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.
First up for this series is Kyle Hunter. You’ve seen Kyle writing game previews and betting trends articles for us and you’ve also heard Kyle on both our College Football Podcast as well as Handicapping the Hardwood, our college basketball podcast. He was kind enough to be the guinea pig for this new series and his humble, down-to-earth, honest, and transparent approach has not only made him one of BangTheBook’s most successful cappers, but has also endeared him to his clients.
Adam Burke: First off, Kyle, 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?
Kyle Hunter: I’ve been handicapping games on my own for a little over 10 years now. I’ve been a professional for five years.
AB: How did you get started in the industry and why did it appeal to you?
KH: My single biggest passion has always been sports. I actually started out writing articles for a number of websites. I had been betting, or investing as I prefer to call it, on sports for several years. The move to professional handicapping allowed others to take advantage of my expertise as well.
My other primary passion is the stock market, and I believe the stock market and investing in sports are very similar because of the risk/reward tradeoff in each. My degree in finance and love for the stock market (and its intricate statistics and trends) ties in more closely to sports betting than most realize.
AB: What is your favorite thing about being a professional handicapper?
KH: I love that I get to follow my passion so closely. Many people are stuck in jobs where they don’t really care about what they do. That couldn’t be farther from the truth for me.
Being able to work so closely with numbers is something that I love about my job. Statistics and analyzing data as well as trends are vital in being successful, and those are things I’ve been passionate about for many years.
I also enjoy being able to communicate with others who love sports and be part of a community whether it be through social media, podcasts, or any of the other methods available in the industry.
AB: How would you describe your handicapping style?
KH: Many handicappers have a particular style that suits them for every sport, but I just look for value in everything. If I see a weakness from the books, I’ll pounce. Projecting the line of each game and looking for value based on differences from my lines is where I always start.
In certain sports motivational edges mean more to me (think NBA and NFL), while in other sports I care more about coaching styles and philosophies (NCAA FB and NCAA BB).
Essentially, I’m just looking for value and trusting my hard work. I don’t change the way I do things as the season moves along.
AB: What element of handicapping do you struggle the most with?
KH: The trickiest part of handicapping for me is often judging how much to weigh emotional or situational advantages for a certain team versus just analyzing the numbers in front of me and my power rankings.
Another struggle is getting over the tough losses and bad stretches. I have extremely high goals for myself and I work hard to make money for all of my clients. I don’t take losing lightly!
AB: Outside of losing, what is the worst thing about being a professional handicapper?
KH: I’m going to say two things here. First, the hours can be really terrible. In order to be at your best when it comes to getting an edge on the oddsmakers you have to put in a bunch of hours at this. Some in the industry are willing to take short cuts and simply be a salesman. That isn’t me.
Second, I hate that the industry in general is seen so negatively. I totally understand why it is that way, but I still hate it. There are a lot of bad apples in the industry and that has ruined it for guys like me and many others on this site who are honest and forthright at all times. Ethics and integrity are extremely important to me and I make all my clients aware of that.
AB: What is your favorite sport to bet and why?
KH: College basketball is my favorite sport to bet, because I feel I have a huge edge on the books there. It’s a sport where you can get an edge on the books by knowing the game extremely well and watching games and the statistics closely. My first year professionally handicapping (2009-2010 season), I gained 60 units in college basketball alone.
AB: What is your favorite sport to watch and why?
KH: College basketball is my single favorite sport to watch in general. I think basketball is the ultimate team game when played the right way, and I love all the strategy that goes into the game of basketball. It’s a fast-paced game where you may miss something important if you blink, and I love that.
Having said that, if there is a single event that is a must watch for me it is always Ohio State football games. College football is a close second to college basketball as my favorite to watch, and I love Ohio State football. Basically, if there is an Ohio State football game on, I’m either at the game or watching it on television.
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?
KH: MLB- Reds
NCAA FB- Ohio State
NCAA BB- Ohio State
I approach the majority of these teams the same way as I approach every other team. The one exception is Ohio State football. I tend to try to avoid betting on Ohio State football games either way because I’m such a big fan that I’m always afraid that will cloud my judgment.
AB: What is the best win you have ever had? What about the worst “bad beat” story?
KH: I remember the losses better than I do the wins, that’s for sure. For a “bad beat”, I’ll go with the June 5, 2013 game between the White Sox and Mariners. I bet under 7 in that game. The score was 0-0 after 13 innings and I managed to lose the bet. The 12 runs the two teams scored in extra innings there matched an all-time record for extra inning runs in a game.
As far as best win, I’d say my Game of the Year winners would be at the top. I have only had three Game of the Year selections in my career, and all three have won. In 2011, I won my game of the year on a college hoops under when Cal Poly met Cal Santa Barbara. In 2012, I had the Tulsa/Marshall over as my one and only Game of the Year and it won. In 2013, the Redskins/Broncos over was my game of the year. Being undefeated in my three Game of the Year selections is certainly something I’m proud of.
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?
KH: There is no single magic potion to being successful when it comes to betting on sports. Hard work is the best way to get ahead. Look for small angles that others may not be taking into account. Dig for information that isn’t widely available. Money management is a huge key. Never take too big of a risk no matter how strongly you feel about a particular game. Be wise with your bankroll!
AB: What should the readers BangTheBook.com and/or the clients of BTBCappers.com know about you?
KH: Readers and clients should know that when I tell them a record I am telling the truth. I’m a straight shooter no matter what the results say. I’m all about earning the respect of clients and readers, and that’s why I’m an open book.
Since the start of 2010, I have gained 138.72 units overall ($1,000 bettors are up $138,720 on my plays and $100 bettors are up $13,872). My results speak for themselves, but I’m not going to pound the table about how I am the best, I’ll just keep working hard and let the results fall as they may.
I’m just an average humble guy who happens to have a major passion for sports and beating the books!
Look for more installments of “Meet The Handicappers” in upcoming weeks.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.