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sports betting in last 2 decades

The Changing Wheels of Sports Betting-A Journey of Two Decades

As a millennial, your idea of sports betting is very different from someone you betted 20 years ago. While sports betting itself has remained the same on the principles, how we go about it has entirely changed.

If you have read Arthur Reber’s, The New Gambler’s Bible that was written in 1996, or if you give it a read now, you will find that there are some striking redundancies. There’s a whole section spanning over 50 pages on sports betting. A lot has changed since Reber wrote the book. As a sports bettor, it’s kind of useful for you to know how the domain has evolved to become how it is today.

You do not have to dig the internet to understand how the world of sports betting has changed over the last two decades. OddsMax has put together this insightful post on the evolution of sports betting for you all.

The Lines Are Better For Sports Betting

Sportsbooks have gone a lot better over the years than they used to be. Now the opening lines on all major sports are better and the growth will continue till the opening lines are 100% within a couple of points or less.

The public remains one of the most important factors affecting the lines as too much action on side of the game forces sportsbooks to move the lines. This movement causes inaccuracy but as compared to the opening lines 20 years ago, today the lines are closer to a true line than they used to be.

For bettors, it is bad news as it makes it hard to find profitable opening lines. On the bright side, it helps to find the closing lines opportunities as the public is betting heavily on one side of a game.

Information Is More Readily Available

20 years ago, you had nothing more than magazines, newspapers, television, and radio to rely on for gathering relevant information. That’s how most of the veterans used to handicap games, but the information was seldom up to date.

The common strategy was to compile a huge pile of handicapping data that you had to shuffle through to place a bet, and you had to run to the newspaper to get some more details every morning.

Today the internet has changed the way we access and find information. You do not have to rely on newspapers, magazines or TV to look for game stats, all the information you need is available at a few clicks. You can watch game highlights as much as you want around the clock.

You may argue that sportsbooks have access to the same information as bettors today, but believe it or not, the sports betting industry is way more balanced than it was two decades ago.

Placing bets is a lot easier 

To place legal bets 20 years ago, one has to travel to Nevada. Other countries around the globe had similar laws and regulations forcing bettors to travel to another location to wager.

While the regulations are still in place, you no longer have to travel a distance to place bets. You can now wager online from almost anywhere in the world. Some governments have tried to make online betting illegal, but you can always find sports books and bookmakers who are willing to take your bets.

Now you can bet directly from your phone using apps. While finding a sportsbook is no longer a problem, getting money in and out of a sportsbook is still challenging if you live in a place where laws are against online betting.

The good thing is there are hundreds of bettors who are betting through sportsbooks even from places where it’s illegal to bet as the authorities go after the owners of sportsbooks rather than the people placing bets.

Bets are more than ever before 

Do you think you can only bet sports, players, and outcomes?

Think again!

Today you can bet on, who is going to be the next president of the United States or how long will be the National Anthem before the Super Bowl.

These are just a few examples, today you can wager on wider games and situations that were not even possible before. No matter how small a football or basketball college game is, there is a sportsbook that has a line for the game.

If you don’t believe us, you can try finding all the prop bets you can place during the Super Bowl season in a game. There will be hundreds of options to bet on including total points in the first of second half, what the next play will be, whether next batter will strike out and more.

However, the important question here is whether this abundance of information in betting options improves the chance of making a profit or not.

The more options are supposed to let sportsbooks make mistakes and favor bettors, but it seldom happens. With such a large number of bets available, sportsbooks end up making a killing.

For casual bettors, the availability of so many bets means diving their attention span. If you do not have a sharp discipline, you are going to find it hard to focus on areas of your strength.

What remains the same? 

At the core, sports betting is governed by the same set of rules.

Professional sports bettors still specialize in an area or two and concentrate on beating the over/under, the spread and the money line.

This approach is hard to change ever.

Another fact that remains is, the sportsbooks will always be the real profit makers of the sports betting world, no matter what. Only a fraction of bettors is able to make long-term profits while every sportsbook that is operational today is profitable.


In the last 20 years, sports betting has changed a lot but not enough to make you feel alienated if you place a bet today after a break of two decades.

It is hard to put a good or bad tag on the changes that have occurred in the last 20 years. While there are more options to place bets and information is much more readily available, it is also true that sportsbooks are much more efficient at setting lines, which makes finding value a lot more difficult.

Overall, today it is more convenient to place a bet, however, not easier to make profits.

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