Billy Walters Gives His Top Tips for Sports Betting Success

August 30, 2023
Mark Patrickson

Billy Walters, long recognised as one of the most successful American sports bettors of all time, has shared some of his top tips for winning big in his book Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Walters gave out some details of what readers can expect to learn from the one-off publication. Walters is famous for never giving out his secrets for success, making this reveal something special.

Walters starts off by saying that most people have no chance of winning these days.

"With the expansion of sports betting, legalized now in most states in the United States, you have a lot of beginning bettors. Frankly, the way this thing is set up for most of these people, they have no chance to win. I mean, zero."

He adds that he wouldn’t have put this information out into the public domain a decade ago even if somebody offered him $10 million. But now at the age of 77-years-old, he feels it’s time to let the rest of us in on some of his secrets, especially now that the industry is blowing up in the US.

Walters said that he is happy to see legalisation passing through the US, even if little has changed under the surface. He says that all they’re doing is legalising something that people were doing for years and years anyway.

Shop Around for the Best Odds

It’s amazing that most bettors don’t bother to shop around for the best odds available, but Walters says this is the difference between a winner and a loser. Having accounts with multiple sportsbooks is crucial for success.

"If you don’t have multiple accounts, if you don’t shop around for the best price and you don’t understand what the right price is to lay for each half-point, you don’t understand how a point spread compares to the moneyline and you don’t know the true odds you’re laying on some of these bets, you’ve got no chance."

Once you’ve sourced the best odds possible, Walters says you must be disciplined with the size of the bets, risking only between one to three percent of your bankroll.

"We all let our emotions take over from time to time — I don’t do it anymore, but I did when I was much younger — you lose three or four games on a Sunday all at once, and it’s Sunday night and you’ve got no opinion at all but you’re going to double up and catch up and get your money back, and the same thing goes for Monday night. That’s suicide if you do that."

He then advises serious gamblers to stay away from parlays or accumulators as the odds rarely reflect good value, with bookmakers taking advantage of the unaware.

For budding sports bettors who want to start taking things more seriously, perhaps even aiming to make a living from gambling, Walters spoke at length about gathering as much information as possible.

He says that we are all equal and the information is out there for everyone to see. That said, he also spoke about investing millions of dollars into sophisticated computer technology to find even more of an edge on the bookies, but that is beyond most of us.

As for what are the key factors to winning over the long term, Walters says:

"Don’t succumb to emotion and bet on games because you’re losing. Shop around and get the best price. You’ve got a fighting chance if you do that."

Check out the video below for Walters’ thoughts on golf legend Phil Mickleson gambling and what he did wrong.

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