There's always been a lot of criticism of this "industry", for lack of a better word, and in truth there's some of it I agree with. However, unless and until the "market" for selling picks changes, the "industry" won't. The market really hasn't changed in twenty five years, it's just bigger.
Back in the day there were a handful of TV shows and a ton of 900 numbers doing pretty much the same thing the majority of the "industry" does now. Not many people tracked their success but my guess is nobody really cared and people just assumed they did well. Then came the internet. Some progressive people saw that as an avenue to reach more people. Now, the explosion of websites, and new ones every week, all pretty much saying the same thing in different languages. And of course Social Media.
When it all started most people pretty much bet on football, and for the most part just the NFL. Now of course there isn't much you can't bet on. There are rugby futures, Formula 1 racing futures, and the Web.com Tour. And of course there are experts on all of the disciplines. We've evolved from when you had all week to figure out an NFL game with a line that rarely moved to where we can make in-game bets that you have about 90 seconds to get it done. People that never made a bet in their life are going to bet on their favorite Nascar driver if they know they can. With most major media outlets acknowledging sports betting by either having columns/shows dedicated to it or simply have point spreads scroll across the bottom of the screen, sports betting is only going to get bigger, legal or not. And I think most would agree that at some point it will be legal, or far more so than it is now, meaning BIGGER.
Of course as the market gets bigger there are more people that start betting with big expectations and no real baseline. They have the same mindset most everyone starts out with, even "back in the day" people, myself included, and I am still learning. We are a society that wants more instant gratification than ever, and sports betting is no different. I don't have concrete information but it would be my guess that 95% (probably more) of the "pick buying market" purchases on a daily basis as opposed to longer term. If that's the market that's what is going to get catered to. Immediate gratification, just like going to McDonalds. By most every pick selling entity on every level.
It's generally recognized that not a lot of people make a living betting, at least by those that have been around for any length of time. I hear 1% or 2% of bettors make money, and say it's even 5%! And to actually make a living doing that, unless you live in Burundi where the GDP per capita is $267 (I looked it up), you probably need to either make a ton of small bets or some very specific and targeted big ones. That would be "discipline".
Some people will ask "what about you, Dave" - well, I made my living in a former life and have disposable income. Then "why do it at all, Dave" - because I enjoy the challenges and have the time required to be pretty thorough and still learn everyday. I've told almost every long term client that we are not going to retire betting on sports, and am fortunate enough to have many that do understand that. We keep our expectations reasonable, have some fun, learn from each other - and not have to take out a second mortgage as a result of our passions. That is the minority.
Many bettors obviously don't think that way or there would simply not be the explosion of people selling picks. Pregame takes it share of shots in part because it is one of the most recognizable sites and in general allows "freedom of speech" in the forums. If it weren't Pregame, it would probably be someone else. If it weren't someone else, it would be someone else. When the Patriots start losing there will be a new Darth Vader that the majority doesn't like. If Wal-Mart were to go out of business tomorrow, Costco would be the new target. If Costco were to go out of business, Target would be the new target.
My point is this - the market exists and is growing. People will fall out of the market because they lose money, get married, have kids, move to Burundi, or whatever. They will be replaced by at least an equal number drawn in by some form of marketing, legalized betting, or the major media outlets. The market is beyond anything that posts and tweets can change, but I do understand the need to both vent and criticize. It's the way we are as people. Some of the venting is warranted and done in a good way and some of the criticism is constructive.
When James Carville was Bill Clintons' campaign strategist he started the phrase, "it's the economy, stupid". So, they set out to change the economy and were fairly successful. Now, "it's the market, stupid", so if people want change, then change the market. I am not talking about changing the habits and expectations of a few hundred or even a few thousand people. I am talking about a few million people. If and when someone finds the platform and unlocks THAT key, then real change will occur. There probably are people with a big audience and enough credibility to start that process, but it would be a two-term, eight year plan (assuming they get re-elected), and even after eight years not everyone would be happy.