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An Interview with Professor MJ – Professional Sports Bettor with Ph.D. in statistics

Meet my friend David Beaudoin, known as Professor MJ. We share the same passion for numbers, sports betting and family.

It was the start of February 2017, when I woke up and I checked my emails. I usually receive emails about sports betting, my sports betting models ,or how to start betting with numbers.

But one email was different with an extra personal touch. It was from Professor MJ.

Hello MB!

I ran into your website through Reddit. Great-looking site, with a lot of interesting stuff, congratulations! I’m a stats professor at Laval University (Quebec City, Canada). So not only do I hold a Ph.D. in statistics, but I’ve always been a sports fan as well. I see that you are a proud father of a 2-year-old girl: I have two young boys (aged 2 and 1). Do you plan on having more than one?

We saw that we share the same passion in our life and the connection was very natural. From that day we became friends.

We both love sports betting and especially the way of betting, where bets are backed by numbers, statistics, and sports betting models. Not just guessing or flipping a coin. We both have a long-term vision in sports betting and we both teach others to see the bigger picture, not just short period runs.

Meet Professor MJ – A Family Guy, Professional Sports Bettor, and My Friend

I followed his betting journey since then, and I know he worked hard for this and this is something I respect a lot. I came to the idea, that it would be great to share his story with others, especially with young people, who dream about successful sports betting.

So I sent him a message and asked him if he is willing to tell us his story and give us some insights into his way o betting.

“I follow your betting journey, and your results and I am very happy for you. It has been wonderful to connect with you from the start. Your story is so inspiring and if you are open to it, I would love to share it! I’d be so excited to feature your hard work and success on my website and share it to motivate others who are just starting out with sports betting.”

(1) Hey David, first of all, I hope your kids and family are great, and I am honored to talk to you. Thanks so much for doing this interview, can you let us know a little about yourself and your professional background?

Hello MB, it is a pleasure to talk to you again, and I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my story with other savvy sports bettors like us!

I am a university statistics professor from Canada. But most importantly, I am the father of two young boys aged 8 and 6. Their names are Mavrik and Jay, which explains why I operate under the nickname “Professor MJ”. They are in good health, they are smart and they are very kind to others. In my mind, they are simply perfect! I could not ask for better kids.

My girlfriend, who is the mother of my boys, has been with me for the past 16 years.

Since I was a child, I have always been passionate about sports, both playing (hockey, baseball, soccer, badminton) and watching. At school, I have always been good with mathematics. Sports betting came into my life naturally, but of course as a teen I was pretty bad at it. But I kept working on my craft and eventually became better.

I got my Bachelor’s degree in statistics at Laval University in Canada. Then, I moved to Vancouver for a couple of years to get my Master’s degree (still in statistics!) at Simon Fraser University. Finally, I got my PhD in stats back at Laval University. I was immediately hired as a professor there, and that’s what my job has been for the past 15 years.

(2) What is your passion and which team do you support not betting-related?

As a fan, my favorite league by far is the NFL. I absolutely LOVE watching NFL games. As a matter of fact, I watch all televised games. When many games are on at the same time, I use laptops in order to watch 3 or 4 games simultaneously. During the offseason, I read player news every single day to make sure I stay on top of everything that’s happening in the league.

I have always preferred to root for small-market teams, so as a kid I decided to cheer for the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers. I have stuck to those two teams since then.

My second-favorite sport to watch is hockey. Not very surprising given that I am Canadian! I hope the Quebec Nordiques come back in the NHL one day, otherwise I also like the other team from the province of Quebec, the Montreal Canadians. I also love junior hockey, where I have been following the Shawinigan Cataractes since I was 8-9 years old (because I have family there).

I also follow baseball and basketball, but I do it mostly for betting purposes, though. I used to be a huge Montreal Expos fan, but I was devastated when they moved to Washington. I never found a new “favorite” team in MLB.

(3) When did you get into sports betting and how?

In 1999, when online sports betting was still fairly new, I realized that the odds from one sportsbook to the other could vary a lot on each game. As a matter of fact, they would differ so much that you could bet both sides and guarantee yourself a profit no matter the outcome of the game! That’s what we call “arbitrage betting”.

Suppose Team A is facing Team B. The odds from Sportsbook #1 are Team A at -140 versus Team B at +120, while Sportsbook #2 has Team A at -165 versus Team B at +145.

What you could do here is to bet $1000 to win $714 on Team A with Sportsbook #1. Then, you bet $700 to win $1015 on Team B with Sportsbook #2.

If Team A wins the game, you end up with a net profit of $14. If Team B wins the game, you rack up a net gain of $15.

It may not sound like much at first glance, but do that 10-20 times per day and it adds up to big profits at the end of the year. And we’re talking about a “small” arbitrage opportunity, but back then you could find much more favorable odds.

Back in 1999, the arbitrage opportunities were plentiful, which is not the case anymore these days, unfortunately. All of my free time between 1999 and 2003 was devoted to this. Most students would party and go to bars, while I was the nerdy guy staring at his computer screen and making money for hours. It allowed me to buy 80% of my brand new house with cash upfront.

Several great memories from this wild adventure. I’ll never forget the December 29th, 2002 game between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Chicago Bears. Why? Because that turned out to be the most profitable arbitrage bet I ever made.

On this occasion, I won what I used to call a “jackpot”, which meant winning BOTH sides of the bet (rather than winning one & losing one).

All sportsbooks had Bucs -0.5 on the third quarter, but BetWWTS (which doesn’t exist anymore) had Bucs +0.5 with favorable odds as well. I ended up betting Bucs +0.5 with BetWWTS and Bears +0.5 with other books. Remember that we are talking about a bet on the third quarter alone. Needless to say I was praying for a tie on that particular quarter because I would end up winning all bets.

With roughly 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, neither team had yet scored any points. So far so good, but the Bears were driving at the Bucs 38-yard line. Thankfully, they were stopped and they elected to punt the ball. With 2-3 minutes left, the Bucs completed a 21-yard pass to make it to Chicago’s 34-yard line. They were getting in field goal range… They moved the ball inside the 25 but thank God the quarter ended scoreless before they scored a field goal in the early 4th quarter. I was screaming and running all over the house: I had just made approximately 6000$ US. Huge money when you are in your early 20s.

My parents and friends thought I was crazy, thinking I could beat online sportsbooks by sending money over to countries like Antigua or Costa Rica. Or they thought even if I win, I’d never get my money back. After seeing checks come in the mail regularly, they all changed their minds. They even started to be interested in what I was doing, and asking about the best money-making bets I had made.

To be 100% honest with you, proving them all wrong was a great feeling. It made me feel like I had accomplished something great. I really enjoyed the 1999-2003 period because of that. It became the main focus of my life at that time, and I’ll never forget this out-of-the-ordinary experience.

(4) What was the critical point when you started benefiting from sports betting?

Clearly in 1999 when I discovered that arbitrage betting was easy to do online, it was a risk-free method, and it was super lucrative.

When I stopped doing it in 2003 because my hourly profit became too small (sportsbooks began to have very similar lines between each other, which translated into very few good opportunities per day), I had to evolve and find other ways of beating online bookies. It took a lot of hard work, plus the fact that I also took 9 years of university courses in statistics.

(5) How important do you think are numbers, statistics, and sports betting models for successful betting?

They are critical. Plain and simple.

Granted, I am not sure you can be successful if you only look at numbers, but never watch games, nor follow players news, nor stay on top of what’s happening in the league.

I truly believe you need a mix of numbers and knowledge about the sport/league.

(6) Do you have any other methods, or maybe favorite teams to bet on, or do you strictly stick to your analysis?

Whether I like or dislike a specific team is a factor that I completely discard from my analyses. In my early years, my judgment would be tainted by that, but for a long time now I can affirm that I can easily forget about how much I like/hate a team when I make my predictions. I regularly bet and fade my favorite teams (same for the teams I hate the most).

(7) What is your favorite league and sport to bet on?

The NFL is the league that I follow the most, but it also turns out to be the most difficult league to make money. I still find ways to beat NFL lines, especially on player proposition bets which are pretty lucrative.

Speaking of NFL prop bets, the Super Bowl is like Christmas to me. Bookies offer a huge range of prop bets; there is no way they can have lines that are ALL accurate. I find lots of bargains every year. During the 10 days leading to the Big Game, I spend countless of hours analyzing them.

I went to Las Vegas for the Chiefs versus 49ers game, so that I could place bigger bets. I made a series of videos showing my whole trip there. I ended up making 11 big bets, most of which were underdogs. Still, I finished with an astounding 9-2 record, which yielded a profit of $8,330 USD.

The following year I couldn’t go to Vegas due to COVID-19 for the Chiefs versus Bucs Super Bowl. I stuck to online sportsbooks and shared my picks with my members. I found 34 good bets who finished with a 24-10 record.

Then, for the Rams versus Bengals meeting, we racked up 21 wins and 11 losses.

Those great numbers are the result of very hard work and a lot of calculations. But it’s all worth it every single year.

NBA player proposition bets are also a good source of income for me. I also like college football/basketball because there are so many teams and games, so you always end up finding good opportunities.

(8) What does your typical betting day look like?

The morning is where is all occurs. My mind is fresh, so that is the best time to analyze games.

I start off by looking at the games that will take place. I use a combination of specific betting systems that I have developed after analyzing years and years of data, and also my own knowledge about the teams/players.

I place my own bets and I share them immediately with my members.

Then, it is time to make my daily YouTube video presenting one of those betting plays. So, I write a post that explains all of the reasoning behind the pick, I dress up, I set up my little studio with some sports gears and I shoot the clips. They are then sent over to my cousin, who is my video producer and has been doing an incredible job for me. He does its magic by editing the clips, adding music and graphic elements, and uploading on YouTube.

Once I’m done, I usually still have a bit of time before lunch, so I take this oportunity to do all kinds of things, like tracking my bets in Excel, responding to messages, doing research for new betting strategies, etc.

After lunch I do work for my job as a professor.

(9) What have you found most challenging about sports betting?

Let me tell you one thing I find challenging about sports betting, and another that’s challenging about being a sports handicapper.

Sports betting has its ups and downs. Even when you earn several thousands of dollars year in and year out like I do, I can promise you one thing: there will be stretches of several days or weeks where things will go very badly. Guaranteed.

From a bettor’s perspective, these periods of time can be difficult to handle. You start questioning yourself and your methods. You may start betting irrationally. So, I guess I’d say that the most challenging part of sports betting is to keep a cool head even during tough times.

You need to stick to what has been working for years, and not worry about what has happened recently. And don’t ever try to chase your losses! I am pretty good at sticking to my game plan, but I had to work on myself before getting there.

From a sports handicapper’s perspective, it is still really hard for me to deal with people who focus WAY TOO MUCH on recent outcomes, rather than looking at the big picture.

I am not joking at all when I say the following: if you post your picks publicly and win 100 straight bets before losing 20 in a row, people will bash you and call you the worst handicapper on the planet, despite your awesome 100-20 record. People only care about recent results, which makes no sense.

Just to give you a concrete example, at some point I held a jaw-dropping 26-11-1 record on my free YouTube baseball bets. However, I had lost my last two wagers, but the whining and complaining had already begun. Some people posted some comments about my picks being trash.

I also remember vividly two different people saying something like “He shares his worst picks on YouTube, but keeps the best ones for his paid members.” I cannot believe the crap I am reading online. These guys were claiming I was purposely choosing to share my worst picks on YouTube, despite having a 26-11-1 record on that platform? Even if it was true, why would I do this? YouTube is the main driver of new customers to me, so from a marketing standpoint it would be a stupid strategy. And yet, some people firmly believed I was giving away bad picks.

So, in short, 99% of sports bettors are nice, but the remaining 1% is very hard to deal with. I know I should just ignore them, but I find it hard not to respond and show them how their comments make zero sense. I am still working on myself to improve in that area and simply not bother with these guys.

(10) What tools do you use to help you make betting analysis?

I use Excel a lot in order to track my bets, and to see how each betting strategy has performed.

When I want to analyze data on many seasons from a given league, I use the free statistical software called R. It is a great tool, but the main drawback is you need to learn its programming language. I had to learn it when I was a student at Laval University, and it turned out to be a great investment of my time!

(11) What kind of strategy and money management do you use?

I like to keep things simple. I often recommend people to bet 2% of their bankroll on each wager.

Personally, I vary each bet such that it lies between 1% and 4% of my bankroll, depending on my confidence level. However, I tell people and especially amateurs, to avoid at all costs betting more than 4% of their entire bankroll on any given play. Even when you feel it is “a lock”, don’t do it! The bets we like the most are often the ones we lose.

Also, I would feel like this section would be incomplete if I didn’t promote one of my biggest mantras: don’t do parlay bets!!! I may sound harsh, but parlays are sucker bets. Ask any sportsbook manager and he will tell you that as soon as he sees a customer making parlays, he knows this customer is going to lose in the long run.

I made a video that shows the math, and the numbers are mind-boggling. You have no chance of being a winner in the long run if you make parlays. That tip alone is worth hundreds/thousands of dollars because that is how much you will save if you stay away from them.

There will always be some people saying “One day I won $2,000 on an 8-team parlay, which proves that what you are saying is wrong.” Try making 8-team parlays every day for the next 10 years. I would bet my house that you will end up in the red.

That being said, I still make a few parlays once in a while. Why? When I have won “too much” money in a given account, I start making a few parlays (while betting smaller amounts), just to give the impression that I am a loser who simply got lucky. That helps avoiding getting limited or banned from the sportsbook in question. It usually gives me more time before they kindly tell me to take my money and leave.

(12) What would be your biggest advice to new sports bettors who want to become successful handicappers like you?

If you don’t mind, instead of giving just one piece of advice, I would like to share many critical quick tips for rookie bettors:

  1. Only invest money that you can afford to lose. Make sure that if your bankroll gets wiped out, it won’t have any effect whatsoever on your quality of life. Sometimes, I get customers who tell me “I NEED a good pick. Please give me one.” That’s a bad sign. You should never be needy with your sports bets. Personally, I have tens of thousands of dollars in my various accounts. If I lost everything, I would be pissed for a while. But I wouldn’t need to eat Kraft Dinner for 3 months because I am short on money. The truth is, it wouldn’t change anything to my life. That’s the way it should be for everyone.
  2. Make sure you have an account with AT LEAST three different sportsbooks. Ideally, you want between 5 and 10. Not only will you obtain bonuses from each of them, but the most vital advantage is you will be able to shop for the best line. The vast majority of people underestimate the importance of squeezing the highest odds as you can when placing a bet. If you keep betting at -110 odds, while you could get -105 every time, that adds up to a huge chunk of money in the long run.
  3. As discussed earlier, don’t do parlay bets, except if you want to look like a “square” bettor (i.e. a mediocre one).
  4. Stay disciplined with the amount you are betting. More precisely, don’t try to chase your losses. Stick to a fixed plan, like betting 2% of your bankroll on each play. It sounds easy, but many bettors deviate from their plan as soon as they hit a speed bump. One day or another, after losing several bets in a row they go “I really think Team X will win tonight. What the heck, I’ll just bet the rest of my bankroll on them, or I’ll bet half of my bankroll.”
  5. For God’s sake, please stop putting too much weight on the performance of the last 10-20-30 picks. Sports betting is a marathon, not a race. Posting a 5-15 record over the past 20 predictions is not out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, if you place more than 1000 wagers per year like I do, it will happen to you several times per year. If it happens to you or a person you are following, it does not mean you or that person sucks. Focus on the long-term record. That’s all that matters!

(13) Can you tell us a little bit about how you help other sports bettors and how they can reach you?

Helping sports bettors from around the world is the #1 priority of the “Professor MJ” business. I do my very best to attain this goal.

I help bettors in five different ways:

1) Articles that teach valuable lessons (examples: “Stop Doing Parlays!!!”, “Should You Hedge Your Bet?”, “Value Betting – My Favorite Form of Gambling”, “Arbitrage Betting – a Risk-Free Gambling Method. How is That Possible?” and more);

2) Free Daily Picks on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCszNw7lw10C53SurBFmwBVQ);

3) Paid Picks (for years and years, all I wanted to do was teaching some betting lessons and sharing one pick per weekday with my followers. They kept asking for ALL OF MY PICKS, and I finally agreed to do it starting in September 2020. So, in short, I am literally sharing with my members all of the bets I am personally making);

4) Free Webinar for Beginners (this is a project in the making. I want to help out people who want to get involved in the exciting world of sports betting while helping them avoid the biggest pitfalls and answer the most common questions.);

5) Book (I have written 80% of a book where I will unveil all of my secrets to being a successful sports bettor).

People can reach me in the following ways:

Some of Professor MJ’s results are below. For more info and future results, you can contact him through any of the links above.

Professor MJ NFL PICKS

  • 2021 Season: Spreads/Totals: 31-26-1 (54.3%) and Prop bets: 70-60 (53.8%) and Preseason Win Totals: 11-2-3 (78.1%) and Super Bowl Prop Bets: 21-11 (65.6%)
  • 2020 Season: Spreads/Totals: 42-33-4 (55.7%) and Preseason Win Totals: 20-12 (62.5%) and Super Bowl Prop Bets: 24-10 (70.6%)
  • 2019 Season: Spreads/Totals: 39-32-3 (54.9%) and Super Bowl Prop Bets: 9-2 (81.8%)
  • 2018 Season:Spreads/Totals: 26-21 (55.3%)
  • 2017 Season: Spreads/Totals: 35-23-3 (59.8%)

Professor MJ MLB

  • 2022 Season (up to June 30): +26.35 units via 203 bets (ROI = +13.0%)
  • 2021 Season: -17.86 units via 503 bets (ROI = -3.6%)
  • 2020 Season: No picks (COVID-19)
  • 2019 Season: +40.35 units via 771 bets (ROI = +5.2%)

Professor MJ NHL PICKS

  • 2021-2022 Season: -0.58 unit via 125 bets (ROI = -0.5)
  • 2021 Season: +10.29 units via 206 bets (ROI = +5.0%)
  • 2019-2020 Season: +18.79 units via 421 bets (ROI = +4.5%)

Professor MJ NBA PICKS

  • 2021-2022 Season: Spreads/Totals: 54-39 (58.1%) and Player Prop Bets: 189-154 (55.1%)
  • 2020-2021 Season: Spreads/Totals: 99-93-3 (51.6%)

Professor MJ NCAA BASKETBALL PICKS

  • 2021-2022 Season: 81-80 (50.3%)
  • 2020-2021 Season: 122-102-8 (54.5%)

Professor MJ NCAA FOOTBALL PICKS

  • 2021 Season: 49-48-1 (50.5%)
  • 2019-2020 Season: +18.79 units via 421 bets (ROI = +4.5%)

(14) And finally, thanks so much for doing this, is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes, I would like to share an inspiring story for those of you who like to dream big.

Before I even began to work as a university professor, I really wanted to be financially independent as soon as possible, so that I could quit my job and enjoy life. I set my goal to attain this objective at age 40. It was an ambitious goal, but I truly believe in the following quote: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I am excited to announce that this is exactly what is about to happen to me. I decided to quit my job in September 2022 at age 43. Some could argue that I “missed” my goal by three years, but it is still a lot better than retiring at 60 or 65 years old as most people do.

I worked extremely hard during my free time for 15 years in order to gain extra income. Some people didn’t understand and believed I was greedy and only wanted more money. I didn’t money for the money itself. I wanted money for THE FREEDOM it would bring me.

Starting in September 2022, I will devote most of my time to my sports betting activities, my family, and hobbies. But the truth is, I don’t need to work for the rest of my life.

I’m just going to keep making bets and growing my “Professor MJ” brand simply because I am very passionate about those activities. It does not feel like work at all, but rather like a hobby.

So I guess my main message is: set big goals, and don’t let anyone tell you that they are impossible to achieve. If you want something bad enough, you will find ways to get it.

You are better than you think.

Outro

This is an inspiring story and I am honored to share it. Sports Betting is a great way to make money and can help you to financial freedom. Professor MJ and many others are the proof. If you love numbers and sports, you’ll find the way, like he did, to financial freedom.

But nothing is free and nothing comes easy. Success is always a combination of luck + effort. If you are passionate about sports betting check our free betting training and start being different than most bettors who don’t use any numbers at all.

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