Sports betting is some of the most fun you can ever have. You can go to a Las Vegas sportsbook, which is what sports bettors had to do until recently. But now there are safe and legal online sports betting sites, which are explained in more detail here.
Online sports betting is the most popular new online pastime. Now you don’t have to limit yourself to small, friendly wagers with your friends and co-workers. You can now place your bets on the world stage, and take advantage of all kinds of side bets, spreads, odds and bonuses.
It’s still fun to travel to stadiums and watch your heroes in person, of course. But now the sports world has come to your door. Do what the pros do and enjoy both!
- Choose a Safe Place to Bet
Let’s say you are in Las Vegas. You are looking at two casinos, deciding on which to enter. Which one will feel more safe and secure to you: the one which has smartly dressed guards on the premises, and bright, friendly dealers, and customers who look like they know what they’re doing? Or the one which also has bright lights but where the customers are far and few between, and those customers look lost, like they may have made the wrong decision about where to spend their money?
It’s the same with online betting sites and casinos. Some are safe and trusted by people all over the world, while others are untested, and possibly unsafe.
Therefore, it’s critical that you begin your new pastime of successful sports betting with a solid, respected betting site supporting your bets and offering you fast and secure payouts on your wins.
Yes, all online sportsbooks may have similarities in how they look, just like all banks and offices will have similar features. But the quality of care and security and professionalism can vary from place to place.
- Learn the Odds
The odds will tell you which competitor is favored to win, and how much you will win if your wager is correct.
Two-to-one (+200) odds mean you’ll double your money if your team wins. +150 means you’ll win 1 ½ times your bet. These “+” money odds are for the underdog. The favorite to win will usually have a “-“ symbol in front of what you can win.
For example, if the Argonauts are favored to win a particular game, their odds may be -150. This means that if you bet $150, you will win $100. Thus, when you win, you will receive $250…your initial bet back plus your winnings.
The numbers seem confusing at first, but you can pick it up in an hour. After a day or two of wagering, it will become easy to understand and you’ll be able to automatically make the calculations in your head. (Finally, your high school math classes will pay off!)
- Create a Budget
We know we need money for bills and groceries and clothing. We also know we need fun in our life. So, when we go out to dinner, or take a vacation, we know in the back of our head how much we can spend comfortably, and still have our needs taken care of.
Smart sports bettors do this when they place wagers. They know what they can afford to put on the line, and when to quit. They know that if they create a budget before starting their sports betting lifestyle, they can always afford to come back and play again.
This isn’t just true for sports betting of course; it applies to all types of gambling. In fact, it applies to all hobbies and pastimes. Know what you can spend, and you can enjoy yourself. Go over your limit, and the fun is gone, and only stress remains.
- Bet from a Neutral Space
You have a favorite team and favorite players. We all do. However, just because you love a particular athlete doesn’t mean that you should place your bet on them every time you hit the sportsbook.
Betting should come from a rational assessment of a team’s or an athlete’s chances of winning or of beating the spread. This is called the “neutral zone.”
Rational, logical sports bettors make money over time, and bettors who choose their bets based on enthusiasm or loyalty will lose over time. So, enjoy your favorites with all your heart, but bet with your brain.
- Compare Bonuses and Odds
Every sportsbook will offer its own odds, and believe it or not, they can vary dramatically. Thus, it’s in your own best interests to browse around among two or three of the top online betting sites.
You might find a secure online sportsbook that offers slightly better odds on a game you want to bet on, but with a very large bonus for creating an account. Go for it! As long as the sports betting site is thoroughly checked for security, then you can really work the numbers in your favor.
A Final Word
There is a great deal of fun and competition to be had in sports betting. But like all pastimes, you need to have solid boundaries in place to keep yourself safe and secure and financially savvy.