Think Twice About Paying for Sports Betting Picks

Red X With a Man Handing Over Money

You’ve probably run into the option before, and maybe even given it a second thought. Of course, I’m talking about paying for “professional” sports betting advice, or even paying for the picks themselves.

It’s tempting to consider the proposition of paying a little bit of money now for a bigger payoff later. If the purveyor of the advice is truly as successful as they say, then it might actually be worth it. The only problem? That’s rarely the case.

In this article, I’ll lay out five reasons why you should never pay for picks or betting advice.

The Sports Betting Model Is Misleading

When you Google search something like “odds on the Patriots game,” a bunch of articles will come up. Without fail, one of them will give you a breakdown of the game and then ask for you to sign up if you want to continue and finish the article.

To their credit, the reasons they give for why you should pay are often pretty convincing. In many cases, they’ll provide you with a winning rate (often calculated by using money won as compared to money bet. Money will usually be described as “units.”). Their point is simple – if you look at past results, we’ve accurately predicted enough games to make a profit from sports betting. If you follow all of our bets, you too, will profit.

NFL Vikings Running vs Packers

Typically these websites or experts will point to not just a deep knowledge of the sport in question, but also an actual computer model that has an infallible record of success. Again, paying for access to that winning model seems like a good investment.

The problem with the models is simple: it takes into account just about every single game on the schedule. Furthermore, it might incorporate several years of data into the one article you’re reading.

I’m not necessarily denying that they have figured out a method to be profitable, but the sheer volume of games that you would need to bet on in order to mirror the plays of the model makes it a fairly unrealistic proposition.

I recently read one article that boasted a winning record in MLB games over the past five seasons. For just $10 I could unlock their secret and get the picks for myself. I then noticed that their winning record was based on thousands of games, and I just don’t have the time to bet that much. Not to mention, the profits were relatively small for the amount of work it would take to keep up.

The bottom line is that unless you’re making every single bet that a picking-model is making, it’s basically worthless to follow what it says on a case-by-case basis.

Consider Motivations

In this section I’ll move on from the computer-model type of websites above, as many of the pay-for-picks websites are simply people telling you which way to bet based on their own intuition.

The first reason to be wary of these types of sites can be explained in a simple questions – why do you need the extra money if you’re already a successful gambler?

Now don’t get me wrong, everyone would be happy to bring in a few extra dollars. And other industries, such as those involving the stock market, offer a fee for expert advice. The main difference is that in the latter, there are years of education behind and accreditation behind their suggestions and this is usually not the case with sports betting.

Arizona NCAA Basketball Players

I’m not trying to say that some people aren’t better at sports betting than others – that would be untrue. However, as you probably know, the margin between bettors who gamble for a living and someone who loses all of their money is very small. Rarely is the determining factor the advice they get from outside sources.

I don’t want to accuse people of doing something nefarious when they might consider it completely legitimate, but selling your betting advice does seem like a convenient way to cover some of your losses.

Literally Anyone Can Sell Sports Picks

In certain industries you need to pass some type of exam, or receive an official certification, in order to sell your advice. When it comes to selling your sports betting picks, however, anyone can do it legally.

Yes, even you with your 10-week losing streak can build out a website and collect money from unsuspecting gamblers looking to find an insider to help make them money. In one afternoon of work, and for only the cost of a website hosting fee, you can join the ranks of those giving out professional sports betting advice.

I don’t want to make it out to seem like every website that has a pay-for-play model is a scam. In fact, I believe there are some out there that might be able to make you a little extra money. At the very least, my guess is that the majority of them are operating in good faith, whether they’re helping your bankroll or not.

The point here is that it’s necessary to recognize that just because someone is charging you money in exchange for picks, it’s not an indication that they’re any better than you are at sports betting. If you do find a site that looks intriguing, be sure to do a thorough background check before handing over any money.

There’s Plenty of Free Information Out There

Of all the reasons you shouldn’t be paying for picks, this one stands out to me as the most important.

There’s an abundance of sources for sports betting advice including blogs, websites, videos, and more, that all can help you make better sports betting picks. And most of these are available for free!

Most people have been conditioned to think that if you pay for something, it’s better than the free version. This idea has been adopted to many news sites who charge readers a couple dollars a month. Most readers think that because they’re paying, the content is better by default.

NCAA Football Players at the Line of Scrimmage

This same philosophy is seen in betting websites all across the web. If one website requires a $10 monthly subscription and the other one gives out picks for free, it’s only natural to think that the website that requires payment is going to give better advice. There has to be a reason that fee is justified, right?

The reality is that there may or may not be any benefit to going with the paid website’s advice over the free one. The only way to find out is to evaluate the picks of each, side by side, and see how it plays out. Then again, you could just put that time into doing research on upcoming matchups and making picks on your own.

It’s Still Unpredictable

I won’t deny that there are some systems out there that have proven to be profitable, but like I mentioned earlier – these usually require betting on a massive volume of games.

At the end of the day, sports betting is extremely difficult to win on a consistent basis. You can do hours of research, get into the most minute details about a game, and still have the star running back fumble going into the end zone as the team you bet on was about to cover.

Your bankroll likely doesn’t need any help in being reduced without ever placing a bet. This is exactly what happens when you pay for picks. Imagine paying $100 per year for a subscription and still losing money on top of that. This is the reality for most people who pay for their picks.

You wouldn’t pay for someone to tell you whether or not the coin is going to come up heads or tails, or whether the roulette ball was going to stop on red or black – while professional sports betting isn’t nearly as much of a chance game as these examples, it’s not far from it.


As the sports betting industry continues to grow, and it has been growing exponentially in recent years, you can expect more pay-for-picks sites to pop up around the web.

Be wary of any site that guarantees you’ll make money by using their systems. Some might give you a boost, but the majority won’t help. At the end of the day, it’s better to win, and lose, by making your own decisions.