Let’s talk about sports gambling…Part II

In yesterday’s blog, I discussed the reasons I like to gamble on sports and why the professional sports leagues should support the federal legalization of sports gambling. The more people watching the sport for whatever reasons, the more revenue each sport will generate.

Some sports are better on wager on than others.  Here are those that I bet on ranked by my enjoyment in betting on them:

1. College football: So much fun to place bets throughout the day and week. The unpredictability is there and day-long parlays make this one a must. I’ve had my heart broken too many times with this sport though.

The 2014 Bahamas Bowl was the WORST bad beat of all-time. Western Kentucky was -2.5 or something similar and held a 35 point lead going into the 4th quarter.  Then watch what happened…

2. College basketball: Similar to college football…very unpredictable but there’s SO MUCH action to choose from. Probably my least successful sport to bet on during the regular season but I tend to do well in March.

3. Horse Racing: Not only do I love to go to the track and bet live racing…but it was a must for me to get TVG Network in my home as soon as telephone horse betting was legalized in Arizona in 2015. Also a fun time to spend with friends at the off-track-betting locations for the big races (as I’ll do Saturday for the Belmont Stakes).

4. NBA: I may not like the product a ton but it’s fun to analyze the trends on a nightly basis.

5. PGA Tour: Having some cash on players to win a particular tournament makes it worth watching, especially if those players are in contention. Having Sergio Garcia win THE MASTERS at 42-1 was an all-time betting thrill.

6. NFL: Obviously I’m watching all of these games for fantasy football purposes so make some wagers is a must. But I don’t generally enjoy it compared to college football. Betting the game lines is usually not a profitable proposition for most gamblers. I’ve noticed that I do best when I bet halftime lines.

7. NHL: Only in the playoffs. Also better going with futures as I did with the Anaheim Ducks this postseason.

8. Tennis: A lot of the matches are played overseas so it’s nice to wake up in the morning with my account balance higher than it was when I went to bed.

9. NASCAR: Playing one driver to finish higher than another is something I’ll do if I’m truly bored on a Sunday without football.

10. MLB: Not fun at all. I once had a team blow a 5-run lead in the 9th inning to lose me a parlay. Since then, I bet this sport purely for the action.

When I bet, here is what I like to play:

-Parlays: Because I’m an action-junkie as discussed yesterday and above. Either 2 or 3 teamers…no more than that.

-Over-unders: In every sport minus golf, NASCAR, and horse racing these are my favorite types of wagers. It doesn’t matter who wins the game or match…it’s all about the scoring. While I used to never play unders, it’s gotten more fun in my older age – i.e. rooting against points being scored.

-Close spreads: Stanford -33.5 over Rice to start the 2017 college football season in Sydney doesn’t intrigue me. Oregon State +2.5 vs. Colorado State does.

-Underdogs (straight up): After all, who doesn’t love making better than even money. Plus it’s fun to be right when most others (including the oddsmakers) are wrong.

-Multi-race wagers such as Pick 4s and Daily Doubles: For horse racing only…the best thrills I’ve gotten are watching my horse run home on top in the last leg of a Pick 4! Also this is a way to conserve money while not betting each race separately.

Not a winning ticket…but still a fun bet!

Prop Bets: If I have players on my respective fantasy teams, it’s fun betting them to exceed their projected totals. I don’t think I’ve ever bet the UNDER on any of these. The key is to tread carefully and be very selective.

-If I’m going to the game, I want some action on it!

Finally my advice to new gamblers or those who are thinking about taking up sports gambling is…


While I enjoy it and have had a good time, let’s simply say that it hasn’t been profitable.

If you do feel the urge to gamble, bet no more than 2 days per week and cash out when you’re significantly ahead. Don’t make gambling a year-round proposition.

In the meantime, here are some upcoming recommendations for you gamblers (more picks in Friday’s Quick Hitters):
-Warriors -3 tonight
-Penguins in Game 5 but Predators -1.5 in Game 6
-Bet the Saturday card at Belmont Park – it’s the best horse racing day of the year outside of the Breeders Cup!


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