How to Identify a Scamdicapper – 5 Signs a Handicapper is a Fraud
The Internet is full of fake handicappers… learn how to spot them
A Scamdicapper is a person who pretends to be a profitable sports handicapper in order to steal money from gullible sports bettors by charging them for losing picks. Scamdicappers are almost never documented by a third party or on any handicapper leaderboards, as any kind of documentation of his picks would expose him for the fraud he really is. Twitter and Instagram and breeding grounds for scamdicappers as there’s no transparency and easy to delete and create new accounts once exposed.
Would you trust a doctor that never went to medical school or a lawyer that didn’t pass the bar exam? You wouldn’t give your car keys to somebody who doesn’t have a driver’s license, and you certainly wouldn’t let a complete stranger stay in your house. Life is filled with checks and balances, we rarely take anything at face value.
You need to show ID to check into a hotel, and you need a passport to board a plane. References are required to rent accommodation or seek employment. Yet some people are willing to send money to random people on the Internet just because they call themselves a “professional handicapper”.
It’s actually quite easy to determine which handicappers are real and who the imposters are. You simply need to know what to look for.
Top 5 Red Flags That Indicate a Handicapper is a Fraud
1. Pictures of cash and winning tickets – Photos of stacks of cash and winning tickets posted after the fact are proof of nothing. Real handicappers almost never post winning tickets, because their records are verified by an independent monitor. It’s pretty easy to edit photos to make tickets appear more impressive than they actually are. It’s also pretty easy to take a handful of tickets and remove the losers and show photos of only the winners.
2. Too good to be true records – The fact of the matter is that the best handicappers on planet earth win between 55-60 percent of their best long-term. The biggest handicapping competitions in the world such as the Circa Millions Football Contest attract the biggest names in the business. The winner in 2022 posted a record of 63-27, hitting 70 percent against the spread. That’s just a small sample size of less than 100 bets, and the best record of over 4,000 entries. Yet a quick look at Twitter handicappers or handicappers on Instagram, that almost all of them are hitting well above 70 percent (self-documented). For a handicapper to claim to win over 70 percent of his bets, would be as bold as a guy at the bar claiming he can run faster than Usain Bolt, and or shoot threes like Steph Curry.
3. Ridiculous unit sizes – When the term “unit” was first used in a sports betting context, one unit referred to 1% of a bettor’s bankroll. With betting becoming mainstream, that has since changed with a new breed of undocumented self-proclaimed “betting experts” and scamdicappers on social media throwing around 1,000 unit plays like it was play money.
While big unit plays in itself is not necessarily a red flag, if a handicapper is recommending a 10 unit play on one game and a 500 unit play on another, you better walk away, and walk away fast, especially if they also advertise plays like 100 unit max bets, 500 unit mega max bets and 1,000 unit mega whale max bets.
4. Projecting (calling everybody else a scammer) – Projecting is defined by the Urban Dictionary as: “when you point out actions in someone else, that really are the things that YOU do”. This tactic is almost universally used by scammers to direct attention away from their own shortcomings. Talking about scams isn’t normally top of mind for serious professionals that have been in the business for decades.
5. Touting Win Percentage Instead of Profits – To beat -110 lines you only need to win 52.4% to break even, so if a handicapper claims to be winning 55% of his bets he must be a winner, right? WRONG! First of all, many scamdicappers mix in heavily juiced moneyline wagers even when betting classic handicap sports like basketball and football, and if anyone tries to tout their win percentage for sports like NHL or MLB, you know they are trying to pull a fast one. If a handicapper is consistently picking moneyline favorites of -200 or more, he needs to win more than 67% of the bets just to break even. Now, 55% does not look all that impressive, does it?
At our leaderboards here at Capper Reviews, you’ll find that we track profit, ROI (return on investment), win percentage, wins against losses, and average odds.
5 Things You Must Have to Call Yourself a Real Handicapper
1. Independently Documented (third-party verification of every bet long-term) – Here at Capper Reviews, our handicappers are documented on the Sportscapping network. Every single bet they make will be displayed on their profile page within minutes of the start of the game. These days all reputable handicapping sites have leaderboards showing handicapper records for various sports and time periods. The farther back these leaderboards display records, the more reputable the website. Check out our leaderboards here >>
2. Real Name, Real Photo – If you want to deal with real handicappers, you should mostly stay away from brands that use a logo, and don’t even bother to provide a real name. While we have some services like this on Capper Reviews, you will notice that we rarely actively promote them, and would advise using these services at your own risk. There are of course exceptions, but as a rule of thumb, we prefer to deal with handicappers who use their real name, and appear on platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, and other social media using their legal name.
3. Free Plays – It doesn’t cost anything to follow free handicappers picks, and see what kind of results they can produce. Reading the analysis will allow you to decide if they know what they are doing, and whether or not their approach is sharper than your average bettor. Since most reputable handicappers provide free plays, the question for those who don’t is: “what do you have to hide?”
4. Analysis for Games – When you pay for picks, you are paying for opinions. If a handicapper doesn’t provide analysis, you don’t get much value for your money. There are handicappers who offer 10-20 picks per day, and don’t bother providing any analysis for those picks. This is a major red flag, you should avoid any handicapper who can’t be bothered to provide a sound reasoning for each selection. Again, as always there are exceptions. Sean Higgs, who is featured here at Capper Reviews, has proven himself successful with such an approach over an extended amount of time, which is why we are confident in advertising his picks with us.
5. History (been around for at least a few years) – Of course it’s not fair to say that every new handicapper is a fake or a fraud, but until they have paid their dues we wouldn’t recommend following them. To become a captain, a pilot must first log at least 1,000 flight hours as a co-pilot. There is no substitute for experience.