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Sports Investing

Elements of a Good Handicapper: Personality Traits Needed For Successful Sports Investing

By The Team @ Broad Street Cappers

The difference between being a successful sports investor and a long term loser is razor thin. It may only come down to a handful of wagers a year that make the difference. But what if that difference was based on other factors than numbers? As we'll examine in this article, it takes more than just knowing the weather, injuries, having powerful algorithms or getting the best of the line to be a successful sports bettor. There are certain personality traits that long term profitable bettors share and by making a few tweaks to your own approach, you could become part of that elite group.

The first trait we'll examine is emotionless. Most long term successful sports bettors don't allow themselves to rise and fall with every touchdown or interception. More importantly, they don't allow a single loss or a short-term losing streak affect their next wager. That is something the betting public never understands. Bailing out or getting too emotional over a losing wager ends up being a long-term losing strategy. In some cases, this is a learned trait; meaning, it can be developed over time. An example would be you're more likely to get into a bar fight at 22 then at 42, although we've all seen a few old guy fights at the bar over the years!

Most professional, successful sports investors are realists. A realist is defined by Merriam-Webster as concerned with fact and rejects the impractical and visionary. This is applied to sports wagering in two ways: (i) having realistic expectations, and (ii) applying proper factors to handicapping methods. There is a large expectation gap between what the public believes is the normal winning percentage versus reality. 70%+ long term winning is a foolish thought. Pros understand that 55% is extremely profitable over the course of a full season.

The other issue the public has is applying the wrong factors into their handicapping or giving too much weight to the wrong factors. Unless it's Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, players don't matter! That may sound like a blanket statement, but for the most part, the players don't matter. That is why you don't see lines move that often when you hear of injuries. The public attempts to apply Fantasy Football rules to handicapping. Believe me, there is no correlation. While the public is yapping about skill position guys, the pros are analyzing offensive and defensive lines, nickelbacks, depth charts and the tone in the locker room.

Discipline and patience are key traits found in most profitable bettors. Action-junkie is not a term I would use to describe a real, pro bettor. They exist, but most profitable sports investors are careful with their money and are very deliberate with where they choose to invest. Quite frankly, they have to be because this is their sole means of income in most cases.

A lot of public bettors fall under the category of The Adventurer. Joel Anderson's book titled, "Trading, Sex & Dying", defines the Adventurer as always looking for action, when at times it might be wise to wait. Some of the most successful sports bettors I've ever come across will sometimes only wager on 3-7 games during an entire mid-season football weekend. That's college and NFL combined. Like a surgeon, they skillfully and analytically move with purpose. It's not about the action. It's about thoughtful examination and careful consideration of where their money is going to be spent. It's also about understanding the marketplace and knowing when to wager and when to hold back. Sometimes it is best to bet early in the week, sometimes it is best to wager right before the start time.

Most successful pros are the type that hang in the background and draw little to no attention to themselves. Consider this…the most popular and arguably most successful sports investor of all time is Billy Walters. Until recently, he was more of the talk of legend than reality. He worked very hard to stay under the radar (other than his philanthropy and golf courses) and more importantly have his staff of dozens do even more so. It is that introverted, no ego nature that allows a seasoned pro to properly analyze and then perhaps more importantly, get a wager down without sending vibrations around the marketplace. This is a very similar approach that successful investment managers take when attempting to place large orders around the Street. It allows them to get the price they want. In our case, it allows you to get the line you want.

Sports, by nature, are highly competitive. The same can be said for successful sports investors. These individuals are highly competitive, workaholics that understand that to be successful hard work and a mindset to excel are critical. Profitability doesn't come overnight and it takes long hours to develop successful methods and analysis. This isn't for recreation, this is for their livelihood. The drive to be "right" pushes them to hone their skills and approach. Successful sports investors are not escape gamblers. Meaning they are not gambling to escape reality because this is their reality. They approach the task with a firm understanding of risk and how to mitigate it. The traits that have been discussed could probably be applied to doctors and investment managers as well. Although the nature of those vocations may be different, the mindset and mental wiring of those individuals isn't all that diverse. They clear out all of the noise and make sound decisions based on all their methods that are at work. Not everyone is going to be a successful sports investor, but if you apply some of the traits that have been discussed, the likelihood of success will be greater.

Good luck and keep cashing!

@misterquinnbets (Twitter) is one of few sports handicapping services personally endorsed by If you're looking for help to beat your book, check them out today on Twitter at @misterquinnbets. They're legit as it gets. - Kevin,

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