What is the True Winning Percentage of a Professional Soccer-punter?
Many people believe professional-level sports bettors win at least 60% of their bets. It's understandable that people think that, but it's just not true. The fact is, the difference between the percentage of bets won by successful sports bettors and the percentage of bets won by losers is relatively very small.
Anyone can expect to win 50 percent. After all, the only thing required is to flip a coin and pick a side. The bookmakers' profit comes from the difference between what a bettor must risk and what a bettor expects to win. Every time a player wins, the bookmaker withholds slightly more than 9 percent of the winnings ($1 for every $11 risked). Consequently, a bettor winning only half his bets will ultimately go broke.
Professional sports bettors, by comparison, rarely sustain a long term winning percentage higher than 57 or 58 percent, and it's often as low as 54 or 55 percent. People find that hard to believe, and they understandably get even more skeptical when told that, for a genuine professional-level sports bettor, a long term winning expectation of 60% or more is actually too high.
The measure of success of a sports handicapper is not his percentage of winning bets, but the relative amount of profit he made over any given period of time.