One day changed my life. It was a lousy autumn day in 2008. I was at school and a few buddies and I were standing in the “smoking corner” smoking a cigarette. One of them spoke into the bunch: “I started betting at bwin (a former Austrian betting site). Anyone interested? If you sign up through my affiliate, we both will get a bonus”. I immediately got a shining in my eyes.
I have always been attracted by gambling. When I was a little young boy, I played cards for pennies with my Grandma. In my youth I started playing Texas Hold’em with some friends here and there and any time no one wanted to play with at least a small stake, I felt extremely bored. I always needed that extra rush when a monetary stake is in play. When I became 18, me and some friends often used school breaks to go to a local casino to play slot machines and do Soccer parlays. Sometimes we would win, sometimes we would lose. We would always have fun.
Back at home on that day in the autumn of 2008, I rushed to the Computer, opened my mails and clicked on the affiliate link from my buddy. I signed up at bwin and deposited my first 20 bucks. Yes, 20 bucks – I was still in school, yo. I scanned the web interface of the site and was immediately blown away. So many opportunities to place a bet! So many live sports to bet on! I placed a live bet on a greek Volleyball match and won 10 bucks. I switched to a tennis match and placed 25 bucks on the favorite to win the race to 10 points. I won another 20 bucks. Then I was watching a German Handball match on the small livestream next to the live section. Team A was leading something like 20-17 with about seven minutes to go. Bwin offered a handicap bet: Team A -2.5 -120. I thought: “They were the favorit to start the game, so they should win by 3”. I placed 35 bucks to win 28. The game became really tight, but my team prevailed and won by 4. Within one hour I won 58 bucks. Can you imagine the feeling I had? I was on cloud nine. Forget it, I was on fifty. That day in autumn of 2008 changed my life.
From this time on betting became my hobby. After two weeks I was up 300 EUR off 10-30 EUR live bets which was a phenomenal side income for a young guy still being in school. I don’t know how I did it, I guess I just had a lucky hand. I wasn’t addicted, but when I came home after a Friday night, I went to the Computer and spent some hours seeking for live bet opportunities. I didn’t win much money but I also never went below my initial deposit amount.
Over the months, I started digging into several sports such as NBA, NHL and Football. I tried to gain as much information as possible, scanning German, British and American betting forums. School became my secondary matter. To be fair, school has always been my secondary matter. I have always been lazy and have always relied on my cleverness to sneak through exams and to fool teachers. That only changed when I started studying.
So I scanned forums and sports sites to gain information on my betting actions and parlays every time I had Internet access. I played a lot of parlays. Three-teamers, five-teamers, moneylines and handicaps – I absolutely loved betting parlays. I always placed parlays ranging from 5 to 20 bucks. And I won quite a lot of them. Obviously, I lost more parlays than I won and my bankroll was always up and down, but the payouts of winning parlays always took care for my winning months.
Starting in 2010, I also became a consistent lurker in the betting forums at covers.com. I was the guy who lurks and uses a combination of gaining information and tailing other picks blindly. During the 2010 NFL season there was a guy who not only had an incredible run, he also was a phenomenal copywriter and posted fantastic write-ups. I was hooked. At some point when he built a big following, he decided to not post for free anymore but sell his picks and send his write-ups by email. It was November and he charged $100 for the first month. My gambling buddy and I threw the money together and paid via Western Union. The second payment was $300 for the next two months until the Super Bowl. He played mostly NFL, CFB and mixed in some NBA plays. It was an exciting time stretch. Every evening I had waited for the email to arrive to lock in the pick(s) and read the write-ups. While we were paying a decent amount of money, we also got a decent profit in return. On Super Bowl XLV, we placed our biggest bet on the total going over 44.5.
I was just in the year between school and studying, had a side job and also had a second side income from betting. I bought a new TV, a new PlayStation and had enough money to spend on the weekends, from betting alone. The run of the guy we paid for ended a few weeks after the Super Bowl. He got greedy and charged another $300 for NBA and the MLB season and as it was to turn out, he didn’t know anything about Baseball. He went into a downward spiral and we stopped placing bets right in time to save a good amount of the profit before it was too late. He kept sending out MLB plays inconsistently and after some more losing weeks he completely disappeared without responding to e-mails. We were done and stopped betting for a while.
In September 2011 I started to study Business Administration and Engineering and started a side job as a freelancing sports journalist for a local newspaper. Writing has always been in my DNA but that was the first time I would get any monetary return off of it. I still spent time betting and my focus shifted more heavily towards Football combined with some Soccer. I tried to cap on my own again. I was lurking around forums and started posting at LuDawgs.com. A former famous covers poster called LuDawg founded the site. The site had a heavy emphasis on Fantasy and transformed to dailyroto.com at some point. There I started posting all my picks and sometimes in-depth write-ups on NFL games and my career as an NFL handicapping writer literally began. Because it was a small forum, the reach wasn’t as high as on big platforms like covers.com. But the community was awesome. I don’t have a track record from my years at LuDawgs. I don’t need to make up any fictional records, but I would guess my overall record across all sports has been somewhere slightly above 50%. Probably a bit better on Football than on Soccer. When I googled, I found an old signature including my records on NFL, CFB and Soccer at some point during the 2013 season:
In the summer of 2014 I was 24 years old. I had been betting for six years, had won and lost money on several sports. I had three years of experience as an active sports forum member and a sports betting writer. I had seen cappers come and go on covers. I had seen cappers having hot runs and disappearing when they got cold. I also had seen cappers post prolific content and/or post good records on a consistent basis who built a big following. Some of them kept posting, others had started to sell their picks.
No matter what sports, I realized that there is just a small percentage of bettors producing good and sustainable records in the long run. But the percentage of those bettors who also add valuable reasoning or information, i.e. content behind their selections, is VERY small. There are several fantastic NFL analysts & writers around the globe who can explain the fundamentals of the game fantastically, but they couldn’t pick 55% against the spread. Then there are some really good handicappers who struggle to put together even two full sentences of reasoning, whether they have no time or can’t write. That’s where I found my niche. I can cap NFL games and I love writing. That year I also started to see sports betting as an investment which takes a lot of hard work to be successful in. I wanted to specialize in NFL. I wanted to take my own betting activities to the next level and use a professional approach. I set my personal bankroll and bet nothing else than Football.
With the 2014 NFL season I started posting my NFL picks and write-ups on Covers. On a consistent basis my weekly threads hit 20,000+ views and have been one the hottest on the platform. Via Google search I tried to find as many write-ups from the past as possible and posted them to my blog. Over three years until the 2016 season, I went 225-167 (57%) against the spread, profiting 48.9 units for my numerous followers. I have built a big following and in August of 2017 I decided to turn my hard work into a monetary service. I asked my Twitter friend and CFB legend @megalocks for some advice, because he made the exact same decision one year before with great success. He said: “How about creating a network? You join the MEGALOCKS network and I’ll give you a website for financial exchange”. I didn’t need one minute to think about it – my answer was YES. Within three weeks the site has been created and I started producing content for which people have to pay a membership fee. It was an awesome experience and many great members signed up. We finished at 57% against the spread for a return of 18.36 units.
This year I decided to leave the Megalocks network due to personal reasons. I wanted to have my fully own website. Over the past couple months I have realized that never in my life I have done anything with so much passion and commitment than I have running this website during the 2017 season. I love providing my members with the opportunity to make money during the NFL season by breaking down matchups, writing analysis and picking against the spread. It’s what I want to do. It’s what I do best. Last year I finished my Master’s in Business Administration & Engineering with a focal point in statistical forecasting. I am a numbers guy and it helps me understanding and analyzing the math behind Football. I got a job and have been working full time since then but currently I am on my way to make a big change in my life: I am going to work full time as an NFL handicapping analyst soon and dedicate my life to Football.