Can you guarantee sports betting success by using a progressive betting system?

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Jeffrey | Poker Articles, Sports and Fantasy betting

Submitted by Alex, this article belongs to the Sports and Fantasy betting series.

Alex is a fantasy betting expert (compared to me at least) who has recently joined forces with one of the top fantasy betting sites, namely FanDuel. Alex has been kind enough to write some general sports and fantasy betting articles.

In fantasy betting your opponents are other sports bettors and the format resembles the SNG (Sit and Go)  and MTT (Multi Table Tournament) formats found on poker sites.  Briefly, the object of fantasy betting competitions  is to pick a team of players within a certain sport given certain restrictions (usually an overall salary cap). Depending on your player’s performances during the games played, you score points counting towards your overall placement in the competition.

Many people will try to tell you that you can guarantee success at sports betting by using a progressive betting system such as a Martingale system.  These systems involved making a series of bets, with the amount escalating after each losing bet, until you win and achieve your desired profit.  For example, let’s say your target profit is $10.  You make a $5 bet.  If you lose, you’re down $5, so now you need to bet $7.50 to reach your target.  If you lose again, you’re down $12.50.  Now you need to bet $11.25 to reach your target.  The lure of these systems is that given an unlimited bankroll, unlimited betting limits, and unlimited time, you’re eventually guaranteed to reach your target.  Rinse and repeat, and it’s only a matter of time until you’re a millionaire.

So does this actually work?  If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it IS too good to be true.  The problem is that nobody has an unlimited bankroll and no games have an unlimited bet size.  Eventually you’re going to hit a long losing streak, and when you do, you’re eventually going to be unable to make a large enough bet to hit your target profit in one shot.

So what about more complex progressive systems?  The most popular of these currently is promoted by John Morrison.  These sports betting systems involve following a series of rules for determining what bet to make, but the bet sizing still gets progressively larger in order to hit the profit target in one shot.  These still do not work!  If the betting rules don’t yield a profitable expectation on their own, using them progressively isn’t going to change that.  Generally speaking, the rules don’t change the nature of the game…they just obfuscate the issue.  Many of those promoting these systems are well aware that they’re selling garbage, and realize that without the complexity of the betting rules, many potential suckers will see right through them.  Others don’t understand the principles of statistical testing and probability, and genuinely believe they’ve hit on the Holy Grail of profitable sports betting.

In any case, no progressive betting system can turn a loser into a winner.  You’re better off learning shop for ‘bad’ lines at the sportsbooks, or learning to handicap an inefficient market like daily fantasy contests.

Check out fantasy betting at FanDuel

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