2019 Super Bowl Betting for Dummies and Novice Bettors
You know when you think about something all the time, so you just sort of assume that everyone else does, too? It honestly can surprise you a little bit to discover that others don't care about something as much as you do - or at all, really. That can be how it is for me and sports betting. I write about it almost every day and think about it more than that. It's a big part of my life. But somehow so many people around me are completely oblivious. Despite my best efforts, many of them only care about sports on one day - Super Bowl Sunday. And even that is probably mostly because I invite them over and feed them. This article is for them - and for all of you that don't make a habit of betting on sports. Let's call it Super Bowl betting for dummies and novice bettors.
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What's going to happen?: A lot of people start by looking at the odds when they are looking at a game. That's the wrong way to go. Before you ever look at the odds, you need to think about the game and what you expect from it. This can be your own opinion - as informed or uninformed as it may be. Or it can be based on friends who pay more attention than you do, what you read in the media, what the moon and stars are telling you, or whatever you want. You just have to realize that the less solid the basis of our opinion is, the less likely you are to win. That's not necessarily a problem - you just have to be aware of it. Once you have an idea of what you expect from the game, you can compare that opinion to what the odds are and see how attractive the bets are. If you look at the odds before you form your own opinion, then you are making it too easy to let yourself be influenced by the odds.
Do you know what you are actually betting on?: We have friends over to watch the Super Bowl every year. And we typically pick a side and throw a few bucks in a pot to make things more interesting. And every year at the end of the game, the same thing happens - confusion. I just assume that people understand point spreads - because they really aren't hard to figure out. But people just can't figure it out. Every year some people think they have lost when they have won, and others inevitably celebrate even though they lost. I assume you aren't as dumb as some of the people we have over, but even still it's important that you understand what you are betting on when you make a bet. This is especially true if you are betting prop bets, because they can be confusing at times.
Be legal: It's easier than ever to me a legal sports bet now, and it will only keep getting easier. With so many legal options available, there is no reason to break the law in pursuit of action.
Shop around: When you are in the market for a new car, do you just walk up to the closest car dealer and buy the first car you see? Or do you shop around to find the best price, the best car, and the best options? The answer is - hopefully - obvious. And the same goes for sports betting. Different sportsbooks will offer different odds on the same game. Some books will have a price that is more attractive if you are betting on the favorite, and others will have a better price for backers of the underdog. And in the Super Bowl there are so many prop bets out there that you just have to shop around to find not only the best odds but also a selection of bets that is interesting to you.
Show some restraint: You may lose all your money. In fact, it is quite possible. And you have to be okay with that. The best sports bettors out there don't win 60 percent of their bets over the long term. They don't need to in order to make a profit. It only stands to reason, then, that your chances of winning are less than that. The risk of losing is all part of the fun of betting - it makes the joy of winning more intense. But it also means that you can't be betting money that you can't afford to lose.
Don't bet the coin flip (!): If you want to drive me out of my mind, the fastest way to do it is to tell me you are betting on the Super Bowl coin flip. My head will probably explode on the spot. This is one of the truly dumb betting opportunities on the planet. The chances of the coin coming up heads or tails are very easy to calculate - there is exactly a 50 percent chance of each unless there is a major problem with the coin. Yet in order to make a bet on the coin flip, you have to bet more money than you will win. Typically, you will have to bet about $105 to win $100. That means that over the long term you are absolutely guaranteed to lose money. There is no way to get an edge - no amount of handicapping will help you figure out how the coin is going to wind up. And the payout is less than even money. This is the quintessential sucker bet, and it is very easy to figure out just how stupid you have to be to bet it. Respect yourself more than this.
Have fun!: Sports betting is supposed to be fun. And it usually is. But if you take yourself too seriously - which a lot of people who bet on sports do way too often - then you can rob yourself of all that enjoyment. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy yourself.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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