Ben Burns is one of the most successful sports handicappers in North America, and his extended hot streaks have brought him fame and fortune.
Active since: 1998
Location: Vancouver, BC
Ben Burns has been a major player in the sports handicapping profession since 1998, and is widely regarded as being among the top of the field. To understand why, consider Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. In it, Gladwell asks the question, “What makes high achievers different?” Gladwell suggests that industry leaders have a number of similarities — that their upbringing (culture, family, what generation they came from, experiences) has much to do with their success. A look at Ben's upbringing shows that he fits Gladwell's model to a tee.
Exposed to the world of point spreads early and often as a child, Burns reached adulthood as the Internet was beginning to explode, just as the first offshore sportsbooks were springing up. By that time he'd already spent thousands of hours learning and studying stats.
From an early age it became apparent to family and friends that Ben wasn't a "typical" fan. At age 11, he was mentioned in a major newspaper (Toronto Star) for correctly predicting a high profile trade before the Major League Baseball trading deadline. (Winner of the contest got tickets to the All Star game.)
Ben's father and uncles were always involved in a weekly NFL (ATS) pool. Some of Ben's earliest memories included that pool and his fascination with it. As soon as he was allowed to play, Ben demonstrated an uncanny ability to surprise the adults. Around this time, one of his uncles moved his casino business to the Caribbean. This was the environment from which he came from.
The caption underneath Ben's high-school graduation photo references Ben's love for betting on football. That's because he was famous throughout his school for annually winning the local football contest, along with the $1700 per year which was awarded to the champ.
Coming of age right as the first sports books were coming online, Ben was fortunate to enjoy some success with his some of his early online sports betting endeavors. He did so well that the first shop he ever played at ended up refusing to take his hockey bets.
Also, in the very early days of the Internet, Ben won an NBA playoff contest. The victory awarded him a trip for two to Las Vegas, $1000 cash, a limo at his disposal, free shows, hotel and live sports odds for a year. Not a bad score for a kid in his early 20s. However, the bigger win was that Ben was exposed to the world of "professional sports handicapping." Inspired by his personal success and encouraged by his peers, Ben first made his picks available to the public in 1998, and has never looked back. In addition to enjoying unparalleld success as a sports handicapper, Ben is a star in the Daily Fantasy Sports arena. Ben was featured as the “High Roller” in the 2015 documentary film, Living the Fantasy. And he has won 6-figure fantasy contest prizes in each of Football and Baseball.