5 Reasons Why Anyone Can Learn Profitable Sports Handicapping

Profitable Sports Handicapping Background

I know plenty of people who learned how to handicap sporting events, and you’d never believe that many of them have the required skills. But I’ve learned that anyone can learn the handicapping skills they need with a little bit of help.

Handicapping is one of the most valuable gambling skills you can develop.

But you’re not going to develop handicapping skills if you don’t start working on it immediately. Here are five reasons why you can learn profitable handicapping skills and how to get started right now. I promise you won’t regret building your handicapping skills.

1. Handicapping Is Strictly a Mental Skill

The thing I really like about handicapping sporting events is I’m putting my mental ability directly against the https://www.thesportsgeek.com/sportsbooks/online sportsbooks. I know if I do the right things, I can make money. I also know that I can learn more and do better next time if I don’t do a good enough job handicapping games.

Handicapping is strictly a mental skill.
You don’t have to have any physical ability to learn how to handicap games effectively. And you don’t have to be a genius to be a good handicapper either. I know some profitable sports gamblers who struggle to look smart in any other area of their life.

Of course, it helps if you’re intelligent, but I know plenty of people with average intelligence who learn how to be profitable sports gamblers. So don’t let your level of intelligence stop you from becoming the best handicapper you can be.

It’s also important to understand that just being able to crunch numbers isn’t a big help in handicapping. You can use computers to do all of the heavy number crunching. Watching players and games and seeing things that others don’t see is far more valuable than having strong math skills.

I have strong math skills, and they don’t add to my ability to handicap sporting events. I still use computer programs and spreadsheets to do hard math calculations. I focus on finding the right models and systems to use and finding things that happen in games that help me become a better handicapper.

2. Handicapping Skills Can Be Learned and Improved

Because handicapping is strictly a mental skill, you can learn everything you need to learn. You can learn from others, and you can learn by testing things and building on things that work.

For example:
You can test a variable and test it using a different variable when it works. And when it doesn’t work, you can scrap it or test it using yet another variable to see if it works with the new variable. One thing that you need to know is that you can only learn so much from someone else.

You can find plenty of books and articles about handicapping, but most winning handicappers don’t share their big secrets. A winning handicapping model or system is valuable, so you can’t find them. So you have to build and develop your own winning models and systems.

And this is actually a good thing.

If someone gave you a winning model and it stopped working, you have no idea why it stopped working. But if you built the model, you know why it worked in the past, and you can figure out why it stopped working.

Smart handicappers continue testing their systems and models even when they’re winning.

They continuously try to make their models better and more efficient. So if you’re going to be a winning handicapper, you’re never going to stop learning.

3. You Can Start Learning for Free

Do you know how much money it costs to learn how to handicap sporting events? Of course, most people spend a lot of money because they bet on games as they’re learning how to handicap them. But you don’t have to spend a penny to learn how to handicap games.

I know that a big part of the excitement of handicapping is making bets, but you shouldn’t make bets until you practice enough to make a profit. Even if it takes months or years, you can practice for free on paper for as long as it takes.

I recommend creating a fake bankroll of $11,000 and betting on paper. With $11,000, you can make 100 bets at $110. Of course, you’re not going to lose every bet you make, so a bankroll this size is large enough to practice for a long time.

Closely track all of your handicapping and paper bets.
Record why you handicap games the way you do, so you can go back and see where you might be making mistakes. Keep testing and practicing until you can make a consistent profit. Don’t be in a hurry to start betting for real money because it can cost a lot of money to start before you’re ready.

Once you learn how to make a profit on paper, you can start betting for real. But you should continue betting on paper and testing new models and systems, even after you start betting for real money.

4. Anyone Can Learn from Their Mistakes, But Not Everyone Does

Hopefully, you’ve noticed a small theme throughout this post. One of the most important things you need to do as you’re learning how to handicap sporting events is to learn from your mistakes.

Every handicapper makes mistakes.
The best handicappers I know still make mistakes. But the main thing that separates winning handicappers and everyone else is that winning handicappers are always trying to learn from their mistakes.

The first step is to accept that you’re going to make mistakes. Making a mistake doesn’t mean that you’re dumb, and it doesn’t even mean that you did something stupid. All it means is that you made a mistake and that you have an opportunity to learn from the mistake.

But you also have to understand that you often don’t know if you made a mistake from a single game. So you have to have more than one data point to know if you made a mistake or if you simply lost because of short-term variance.

The second step is closely evaluating every decision you make. Did you see value that wasn’t real, or did you lose because of something unexpected? You have to leave your ego at the door because you need to admit when you make a mistake.

Admitting a mistake is the only way to learn from the mistake.

Accept that mistakes are a part of handicapping, and embrace them so you can learn from them.

5. Variety of Lines and Betting Opportunities

I’ve talked about handicapping games in the first four sections of this post, but I haven’t really mentioned betting lines.

But betting lines are just as important in handicapping as anything else you do.

If you think about it, if you handicap a game and the home team should win by six points, if the only line you can find is the home team favored by six points, you’re not going to be able to place a wager.

Until you learn how to handicap games correctly, I recommend handicapping games before you shop for lines. Looking at lines first can affect your handicapping when you’re starting. Once you get enough experience, you can look at lines first.

Good handicappers also know how to find lines that offer value, sometimes before they even handicap a game. For example, if you see two lines, one at + 3 ½ and another at + 4 ½, you might be able to make a value bet before you handicap the game. You can also occasionally find arbitrage opportunities.

You also can find multiple types of lines on each sport.
For example, you can find point spread lines, moneylines, totals, run lines, and puck lines. While you should avoid them early in your career, you can also find dozens of prop bets available. And in-game betting is another way to find value for experienced sports gamblers.

Most professional sports gamblers have multiple places to make bets. You need to be able to shop for the best lines after you handicap games because a single point difference in a line can be  the difference between winning and losing.


You might believe that learning how to handicap sporting events is impossible, but anyone can do it if you know how to get started. But, of course, if you believe you’re never going to learn how to handicap games, the odds are good that you’re never going to learn.

The fact is that you can learn how to handicap sporting events, so start believing in your abilities.

Then use the five things listed in this post to get started. Learning how to handicap sporting events is one of the most valuable skills you can master.


Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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