Sports Gambling: Who Really Wins?

I, like many people out there, enjoy watching sports. Not so much tennis or NASCAR, but just about every other sport on TV I have some sort of knowledge of. I have a favorite team for every major sport, even a favorite golfer as well (Bubba Watson, ‘merica). We all know that sports are fun to watch, but what if I told you that I had a way to make watching the games more interesting? Curious? So was I when I was first asked that question.

Gambling has been apart of sports since they’ve been around. For every team that plays football on Sunday, there’s a degenerate who’s life savings is depending on if they cover the spread. When Tiger Woods misses his par put to win, someone misses their chance to double their investments.

On the other hand, there are times where the Gambling Gods decide to let one of their sheep win once in a while. Then they are left with a pivotal decision: do they let greed take over and risk losing it all, or stay humble enough to take what they made and run? This makes for a good debate on whether sports gambling is good or if it’s bad.

Personally, I enjoy the occasional $5 bet on a team I like to cover a spread. Or make a fantasy football team with some buddies and invest $20 on a bunch of athletes that I believe can make me money. However, I’ve seen what consistent gambling can do to people, thus emphasizing in the “occasional” when I would bet against a spread. I’ll admit, when there’s some sort of gain on the line, it makes watching the game a bit more meaningful. Therefore, you are more involved in the game than you would be if you just decided to double your money by folding it in half.

If I won, I’d have an adrenaline rush similar to if I actually played the game myself. It more or less came from the confidence I had in myself to choose the right team, or pick the right player to start that week. If I lost, I’d be drained. The game would replay in my head with “what if’s” filling in the spots of the game that ruined the chances of me making a buck. The difference between me and many other gamblers though is that I don’t try to go back and double my money by investing more. Remember: doing the same thing and expecting different results is called insanity.

Pros and Cons

In my opinion, sports gambling has pros and cons. First the pros. The most obvious one being the main reason for someone to gamble: to make money. Besides that, it makes you more knowledgeable in the sport that you want to invest in. For example: If you’re drafting a fantasy baseball team, you’d want to know who’s healthy and who’s injured, players stats from previous years, what place in the draft they’re in, etc. The more you know, the better your odds are at winning.

Other than that, I don’t really see too many other pros to gambling. My only advice would be this:

Phil’s 5 Tips To Sports Gambling

  1. Don’t gamble any more than you can afford to. Of course the more you bet the more you win, but only do what you’re comfortable with or what you can afford.
  2. If you win, it doesn’t hurt to consider making another bet with your earnings. After all, it’s house money. However, don’t gamble it all and risk the chance of losing it. Be happy you won, the odds usually aren’t in your favor.
  3. If you lose, don’t sweat it too much. The more you think about if you had won or had done the opposite of what you decided, the more you’re going to feel compelled to try it again. This is where people can become addicted, so don’t fall into temptation.
  4. Space out your gambling. Only gamble when you know you can afford to. Allow yourself to enjoy your winnings usefully as well as give yourself time to recoup from your losses.
  5. If you feel like you have a problem or can’t control your gambling, get help. Ask a close friend or family member, or call the National Counsil for Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700.

These five things should come in handy to anyone who is contemplating sports gambling, or someone who wants to better understand how to go about it. At the end of the day, the safest bet you can ever do is keep the money in your pocket and watch the sport for the love of the game.


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