When you buy a house it’s an investment. You live in it, take care of it and one day hope to sell it for more than you bought it for. In other words…A return on your investment (ROI).

In sports handicapping it’s no different.

Sports handicapping can be compared (and often is) to playing the stock market. An investor (the bettor) risks capital by purchasing a certain amount of stock (or making a bet) of a company (or team). If the team or business exceeds expectations, a profit is found.

Here are a few simple numbers to help the average sports handicapper to better understand.

The return on an investment is calculated simply as the profit divided by the total amount risked. Let’s say we make a 100 $100 bets. Then let’s say 50 of those bets turn out to be winners and the other 50 are losers. Taking into account the vigorish is 11/10, which means the bettor is going to be down $500. Showing a -$500 after a total risk of $1100.

In other words…the bettor must win at least 53% of his wagers to cover the vigorish. This ROI creates a +1.2%. Not exactly great news, but it can get much better. Check this out.

Following the same pretext, picking winners at a 55% rate creates a +5% ROI and a 60% (some of the best handicappers in the world never hit more than 60%) success gives you a +14.5% ROI. Not Bad! Considering most stockbrokers consider a 10% return on their portfolio to be a fantastic year.

So just how do professional sports handicappers become successful? Betting only what their bankroll will allow (usually no more than 5%), betting the same amount on each game and discipline.

That last part is worth saying again…DISCIPLINE!