The Truth About Sports Betting
Sports betting has become a massive enterprise in the United States. But it’s not always profitable, and the people who place bets are often blind to this fact. They believe that they have superior knowledge about athletes and teams, and they keep placing bets even when they lose, blaming their losses on bad luck or poor performances by players or coaches.
FRESH AIR spoke with Eric Lipton, an investigative reporter at The New York Times who’s been covering the explosion of sports betting.
A lot of sports betting involves a bet on a team or individual player’s points total. This is known as an over/under bet, and it’s quite similar to point spreads in football. The oddsmakers will set a total number for the game, and you bet whether or not the two involved teams will combine to score more (over) or less (under) than that amount.
Lipton says that when the Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports gambling, professional sports leagues shifted gears from fighting it to embracing it because they knew it could be a huge money-making opportunity for them. And so they started lining up with the companies that run online sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings.
If you’re thinking of trying your hand at sports betting, be sure to research each site thoroughly. Read user reviews, check Better Business Bureau ratings and complaints, and look at the menu of available betting markets. This will help you find a sportsbook that suits your specific needs. Also, avoid swaying from your betting strategy by following the advice of touts who promise guaranteed wins. There’s no such thing as a lock in sports betting, and the only way to be consistently profitable is by sticking to a solid strategy.