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Can Sports Betting Be Profitable in 2024? (Myth vs. Reality)

March 10, 2024

Written by    |
Bill Harrelson

A common question among gamblers is: Can sports betting be profitable?

The short answer is yes; it is possible to be a profitable sports bettor. But it’s not easy.

Several myths exist in the sports betting world, making it seem like almost anyone can win big. The truth is, to be successful long-term, you need to approach it like a business by finding an edge, managing your money properly, and avoiding the traps that most casual bettors fall into, as we’ll see in this guide.

Table of Contents

The Allure of Sports Betting: Why So Many Are Drawn In

Managing Expectations: What “Profitable” Really Means

8 Key Strategies to Increase Profitability in Sports Betting

The Reality of Risk: Understanding Variance and Bankroll Management

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Sports Betting

Can You Really Profit From Sports Betting?

Developing Your Own Successful Betting System

The Allure of Sports Betting: Why So Many Are Drawn In

The allure of sports betting is real!

The idea of turning your favorite hobby into a money-making opportunity is enticing. Many are drawn in by the fantasy of becoming a professional sports bettor, traveling to major sporting events, and earning a lavish income from their prediction skills. Still, it’s important to draw the line between myth and reality.

While it’s possible to generate profits from sports betting, turning it into a full-time job is challenging and often unrealistic. The truth is the vast majority of bettors end up losing money in the long run — the odds always favor the house. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find success with the right approach.

how profitable is sport betting

Before committing to sports betting, learn everything you can about the sports and teams you want to bet on. Analyze stats, matchups, coaching strategies, and player histories to make informed picks. Look for value bets where the odds don’t accurately reflect the likely outcome.

Also, consider a tipping service. Following expert sports betting analysts and cappers can help give you an edge. Look for those with a proven track record of success and transparent reporting of wins and losses. Some services even offer free trials and refunds if you don’t turn a profit. For example, while we don’t promise 100% win at Elite Pickz, our track record speaks for us as a reliable tipping platform, and if you do not make a profit within your first month of joining, we’ll give you the second month for a “zero” fee.

While becoming a pro sports bettor is difficult, generating extra income on the side is absolutely within the realm of possibility if you go in with realistic expectations, do your homework, bet responsibly, and consider guidance from experts. With the right mindset and approach, you can turn sports betting into a profitable endeavor.

P.S. Get our free PDF on how to actually profit betting here!

Managing Expectations: What “Profitable” Really Means

So, can sports betting be profitable? The short answer is yes, but it depends on your definition of “profitable.”

“Profitable” in sports betting can be a term that’s as variable as the bets themselves. What one person may see as a worthwhile return, another might view as spare change. Therefore, it’s important to understand that profitability in this context isn’t akin to hitting the jackpot or living a luxurious lifestyle. It’s less about flashy cars and exotic vacations and more about strategy, patience, and discipline.

When we talk about being profitable in sports betting, we’re talking about the consistent ability to generate surplus income over your initial investment. It’s about knowing the game, understanding the odds, and making calculated decisions. It’s not about making one big bet and hoping for a windfall but rather about making a series of smart, informed bets that, over time, generate a profit.

Profitability in sports betting can also be about turning a hobby into a viable income stream. For some, it might mean going from casual betting on weekends to turning it into a full-time job. This doesn’t happen overnight and requires a deep understanding of sports betting systems and the ability to make informed decisions under pressure.

In essence, winning in sports betting isn’t as glamorous as it might seem; it’s a game of patience, knowledge, and strategic betting. It’s about having the discipline to stick to your plan even when things aren’t going your way and the perseverance to keep learning and improving. Winning in sports betting is about playing the long game, not seeking instant gratification. It’s a journey, not a destination, and those who understand this are the ones who have the best chance of being profitable in the long run.

8 Key Strategies to Increase Profitability in Sports Betting

To be profitable in sports betting over the long run requires a lot of work. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy money or a get-rich-quick scheme. Success comes from diligent research, in-depth analysis, strict discipline, and patience.

To increase your profits and understand how profitable sport betting is, focus on these 8 crucial strategies:

  1. Do your research: Don’t just bet on teams or sports you enjoy watching; do in-depth research to make informed decisions. Study stats, matchups, injuries, and trends to determine the strongest bets. Also, follow professional sports betting analysts for guidance and tips — the more you know, the better your chances of winning.
  2. Do a thorough analysis: Before placing a bet, analyze how teams and players perform against the spread and in different situations. Look at trends over time as well as recent performance. Consider how psychological factors like confidence or motivation might impact a team. Determine if oddsmakers have properly set the lines and find value bets where the odds don’t accurately reflect the likely outcome.
  3. Be patient: Sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t expect to get rich quickly. Have patience to make smart bets, let your bankroll grow over time, and not go for the big score. Patience means not betting every day or on every game — wait for the right opportunities so you can get the best of it in the long run.
  4. Manage your money wisely: Establish a dedicated bankroll and betting limits before you start. Only bet what you can afford to lose since no outcome is guaranteed. As you win, don’t increase your bets too quickly; slowly increase bets as your bankroll grows to maximize profits over the long run. You should also consider flat betting, where you bet the same amount on each wager.
  5. Shop for the best odds: Compare odds and lines across multiple sportsbooks to get the best value on your bets. Even small differences in odds can add up to big money over time. Use sites like OddsChecker, OddsPortal, or Sportsbook Review to quickly compare odds. Don’t forget to use our odds value calculator to get the most value from your bets.
  6. Consider live betting: Live or in-play betting lets you wager on a game as it’s happening. The odds and spreads change constantly based on the events of the game. If you’re able to identify changes that give you an advantage, live betting can increase your profits. However, it also amplifies the risk, so start small until you get the hang of it.
  7. Hedge your bets: “Hedging” means placing offsetting bets to minimize risk or lock in profits. For example, if you bet on Team A to win, you could later bet on Team B to cover the spread. That way, if Team A loses, you’ve offset some of the losses. Hedging is a more advanced strategy but can be profitable if used wisely at the right times. Consider using our hedging & arbitrage calculator if you’re looking into this betting strategy.
  8. Be disciplined: Lastly, have the discipline to only bet when there’s value, and not just for the sake of betting. Don’t bet with your heart; bet with your head. Set a staking plan and stick to it. Never chase losses or bet more than you can afford to lose. Manage your money, and don’t go on tilt. Discipline is what separates successful bettors from losers.

If you do the necessary work, analyze the games closely, bet with discipline, and have patience, sports betting can be profitable. Still, it’ll never be easy money — that’s a myth that only leads to losing. While becoming a full-time bettor is often unrealistic, with dedication, you can turn sports betting into a side income. Success comes one smart bet at a time!

The Reality of Risk: Understanding Variance and Bankroll Management

Sport betting is profitable, but it carries a lot of risk. Unlike some gambling games where the house edge is fixed, sports betting variance can swing wildly in either direction. One week, you may win 80% of your bets and triple your bankroll. The next week, you may lose 70% of your bets and cut your bankroll in half. This unpredictability is known as variance.

To deal with variance and risk, you need to implement solid bankroll management. This means only betting a small percentage of your bankroll on any single game. As a general rule of thumb, you should never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on any one game. If you have a $1,000 bankroll, the maximum bet size would be $50.

Consider these 5 additional bankroll management tips:

  • Start small and build up your bankroll over time through winnings, not deposits: Only redeposit if your bankroll gets wiped out.
  • Have separate bankrolls for each sport: Don’t mix your NFL bankroll with your NBA bankroll, for example.
  • Increase your bet size slowly as your bankroll grows: But never increase it too fast. A good rule is to only increase bet sizes by 10% of your current bankroll at a time.
  • Withdraw money from your bankroll occasionally: Don’t leave all your winnings in there. Take out enough to treat yourself to something nice. You deserve it!
  • Consider flat betting: This means betting the same amount on every game, regardless of how much your bankroll changes. This minimizes risk and variance in the long run.
is sport betting profitable

If you practice sound bankroll management, you’re more likely to survive the inevitable losing streaks and take advantage when the winning streaks come. And yes, sports betting can be profitable for those who go in with realistic expectations about the risks and are prepared to weather the variance. On the contrary, if you’re looking to get rich quickly, then sports betting isn’t for you — profitable sports betting takes discipline, patience, and a long-term mindset.

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Sports Betting

To experience how profitable sport betting is, it’s crucial to steer clear of common sports betting mistakes.

Three major pitfalls that can hinder your success in sports betting are:

  • Emotional betting
  • Chasing losses
  • Lack of discipline

1. Emotional Betting

It’s easy to let the excitement of supporting your favorite team or player influence your betting decisions. However, making decisions based on emotions rather than facts and statistics can have detrimental effects in the long term. To avoid this, it’s important to conduct objective research and analysis, focusing on the value of a bet regardless of personal feelings.

2. Chasing Losses

After experiencing a loss, the temptation to immediately recoup your money by placing larger bets than usual can be strong. However, this approach of “chasing losses” rarely leads to positive outcomes. Accepting that losses are a part of sports betting and sticking to your normal bet sizing is key.

If you find yourself on tilt after a loss, it’s advisable to take a break from betting until you regain a clear head. Remember, one loss, regardless of its size, won’t make or break you as a bettor. Stay disciplined in your strategy and bankroll management.

3. Lack of Discipline

As discussed earlier, exercising discipline in various aspects of sports betting is essential for profitability.

Here are 5 key areas to focus on:

  • Bet Sizing: Limit your bets to 1–5% of your bankroll per wager. Avoid increasing your bet size simply because you feel confident about a particular play.
  • Money Management: Establish a budget for your bankroll and adhere to it strictly. Never deposit more money than you can comfortably afford to lose.
  • Research: Conduct thorough research on matchups, statistics, lineups, and odds before placing any bets. Avoid relying on hunches or guesses when making decisions.
  • Selectivity: Don’t bet for the sake of betting. Only place wagers when you identify genuine value in the odds based on your analysis. It’s perfectly acceptable to pass on certain games or days.
  • Review and Revision: Regularly assess your winning and losing bets to identify patterns and areas for improvement. Make necessary adjustments to your strategy and approach as you continuously strive to enhance your skills.

By avoiding these mistakes and practising discipline in your sports betting endeavors, it’s indeed possible to join the 3% of profitable sports bettors in the long run. However, it’s important to acknowledge that it requires genuine effort and dedication. The professional sports betting analysts at Elite Pickz understand the rule — they’re professionals and know how to make mathematically proven decisions to remain profitable. Consider joining our Discord channel today to receive profitable picks on your favorite sports.

Can You Really Profit From Sports Betting?

Yes, sports betting can be profitable if you go into it with realistic expectations and the right mindset. Many people have built successful sports betting “careers” and businesses, and you can, too. However, it’s important to note that achieving profitability in sports betting requires dedication and effort.

Some well-known professional sports bettors serve as inspiring success stories. Take Billy Walters, for example, who has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in sports betting over his lifetime. Haralabos Voulgaris gained recognition for betting millions on the NBA and now owns a Spanish soccer club. Bill Krackomberger started as a small-time bettor and now runs a thriving sports betting hedge fund. While not everyone can replicate their level of success, it’s still possible to generate solid profits.

Setting realistic goals is crucial. As a part-time bettor, aiming to make an extra $1,000 to $5,000 per month is a reasonable objective. Consistently achieving this can add up to $20,000 or more per year in tax-free income. For some, it may even replace their job income. Start by focusing on generating any amount of positive profit each month, and gradually scale up as your bankroll increases and your skills improve.

is sports betting profitable

To increase your chances of success, we’ll reiterate that it’s essential to have specialized knowledge, practice strong money management, and commit to constant improvement. While it’s important to have faith in your abilities, don’t expect an overnight increase in wealth. Building your bankroll steadily over time through hard work and smart wagering is the key to sustainable success.

If you’re interested in exploring more success stories from bettors who subscribe to our picks and tips, check them out here. As professionals, we have a track record of more wins than losses, and our subscribers trust us to remain profitable. Remember, with the right mindset and dedication, you absolutely can make a profit by betting on sports. Join our Discord channel today for consistent updates on profitable sports betting picks!

Developing Your Own Successful Betting System

To develop your own successful sports betting system/strategy, you must be ready to invest time, be dedicated, and be willing to track your results to identify what works for you. While there are pre-made betting systems available for purchase, creating a custom system that aligns with your betting style will yield the best outcomes.

Here are 6 key aspects to consider when developing your system:

  1. Identify Profitable Sports or Leagues: Determine which sports or leagues have been the most profitable for you. By focusing on these areas, you can maximize your chances of success.
  2. Team and Matchup Analysis: Assess whether there are specific teams or matchups you perform well betting on or if there are any that you should avoid. This knowledge will help you make informed betting decisions.
  3. Betting Types: Analyze your win percentages when betting on spreads, totals, or money lines. Adjust your system accordingly to capitalize on your strengths.
  4. Consider External Factors: Evaluate how external factors such as injuries or scheduling have impacted your bets in the past. Incorporate these factors into your system to improve future predictions.
  5. Bet Sizes and Staking Plan: Review your bet sizes and staking plan. Determine if any adjustments are necessary to optimize your profits and manage your bankroll effectively.
  6. Research Process: Take a closer look at your research process, identifying any key statistics or information that you may have overlooked. Continuously refine your research methods to enhance your decision-making.

With ongoing analysis and refinement, you can develop a winning sports betting system that’s tailored perfectly to your style. However, it’s important to note that even the best systems will experience losses. The most important thing is that your system demonstrates an overall profit over time, with your wins outnumbering and outpacing your losses. With proper execution, sports betting is profitable; you may also choose to follow the strategy of our professional sports betting analysts when you sign up to receive mathematically proven picks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most profitable sports to bet on?

There’s no definitive answer on which sports are the most profitable to bet on, as it largely depends on your knowledge of the sport and your betting strategy. However, some sports that frequently pop up in betting discussions include NFL, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, and even horse racing. Interestingly, a 2023 survey showed that the majority of respondents preferred to bet on basketball, soccer, and American football.

So, while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, your best bet (pun intended) would be to focus on a sport you’re familiar with, analyze the odds carefully, and develop a sound betting strategy. Always remember to gamble responsibly!

Can you make a living from matched betting?

Matched betting can be a profitable strategy due to the use of free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. However, it’s important to note that while some people do make a consistent income, it’s not typically seen as a long-term, sustainable source of income. This is due to promotional offers eventually running out and bookmakers potentially limiting accounts of consistent winners.

Additionally, it requires time, effort, and a deep understanding of betting markets. So, while it’s possible to make money from matched betting, it’s generally not advisable to rely on it as a primary source of income.

Can you make money live betting sports?

Live betting can be profitable, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Live betting, also known as in-play or in-running betting, is a form of wagering that allows you to place bets on sporting events as they happen in real time. The key to making money from live betting is understanding the dynamics of the sport you’re betting on, being able to analyze and interpret the events as they unfold, and making quick, informed decisions.

However, the odds can change rapidly, and emotional decision-making can lead to losses. As with all forms of gambling, it’s essential to bet responsibly and never risk more than you’re willing to lose.

What is a good ROI in gambling?

In gambling, a good Return on Investment (ROI) can vary greatly depending on the type of gambling and individual betting strategies. However, as a general guideline, a positive ROI is always a good sign as it indicates profitability.

In sports betting specifically, a professional bettor might aim for an ROI between 5% and 10%, while a casual bettor would likely be happy with anything above 0%. Achieving a consistently high ROI demands a deep understanding of the games you’re betting on, careful management of your bankroll, and a well-reasoned betting strategy.

Remember, while aiming for a good ROI, it’s crucial to gamble responsibly.

Has anyone become a millionaire from betting?

Absolutely! There have been instances where individuals turned into millionaires through betting. A well-known example is Billy Walters, a professional gambler who has made millions from sports betting. Another example is a gentleman from Yorkshire, UK, Fred Craggs, who made £1 million from a 50p horse racing bet back in 2008.

However, remember that these are extraordinary cases. Most gamblers don’t make vast profits, and it’s rare to become a millionaire through betting. Gambling should be considered a form of entertainment, not a reliable way to build sustainable wealth. Always bet responsibly and never risk more than you can comfortably lose.

Can you make $1,000 a month matched betting?

Yes, it’s possible to make $1,000 or more per month with matched betting, especially when you’re starting out and taking advantage of the numerous welcome bonuses offered by bookmakers. However, this level of earning may not be sustainable in the long term. Once you’ve used up the initial promotions, your earnings might decrease unless you have access to a steady stream of reload offers and have a deep understanding of betting markets.

It’s also important to note that matched betting requires time, patience, and a methodical approach to minimize risks and maximize profits. As always, it’s crucial to gamble responsibly.


So, can sports betting be profitable?

Yes, but like any endeavor, it takes hard work, skill, and a bit of luck. However, if you do your research, find your niche, manage your money wisely, and stay disciplined, sports betting is definitely profitable. Who knows, you may even be one of the few who’d beat the sportsbooks at their own game, turning sports betting into a lucrative full-time job. Consider joining our Discord channel for profitable sports betting picks to get started.

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