From a portfolio point of view, the most attractive feature of sports wagering is its lack of correlation with other types of investing. This makes it an ideal portfolio diversifier if it has any kind of positive expectation. Another asset that may fit the bill this way is bitcoin. It has no correlation with sports wagering as well as traditional investments. Bitcoin should thus be a good portfolio diversifier despite its high volatility.
All fiat currencies lose their purchasing power over time. To see that, think back to the price of everything 50 years ago. Unlike fiat currencies that governments can create at will, there is a fixed supply of 21 million bitcoin. As demand for bitcoin demand as a store of value or speculative asset increases, its price should rise. Here are two articles that show why a small allocation to bitcoin may make sense based on its role as a highly portable store of value.
Having 1% or less of your liquid net worth in bitcoin may not be that important to you. But it would become meaningful if bitcoin appreciates 5 or 10 fold. This could happen due to speculative frenzy or greater recognition of bitcoin as a store of value. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to combine a small bitcoin investment with sports wagering? Well, there is!
Most offshore books use bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals. Several books now also use bitcoin for placing bets and for holding customer balances. The oldest and highest-rated of these according to sportbookreview.com is Nitrogen Sports.
What makes Nitrogen particularly appealing is its discounted commission (vigorish or juice). There are only two other sportsbooks available to the U.S. public that reduce the usual 10% vigorish down to 5%. Neither of them lets you hold bitcoin in your account. To learn more about Nitrogen or open an account there click here:
If you do not already hold bitcoin, you will need to buy some and send it to Nitrogen. The easiest and least costly way to convert dollars to bitcoins is through an exchange that offers ACH bank transfers. There are only a few exchanges that allow this. The one I use is Binance USA. Binance is one of the largest and most secure crypto exchanges. Their bid/ask spreads and commissions are among the lowest in the industry. They also accept debit card deposits. You can access them here:
There are a dozen states where Binance USA does not do business. In most of these, you can use Bitflyer USA. Bitflyer's spreads are not as good as Binance’s, but they also offer ACH transfers and low commissions. Two other exchanges that have ACH transfers are Coinbase and Gemini. I would avoid these if possible due to high commissions and /or poor customer service.
The final thing you will need to do is convert the dollars you want to bet into bitcoins. You can do this by dividing the amount of your dollar wager by the price of bitcoin. You can get the current price of bitcoin from the above Binance link.
Good luck and have fun with sports and bitcoin!
1) Have Multiple Outs
They say the closest thing to a free lunch in traditional investing is diversification. Similarly, the closest thing to a free lunch in sports investing is to have multiple places to wager. You need 52.4% winners to overcome the usual bookmaker spreads. Shopping for the best line can overcome some of the advantages bookmakers have over the public.
When you walk into a Nevada sportsbook you see parley cards everywhere. Bookmakers love parlays. These stack the odds against players looking for lottery-like payouts. If you have a strong, reliable edge, round-robin 2 team parlays make sense for a small part of one's wagering. But that is not how most people use them. If I were once again managing a sports betting syndicate I might carefully add small 2-team parlays to our regular bets. But the average player should avoid parlays. The same is true of prop bets. Teasers, however, are a different story. They can offer an added edge in certain situations.
If the line has been going in your direction (this often happens with underdogs), you may want to wait until soon before game time to put in those plays. If the line has been moving against you (usually with favorites), you may want to put in those plays right away. You can see which way the line has been moving (and also compare lines from multiple books) at www.sportsbookreview.com. We prefer to wager early even though we play many underdogs. This is because betting lines are generally efficient and often move toward their true value.
We are often on the same side as bookmakers who are happy to go against public sentiment. This means we often play on bad teams versus good ones. Sometimes you need to hold your nose when you bet your system plays.
Keeping good records will tell you what you do best. We look for modest edges by identifying factors (usually behavioral) that the linemakers and public overlook. These can swing the odds in our favor enough to make a profit. We do best in football, hockey, basketball, and soccer because these are more team play sports. So individual performance variances even out, and situational factors have more importance. Variances at the team level also even out in totals plays. We do particularly well with these.
Our plays are quantitative and rules-based. Much of the injury uncertainty is already incorporated in the betting lines. Sometimes though injuries to key players can overcome a system's advantage, and we consider that information.
You can find the key players in each sport at FoxSports. In the NFL, for example, go to www.foxsports.com/nfl/stats. Besides the top players in each sport, offensive linemen in the NFL are very important. You may want to pass on a game with injuries to key players or to more than one offensive lineman. Two good injury reports are here and here.
On point-spread plays, it is unrealistic to expect more than 60% winners over the long run. You can do very well averaging in the high 50% area. Legendary sports better Lem Banker became a multi-millionaire with around 57% winners.