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Why It’s Important to Bet on Sports You Know Well

In the modern computer age, we can see the news unfolding in real time thousands of kilometers away.  We can see events unfolding from far more than just the top international broadcast stations.  Amateur photographers using their smartphones can record events.  Even they don’t need the big communications networks; all they need is social media.

How does this all affect sports betting?  We can watch and read about a great many sports and our local sportsbook will be happy to take our bets on any sport or on any match we want.  This is the problem: we know perhaps three sports that we grew up playing and following.  We might know then well but we can place bets on many other sports.  It’s tempting but a big mistake.

American Sports Betting

The absolute biggest rage in sports betting these days is betting on American sports.  This doesn’t affect sports betting from any country in the world where sports betting has been legal for some time.  It really only affects American sports bettors because now they can bet through legal channels rather than the bookmakers they used before their High Court tossed out the law that had made sports betting illegal everywhere in the United States except Las Vegas and the state of Nevada.

We keep hearing about betting on American sports as if it’s something new but it isn’t.  It’s not new even in the U.S. it’s now legal in many parts of the U.S. where it was illegal in those places before May 2018.

Football Leads the World

If you’re like the overwhelming majority of sports bettors in the world, you know football better than any other sport.  You are comfortable with the nuances of the game.  You follow the news about football almost religiously so you know which starts have switched teams, which stars are in the downhill portion of their careers, which young players are playing as emerging stars, and what the weather will be like in Barcelona, Rome, or London for the next match.

Unfortunately, you don’t know any of the nuances of American football, basketball, or baseball and you might not understand the changes taht have taken place in hockey over the last ten to twenty years.  Because of this, we say that you should never bet on any American sport.

Who Wins and Who Loses

In American basketball and football, every season there are teams that win at least 70% of their games.  In American baseball, it is rare for any team to win 70% of its games over the course of a season. 

In American basketball, two teams never play each other in the same city two nights in a row.  In baseball, teams play three or four days or nights in a row in one city and then travel to the next city for three or four more games.  So, in basketball travel causes fatigue and fatigue will alter the outcomes of games whilst in baseball, travel fatigue is rarely an issue.

In American football and basketball, the best player on the field or court will have a part in every or almost every play on offense.  In football these players are the quarterback, the running back, and the receivers.  In basketball, there are only five players on the court at one time so if the skill of one player far exceeds the skill of his direct opponent, this difference in comparative skill levels will show up in the score.

This never happens in regular football.  The field is far too big, many players are vital to the success of any offensive thrust, and the superstar striker may not have more than one or two chances per game.

In baseball, the key player is the pitcher but he needs excellent defense from his teammates to excel at his job.  The offensive side in baseball has nine players, called batters.  The best batter on any team may have four or five chances to help his team.  American baseball teams play almost every day; they play 162 games in about 180 days from April to October.

Learning Sports Anew

These are just a few of the many nuances that American sports present.  It is next to impossible to learn enough about American sports to make informed bets on them unless you grew up following them and playing them. 

Individual Athletes

There are two sports where individuals compete against individuals: tennis and golf.  The top stars in these sports dominate the hundreds of other players tournament after tournament and match after match.  The odds you’ll get for betting with these top stars make the bets too risky to be profitable.  You might win on several bets in a row by betting on the great star but unless you risk a huge amount of money, the return will be insufficient compared to the risk.

What Sports to Bet On?

This leaves us with a small number of sports that you know very well.  Australians might bet on Aussie Rules Football but no one else should bet on this game.  It’s quite exciting to watch but requires more insight than any non-Australian has to make a sound bet on any match.

People from rugby-playing countries can bet on this rough and tumble sports but again, if you didn’t play as a young man or woman, you should never bet on the game.  The same is true for cricket.  So few countries have international cricket teams.  The sport, to the untrained eye, is about as boring as any sport can be.  The same has often been said about baseball.  But if you understand cricket or baseball, you know that they are anything but boring. 

If you’re bored watching any sports, as for instance Americans get deathly bored when they watch real football, you ought never bet on these sports.

How Much to Bet?

This question is entirely unrelated to the discussion about which sports to bet on.  If you have €1000 or dollars, pounds, yen or any other currency to bet with, it doesn’t matter that you place all the bets on one sport.  What matters is that you understand that specific sport as well as any amateur can understand any sport.

Finally, we urge all sports bettors to diversify their sports betting just as financial investors diversify their investment portfolios.


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