'Does it pay to buy picks?' now w/ RJ Bell guest post - Printable Version
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'Does it pay to buy picks?' now w/ RJ Bell guest post - Beyond the Bets - 05-08-2012 06:05 PM
I say no. Others might disagree. From today's mailbag.
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Q: I had no idea how awful touts were until I read your post at Deadspin. Are the stats provided in the post true? I am new to sports betting but am guilty of buying picks from time to time. Safe to say, I’m now reconsidering. Any info you can provide would be helpful.
BTB: Are the stats true? Here’s the better question: Are they untrue? Over the last several years, dozens of well-meaning posters at a handful of message boards started tracking touts. It began, I’m sure, over frustration that pick sellers who routinely took it on the chin constantly promoted short-term results.
Also, the pick-selling industry is largely unregulated, meaning there was a need for a grassroots watchdog effort.
In the Deadspin article, Pregame.com’s handicappers were referenced specifically. An SBR forum poster named FUpv has been tracking all Pregame touts past and present for more than a year. His most recent update came in early February, and he documented 33 handicappers in all.
Of the 33 handicappers, 23 of them had lost money for their clients. A $100 bettor would have lost $127,708 over a 25,956 pick sample. The collective win percentage of the touts (51.5%) fell well short of the necessary break-even point of 52.38 percent.
Making things worse, the amount of money lost didn’t even factor in the cost of picks. In the given sample, it’s possible—if not likely—that only two or three Pregame handicappers turned a profit for clients. (Greg Shaker hit an impressive 55.4 percent of his plays over a 1,521-game sample.)
Eleven of 33 handicappers (33 percent) failed to hit 50 percent of their picks. Again, a pick seller who isn’t capable of hitting at least 54 percent of his games is unlikely to turn a profit for a client when factoring in the cost of the packages.
A tout that’s hitting less than 50 percent is stealing from you.
So, to recap: Can the numbers in the SBR tracking thread be disputed? Yes, of course. But the burden of proof ultimately falls on the pick sellers and the sites that host them. If Pregame tracked its handicappers and made all results publicly available, we’d have the most accurate records possible directly at our finger tips.
But Pregame and many other tout sites don’t publicly display all picks, and there’s a reason for that. Doing so would be the equivalent of a restaurant having a sign in the front window that said, “Come on in, our food is disgusting.”
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - itg_sports - 05-08-2012 07:23 PM
I think the answer is obvious that it does not pay to buy picks. A quick search through various parts of this forum will show you all of the negatives.
My question is Does it pay to sell picks?
Say a college kid gets interested in betting on sports. He starts making picks here and there with decent results and decides he can make some money.
He starts with a $200 bankroll, opens an offshore account, and hits 60% over 500 plays flat betting 3%. He averages 4 picks a day so it takes him roughly 125 days or a little over 4 months to build this sample size.
If he doesn't increase his bet size he will be up $480.
Now say he builds a following on the forums. He goes on a run and builds a twitter following as well. And then he decides to start selling picks.
With substantial views to his forum threads and a modest following of 800-1000 on twitter he is able to sell 25 monthly packages at only $25 a piece with in the first 3 days and then he stops trying to sell them and focuses on his picks.
Now he has to picks some winners but in 3 days he just made $625.
Everyone is going to rag on him and say if he was a true winner he wouldn't have to sell his picks but what they don't understand is he is a poor college kid. He really only has $200 bucks to start his bankroll.
He takes half of the $625 and and now his bankroll for betting is $512 so his 3% bet is now $15 instead of $6.
He has a good month, word of mouth spreads, and then he is able to sell 35 packages at $25 a piece for $875. He again takes half and adds it to his bankroll.
So in the "honorable" scenario, he takes $200 and practices sound money management, goes on an incredible run and is up $480 in 4 months to increase his bankroll to $680. Say he does increase his bet amounts and this number is in between $800-$900 in 4 months.
In the "scumbag" tout scenario he sells picks and now after 1 month he has a bankroll of $949 plus his winnings plus an additional $749. He works hard, his clients love him, he builds his brand and by the end of the 4 months he is now consistently selling 50 packages per month to paying customers who choose to buy the picks.
He is sitting on $4800 not counting the winnings he makes from betting on his on picks. What if he doesn't bet his own picks? He is still up almost $4000 more than if he started with what he could afford to bet with and followed all the "smart" strategies that are needed to profit long term.
My thoughts are if you find yourself wondering whether or not you want to buy picks you should focus on getting better, building a brand, and selling them. Be an honorable guy, get a few endorsements, and you should clean up.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - Beyond the Bets - 05-08-2012 07:39 PM
Be honest, ITG: Your dream job is to be a tout.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - itg_sports - 05-08-2012 08:15 PM
Nah, my dream job is to be a professional sports bettor.
However, based on my income if I want to maintain the same lifestyle I have now I would have to hit 60% on at least 60 picks per month while betting over $1000 per game.
First I am not good enough to hit at that rate and second that would require a bankroll of somewhere around 50k that at least a portion of would have to be tied up in offshore accounts. I would imagine you would have to have quite the network of locals as well as I doubt any bookie would want to consistently take a beating of 5k to 6k a month on average.
As far as selling the picks I don't think its for me. I have mentioned before that I am in car sales and I'll be the first to say that it is tough to be the guy that tries to do things the right way in an industry that is perceived to be full of crooks. I have worked with more people in my short career than I can count and I don't think I could name 10 guys that I really felt were "bad" dudes. However, the key word is "perceived". Perception is everything and in my opinion car guys might as well be alter boys compared to the perception of your typical tout. I like for people to like me and I don't imagine myself being able to handle the negativity of being a tout long term. Oh yeah...I also don't think I am good enough.
Now would I recommend a college kid without a career lined up who has a gift of picking winners to start selling his picks? Why not? I would definitely strongly suggest that he stay honest, track his plays, and not ever post a pick that he would not back with his own money.
While I may not ever be a professional sports bettor, the 2nd round draft pick, dream wise is just to make some sort of impact in the sports betting community. Maybe even a significant impact. My goal is to do so while making as many friends and allies as possible while keeping the enemies and skeptics to a minimum.
So that's the plan...I just don't quite know how I am going to get there yet.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - gynecologist - 05-08-2012 08:37 PM
never buy plays..
juice + tout fee= losing on a consistent basis.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - JayTodd - 05-08-2012 09:18 PM
Buying picks is completely fine.
You just gotta find those who are worth buying from...their out there...I'm gonna prove it...
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - Sandlapper - 05-08-2012 10:04 PM
(05-08-2012 09:18 PM)JayTodd Wrote: Buying picks is completely fine.
I used to be you. I thought the elusive tout was out there that really did win. While I have found a few that do seem to be more successful than others, in the end I always ended up losing, especially when you factor in the cost of the picks.
Trust me. Just make your own picks, you'll do no worse than they would.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - JayTodd - 05-08-2012 10:12 PM
I've done tons of research on tout services. I know the ins and outs and know how most of the operate. You know the service and I can tell you something about them, if not more than "something".
Right Angle Sports is the best out there. But maybe you aren't considering them one, because well, they really aren't. I know BIG TIME bookies in the LA and Nashville areas and they both have the same opinoin on RAS - they hate them for winning long-term.
Some of the sharpest bettors in the world use RAS as a source of information. Hence the price in the service. And if you notice on the website, RAS even says its for professional end bettors.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - Wiseguy - 05-09-2012 08:23 AM
I think it comes down to this... if you have the time and interest in handicapping games then do it yourself. If you are a guy who play's for the hell of it and has not interest in spending time capping games then find a good service and use them. It might be hard for some to believe but there are plenty of guys out there that play for the action and know very little about capping.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - JayPrimetown - 05-09-2012 10:28 AM
I hate touts... and hate those who have this dream to be one.
I post some picks on Twitter as a discussion point. Some are interested in the sports I bet on, others are not. I don't care if someone plays them or not. They are used as a discussion point.
The most annoying thing I regularly see is wannabees sucking up to those with a "website" or those they feel gamble with a sizable bankroll.
People need to think for themselves... selling something to someone else so they can lose further money is downright insulting.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - SkyBlues42 - 05-09-2012 10:30 AM
(05-09-2012 10:28 AM)JayPrimetown Wrote: I hate touts... and hate those who have this dream to be one.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - JayPrimetown - 05-09-2012 10:35 AM
Personally, I think people are too concerned with how others perceive them.
"Sorry I let you guys down today." Or... "Damn, that was a bad day. I'll get it back."
Gambling isn't a contest of who can make more money. It's about making some additional income for... YOURSELF.
Don't lose sight of that.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - gynecologist - 05-09-2012 11:16 AM
okay we all know you have to hit 52.3% on -110 to break even, right?
Now if you consider the tout fee whatever that might be, you have to hit at a higher rate.
If your bankroll is not substantial then you could be at the mercy of your tout hitting 56% or higher. Just not a good way of going about things. If your tout loses it could wipe out your bankroll A lot earlier than it would with your picks.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - mount187 - 05-09-2012 12:13 PM
I'll play a little Devil's Advocate here, just for the sake of discussion. How many people here pay for Baseball Prospectus, KenPom, ESPN Insider, etc. for information? Does that not also add to the overhead you have to make up for in your bets? The only real difference, as I can see it, is the cost. If you could get picks from RAS at the same price you pay yearly for ESPN Insider, why WOULDN'T you do it? If that's the case, we're not saying paying for a service is wrong, we're saying the cost/benefit ratio is off, right?
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - Wiseguy - 05-09-2012 12:23 PM
Imo it depends on cost/unit ratio. If you are a $500 player and are paying $50 a week its not a problem. If you are a $50 player, its going to eat you up. There are so many variables that come into play when you look at this, its mind boggling. How many play's are there in a week? If you get a pick a day and they hit at 54% your gonna be buried. If the service plays 5 games a day, and hits that same % you are doing well.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - JayTodd - 05-09-2012 12:33 PM
Honestly, my single biggest fear is flat out trusting myself. I would say I have "serious" skills, but I'm extremely raw. I know I can hit 54% of my games, but I'm not sure I have what it takes to battle through losing streaks, etc.
Hopefully you guys will keep me in tact.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - RyanParrill - 05-09-2012 02:29 PM
(05-09-2012 12:13 PM)mount187 Wrote: If you could get picks from RAS at the same price you pay yearly for ESPN Insider, why WOULDN'T you do it?
You would do that, that would be 'smart'.
(05-09-2012 12:13 PM)mount187 Wrote: If that's the case, we're not saying paying for a service is wrong, we're saying the cost/benefit ratio is off, right?
Yes. We're (majority) believing RAS is a worthwhile service, if your betting/bankroll allows for it. But more than just $$$, you need time. When RAS releases their picks to you, you have to be ready because the window of opportunity is closing fast and it's real easy to get your fingers caught.
But besides RAS, there isn't a reputable service that has transparency and a winning-track record, that we all agree on.
I follow this theory - If they're good enough to pick winners, they aren't willing to sell them. After all, as much as we're in this together, we're out for blood. RAS is an exception, not a rule.
But you know all of this, Mount.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - mount187 - 05-09-2012 02:39 PM
(05-09-2012 02:29 PM)RyanParrill Wrote: But besides RAS, there isn't a reputable service that has transparency and a winning-track record, that we all agree on.
I think this was kind of what sparked my thoughts. It's not that buying picks is bad, it just that there isn't a reputable service the lands in a reasonable price range for most everyone here.
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - itg_sports - 05-09-2012 08:07 PM
I think the reason why there isn't any reputable services is because picking winners is f***ing hard.
If it was easy to win long term no one would have a problem keeping track of their record long term. However, for most of us...keeping track is more demoralizing than anything.
Because of this a tout has 2 choices. Fold up shop and go back to selling old DVDs on craigslist or start using shady sales tactics. I imagine that the money initially comes fast and easy and it is probably hard to give that up.
My tout strategy would be to document the shit out of everything while still marketing the hell out the winning streaks and only offer daily packages for $3. You pay $3 and you get every pick for 24 hours. That way if a guy goes on vacation or has a busy day lined up he isn't paying for what he isn't using. If you were half way decent you could probably get at least a 100 people a day to buy your picks.
$300 x 30 = $9000....Sell picks yo!!!
RE: 'Does it pay to buy picks?' - itg_sports - 05-09-2012 08:08 PM
In fact I am working on a Sports Betting short story where a guy starts a company that does just that and calls it 3dollarsports.