This Former Statistics Professor Has Made Over $1 Million 'Investing' in Sports. These Are the 2 Tactics He's Using to Bet on the Super Bowl. "To me, this is like Christmas," David Beaudoin says of the national sporting event. "This is the most lucrative day of the year."

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • David Beaudoin got his sports betting start in arbitrage — now he uses mathematical models to win.
  • He emphasizes the importance of betters having the "right mindset" and never spending money they don't have.
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Courtesy of Anderson Group Public Relations

Former statistics professor David Beaudoin has always had a knack for numbers, and as a sports fan since age five, it wasn't long before he opted to merge the two interests: He placed his first sports bets as a teenager, though he admits "he was not very good at it."

That changed when Beaudoin started to take mathematics classes at the university level and realized he could use what he'd learned to make a profit on sports. In 1999, Beaudoin found it "quite easy" to apply some of those strategies to arbitrage betting, which involves placing wagers on different sides of the same sporting event "to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome."

"If Team A plays Team B [and] the lines are very different between a couple of sportsbooks on that game, it is possible to bet Team A with sportsbook No.1, and you could bet Team B with sportsbook No. 2, and of course, you're going to win one bet and lose another, but by adjusting the amount, you are guaranteed to make a net profit at the end," Beaudoin explains.

Related: As the Sports-Betting Industry Transforms, Entrepreneurs May Find It Hard to Get in on Gambling Profits — but Related Businesses Will Thrive

After several years of success with that tactic, it became "more and more difficult to find good arbitrage opportunities," Beaudoin says. That's when he began using mathematical models to help him beat sportsbooks. It turned out to be a highly lucrative pivot; Beaudoin retired at age 43 from his 14-year run teaching statistics at Laval University — and says he has earned more than $1 million sports betting to date.

"The right mindset is very important. You really need to be disciplined with your bets."

Although Beaudoin "would bet on any sport" during his arbitrage stint, these days, he prefers to focus on sports he knows well, including the NFL, NHL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, college football and college basketball, because "only using numbers without knowing the players or coaches [is] not going to be enough to be a winner."

Beaudoin is transparent about his track record on his website — over seven NFL seasons, he says his pick accuracy has never dropped below 50%, ranging from 50% to 75% each season — and acknowledges the fact that the level of success he's seen isn't accessible to everyone. Still, there are a couple of things that anyone can do to better position themselves and mitigate harmful outcomes.

Related: The Moment This Online Sports Betting CEO Knew It Was Time to Take a Big Risk

First, "the right mindset is very important," Beaudoin says.

"Some people just can't tolerate losing," he explains. "Now, even if you make money every year, sometimes there will be a week, or sometimes maybe a full month, where you're going to keep losing. And that's inevitable. It's going to happen to everyone. But some people just go crazy when that happens and they start betting big amounts, trying to make up for prior losses. So you really need to be disciplined with your bets."

"You need to bet money that you view it as disposable income."

Second, Beaudoin cautions people against betting money they can't afford to lose.

"I never want to hear people saying, 'I just lost my rent money,'" Beaudoin says. "That makes zero sense to me. You need to bet money that you view it as disposable income — if you lose it, it's not going to affect the quality of your life."

In fact, Beaudoin doesn't consider himself a sports "gambler" or "better" at all. Rather, he calls himself a sports "investor" who doesn't feel the need to make bets every day. "I only like betting when I have the strong conviction that I have an edge over sportsbooks or over casinos," he notes.

Related: The NFL Will Not Allow Players to Place Bets During Super Bowl LVII Weekend in Las Vegas

And his pick for this year's Super Bowl champion? He's "leaning towards the Chiefs." "I know the 49ers have maybe more firepower around Brock Purdy," Beaudoin says, "but Purdy is inexperienced. He's been up and down in the playoffs, whereas [Patrick] Mahomes, he's been there, done that."

But it's the "hundreds and hundreds of" proposition bets, where people put money on specific events — like if Mahomes will throw an interception — that have the greatest earning potential. And "there is no way that sportsbooks can have accurate lines on each," Beaudoin says.

"So there are always some great bargains," Beaudoin explains. "Every year, I spend between 50 and 100 hours analyzing those Super Bowl prop bets, and to me, this is like Christmas. This is the most lucrative day of the year."

Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, nearly 40 U.S. states have passed legislation to legalize sports betting. The five states that currently have no legislation to legalize sports betting are California, Alaska, Alabama, Utah and Idaho.

If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, call the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537).

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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