Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Sports Betting


If you told someone decades ago that more states would legalize marijuana before sports betting, you’d be laughed out of the room. However, Nevada remains the only state to sanction betting on sports, but not for long. On May 14th, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey, ruling against a 1992 federal law restricting state rights for legal sports wagering. The SCOTUS has opened the door for every state to begin taking bets on sports. While sports betting is fun and exciting, it can be extremely addictive, leading to financial destruction. If you want to bet on sports, there are steps to betting successfully and safely.

The most important step to betting safely is to manage your bankroll. Find a number you feel comfortable risking and don’t bet beyond that number. Sportsinsights.com suggests each individual bet is between 2-5% of your overall bankroll, restricting you from losing too quickly if things go sour. Overly aggressive betting can deplete your bankroll in a matter of days which leads to you chasing your losses; betting above your limit is one step towards becoming addicted to gambling, which never ends well.

If you want to improve your chances of winning consistently, do your research. The best way to gamble intelligently is to be as informed as possible about the sport you plan on betting. Be aware of injuries, roster changes, and the trends around the match-up. Statistics are a major proponent used by betting experts, so following their lead is a sound decision.

Do not bet too many games simultaneously, whether individually or in parlays. Parlays involve betting multiple games to all win, with bigger payouts. On the surface, betting $10 to win $100 on four games is a juicy proposition. However, parlays are much more profitable for book makers than bettors. According to the UNLV Center for Gaming Research, of the $1.6 billion bet on parlays since 1992, bettors won only $513 million, a profit of over $1 billion for Las Vegas. Parlays are a trap that many novices fall into, usually with overwhelming failure.

Stay consistent with your strategy. If your picks go cold, do not chase your losses. The best sports gamblers win between 55-60% of their bets; you are likely not good enough to bet sports professionally. To maintain a profit over a given period, you need to win about 52% of your bets. Be consistent and stick to your plan. If you find yourself stressing over losses, you have two choices: continue with your plan or bail. Sports betting should be fun; if losses are affecting your personal life, it isn’t a good hobby for you.

Don’t use betting as an escape. Just like other types of gambling, you shouldn’t make wagers if you’re not feeling your best. If you’re sick, depressed, or having issues in your personal life, it isn’t a good idea to gamble. You won’t be focused on making the right decisions or have the attention span to do effective research. Take care of your personal life and worry about betting another day; the opportunity to bet on sports will be there tomorrow and the next day.

Don’t bet games at times when you have important events. The fun part of betting sports is watching the highs and lows of the team you’re betting on. If you have a wedding or an important work event, don’t tempt your attention anywhere, but where it should be at that event. Missing valuable time with family and friends is not worth keeping up with your $50 bet on the Warriors and Rockets on an important Friday night.

Just like any addiction, gambling uncontrollably can ruin your life. Don’t borrow money if your bankroll runs out. Don’t take money out of your bank accounts or take cash advances out to bet. Don’t do anything to change your initial plan. Breaking the process because of some bad luck or bad wagers will lead you to become a degenerate. You will start chasing your losses, leading to deeper debt until you have nothing left.

Betting for a living is a pipe dream, something very few people can achieve. Even professional bettors have bad runs where their losses are in the millions. As more states decide to legalize sports betting, it offers everyone an opportunity to dip their toes in the pool. With every type of gambling, you should have a sound plan and a safety net for yourself. Don’t bet over your head. Stay away from multiple game bets. If you’re betting safely, remember the most important rule; betting on sports should be fun. Enjoy the excitement of the wins and the losses. If you win on a buzzer-beater or a legendary comeback, remember the feeling if you lose in a similar fashion. If it hurts your wallet too much, it’s time to step away. Be an adult. Don’t risk your future to chase your losses.