A popular strategy for many Sports bettors is to find experts that share or sell their picks and follow them on what they take in the hope to reproduce the results. While in theory this sounds easy, reality most of the time will show that this is actually not. Everything starts with identifying long term winning players first.
In all my years as an online sports bettor I have came across many handicappers and only a handful of them actually managed to survive the test of time in these markets. There are some similarities between all of the longer term winners that I use as fundamentals to spot potential online handicappers to follow. In this article I break will break some of these down. Note: all these indications are based on my personal experience and I don't claim them to be absolute in any way.
1. Consistently Beating the Closing Asia
This is by far the best indication you can get to estimate if someone is likely to beat the market with their predictions. Even if all the indications listed below are violated, being able to beat the closing asian lines consistently still holds up very strong regardless how it's done. The closing lines on the asian market can be seen as the most accurate general estimations around. (See This Article linked by @btb in his previous posts)
2. Average Odds Range
The odds someone takes are often an instant tell when it comes down to the likelihood of someone not being a winning player. Everyone who is often advising 1.01-1.70 odds instantly raises a big red flag and it's impossible for me to take them serious as a handicapper. Most of the time the actual handicapping that is going on is a feeling of 'it will win' followed by some backwards rationalisations why it's a good bet. This does not mean you can never take these kind of odds. Everyone I know who are making a profit by betting on sports are avoiding these kinds of odds at all cost and prefer to take as many 2.00+ odds as possible.
3. Combos / accumulators
Very similar to low odds, someone taking combo bets makes them highly unlikely to be profitable players. I have talked about the psychology of combos in the past and why they are so easy to get trapped into (See Article).
4. Bookmakers Used
The bookmakers someone uses can often be seen as an indication of the likelihood of them being longer term winners or not. I wrote about Bookmaker Business models and explained the differences in this article. Because of these reasons, longer term winning players are drawn towards bookmakers like Pinnacle, Nitrogensports, Betfair or broker services. Especially when someone takes bets at more traditional online bookmakers while the asian bookmakers have a better price it is an instant red flag for me when it comes down to the likelihood of their bets expecting a profit.
Beating the market is best done by specialising yourself in a certain league or very specific types of bets. This can be late overs, draws, underdogs, corners or anything based on a specific pattern. If you want an edge you need to have your niche and be on top of it if you want to outsmart both the bookmakers and other bettors.
6. Predictable Structure
This is also one of those things most winning players have in common. They have build a tight structure they follow almost religiously. The amount of bets, average stakes, timing of taking usually have specific patterns to it.
7. No Self Proclaimed Winners
Usually for winning players actions speak louder that words, while for losing players it's usually the other way around. To give an example, usernames that indicate them being good usually is a sign of weakness where they need to make up for something. The same goes for how posts are made or what name is chosen for a service. Everything with the words 'invest' or 'win' in it are instant tells the way I look at it.
8. Record Keeping
Winning players tend to keep very close track of their record and use it as a tool to improve. I wrote an article in the past on this subject where you are likely to be down if you don't know your own betting record (See Article). Close honest record keeping and not hiding during the bad times is an absolute key factor to me and only few people do this unfortunately.
9. Write-Up Talks about Price
Something where players who beat the market often differentiate themself with from the ofters is the fact that they talk about the line and the odds in their explainations why they take a specific bet. Very few people actually do this and it's a great way to spot handicappers that are more likely to be profitable.
10. Stakes / Bankroll Management
While someone having bigger stakes by no means guarantees they are profitabe, it surely increases the chance of them being by a lot. The same thing goes for bankroll management, someone suggesting to bet 5% of your bankroll on something to me is an instant tell they don't fully understand betting.
Note that the actual betting record is NOT on the list as I believe that is most of the time highly overrated only showing shorter term luck. Especially when betting leagues that have higher limits at asian bookmakers a lot of bets need to be placed before any real conclusions can be made.
Let me know in the comments what some of your ways are to indentify solid handicappers !