Competitive sports have always been a great source of entertainment for us all. Its influence has only increased in the age of broadcast TV, and then even further in the age of the internet. As a report in 2019 counts, more than 150 million people watch live sports at least once a week in the U.S. alone. The number is probably even bigger with a country like India. This comes as no surprise. Spectator sports today are built and marketed just to hook in the audience en masse. But there is one other aspect of sports outside of its entertainment value and the world-class athletic expertise that can almost elevate it to an art form. Namely: sports betting.
Now, many call it the nexus of sports and gambling. In fact, there exists such a thing as casual sports betting. If you are an avid sports fan in a circle of friends who also watch it with you, it is likely that you have tried sports gambling at least once in its rudimentary form. However, sports gambling goes far beyond just putting money in the pot with your conviction about the possible winners. The complexity of sports betting today can actually baffle many sports fans. For those of us, here is a primer for sports betting to help a sports fan become a sports bettor.
Watching Sports vs. Betting On It
The first step to being a bettor is recognizing that it takes a unique skillset. Many of us think we understand the game perfectly well. That is to say, we do understand the mechanics. To tell you the truth, most traditional sports do not require a lot to understand the basics. After all, if the core of a game was too complex, that would deter people looking for entertainment. But let’s say you know much more than the average person.
Let’s say you know the rules of cricket by heart. You still have to understand that this alone will not make you a successful bettor. Would being familiar with a game help you bet on it? Sure, the betting decisions you make will be all the better for it. But other than that, betting is its own ballpark. So one must, at the very least, familiarize oneself with the who’s who of the sports betting world. This does not mean terminology like ‘vig’ or what an arbitrage betting is. This simply means that you approach it with an open mind when you learn the ropes.
So then, how is betting going to be different from watching? As we mentioned earlier, we tend to consume sports as a form of entertainment. While some of us have a more analytical mind, we do tend to reel it back to enjoy the beauty of a game between masters – for example, when Federer and Nadal go toe to toe in the court. But for betting, you have to tune it to the utmost objectivity. Which brings us to our next point:
Do Not Play Favourites When Betting
Many sports fans follow their favourite sports team fervently enough that they form an emotional bond with them. We often see derbies as fixtures where passion runs high. Often friendship is formed or broken just for one’s allegiance to a local football club. In fact, we consider that part and parcel of competitive sports. However, one must remember that betting is a game for cold hearts. While betting casually in the close quarters of friends and family, it is natural to put money on the team you love and then join their victory dance if they win.
When you bet in the big league on Betway or so on, you must make up your mind about your priorities. Some bet for fun, and there is no harm in a little bit of team favouritism in there. But if you bet to make some money, you must always look at it from a completely factual angle. That is actually more difficult than it sounds. It takes a while to shed the biases that a sports fan must have formed over the course of years if not decades. But everyone has to start somewhere.
That is also the final note you have to remind yourself. Sports betting has a bit of a learning curve to it. As we said, it is not easy even if you have been following the game for years and know it inside out.. On top of that, luck is also a factor here. Your first win might come easy, or it could take weeks to happen. The art of being a good sports bettor is to find good bets to minimize that luck factor.
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