“Jeopardy” Champ James Holzhauer Shares His Sports-Betting Secrets

"One thing I specialize in is halftime and in-game bets"

James Holzhauer (Jeopardy/Sony)
James Holzhauer (Jeopardy/Sony)

Before he was making millions on Jeopardy, James Holzhauer was making his money gambling in Las Vegas.

Obviously, in order to do that — they say the house always wins for a reason — he had to be pretty good at it.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Holzhauer said he got his start gambling on online poker while he was attending college in Illinois and then moved onto betting on sports after doing well placing wagers on the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

He also revealed another way he made money gambling on sports: in-game wagering.

“One thing I specialize in is halftime and in-game bets,” Holzhauer said. “As a general rule, the less time a bookmaker has to set his odds the softer the odds are going to be. At halftime he has five minutes to put a line up whereas the line for the whole game has been up all week. If every time there’s a commercial break they’re putting up new odds, they’re going to make a mistake. If you’re playing attention you can clean up for sure.”

It makes sense Holzhauer would have success at in-game gambling because, just like with Jeopardy, it requires quick thinking and decisive action.

To date, Holzhauer has banked about $1.7 million on Jeopardy and won 22 episodes in a row.

His run will resume, or not, on Monday once the show is done with its annual Teachers Tournament.

TV executives at ABC are likely hoping Holzhauer can keep it going as Jeopardy has been getting some its best ratings ever during the 34-year-old’s winning streak.

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