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Opinion: sports betting done right

Opinion: sports betting done right

If you’re one of those impossibly rare college kids with a little bit of extra money sitting around or you’re trying to turn that $1.74 in your checking account into $5 (or maybe even more), look no further than a well-known app that’s one of my new favorites – DraftKings Sportsbook. 

For individuals outside of New Hampshire, this sports betting app might come as a surprise since it’s only legal in 15 other states. New Hampshire is the 16th state as of December 30, 2019. Keeping in mind you should always bet responsibly, and perhaps being at UNH is an opportunity for students on and around campus to put their sports knowledge to the test and make some money out of it. 

The app itself has a slew of American and international sports to place bets on – by all means, stick to what you know, basketball, football, baseball, etc. If you’re feeling adventurous, that option is there too, whether it’s the PGA Tour, Swedish league soccer or even table tennis. It’s pretty easy to navigate, and for new users they provide guidelines to make sure that you know what you’re doing with your money. 

Some may frown on betting, but for others like myself it is a shameless hobby. By no means am I good at the betting I do—I have a long way to go, but what it does do is bring new stakes to potentially irrelevant and less exciting matchups. No neutral fan wants to put on Knicks vs. Wizards or Jets vs. Washington, they’re just not great teams. But when you slap a bet on either of those, you’ll find yourself screaming at the TV in the fourth quarter begging Bradley Beal and the Wizards to cover 3.5 points or counting up Sam Darnold’s yards wishing you could call the plays yourself. Betting puts a little spice into those types of games. 

From a purely amateur user of DraftKings Sportsbook who may be slightly addicted: here’s a few do’s and don’ts. 

With great betting power comes great betting responsibility. Don’t be a hero. I’ve thrown out erroneous bets on multiple occasions based on a gut feeling and I’ve still been surprised when they don’t work out, I’ll admit it. It’s all about small gains: those $1 to $5 bets are the ones that can build up over time and earn you a cushion of cash to work with so you don’t need to keep refilling the account. Cam Newton to score a rushing touchdown? Yes. Lakers to beat Denver? Yes. Josh Richardson to outscore Marcus Smart? Yes (a very successful bet in the Celtics and 76’ers series earlier this postseason). It doesn’t have to be clear cut, you can get creative, but don’t be a hero.  

Don’t bet on an athlete to have an over the top night just because you feel like it. It’s really easy to feel attached to a favorite player or fantasize yourself winning it big based off of a super niche and unlikely bet. Most of the time though, it’s not worth the risk. It may not seem like real money once it’s just a number staring at you from the app, but it definitely is. 

Don’t let your favoritism get in the way. It’s easy to make a bet based on the love for your team rather than all the factors that contribute to odds. This is a big weakness of mine, but it’s important to remember, you [or your team in this case] can’t win them all, and athletes can’t always have a perfect game. They’re humans, just like you, betting from your couch. 

Do your research! There’s plenty of resources online and right on ESPN for you to choose from, and they’re pretty reliable (most of the time – I’m looking at you, Max Kellerman). The betting guides on the actual DraftKings website are pretty clear cut and reliable for new players. They list a whole lot of things that should be self-explanatory, but just to clear things up: if you don’t watch enough of the sport or you’re uninformed, it’s not wise to make any bets.  

Lastly, do have fun and be responsible. It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole and try to compensate for lost money. Don’t fall for it – manage your funds well and don’t get sucked too far into the tempting world of sports betting – it can be dangerous. But definitely fun. 

Photo courtesy to DraftKings.

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