November 20, 2019

Sports Betting 101: An Introduction

I don’t want to be called a good loser. A good loser is still a loser.

Stu Unger

In May of 2018 the Supreme Court struck down a law that banned legal sports betting in most states and opened the floodgates allowing states to decide for themselves whether legalized gambling, and the tax revenue that comes with it, was good for them. At the time of this writing 13 states have decided that having a piece of an estimated $200 billion dollar pie sounded good to them with six more states on the verge. With all this in mind I reached out to the brilliant minds behind The Tailgate Society and suggested (begged) writing some picks and tips around an industry I’ve become very familiar with over the years. Thankfully they agreed and moving forward I’ll be here sharing some of those picks and the reasoning behind them on a regular basis. I’m also more than willing to answer any questions people have, give my opinion on a specific game you were hoping to see, or share bad beat stories with you all.

Sports betting is fun; you have added reason to scream at the people on TV and you can double your money in hours with virtually no effort required on your part. There are however occasional pitfalls so let’s visit about a few rules before we all go out and win 100 in a row.

Rule #1: Know your limits. This seems self explanatory but lose a couple in a row (or 17, long story) and you will want to chase, make bigger bets, get it back. You won’t. Some days you just don’t have it. The key is not to let a bad day make a bad week or month. Using an app on your phone makes it very easy to place your wager, but it also can help you limit yourself. You can’t lose more than you have in the account, you can’t move money from your bank account as of now, and you can set limits right in the app. Another way to limit yourself is to pick out a few games you like each day you plan to bet. After you’ve placed those wagers you are done for the day, win or lose.

Rule #2: We don’t bet on teams, we bet on numbers. Of course you want to bet on your team, against a team you hate, or for a team you heard Dan Patrick interview the backup kicker for. Those things will cloud your mind and make you forget what the real odds are. The next thing you know you are taking Nebraska knowing full well they can’t stop Wisconsin’s rushing attack and Melvin Gordon has ripped off 216 yards on nine carries and they have TWO 200 yard rushers and you’re relying on Taylor Martinez’ arm and anyway….I fear I’ve said too much. Just don’t invest too much in your feelings, that’s all I’m saying.

Rule #3: When you win don’t give it back. One of the biggest traps in sports betting is one we are all probably more familiar with from a casino trip. You take $20 out. That’s all you are going to lose. Then you hit a couple on the slots and all the sudden you have $40 in your hand. You think “well now I’m playing with their money, I’ll bet a bit bigger.” You leave 30 minutes later with empty pockets. When you win that is your money, not theirs. Trust me, they aren’t quick to give it back to you when you lose so don’t be so fast to treat money you win like money you don’t deserve.

Before my first pick I want to sincerely thank Ted Flint for reading a random email and giving me an opportunity and a place to write and to all the people at The Tailgate Society who have been so welcoming to me before I’d even written a word here. They all do a fantastic job of making the internet more fun and I’m glad to bring my little part to the group.

A pick for Thursday, September 19th Tulane -5 vs Houston. Tulane has boat raced both FIU and Missouri State this season with their only loss coming to Auburn. The Green Wave averaged 50 a game against teams not named Auburn but the underrated part may be their defense which is holding opponents to 3 yards a rush and barely 50% completion percentage. Houston still gets a lot of attention likely because of D’Eriq King and his amazing abilities but until he can complete over 55% of his passes they will continue to lose games. I like the Green Wave here by double digits, a no sweat type of Thursday.

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Levi Denny 12 Articles
Staff Writer

After winning his first wager at the Waterloo Greyhound Park and finding out it was possible to turn $2 into $18 Levi began making it his life pursuit to turn his passion for all things sporting into found money. Following many years of failing at this endeavor (over and over again) he learned how to be a smarter bettor and enjoys sharing his picks and tips. Levi is married to a woman who enjoys hearing him yell at the people on TV for both their triumphs and grievous errors, a father of two, adopted by a yellow lab from the ARL, and a lover of fine Jameson whiskey and Busch Light.

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