Five FAQs for Sports Handicappers
by Robert Ferringo
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"Are you like Matthew McConaughey in that movie?"
That's the question I get asked more than any other when people find out that I make my living as a professional sports handicapper. "That movie" is Two For The Money, an overdramatized and fictional depiction of life as a capper. People immediately ask me if I'm like the main character from the flick, John Anthony, and for the sake of simplicity I usually smile politely and nod because I know that the odds are they have no idea what it really means to live your life on the edge of Fate.
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But the sneaky truth of the matter is that while my profession may be off the beaten path I would have to say that my life is really nothing like the one portrayed by the slimy touts in the film. For one, I hate to say that he had a much sweeter ride than I do! Beyond that, I live in the suburbs. I have a wife and we're expecting our first child. I like a good dinner, an engaging movie, and a nice day on the lake. In all, I'm a pretty regular guy. I just happen to know more about Horizon League basketball than most people know about their own mother.
But I don't expect the average gambler to really know what goes into being a professional handicapper and I don't expect everyone that visits our site or uses our service to have a full knowledge of how everything works in Doc's Sports Land. Consequently, we get dozens of e-mails each week from people asking us all kinds of stuff about what we do and how we do it. So what I've done here is taken the five of the questions that we get the most and tried to answer them as simply as I can to make things easier for you.
Because, after all, that's really the crux of what we do here. We make things easier. Here goes:
1) Why should I use a handicapper instead of betting myself?
This is probably the question I get asked the most by people who are thinking about investing: why should I use a handicapper. The answer is simple - because we are professionals. Gambling should be approached as an investment. If you were going to invest your money in the stock market would you try to go at it yourself or would you employ a broker that has experience, connections, a track record of success, and an in-depth knowledge of the industry?
Gambling is what we do. While you are spending time at your job, with your family, or doing what ever it is that you do, we are hard at work doing research and planning for the next opportunity. We're working the phones, scouring the Internet, crunching the numbers, tracking databases, and watching hours upon hours of television to get an inside edge. We do it so that you don't have to. You get to just sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor!
I'm sure you are an avid sports fan. A lot of our clients are. Now just imagine how knowledgeable you would be if you spent 70 or 80 hours a week focusing on every aspect of the games. That is our life. But beyond just knowing sports we also understand the technical aspects of sports betting. We know what key numbers are. We have access to bizarre and profitable betting systems. We can spot a shady line or a reverse line movement. And we know how to win, and win often.
Again, this is what we do. You wouldn't assume that you know more about teaching than a teacher, or know more about the law than a cop or a lawyer. As a result, it only makes sense that the odds of consistently winning as a gambler are significantly better for a professional bettor who spends eight or 10 hours a day on his craft as opposed to a recreational bettor that may spend two or three hours a week looking at lines or matchups.
2) How do you rate and grade your plays?
Here at Doc's we have a rating system that works on a 1- to 8-Unit scale. Some cappers like to do 10-Star Locks or $10,000 Top Plays, but we don't mess around with gimmicks or silly monikers.
Our rating system is simple:
1-2 Units - small play
3-4 Units - average play
5-6 Units - top play or Game of the Week
7-8 Units - Game of the Month or Game of the Year
A 3- or 4-Unit play is pretty standard. Some handicappers like to play a greater number of games than others, so instead of using a pair of 3-Unit Selections they may roll out three 2-Unit Selections. A 5- or 6-Unit Selection is generally reserved for a Game of the Week or Top Play situation, while a 7- or 8-Unit Selection denotes a Game of the Month or Game of the Year play.
As far as grading goes, a 3-Unit Selection that wins is graded as +300 while one that loses is graded as -330, taking into consideration a 10-percent vigorish on all losing plays.
3) How much should I bet each game?
Next to Matthew McConaughey questions, "how much should I bet each Unit" is probably the second most frequently asked question. The answer is that depends on your bankroll. For some of my clients, one Unit is equal to $1,000. For others, one Unit is equal to $15. It all depends on what you are working with.
The foundation for gambling success relies on solid money management. And as a general guideline, money management includes only betting around two to three percent of your total bankroll on any single game. If you adhered strictly to that guideline then a single Unit would be around 0.5 to one percent of your total roll.
For example, let's say you are starting with a bankroll of $1,000. That would mean that one percent of your roll would be $10 and that your average play - a 3- or 4-Unit Selection - would be somewhere around $20 to $40 per game. I suggest using that as a baseline for calculating your own personal situation.
Now, that may not seem like a lot to bet on a game. But when you consider that on a random Saturday in college basketball a capper may throw out 20 or 25 Units worth of picks that's nearly a quarter of your stack. Further, and this is critically important, you have to look at gambling as a long-term investment. Success doesn't happen overnight. The winners in this business are the ones who are patient, confident, and consistent. "Go big or go home" and "Let it ride" are the slogans of tourists and amateurs.
Finally, you have to consider that as you win more money and your bankroll grows the value of your plays will also grow. It's all about exponential profit. As you build up your bankroll two percent of your stack starts to grow and your wagers increase. But the only way to achieve that is by sticking to a system and betting the same percentage for each pick.
4) Which handicapper should I use?
It's trite, and almost trendy, to assume that all handicappers are alike. That would also be ridiculous. Every handicapper has his or her own unique style and it's important that you find someone that you feel comfortable with.
Some guys like to play a lot of favorites and undervalued public teams. Others like to stick primarily with strong underdogs. Some cappers work halftime lines, totals, and/or money lines into their arsenal while others just play sides. Further, some handicappers like to only play one or two games a day while others like to work more action. There are a number of different approaches and no one is any better than the other. It really is a matter of personal preference.
The short answer to this question is, "the one that wins". But here at Doc's Sports all five of our handicappers have managed tremendous profit in a wide variety of sports, despite utilizing a vast array of strategies. Again, there are a lot of differing styles out there. But as long as they turn a profit it shouldn't really matter. I would suggest taking some time to familiarize yourself with someone and get comfortable with your capper's style before you commit to a long-term investment.
5) Should I use more than one handicapper?
One tremendous benefit to using Doc's Sports Services is that you have access to Seven of the top gambling minds in the industry. That isn't some kind of B.S. company line, either; our record speaks for itself. As a result, an overwhelming majority of our customers end up using a variety of handicappers.
One reason to use several handicappers is to get a variety of opinions on a sport. Cross-referencing plays through different handicappers alone can produce some serious profit. A second reason to use another capper is that some handicappers are better in certain sports than others or some may not cap certain sports. For example, you could use my college basketball selections but also want to play pro games and use Doc's Sports' NBA picks. Finally, the best reason to using multiple cappers is that in this business everyone goes through highs and lows. All cappers get hot and all cappers get cold. But by utilizing everyone in the group you can jump from one guy to the next so that you are always betting with a hot, winning capper. Learn more about our football picks, college basketball picks, NBA pickshockey picks and soccer picks All the handicappers on our website post free picks almost daily on their indivudual pages: Check out the advisory board section on our left side bar for more picks from Doc's Sports Robert Ferringo Strike Point Sports Vegas Sports Informer Allen Eastman Indian Cowboy Jason Sharpe