Sports Gambling

On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA  (Professional and Amature Sports Protection Act). This action now permits individual states to enact legislation that will allow wagering on sporting events as is currently offered in Nevada.  

Sports gambling is big business. Just how big is it? The AGA (American Gaming Association) estimates that anywhere from $80 to $380 Billion was wagered ILLEGALLY on sports prior to the SCOTUS repeal.

Fortunately, since PASPA was overturned, many states are jumping on the sports betting bandwagon and legalizing the activity within their borders.

How Sports Gambling Works

No matter what season we’re in, you probably have a favorite sport you relish following.  It could be March madness college basketball, The NFL, baseball, hockey, golf, or soccer, among others. Perhaps you would like to make a little bet, but many sports fans are leery of the legitimacy and legality of Internet gambling. If you live in the United States, your legal betting options are limited. 

Sports Gambling Jargon

Before we get into the how to’s of sports gambling, here’s a little gambling jargon explanation to help you understand the process:

Action – A short term for all of the betting activity that happens during an event. For example: There’s a lot of action on the Giants/Bills game today.

Handle – The total amount of money wagered on events. Example: The Super Bowl had the biggest handle ever.

Spread – Giving one of the two team’s points to even out the betting action. Example: If a team with a losing record is playing a team with a much better record, the team with the losing record will get points (spread) to even up the betting action.

 Sports books – Establishments that take bets on sporting events.

Juice – A Profit percentage taken by the sports books from a winning even money bet.   Sometimes called the vig, which is short for vigorish. Example: A bettor wagering $100 on a game would have to bet $110 to win the $100.

Types of Bets

There are many different types of bets. By far, football draws the most of the action with the biggest handle. The Super Bowl alone draws $100 million legal betting action, and up to $3.8 Billion illegal bets.

Even Money Bets – player(s) betting on only one team to defeat another. The sports book takes the vig (juice) from a winning payout. A common vig is $11 for $10. (Bettor wagers $11, wins $10.) The vig is $1 to the house. Most bets will have a point spread (line.) If the bettor is picking the underdog, h/she will take points. If s/he is betting the favorite, the player is laying (giving) points.

Parlay Bets – Betting on multiple teams to win. Usually it’s a minimum of two teams up to a maximum of all teams playing that day. Here is a scenario on a Point Spread ticket. t Let’s say that in game #1, Tampa Bay is playing at Green Bay and GB is favored to win by at least 3 points. In game #2, Buffalo is playing at Miami and BUF is expected to win by at least 7 points. Your game ticket would look something like this:

Event #                  Visitor          VS                Home

1                             TB                           GB  -3               

2                             BUF    -7                    MIA

This means that if you bet on GB they must win by MORE THAN 3 points, and if you also bet on BUF they must win by MORE THAN 7 points, in order for you to win the ticket. By choosing the favorites you are laying (giving) points to the other team. If you were to put your money on TB and MIA you are taking (receiving) the points. Regardless of who officially wins/loses, your victory/loss will depend on what the scores are AFTER you deduct/add the spreads to the official final scores. In some casinos ties lose and in others the prize payout is reduced to the next lowest payout factor. For example: a wager on five teams has a winning payout factor of 20X wager. A $10 bet wins $200. If one game results in a tie where the point differential equals the spread number, the payout factor would be reduced to a win on four teams which pays 10X wager or $100.

Over/Under – One scenario is where a bettor can select two to six outcomes where the total score of the games is over or under a pre set number.

Prop Bets – A proposition bet is where you predict the outcome of three to six props where you bet over or under a pre set number on a single ticket. Example: Total field goals over/under 4. Total interceptions over/under 3. Total QB sacks over/under 2. The list goes on and on.

If you visit Vegas or other jurisdictions that allow sports gambling, there’s no shortage of the types of wagers that can be made, no matter what sporting season you’re in.

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