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Professional Sports Betting
by Tom Barr

So you want to live the dream of every man who's ever gambled? You want to be a professional gambler and make all of your income solely from gambling. Well like any other job, it takes a lot of knowledge, time and dedication. More Than Fans has consulted with several professional sports bettors and we've put together a list of the most important things to being a professional bettor.

First before we get into specifics, a bettor must be able to pick winners at least 54% of the time. If you are only hitting 40% consistently, following the guidelines here will not help you. You must be able to pick winners to be a professional bettor.

Have a large bankroll
To become a professional bettor, having a large bankroll to start is crucial. If you only have $10,000 and you need to make $50,000 each year, you are going to be wagering way outside of your bankroll to try and make $50,000. Most professional bettors start with bankrolls of $100,000-$200,000. This way you can bet $2,000-$3,000 per unit and still stay within your bankroll.

Money Management
Managing your money is without a doubt the most important aspect besides being able to pick winners. Most sports bettors are able to hit 54%, but they manage their bankroll so poorly, that they end up losing money at the end of the season. Most professional bettors recommend betting 2% as your standard bet on each game, and sometimes doubling your bet on games you really like. Everyone who does this for a living realizes this is a long term process. Losing days are going to happen, and sometimes you will be so down on yourself after a horrible day, that you start to wonder why you put yourself through this.

The amount of time you will spend handicapping games will be more than most people work at a regular 9-5 job. However, most people would also rather do something they love and work on their own schedule, so it is a give and take job.

Many pro bettors said that when they first started betting professionally, that there lives began to go down hill. They would have relationship problems, gain weight, get sick more often and generally just be in a bad mood more often than they used to be. All of them realized after a while that they needed to have a more strict schedule with their routines. If they handicapped for 4 hours in the morning and then worked out for an hour and then came back to handicapping, most of them did better. They also said leaving free time for essential items like family, eating and leisure activities was crucial to their success.

Internet Tools
Professional sports betting has changed a lot in the past five years. The majority of professional bettors now mainly bet online because of the simplicity, higher limits and reduced juice. When betting online, you also can use line services like Don Best and SportsInsights, which update the moving lines at offshore sportsbooks.

In addition to the things above, having a good Internet connection is also crucial. If you're trying to watch lines update and surf for information all day, a 56k modem will get old very quickly. You will have problems getting bets in quickly and will end up spending 2x as much time on the computer due to the slowness.

Most of the bettors we talked to believed that good sports bettors could do this for a living, they just need to treat it more seriously and tighten up their routine.

5Dimes Sportsbook