How to win at Sports Betting like a Jeopardy Pro: James Holzhauer's 3 Tips for Sports Bettors
It was only a few weeks ago that James Holzhauer, a professional sports bettor and former poker player, took the world by storm with his incredible Jeopardy performance. Ever since he left the stage there's been more and more intrigue from the general public on how to be a winning sports bettor. That said, even James is the first to admit that the books have gotten tougher and tougher each year as they adopt more developed methods to calculating lines. While this is true, James covered a 3 areas where there's still tremendous value in betting, all of which I'd like to cover and give my 2 cents on.
MLB is hands down the number one sport to handicap for statistical based bettors. Baseball is a game of 1 on 1 match-ups, pitcher vs. batter, and while in-game coaching decisions, defense and base-running are all very important, games are ultimately decided by pitcher vs. batter match-ups.
MLB is personally my bread and butter, as I find the saber-metrics in baseball to have an incredibly high degree of probability. I use these saber-metrics (which are generally focused on pitching and hitting) in all of my sports betting models which can be found here. This is the same model I supply to some of the world's biggest baseball handicappers.
Another key to baseball is the lack of action on daily basis. A single game in football may get more action than an entire week of baseball, which means Vegas lines are going to be tighter and tighter, ie., any value in spreads early in the week is likely gone come Sunday as Vegas has an entire week to shift the line based on bettor action. With baseball, Vegas has at most 24-36 hours to correct a line before game-time, giving statistical bettors plenty of opportunity to capture the best price at opening.
So...while I know everyone loves NFL, stop sleeping on baseball! Sports betting is about making money first, and having fun second. Baseball has 10 times as many games, making it the most profitable model in my repertoire.
Futures is a market I rarely partake in, but it's one that many famous handicappers (some good, many bad) have made a name for themselves in. Casual bettors love futures for the same reason they love parlays: big, sexy returns. I haven't spent a lot of time building out analytics for futures betting, but this is something I plan to do, and it will come entirely free with any model or picks purchase.
One interesting thing: many of the teams I bet on due to my statistical analysis last season in college basketball wound up winning their conference (Wofford, Murray St, etc.). My plan for NFL and NCAA 2019-2020 will be to do a weekly look back on team bets, along with team saber-metrics and compare against future prices. More to come on this in August.
3) In-Game Betting
Similar to futures, I haven't done a lot of in-game betting though I'd generally agree with Holzhauer's take that there's an immense amount of value in this market. My recommendation here would be to double-down on teams that fall behind early if prices move significantly. This rings especially true for home teams in football/basketball, and stronger teams, i.e., favorites, in baseball.
Alright guys, there you have it, James Holzhauer's 3 keys to being a winning sports bettor as reviewed by me. Easy, right? Time to beat the books.