Here at BangTheBook.com, we’re committed to giving you the most comprehensive sports betting website on the internet. We have no shortage of Expert Handicappers with winning track records offering picks and packages for purchase, as well as daily free picks. Our writers supply game previews on a daily basis with free plays and analysis that you cannot get anywhere else. We write about betting tips, trends, and the futures market. Our forums are filled with knowledgeable posters and handicappers with varying levels of experience and success. Plans are in the works to add even more helpful tools to our readers and clients and make BangTheBook.com a one-stop shop for the sports betting enthusiast.
We’re happy with what we have accomplished so far and want to continue improving and getting better. One way we can do that is to establish our credibility and establish the character of the people that work for us. With that, we’ve decided to institute a new weekly article series to Meet The Handicappers. Our handicappers work tirelessly to perfect a craft that a small percentage of people can turn a profit with over a long-term basis. Why do they do it? How do they do it? How can you become a better handicapper? What is the hardest part about this lifestyle?
We know that the “touting” industry has its hardships. Some bad apples spoil the whole bunch by losing clients a lot of money or by giving the industry a bad reputation through their actions and candor. We’re proud of the group that we have here at BangTheBook.com and we felt that it was important to give our readers and clients a chance to get know them better. Our Expert Handicappers welcomed the chance to share their knowledge, successes, failures, and even stories on how they turned a hobby into a profession.
Over the last three weeks, we’ve focused on Kyle Hunter, Chase Diamond, and Tony George. This week, we focus on Sean Higgs. Sean believes that all of the information that is available, stats, trends, and angles, are beneficial, but only if you know how to apply them. He does and that’s what has made him a successful handicapper for over 20 years.
Adam Burke: First off, Sean, thanks for taking the time to do this and let the readers and clients learn a little bit more about you. How many years of experience do you have handicapping?
Sean Higgs: I think it would be safe to say that I first started capping games as a sophomore in HS back in 1990. I can remember coming up with my own odds for the NCAA tournament that year. I had UNLV as a 2-1 favorite to win it all. But all the 'smart' money was coming in on Duke, who I had at 6-1, and Loyola Marymount, who I had put at a 15-1 favorite after losing Hank Gathers.
AB: What is your earliest gambling memory?
SH: Well, I did mention my odds for the 1990 NCAA Tournament. But my first huge game I bet, and lost, was Virginia/Virginia Tech in 1994. Now, this is going back nearly 20 years, but I had Va Tech. I am pretty sure as a four-point dog or close to it. They were winning at the half, something like 17-10 or 17-13. I guess they forgot there were two halves to the game. It was a 42-23 final and I am down 11 dimes heading into Sunday. That was the biggest bet of my life at the time, and it wiped out two months of the bankroll I had built. I was barely 20 at the time and promised myself that I would never, ever unload on a game like that again. I can honestly say that I haven't. I learned that afternoon, that no matter how much I could like a game or my numbers say to like a game, nothing is guaranteed. I can go a little over my max bet, but never 'all in' for something. It's just not smart money management.
AB: How did you get started in the industry and why did it appeal to you?
SH: I had always liked betting on games. I would sit at my friends bar on a Wednesday night with a copy of the old Sports Forum weekly and Pro Football Weekly and just break down every game on the board. I had friends who had used touts and pay services. Sometimes I would agree with the pick, but more often than not, I was on the other side. Normally by mid-October, people who were trying to find winners calling 800-900 numbers were asking me who I liked. So, after several years of doing well for myself, and helping friends along the way, I thought to myself, “I can do this”. I love sports. I was already investing my time and money into resources for my personal financial gain. I mean, I have friends paying money for losers. Wouldn't they pay for a winner? So my first 'pay clients' were people who, after hitting a 40 Timer on the Chiefs, would toss me 25 bucks. You have five, six, even 10 people doing that a day, and you realize you have a real opportunity.
AB: What is your favorite thing about being a professional handicapper?
SH: For me, the best thing about being a pro capper is talking to my followers. I like that, especially now with Twitter and Facebook. You can actually be 'friends' with these people. Before, I just had an #888 number. Now, I don't just call my clients out of the blue. But I always tried, and still do to reach out to them around holidays to wish them well and see how they are doing. To this day, I still send out personal emails at Thanksgiving and Christmas to anyone who has signed up with me, even if it was just for one pick. It normally takes me a day or two to complete that. I have no idea why some guys get into the business. For me though, I love sports, and I love people. What a better way to put them both together.
AB: How would you describe your handicapping style?
SH: I really wouldn't know how to name my handicapping style. Maybe a contrarian bettor. I like my dogs. But, I do follow trends and schedule spots. Maybe a situational bettor. I really don't want to pigeon-hole myself with a style. I want to make money for myself and my clients. I would have to say that my style should be called Winning!
AB: What element of handicapping do you struggle the most with?
SH: I wouldn't say I struggle. That isn't the right word. On a rare day when I am going over games, sometimes it just isn't there. It looks like I am reading Chinese Arithmetic written in Arabic. Those are the times I just need to pass and not force something. I will have losing days. But I don't want a losing play just so that my clients get a game because it's Thursday. And sometimes, when you have people paying for weekly, monthly and yearly packages, you feel obligated to put something out because they don't understand that you don't like a play. Then you get the emails about why is there no play. They want to know if you like who they like. I mean, hey, if I liked it, I would use it as a game and bet it. I'm not. It is just a tough spot sometimes.
AB: Outside of losing, what is the worst thing about being a professional handicapper?
SH: I wouldn't even say losing is the worst part. Yeah, nobody likes to lose. But the fact is nobody is hitting 100%. The worst for me is actually trying to convince people not to bet a game. If I don't like a game, I am not giving a side on it. Sometimes, I might like a single game. Other times, I like a bunch. I'm human. Maybe I got a flat tire and couldn't devote enough time to the games. If I am not putting my own money on it, why would I tell you to? Sometimes you just have to pass.
AB: What is your favorite sport to bet and why?
SH: Pretty sure every capper would answer NFL to this. And yes, I love to bet on NFL. And I do very well in it. But for me, I love MLB. Baseball is a very long season, with sometimes over a dozen games a day. It is a sport where the best team can lose 60 times. Most of those will be losses as a favorite. See where I am going here. I am a dog lover and MLB offers plenty of value day in and day out for six months.
AB: What is your favorite sport to watch and why?
SH: For me, my favorite sport to watch is College Hoops. Maybe it’s because it brings me back to when I was 18-19-20 and I remember what I was doing at that age. Who knows. I just like watching college hoops. Especially the small and mid-majors. Do I even have to mention March Madness?
AB: What are your favorite teams in the major leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NCAA, NHL (if applicable))? How do you approach them from a betting perspective?
SH: Well, in NHL and NBA, I really don't have a favorite team. These are two sports that I don't bet as many games as the other sports. Mostly because of what else is going on when these guys are playing. When it comes to College Hoops, I wouldn't say I have a favorite team. More like teams. And by that, I mean, I like to focus on mid-majors. And then I find those teams that bring back four or five starters with good guards and look to build my bankroll early before the secrets get out of the bag. Now, for College Football (Miami Hurricanes), MLB (NY Yankees), and NFL (Dallas Cowboys) things are a bit different. I don't really get blinded by my team. If anything, it helps me more with their opponents. I will put out plenty of NFC East games. I live in NJ. Giants country. Plenty of great outlets to gain insights to the NFC East. With the Yankees, it had been tough when they were better. But these guys still have plenty of juiced lines so there are always ample opportunities to fade away. Especially this season! And with the Canes, like the Cowboys. It helps me more as when I am researching them, it leads me to more in depth analysis into ACC teams. I think it probably pays off more in the NFL, because I know that Dallas will lose at home to the Titans or someone, then go on the road and win at the Saints or Seattle or somewhere they should be getting spanked.
AB: What is the best win you have ever had? What about the worst "bad beat" story?
SH: I can't think of a real 'great' win. I have had some super underdog winners in College Hoops and College Football. And I am talking about double digit outright winners. But they happen often enough during the year that they are just another win for me. As for bad beats. Well, it's gambling. One year, I lost 30 games in College Hoops by a point. I could have had 500 one-point wins that year. But it just seemed like every loss was on a last second jumper. They could have been a nine-point dog losing by 10 or a four-point fave winning by two. Sometimes you just don't get that bounce.
AB: What tips or advice would you have for novice/inexperienced bettors either looking to get better at betting or looking to break into the industry?
SH: Real simple. Money-management. Don't bet what you don't have. You aren't the Sultan of Brunei. You don't have unlimited income. Betting should be fun. You shouldn't be losing sleep if you lose a bet. And if you are looking to get in the business. Well, it seems to me that everyone is trying their hand at being a 'twitter tout.' If you want to, give it a go. PLEASE. Try to be honest. Way too many guys out there ruining the business for the honest guys. You aren't hitting 80%! Stop the lies!!
AB: What should the readers BangTheBook.com and/or the clients of BTBCappers.com know about you?
SH: I think it is pretty simple. Always the truth, win or lose. I'm going to grind out wins across the board in all sports. We are about making smart money moves using money management so that we have a high ROI.
Look for more installments of “Meet The Handicappers” in upcoming weeks.