How to Avoid Sports Betting Addiction

Back in the day (just a few years after dinosaurs roamed the earth, actually), sports bettors placed money on who they thought would win or lose a game. That bet is called a wager, and it’s a great way to get more involved in the sport you love. Whether you want to bet on how many home runs a player will hit or how long it takes Reba McEntire to sing the national anthem, there’s probably a wager out there that suits your personality and risk tolerance.

The Supreme Court’s decision to allow states to legalize sports betting changed the entire landscape of professional and college leagues, bringing gambling into the spotlight and creating new opportunities for fans. However, the new landscape is also making it easier for people to get addicted to gambling – just as they can get addicted to drugs or alcohol.

One of the best ways to mitigate the risk of a gambling addiction is to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. A good strategy is to open a separate bank account for placing bets and set a specific amount of money that you will risk per game or week. Sticking to this number will help you avoid getting cocky when winning and avoid chasing your losses by betting more the next week.

It’s also important to consider the mental impact that betting on sports can have on your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re just betting for fun, but it can quickly spiral out of control. It’s not uncommon for people to bet more than they can afford to lose, which can have serious consequences for their finances and their life.

Another important consideration is to find bets that offer value. This is a big part of what professional bettors focus on, and it involves understanding expected value – or EV for short. EV is the mathematical foundation of any smart bet and tells you how much a bet should pay out given the probability that it will occur.

A key to finding value bets is to research stats and trends. You should also stay on top of news about players and coaches, as lines can change after breaking stories. It’s also important to keep track of your bets in a spreadsheet so that you can analyze your performance and look for patterns.

It’s important to remember that no matter how much you study or how smart you think you are, there is still a lot of variance in sports betting. You can do all the math, find positive EV bets, and still lose on a bad beat or an injury. This is what makes sports so exciting – and sometimes frustrating! It’s why you should always bet with your head, not your heart. Good luck!