Sports Betting Touts, Tout Services, and “Expert” Handicappers

Tout services are businesses where expert handicappers provide picks to subscribers for daily and weekly game results. A handicapper studies every major sporting event taking place over a specified period of time, finds the best picks, and offers them to their loyal customers. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of a gambler’s periodic bets, providing help and advice to a better who might feel lost or confused betting the point spreads and other current proposition bets. Gamblers need a few tips before they run out to find a tout service, so I’m going to provide a few suggestions of my own.

The Tout Service Must Be Cheap

When you start searching for a legitimate tout service to help you make picks, the handicapper must be able to provide their picks at low cost to the gambler. I’ve spoken before about gambler’s facing the challenge of the vigorish, which forces a break-even gambler to lose money. Because the house takes a rake of your wagered money for operating costs, a player has to win at a rate of 52% just to break even against the odds. When you tack on the cost of buying picks from a handicapper, those picks have to be terrific to offset all these costs. Therefore, the best handicappers need to charge a reasonable fee and make up the difference in volume–selling to a larger number of gamblers. The bottom line is this: if you have to pay exorbitant fees to buy picks, it won’t be worth the cost, anyway.

Tout Service Must Be Accurate

As they say in sports, “that’s why they play the games”. No such thing as a sure pick exists in the sports world, because each side has talented athletes who train obsessively and strive for excellence. Meanwhile, oddsmakers at sportsbooks are trying to handicap the game in the most accurate fashion, setting up moneylines and point spreads which make the decision of which way to bet difficult. So when your tout service makes a pick, things can go wrong. What you’re looking for is consistency and accuracy. No one wager should be used to judge the tout service, but you’ll need to gauge your service’s effectiveness over a period of time. Lucky streaks happen even to the worst gamblers, so take with a grain of salt short-term success the way you would short-term failure.

Keep a Record of Wins and Losses

To that end, keep a record of your wins and losses, so you can test your expert handicapper against real results. Don’t take their word for it, but test to verify if they know what they’re talking about over many years. This way, you have a scientific evaluation of your handicapper’s effectiveness.

Don’t Fall for Scam Artists

Don’t fall for scams from the handicapper. Many scam artists offer a free pick to prospective members, hoping to lure in repeat customers who won’t get the picks free the next time. One common scam is to offer all four options on a game in equal parts to the body of new gamblers brought to them by advertisements.

Imagine the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are playing on Sunday Night Football. The common options on this bet would be Packers/Bears and Over/Under. This means four betting options present themselves: Packers/Over, Packers/Under, Bears/Over, and Bears/Under. A charlatan could offer 1/4th of their new clients each of those options with a moneyback guarantee. Only one-fourth of the customers are going to win, but those customers are on the hook for subsequent picks. The remainder of the customers have their money refunded (or in some cases don’t, depending on the type of scammer). The important thing is that a bunch of new customers have been added and the so-called handicapper really hasn’t analyzed much of anything.

What Makes an Expert Handicapper?

That being said, many skilled handicappers exist online and amidst the public. The best handicappers have a proven record. Many of the tout services are run by oddsmakers who used to work for the Las Vegas casino-sportsbooks or some other major sports book. These people may be tired of making someone else all the money, or perhaps they no longer want to work for someone else. In these cases, the handicapper puts their considerable talents to work making themselves money (and a reputation). Since the person you’re buying picks from spends as much time analyzing their wagers as the oddsmaker at the casino, the tout service is sometimes wonderfully accurate.

Can Tout Services Help Me?

If you enjoy a good gamble, but you don’t like the work of filtering through stats, new updates, and injury reports, then using a tout service might be the best way to go for you. The last thing you need to do is bet using blind luck or a gut instinct. You court disaster when you use hunches, team loyalties, or other such emotional methods to pick games. Use a professional if you don’t want to do the work yourself. Just be certain the expert handicapper you choose as a tout service is really a qualified expert and not one of those con men I described above.