Sports Betting at Your Own Risk

Why sports gamblers lose in the long run

The rise in sports betting popularity and the possible legalization will enable more amateur bettors to lose money for entertainment purposes. Sports bettors know they have a 50/50 chance of winning or losing and enjoy the action. Addiction is there for about 10% of gamblers who are prone to all vices. Other vices like alcohol, drugs, smoking, food, sex and the depraved are a zero sum dead-end. Sports betting for the other 90% is a great escape for many and a social form of entertainment — win or lose. It is a widely known concept that the majority of sports bettors are going to lose money. The most popular concept is that 90-percent of sports gamblers will lose money over the course of the year, but that does not stop people from wagering on sports. When those bettors eventually go broke and cannot wager anymore, there is always somebody else waiting to take their place in line.

Why successful sports bettors follow investment guidelines

One main reason most sports gamblers lose is because of poor money management. There are far more bettors who can pick winners but without money management skills they are churning their wheels. Betting $50 on one game and $500 on another is a sure way to find yourself separated from your cash in the long run. Betting 50-percent of your bankroll on one game will ultimately lead to disaster. A sports bettor may win a few games when betting more than they should, but eventually the losses will add up and bettors have less of a bankroll to wager.

Doubling up after wins or losses is another recipe for disaster, and is a common mistake many bettors make, including those who have been betting for many years. Every book on sports betting has at least one chapter devoted to money management because it is that important. The serious bettors know they need support from a good data base management service or the best handicapping services. Successful bettors surround themselves with sound advice and a reliable data stream for their selections.

Betting on the wrong events

Football and basketball receive the majority of the betting dollars. Most long-time sports bettors say those are probably the two toughest sports to show a long-term profit over the season. The sport of choice for most professional gamblers is baseball, which happens to rank well below the top two sports in the amount of money received. Hockey is another sport that many long-time bettors believe can give the sports gambler an advantage over the sportsbook, but hockey nets less than even baseball.

Lack of knowledge and patience

Most sports bettors know just enough to make them dangerous, as there is a great deal of difference between being knowledgeable in the NFL and being knowledgeable in NFL betting. Being able to name the starting offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys does not mean much for a winning bet. It might help a little but NFL betting is looking for value and not knowing roster names.

Many sports bettors fail to realize they are competing against other bettors who spend countless hours on handicapping, studying trends, injuries, and betting angles. The sportsbook starts with their opening line and then manage the numbers as the bettors pour in their money against yours. If you do not have the time to study the games, try to find somebody who does, whether it be on a posting forum, a reputable sports service or data sharing service. Do not assume you know more than everyone else and keep your ego in check after a winning streak.

Betting TV games

Many sports bettors feel if a game is televised, they have to wager on the contest. This was not much of a problem years ago without cable TV. So many games are televised now and bettors can easily have seven or eight wagers on a single night and even more on the weekend. The shotgun approach is totally for amateurs without any thought selective process. A basic laziness approach like shooting darts and betting on a wing and a prayer. Why throw your money away like the other vices. Typically, the lines on televised games have little value as the sportsbooks realize those games will have more action. Many solid handicappers lose money over time by betting the same amount, if not more, on games that are televised than they do on games they honestly believe are good bets.

Casino betting

This is a relatively new one for sports bettors to deal with, as many online sportsbooks now have casino-style gaming, which is too much for some sports bettors to stay ignore. Solid sports bettor who show a profit each week, will give that money back playing the casino games their sportsbooks offer. There is always the legitimacy of online casinos to worry about. It is one thing to be at a blackjack table and see the dealer draw a 5 to their 16 to beat your 20, but it is a bit different when it takes place online.

It is easy to see the allure of casino games at your fingertips. Why try to grind out a small profit betting sports, when you can hit a royal flush playing video poker and quickly win $1,000 or $4,000. However, the astute sports bettors realize casino gambling is tilted towards the house and not worth your time or energy. There isn’t any one key to becoming a winning sports bettor, but those who practice money management, put in some time, and practice discipline, are generally a step above the majority of bettors.

Your sports betting should be an investment market

The NFL sports betting industry is a major investment market for a limited number of successful traders. Alternative investment markets are a popular destination for investors with excess cash waiting for a decent return on investment. Most stocks are tied into the economic news with no parameters and direction. It is becoming more difficult for even savvy investors to time the bottom. They have to become much more selective.

There is a vibrant market in today’s highly competitive sports arena. The regulated Nevada sports books have the monopoly on legalized sports betting. Can the amateur recreational bettors make money at these books — sometimes, but not in the long run.

The professionals know how to look for the edge and only need to hit a minimum of 54% to make a modest return on investment. Making a 15% to 25% return for the year is very possible. The good ones are few but the results are quick and opportunities exist everyday when soft betting lines are found and exploited. The betting lines are made to divide the betting public. They ideally want even betting on both sides. Their number does come close about 60% of the time. Their recent Superbowl line was not even close and they had the wrong team – Carolina Panthers – with too many points.

This happens a lot in all sports. They do provide a good service but their stats and computer models can only go so far. Investments in this area have a limited scale and cannot handle the millions or billions that pour into those other markets. But investors with up to one million can see a very nice return with the right professional.

The biggest competitor to these legalized sports books is the internet. The reputable online sports books were growing very fast until the Port Security Bill was passed with the Illegal Internet Gambling Act attached. One had nothing to do with the other. It was a disaster for many publicly traded gaming companies overseas and the US betting public. Hopefully, it will be repealed and a regulated online gambling bill will pass through the Supreme Court ruling next month. Legal sports betting will provide needed revenue for those states who enact their own sports betting platform.

The betting investment options on the internet – if it becomes legal – are numerous and sophisticated. The newest formats are the betting exchanges and spread betting in the UK where internet gambling is legal. These new betting formats have many angles to invest in and do provide an edge if you know what to look for.

When the regulatory cloud over this industry is removed, you will see investment vehicles similar to the hedge funds and derivatives that are available in the other investment markets. The tax revenues could be in the millions if this market becomes regulated and legal. For now, it seems Nevada still has a lock on this market. But the demand and growth of the sports betting industry is a real trend. The legal Nevada sports books accept a small fraction of the worldwide betting handle.

More time is needed to process legislation and most states need the tax revenue. I am sure most sports bettors would accept a small tax if legalization is approved — maybe a value added tax (VAT) of 1% or less on bet amount. The one major problem could be over regulation and stupid government rules and red tape that usually hinder any new legislation.

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