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Gambling for dummies; A guide to placing proper bets

As mentioned earlier this week by our very talented writer Judythe (aka Michelle SportsX), Monmouth Park opened for sports betting on Thursday.  New Jersey becomes the third state to fully legalize sports betting, only behind Nevada and most recently Delaware.

Most people have probably bet at some point in their lives whether it be fantasy sports, Super Bowl boxes, etc. but for those who haven’t been exposed to the full monty of sports betting, I’m the man to give you a few key words and tips to betting.  Let’s get started.

Key Words


A spread is the difference in score that Vegas (and now Delaware/New Jersey) thinks is a fair prediction.  For example, if the oddsmakers think the Golden State Warriors will win by around 10 points over the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’ll set the spread at 9.5.  This means that if you think the Cavaliers would cover that spread (lose by less than 9.5 or win) you would bet on them.


As mentioned in the last definition, the Golden State Warriors are the favorite.  The favorite is the team that has the better odds to win, and the team that will make you less money if you bet on them.  They’re supposed to win, so the bigger favorite they are, the less money you’ll win.


On the other side of the spectrum, the underdog is the team that is less likely to win.  If the underdog is really not supposed to win the game, match, etc., there will be great payouts on them because they have such a small chance of winning.  For example, Leicester City was one of the worst teams in the English Premier League a few years ago.  They were 500/1 odds to win the English Premier League, meaning if you put $10 on those odds you would win $5000.


A future is a bet that’s made for the future.  This is my favorite kind of bet because they have pretty good payouts due to the unknown nature of what will happen over the season.  In the underdog definition, if you placed a bet at the beginning of the season for Leicester City, you would have put down a future bet on them, meaning you have to wait until the end of the season to find out if you won.


Probably the most common kind of bet minus straight game bets, a parlay is a string of games that you bet together to win a bigger payout.  Having multiple games on your gambling ticket means that in order to win your ticket you need each of your bets to win.  If one of them loses, it doesn’t matter what the rest do because the ticket has lost.

Things to know

Have fun with it

Gambling is supposed to be fun.  Whether it be playing some poker with your buddies for money, or throwing some money into a league for fantasy football, it’s all about the thrill.  As long as you’re responsible with your money, gambling is fun and it’s more about the thrill than anything else.

Don’t bet over your head

As fun as gambling is, if you start betting over your head, you’ll wind up with a full blown gambling addiction.  NEVER keep betting when you’re down, because even if you win you’ll wind up putting yourself in an even bigger hole by the end of the week.  These gambling games, sports or not, is designed specifically to suck you in and take all your money.  It’s not a coincidence that people lose their life savings in just a few hours because of sports gambling and gambling in general.

Learn before you bet

The most important thing about sports gambling is knowing at least a little bit of a background before you start.  Learn the games, read up on what you’re betting on, at least do a little bit of research.  If you don’t, you’ll wind up falling into the trap of not having fun and betting over your head.

Well I hope this tutorial was informative for all you novice bettors out there.  Sports gambling is a great tool to use some of your extra cash to have a little fun.  As long as you stay safe and don’t bet beyond your means, there’s nothing wrong with going to Monmouth Park and throwing some cash on some games.  Stay safe out there twerps.

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