The Sports Gambling Itch

Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Gambling is fun and lucrative. With a few great picks you could really be sitting pretty – the tough part is making those great picks. There is gambling in Vegas – playing the slots or card games – and then there is sports gambling, which is a whole other beast.

GamblingOne of the things that makes sports gambling so appealing is all the variety you have as a gambler. Not only do you have a plethora of sports to bet on but you also have a choice of teams, betting strategies and point spreads to choose from. While you ultimately can’t account for chance, sports gambling offers you the most control (or illusions of it) when compared to any other type of gambling. Most people take gambling on sports fairly leisurely – choosing to bet on a win, lose or draw basis. However, there are plenty of people who invest significant dollars into their bets and count on loses or wins by a specific margin. These are the people who bet on sports for a living or have the disposable income necessary to bet like this for fun.

Sports gambling has become exceedingly popularized in recent years. For decades it was seen as a seedy activity but with things like poker, billiards and darts now being televised and the romance and adrenaline of the financial stakes being displayed worldwide, it’s no wonder that more people have a) become more interested in high-stakes games or b) begun openly gambling on everything from mixed martial arts (MMA) to hockey. Seeing celebrities sitting at Poker Stars tables in Vegas, gambling with millions of dollars has brought card games back into vogue but in many ways, this popularization of high-stakes games has given many people the general itch for gambling.

Gambling on sports such as football is fairly commonplace but it seems as though more and more sports are becoming common targets for gamblers. There is an exhilaration in the unpredictability of sports gambling and a burning desire to see your team pull through or your favorite player blow everyone away. The question is however, what kind of sports gambler are you? Do you play the odds or are you always rooting for your home team? For those who want to be, and are, the most successful – you have to play the odds. When you are into gambling for a financial gain you have to set your biases aside and make your picks based on more than your loyalties. While it’s true that the longshots give the biggest return, they are longshots for a reason and sometimes you just need to go where the money is.

Gambling has also become as current as its reputation. You can now place your bets online, use up to the minute highlights and stats from hundreds of websites and even base your picks or pull your odds from websites that specialize in sports gambling. It is an entire industry unto itself.  Although most people use gambling as a way to spice life up with a little chance and some hope for big payoffs, the industry has come a long way in a short time. It seems as if sports gambling has gone from unsavory to the ‘it’ thing almost overnight and its probably a good thing – because it is really fun.

Gambling addictions have been put in the spotlight for almost as long as online sports gambling and poker have been available. While gambling as an addiction is always a risk, it’s like anything else in life – best when done in moderation. There is no way to eliminate that desire to test the odds and betting on things is almost as natural as breathing for people – whether it’s an innocuous ‘I bet you can’t do that’ to a ‘I bet fifty buck he doesn’t make it out of the first-round’ – we are hard wired for a good challenge.

If sports gambling interests you, or if it’s something you’ve participated in regularly for a while, just remember to do it responsibly. If you are an online gambler, use trusted websites and only use verified sites or sporting professionals for sports gambling odds information. Even though your friend may be a sporting ‘guru’ of sorts, they may end costing you a lot of money, so stick with the professionals if you have real money on the line.

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