Arguably the world’s most famous and successful sports handicapper, Jon Price the legend football handicapper from Sports Information Traders, is no stranger to winning. In fact, he’s been rated as the top documented sports handicapper in the industry 3 out of the last 4 years. He also predicted the Super Bowl Winner 4 out of the last 6 seasons and was featured in the Huffington Post in September of 2015 where he made the call that the Denver Broncos would win the Super Bowl. In addition, he’s been featured in Forbes, ESPN Radio, Yahoo Sports, Gambling911, Eye on Gaming and plenty more publications for his distinct skill of picking winners in sports, and helping thousands of people profit handsomely from their wagers with his consulting advice. Jon recently sat down to discuss a number of topics, including the upcoming 2016 NFL season and his secrets to success in sports wagering.
Interviewer – Welcome Jon, thanks for joining us. Can we start with what it takes to be a successful sports handicapper?
Jon – First of all thanks for having me. As far as success, above all it takes drive. I’ve been on a mission in this industry the day I graduated from the little leagues. I didn’t just want to make money off sports wagering, I wanted to be the best sports analyst of this era and judging by the size of my bankroll from last weeks wins alone plus the size of the jet I’ve completed that mission and now can sell my picks as money is no longer the goal but rather winning and proving to myself that I can still be the best. While it takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and perseverance, what it always boils down to is winning picks. You can be a 40 year old virgin in your mom’s basement with all the charisma of a throw rug, but if you can win consistently, people will follow you. That’s what ultimately led to our success over the years is our track record of consistent winning.
Interviewer – It sounds like you just hit the ground running. I’ve heard stories about how you were known as the sports guru on campus and had already built a name for yourself during your college years?
Jon – It started as little predictions for dads friends going to the racetrack in New York and my natural ability to process numbers and statistics. Some have it some don’t. Most do not and I do so that’s my big competitive advantage. Then it expanded beyond the track and onto the field with NFL betting pools. I literally won the first 5 sports betting pools I joined, so basically people stopped wanting to participate in them because they had no shot of winning. It’s around this time that a lot of my friends and myself were all turning 21 and beginning to experiment in the world of legal sports gambling. So naturally, people started coming to me for their picks. I must’ve made my roommates and I over $75,000 that first month we bet on NFL, and it was suggested to me that I should start charging for my picks. At the time I thought it was absurd and kept an extremely low profile. Even less than Billy Walters did for years. The sportsbooks in Vegas knew me but nobody really knew who I was. The big six and seven figure wagers were noticed but I was never flaunting myself. Today there is a guy who is ten folds below me named vegas david and he is flashy but bottom line is it’s all flash and he’s not actually winning the majority of his wagers and he’s using a martingale betting system that is flawed. Only professionals like me can quickly determine this.
I realized once I made enough money to retire that I had the opportunity to start my commission based advice and help others who had been losing year in and year out. And yeah, let’s just say my popularity exploded very quickly. I raised my commission price 5 times during that first year simply because I did not lose, and people started to see my picks as priceless. It definitely all helped me make a smooth transition into sports handicapping.
Interviewer – How about fantasy sports… Were those as big back then? How do they compare to sports betting?
Jon – No they certainly weren’t as big back then. And as far as an investment opportunity and a means to make money off of sports, there is no comparison. Sports betting can make for you in one day what it’d take fantasy sports a whole year to make. In fantasy sports you’re competing against a large pool that may sometimes just be your office, other times it may be large global betting communities, but regardless, the odds are greatly stacked against you and it’s a zero sum game. In sports betting, you’re only competing with yourself. Which is far better odds of success, and that’s what it’s all about, playing the best odds.
Interviewer – How about some of the legal troubles that some of these fantasy sports platforms potentially face? Do you think its days are numbered?
Jon – I won’t say their days are numbered just yet, but indeed, they definitely have an uphill legal war in front of them. A lot of these fantasy sports platforms go against a lot of state’s local laws, so what we’re seeing now is a number of states starting to stand in the way of platforms like FanDuel and DraftKings. It’s basically started a domino effect of states starting to pursue legal action against these companies to stop conducting fantasy sports betting in their states until they can have a clear understanding of what the laws are, which could eventually lead to some much tighter restrictions, or an outright ban of these kind of fantasy sports platforms.
Interviewer – With the NFL draft quickly approaching, what’s your take on its importance and does your team of analysts do anything to prepare for it?
Jon – Obviously the draft is of vital importance. And yeah, essentially we operate just like an NFL team would. We have our scouts at the combine and the notable players’ pro days leading up to the draft. It’s all about staying ahead of the competition. You don’t make it very far in this business by being reactionary. In other words, you don’t wait for the first game of the season so you can guess, then learn from the loss. No, we like to go into the first game more prepared than anyone else, and while everyone else is learning by trial and error, we’ll be stacking wins. It’s a model that’s helped us become the leading documented sports service that we are today. In fact live on the radio we are often touting the famous “Vegas Mistake” that very first week where the oddsmakers make a big mistake on one team. Last year it was the Oakland Raiders week 1 and we made a KILLING. One client made $125,000 on that play alone. You can say he was glad to have sports information traders providing his picks for the 2015-2016 season and he’s ready for the 2016-2017 betting season.
Interviewer – You mentioned your team of analysts… What makes you and your team at Sports Information Traders the best sports service in the world?
Jon – It’s the way we do things… Sports information traders not only studies and simulates the games, we focus on line value. So many novice bettors will wait right up until kickoff to place a wager. Our clients are able to maximize the very best lines out there. Whether that is placing a wager on a Tuesday for the weekend or right before kickoff. Out of every 100 plays for example if you can change 4 or 5 losses into pushes, or 4 or 5 pushes into wins, you are talking about a significant change both in profit and percentage. Beating the odds is easily our greatest asset. I’m also fortunate to have great analysts that help to generate ideas and hypothesis on models that we can run and optimize to always keep on improving. Let me come out now and thank Curt Presley, Dave Michaels, and Mike Wise for their hard work and dedication for making us the best in the world.
Interviewer – Now I’ve heard stories about how you’re not very popular among casinos, and particularly the sportsbooks in Vegas. Do Las Vegas books fear you?
Jon – The easy answer would be yes but the action these books take on a daily basis is beyond my biggest wager of $4 million dollars, which I won by the way. Anyway, the odds-makers and Cantor gaming risk does such a great job of hedging their internal risks with the wagers they take on. The experts there come from Wall Street and they know how to manage their risk by moving lines accordingly with the incoming wagers so that they don’t have much to worry about with the vigorish. As long as there is enough action on a game than they don’t fret when I make my wagers and I have seen my wagers plus my clients move lines but it’s not fear. I have had 17 different clients this past year tell me that their Bookmakers would no longer take their action as they never saw somebody win like they did. I have to assume these clients were betting offshore or at a local Nevada book. It’s also to be noted that I don’t make bets the same way the general public makes its bets. I don’t just stroll into a casino with $1 million in a briefcase or something… No, I usually have to get approval from the back office and follow a little different procedure for anything above a $20,0000 wager and it’s all electronic now. Back in the day it didn’t work like that. There are much more complex strategies that I implement that have worked until the books started to take notice and adjust. So it’s a cat and mouse game when they know they can take away your edge they will certainly try do so. I taught somebody how to bet on second half’s in Basketball who I developed a close relationship with one winter in a sportsbook. Years later I see this kid is on the front page of ESPN. It’s a little frustrating to see that exposure as I like to fly below the radar.
Interviewer – Speaking of edge, and you clearly have one, but what are some common mistakes made by amateur sports bettors?
Jon – Novice bettors like to bet on their favorite teams or better yet, public games. Las Vegas was built on rookies who are gambling away Juniors college fund. The point spreads are derived to achieve an equal amount of betting on each side. We focus on where Las Vegas makes mistakes. I come up with “Delta”. If your statistically minded then you get it. If you aren’t it’s okay just follow my picks and make money. Simply put, Vegas is unlikely to be off on a Cowboys vs. Giants Sunday afternoon nationally televised game but it is possible that a few huge wagers on one side can create an advantage for us after the line initially comes out but rarely happens. None the less our software is monitoring for this activity. College sports often provide the best investment opportunities because there is simply so many teams and players, there tends to be more variance. We focus our energy and efforts on those games, and we always have an edge. In addition I appear on 15 radio markets each week and every pick I make on air is documented. So far on air I am 5-0 on my “Top Plays” and the whole world is listening to me pick winners and showcase that I am the best sports bettor of all time. This success is no longer measured in dollars and cents but rather the money is an easier way to keep score.
Interviewer – One final question, Jon. Any plans for retirement?
Jon – Most people retire because they can finally afford to. Its not about the money but about doing what you love. Sports betting and handicapping isn’t for the faint of heart but until the fun stops and I stop having a winning season the show will continue to go on.