Five Break Even Percentages for Sports Bettors


Why don’t more people win at sports betting? Like any other endeavor, it takes time, patience and practice to become successful. A person of average intelligence can become a winning handicapper if they have the desire. Based on the odds of -110 for a straight football or basketball bet a handicapper only need to be right 52.38 percent of the time to break even. Many sports bettors cannot achieve that percentage of winning over the long run. The percentage list below shows the break even points for the various odds you will encounter when you make a bet on the money line. With higher odds, you have to have a higher winning percentage to break even.

If you bet the underdogs you can have a lower win percentage and still make money.

Winning and losing money depends on your betting balance between wagers on the favorite or the underdog. You would need a ratio close to 60 percent on favorite and 40 percent on the dog to play it safe in risk management. Favorite bettors will lose more money over the long run by risking a higher percentage of their bankroll for smaller returns. Smart bettors have a ratio close to a 50/50 balance on favorites and dogs. Dedicated underdogs bettors stay on underdog bets most of the time with very select spots where value is evident. These five break even percentages are fixed based on standard odds and the break even point.

  • – 110 = 52.3%         +110 = 46.6%
  • – 115 = 53.4%          +115 = 46.5%
  • – 120 = 54.5%          +120 = 45.4%
  • – 125 = 55.5%          +125 = 44.4%
  • – 130 = 56.5%          +130 = 43.4%

Betting on favorites is the most popular wager for the betting public. As the percentages show the the break even value, most bettors are not aware of how to balance the numbers to their advantage. Favorites can offer value with the right percentage play. Laying – 130 at a 56.5% is an acceptable risk to overcome in the short term scale of profits. However, long term profits are harder to build when the numbers are working against you. How to mix and match the dog to favorite ratio is the key to a sustained strategy of sports betting profits.

A winning handicapper formulates his own opinions about the game and ignores most of the public sentiment. A handicapper takes information for numerous sources, assigns weights and values to it. They will make their own power ranking and predict what the point spread should be without looking at the official line first, and then compare their predictions to the line to look at discrepancies. A large amount of data available via the internet and other sources means that the handicapper has more information but it means there is more to sift through to find the gems.

The use of computer programs can help when searching through the data.

Percentage plays are found by using a computer analysis simulation to arrange important data in your thought process. It does help to have a support mechanism to shift through all the numerical information available. The break even percentages stay the same but how you apply them is based on other data from previous computer input. Since the oddsmakers use their own computer programs, you need to use your own data analysis from a good service to keep up to date. Gaining an edge is the name of the game.