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How to Start a Sports Handicapping Business

    Buy an Internet web domain and set up the site. Visit other sites, such as Jimfiest.com and Docsports.com, to get an idea of the information you should post. Most sites feature sports odds, sports news and a personal biography. Choose a name for your service that is catchy and easy to remember. For example, if you live in San Francisco, you might call your yourself CiscoKid or Golden Gate Crusher. Branding and marketing are keys to building your name recognition.

    Research and join various sports monitors, which let handicappers enter their selections based on the odds listed on their site. Your game picks will be graded after the night's action is over. Some services grade in real time, so that when the game is over and the final score is confirmed, the selections will be graded. The sooner you can get you name listed in the system, the sooner you can promote your site and services. Sports monitor sites include USA Sports Monitor (usasportsmonitor.net/), Handicapping Police (handicappingpolice.com/) and Documented Handicappers (documentedhandicappers.com/).

    Visit as many sports forums as possible and look for the gambling section. Forums give handicappers a chance to post their insights. Be professional about the posts you make and do not get into any sparring wars--it will only hurt your reputation. You can add a daily blurb about your service along with a free game pick selection. Sports forums to consider are The RX (www.therx.com), Major Wager (www.majorwager.com) and EOG (www.eog.com).

    Use sports websites for information, such as those operated by Fox Sports, ESPN and Yahoo!. These sites provide breaking news, weather and injury reports that will factor into your game picks. For example, weather conditions can impact whether a football game will feature a lot of scoring or little scoring. Injuries can have a huge impact on any sports event if an important player is not healthy.

    Subscribe to a sports odds service. This can help you keep track of the betting action at various online sportsbooks and local Las Vegas casinos. Usually the service will send an official rotation schedule so you can follow the games according to how they are listed in the casinos. Prices vary depending on which company you choose. Donbest.com is the largest private odds provider in the U.S.

    With your subscription, you typically get a printed Rotation schedule, which lists every game scheduled to be played. These books usually cover six weeks worth of events. You also get Web access to current lines and chnages pertaining to each game.

    Establish pricing for your business. You might offer daily, weekly or monthly packages. You will have better luck on seasonal packages if you combine them (NFL/NCAA football, NBA/NCAA basketball, etc). You also might offer free picks to lure visitors to your site and perhaps convince them to buy a subscription.

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Warnings

  • Sports handicappers do not have to be licensed like other business. The industry is looked upon more as a hobby rather than a business.
  • While sports betting is illegal in all states except Nevada, selling opinions on sporting events is not illegal. The illegal aspect comes into play when the person receiving the information places a wager with a non-lincesed entity.

About the Author

Ray Damon has been writing for newspapers and sportscasting since 1990. He has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and NCAA. His recent work can be found in "The Sun Herald" and he also writes for the Regional Indoor Football League and the Sarasota Scorpions. Ray is the owner of the Regional Indoor Football League. He holds two degrees in the broadcast field.

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