Ben Burns Ben Burns
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Ben Burns has long dominated the soccer pitch. He's taking things to an entirely new level in 2021 though. His soccer selections are an INCREDIBLE 19-4 ON THE YEAR. Now comes the one he's had circled for weeks. The wait is over. Its Ben's 2021 GAME OF THE YEAR. If you only make one play the entire Prem. League season, this really should be the one!

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Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 14, 2021
Ducks vs Sharks
-173 at linepros
Play Type: Premium

I'm playing on SJ. The Ducks blanked the Sharks 4-0 on Monday. Don't expect it to happen again. While the Sharks are 7-3 after scoring one goal or less in their previous game, the Ducks are 0-3, after shutting out their opponent. They're 2-6 their last eight in that situation. The Sharks have been far more competitive overall than the Ducks this season. Importantly, they're much healthier than Anaheim at the moment, as the Ducks are dealing with numerous injuries. Anaheim's goalie Anthony Stolarz "stood on his head" on Monday, as he made 46 saves in earning the shutout. (SJ had a 46-21 edge in shots.) Gibson is expected to be between the pipes tonight though and they won't be able to count on a similar performance. Payback time. 

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 14, 2021
Rangers vs Rays
-177 at linepros
Play Type: Premium

I'm playing on TAMPA. Fleming will be happy to be recalled to get his well-deserved shot at this season's rotation. Remember, all he did was go 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in seven outtings (5 starts) last season. Then, this spring, he posted a 0.00 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. In those four spring appearances, he had a dominant 0.46 WHIP, opposing hitters batting just .108. He only gave up three hits (0 HRs) while striking out eight against one walk. Arihara has a 5.00 ERA. Having gone five or less innings in both starts, note that he'll be supported by a Texas bullpen which currently has a combined 9.00 ERA and 1.85 WHIP on the road this season. Fleming, meanwhile, will be backed by a TB bullpen which has a 4.09 ERA and 1.36 WHIP at home. Texas 10-32 its last 42 road games with an O/U line of 8 or 8.5. Tampa 50-25 its last 75 at home, with an O/U line of 8 or 8.5. Rays respond. 

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 14, 2021
Mavs vs Grizzlies
OVER 225½ -107 Won
Play Type: Top Premium

I'm playing on Dallas/Memphis OVER the total. The Mavs have played some stingy teams of late. Teams like Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Utah. Those three teams all rank in the top five in the NBA, in terms of opposing team's fg percentage and they've been three of the Mavs' past five opponents. Facing Memphis will allow them to get their offense rolling again. Not the stingy team they were in years past, the Grizzlies allow 116.8 ppg their last five games, while allowing opposing teams to connect on 47.8% of their field goals. Those five games are averaging a whopping 238 combined points. While Dallas division games average "only" 225 points, Memphis divisional games are averaging a healthy 229.9. I don't see much defense being played in this one. Look for the final combined score to prove higher than many will be expecting. 

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 14, 2021
Bucks vs Wolves
+9½ -110 at Mirage
Play Type: Top Premium

I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Time change due to the protests. Assuming that doesn't stop the game from being played, that means we get some afternoon basketball. Either way, I was going to like the setup for the T-Wolves. We're getting some extra value due to the fact that the played yesterday. However, yesterday's game was a blowout loss where Towns didn't play. Towns is the "straw that stirs the drink" for this team and he should be back and good to go tonight. (Yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of his mother's passing and he attended a memorial in her honor.) So, I'm not bothered by the fact that they played yesterday. It should also be noted that the last time that the Wolves played the second of b2b games, they went on the road, at Philly, and stayed within single digits, as 14 point underdogs. Also, it was exactly one month ago when they beat Portland outright here, when playing the second of b2b games. As for the Bucks, they play at Atlanta tomorrow. Wihile he did return to practice yesterday, with Giannis still a bit banged up, its not out of the question that they save him for that game. Either way, this is a tough spot. That game at Atlanta tomorrow will be the final game of a 3-game road trip. However, if you consider that the Bucks only played one home game, prior to that trip, and that was preceded by six road games out West, I feel that the Bucks could well be getting road weary. Yesterday notwithstanding, the Wolves have been far more competitive lately. Expect them to give the Bucks all they can handle this afternoon. 

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 14, 2021
Tigers vs Astros
-216 at linepros
Play Type: Premium

I'm playing on HOUSTON. The Astros need to get back on track and this is the perfect matchup for them to do so. McCullers has a stellar 1.80 ERA through his first two starts. Keep in mind that McCullers was 0-3 with a 7.33 ERA on the road last season but 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA at home! Fulmer is getting the start due to Teheran being hurt. While he's pitched fairly well in relief thus far, this is his first start. Lets not forget that he had an awful 8.78 ERA and 2.06 WHIP in 10 starts last season. In five road starts, he had a 12.15 ERA and 2.48 WHIP. Opposing batters hit .438 in those games. Yikes. Astros roll. 

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 14, 2021
Red Sox vs Twins
-145 at linepros
Play Type: Premium

I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Red Sox are rolling right now but I expect Maeda and the Twins to cool them off this afternoon. Maeda has a 2.61 ERA thus far and he's coming off a 2020 where he went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA and dominant 0.75 WHIP. This is Maeda's first home start of the season. Thats noteworthy as he was solid on the road last year but dominant at home. In five regular season home starts, he was 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA and a microscopic 0.55 WHIP. The Twins won all five of those games. In fact, Maeda's teams (Minnesota and LA) are a perfect 8-0 his last eight regular season home starts. Eovaldi has certainly pitched well. However, unlike Maeda, both of his starts have come at home. Now, he pitches on the road for the first time this season. Why is that significant? Last season, he had a 2.00 ERA at home but a 4.75 ERA on the road. Twins bounce back.

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 14, 2021
Yankees vs Blue Jays
OVER 10½ -102 Lost
Play Type: Premium

I'm playing on NY/Toronto OVER the total. Yesterday's game snuck over the number with 10 runs. I expect even more runs this afternoon. Yesterday, the Jays had Ryu on the mound and he was really sharp. Today, however, its Stripling. Not only is Stripling 0-3 vs the Yankees, but he's already got an ugly 7.56 ERA and 1.92 WHIP on the season. He had a 6.32 ERA and 1.60 WHIP last season, too. Kluber has also struggled as he has a 5.68 ERA. That could be even higher too, as evidenced by his horrible 2.37 WHIP. The former Cy Young winner doesn't throw as hard as he once did and he's giving up a lot of baserunners. Now, the Jays see him for the second time in less than two weeks. The OVER is now 6-1 the last seven Toronto "home" games when the Jays faced a right-handed starters. Expect some fireworks, as those stats improve in Dunedin this afternoon. 

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 14, 2021
Jets vs Senators
-165 at linepros
Play Type: Premium

I'm playing on WINNIPEG. The Sens beat the Jets 4-2 on Monday. Don't expect it to happen again. Ottawa is 0-5 off a win by two or more goals. Going back further finds the Sens at a dismal 8-31 their last 39 in that situation. The Jets, meanwhile, are 6-2 (+4.6) off a loss of two or more goals. They're also 8-3 (+6.2) after allowing four or more in their previous game. Additionally, they're 11-4 (+8.3) in the revenge role. Note that the Sens are an ugly 18-45 (-20.4) during that span, after scoring four or more. The Jets can't afford another loss to the Sens. Not with the Leafs waiting for them tomorrow. Expect them to bounce back and get some payback. 


Age: 45


In "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell asks the question: "What makes high achievers different?" Gladwell suggests that those at the top of their field have a number of similarities - that their upbringing (culture, family, what generation they came from, experiences) had much to do with their success.

As a professional sports handicapper, Ben Burns is widely recognized as being "at the top of his field." 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 first 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 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, put on by a company which was called The contest 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 prize for a kid in his early 20s. However, the bigger prize 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.

Achievements in Handicapping/Sports

Top Ranked NFL Handicapper

From the years of 1998-2007, Ben's selections were independently documented at one of the Internet's earliest and most respected sports monitors, Big Guy Sports. During that time, Ben earned literally dozens of documented Top 3 finishes in football, basketball, baseball AND hockey, including numerous #1 titles. Competing against a field of 150 of the biggest names in the industry, he ranked as the #1 NFL handicapper in the existence of that sports monitor, in their All-Time rankings.  No competing handicapping service ever came close to matching his NFL record. In fact, Ben also ranked as the #1 combined NFL/NCAA football handicapper.

10 Straight Super Bowl Winners

A big part of the reason for Ben's #1 NFL titles was his annual success in the playoffs. He fared particularly well with his Super Bowl selections. In fact, from 1999-2007, he released 10 Super Bowl picks (3 Sides, 7 totals) and went a perfect 10-0. (All selections independently documented.) In the middle of that 10-0 streak, in the 2002-2003 season, Ben won with both the Bucs and the "over" the year that they beat the Raiders. That win was particularly sweet as he predicted that Tampa would win the Super Bowl in a number of national magazines, prior to the season even starting.

Fantasy Legend

Ben got pretty seriously into the DFS world in 2014 and 2015. Recently, he was featured as "The High Roller" in the 2015 documentary, "Living the Fantasy." A regular fixture at Fan Duel and Draft Kings live championship events, Burns has taken down 6-figure scores in football, basketball AND baseball. While many of the other prominent DFS players come from a poker background, two decades as a sports handicapper provide a unique perspective.

Biggest Win of 2016

The year has just begun but Ben has already enjoyed some notable wins. His "Bowl Game of the Year," which happened to be a total (WVU/ASU "over") saw the teams combine for 85 points and 1196 total yards, all of them in regulation. Closing out the campaign with wins on Clemson AND the "over" in the championship game was also rewarding.  

Systems Used For Handicapping

Bruce Lee noted: "Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style of system." Lee was known to talk about being shapeless, formless (like water) and ready to adapt to any situation. Likewise, Burns doesn't rely on any one particular methodology. Rather, he combines fundamental, technical and situational techniques, making use of any and all data, which he deems relevant to the situation.

Ben does tend to pay particular attention to the 'situational' side of things. Among numerous other factors, this includes trying to determine when (and why) a team will be extra motivated ("pumped up") to play its best and also when a team may be ripe for a "letdown." Burns has a contrarian nature and this trait is often revealed in his selections.  

Betting Philosophy

Ever adapting, Burns is just as likely to take points as he is to lay them. Over the years, he's played more "unders" than "overs" but that doesn't mean that he won't pull the trigger on an "over" when the time is right to do so. While many handicappers shy away from playing MLB/NHL favorites on the money-line, Ben has proven that one can be highly successful by doing so. For him, it’s all about value. If he can get a team at -130 that he likes and that believes should be -160, than that's a play.


Rating and Titles of Plays

Ben uses a scale of 5-10 to show his level of confidence with each play. Plays may include "titles" in order to give users a better idea of what to expect. Some of those titles include:

Personal Favorite - Strongest favorite (or pick'em game) in that sport for the day.

Best Bet - Strongest underdog (or pick'em game) in that sport for the day, occasionally can be a total.

Blue Chip Total - Strongest rated total in that sport/category for the day.

Main Event - Big play which is featured on national television.

Game Of The Week/Month/Year - Top rated side or total for that particular week/month/year.