Sports Betting Systems: Do They Work?

We’re all looking for that turnkey, magic pill solution in many aspects in life. We’d love to get rich quick and stop worrying about money, and we’d love to have healthy relationships without having to be flexible and putting in work, and if there was a supplement that allowed us to skip the whole sweating-working hard-feeling pain part of exercising but still have the results, we’d all do it. This also exists in the realm of sports betting in what many people refer to as sports betting systems.

Betting Systems

Handicapping sports and winning money betting on the games is hard, right? Wouldn’t life be easier if there was just a system we couldn’t follow (blindly) that would make us mountains of money? Sounds great but we all know that it doesn’t exist. Even so, here are some of the common ones you’ll hear about.

Martingale System

This is probably the most basic of sports betting systems out there and it’s one you’ve probably thought about yourself. Bet an amount on a team but if you lose that bet, bet double the next night on the same team. If they lose again, bet double again. Eventually they’ll win and you’ll cover your losses and make a profit. Then rinse and repeat.

On the surface, that makes some sense. On the surface, you’d only get cleaned out if there was some kind of a crazy streak but those rarely happen in sports. But you have to do the math to really understand how bad of an idea this is.

Let’s say your sportsbook balance is at $1000 and you bet $50 per game. So if you lose the first night, you bet $100 the next, then $200, then $400, then $800 and then $1600. At this point, you’re not looking at a crazy streak. All it takes is a six-game losing streak before you’re down $600. Of course, you could start smaller at $25, but that only saves you one loss. And what if you’re betting a sport like baseball or hockey where you’re dealing with moneylines? If you have to lay juice each time – and different amounts – either your bankroll shrinks faster or your profits are smaller (say if the line is -140 instead of EVEN or -110).

This isn’t really betting on sports with a strategy; this is just throwing darts. And that’s why no serious bettor every follows this system.

Betting Against The Public

This is one of the most popular strategies out there and for the most part, it makes sense. The public mostly loses and the house usually wins, right? So if you can end up on the same side as the house and avoid betting on the side the public likes, then you’re golden. However, that’s much easier said then done.

For starters, we don’t really have access to what the public is doing – even if certain services will tell you that they know. The public isn’t one person or one entity, and there are so many different places to bet that you can’t get a definitive answer. Can a smart sports bettor or a professional give you a pretty good prediction of where the public will bet? Of course. But can they do that for every game? Will you be betting against – or trying to bet against – the public for every single game on the board? And for every sport? That’s exactly how a sportsbook functions as they’ll take action on whatever line is up. For you to mimic that and bet against the public, you’d have to get down on every game.

Obviously, that’s unrealistic. For anyone to tell you to follow a system and bet against the public is just searching for fool’s gold. What you can do is get a good gauge of who is on which side and use it as a tool to reinforce or weaken your position on a game. That’s about it.

Other Systems

A quick Google search will uncover all sorts of betting systems. You’ll see some outrageous winning percentage along with phony testimonials of customers claiming to have gotten rich following the system. The bottom line is that it doesn’t work. Sports betting isn’t something that is overly predictable where a rigid, set-in-stone system with basic parameters can spit out winners for you. Can a well-designed algorithm project where the betting line should be and highlight good value? Sure. An MIT grad could whip one up. But anyone promising huge gains with minimal effort via whatever name they want to call is just being a salesmen. You’re better off avoiding that.