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The Art of Sports Wagering

By Rich Green

     Everyone knows there's a built in bias against players in all forms of casino betting, including cards, dice, roulette, etc. But what about sports wagering, can one actually win at it over the long run? And if so, how does one go about it? Is there information available to help?

     Yes, there are those like myself who have been prosperous with sports wagering over the years. All the major sports can be wagered upon to earn a decent living while at the same time giving us the "action" we're looking for. Even those who are only proficient at fantasy sports can win. But like all forms of gambling, it takes great patience, fortitude, and most importantly, proper money management. Let's take a look at the major sports, the rules of wagering on each, and the research necessary to show a profit.

     Perhaps the most popular wagering sport in America is football. Almost every fan wagers on football at some point during the season, whether for a beer against a buddy, or more seriously using legal SportsBooks. In football a "point spread" is used. Not only must one figure out who will win, but by how much. The fee for these straight wagers is generally ten percent. That is if one loses. If $100 is the wager, then a loss will cost $110. A win would provide a profit of $100. This certainly is a fair "vigorish", as the player may choose either the Favorite, or the Underdog in any game. The House simply attempts to even out the wagering on both sides of the event, and takes their ten percent "vig" regardless of which team prevails.  A bettor may either "lay the points" with the Favorite, or "take the points" with the Underdog.

     Important information for legal football wagering includes weather, injury and roster reports. Also there is a skill in watching "line movement", that is which way and how much the public is wagering on each team. Past performances of both teams and particular Coaches are also quite important, although as in the stock market; past performance does not necessarily guarantee a profitable return. We provide all of this information on a daily basis for free at
FreeSportsLetter.com .

     Basketball wagering is similar to football wagering in that a point spread is used, and vigorish is generally ten percent. There is a caveat - basketball lasts for eight months and generally is played everyday. One must have patience and understand proper money management, or the bankroll will disappear quickly. Injury reports and player status are all the more important in a daily event like basketball. In football the player generally has almost a week to recover from an injury, but not in basketball.

     Baseball uses a "money line", or odds for each game. Instead of laying or taking points, one lays or takes odds. A "Run Line" is also generally available for each game. This line offers a reduced odds play than the money line, but the favorite must win by more than a run. Conversely, if one wagers on the Underdog in baseball using the runs line, the odds will be less in the bettor's favor, but they may lose by one run and still win the wager. The same caveat for basketball appears for baseball - generally seven months of daily games that require great patience and money management. Similar to basketball, injury reports and player status for each game are important in a sport where teams play daily.

     Hockey wagering is similar to baseball wagering - either a "puck line" or money line is used. In a hostile game like hockey, daily information is a necessity to see which players will be in the line-up for that night's game. As in any wagering sport, trends develop for many teams. These trends include the propensity to win at home, on the road, in and out of conference play, with or without rest, etc.

     All wagering sports also have a "Totals line", that is the total points scored between both teams. One may wager on the "Over" or "Under" of each game on the Totals line. Instead of wagering on one side, the bettor simply roots for a high or low scoring game, or more simply stated, Offense and Defense. The vigorish on this type of wager is generally 10-20% for a loss.

     One important wagering point we preach consistently at
FreeSportsLetter.com is to try to place wagers on good teams that are playing with pride and emotion. Conversely, we recommend wagering against teams that have nothing to shoot for, or are playing out the string. In sports wagering it is imperative to realize that Defense wins, and Offense follows. High scoring teams that lack Defense will not cover their fair share of events. Those teams that can hold the opposition to limited points or runs are always competitive because they keep their team in the game, and are good "cover" teams. Although not necessarily related to gambling, Championship teams in any sport must do two things:  1) Have the ability to win on the road, and 2) Have the ability to play great Defense during crunch time.

     In all sports we recommend limiting the number of games you wager on daily. Those who have been in our Gold Key program at FreeSportsLetter.com have learned to respect the idea of wagering on one to possibly a maximum of three strong games a day. All it takes is one bad day early in your week going 2-6 or worse, then you must try to chase to get your money back, a dangerous way to gamble. And go 4-3 or 5-4, you won't really make any money.

     Your Sportsbook Operator plays with himself when you call in six or more plays a day, knowing he will be getting your money real quick. This doesn't mean you can't place a few "kibbitz" bets that really won't affect your bankroll. As always, we recommend only using lesser plays as parlay games from the strongest plays. Two team parlay wagers do not add vigorish, and generally pay about 12-5 on the wager if both teams cover the spread.

     In daily played sports like hockey, basketball and baseball, line setting adjusts slower to a team's change in performance than say in a sport like football. Often we can get an edge of several points for a few days before the line catches up. This does not mean that the lines makers are incorrect, but that the betting public is slow to perceive the change.

     In any sport, inter-Divisional games are usually closer because the teams are more familiar with each other and the games count more. These games can also become more physical as rivalries are more intense between players and teams that face each other multiple times a season.

     Here's wishing everyone happy sports wagering! Feel fee to visit us for free daily updates, including injury, weather and status reports. We also provide free wagering hints and daily free releases for all the major sports online at
FreeSportsLetter.com .

--Rich Green


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We merely offer legal wagering information for legal sports bettors under the Constitution of the United States of  America,

specifically the Bill of Rights.  We are not bookmakers, do not accept wagers, and do not condone illegal activities of any type.