How to Choose a Sports Handicapper?

According to studies on sports betting, close to 90% of people who bet on sports are losing players. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from continuing their betting hobby, as many of those bettors are in it for the action and excitement, to put a little bet on their home team from time to time or just to have an extra interest in watching a game. Nevertheless, it’s very hard for them to win on their own as their betting is mainly a recreational hobby, even though they would like to win.

What if you could keep your hobby and actually make some money out of it? This is where sports handicappers or sports tipsters come into the picture. 

What is a sports handicapper?

Handicappers are basically betting & sports experts who strive to get a statistical edge against bookmakers and sell their services also for people who want to follow their picks. 

Depending on how good the record of the handicapper is, they might have just a few customers who buy their picks or dozens of customers who place their bets according to the advice from the handicapper. 

Even professional gamblers like poker players and sports bettors utilize handicappers to find more profitable spots to grow their bankroll – here’s a quote from a BeastsOfPoker Team Pro who plays poker for a living:

‘’I’ve followed many handicappers over the years as I’m a keen sports fan and like to watch a lot of ice hockey & soccer. Besides enjoying watching a match, it’s even better to have some bets on it that you know will produce a good outcome in the long-run. That’s why I like to use handicappers, as I don’t have time to do the research and preparation necessary to win in betting.’’

In case you would like to enjoy the excitement of betting and win while doing it, your best option is to turn to a sports handicapper. 

How should you decide which handicapper to follow?

Let’s dive into the most important aspects of choosing a handicapper:

Understanding units won & yield

The first metric you should look for in a track record of a handicapper is the number of units won and yield. Units are a metric to keep track of your profits & losses without the euro/dollar value. Units are simply a portion of your current bankroll, and using units won is a good measure to see how a bankroll would have grown if you had been following a handicapper from the first pick they published to their customers. Obviously, the more units won by the handicapper, the better it is to choose to follow his picks.

Yield measures betting efficiency compared to total turnover placed. The formula for calculating the yield is the profit/sum of total stakes placed. For example, if you have placed total bets of 6000€ and won 500€ on top of your stakes placed, your yield would be 500 / 600 = 8.33%. For really good tipsters, the yield should be at least 5-6% over a significant sample of bets, preferable over 1000 bets.

When you look at statistics from BetAdvisor tipsters, you will find both profits in units and yield for each tipster. Additionally, you can see the number of tips given by the tipster, and examine these figures for each month.

Taking into account the nature of variance in each sport

The variance of betting can be quite difficult to grasp, but we can try to estimate how big the swings can get for both winning and losing streaks based on the past picks from a handicapper. While past performance is not an indicator of future performance, we can draw conclusions from a decent sample size of a handicapper: How much is the yield, how long are the longest losing streaks, how long are the longest winnings streaks, how many picks there will be on average per season, etc. It’s very important to understand that the variance will be much bigger if odds of selections are big versus small: In horse racing, your typical handicapper will have average odds between 6-8, whereas in soccer the average odds are between 1.8-2.2. A losing streak in horse racing can get you down a lot of units, but the winning streaks might shoot your bankroll up quickly once you hit a few selections with big odds in a row.

Customer reviews

Once you’ve gathered a short-list of handicappers that have a good track record in terms of units won, the yield and they post picks on a sport where you can handle the variance of losing streaks (which will be at some point inevitable so you have to be prepared), the last step is to read customer reviews to deduct whether existing paying customers are happy with the service provided by the handicapper. Most of the tipsters on BetAdvisor have some customer reviews written about them.

What you should be looking for here is praise from customers who have stayed with a particular handicapper for a long time, and who are overall happy with the picks and communication. Sometimes following a less popular tipster might be a lot more profitable than following a popular one, if it means you can better catch the odds of the picks before they start to drop. If you don’t find customer reviews of a tipster you’re interested in, you can always get in touch with them and ask about their betting strategy before you make the purchase decision.


While winning on your own in sports is a big challenge for most bettors, following a tipster will allow you to profit from their betting strategies and enjoy betting at the same time. Diligent research on choosing the right handicapper can pay off in a good way. By sticking to a conservative approach while following a tipster who has a proven track record, the return on your investment can be a very rewarding one!