It is possible to prosper being a professional sports bettor. It just really helps if you happen to be a certified genius.
James Holzhauer is currently regarded as the smartest man in America as he has been dominating the competition on Jeopardy since early April. After winning his 23rd straight game on Monday night, Holzhauer has pushed his total winnings to $1,780,237.
Holzhauer’s day job is, of course, betting on sports. The Las Vegas resident has parlayed a sports bettors mentality to his stint Jeopardy, amazing other contestants and fans with outlandishly large Daily Double bets.
That strategy has worked to great lengths as Holzhauer has the second longest Jeopardy streak of all-time at 23, only behind Ken Jennings in 2004, who won 74 straight.
Holzhauer’s sports betting strategy is getting some national attention as well, as Sports Illustrated recently sat down with the 34-year-old. Here are some of the highlights from his interview with SI.
On daily sports betting:
“The day-to-day is often spent checking odds for upcoming events. It’s not like the stock exchange where you get the best price anytime you want to buy. You have to shop around and find who’s giving you the best best odds on the team you want to bet on. That’s really the bulk of the day, plus doing the trading itself and staying up to date on news, too. If there’s injury news there’s very little time to react on the market before someone else does.”
On futures betting:
“One of the things I specialize in that not many people do is the futures markets, trying to find teams that are underpriced there. Sometimes I bet so much in futures on a team that I’ll end up betting against them when the playoffs start. It’s kind of like running a long-short hedge fund. There’s definitely times where I’ll take one side of the game on the spread and the other on the moneyline. A big part of it is handicapping teams right, but possibly an even bigger part is knowing the math and finding the edges that exist.”
On where he has his most success:
“Halftime and in-game bets. The less time a bookmaker has to set odds, the softer the odds are going to be. At halftime he has five minutes. If every time there’s a commercial break they’re putting up new odds, they’re going to make a mistake.”