If you bet on sports consistently, you may have wondered who some of the best sports bettors in history are. Most sports bettors don’t win long-term, but there a few who defy the odds. See our list below for some of the best bettors in history and what makes them standout:
- Billy Walters – Walters is considered by many as the most successful sports bettor in history, with an estimated net worth of over $200 million. He started his career by betting on golf and eventually moved to football, basketball, and baseball. He was known for his ability to analyze data and find value in the betting lines. Walters also built a network of informants who provided him with insider information, which he used to his advantage. Despite being convicted for insider trading in 2017, Walters’ legacy as a sports bettor remains intact.
- Haralabos Voulgaris – Voulgaris is a former professional gambler who made a fortune betting on NBA games. He is known for his deep understanding of basketball analytics, which he used to identify mispriced betting lines. Voulgaris was also a consultant for NBA teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, where he helped improve the team’s analytics department.
- James Holzhauer – Holzhauer gained fame for his impressive winning streak on the game show “Jeopardy!” but he is also a successful sports bettor. He has won over $2 million betting on sports, primarily on baseball and football. Holzhauer is known for his aggressive betting strategy and his ability to find value in long-shot bets.
- Edward O. Thorp – Thorp is considered the father of card counting in blackjack, but he also made a name for himself as a sports bettor. In the 1960s, he developed a mathematical model for predicting outcomes in football games, which he used to beat the Las Vegas sportsbooks. Thorp’s success led to changes in the way sportsbooks set their lines, making it more difficult for bettors to find value.
- Bob Voulgaris – Bob Voulgaris, the brother of Haralabos Voulgaris, is also a successful sports bettor. He has won millions of dollars betting on basketball, particularly on in-game wagers. Voulgaris is known for his ability to read the game and make quick decisions based on the flow of the game.There’s plenty of things that separates these bettors, but there’s a lot of commonalities between them as well. The way they analyze data is different. They constantly study betting strategies, have deep knowledge and understanding of their preferred sports to bet on, and aren’t emotional. They go through the highs and lows, and manage to come out on top consistently.