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Over the past two weeks, we’ve outlined useful resources for beginner and intermediate sports bettors and walked through four ways for a newbie to win at sports gambling. At this point, you should know a little about how sports markets work and understand how/why people beat these markets long term.

Now, we’re going to level up and discuss how to know who to trust on Twitter (or any other social media) about sports gambling. Honestly, I think this is one of the most difficult questions to answer, but it’s also likely one of the most important since it’s hard to be a sports fan nowadays without being inundated with betting content. Deciphering which content is good vs. bad is key to evolving as a gambler and ascertaining knowledge that isn’t readily available elsewhere. Social media can be a powerful learning tool, but, as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and many novice bettors aren’t very responsible with researching who they’re listening to.

Before we begin, I’ll preface by saying there are exceptions to basically every rule we’ll talk about today. For literally everything listed in this article, I could qualify with “There are exceptions, but …”

However, the red and green flags mentioned below should hold true in most cases. With that being said, let’s get into it.

 

RED FLAGS FOR GAMBLING TWITTER ACCOUNTS

  • If an account is posting picks for no apparent reason – There aren’t many good reasons to publicly share plays in this industry. First, sharing picks publicly grants others the opportunity to reverse-engineer your edge. Second, if someone’s plays are so good, why would they not simply focus on getting as much money down on them as possible rather than posting for everyone to see? Many pick-posters are even officially endorsed and compensated by the sites they’re betting on, especially for pick’em games like PrizePicks and Underdog. There’s a reason why they can bet $100,000 per entry (which may not even be their money) while +EV users are cut down to peanut limits. Some legitimate winners just enjoy posting their plays for everyone, but I would confidently say this isn’t true of most people. Some people also post free picks to get accounts. That means the poster has run into limits/scaling issues on the stuff they are betting and wants to partner up with people with fresh accounts. If someone is looking for accounts and posting picks to earn trust, that is usually a sign they are a winning bettor. The picks should be good, but realize they are doing it to get accounts (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) rather than simply for the love of the game. Some people successfully post picks for a living (Sean Koerner and Nick Giffen at The Action Network spring to mind), but even a lot of people doing it as their job are still -EV bettors. Generally, it’s much better to find people who will explain to you how to win rather than directly giving you picks with no other information.
    • A good note brought up by @MLBksPSYCHIC on a recent Circles Off episode: Hundreds of people post picks on Twitter and new tout accounts are made every day. Even if someone is a coin-flip bettor, they have a 6.6% chance of hitting 58% or better on a sample of 100 picks. People can make new accounts and churn through picks until they hit positive variance long enough to build and potentially monetize a social media following. You should be extremely skeptical that someone is a winner until they prove otherwise over an extended sample size.
  • If an account is selling picks (or a Discord or a Patreon) – Services like ETR (yes, I am biased) and RAS break the mold, but you should generally be skeptical of anyone selling picks. Let’s break this into big markets (sides and totals on major sports) and small markets (everything else):
    • If your tout is betting big markets and actually has an edge, there’s usually no reason to sell picks because you can basically bet as much as you want on these markets. A service that could beat main markets in main sports is worth six figures, so why would anyone with the ability to do it be selling those picks on the Internet for a few hundred dollars? In all but a few cases, touting big markets is just blatant disrespect for what it takes to actually beat these markets long term. Furthermore, posting these plays lets others reverse-engineer your edge.
    • For small markets, if your tout is betting their plays, the market likely moves when they bet. That means they are front-running you and sapping out the edge before the plays hit your inbox. If the market doesn’t move, then you definitely should not trust their plays because they’d have market influence if their plays were so good. If the tout isn’t betting their plays, they better have a good explanation (which they might) because generally if they aren’t betting the plays, why should you? Plus, if it’s a small enough market, it may only take a couple of people betting the line to move it, meaning the tout is unable to provide value to a wide range of subscribers.
    • As mentioned above, sites like ETR, RAS, and some others are trustworthy despite falling into the small market category RAS’ CBB teeters on the edge of big/small market, but they get down quietly if they are betting and make enough touting to explain why they don’t just focus solely on betting themselves. The overwhelming majority of touts lack an edge and/or are scammers. At some point, I may do a longer-form article exclusively on touting and who you can trust because there are some good ones, but if you are a beginner, it’s likely best to take a better-safe-than-sorry approach and trust nobody.
  • Lack of understanding about market dynamics – This one will be less obvious and requires you to sort through what’s correct and what’s not, which you should be able to do if you dug into the resources in this article. For example, if anyone references any of the following in earnest, you can likely ignore most of what they say:
    • “Sportsbooks want 50/50 action on each side”
    • “Vegas knows” or “This Vegas oddsmaker says [insert sports take]”
    • Reverse line movement
    • Betting splits and/or sharps vs. public
    • Betting multiple units on small markets or opening lines
  • Anyone who doesn’t respect the market enough, especially on big markets – This is an extension of understanding market dynamics. If someone thinks an NFL spread is three points off on a Saturday afternoon, they are wrong. If someone bet something at -6 and the line moves to -5 and that doesn’t give them pause, they are wrong (except for a handful of people in the world).
  • Any lack of transparency or dishonesty regarding their personal track record – It doesn’t matter if they deleted a tweet or omitted tracking a loss in their spreadsheet/Betstamp/Action app. If anyone makes any attempt to fluff their record after the event they bet on has started, you should immediately distrust anything they do in the future. I’d even go so far as to say that you shouldn’t listen to them if they tweet out their good days with a bunch of check-mark emojis but go radio silent when they lose money.
  • Anyone doing the latest sports betting challenge – If a social media account is trying to take their bankroll from $1 to $10,000 or doing a ladder challenge where they double their bet every time, it means they shouldn’t be trusted in the vast majority of cases. Simply put, no long-term successful gambler is doing these as a real way to make money, meaning the only reason to do them is either to get engagement or as a personal challenge. The latter is at best not wholly dishonorable but still encourages bad habits, while the former is completely useless.
  • Constant complaining about how sports betting works in 2024 – Partly a pet peeve but also a clear sign of inexperience in the industry. If someone is complaining about how sports betting works or how it has evolved, they want things to be static in an industry that evolves daily. Complaining about PrizePicks voiding a mistake play? That’s within their terms of service. Complaining about getting limited? That’s the game; now it’s on you to get around it. Complaining about people betting opening lines? Those lines are moving either way and lots of people have engineered ways to get down respectably on opening lines. The game has changed and will continue to change; adapt or get left behind. Of course, everyone tilts, and voicing frustration about an industry development or a bad beat every now and then is only human, but if you are incessantly complaining, it displays a lack of understanding about how the sports betting industry works.

 

GREEN FLAGS FOR GAMBLING TWITTER ACCOUNTS

  • Understands how sports betting markets work – This is the primary way to tell if someone knows what they’re talking about on gambling Twitter, but it first requires you to grasp how these markets work. If someone can correctly explain why a line moves, how sportsbooks arrive at their numbers, and other topics like that, they likely know what they are talking about.
  • Followed by people you respect – In our article on sports betting resources to use, we mention some good Twitter accounts to follow at the end. Typically, if you find an account that a bunch of people you respect follow, it means that account is good. This is particularly true if the account in question doesn’t have a ton of followers. If someone has 100,000 followers and people you know follow them, it might just be that they are a well-known account that people follow if they’re in the industry. If someone has 1,000 followers and they’re followed by 10 people you know are successful sports bettors, it could mean they are also successful in the field.
  • People with skin in the game – This isn’t meant to unit-shame, but typically people with more skin in the game (i.e., money or reputation on the line) have more incentive to provide good information. Perhaps more importantly, you don’t get to a point where you have a lot of skin in the game without actually knowing what you’re talking about. Everyone’s bankroll starts somewhere and you have to bet small before you can bet big, but you should lend more credence to the people who are actually betting at the highest level, provided their bankroll came from betting and not somewhere else (e.g., job, crypto, etc.).

As a general footnote, the most knowledgeable people on gambling Twitter aren’t going to outright tell you everything they know, what they’re betting, why they’re betting the stuff they’re betting, or anything else that gives away alpha. This also means that some of the best bettors on Twitter just look like trolls, which makes it extremely difficult to tell who’s good and who’s not, and that’s why it’s so important to understand market fundamentals for yourself so that you can tell on your own. Successful gamblers are typically highly guarded about how they get their edge because letting anything slip could mean a significant decrease in future earnings, but you can still pick up on lots of information through reading tweets and replies and asking questions when something confuses you because most people are happy to answer honest questions.