For serious & professional handicappers looking for that extra edge, it’s all about research. It goes well beyond stats & ‘expert’ predictions, and the best sports handicappers understand the gritty details of the matches they’re betting on. However, it can also be very time consuming to do all the work yourself – one of the reasons I love the internet. Nowadays, punters don’t have to do all the work themselves – and sometimes shouldn’t. I used to be the control freak that had to go over all the numbers, every player matchup, compare teams ATS, and basically exhaust all of my time doing it myself. That all changed several years ago when I was looking for a new stats service. Flipping through some Google results, I ran across a post on Covers.com that predicted a Phoenix Suns upset over the Los Angeles Lakers – a point they made about a player matchup that swayed my pick. I placed five or six wagers that night, and this was the only bet that came through.
The following day, instead of grinding over numbers, I spent the whole day looking for sites to help me with my basketball picks. I wasn’t looking for the junk articles everyone writes, I was looking for real advice by real professionals. Back then, it was harder to find good information than it is today. Today, there are several professional sports handicapping sites that can make the life of a punter much easier, giving us more time to enjoy our profits. These days, I spend a few hundred bucks a month on paid picks services, a couple hours a day on websites I trust, and a couple hours a day going over stats to get a feel for the games. The rest of my time is spent actually watching the games, and enjoying more free time. If you could use some more free time yourself, check out some of my favorite handicapping sites below.
Like they say, you have to spend money to make money. It’s the same thing in sports betting. While some of the sports handicapping websites listed below offer free services, some of the most affective ones require a fee. There are a lot of paid services for sports betting that quite frankly, suck. The ones listed below have a proven track record and have gained my personal trust. Keep in mind, many paid services for the sports betting industry are scam sites, or pay off the so-called watch dogs of the industry to post their picks after the games have been played. Many of these sites are owned by the same people, regurgitating picks across all of their sites. Lastly, cappers tend to be hot at times, and not at others. This means we need to ditch our services and look elsewhere when one of them starts to run bad. We’ll do our best to keep this page up to date with reputable services.
Best Handicapping Sites for Popular American Sports
Covers.com: Great site for new bettors to start learning about sports handicapping. Covers have over a dozen professional handicappers offering a variety of free and paid picks services. They offer guaranteed picks as well, meaning that if your pick doesn’t win, you don’t pay for it. Most guaranteed picks cost $20-80 each, depending on the sport and previous record of the handicapper you’re buying from. Free picks are also offered, but generally have a lower win-rate than paid picks. Covers is best for NFL & NCAA football, NBA & NCAA basketball, NHL hockey and MLB baseball. They also have excellent odds comparison charts for several of the top sportsbooks, with lines history as well. Covers also has a huge forum where sports handicappers can discuss betting strategy, their picks, and more. Take everything you read in the forum with a grain of salt, since many of the people who post are losing handicappers.
HandicapperSports.com: This site is excellent for NBA & NCAAB, but best in NFL football. Surprisingly, their NCAA Foootball picks aren’t nearly as good as their NFL picks. They have a 62% documented win rate in recent NFL seasons, which is outstanding. They offer paid services that give members full access to their picks for all sports in monthly, 3-month, or 1 year packages. They also have a 7-day trial membership available for $59.
CappersPicks.com: This is a great site for finding hot handicappers, with paid services for their
picks. Their picks are documented, and a huge variety of picks packages are offered. If you only want picks for a single sport, and you want the best, they can be found here. Most of the handicappers offer paid trial services for 1-7 days, then monthly, seasonal, or annual packages for a variety of sports. Some of the packages are expensive, but full documentation and the reputation of CappersPicks make them worth it for those who wager large amounts.
LateWinners.com: This site has a high number of volume picks, with excellent win rates. There are handicapping sites with better NBA win rates, but at 55.7% over the course of 1400+ wagers in the 2010/2011 season, there is more money to be made with this site than most others. Most sites only make 300-400 picks a season, forcing us to put more at risk for the same profits at LateWinners provides. For this reason, this is a great choice for those who want more consistency in their bankroll, with less risk per wager. All of the same can be said for their NCAAB picks, with a high volume documented win rate of 55.87% over their last 1031 picks at the time of this writing. They offer three different handicapping packages. One is their $99/month service for all halftime wagers, and another $99/month service for all football and basketball plays.
MLBPredictions.org: This site offers a free service which went 70-70-2 in 2011, which makes them a solid place to validate your picks before placing any bets. However, it’s the paid service that really shined last year, going 22-5 on big plays. The paid service is $100 USD annually, which is cheap by any standards, let alone for a service that performs so well. One thing I like about this service is their transparency. They post all of their picks on the site, and don’t change or remove them later to boost their numbers. The site is run by a young guy who apparently knows his baseball. Most of his picks are for money line bets, and a few totals as well. Last season, none of the picks on his paid service were on run lines. If you want some help betting on MLB money lines and totals, check out MLBPredictions.org.
SeanArcherPicks.com: Although they produce winning picks for NFL, NCAAF, NBA and NCAAB, their highest win percentage (61%) is in MLB. Heading into the 2012 MLB season, they have an overall MLB record of 1679-1080-72, for 58,753 units. Their paid service offers guaranteed picks, where losing picks result in credits to the customer account for future picks. They also have excellent win rates for NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NCAAB – all with win rates of 57-60%. His picks are expensive at $50 apiece, but for those betting large amounts, he’ll bank wins for you.
Tips for New Handicappers
For the most part, I limit myself to the sports listed above. I also bet on the occasional UFC fight, boxing match, or F1 race, but I prefer to focus more time on fewer sports rather than less time on more sports. Years ago, I only bet on 3-4 sports throughout the year, and only 2 sports at a time. Over the years, with the help of the sites listed above, I’ve been able to branch out into other sports while keeping my win % at a nice level. For newer punters looking to become profitable, I recommend that you become an expert in 2 sports to begin with, and you can become profitable year-round if you pick sports which play at different times of the year. This will give you more time to focus on each sport, and make larger bets on sports you can win at, instead of smaller bets on sports you lose at.
It’s smart to join some of the large handicapping forums like those at Covers.com, but don’t rely on unknown, undocumented handicappers to help you make your picks. Some of the biggest talkers are the biggest losers, while the truly successful ones tend to be more anonymous (or charge a fee for their advice).
Remember that there is no such thing as a lock. Many professional handicapping websites will sell you on their incredible win rates, and many of them are phony. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.