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Sports gambling is a popular hobby for some and a career for others. There is nothing quite like the thrill of making your weekly picks, combing through all the data, injury lists and suspension rosters to determine which teams will have the advantage in the upcoming game. Sports gambling is a fine art that depends on a host of variables and whether or not you are simply an enthusiast or a career gambler will determine just how much those variable sway you.
Take the injury lists for example. Players get hurt all the time, especially in physical sports like football, hockey and soccer – or physically demanding ones like basketball and baseball. A twisted ankle, broken bone, concussion or even more serious injuries can take a player off the active roster and bench them for a few games or an entire season. Those who take sports gambling seriously pay close attention to the injury list because if one key player isn’t in the lineup it can spell disaster for the entire team. People who bet on sports more leisurely are far more likely to pick their favorite team or play the odds much more generally.
Another variable die-hards pay attention to with sports gambling is where a game is taking place – which team will have home field advantage on game night? This may seem like a superfluous thing to consider but it can make a huge impact. Playing at home with all your fans hollering out from the stands can help a team psychologically. It is easier for them to dig deep and find their passion when they have that support. That support can also be intimidating for a visiting team and during any given season, a particular team may be undefeated at home but far less reliable when away – this could and should have a major impact on your betting strategies.
Similar to the injury list is the suspension list. Unsportsmanlike conduct can result in a player being benched for a set number of games or an entire season – if they are an important person, like the top receiver on the football team, then you may want to weigh the chances of the team pulling off a win without them before you make some major sports gambling mistakes.
There are some other miscellaneous factors that can also have a major impact on a team’s ability to perform. If they lose their coach for any number of reasons (or their general manager) before or during the season, this can affect their gameplay. This is often an ‘office politics’ issue between the team and the team owner – paying attention to TSN on occasion will keep you posted. Also, if they are running a perfect season you have to decide whether they will stay on the hot streak or whether they are due for a loss- and vice versa if they are on a losing streak. Taking all the above factors into consideration may help you make more accurate sports gambling choices but there is no guarantee – sometimes you just have to make the call without much to go on.
Another point of interest, especially for those who are more like sports gambling hobbyists and prefer to dabble – decide how you are betting. Are you going to go with a straight win-loss strategy or are you going to play the spread? Playing the spread, which is calling a game with a particular point differential – say Indianapolis to beat Denver by 6pts – can offer much larger pay outs than a simple win-loss strategy. You can often find predetermined point spreads on popular sports networks or even websites that specialize in determining sports betting odds. At the same time, playing by win-loss can be rewarding and have large payoffs if you play the right mix of ‘sure things’ and underdogs – but it’s risky.
Sports gambling can be really exciting and a great way to raise the stakes on any game night. Oddly enough, if you are new to the sports sphere or trying to take an interest in it for someone else’s sake, betting on games is a great incentive. Even if you only make a meagre bet of five dollars, with the chance to win sixty dollars – you’re sure to be glued to every game and highlight reel to see if you won.
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