Sports bettors looking to retain the services of a handicapping company need to perform due diligence with respect to the company’s records, reputation and legitimacy. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of fly-by-night sports handicapping services owned and operated by con-artists who prey upon the unsuspecting gambler.
From high pressure boiler-room operations to get-rich-quick schemes to false promises of grandeur, the handicapping industry has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for committing fraud and deceit. With that said, there are a number of professional sports handicapping services that provide a legitimate product supported by documented results achieved with transparency.
The compelling question is how does a sports bettor find these successful handicapping services within an industry consumed by modern day snake oil salesmen and charlatans? The sports bettor needs to develop an action plan that consists of the following items:
- Documented Records – While the vast majority of sports handicapping services make outrageous claims with respect to their records, only a handful of services have the honesty and integrity to have their sports picks monitored and verified by an independent third-party. Before hiring a sports handicapping service, a sports bettor must demand independent verification of the service’s purported records;
- Transparency – While independent documentation of a service’s records is a good start, it’s not the end all, be all. Sports bettors must also demand that the handicapping company publishes its records contemporaneously in a pick archive for all to see. Think about it – if a handicapper genuinely provides a good product (i.e. profitable sports picks over a long period of time), he would be proud to promote said product for the world to see;
- Accountability – Sports bettors need to demand professional customer service and accountability from the handicapping service they retain. Does the sports handicapping service have a toll free number for customers to call? Does the service offer a ‘contact us’ form whereby clients can express their questions and/or concerns? Most importantly, does the sports handicapping company respond to inquiries (phone, email, etc.) in a timely and professional manner?
- Ongoing Education – Professional sports handicapping services educate their client-base by providing daily blog articles, newsletters and detailed money management advice. A sports bettor can learn a lot about a particular service by visiting its website. Does the service have an updated blog with content relevant to sports betting? Does the service provide its clients with advice pertaining to bankroll allocation and risk management? A cursory review of a handicapping company’s website should tell the sports bettor whether the service in question is interested in educating the betting public or simply looking to pad its bottom line with sales.
When I left a successful law practice to establish Oskeim Sports Consulting, LLC, one of my first tasks was developing and implementing a code of ethics to set my firm apart from the competition. Sports bettors desperately want a quality product that is predicated upon honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency. Firms like Right Angle Sports and Dr. Bob Sports also adhere to these principles and deserve consideration from serious sports bettors.
Sports bettors should avoid handicapping services that promote sports book banners on their sites as it’s an inherent conflict of interest. These services actually generate revenue from their client’s losses incurred by following the handicapper’s losing picks! Sports bettors should avoid unsolicited phone calls from alleged “handicappers” who are solely interested in two things: (1) the bettor’s credit card information and (2) the amount the bettor wagers on a game.
You know the drill: “Hi Jim, it’s Pete from Steve Spatz Sports. Are you interested in making money? You like money, right? How much can you get down on tonight’s guaranteed winner?” My advice is to immediately hang up the phone upon receiving one of these unscrupulous solicitations. By following the action plan outlined above, sports bettors looking to hire a sports handicapping service will empower themselves from the outset against the endless scams lurking in the industry.