you love money or sports. There are much better options for making money and you can have fun with your family or play sports.

But if you really love betting, you can generate extra income streams and for most people out there following picks is a non-optimal way to win at betting.

At least this is how I see this in my bubble.

Am I against selling sports picks?

My whole betting philosophy is built around the idea:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

I don’t believe in following sports picks. I even think that bettors who are not serious about betting should not even bother with betting content/picks and just have fun with their friends when they bet.

But I am definitely NOT against selling picks. Buying picks and following picks market will always exist until an average Joe will bet. I think that prices for people who want to follow sports betting picks should be minimum of $10,000 per month.

But that’s my view, my philosophy. And there are other philosophies that are completely different. But I preach my philosophy that I think is the most optimal for an average bettor to make money in betting. And I don’t see a reason to bet if the focus is only money or love for the sport. I think there must be a passion for betting, which means a love for numbers, statistics, probabilities, algorithms, investing… and these people will invest time, money, and effort to become winning bettors. Not winning followers. Followers are in the majority of cases, not winners.

I saw people who bet and at the same time, they think that 2+3*2= 10

How can such a person understand markets, probabilities or even identify winning sports handicapper?

No chance. And these people are just following. Picks, picks, picks.

Most people who are involved in social media, betting forums, Twitter,… and in general in the World are looking for picks.

Is this the most optimal way to win?

Definitely – not.

Can it work?

For sure. Nishikori is a nice example.

Can it work for most people and average Joe?


Sports betting is a beautiful and a great way to make extra profits, but it is definitely not for everyone. The industry is not friendly for followers, sports fans, gamblers, and an average Joe, because of many reasons.

Most money is made from liquidity and margins from bookmakers and then from marketing (affiliates, portals, forums,…).

Read who are the winners and losers of sports betting World

Only 3-5% of bettors win at sports betting and most of them are not followers. Following is not the optimal way to win at betting. Following is not an optimal way to win in life.

And I am talking about a lifetime or very long period of time focus. I am not talking about one NFL season, but benefiting from betting on the long run.

If you pay $100 per month for picks subscriptions…. you’ll pay $24,000 USD in the next 20 years. Imagine that you invest $24,000 in stocks with a compound effect in the next 20 years. No effort is needed and big sample size of results.

Betting must be a passion. 

Find passion. Invest time, money, and efforts in something you love. If this is sports betting, great. If you look for passive incomes without effort, simply invest or generate passive income streams. But sports gambling is unfortunately not passive income.

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