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How Much Do Pro Bettors Usually Earn from Sports Betting?

11 Minute Read
how much do bettors earn from sports betting

It’s rumoured that professional sports bettors may earn over $25,000 a year. However, it is difficult to verify this figure as most data sources are non-existent and inaccurate. Also, it doesn’t account for the fact that many pro bettors run secretive operations outside the public and become part of a “syndicate” where they split the profit.

Therefore, there’s no simple answer to the question, “how much do professional sports bettors earn from betting?” However, three variables influence profits: the edge, the stake size and the turnover. We will be looking at these three points in this article.

How Much Do Pro Bettors Earn? – We don’t Know Much About It

Professional betting in sports is highly secretive. The first thing to keep in mind is that pro bettors don’t talk about their occupation. This is because they’ll be unfairly judged, as betting is considered taboo in many societies. Secondly, the bettors who have found the edge in their bets won’t talk about it openly as they don’t want to give away their secrets or alert bookies to their name.

However, despite the pro bettors’ secretiveness, there are plenty of examples for betting sites and their affiliates that label individuals as “professionals,” which refer to the sums they’ve won with a particular bookmaker. But we’re highly sceptical as bookies don’t want profitable bettors. These “professionals” that bookies claim are likely to be high-rollers who win and lose large amounts equally. Or, dare we say it, work for the bookie in some capacity.

Lastly, the betting profits are tax-free in the UK and other countries. This is why many successful bettors don’t file a tax return and publish their earnings. Many of them work as part of a “syndicate” team, where they’ll share bankroll and resources while splitting their winnings. Because of this, it’s even more difficult to determine how much the pro sports bettors make.

The bottom line is that we don’t believe anyone knows the faces and names of the wealthiest sports bettors today.

Variables that Impact Profitability

Even though it’s challenging to know how much professional bettors earn, some variables determine their overall winnings in sports betting. Three variables determine the total estimated profit over any given period:

Edge – Positive or Negative % Return of Investment (ROI)

If you have a positive edge (EV+) betting strategy, the more you bet, the more money you’re expected to make. In contrast, a negative edge (EV-) strategy is when the more you bet, the more likely you’ll lose your bets.

Turnover – Total Stake

The total stake makes up the turnover. The turnover estimates how much you can win or lose over any period. You can simply multiply the turnover and the edge, which calculates the Expected Value (EV).

Stake Size – Average Bet

The average stake size can influence how big the swings of your betting results will be for a certain period. How much the PnL deviates from the average is also known as the variance. For example:

With a $1,000 turnover and a +5% edge, a series of bets has the expected value of 5% x $1,000, which results in $50.

Low stakes (more bets) mean fewer variances where small swings in the results are more likely. Bigger stakes (fewer bets) mean more variance, whereas bigger swings in the results are more likely. Remember that the expected value of $50 remains with the different stake sizes.

What Happens in Reality

In sports betting, everything is not what they seem when it comes to earning. This is why keeping the three variables mentioned in mind is important.

If you search on YouTube right now and look for videos of how much pro bettors make, you’ll find impressive videos showing how a bettor turns $50 into $500 in a matter of minutes. As incredible as it may seem, it’s nothing to get excited about as the EV of the $50 world reasonably be around -10 to +10%. Let’s just say it’s 10%. In the long run, if the same amount of bets were placed over a large sample, it would even out with a $5 profit per bet.

Don’t be easily blinded by large profits from individual bets. Any bettor can make a massive single win. As in a roulette spin, you can put $1,000 on ‘Black’ and double your money in no time. Do this plenty of times and you’ll eventually even out in a massive loss because of the house edge.

This logic also applies to bettors who produce large profits from being super-selective. It’s a fine idea, as there’s no point in betting frequently only to raise turnover. Keep in mind that one selection is simply just one selection. Even if it shows a positive EV, you’ll need to stake a lot for every bet to earn a significant amount from the bets. And this will get you into trouble as high variance and big swings lead to inevitable massive losses.

This brings us back to the point: It doesn’t matter how much you’re making now; what matters is what you’re making in the long run.

You need a sufficient sample size to back up your results. The important thing is to measure your performance on a ROI basis and consider the variables we’ve mentioned earlier. Your outlook will then become clearer.

Professional Limits

Professional bettors and syndicates who are making millions per year may actually exist. However, it’s important to remember that the long-term profit equals what is turned over (in terms of total stakes) with a plus EV-betting strategy.

Therefore, when you’ve found a winning strategy, there is no limit to how much you can make

Unfortunately, it may not be that easy in practice. If you’re using bookies, they’ll cap how much you can stake or even ban your account if you regularly win. Of course, this will limit what you can earn.

Switching over to a betting exchange like Betfair is a good move. But there are other challenges in doing so, like the prices are very sharp and it may be harder to find value. It’s extremely competitive, and many bettors fail to win consistently.

And don’t forget about your bankroll. While the pro syndicates like to bet with a large pool of money, there will inevitably be payout issues and unsettled bets that will slow down cash flow and eventually limit profitability.

Professional betting is not the easiest route to make a living. But if you’re interested in becoming one, we’ve got additional tips you can follow below.

Become a Professional Sports Bettor

If you want to be a pro bettor, you’re expected to be a true expert in sports and capable of carrying out detailed analysis and planning long-term strategies to receive maximum profits from your bets. Besides that, aspects like hours of research, calculating the risks and dedication are some of the requirements you need to have. Here are our tips to become a pro bettor.

Training

Sports betting is an investment. Therefore, you need to know what it’s about and how it works. Like investing in the stock market, you wouldn’t invest money in stocks if you don’t know how it works. The same principle applies in sports betting, where placing bets without knowledge of combined bets will result in a loss.

On the other hand, the sports betting world has its own glossary of terms you’ll need to be familiar with if you want to succeed in the space.

Dedication

Professional bettors are successful because of their routine and consistency. They don’t look for results in the short term. If you want to bet like a pro, you’ll need a few years and a lot of dedication to discover all the secrets of sports betting.

Besides being an expert in the sport and sports leagues you bet on, your intuition is another asset to win your bets. In this case, you need to be clear about the validity of your bets, in other words, ensuring that your bets are good enough to opt for them.

However, you can’t rely on good or bad streaks. The sports betting world is constantly changing; everyone goes through their best and worst moments.

Keep Updated with a Sport

Watching or reading the summary of the latest sports news won’t be enough. If you want to take your betting skills to the next level, being up to date on everything related to a sport and league is crucial.

Control Your Bankroll

One of the differentiating features of a pro bettor from a regular bettor is their bankroll management. Like how professional bettors act and place the right bets, they also manage their bankroll effectively. One rule they follow is never exceeding their betting limits, no matter how tempting a bet can be.

Published on 20 September 2022 Last updated on 20 September 2022
Author: Martim Roll

Martim Roll

Author

Martim is the Founder of APWin, Passionate about football, statistics and analytics connected to sport.

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