Oscar’s Grind Betting System Tries to Capitalize on Winning Streaks

August 9, 2023

The Oscar’s Grind betting system, popularized by Allan Wilson in the mid-1960s, attempts to capitalize on winning success by increasing bet size after a win while waiting out losing streaks. However, this strategy must be revised and poses significant risks for bettors in real-life sports betting scenarios.

How Oscar’s Grind Operates

Oscar’s Grind divides betting into “units” and “sessions.” Each session starts with a one-unit bet and continues until a one-unit profit is achieved. For a better understanding, consider a “unit” as $100 in this example.

For simplicity, assume no juice (vig) when betting against the spread (ATS), resulting in a $100 profit for a $100 ATS bet win (although actual odds typically yield a smaller profit).

  • A new session starts with a $100 profit if the first bet wins.
  • If the first bet loses, subsequent bets remain $100 until a win occurs.
  • After a win, the bet size doubles to $200 and continues until either:
  1. Another loss occurs, leading to an additional unit increase (e.g., $300).
  2. Betting a lesser amount could result in a $100 profit.

For clarity, let’s assume the unit is $100.

Bet Stake Result Net Profit
1 $100  Loss ($100)
2 $100  Loss ($200)
3 $100  Loss ($300)
4 $100  Win ($200)
5 $200  Loss ($400)
6 $200  Win ($200)
7 $300  Win $100 


In this example, the bettor starts with a $100 unit to achieve a $100 profit. They increase their bet size after each win but maintain the same bet size after a loss until a win occurs.

The Pitfalls of Oscar’s Grind

While Oscar’s Grind might show short-term gains, its flaws appear during unfavorable streaks. Let’s examine two scenarios to illustrate its shortcomings.

Scenario 1 – A Good Day at the Office with Oscar’s Grind


Bet Stake Result Net Profit
1. Patriots -7.5 vs Jets $100 Loss -$100
2. Bengals +4.5 vs Steelers $100 Loss -$200
3. Broncos -2.5 vs Chargers $100 Loss -$300
4. Seahawks -3.5 vs 49ers $100 Win -$200
5. Vikings +1.5 vs Packers $200 Loss -$400
6. Eagles -5.5 vs Giants $200 Win -$200
7. Panthers -3.5 vs Buccaneers $300 Win +$100

The bettor achieved the desired one-unit profit after seven bets in this scenario.

Scenario 2 – A Bad Day at the Office with Oscar’s Grind


Bet Stake Result Net Profit
1. Patriots -7.5 vs Jets $100 Loss -$100
2. Bengals +4.5 vs Steelers $100 Loss -$200
3. Broncos -2.5 vs Chargers $100 Win -$100
4. Seahawks -3.5 vs 49ers $200 Loss -$300
5. Vikings +1.5 vs Packers $200 Win -$100
6. Eagles -5.5 vs Giants $300 Loss -$400
7. Panthers -3.5 vs Buccaneers $300 Loss -$700
8. Jaguars -3.0 vs Titans $300 Loss -$1,000
9. Dolphins +4.5 vs Ravens $300 Win -$700
10. Browns  -5.5 vs Raiders $400 Loss -$1,100
11. Lions +3.0 vs Bears $400 Loss -$1,500


In this scenario, a series of losses led to a substantial loss of $1,500.

Why Oscar’s Grind Doesn’t Work in Real Life

Oscar’s Grind relies on the assumption that winning streaks will continue, leading to consistent profits. However, it fails to consider the inevitable bad streaks that can wipe out the bankroll due to the independent nature of each bet. Bets are not causally connected, and a win in one event does not increase the likelihood of winning the next.

While Oscar’s Grind might produce short-term gains for some, it is a risky strategy in the long run that can lead to substantial losses. Successful sports betting requires sound bankroll management, diversification, and a realistic understanding of probabilities, rather than relying on flawed systems like Oscar’s Grind.

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