Never give these guys any money. They seem like they are legit because they advertise so much and even participate in some "expert" fantasy leagues, but they are scam artists.
Here is an article I dug up on the Touts:
THE COMMON TRAPS
SEP 22 2002
The "Game of the Year" Scam
Do you ever watch some of these handicappers on the weekends on TV? How come these guys always seem to have a "game of the year", an "NFC Lock of the Year", a "5 Star 100% Guaranteed Game of the Year", etc., etc. The reason is that they are salesmen, not true handicappers. Lots of hype, lots of sales pitches but not much on substance.
The "Get Tonight's Winner -- Free" Scam
This is basically the old "bait and switch" scam. You get the pitch about some great handicapper. They provide an 800 number that you are supposed to call, where they ask for your phone number. That is followed up by some pushy guy who claims to be calling from either Vegas or New York telling you that they can't prove themselves with just one pick and that you need to give them $200. For that $200, they will provide selections and tell you how much to bet until you make $1000. They get your money and then you need to trust these folks to bring it home for you. It goes up from there. These guys are unregulated and their claims are rarely verified. It doesn’t matter what they claim, nobody does better than 66%. These shady people’s only motivation is to make sales and take your money. They'll tell you that they have "inside information from the locker room". Yeah right. These guys are good at pestering their clientele for their money. That's it.
The "Guaranteed Winner" Scam - The "Honest Guys"
This one kills me. Let's talk about the honest guys first:
Even if your handicapper is on the level, the prices are so steep, you need to bet higher than your comfortable with just to make a profit. When they win, you win, but much less than you bet. When they lose, you pay them nothing, but now you've lost 110% of your original bet. Let's compare services:
For those of you using "Guaranteed Winners" Services, let's say the price per game is $35 (which is low, but I'm being conservative). Let's give these guys the benefit of the doubt that they will win 66% of the time. In a professional handicappers contest in 2001, the winner was at 68%. Let's see what you would win over 60 bets of $100. At 66% success rate (which is HIGHLY UNLIKELY FOR ANYONE), you will win 40 of these bets. That would mean, you would win $4000 minus $1400 for your service fees which nets you $2600. This also means you would lose 20 bets which means you lose $2000 + $200 juice (at 10%). This nets you a Grand Total win of $400. Looks like the only guarantee here is that your service will win big!!
Let's look at what buying 3 picks for $300 will do for you. For $300 you get a minimum of 3 picks per week at a winning percentage of over 58%. At 58% winning percentage, you will win 35 out of the 60 bets which equates to $3500. At 58% you will lose 25 games which equates to $2500 + $250 juice (at 10%). Your Grand Total minus $60 for buying picks at $100/pick would be $690.
The "Guaranteed Winner" Scam
If you make your money (and only source of income) when you win, then wouldn't it make sense to give half of your clientele one side of a game and give the other half of the clientele the other side. That would give you some guaranteed income as half of the clientele is likely to use you again. This scam is the worst there is and it is widely used! By giving someone a ‘guaranteed winner’, half will get winning picks, half will get losing picks. When the winners call back, they do it again. Give half of them one side, the other half the other team and the cycle continues. Out of the people who won the 1st time, half of them will call back and so on and so on and son on….
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be taken as a fool. These people make absurd claims about inside information, trends and systems, special injury info, etc. It is all a bunch of bull. Please, use your common sense here. If they call, email you or contact you in any way, tell them you’re not interested under any conditions and then go back to your own systems of handicapping. The end result will be much better for you.
I hope that this is helpful.
You should make all of your picks yourself. And only bet what you can afford to lose. This is for fun - these guys only make money off of people who are betting to make money and are not betting for fun.