Why You Can’t Make Money in Sports Betting

in Insight by

If you placed a ksh100 bet on Leicester winning the 2015/2016 English Premier League, you would have walked away a winner one year later and Ksh500000 richer. No other business idea will guarantee you a return that can come close to matching the possible winnings from sports betting. However, the truth, to many, is that it is impossible to ever make money through sports betting.

I developed an interest in gambling in 2012, and for two years I dived into the world of sports betting, horse racing, blackjack, slot machines, lotteries, card games etc.

Still, nothing in the gambling world grabbed my attention as much as sports betting. It is important to note that I am one of the biggest football fans you can find out there. As a devout football fan, you develop a knack of making fairly accurate predictions of match outcomes.

After years of betting, against the better judgment of the economist in me, I came to a bitter realization.

Sports betting is ‘rigged’, and the only winner in the long run is Sportpesa and the likes.

 

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A past Sportpesa winner

 

With the increasing popularity of sports betting, all my weekends now involve an internal battle between the voice of the economist vs the football fan in me. The likely winner is often the reasonable voice of the economist urging me to put my cash to better use.

ODDS

To understand why it is difficult for an economist to engage in sports betting, or gambling in general, it is important to understand how odds in sports betting work.

Usually, odds are used to show you the potential winnings. For instance, with an odd of 2.0 on the outcome of a football match, you will win Ksh.200 with a stake of Ksh100.

Stake x Odd = Winning

100 x 2 = 200

However, odds are much more important to the sports betting sites.

First, odds are used to ensure that bookies such as Sportpesa make a profit from all bets placed.

Bookies usually lower the odds on all bets to ensure they gain typically about Ksh5 or more for each Ksh100 bet. This is usually well hidden using complex mathematics, but you can easily spot it.

You can even carry out this simple experiment. Place three bets on all probable outcomes (Win/Draw/Lose) across a number of matches. Two things are bound to happen. One guarantee is that you will never lose, because you have all outcomes covered but you will soon realize that your money is gradually decreasing irrespective of your guaranteed wins.

The bookies have already won before the match even begins.

This is why the first unwritten rule in sports betting should be to never rely on one bookie.

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On the other hand, the odds are usually set depending on the probability of the occurrence of the event you are placing a bet on. Thus, the probability of the occurrence of a result with an odd of 2.1 is 47.6% – which is very low. An odd of 3 is 33%, and an odd of 4 is 25%.

The formula is to calculate the probability is: 1 / decimal odds

If the decimal betting odds are 2.10, the equation would look like this:

1 / 2.10 = 0.4761904

Multiply your end result (0.4761904) by 100 to get the percentage: 47.6%.

Keep in mind; the higher the odds, the lower the probability of the occurrence of the expected event.

For an odd of 10, the probability is a mere 10%. This means that for every 10 bets placed, you will likely only win once.

Factoring in multi-bets and jackpots, the chances of winning are so low that you are guaranteed to lose all your money in the long run.

In the world of finance, no investor would ever spend their money when they have less than a 80% – 90%  chance of getting a return on their investment – let alone 50 or 10%.

Only less than 10% of gamblers truly profit from sports betting.

Do you engage in sports betting? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.


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26 Comments

  1. Very healthy conversation.But i can also bet every gambler believes they’re gonna be part of the 1 percent.That’s the catch.I wish we could all come together and crack the code.I believe betting pays in the longrun but a lot of patience and discipline is needed.Greed will only lead to losses.Could we all please get together and share the tricks of winning?

  2. PRZ NOTE: Never gumble on a virtual game. Secondly never bet for fun,on your favorite team, on small odds less than 2.0,never bet more than 3 games per slip e.g 2.37*2.68*3.56=22.6odds bet with 100/= and make a cool 2000/=, repeat that once again and make 4K per day.NB: Prz prz don’t exceed there 4 2moro is another day. AND FINALLY; you LOSE because of over betting, frustrations,excitements and being lazy.I’m a former high skull accountant with a salary of 40k per month true to my word I make more than than 50,000/ per week. I SPEND MORE THAN EIGHT HRS PER DAY ANALYSING ONLY SIX GAMES. But what do those lound mouthed losers do? They spend less than one hour analysing 15 games expecting to make quick money.reach me through africangambler001@gmail.com and I’ll send you my six months mpesa statements.

  3. No way you can make any profits from betting,how I wish our government can close all kind of betting

  4. You are right.It’s almost impossible to make a profit from gambling in the long run.The above posters who claim they make money are telling lies.There is one thing I disagree with in your article.You say 10 percent make a profit gambling.The real truth is it’s not even close to 1 percent.I knew a bookie and he says he never knew a gambler to make an overall profit.If a gambler was winning money a gambler would lose it all again plus some of his own money.It’s known as a mugs game for a reason.There is a few professional gamblers in the world alright but they are the rare exception.The have access to huge money and inside information which is rare as winning the lottery.The vast majority of gamblers are liars and losers.They tell lies about all the money they are making.They won’t tell you anything about the bets they are losing.

  5. hey guys the site 1xbet is a scum 100% stay away from it they lure you with bonusses but don’t credit accounts be aware guys don’t be coned spread the word and save a soul

  6. hey guys the site 1xbet is a scum 100% stay away from it they lure you with bonusses but don’t credit accounts be aware guys don’t be coned

  7. I have fallen a victim of being a gambler its true you are the person loosing ,especially when you are addicted.

  8. You should know how to check on the games being played, try and check on the form,standings, and injuries of the players and you will start earning money from betting like most of us. I have played live betting and won so much with it. You just have to study the team and clubs before the game begins.

  9. Insightful. But!!!! Use this words on your own and I quote ” you cannot make money from sports betting” well thank you its true the house always wins doesn’t matter if I win or loose they still make a profit, it took me six months of reading materials used by bookies bought some even through amazon and alibaba just to have a clean knowledge before getting into sports before waging any money on the bookies/bookmakers and thanks to the knowledge I have now, it took me time to gather it but I can rip good fruits out of it, I now bet both nationally and internationally markets and also do sports trading offered by betfair. I am young 24 years of age and my networth by Feb 2017 profit which I revise after every six months I had a profit of 4.8million Kenya shillings. In betting its not all about choosing winners its finding value. It takes time to even find value in a single bet up to even 20minutes of carrying out maths and statistics.I have been offered jobs by bookies but I can’t work for them, I am paying myself more than they can pay me. Well I have been blocked by a Ugandan bookie for my winning streaks and that shows how much effort I put in this and the match it pays. I am building an empire out of this, so if you think betting can’t make you money, well brother you are an economist go back to your books.

    • you are right anonymouse 254. I quit agree with u.Its uite easy to make money in sportbetting when you have the know-how.

    • Anonymous
      which are bet streaks that you known to help me
      ..For sure I have never won Even a single cent from betting. everytime lose lose lose

    • hi bro i am also a gambler who try 2 find some tricks in bookies live betting.sometime i win even more than 10 match consecutively but with low odds.can we share knowledge.0708154374

  10. straight to the point and very true… the betting houses are the true winners in all sport betting like the saying goes ” the house never lose” and as much as we would like to assume we have all the knowledge and the skill to out wit the bookies the truth is in your bank statements.I will leave you with a challenge, if you are depositing more money into your sports betting account than the amount you withdraw then it’s a rude awakening that you should stop betting.

  11. straight to the point and very true… the betting houses are the true winners in all sport betting like the saying goes ” the house never lose” and as much as we would like to assume we have all the knowledge and the skill to out wit the bookies the truth is in your bank statements.I will leave you with a challenge, if you are depositing more money into your sports betting account than the amount you withdraw then it’s a rude awakening that you should stop betting.

  12. At the end of the day its true, when you reconcile your Mpesa statement you will find the gambler is the loser. Apart from those lucky to have won a jackpot/ jackpot bonus the rest are in red.

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