Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry


Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

The business of professional sports handicapping has changed a lot over the years, and for the most part the industry has become far more transparent.

In the Hollywood film Two For The Money (based on the real life of Stu Feiner and Brandon Lang), handicappers are portrayed as unethical, immoral, dishonest individuals looking to bleed their clients dry as quickly as they possibly can.

This was a successful business model for some in the 80s and 90s, before the rise of the Internet, and prior to the era of social media. Today’s handicappers are held to a higher standard, as false claims or misrepresentation of facts can easily be exposed by the online community.

Online gossip rag Deadspin published this article in June of 2016: How America’s Favorite Sports Betting Expert Turned A Sucker’s Game Into An Industry. The piece was written by freelance journalist Ryan Goldberg, who claimed to have spent over a year investigating Pregame.com, and owner R.J. Bell.

In the opening paragraph, Goldberg acknowledges the popularity of sports betting, and names Bell as America’s authority on the subject:

Full wagering is illegal in 49 states, but sports betting is big business, with billions wagered each year—and everyone knows it. Lines and moves are discussed openly on TV, and covers are mentioned right next to game stories. Media outlets nationwide turn to a handful of people for insight and predictions into point spreads and odds. And the man they look to more than any other is RJ Bell, a self-proclaimed modern-day Jimmy the Greek.

As you read on, it becomes clear that Goldberg wants us to think that today’s touts are no better than those of the past. He acts as though he has evidence that proves what he says is a “gross misrepresentation of records”, and goes on to point out what most people would consider to be common knowledge (the house always wins). He uses spectacular graphs and formulas to create a perception of enormous losses, but fails to disclose how he comes to such conclusions.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black?

In the eyes of somebody with knowledge of the industry, it seems that Goldberg is using the same tactics he says are used by the handicappers he is slandering.  Deadspin’s former parent company (Gawker Media) was forced into bankruptcy after Hulk Hogan was awarded $115 million in a lawsuit over a sex tape.  R.J. Bell has retained the same lawyer who represented the Hulkster (Charles Harder) for his lawsuit versus Deadspin.

The article shows a list of 49 handicappers, and claims that only 11 of them showed profits over a five year period from January 2011 – May 2016. The funny thing is, most people who are well informed about the world of sports betting would be impressed by the fact that Pregame managed to find 11 individuals who can prove they’ve beaten the bookmakers five years running.

The article goes on to say that the profits from these handicappers would still not even cover the cost of purchasing the picks. Of course drawing such a conclusion would be impossible without using highly speculative data, and this will likely be a major point of contention in the lawsuit.

Poor Understanding Of The Handicapping Industry

The biggest issue though, was the suggestion that professional handicappers sell clients losing picks so that they can cash out a percentage of their losses as affiliates to sportsbooks. Here is a quote from Goldberg’s article: “It’s a can’t-miss business plan, and it pays off twice. First when customers buy the picks, and again when they fork over their money to sportsbooks on those losing bets.

The problem with these wild accusations is that Goldberg knows very little about the handicapping business. He makes the assumption that people will buy picks from a losing handicapper, and that simply isn’t how it works. Most sites will only market handicappers who are winning, and 90% of the sales will go to a handful of pros who rank near the top on the leaderboards. In other words, R.J. Bell makes a lot more money when his handicappers win than he does when they lose.

Is Goldberg A Losing Bettor?

Everybody has heard the expression the house always wins, so it really seems strange that Ryan Goldberg would take a year out of his life trying to prove the obvious. He seems to be quite passionate about the subject, and perhaps it’s the result of his own failed ambitions as a sports bettor? Goldberg sounds like a punk kid who blew his trust fund betting on sports, and has decided to ruin the fun for those of us who enjoy betting within our means.

Responsible bettors understand the risks, and they are not oblivious to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to beat the house. When they decide to hire a professional handicapper, they do so because they believe it will increase their chances of winning, NOT because they believe winning is guaranteed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

More Reading

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

Betting on Stocks? 5 YouTube Channels You Should Consider Following

9 months ago |  Capper Reviews Report

Perhaps getting your investment advice from a group of millennials on a Reddit forum isn't a very well thought out plan. That's particularly true when their top stock pick (GME) is a company that is currently trading at 20 x pre-Covid levels, despite a failing business model.

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

UpickTrade - Who Are They? Sponsorship Deal With Vegas Golden Knights

9 months ago |  Capper Reviews Report, Service Plays Reviews

Never heard of UPickTrade? You are most likely not alone. On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the NHL team Vegas Golden Knights announced an eyebrow-raising multi-year partnership with Mexico-based UpickTrade, a service selling sports picks recommendations to sports bettors

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

Steve Stevens Calling Out Vegas Dave is Like Cardi B Slut Shaming Nicki Minaj

10 months ago |  Capper Reviews Report, Featured

The fact that Darin Notaro, AKA Steve Stevens would launch an attack on Vegas Dave seems almost comical, considering all they seem to have in common.

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

The Hottest Female Handicappers On The Internet In 2021

11 months ago |  Capper Reviews Report

Who are the hottest women in sports betting 2021? We have compiled a list of accomplished women with their finger on the pulse for you to keep your eye on.

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

The Best Sports Handicappers on Twitter 2021

11 months ago |  Capper Reviews Report

we now live in an era where many of the things we used to pay for are now available for free. Things like music, movies, books, recipes and so much more are all available for free online. Some people have decided to turn to Twitter for free sports tips

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

Who's The Best Sports Handicapper in America Over The Last Decade? - Meet Kyle Hunter

11 months ago |  Featured, Service Plays Reviews

The soft spoken and mild mannered Hunter doesn't fit the mold of your typical fast talking, obnoxious touts that sell their wares on Twitter and "The Gram".

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

Who's Making Money With Colin Cowherd's "Blazin' 5" NFL Picks? (Week 14, 2020)

1 year ago |  Capper Reviews Report, Service Plays Reviews

This weekly segment on Fox Sports features one of the most recognizable personalities in sports media (Colin Cowherd), providing his Top 5 NFL gambling picks each week.

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

The Best NFL Handicapper in the World in 2020!

1 year ago |  NFL

Some of the most recognizable names in the industry are nowhere to be found on the leaderboards. Legendary professionals like Scott "The Bulldog" Rickenbach, Jim Feist and Jesse Schule are off to slow starts by their standards

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

Professional Handicapper Wins Big With NBA Finals 2020

1 year ago |  NBA

There will be a long list of guys cashing winning Lakers tickets this year, but how many of those guys also had the Raptors last year? Or the MVP winner in both the last two years? Or a perfect NBA Finals card in three of the last four years?

Deadspin Faces Lawsuit Over Hit Piece on Handicapping Industry

The Truth About Buying Sports Betting Picks - Why Buy Picks Online?

2 years ago |  Capper Reviews Report, Featured

Should you pay for picks? Before answering this question, you need to be honest with yourself about what your expectations are. The fact is (and this isn't really a secret) that gambling isn't designed to be profitable for the player.

Get Expert Free Picks Straight To Your Inbox

Holler Box