If you are new to sports betting, or perhaps just less familiar with +EV Betting, this FAQ should help answer some of your questions. When we make our picks, whether you're a subscriber in our discord or a follower on Twitter @PromoGuyUS, understanding the contents of this document will help you get all that you can out of our profitable system.
The first part of this page serves as a glossary, while the second part has some FAQs with concrete examples. At PromoGuy, our goal is not only to provide you with free picks to follow, but also give you the tools you need to analyze odds and promotions and make picks for yourself!
Q: What is +EV betting?
A: +EV betting is using math based on proven, efficient markets to determine the true likelihood of a bet and compare it to the offered price. Long story short, if a bet is being offered at a significantly better price than the market as a whole, that is a wager that is profitable in the long run.
Q: Should I have more than one sportsbook account? What if I only want to have one or two because it’s easier to keep track of?
A: I strongly advise you to open an account at every available sportsbook in your state. Not only are the signup bonuses extremely lucrative, but having more options opens you up to more promos, boosts, and +EV bets. Remember, sportsbooks are competing for your business! Line shopping, boost/promo hunting, and certain VIP programs are a great way to remain profitable.
Q: What is a unit and how do I manage my bankroll properly?
A: A “unit” is usually 1% of your bankroll, which should be the total amount of money that you set aside for GAMBLING ONLY. This money should not affect your day-to-day life at all. As EVBetsIN once said: “you should be able to lose 30u in a week and not give much of a f***”
For me personally, my “bankroll” is $2,500 so my unit size is $25. At any given time I likely have more money than that spread across my sportsbook accounts but I maintain a consistent virtual bankroll and unit size. After you have proven to be profitable with your unit size and have enough money to sustain a bad run of variance, you can consider raising it. Most people use a $10 unit size but it can vary quite a bit.
PSA: NOBODY IS IMPRESSED by you having a bigger bankroll and you should not “unit shame” anyone who doesn’t bet as much as you do.
Q: What is the “optimal bet size” that you always talk about? What are all those numbers in your posts?
A: When calculating the EV of a bet, I try to include the following information:
The win probability and fair odds are found by removing the “vig” (also referred to as “juice”) which is the amount that the sportsbook charges in order to take bets, kind of like a commission. Expected ROI is the amount we can expect to profit over the long run (+9% on a $50 bet would be an expected profit of $4.50).
The optimal bet size is based on the Kelly Criterion for maximum bankroll growth. It is an AGGRESSIVE bet sizing strategy and as I’ve learned more and more about +EV betting, I’ve recognized that it is likely too aggressive. Many bettors, myself included, use “Half Kelly” or “Quarter Kelly” bet sizing to mitigate that risk. In general I’ll use HK for mainline bets (spreads, ML, total) and QK for everything else.
Q: Do you make picks or is it all based on EV?
A: Some members make bets based on their personal feelings (as do I, but I rarely share them lol) but in the long run, the only way to win is to beat the books at their own game. We do this by finding spots where one sportsbook has an advantageous line when compared to others. If we do that enough times, we come out ahead.
An important thing to note is that almost 100% of my bets are based SOLELY on math. I do like to make some speculative bets from time to time but it is very rare. This is a purely numbers-based strategy and has been proven to work over thousands of tracked bets.
Q: Why should I use free bets on longshots? Isn’t that just wasting them?
A: Free bets are different from normal bets in that when they win, the original “stake” is not returned to the bettor. For this reason, it’s advantageous to use these on longshot bets with higher payouts. I’ll demonstrate with a few examples below. Assume our free bet is $100 and the odds given are fair.
Scenario 1: +125 odds
Scenario 2: +400 odds
Scenario 3: +1500 odds
Of the 3 scenarios above, Scenario 3 is the highest “EV”, but you are very unlikely to win the bet. I like to go for something like Scenario 2 where the expected value is solid, but there’s still a decent chance of winning the bet. It’s up to you how risky you want to be, but keep in mind that you should never settle for less than 70%.
Q: What is a “promo ban”? How do I avoid it?
A: Many books are extra cautious when it comes to players they allow to use their platform. Any indication that you are a profitable player could lead to them “promo banning” you, or excluding you from participating in promotions. These promo bans are often accompanied by low limits on bets and unfortunately, appear to be permanent.
To avoid being promo banned, I recommend that you avoid “arbing” for large amounts of money, especially on obscure markets like player props. Unfortunately, this is just part of the +EV betting game and you are very likely to be limited and/or promo banned by a couple books.
Q: Why is hedging bad?
A: Hedging a promo is bad because it reduces our expected value in the long run. If we can hedge a bet to guarantee a profit, then the original bet would have a high EV and the hedge bet is cutting into that.
Lions to win boosted to +500
Max bet: $50
Win Probability: 22.2%
Fair odds: +350
Expected ROI: +33.3%
Optimal bet size: 6.7 units
We have a $50 bet on the Lions to win, with a potential profit of $250.
Now let’s say the Lions are up by 3 at halftime and the live odds are -110 on each side. Some folks might see this as a chance to hedge their bet and make a guaranteed profit. Sounds great on paper, but this is NOT a positive EV play! Let me break it down:
If the live odds are -110 on each side, the books are now saying that there’s a 50% chance that we win our bet. Our original bet was for +500 and now it’s a 50/50 chance!
Expected value of original bet based on current odds:
Lions ML +500
Win probability: 50%
Fair odds: +100
Expected ROI: +200% (!!)
Optimal bet size: 40 units
If you were offered that bet, you would hammer it. Now let’s see the EV of a live hedge bet on the opponent:
Lions Opponent ML
Win probability: 50%
Fair odds: +100
Expected ROI: -4.5%
Optimal bet size: -5 units
Despite the fact that betting on the Lions’ opponent would yield a “guaranteed” profit, all you’re really doing is paying the sportsbook some of your EV in order to reduce variance. In the long run, if you size your bets responsibly, you should not feel the need to hedge out of a profitable bet. Preserve your EV and join #TeamNoHedge!
Q: What do all these odds mean?
A: American odds are displayed as a comparison to a $100 wager. A favored outcome has “minus odds” and will have a minus sign in front. An underdog outcome is “plus odds” and will have a plus sign in front.
|Michigan State||-7.5 (-120)||-310||51.5 (-115)|
|Michigan||+7.5 (+100)||+250||51.5 (-105)|
If you wanted to bet on Michigan State to WIN the game (smart), you would be laying -310 odds. In order to win $100, you would have to risk $310. So a bet on MSU ML would look like:
→ Risk $310 - To Win $100 - Total Payout $410
If for some reason you wanted to bet on Michigan to win the game, you would be taking +250 odds. For every $100 you risk, you would be paid $250. A bet on UM ML would look like:
→ Risk $100 - To Win $250 - Total Payout $350