The legalization of sports betting has been spreading through a number of U.S. states in recent years. Not only does this reduce the legal consequences of sports gambling, but it also completely transforms betting strategy in general.
While it’s still a challenge to be consistently profitable (some things will never change…), more betting options means more competition amongst sportsbooks, and in turn more advantages for gamblers.
In this article, I’ll explain 5 ways your betting strategy should change as a result of legalized sports betting. Even if it’s not legal in your state yet, this should help you prepare for the inevitable future.
1. Line Shopping Is Easier Than Ever
When betting on sports was illegal in most states, it’s unlikely that bettors had more than one or two places that they could make a wager.
Unless you wanted to take all afternoon looking for another sportsbook to give you that extra half-point on that night’s underdog.
You might be skeptical of the idea that a half-point here or a point there is really going to have an impact on your overall bankroll at the end of the day, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
When anyone tries to discourage the idea of line shopping, I would simply remind them that if you were going to make a purchase online and the pair of shoes was $100 on one site and $110 on a different site, chances are good that you’d go with the cheaper option.
The ability to efficiently line shop is one of the most significant benefits legalization provides to bettors. Don’t be the one who writes it off as something that you can afford to ignore.
2. Bonuses Are Everywhere
As most consumers know, when businesses compete for your attention, you win! This applies to online sports betting platforms via bonuses that can be worth hundreds of dollars if you’re able to make the most of them.
If you’ve ever logged onto a sportsbook there’s a good chance you’ve seen numerous messages promoting bonuses of all types. Personally, I was a little bit skeptical at first, but quickly learned that I had been missing out on what essentially amounts to free money by not taking advantage of these offers.
Most online sportsbooks will offer you these bonuses in the form of “free play.” I know it sounds like there should be some strings attached to such a phrase, but it’s really just that simple. However, it should be noted that “free play” does not necessarily mean “free money”….or does it?
Now here’s the trick (keep in mind that I know it works at the sports betting platforms I’ve used, but I can’t confirm if it works for all sports betting platforms). If you want to get the full $100, you can ignore this idea and move on – however, if you want to get a guaranteed $50 (or so) of cold hard cash that you can use to bet or cash out, this is what you should do – it’s so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
It’s understandable that some bettors prefer to play things a little more straight up, but when it comes to sports betting, my philosophy is ‘get it however you can.’ The next time you log on to a new platform that offers you some free play, give this strategy a shot!
3. The Conversation Has Gone Mainstream
As sports gambling has become increasingly less and less taboo, it has been completely embraced by sports media, and even the leagues themselves. Just 10 years ago it’s hard to imagine seeing odds under every single game matchup preview, but now there are a handful of shows that only talk sports betting on a range of different networks.
DraftKings and FanDuel, two daily fantasy sports companies that dabble in traditional sports betting (mostly FanDuel), have become major sponsors and it’s hard to watch any sporting event without hearing one of these two names mentioned.
So how does the availability of information have anything to do with your own personal betting strategy?
With that being said, there are a select few who deserve your attention. At the very least you should hear them out. You never know when someone will make a point you hadn’t considered which changes your mind on which way to bet.
4. The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever
Any time big businesses take ahold of something which was previously happening underground, the stakes get raised. It’s important to recognize that big gaming companies are out to make a profit, and will do whatever they have to in order to make it happen.
Yes, I know that’s not new information, but when the volume of action is so significant, you can rest-assured sportsbooks aren’t just going to take a bath on a regular basis. Being on the side of the sportsbook’s profitability is usually going to have better results than the alternative.
Even if you’ve always subscribed to the “fade the public” theory, it’s most important now than ever.
In many ways, legalization has ushered in a new age of sports betting. It’s not just accessibility that’s changing, but rather the very nature of what it means to be a sports bettor itself.
As long as you put in the time and do your research, including taking advantage of the options available to you, there’s no reason you can’t turn sports betting into a nice side hustle.