Gambling. It’s both a vice and a good time. The same can be said about alcohol. And like drinking, the key to having it be fun is moderation.
I like to partake in a wager from time to time. It’s one of my favorite things to do when in Vegas and I also frequent a number of reputable online sports books. It’s great to have a little rooting interest in games. And sometimes an emotional hedge if the Vikings lose as underdogs but still cover!
Set a Budget
Before the season, start with a bankroll you can afford to set on fire. Because that’s what you’ll likely be doing with it. Don’t risk more than 5% of your bankroll on one game. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Better luck next year.
Bet Games. Not Parlays.
It’s fun to hit a huge parlay, but there’s a reason sports books like people betting them. As Frank and Geoff note here, “A parlay is simply a bet where you make multiple picks and, if every single one is correct, you win”. They don’t hit often and when they do, the payouts are nowhere near the true odds of the sequence of events occurring. That’s why I usually only bet single games. I’m a singles hitter instead of swinging for the fences every time.
Don’t Bet Every Game
Big mistake action junkies make is betting on games they don’t have a good feel of just to have action. Action for action’s sake is losing action. There’s weeks where I only like one or two games, others (usually early in the season) when I like the majority of the lines.
If you win at 55% and double your money by the end of the season, that’s successful. It may not be flashy or sexy, but it’s fun entertainment and you become a better fan because of it.