Why Sports Betting is So Hard

The odds are always in your favor when it comes to sports betting. You’re going to win more often than you lose, right?

But the line between winning and losing can get pretty fuzzy when you’re betting on sports. A close game might end up being a draw, or you might have picked the winning team but the points weren’t scored in your favor. In reality, you’re usually going to end up in one of those situations where you don’t come out entirely ahead, but you definitely know how to place a bet that will give you a good shot at winning some money.

It’s Complicated

There are so many different sports to bet on, and they all have a very complicated rulebook. Even the simplest sports, like baseball and football, have a slew of statistical criteria you have to keep track of, and that’s just for the regular season. Take tennis for example; you have to keep up with the current rankings, as well as remember which players are on the ‘A’ and ‘W’ lists. And then there are all the different kinds of tournaments you need to keep track of, from the French Open to the WTA Finals. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Losing Is Icing On The Cake

It would be great if every game, tournament, and league had a guaranteed outcome. But that’s not how sports work. Sometimes you get a blowout winner, sometimes you get a nail-biter that finishes in a tie. And that’s what makes sports so much fun. You never know what you’re going to get and that’s part of the appeal. But it can also be frustrating when you bet on a game and it ends up going into extra innings or a shootout. You might have picked the winner but when the points weren’t scored in your favor it makes the whole thing pointless.

Stranger Things Have Happened

The other night I was watching Netflix’s original series, ‘Stranger Things’, and it inspired me to try my hand at some sports betting. One of my favorite episodes is when the boys place a bet on the NCAA basketball tournament, trying to pick the winner. They place a few thousand dollars on each team and, to their dismay, they start losing rapidly. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is celebrating the 1984–85 Chicago Cubs as they make their way to the World Series. It’s a strange mix of joy and heartbreak that embodies what real sports betting is all about.

You Could Go To Jail

If you bet on sports in a way that the bookies don’t agree with you could end up in legal trouble. The main problem is that the line is usually dictated by the bookies, and not by the courts. If you’re betting on tennis for example, and the lines for both the men’s and women’s singles tournaments are set at -500, what do you think is more likely? That the men will win more than the women, or vice versa? If you chose the latter, you’re probably in the right, but if you bet on the former, you’re in deep trouble. And that’s probably why most sportsbooks don’t like it when you make predictions on what will happen in a game or tournament. You could potentially put them in legal jeopardy. If you’re lucky, they might just ban you from making any more sports bets or give you some serious penalties.

There Are Tons Of Variables

Even when a game or tournament has been decided, there are dozens more stats that could affect the outcome. Goals scored in the first ten minutes of a basketball game may not be valid, but they count for something. And it’s not just goals either; you need to keep track of all the blocks, steals, and other assorted data points that can influence a game. Some of these stats can change from one minute to the next, so you have to keep track of them all.

Larger Favorites

A game or tournament might be decided by a large score gap over the course of its duration. But sometimes that score doesn’t tell the whole story. Take basketball for example. If you look at the top of the leaderboard for the 2019 NCAA tournament, you’ll see a sea of green with no clear-cut favorites. Most people would say Duke is the team to beat, but Kansas is lurking just under them. It’s anyone’s game at this point, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong to pick either as your winner. But if you watch the games closely, you’ll notice that Kansas is far more opportunistic in their basketball. They look for ways to get extra points, whether it’s in the form of an offensive rebound, steal, or just generally looking for the ball. Kansas is a much more consistent team than Duke, so you might not have as many upsets in store.

It Can Be Confusing

There are a lot of stats and numbers to keep track of when you’re betting on sports. Trying to follow all the relevant information and the various line movements can be a pain. It would be nice if there was a way to follow all the games and competitions from one place, but there isn’t. You either have to watch multiple sites or pay attention to social media to get all the information you need. It can be a tedious process.

No Regrets Allowed

When you finally do get the bet right, there’s no turning back. You’ve either got to live with it or try to make some more money off the same action. The thing about sports betting is that it’s fairly easy to start and it’s also fairly easy to get back in if you do get in trouble. You’re either going to make or lose the money you put down and that’s it. There are no partial winners or losses when it comes to sports betting. It’s either gonna be a win or a loss and there’s no gray area in between. When that happens it’s usually because someone went against the odds and ended up winning. But you don’t often get those kinds of opportunities when you’re betting on sports. You’ve either got a blowout winner or you’ve got a sad story trying to win back money that was lost due to unlucky betting patterns.

The truth is that sports betting is easier said than done. It’s complicated, it’s tedious, and it’s not always rewarding. But if you’re looking for a way to spend your free time, why not give it a shot? Just make sure that you’re not putting yourself in a position to get in legal trouble, and you’ll be fine. You might even have some fun along the way.