The game’s final seconds are ticking away, the team is driving down the field, and you’re hoping they get in the end zone.
After all, you have a couple dollars riding on their success.
The days of solely rooting on a team through fandom, loyalty, hatred or other emotions are gone with sports betting sweeping the country. Monetary hopes have begun to take on a life of their own and they are continuing to grow right in our backyard as the leisure activity goes live in Ohio beginning Sunday.
That is hardly news as long as you haven’t been ignorant to the bombardment of advertisements on television, radio, social media and billboards in the state which has been going on for months.
The entertainment activity is popular, but it’s still niche to the general public while legalization has gone through its process. And yes, you should think of it as entertainment, we’ll get to that later.
Learning about what exactly you’re doing is essential before hopping in and I want to provide some tips and knowledge on the subject.
AIMSportsBets.com will be a source for news, advice and betting lines across multiple sports. Updated odds listed next to upcoming games will give you the most up to date information before making a wager while you catch up on the latest news from the NFL, Ohio State and college football, as well as fantasy sports, and provide a direct avenue to be able to place your bet quickly. You can also get some advice on what the writers believe are their best bets of the day.
Local businesses which have acquired a Type C Sports Game Host license from the Ohio Lottery, such as grocery stores or sports bars, will have kiosk machines set up for users to operate in a similar fashion to what they may already be used to in order to play KENO and other games.
Those kiosks will only allow for a maximum of $700 per week to be placed by an individual user. They will offer four types of wagers: Moneylines, Over-Unders, Spreads and Parlays.
Online sportsbook apps and brick-and-mortar casinos in other counties will be able to have the full array of wagering options, but anyone new to the betting sphere should stick to the four options kiosks will offer no matter what method they are using to place a bet.
So let’s go over those options and start with the easiest to understand: A money-line wager. Team A is playing Team B and you simply are selecting which team you believe will be the winner. That’s that! Looking at the odds will show you how likely you are to win and how much your winnings will be, but ignore how to read odds for now.
Over-unders, otherwise known as totals, involve making a decision on the combined score of a game. The advertised number is the one which provides the most similar odds either way you bet. An example involves Team A against Team B in a basketball game with a total points of 145. If you bet over, you believe more than that total will be scored by both teams combined, and the opposite goes for betting the under.
Spreads may be the most referenced type of wager in betting circles, one of the most popular wagers overall, and needs the most explaining. The advertised number is again the one which provides the most similar odds either way you bet. The goal is determine who would win a game between Team A and Team B if the final score in actuality is adjusted by a handicap. A spread number with a minus symbol means to subtract points from a team’s final total and a plus sign means you would instead add points.
As an example using a football game, Team A is set as the favorite and is given a spread number of -4. When the game is over, the final score shows Team A with 23 points and Team B with 20. In actuality, Team A is the winner of the game. To determine the winner of the wager though, you first need to subtract 4 points from Team A’s total as the spread number dictates in the example provided. The new final score would make Team B the winner of the wager by a score of 20-19 as they have “covered” the spread amount.
I don’t want to spend a bunch of time covering parlays and, despite the lure of big winnings, you should not either. Parlays involve picking multiple outcomes and needing all of the selections to win in order for you to win. For example, if you group four different teams to win on a single ticket and only three of them do, then you lose your bet.
Odds should be a large factor in figuring out the type of wager you make. This is determined through learning to read American-style odds, which may look confusing at an initial glance and have a greater amount of difficulty to decipher the amount a bettor would win for a successful wager, but can be grasped after going through the process a few times.
A bettor can read fractional odds quickly, which are styled to be in a format like 12/1 or 1/6. American odds are displayed on a scale of a $100 wager (but it’s important to note that they don’t require a bet of that amount, any allowed by the house is OK.)
Whenever a minus sign is shown, such as -120, it indicates the odds-on favorite and the amount of money needing to be risked TO WIN $100. That last part is in all caps to now stress what the plus sign means. Say you see odds placed at +140, that shows you it is the underdog and the amount of money won for every $100 you risk.
Let’s do more examples. If you bet Team A to win at -125 odds and bet $1, you win 80 cents in addition to getting your dollar bet back. If Team B sits at +350 and you use your dollar to back them instead and win, in addition to being a bit lucky, you’d gain $3.50 in return.
Now to the entertainment …
Sports betting should be conducted as a recreational activity and not a scheme to get rich. Period.
Let’s face it, if it were that easy to just pick a winner and get handed money, it wouldn’t be much of a profitable business for the sportsbooks. And these businesses are doing well.
Just go ahead and bury thoughts of breaking the bank and keep your bets extremely within reasonable limits. Never, ever, ever, ever play with funds that are essential to your personal budget. You are going to lose bets and if you’re going to give the activity a shot, you must be prepared for this and not react.
None of that is to say as the person making the bet, you wouldn’t want to win. That is the purpose of placing the wager after all.
The house edge is the most important thing to remember for those not looking to lose too much of their spendable limits. Also known as the “vig,” this is a varying amount which sportsbooks charge for taking a bet. The most common taxing of the odds likely to be encountered will be set at -110, meaning for every $11 wagered, the wagerer will get $10 in return for a win.
The mobile betting market is already on its way to being the rage. Most are offering “free bets” to new users in Ohio (which is still everyone before Jan. 1) and the language involved with those offers is important. Ohio’s laws dictate if you’re going to use the word free in advertising, it better be true. But make sure you read the fine print still on how they distributed those funds and the time limits associated with them.
Lucky for you, I’ve already done some of that work. In a night’s time, I found 11 promotional offers allowing a user to gain a total of $920 by only needing to sign up an account, and another $561 which requires around just under of $100 deposited money to those services for it to be acquired.
It’s important to note that in order to qualify for any of it, the terms with all of them state you must already be signed up with their service prior to the Jan. 1 live date. And none of the money they are just handing over to you can be immediately withdrawn. It’s only good on their respective apps.
They all make it clear, however, any money won with those bonus funds are yours to do with what you please. Withdraw and call it a day? Great and congrats. Play a little bit more with “house money?” Maybe you win a bit more, maybe you drop a couple bucks, and either way they’ll love you for maintaining the business.
Whatever you do and no matter how much time you decide to invest in sports gambling, keep it at a level where it remains entertainment. Moderation is key. A week of the NFL typically has 16 games played, and you certainly don’t need to have action on all of them. Stick to what you are comfortable with doing and don’t let the allure of advertising a big win overcome rational judgment.
The dangers of addiction to the win are real. Don’t chase after losses. If you feel like you’re getting more involved than you originally thought, ask a friend or significant other about any changes in your behavior. Stay in the moment.
21+ and present in Ohio. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.