Sports bettors are thrilled to win any kind of money from their hobby. But can you imagine being able to earn $1 million through sports gambling?
You may simply see this as a fantasy. After all, few people are good enough to beat sports betting on a consistent basis, let alone win seven figures.
You might be surprised to know that earning $1 million in sports wagering profits is simple in terms of math.
That said, I’m going to cover different ways you can make a million through betting and if you should ultimately try this goal.
Simplifying the Road to $1 Million
The easiest way to make $1 million through sports betting is to wager $1.1 million on -110 odds. You can place a standard NFL point spread bet and have a shot at seven figures this way.
Of course, you likely don’t have this kind of money to wager on sports. Even if you did, betting this much on a single contest would be terrible bankroll management (unless you’re a billionaire).
Assuming you’re like the many average joes who bet on sports, then your bankroll is worth anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. For the purpose of this post, I’ll assume that you have $1,000 to risk.
The idea of taking $1k to $1 million through sports betting seems nearly impossible. After all, you’ll find it difficult enough to turn $1,000 into $2,000.
Nevertheless, you can eventually turn your $1k into a million in a conservative manner. A good goal is to earn 1% of your bankroll in profits every day.
Obviously you can’t expect to win a clean 1% win each day. Sports betting involves a lot of variance, regardless of your skills.
Nevertheless, making an average daily profit worth 1% of your bankroll offers a simple road to $1 million.
This plan allows you to reach seven figures in 695 days, or just under two years.
You can use a compounding interest calculator to check the math. Just enter the number of days (instead of years) under the “years to grow” category.
Again, your path towards $1 million won’t work out so neatly. But you can see that it’s possible to earn a fortune through sports gambling with both a small bankroll and conservative short-term goals.
What Type of Bets Should You Make?
Parlay bets (a.k.a. accumulators) allow you to quickly earn a large profit. For example, you can bet $10 on an 11-team parlay and win $15,000.
This is still a far cry from a million. However, you could conceivably let parlay winnings ride again and again until reaching $1 million.
The problem, though, is that parlays have incredibly long odds. Assuming you win 50% of your picks, your chances of success with an 11-team parlay are just 1 in 2,047.
As outlined before, you can still reach seven figures by earning 1% of your bankroll each day. Therefore, you don’t need to hang your chances on winning the sports betting lottery over and over.
You can instead make bets with strong odds of winning and collect small profits. For example, you can find heavily favored outcomes with -2000 odds. Assuming you place a winning wager, you’d win $5 for every $100 risked.
The catch, though, is that losing one of these wagers can set you back quite a bit. Assuming you lose the aforementioned wager at -2000 odds, you’ll need to win 20 of these bets at the same odds to break even.
Another strategy involves arbitrage betting (a.k.a. arbing).
Arbitrage gambling is the process of wagering on all available outcomes of a specific match to guarantee yourself a profit.
Of course, you can’t wager on all of the outcomes at the same sportsbook. Otherwise, you’re guaranteed to lose when the vig (a.k.a. juice) comes into play.
You instead need to find two or more sportsbooks that differ enough on the odds to where you’ll lock in a profit. You also must wager on these various odds before bookmakers change them.
Here’s an example of arbing:
- Boston Celtics -195
- Brooklyn Nets +215
- You wager $200 on the Celtics.
- You need to bet $96.06 on Brooklyn to maximize your arb.
- Your profit will be $6.54.
After spotting a potential arb, you can use an arbitrage betting calculator to find the perfect wager sizes.
Sportsbooks are very aware of arbing. They try moving their lines in near harmony to prevent arbing opportunities.
You also have to worry about sportsbooks limiting or banning your account for arbitrage betting. They don’t appreciate gamblers using techniques that guarantee profits.
Overall, though, arbing is a relatively safe strategy for earning a 1% or 2% profit. In fact, this is the standard profit range that you can expect on the average arb.
One more method of earning a 1% profit each day involves steam moves.
“Steam” refers to when a group of professional bettors (a.k.a. syndicate) all wager big on the same outcome at multiple sportsbooks.
Bookmakers are then forced to quickly adjust their odds to minimize any more wagers coming in on the same outcome. A steam chaser looks for stragglers who haven’t changed their odds, then jumps on the opportunity.
Sportsbooks view steam chasers in the same way that they look at arbitrage gamblers. They’ll ban or limit the account of anybody they think is a steam chaser.
Complications on the Path to $1m
I’ve already covered the challenges in using certain methods to win $1 million through sports betting. But you’ll face even more complications on the road to seven figures. That said, here are some more factors you need to consider before undergoing such a lofty goal.
You’ll Likely Have Many Missteps Along the Way
Whether you arb or make bets with high odds, you’ll experience struggles when chasing a fortune. Again, betting on sports is filled with variance even when you have a proper sports betting strategy.
Sometimes, you go on a hot streak and win several wagers in a row. Other times, you’ll feel like sports betting is impossible.
This up-and-down roller coaster is magnified when chasing a fortune.
You’ll likely experience some major hiccups along the way that will set you back, or even convince you to give up this dream.
You May Get Bored With the Process
The idea of being able to win $1 million dollars in 695 days sounds amazing to the average person. But it becomes a long grind, especially after several hundred days.
Combined with the likely missteps, you may get extremely bored with going for small short-term profits. You might even place larger wagers and take shots at extra winnings.
Of course, deviating from your plan is counterproductive to meeting such a big goal. You may end up losing a very important wager and give up all hope.
You Still Have to Be a Successful Bettor
The main point of betting systems is to circumvent the house edge or make up for a lack of skills. The Martingale, which calls on you to double bets after each loss, is a perfect example.
Using a 1% daily profit model to earn $1 million is just another example. This system might sound great, but it’s definitely not foolproof.
You won’t win a million, or even $10, long term if you don’t have good skills. No goal or betting system will overcome an inability to beat the odds and bookmaker’s juice.
You need to win at least 52.5% of the time to beat -110 odds.
This may not sound like an insurmountable task, but it’s far from easy.
Most sports bettors lose money in the long run. Therefore, you need to be much better than the average gambler to remain successful.
Should You Attempt to Win Seven Figures Through Sports Betting?
Earning $1 million through sports wagering is no easy task. If it was as simple as aiming for a 1% daily win, then everybody would be doing it.
But you don’t necessarily have to give up on this dream due to the difficulty alone. You can still attempt to make a million through sports betting without risking a fortune doing so.
In the previously covered example, you begin with $1,000 and work from here. You can earn $1 million in under two years assuming everything goes according to plan.
Of course, I’ve stressed that the dominoes won’t fall in line perfectly. You’ll experience plenty of ups and downs on the way to winning big.
Most importantly, you need the skills to win consistently.
No plan will work if you don’t win often enough to beat bookmakers.
You can try to win through traditional handicapping. Of course, only a small percentage of bettors are good-enough handicappers to beat sportsbooks.
You’ll have an easier time winning with either arbitrage betting or steam moves. But both of these techniques can lead to your account being limited or banned.
You also have to invest in betting software to have any realistic shot at arbing or finding steam moves. These methods are almost impossible to use on your own.
In summary, you can see that winning $1 million in sports gambling is no easy task no matter how you go about it. But looking for an average 1% daily profit is among the simplest ways to get there.