This holiday season, many people will be placing bets on various sports. Before you place any bets, you should be aware of the different types of bets in sports, and the risks involved. By gaining this insight, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to bet this holiday season.
Common Types of Thanksgiving Bets
Placing bets during the holidays is all too easy, since it can be done online, without even having to leave the house. Each sport has different types of bets or variations of popular types of bets to choose from.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, let’s focus on types of NFL bets, since football is the most popular sport to watch on Thanksgiving.
This year’s NFL Thanksgiving lineup includes Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings.
1. Moneyline Bets
A moneyline bet is a wager where the player bets on the outcome of the game (which team will win), not how many points will be scored. A moneyline bet consists of “the favorite” (the team that is more likely to win), and “the underdog” (less likely to win).
Typically, sportsbooks will offer higher payouts if bettors place a bet on the underdog team, and this team wins.
2. Point Spread Bets
Point spreads allow bettors to place bets on a specific team or player based on how many overall points they score, rather than the outcome of the game.
This means that in this case, the bettor could potentially win their bet even if their team loses.
3. Over/Under Bets
An over/under bet has to do with the total number of points that were scored in the game between both teams.
The sportsbook will give the projected amount of points that will be scored in a game, and the bettor will decide if they think the actual outcome will be over or under this amount.
Tips for Responsible Betting
Many people can place bets casually, without ever developing a problem. In order to protect yourself from developing a betting problem, here are a few tips for responsible betting to keep in mind:
- Educate yourself about the sport, teams, and players. Never place bets without at least doing some research first.
- Set a spending limit and stick to it. Never spend more than you can afford to lose, and never chase your losses. Once you have spent your allotted amount, it’s time to stop.
- Don’t place bets while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can impair your decision-making and make you feel more confident, which can lead to you spending more than you intended, or placing bets on unlikely outcomes.
- Know that no bet is risk-free. No matter how much sportsbooks like to advertise that certain bets are “risk-free,” this is never the case. Every bet you place is a gamble - you do not know if you will be getting that money back or not. Even if you are offered a free credit, there is still the risk of becoming hooked on betting.
Common Gambling Triggers During the Holidays
The pressure to gamble is all around us all times of the year, but the holidays come with their own unique set of gambling triggers which can make it especially difficult to resist the lure of gambling.
There is a lot of pressure to give gifts to those you love. People who are having a hard time affording all of these gifts may resort to gambling, in hopes that it will provide a quick flow of cash that they can spend on gifts.
Sportsbooks often have special promotions and offers over the holiday season. For example, popular online sportsbook, Fanduel, offers to double winnings when you place a specific bet on a Thanksgiving NFL game.
The holidays can be a very high-stress season, and some people turn to gambling as a way to cope with the stress, similar to how others turn to alcohol. Gambling and placing bets can serve as a temporary distraction from everything else that is going on in life.
Loneliness and Isolation
The holidays can be one of the loneliest times of the year, and can be very triggering for those who struggle with problem gambling. Typically, the urge to gamble feeds off of difficult underlying emotions such as depression and loneliness.
Why Spend the Holidays Bet-Free?
With so many deals and promotions for sports betting over the holidays, why wouldn’t you take part in the sports betting festivities?
Here are a few benefits of not betting during the holiday season.
1. Save Money
Although there is the potential to win money from sports betting, there is also a high likelihood of losing money. Once you start betting, it’s hard to stop and if you lose one bet, you may try to chase your losses by betting more and more.
It’s much more beneficial to save your money this Thanksgiving by refraining from sports betting so that you have money to spend on thoughtful gifts for your family this holiday season.
2. Be More Present
Spend uninterrupted time with your family, and put time into fostering relationships with your loved ones. You will have a more meaningful holiday experience if you aren’t consumed with watching sports and placing bets.
3. Reduced Stress
You may think that betting will help reduce some of your stress by providing a distraction or by easing some financial stress if you win big. However, betting can actually cause a great deal of stress because it often involves spending more money than you intended, and lying to family members about your betting habits.
4. No Regret or Guilt
If you are not betting on sports, you will have nothing to hide from your family. If you lose a bet, you won’t have to spend the holidays feeling guilty and remorseful.
Get Help for a Sports Betting Addiction
If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of a sports betting addiction, there is help available for you. At Algamus, we have over 30 years of experience treating all forms of gambling addiction - including sports betting and fantasy sports addiction.