A new era of sports betting is underway across the United States, reshaping what it means to watch professional and collegiate sporting events. Once relegated to office pools and the occasional weekend wager, sports bettors now place tens of billions of dollars per year on games they once watched with little or no financial interest. It’s a boom that has brought increased scrutiny, and even some concern, to the practice. In the wake of this surge in sports betting, questions about problem gambling have risen, and inquiries to the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network have spiked.
A number of factors have contributed to the proliferation of sports betting, including the growth in popularity of online sportsbooks and increasing accessibility. In addition, many consumers believe that they have superior knowledge of athletes and teams — an opinion that can lead them to make riskier bets than they would otherwise. A strong, successful handicapper takes into account a variety of information sources and strategies when making their selections.
Getting started with legal sports betting isn’t difficult. The first step is to check that you are of legal age and physically located in a state that allows sports wagering. Then select a sportsbook that offers the best odds in your area and create an account.
The next step is to understand the math behind sports betting. The most profitable bets are those that have a higher chance of winning than implied by the odds. This is known as Value Betting, and it’s a key aspect of the profitable strategy that many punters follow.