Businesses that sell sports betting picks are called tout services. Like used car salesmen, they have a sleazy reputation.

They’ve earned that sleazy reputation. Their advertising is over the top. Their claims are absurd. Often they flat out lie.

Most lies have a kernel of truth. But sports pick sellers stretch it as far as possible.

Here are 9 things you might not know about tout services:

They Have 47 Straight Winning Series

This is classic misdirection. The claim starts with some unbelievable number that no normal player can achieve. But the claim isn’t for 47 straight winning picks against the spread. They leave that part out.

Most readers don’t even see the word series. They just assume what the tout service wants them to assume.

So what exactly is a series in relation to sports betting?

It’s whatever the tout service wants it to be.

I saw a service selling baseball picks.

Here’s how they defined a series:

They used a Martingale system. (They doubled their bet after every loss.) A series was however long it took them to eventually profit. They had other indicators on when they bet. But any idiot can have a winning series using their definition.

Even a straight Martingale system at roulette or baccarat can win a large number of straight series before it crashes and costs you all your money.

Their Winning Percentage is 75%

Winning percentage claims are worthless. A child can pick money line winners with well over a 90% success rate. That doesn’t mean they make any money doing it.

For example, in NCAA football you could have taken Alabama and Ohio State on the money line in any games they were favored by over 21 the past several years and had a tremendous winning streak.

Want to know the real question you want answered?

What are their winning percentages against the spread over the last 5 years?

Even the best sports bettors in the world only win 55% against the spread. Found a service claiming something higher?

Read the fine print.

The Split Groups Scam

This is my favorite sports betting scheme. I’d run this one if I ever decided to go over to the dark side. It’s genius.

The tout service gets as many people as possible to sign up for free picks at the start of a season. They pick a game every week. Half of the list gets one side of the game. The other half gets the other side.

This is repeated ad nauseam.

They lose some of the people. But they always offer something special to try to get them to stay in the system.

As the season continues, they have a group that keeps receiving winning picks. After this group has received four or five straight winning picks, the service tries to upgrade them to their paid service. A high percentage of them will buy because they keep getting winners.

This whole scheme is simply a numbers game but it can make millions of dollars.

Here’s how it works:

The tout service gets 10,000 people to sign up for free picks. In week one 5,000 receive a winning pick. 5,000 receive a losing pick.

Each of these groups is split again the next week. 2,500 people get a correct pick for the second week in a row. 2,500 get a losing pick the second week in a row. Also, 2,500 more get a losing pick after getting a winning pick. Another 2,500 get a winning pick after a losing one.

In week 3, 1,250 people get a correct pick for the third week in a row. Another 1,250 get a second winning pick out of the first three picks they receive. Another 1,250 get a losing pick but still had winning picks the first two weeks. 1,250 people get a third losing pick in a row. (These 1,250 are probably a lost cause at this point but you still offer them the “real” insider picks for a strong discount to see if a few of them will bite.)

The other 3,750 have only received one out of three winning picks. They probably receive the same offer at this point as the ones who have received three losing picks.

At this point you make a limited time offer to the ones who received three winners and all of the ones who have won two out of three games.

After all, if you can win two out of every three games you can crush the sports books.

As the season continues, fewer people have all winners. But even some of the others can be sold into a paid pick plan.

In the fourth week, 625 receive a fourth straight winner.

312 have a fifth straight winner in week five.

156 perfect ones in week six.

78 in week seven.

How much do you think a bettor would pay someone who they think actually picked six or seven straight games correctly?

Not all sports bettors are gullible. But they only need a small percentage in order to turn a big profit.

7 Years Successfully Selling Picks

Do you really care how good they are at selling picks?

Or are you more concerned with their ability to help you make money by picking winning games?

You Don’t Pay Until After You Win

I see it advertised so it must be working.

Just like the split groups scam if I get 100 people to sign up I send 50 of them one side of a game and the other 50 the other side locking in a profit from half of the group.

I offer the other half a free pick the next week and try to salvage half of them.

Guaranteed Winners

This works just like the split group scam and the don’t pay unless you win scam.

You Don’t Need to do Anything But Place Bets

Most of the tout services want you to believe that all you have to do is buy their picks and blindly follow their advice and you will be a winner.

If I wanted to gamble with my money without thinking I’d just play roulette. The only winning sports bettors are the ones who do the work required to learn more about players and games than the sports books.

These guys don’t sell their picks. They make millions with them.

Even if you find a tout service you want to try, use their picks as a part of your overall sports betting plan. Combine their picks with your own research to see what you want to bet on.

Lock Picks

Many advertisements claim a daily or weekly lock. I’ve even seen “lock of the year” claims. Tout services like to claim some games are locks to convince you they have some inside information or other reason that you don’t know about to use to profit on a game.

These statements are always made for the people who haven’t paid for the picks yet. The more times you see a claim that a tout service has a lock the more you may start believing they must know what they’re talking about.

Once you sign up and start paying for the service you will usually see that lock picks aren’t much better than their regular picks.

If you pick your own sports betting teams, there are games you are surer about than others. You may even be able to pick one game a week that’s more likely to be a winner than others. Tout service locks are no different.

Act Today or Lose Out on the Special Price

This is an old marketing trick that is used in a wide range of offers including sports betting pick services. If you don’t act right now you can’t get this deal or there’s a limited number of picks available, etc.

In a limited number of cases these claims may be true, but most of them are complete lies. Most of these businesses will take your money today, tomorrow, or whenever they can convince you to part with it.

The next time you see one of these claims call them two or three days later and say you had to wait to get paid and ask if you can still have the deal.


I’m sure there are a few tout services that can help you make money betting sports. But there are also many complete scams and lies being spread in the industry. Be careful before starting to believe anything these “experts” say.

I always ask myself is if I could do whatever they were claiming would I be able to make more money selling my picks or actually betting on games. The claims are usually so wild that you could make millions more betting the picks than selling them.

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