What Percentage of Sports Bettors Win?

by | Nov 3, 2021

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It doesn’t take long to look online and see a person bragging about how much they won. So many people get wrapped up in the idea of betting big on a sporting event that they were going to watch anyway, but the odds of winning are usually below 50%. With that said, is there a percentage of sports bettors who actually win?

We take a closer look at how many sports batters are winning long-term, and how many are doing it that’s just break even. Finally, we take a look at just how many people are not winning consistently enough to justify betting as much as they do.

How Many People are Profitable Long-Term in Sports Betting?

Different studies spit out varying results, but somewhere between 3-5% of all sports bettors are profitable in the long run. Some turn into very successful gamblers, while some only take home modest winnings each year.

Most of these successful gamblers have spent years perfecting a system that works for them. It takes time, energy, and a lot of trial and error to get to a winning position.

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How Sportsbooks, Casinos, and More Make Money Despite Big Winners

Sportsbooks and casinos don’t care too much about the top winners out there, because they know that there are so many people who go home losing money. A lot of these people are those betting just for fun, and they make decisions based on how they feel on that particular day. With no rhyme or reason, it’s a total guess. The way the odds are set up always puts things in the favor of the house.

Such a small percentage goes home as winners at the end of the year, so they’re more than covered by all the losers. There’s a reason why casinos are very profitable, and sportsbooks are doing extremely well. They don’t mind losing once in a while, because the odds say statistically, they’ll always turn a profit.

What is Considered Successful in Sports Betting?

Even the very best people who place bets consistently in sports are not winning at a high level. In fact, winning anything above 55% of all bets puts people in the top 3% of all gamblers. This is a way to make money in the long run, but there will be peaks and valleys like anything else.

There might be stretches where professional gamblers win 60% or more of their bets, but things will start to even out in the long run. If there is a program guaranteeing huge success rates that are simply unattainable, that’s a sign that it’s not what it seems at all. Too many people online try to sell a “can’t lose” system with impossible odds to match.

What are the Keys to Being a Profitable Sports Bettor?

While every sports bettor who makes a profit has their own strategy, most rely on variations of these three major tips. Keeping everything in perspective is how the best of the best have success for years, but being able to adapt when necessary matters as well.

Finding Value Bets

It’s easier said than done, but value bets are what can sway things in a professional bettor’s favor. It’s reckless to bet on certain games just because they are sitting there. The best will skip an entire week of the NFL football season if they don’t like anything they see. Sometimes the best bet is no bet at all.

Value betting is about identifying overvalued markets to turn around the odds. When a typical line goes into place for most sporting events, the casino is trying to position themselves to always win by putting a line right in the middle. Getting a statistical advantage can help out considerably.

Since professionals have been in the game for so long, they are usually pretty quick to identify value picks when spotted. Some will have a point where they will bet, and anything beyond that is a no-go. For example, if one team is favored by 7.5-points against their opponent in the NFL, but a professional feels like 6.5-points is a better line, they’ll wait until they get it. Otherwise, if it never drops, they’ll just skip that opportunity for something else.

Managing Bankroll

Another smart strategy for professional sports bettors is managing the bankroll properly. It essentially needs to be run like a business, so having a scale of measurements makes a difference. Recklessly putting all money into play won’t help players trying to take it to the next level. Having that all-in strategy usually leads to failure.

Every sports bettor is different, but some only like to have a small fraction of their money in play at any time. This way, if everything goes haywire, they are still in good shape. It helps a bettor avoid the urge to chase late in the day. This is when a bettor tries to make up for a bad day by recklessly betting on the night action in an attempt to be positive by the end.

Advanced Statistics

The companies in charge of making lines have too much data at their disposal to be taken down by gamblers who go off of gut feelings. Just about every successful sports gambler these days will have their own statistics and algorithms to use to their advantage. Developing a system through numbers eliminates any bias, which can put a gambler in the right position.

Developing a system is nothing new, but it’s just getting harder and harder for people to have success that way. Since so many people are relying on a system, they need to essentially stay a step ahead of everyone else.

How to Evolve into a Winner in Sports Betting

With time, patience, and a little bit of know-how on how gambling works, individuals can start to craft together a winning strategy that could turn profitable in the long run. A lot of it comes down to only putting money on games in a particular league to ensure that every bet is a smart one. Jumping around and spreading the work too thin can put individuals in a pretty bad situation.

It seems discouraging to see only a small fraction of sports bettors have success, but the same goes for different walks of life. Putting in the time and energy to become a great sports bettor increases the odds in no time.


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