About Beat the Juice

Welcome to Beat the Juice, a site I started to answer the one question that keeps me up at night – in today’s world of hyper-analytical sports books and efficient betting markets, can a one man show consistently beat the juice?  What’s “the juice?”  It’s twice the % of wagers that the bookmaker expects to receive as income over the long run.  For example, for a bookmaker requiring bettors to wager $110 to win $100 on a point spread bet, the juice is 10%.  That 10% juice is supposed to result in income to the bookmaker of about 5% of all wagers (10% of the 50% of bets that lose and 0% of those that win).

burning money

Most books operate on 10% juice (-110 for spread bets), which means to beat the juice, you need to win 11 bets for every 21 you place, or nearly 52.4% of your bets.  That 2.4% over the 50% mark may not look like much.  But with the incredible amount of money that books can win or lose (over $150 billion per year), they spend a ton of cash on extremely smart people building extremely smart algorithms to set the lines and odds for each contest.  The challenge isn’t out-picking some New Jersey wise guy; it’s out-picking an army of quantitative geniuses.  By 10%.  It’s hard.

Even so, there exists a rarified class of sports gambler that can label themselves “professional.”  They beat the juice by such margins that they live off the winnings.  I aspire to join them and to document that journey here.  So, I’ll do what almost no sports gambling tout will do – I’ll record my picks each week, keep a tally of how they did each week, keep a tally of how they’re doing all time, and report back.

We should be clear from the outset that I will not most likely succeed.  But fear not.  This quest to beat the juice will provide a platform for what’s likely to be the site’s real value – my incredibly engaging commentary on the wagers as I live them – bad beats, backdoor covers, and all the rest that happens to me along the way.  I may also explore some different theories others have offered on how to beat the juice, and try to figure out if they’re workable in practice. 

But mostly, Beat the Juice will be Schadenfreude fodder for all of you.  I will be humbled.  You will be entertained.  If it all works out, you can start going long on my picks and making a mint.  And if it doesn’t, you can just read, laugh, and be glad you didn’t take my advice on that three team mixed parlay paying 40 to 1.

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