How pros use picks and information from others


We have often pointed out that some of the most successful pros in the industry openly admit to following others and/or buying picks. Why do they do this and how do they utilize this information?

Let’s start by noting some of the examples described below are rare, or even exceptions to the rule. Most people who freely share or sell picks and/or information don’t win and present no value. You should be overly skeptical when considering using information and/or picks of others. Knowing who, why and how to follow someone are skills that must be developed with time and experience. With that said, always keep an open mind. People who win or provide value do very much exist. It is a pro’s job to find and identify them. With legalization spreading in the United States there are more talented up-and-comers in the space than ever before.

Long term winners who beat closing line

This is the most obvious reason to follow someone. You find someone with an established long-term record and/or someone whose plays consistently beat the closing line. You are able to follow their plays at the same line they play. The cost can range from free (if you find someone on Twitter/Slack/podcast/forum/etc.) to thousands of dollars for a season of picks from an established service and everything in between. You bet enough per play to justify any potential cost, and you are simply adding +EV volume to your portfolio.

Handicappers who provide write-ups and/or info

This requires a degree of skill, experience and expertise, but we often extract valuable info from write-ups posted by non-winning bettors. Oftentimes, it is a nugget or a perspective we hadn’t previously considered in a market that we follow closely, but that isn’t always the case. There have been several times through the years in markets big and small where the info being presented has clear value that we can leverage. More often than you might imagine, the person providing the info publicly for free is oblivious to just how valuable the info they’re sharing truly is. There are a lot of hard-working people in this industry whose efforts and information can add value to you for little to no cost.

Market Timing

Let’s say you are an active participant in a basketball market and have invested considerable time and resources into it. You start noticing that at around the same time each day a handful of lines suddenly steam a full point and even more in some cases. You come to find out that it’s some guy you never heard of posting picks on a message board or Slack or it’s a guy on Twitter with only 100 followers. It could also be a handicapping service that you had assumed was a scam.

For a pro, removing anonymity from a line move on the screen is invaluable. Instead of being surprised, wondering who it is and if it’s real, we know the exact source and timing of it. If we match up, we will bet immediately. If we are opposite, we may help that line keep moving with the intent to play opposite later at higher limits. If the plays beat the closing line, appear to be winning long term or are creating scalpable positions, we may just follow along blindly and decide what to do later. It becomes a no-brainer for us to be on that message board/Slack constantly, get alerts for that guy on Twitter and/or buy that service.

Make no mistake about it, it is hard to win. Identifying and utilizing value provided by others in the space is an important tool that can help even pros at the highest levels be more successful.

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