A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Sports Betting
Before May 14, 2018, all sports betting outside of the state of Nevada had been illegal. The explosion of betting markets since then has been nothing short of remarkable.
Americans love to gamble. In 2016, we spent over 100 billion dollars on all types of gambling, from horse races to nickel slots. The online betting market handles billions of dollars on a monthly basis.
Although this is all exciting and we want in, it can be easy to get lost with all the terms getting thrown around. Read ahead for our crash course in understanding sports betting and how to get started.
Our Fascination With Sports Betting
The next time someone tries to give you an attitude about your betting, politely remind them that you are simply taking part in an ancient tradition.
That’s right. We know the Ancient Greeks were betting on sports and other competitions more than 2,000 years ago. Later, the Romans were placing bets on gladiator fights.
Over the years, different rulers have tried to make it illegal. Others realized that if you can’t beat them you should join and created legal gambling institutions.
From Underground to Mainstream
Sports betting continued to thrive across the world. Betting on horse races became very popular in England and moved to the United States.
There was a certain posh about going to the tracks. It was something that brought communities together and provided lots of entertainment.
Of course, there was no shortage of people trying to profit off of it.
The Emergence of Bookies
Bookmakers or bookies as most people call them, accept bets and pays them off. During different periods of history, bookmaking has been banned in various countries.
Depending on the place, bookies can work out in the open. They are a common site at casinos and horse tracks.
However, there was a time when they had to operate in the shadows to avoid trouble with the law and the IRS. Otherwise, Americans often placed bets through bookies overseas in places like the Caribbean and Costa Rica, where they could operate legally.
Understanding Sports Betting
If you have been around people talking about sports betting, you’ve certainly heard a bunch of funny words getting thrown around that may have gone over your head.
Sports betting has its own culture and, with that, comes its own language.
Here are some important terms to get you started.
Short for the underdog, the dog is the team or player that is less likely to win. However, that doesn’t mean they always lose.
Betting on the dog sets you up to win big if you can correctly predict an upset.
Who doesn’t love a great underdog story?
Odds On Favorite
This is basically the opposite of the dog. The favorite is the team that projected to win. Generally speaking, betting on the favorite is safer but the cashout is smaller.
Some people always bet on the favorite regardless. However, the favorite isn’t guaranteed to win so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
This is an important concept called spread betting. You simply pick a winner of a certain game but keeping in mind that the underdog will have a certain advantage.
For example, if New York has a spread of +6.0 points over the underdogs, Miami, then they have to win by at least 6 points in order for those who pick them to win the bet. If you think New York will win but only by 3 points, then you should actually pick Miami given the point spread.
A parlay is when you bet on two or more consecutive games. In a three-team parlay, for example, all three teams that you selected must win.
This is an extremely exciting way to play. Imagine the excitement as your teams keep winning and you get ever closer to hitting that big score.
You can bet on more than the outcome of a game in terms of winning or losing. You can also try to guess the total combined score of both teams.
You can be on whether the combined score will be greater and or less than a certain number.
For example, if the over/under for football game is 25 and you pick ‘under’. You are hoping that it is a relatively low scoring game, without worry about who wins.
How To Get Involved
It’s never too late to get involved with sports betting. Since it has become legalized, there are tons of options in the sports betting market depending on what suits you.
You can hit an online betting market if you’re the type who prefers staying at home. Gone are the days when it was necessary to meet up with your friendly neighborhood bookie at Waffle House to place your bets and get paid.
Don’t feel pressured to make big bets on things you don’t really understand. Take your time with some smaller bets to get a feel for how it works.
How Much Many Can I Make?
Truly, there is no limit to how much money you can make off sports betting. However, you need to bet more to make more.
In large part, it depends on your bankroll and how much you willing to bet. However, there are plenty of people who make a living on sports betting. However, always remember that you shouldn’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
Some people do it for fun and some people make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Becoming a Bookie
It doesn’t stop there. You can become a bookie and help others place bets. No, you don’t have to be a wiseguy or wear a trench coat.
The fact is, becoming a bookmaker is a surefire way to make money. The more people you bring in, the more you get paid regardless of the outcomes of their bets.
Check out this article to learn you can become a bookmaker. Work on your own time and as much or as little as you want.
Getting the Most out of Sports Betting
Sports betting adds a massive degree of emotion and excitement to any competition, even if its division III college volleyball.
And of course, there is a lot of money to be made. However, understanding sports betting is crucial in order to get the most out of it.
3 Good Books About Starting Out
When you start out better, you should dive into some books for strategies and more. It’ll help you in the long run. We’ve gathered our favorite titles together.
In 2019, sports bettors wagered $150 billion in 2019, according to Morningstar. That figure is set to surge in the future as more states legalize gambling and establish sportsbooks.
But the world of sports betting has its own lingo that people can find intimidating. Also, although most people are betting for entertainment, no one wants to waste their money on something they don’t fully understand.
However, there are many books out there that can help shed some light on sports betting. If you are a novice, these books will help you gain invaluable basic knowledge. And if you have the experience, these titles could help fine-tune your betting prowess.
In the following article, we’ll suggest three excellent books on sports betting that will not only educate but entertain.
1) ‘Sharp Sports Betting’ Leads Our Books
This book is considered by many as the “Bettor’s Bible.” The book is authored by Stanford Wong, a pioneer in gambling publications. The first work he authored, “Professional Blackjack,” is also considered a classic.
Wong’s legendary prowess on the blackjack tables and his gambling knowledge has allowed him to create a lucrative cottage industry.
Wong, born in Georgia in 1943, was fascinated by games as a child. In several interviews, Wong took to blackjack and counting cards after reading Ed Thorpe’s “Beat the Dealer.” He was so successful at the game that legend has it that at age 21, he was able to start putting himself through school with his winnings.
“Sharp Sports Betting” came about after Wong realized that there were no credible books on the topic out there. His book stays away from evaluating teams and players and sticks to the math involved to win at sports betting.
Wong covers the basics in clear language: money lines, spreads, parlays, and teasers. He also spends a good amount of time exploring Poisson distribution — or the probability of X-number of events happening in a fixed interval. The charts and statistical analysis Wong offers is a must-read.
2) ‘Fixed-Odds Sports Betting’
Joseph Buchdal is a bettor extraordinaire with a passion for sportsbook and soccer, or football as they call in his home in the United Kingdom. He’s a contributor to advise sites and has written several other betting books.
Buchdal’s book “fixed-Odds Sports Betting” is considered one of the best books about gambling. It holds wit and wisdom for the newbie and the experienced bettor alike. He emphasizes the practice of value betting, where you need to isolate that thing that is likely to happen, but oddsmakers are not favoring it to happen.
He tells how to isolate factors to maximize value betting strategies and hopefully come out ahead over time in his book.
3) ‘The Signal and the Noise’
If you want a good read on predicting events, including sports, but would enjoy a wider focus, an excellent choice is Nate Silver’s “The Signal and the Noise.” Silver is best known for his political predictions and his blog FiveThirtyEight.com.
Silver developed his forecasting prowess by calculating reams of baseball statistics over long airplane flights. His Pecota system was then successfully used to predict the first Obama election in all 50 states.
His clear, explanatory writing illuminates many mathematical, political, and cultural touchstones, which gives the reader a larger sense of the forecasting world.
Get In the Game
While we picked three books to get your sports betting reading list started, there are hundreds of titles to choose from. Wong’s pioneering idea to explore the world of betting in ways that make sense to the novice and hardened better alike has sparked a major industry of sports betting publications.
With all that is out there to read, you are sure to find a book that suits your interests.
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