Sports betting is booming in many states. It’s a big business for both casinos and bookmakers. But it’s also creating a lot of confusion for people who don’t know what they’re doing. Today on FRESH AIR, we’re joined by Eric Lipton, who has been investigating the growth of sports betting and its impact on teams and players. His latest piece in The New York Times is called “A Risky Wager.”
At its core, sports betting involves putting money behind an outcome of your choice and getting paid if that outcome occurs. If you place a bet on the winner of a game, that’s known as a moneyline bet. If you bet that a team will win or lose by a certain amount of points, that’s a spread bet. You can even combine multiple outcomes into one bet, called a parlay.
In a typical sports wager, the odds on an event or game are set by the sportsbook based on the probability of that outcome occurring. The lower the risk, the higher the payout. The opposite is true of a bet on the underdog, which has a higher risk but a smaller return.
Whether you bet on individual games or parlays, the key is to make smart decisions and limit your losses. It’s important to follow the money management tips recommended by sports betting experts. For example, some suggest placing bets no more than 5% of your total bankroll on any single bet. This way, you won’t deplete your funds if you have a bad day of betting.
Another tip is to do your research on sports betting services. Check online forums, reviews and ratings, and be sure to do a Better Business Bureau search for complaints. Avoid services that promise guaranteed wins. There is no such thing as a guaranteed bet in sports betting, and those who claim otherwise are lying.
A final tip is to use your own knowledge of the sport you’re betting on. Some bettors have a strong connection to particular athletes or teams, and that can help them make wise choices. For example, a hockey fan might have a better understanding of the team’s strength and weaknesses than an NFL fan.
There are hundreds of ways to bet on sports, but the best way to be successful is by finding a strategy that works for you. Remember, the best sports bettors aren’t necessarily those with the most money – they’re those who can consistently pick winners. Whether you play the moneylines, the spreads or the parlays, it’s essential to do your homework and be patient.