Return on Investment (“ROI”) is the most important metric for betting performance of an angle, model, strategy, or other content. Whether it is sports or some other form of gambling like poker. Why? ROI let’s you know the return for every $1 that you put in action on that content/strategy. It is more important than units gained, because unlike units gained or lost, ROI takes into account the sample size of the content combined with the performance of that content. I have always tracked the ROI on the records tables since the tables were created. However, the emphasis for many followers was the “unit rating” of content versus the ROI. Unit performance is not the optimal means of assessment for developing a wagering strategy. Furthermore, if you are blinded by unit tracking versus taking the content on its face, you will miss a lot of quality opportunities. A perfect example was the information from yesterday’s Oddsmaker’s Report. It was not an official Book Position, but the information basically showed the book wanted to take as much money on the Eagles +3.5 as they could because they felt the Cowboys -3.5 were the optimal side. In the end Dallas won 33-13! Yet, this information did not fit the setup to be logged or graded…but that clearly should not have been seen as discounting any bit of the information. A LOT of quality content published at The Sharp Plays doesn’t fit a standardized label for tracking…but that should not mean it has no value to wagering.
Why is ROI the most important metric for performance? The TSP Live Radar readings of 60-64 are +16.2 units and KB Consensus angles with readings of 70-79% are +13.1 units. In the race for higher unit performance, clearly the TSP Live Radar 60-64 is the winner. However, on an ROI basis, the TSP Live Radar 60-64 readings have a +4.0% ROI whereas the KB Consensus 70-79% readings have a +37.4% ROI. As you can see, the TSP Live Radar has a higher unit performance, but the KB Consensus has a far superior ROI. The difference in ROI means you will make exponentially more money betting KB Consensus 70-79% readings versus the TSP Live Radar 60-64 readings. Both are clearly profitable and good content to utilize, but when deciding on wager sizing and how much to dedicate to a bet, the ROI is a far more important metric. What those ROI’s mean is that for every $1 you put into action on TSP Live Radar 60-64 readings, you can expect to get back 4 cents of profit. For every $1 you put into action on KB Consensus 70-79% readings, you can expect to get back 37 cents of profit. ROI provides a clear assessment of what bit of content is more of a grind versus the other.
It is important to recognize that Return on Investment (ROI) IS NOT the return on your bankroll. ROI is the return on every $1 you put into action on wagers. If you have a model that delivers a +5% ROI, that doesn’t mean your bankroll will go up 5% betting that model. Here’s how it comes into play…
Let’s assume you have a $10,000 bankroll. If you use the typical per unit calculation for your bankroll (i.e. bankroll/100 = per unit wager) then you would have a $100 per unit wager. If your model has 1000 bets per year (roughly 3 per day), and you wager $100 on each bet, your expected net profit from your model is $5,000 (1000 bets x $100 per wager = $100,000 betting volume x 5% ROI = $5,000 net profit)…or essentially 50 units for comparison (i.e. $100 = 1 unit).
The above scenario means that your $10,000 bankroll actually achieved a +50% bankroll ROI for the year ($5,000 profit against a $10,000 bankroll) based on the 5% ROI your model achieves in profit on every dollar wagered. As you can see…it doesn’t take a high ROI to generate a very healthy profit and return on your overall bankroll.
If you ask any pro their performance, it will not be in units…but rather ROI. ROI is why betting groups want to get as much money down on games as possible…the more money you get down the more your ROI pays off! ROI is also why card counters want to get as much money down on a hand of blackjack as possible when the count is in their favor. The key is that “big money” still has to be calculated within a bankroll management plan.
What is a good ROI in sports betting?
Everyone I was ever around in the sports gambling industry over the past 25+ years felt that a long-term ROI of 7-8% was the absolute pinnacle…with most professionals achieving a 3-5% ROI.
If you Google “average roi for sports betting”, articles will come up discussing everything from 3-6% to 5-7% or 6-7% depending on where you look. Most agree the ceiling is 7%…which is what I have come to know. Those hitting in the 8% area consistently and with a large sample size were very few and very far between during all my time in the industry. One article discusses 5-10%, but I have never, in 25+ years in the business, witnessed a gambler who achieved beyond the 8% ROI ballpark over the long-term.
Conclusion & Updates
ROI is by far the most efficient assessment for performance compared to unit performance which is relative to the number of games bet. ROI takes into account both units won/lost and bet volume.
My primary reason for removing “unit tracking” (except in the case of personal wagers I am sharing or the Degenerate and Go Fast and Win Portfolios) is far too many people felt that if something was being “graded on a 1 unit basis” that it meant I was advising them to bet 1 unit on the content. Oh and if something wasn’t being graded then the information was worthless. It was absolutely not the case. However, no matter how many times I said I was not advising you what to bet, that unit tracking is just done to log performance for assessment of specific angles, or that personally I did not blind follow any content…people preferred just to be alert/notification zombies. Blind following everything or nearly everything that was published has never been the optimal use for the content…and it’s not the reason I publish it. In recent weeks, including in “The Ultimate Guide To Using The Sharp Plays Content“, I discussed ways of using TSP content not as a blind follow, but illustrated how to expand your thinking on optimal content uses. I discussed how the goal of the information is to make you an educated bettor by showing all angles of the action and information floating around the betting world.
My hope is that the change from “unit tracking” to ROI will eliminate any misconceptions. As TSP Live subscribers have seen with my Degenerate Portfolio action, I bet nowhere near all the content that I post. However, all the content does help me to decide on wagers. Sometimes I follow the content when I like the setup, sometimes I ignore the content because it doesn’t line up for me for one reason or another, sometimes the content prompts me to engage in a different wager, many times I will hold the content/information and look for in-play or other opportunities to use it. Bottom line…I assess and make note of 100% of the content I publish so I am an informed bettor…even though I might only end up wagering on 10% of it.
Hopefully, with all this in mind, the next time any content comes out you will check the ROI and perhaps size your wagers or strategize your wagers differently. If the content isn’t tracked, hopefully you won’t just disregard it as useless. If it were useless I would not spend the time to post it. Maybe you even take a completely different angle using the information provided (like I did with a few examples in the “Ultimate Guide” article). The most successful subscribers for several years running have been those who use the content to dial in selections or setups they like…not those looking to simply blind follow.
“One Last Question TSP…”
If The Sharp Plays content as a whole is profitable every year, why can’t I just bet on everything?
The answer is those looking to blind follow tend to be lazy (no offense) and are hoping for no effort success in sports gambling…that’s why they want to blind follow and not think about what and how to wager. Someone who is trying to take the “easy way” to sports betting usually means they aren’t mentally prepared to handle the extreme ups and downs that occur when dealing with the volume necessary to blind follow. Yes, if all TSP content picks up 100 units in a year…why not just bet it all and get 100 units? It’s simple…there will be runs along the way when you bet all the content where you lose 15, 20, 25+ units. At which point 99% of you looking to blind follow will never survive. You will lose control of your bankroll management and completely implode due to the extreme emotions that occur during cold runs. You will press, chase, and be long gone when the content warms back up and gives you a 15, 20, 25+ unit run to offset.
The lack of wagering fortitude is why most bettors, even some veterans, can’t handle the swings of high volume wagering. So, when you can’t handle the swings of high volume wagering, the best strategy is to carve down the content into manageable volume that you can handle. One way to help you decide on what content to proceed with might be the listed ROI. However, just remember, a lot of incredibly quality content cannot be standardized into a category and tracked (i.e. semi Book Positions or rumors of group buy activity, etc.)…but are very worthy of your assessment for wagering.