What is a Sharp?

In the sports gambling world, a “Sharp” differs from the general public (aka “Squares”). Sharps are usually high stakes bettors commonly referred to as professional gamblers. Much more than “going with their gut”, Sharps often have strict guidelines and strategies that have proven to create successful outcomes over time. From an accuracy standpoint the difference between a Sharp and Square may only be a few percentage points, but Sharps may strategically change their amounts per bet. This can lead to a huge disparity between outcomes Sharps and Squares achieve over the long term. SharpRank’s score accounts for all of this so you can view a Sharp’s overall performance, not just their accuracy.

Sharps are not in it for a quick buck, and while every gambler may receive the same thrill of betting on a game, Sharps are generally methodical and thus even keel. To them, it is more business and less entertainment. Most will specialize in one sport and some will avoid betting on teams they cheer for as it can cloud judgment. Sharps bet with their head not their heart. They can occasionally have information Squares may not have had time to obtain yet. Maybe most importantly, Sharps do not double down on stupid. Many Squares have an overestimation of their abilities which cause them to repeat “bad” bets.

If you ever hear, “Sharp money is pouring in on Team X”, sports books are reporting that a large proportion of bets are being taken from Sharps on one side of a bet – often to entice people to take the other side of the bet (sportsbooks make a lot of money on juice). Because dollars affect a game’s line, Sharps tend to place bets early and let the Squares deal with the over inflated or depressed lines closer to game time (For more info on how this happens, click HERE). As anyone who has experienced a bad beat, the difference in a few points on a line can often be the difference between cursing a kicker and sitting relaxed as the kick sails “Wide right! Wide right!”