What is sports betting?
Let’s begin by taking a moment to understand the essence of betting in its most basic form.
Stripped back, a bet is simply making a prediction on something.
For instance, this could amount to whether or not you think it’ll be a white Christmas this year, or, your thoughts on who will win the upcoming presidential election. It could be a forecast made with some sound knowledge of the subject or made completely blind. You could even make a bet with a buddy that the slowest to run 100m has to wash the dishes tonight.
As you can see, we make predictions or bets subconsciously, almost on a daily basis with friends and family. Often the risk of losing face or having your pride dented are the only things on the line.
But when you’re so god damn sure something will happen, it’s only natural to back up your claim with money, right? Surely this is where the expression “putting your money where your mouth first originated.
The act of placing a real money wager on the outcome of a particular sporting event
Far from the case a few years ago, it’s now more difficult to find a sport you can’t wager on. Name a sport and regardless of its popularity or standing, the likelihood of finding odds for an upcoming or live game is very high.
The most simple and therefore most common type of sports bet made centers on the winner of a match between two teams. Should you back the side to come out victorious, you win the bet, it’s as straightforward as that.
But sportsbooks don’t stop there, oh no. Once you’ve fully immersed yourself into how betting works in its simplest form, you’ll be intrigued to get stuck into a list of betting options as long as one of Jared Goff’s almighty throws.
Typical wagers can include betting on the points difference between two teams (Pointspread betting), the total number of points (Over/Under) and who will score the first goal, for example.
With the concept of sports betting explained (I hope), it’s time we explore whether or not sports betting is for you and pinpoint why you find the industry an enticing one.
Benefits of sports betting
Millions of us are making sports betting our new hobby but what are the main reasons for this?
The potential to make money is the obvious and first answer. Whether we like it or not, every one of us are guilty of chasing our tail for a few extra bucks to play with at the weekends.
Sports betting allows for such. The ease in which wagers can be made and the fact you can win big without staking so much, just like a lottery played in various states, are big pulling factors.
As is having the opportunity to put knowledge to good use. I can’t be alone in thinking I could do a better job than the anchor in the TV studio pre and post-game the majority of the time.
Sports fans in general take in a wrath of information they’ll feel can be used to yield some winnings, while if you’re somebody who simply lives and breathe sport, it’s likely your knowledge does beyond the basics.
For some sports fans, sports betting is the ideal chance to apply their expertise
Even if you’re not so into sport then betting on it brings adds an entertainment value to proceedings. A pointless game featuring 22 players chuck and catch a ball, suddenly becomes a bit more important and, dare I say it, fun to watch.
Not much compares to seeing your team win and the same goes for seeing your coupon become a winner too. There’s a genuine thrill attached to betting, a real first pump moment that you’ll be hard pressed to find replicated partaking in another hobby.
Not only have you demonstrated your sporting knowledge, you have been rewarded financially for doing so. Or maybe it’s the other way around, you tell me!
Fascinating perhaps more so, is, the fact that even when you lose, your body is producing adrenaline and endorphins to keep you hooked with the chase of the win satisfying enough.
Unlike other hobbies, the ease in which you can bet on sports just adds to its soaring popularity. You don’t need to become a member of a club, nor do you need to buy equipment.
There’s next to no investment needed while you can learn about the industry at your own pace and play at your own leisure. The gradual introduction of more online sportsbooks available via mobile apps is going to only going to make betting on sports more convenient - soon you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your own sofa.
Is sports betting for me?
Now, we’ve filled your head full of the good stuff, it’s time to reflect on whether you’re suited to everything else that comes with sports betting. To do this, you’ll find the need to pose yourself certain questions.
For starters, if you’re under the impression sports betting can aid your financial situation in a way that you can rely on it as a means of income, then you’re very much mistaken.
Betting is not the ‘get rich quick’ scheme many dress it up to be and adhering to such a philosophy will lead to things becoming messy.
Nobody is capable of winning every time, it’s simply impossible. You’re relying on a set of events on which you have no control over. Integrity in sport has probably never been as high as it is right now and long may that continue. Besides, sometimes it’s best to take advice from the best:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” (Michael Jordan, former NBA player)
If betting is for you, be prepared to lose as much as you win. As MJ23 alludes to above, nobody can win all the time and what’s more, you come to appreciate winning more when you’ve tasted a defeat.
In other words, if the idea of losing, and in this case, losing money, is a difficult one to swallow, then you need to ask yourself whether should be gambling at all
The same applies if you have an addictive personality. Any form of gambling needs to have a big dollop of responsibility attached to it - if you fear you may struggle with knowing when it’s time to stop then, again, maybe sports betting is not for you.
Last but not least of course, you need to work out if betting is yet legal in your state. The situation is a fast moving one and even in places where it has been ruled legal there’s a high chance the online side of sports betting has yet to be fully introduced.
As with most things in life, it’s all about finding the right balance and weighing up the benefits with the risks.
This chapter should have at least helped in realising which side of the fence you fall when it comes to sports betting.