I’m a Preacher to the Masses… of Flat Betting

Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer – Preacher _ Season 2, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/AMC

Since the dawn of The Sharp Plays I have preached flat betting, regardless of wager classification or perceived strength. I have been a flat bettor since 2001. Two weeks ago, in TSP Daily, I broke down the reasoning for my decision. It’s a topic that comes up all the time so I will cover it here on the website. Thereby I can easily refer to it, probably more than 1000 times, over the next 10 years! Below is a compilation of what I discussed in TSP Daily as well as some additional tidbits. Including a counter strategy by someone who uses tiered betting. I hope you enjoy!

Every day I preach flat betting in some fashion and on some platform. Despite saying it over and over, there will be someone who posts on Twitter how they got murdered on this or that day. My reply, it was a 2-1 day?? Their reply, yeah but the 3U lost. Yes, and if you flat bet everything it was profitable. People too often look at win percentage and nothing else when deciding how much to wager on an angle. Doing so is very short sighted. You should also be looking at your bankroll, your mental fortitude, your overall financial situation, the frequency of the angle occurring that you are wagering on, selection volatility, the unit performance of the angle and if your various risk levels are based on your random thoughts or a mathematically optimized formula.

Flat betting IS NOT mathematically optimal, but to me it is practically optimal for 90% of bettors out there. Some people would have loaded up on Creighton this past weekend… I mean it was a Primary Angle and a Just Missed Premium Play. However, to me Creighton -7.5 was still a 1 unit wager… and I didn’t even bet it straight because I had it as the final leg of a 1 unit parlay paying 2.6 units on a win. So, I actually saved some juice thanks to just riding with Creighton in the parlay.

People will often ask why I have these different ratings and angles within the content, but I flat bet. The reason is that it’s really for those of you reading this. I may not tier my betting or stray from 1 unit based on Primary, Secondary, etc., but many of you do. So, I have these different classifications so you can utilize the information in your own strategy. Your strategy may not be something I would do, but that’s the beauty of your strategy… it is yours. I will give you another example. When I post sharp buys on Twitter, I usually say “Small, Medium or Large”. A few months back I thought it was stupid of me to post Small, Medium, Large when the LJP Score illustrates the same thing. Actually Small, Medium and Large is only three classifications. Whereas the LJP 1-5 with “Up”, “Down” and “Open” ratings is much more detailed. So, I dropped the Small, Medium and Large… HOLY SHIT!!!!! You would have thought I was stealing candy from kids. LOL!!!! People were like… “why aren’t you posting Small, Medium or Large anymore?? I use that in my betting, I tier my wagers with that information, I decide what to bet based on small, medium or large. etc.” I was thinking… why?? I mean doesn’t the LJP Score illustrate the same thing? It made no sense to me why Small, Medium or Large mattered, BUT I didn’t overthink it. If it helps you in your betting and makes people happy, I will gladly post Small, Medium and Large. It is for the type of reason just stated that I don’t just have “TSP Live Angles” which covers every bit of content I release. Instead, I layout LJP Scores, have Primary, Secondary and now perhaps Tertiary Angles… among many other classifications. Despite all those classifications, I may flat bet it every one of them, but clearly others like the classification… so the classification exists. The goal is to provide classifications so that you can create your own strategy within the content.

As of the writing of this article, the LJP 1U’s have returned +42.0 units… they are the highest performing LJP Score (UP/DOWN/OPEN/1-5). So, why would you not wager 1 unit on them?? Yes, the reason they are profitable by so many units is because they also have the highest number of covered angles. LJP 1U’s comprise 771 angles out of the 2054 total LJP angles covered lifetime. The LJP 1U is the epitome of the grind. Lots of angles, a +EV methodology and profits coming in like an oil well.

If anything, you should wager more on the 1U’s because there are more of them, so your performance will be less volatile. What do I mean? Let’s say today there is an LJP 5U. Those angles are 6-1 lifetime. I say to myself… “Self, I know TSP wagers a flat unit on everything, but this is a mother f-ing 5U!!!!! I am going to put 5 units on it!!” OK, and then the play loses. Your next step should be to cry like a little baby on Twitter about how you lost. About how even though I, the creator of the LJP flat bet all of its scores, that you decided that was stupid and I clearly don’t know how to optimally use a system I designed. You will bitch and moan that its stupid to have a tiered classification system and not wager tiered amounts of money. You will then go back to your bedroom, tell your mother not to come in and throw things around your room while screaming at your stuffed Mickey Mouse doll. Now that you have had your moment, let me explain why the tiered betting approach can be a bad strategy.

Since the LJP launched in 2019, there have only been seven LJP 5U scores in that time… it’s been months since we have had one. If you wager 5 units on every LJP 5U, it could be months until the next opportunity. That means you now need SIX net wins from LJP 1U’s to cover the 5U loss. You just completely skewed your performance to the negative by unloading on a higher LJP Score.

Why have a tiered classification system unless you are betting it in tiered risk sizes? I get this question ALL THE TIME. The answer is simple, the tiered LJP system, or really any of the different angle classifications that I utilize to organize the content at The Sharp Plays, are setup so people know deeper details on the content. If every day I just said there is a TSP Angle on Team A or there is a TSP Angle on Team B, it’s good, but people like to know the background. Smart people, before they wager, want to know what they are wagering on. It would be easy just to have one tier of betting angle. Instead of all the records tables and charts you see at TheSharpPlays.com, you’d just see one record… i.e. TSP Angles 506-398. OK, that sort of works, but it again provides no real background on the ins and outs of the individual angles. The LJP Score, Sharp Consensus tiers, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, etc. are there to provide that background for your wager assessment. Essentially, the classification explains why I am even reporting the angle in the first place.

The classifications also allow people outside The Sharp Plays to create their own betting systems & strategies using the content I post. Some people don’t want to play LJP 1U’s, despite their success. Other bettors don’t want to play LJP OPEN Scores despite their success. Some only want to play LJP 3’s and above for 1 unit each. Some people only bet Sharp Consensus or “known” bettor angles. That’s all good for them, but that’s why the classification system exists. People can decide what SPECIFIC content they like and what they don’t want to utilize within their strategies… and it is all thanks to the tiered layout of the LJP and the various angle classifications (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Sharp Consensus, LJP, etc.). Some people don’t like the idea of Secondary or Tertiary Angles… instead they just play 1 unit on Primary Angles only. I may disagree with the approaches and feel all three classifications are worthy of wagering for 1 unit. However, it’s not all about me. You are the consumer of the content, so whatever works for you! Some people like to play trends. They wait for the 2U’s to lose three or four in a row and then they jump on and play the progression back to the mean. Being able to track individual classifications like 2U’s is essential for their strategy. Tiered rankings or multiple classifications should not always mean tiered betting in your brain. There are other reasons you want to classify wagering angles, beyond tiered betting (re-read the above).

However, if your brain simply cannot function without using a tiered classification system with a tiered unit risk, then maybe dial it down. Instead of betting 5 units on an LJP 5U or 3 units on an LJP 3U… while wagering 1 unit on a 1U…. again, dial it down. I am probably being conservative to say 3 units on an LJP 3U. Based on some of the level of crying that goes on when a 3U loses, it’s likely more like 47 units risked on an LJP 3U and 0.5 units on an LJP 1U. Let’s avoid that sort of disparity. Instead, why not 1 unit on an LJP 1, 1.25 units on an LJP 2, 1.5 units on an LJP 3, 1.75 units on an LJP 4 and 2 units on an LJP 5. That way, even in the case of the example 2-1 day I used at the start of the article, and even if the two wins were LJP 1’s and the loss was an LJP 5, you only lost 0.2 units. Even the unrealistic bettors out there should not be screaming at their poor Micky Mouse dolls over a 0.2 unit loss. Which then clearly illustrates how insane some people must wager to be absolutely inconsolable, whining like babies on Twitter over what they lose at times.

So, instead of blazing your own bankroll management trail, instead of screaming at your poor Mickey doll and having a temper tantrum on Twitter, maybe… just maybe… take some advice from someone who has likely been betting for longer than you have been alive. Take some advice from the person who designed the system you are wagering on. The person who designed the system might know the optimal way to bet it. However, if you absolutely insist on betting tiered amounts, OK, but try dialing it down a little. Better yet, walk before you run. Try flat betting everything to get a feel for the ins and outs over a few months. Then after those few months assessing the flat betting method, decide how you would like to SLOWLY tier your wagering. Just a thought! Although, fuck it, all that takes time and effort. It’s much easier to throw money around like a sailor on leave and then have a temper tantrum because sports betting isn’t free money.

So, you may not agree with it, but I feel the best method for wagering on my content for most bettors out there is through flat 1 unit wagers. If you decide the optimal method is different, sounds good and I wish you ultimate success with your strategy. Someone designed another method, so given it was simple and straight forward, I decided to cover it in last week’s TSP Daily. Below is the text from that article. Soon I will be creating a “Strategies” page to the website to break down different methods people use for wagering on TSP content.


~~TSP Daily excerpt from week of 3/29~~

Recently, in TSP Daily, I discussed a bettor who used his own strategy within TSP content and a tiered betting method. To give you a counter point to my flat betting thoughts above, I am including that breakdown in this article. Here’s what appeared in TSP Daily last week…

The bettor employed a very simple system. He only used content posted in TSP Live and on the Telegram channel. Within those two platforms he wagered on all LJP 2U and above angles, all “known” bettor angles (LJP 1U and above), and ALL TSP Live Angles (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Sharp Consensus, etc.). Within his strategy, he also wagered tiered betting levels based on LJP Score. So, 2 units on LJP 2U’s and 3 units on any LJP 3U’s, etc. For everything else, he wagered 1 unit. For example, whether it was a Premium Play, Primary Angle, Secondary or Tertiary angle, but the LJP was 1U, he wagered 1 unit. The result of this strategy, since January 1st and including yesterday’s action, is a 95-54-2 record (63.8% winners) and +50.5 units!! He also looked at his performance if he just flat bet everything within his strategy. Flat betting everything would have resulted obviously in the same record, but +35.6 units. So, tiering his wagers increased his profits by 42%!!!

After posting the above in TSP Daily, some questions arose. Please view those questions below…

Q: Aren’t the robots that deliver the paid content into TSP Live the same robots that deliver the free content to the Telegram channel? If so, wouldn’t the bettor use those 1U plays in the Telegram channel equally as he did with TSP Live?
A: Yes, the robots that generate the angles in the paid TSP Live subscriptions are the same robots that deliver the free content to the Telegram channel during the week. The bettor simply chose not to use the 1U angles on the Telegram channel. Preferring to stick to all TSP Live angles (Primary/Secondary/Tertiary) and 2U or higher angles posted on Telegram… unless it was a “known” bettor angle on Telegram. He would wager on an LJP 1U “known” bettor angles on Telegram.

Q: What if a Secondary or Tertiary Angle had a 2U, how would he play it?
A: It is actually not possible for a Secondary or Tertiary Angle to have any LJP Score other than 1U. So, that’s why all his Secondary and Tertiary Angles wagers were 1 unit.

Q: What if a “known” bettor angle had an LJP Score of 0/0, 1OPEN, 2OPEN (although there were no OPEN scores for known bettors in 2021)?
A: The bettor stated he would only play “known” bettor angles that had “UP” LJP Scores… as in 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U, 5U.

Q: How would the bettor handle Twitter angles?
A: He did not use any angles from Twitter. All his numbers are Telegram content only. Again, remember that he did not play 1U reports on Telegram UNLESS they were “known” bettor reports.

As I discussed last week, tiering your wagers is mathematically optimal, but flat betting is practically optimal for most bettors. Every bettor needs to make the decision for themselves as to how to bet. Why is tiering your wagers not optimal for most bettors? Too many bettors cannot handle the ups and downs of tiering their wagers. Far too many people either tier their wagers too aggressively AND/OR they don’t have the bankroll to weather the downtrends. People refuse to accept the following fact in gambling… no matter how good you are, losing runs are inevitable in any form of gambling. Every week and every month isn’t just going to be picking up money from the book like an annuity. Again, way too many bettors cannot mentally handle losing any level money. Don’t believe me, content in 2021 is highly profitable, but watch the comments on Twitter after a single losing day or God forbid, multiple losing days in a row… or even a couple bad weeks. People completely lose their shit. Why? Because they don’t accept that losing and bad days, weeks and even months are part of betting. Casual bettors just assume that the pro’s never have a losing week or month. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unfortunately most folks, have none of the mental fortitude required to be a professional bettor. There is absolutely ZERO reason, anyone who consistently follows the content I post should be down money to the book in 2021 (or any year prior since 2011)… NADA, ZIP, ZERO REASON! Which means if you are losing your shit on Twitter after one bad day or even bad week or month, you clearly are doing something wrong. The problem isn’t the content, it is you. I don’t mean to be rude with that statement, but blunt. If you are down money in 2021, you should assess where the issue is coming in, because it is not the content. I am always happy to assist. You can contact me on Telegram, Twitter or using the contact form at https://thesharpplays.com/contact-the-sharp-plays/ for any wagering question. It might take me a few days to get back, but I ALWAYS get back to legitimate messages/emails and I would be happy to take all the time necessary to review your system/methods and assist in optimizing your strategy FOR YOUR specific situation.

If you can separate yourself from the emotions of betting, design your system (like the bettor above) and ride out the bad runs (no avoiding them), you can perform quite well. We are only three months into 2021 and the above bettor already has +50.5 units in the bank. Even if your financial/mental situation is better designed for flat betting, no shame in that, you would still be up +35.6 units in 2021! If you bet all the content (the bettor above did not wager on publicly posted 1U’s), you would be +47.8 units flat betting. It’s basically 16 units of profit per month on average… and again betting the non-mathematically optimal method of flat betting. I know people will still always search for the sports betting golden goose (60-70% winners and never a losing day or week), but trust me, the above is about as good as it gets. Don’t believe me? How many years have you been betting and how many golden geese have you found in that time. Unless your answer is at least 1 and you are still with that golden goose, your answer is invalid. One good month or year does not make a golden goose. Stop the search, spend that time developing a reality based betting system. If it is using TSP content, great. If not, that’s great too! Just stop wasting your time looking for the goose. You’ll be 90 years old and still looking! Good luck in your action!