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Betting On Professional Sports Is An Awful Lot Like Trading On Wall Street

Betting On Professional Sports Is An Awful Lot Like Trading On Wall Street
Finance2 min read

sports betting

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Las Vegas sports book? Or a Wall Street trading floor? (It's Vegas)

Many Wall Streeters love to dabble in sports betting. And you can bet that many of them are wagering on this year's Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sports betting events in the world every year attracting both professional and amateur bettors globally.

In Wall Street terms, we've been told that betting on the Super Bowl is like trading S&P 500 futures contracts. The S&P futures contract is the most liquid equity index product in the world. Similarly, the Super Bowl is one of the most liquid sports betting events.

Many of the strategies and tactics bettors use are analogous to what we see on Wall Street.

Prominent Las Vegas sports bettor, Ted Servansky (a.k.a "Teddy Covers") explained the similarities between the sports betting world and Wall Street in an recent interview.

Can you talk about how sports betting is similar to Wall Street?

There's a common misconception about sports betting that was true twenty and thirty years ago that's simply not true today. And that of course is the concept that bettors are playing against the sportsbook. We're not playing against a sportsbook anymore. We're playing against a global marketplace. The money flow globally on sports betting is enormous. It's well into the billions and billions; plural. For a game like the Super Bowl, globally you're probably talking about billion dollar handles. When you think about that through the course of the entire year, it's a lot more than that. So it's not a bettor versus the bookie or the book, it's a bettor versus the marketplace and that's a very similar concept to what we see on Wall Street. It's not you against the house when you're trying to pick a rising stock. It's you and your valuation against the market valuation.

So you could compare picking winning teams to picking winning stocks?

Absolutely. I'm a day trader. I'm a day trader and my market is sports betting. The vast majority of wagers that I'm going to make are decided in a relatively short time frame. Of course, one big difference on Wall Street is you can take a small loss. When you pick a stock and you go, 'Oh it's not doing what I thought it was going to do' and you can get out of it and it's sports betting, generally, it's double or nothing. Although with live betting now, there are many ways to get out of bets even after you've made them.

Covers also discussed how he builds a portfolio of bets, which include various prop bets. He also addressed line variance, which traders might consider to be an arbitrage opportunity. Read our full interview here >