Basketball season officially ended with the Heat narrowly taking the Championship Title after a grueling seven-game series. Heat and Spurs fans alike are hanging up their hats, and many are already taking to Facebook and Twitter, lamenting the lack of sports and asking, “How many days until football season?”
Football fans come in all shapes and sizes, and they have varying loyalties. Some only watch college ball, some prefer the NFL, some bet on college games on Saturdays and blow their takings on the Sunday NFL games. Fans primarily interested in college football (and particularly the financial aspect of the games) can find it difficult to understand how to break into the betting related to college football.
This is the first place to start. Sports betting is legal in Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey, as well as online. But check your local and state laws concerning Internet wagering to avoid any trouble. Once that’s out of the way, it’s important to figure out what kind of wager you want to make.
2. Point spread
This takes certain odds into account. Consider Team A and Team B. The odds have been determined as Team A 3.5 Team B (meaning Team A is favored to win by at least 3.5 points). If you bet on Team A, the team must win by at least 4 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on Team B, they have to lose by three points OR win the game (points irrelevant) for you to win.
This isn’t the hottest new pop dance step or some intense yoga position; it’s a term in betting that relates to points scored. This type of bet doesn’t have anything to do with who wins, but the total points on the scoreboard at the end of the game. The over/under is also predetermined, like the odds in the point spread. Bettors decide whether or not they think a team will score more or less than the over/under score. And it’s simple enough: pick one, and if you’re right, you win.
4. Straight bet
This is also called a money line bet. It involves picking the favorite or the underdog to win. The odds are determined, and money comes from betting on the underdog and then having them win.
Taking Teams A and B from before, if Team A is listed as +160 and B is listed as -160, Team A is the underdog. One hundred dollars bet on the underdog team, if they win, pays out the margin ($160 in this example). Betting on the favorite, Team B, with a $160 bet pays out $100 if they win. If the favorite loses, the bettor has to pay out the original bet of $160.
5. Be smart
I once made an uninformed bet with my father concerning a college football team, and I got myself a month’s worth of extra chores when I lost. The next time we wagered, I made sure to go online and research my team’s winning record against my dad’s team and so forth.
I won this time, and we had a nice father/daughter “date,” complete with ice cream. My point is: gambling is supposed to be fun. Set limits on spending and quit while you’re ahead. Don’t get into trouble, and don’t bet money you can’t live without. And research what you’re betting on before you put the call in.