I've struggled, throughout the 14 years I've been doing ProgsPicks.com, with the question of whether or not to use a monitor service.
I've had several bad experiences with monitor services in the past, from mistakes being made to the service going out of business and me losing all the money I paid them. But by far the biggest reason I don't use them is that they don't do what they're supposed to do. What I mean by this is that they don't always confirm picks.
Virtually all the monitor services out there don't just monitor picks. They have contests and competition between handicappers. The only way to do this fairly is to have them all picking from the same line. But that's the problem. An example may help here:
Most services judge all handicappers based on the Sunday line, no matter when they release their picks. I release my picks using the Thursday line. Say I release the Colts -2.5 on Thursday, but Sunday lots of money comes in and moves the line to Colts -3.5 and, of course, they wind up winning the game by 3. My clients got and bet the line at -2.5. I'm taking it as a win. But the monitor service counts it as a loss! I'm being honest, they're being honest, yet two different results are recorded! And that will happen a few times a season with the 80 or so Best Bets I make. How would you feel when what I say doesn't match what they say?
I feel that a monitor service should do only one thing - verify that what I post as my record is what I released on my web site, but that isn't what happens. Can you see my dilemma with this? That isn't really the way they set it up.
I've tried to get around this by doing it myself. I did this by having people sign up for a newsletter, and within a few minutes after kickoff, I sent out my picks so they would know exactly what I picked. So if they had any doubts at all, they could watch me for a few weeks and know that what I released is what I had as my record. I made that very clear as they signed up for the newsletter. However, I kept getting e-mails from people saying something like this: "I got your picks but it was too late to bet on them! They didn't do me any good!" As much as I tried to tell people that the picks were being sent so they could see them and know what they were, NOT for them to bet on, they didn't seem to get it. I gave up on the idea.
All that being said, you do have to be sure that a site does what it says. You'd be right in saying anyone can post that they went 3-0 last week. I feel that new handicappers should use a monitor service, no matter that the records will be slightly different, because they have to build that trust.
So, how can you trust me? Glad you asked! Three reasons come to mind:
1. I make most of my sales from repeat business. If I were to juggle the numbers, even once a year, I'd lose all the people who bought that week. If I were buying from someone and they said they won when they lost, I'd NEVER give them another chance at my money! I'm sure you agree with that. I've been doing this for 14 years, and I'd have lost all my clients by now if I was dishonest. Repeat business is too hard to come by.
2. I think you can trust me when you look at my past records. I've got some excellent years posted. I also have some losing years posted. Someone trying to fake you out wouldn't show you the bumps in the road. I strive to be honest with my clients, and as self-serving as it sounds, I don't want to lose anyone's trust. It's too hard to get in the first place.
3. How do you know this isn't my first year on the web? How do you know I've been around for 14 years? There's a neat little site that helps out. It's an Internet archive, and they take a snapshot of web pages several times a year. You can put in any web site and see how things have changed. I just went there and typed in ProgsPicks.com. Very neat web site. It's very interesting to see how things have changed. I'm saying this because this shows you that I've been around for a long time. This only lists my web site from 2000 on, but I did switch to a different webhosting service around that time, so I guess that must have had something to do with that. As you can see, I've been here for a long time. I hope that this, in some way, makes it easier to trust me. Wow. I just went there and clicked on the Aug. 15th, 2000 link, because it was the first link, and right there on the front page I'm talking about the newsletter and people getting the picks after kickoff. LOL That's too funny. What are the odds of that?? I'm writing about it and then I find it. Here's the link to the Internet archive. Have fun with it.
Fair warning, the website looked terrible back in 2000. It's changed several times over the years. It's interesting to click on all the different years.