If you bet on sports, or perhaps even if you don’t, you most likely know what a sports handicapping service is. Most people know that they give out sports picks, but what is happing behind the scenes? Are all sports handicapping services the same? Do they really win often? What is inside information? This article will explain the sports handicapping profession by answering these questions. While every sports handicapping service operates in a different way, there are some common elements integrated into each one.
For decades sports handicapping services have touted their “inside information” as a reason why you should pay them. Before the Internet really took hold in the mid 1990’s, this was by in large accurate. It was necessarily that the sports handicapping service knew the players, it was the fact that they had access to information that, by in large, most sports bettors did not. In fact, unless you lived in Las Vegas or knew someone, your sports information was limited to what was in the general media.
The Internet changed all of that. Today, the average sports bettor has access to a plethora of information. Dare I say, the average sports bettor today has most access than did even the most informed sports handicapping service did before the Internet took off. The Internet has change betting on sports in so many ways. Sports bettors can easily shop lines, get information straight from teams and reports 24/7, bet on sports online, access mounds of stats and so much more.
The Call Center
The call center is still thriving and it’s where operators stand by to give you, the sports bettor, a selection or sell you on a service. Technology has greatly changed this area of sports handicapping, but it’s still around. One trick less ethical sports handicapping services use it to alternate their free selection. Let’s say that there’s a free pick advertised on an NBA game between the L.A. Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. Caller one would be told that the “lock” selection of the day is the Lakers. Caller two would be told the “lock” selection of the say is the Spurs. Caller three would hear the Lakers and so on and so forth. Why would they do this? Well, by alternating, the unethical handicapping service is guaranteed to hit 50% and that means half of the callers become potential clients since they received a free winner. Unfortunately, it’s an effective technique.
The Free Sports Pick
We talked about free sports picks in the previous section. Every sports handicapping service has free sports picks. It’s the most used advertising tool out there. The goal is to give you a winner (or a good percentage of winners), so you can’t help but want their really good stuff. In the old days, you would get free sports picks by watching TV, reading media (like magazines) or calling up free pick lines. Today, free selections are all over the Internet. In fact, if you look long enough, you will probably end up with a 50/50 split on any game you seek out.
There’s no real set pricing structure. Every service is different. Many services try to sell you season packages or special event packages. This way they can lock down money and concentrate on selecting games. Also, if you buy a season or event package, it makes their job much easier since they have a guaranteed customer. If you purchase daily picks, they have to keep working hard to earn you as a client. A couple of bad days and they lose you. If you are locked in for the season or event, it does not matter as much.
So, you now have a little peak inside the workings of a sports handicapping service. The world’s full of sports handicapping services, from the one-person operation to the larger company filled with sports handicappers.