05.03.2018 - Sports and betting have gone hand in hand since time immemorial. And placing the right bet, on the outcome of a battle in ancient times or a championship match today, can make all the difference in how well you feel or how wealthy you are at the end of the day.
Sports and betting have gone hand in hand since time immemorial. And placing the right bet, on the outcome of a battle in ancient times or a championship match today, can make all the difference in how well you feel or how wealthy you are at the end of the day.
Spectator sports, by their very nature are a thrill to watch. It’s the nature of competition itself. There can only be one winner by design. As we watch, for example, the race unfolds, it’s human nature to pick a favorite, to attach ourselves to who we desire to win from the start or as they come around the far side of the track. This adds to the excitement of watching, it’s invigorating and fun. The same is true of team sports. We select “our team”, to vicariously experience the thrill of victory or, unfortunately sometimes, the agony of defeat.
The anticipated outcome is what releases adrenaline, the sense of anticipation and all the emotions, from elation to despair, that come with it as the finish line is crossed or the final bell sounds. That’s what makes spectator sports so much fun and the global phenomena they have become, starting with the days of the first Olympics in Ancient Greece to the myriad of competitive sports we have today.
But say you don’t have a dog in the fight. Say you’re indifferent as to who wins or loses. After all, those aren’t your teams playing or your school or country in the race. So why care? It’s not every man who intensely watches a match, tuning out everything else in the world around him, just for the pure aesthetic pleasure of viewing a sport. As people, perhaps by design, we need to take a side to maintain interest so that we feel we have invested something in the outcome and have something personally to win or lose in the end. When you pick the team, as in fantasy sports, or you take a side in any form of competition, you suddenly have a vested interest in the outcome. The competition has meaning and the intense thrill and satisfaction of victory is on the line. Winning is the ultimate desire and thrill.
From ancient images of Ajax and Achilles playing dice with spears in hand staring intently at the table before them, to crowds of tens of thousands watching a football match, as people we’re programmed to add meaning to competitive events and to stake our emotions, money or future on the outcome. That’s where the pleasure comes from. That’s what makes passing the time as a spectator, instead of a player on the field, so much fun. We play by investing our time, money or emotions and share equally in the outcome.
Enter the world of sports betting. I love my team because I grew up watching them. I love them, as in the case of fantasy sports, because I built them. I love them because they are a part of me. But as we all know, a team can only play so many games in a season. I’m fairly half-hearted about watching the competition play even if I admire the team. So, what can I do to peak my interest. How to go about making sure I do have a dog in that fight, that I do genuinely care about one outcome, the one I’m for, over another? And thus the idea of the wager was born.
Wagering, from it’s earliest days, has never so much been about a way to get rich (although that is a component of certain types of wagers, such as placing your life’s savings on one spin of roulette in Vegas) as it is about the thrill of winning, about having a vested interest in the final outcome.
But of course, while a random wager might add to the thrill of watching a sports event, a well-placed wager, one in which you have done your homework, invested even more, put more of yourself, your intelligence, your emotions, your time, your money on the line, adds to the excitement exponentially.
Intelligent wagers, from stock picks to sports events, require a fair bit of forethought. The old saying goes that knowledge is power and information leads to knowledge. Who would ever bet on a horse they knew was sick, if they could bet on a horse they knew had a distinct advantage in the race? Staying informed, knowing if a key player is injured or inspired by the birth of a child, can make all the difference in picking the right, desired result. The result in which you win.
Today, the internet is rife with information, some of it good, most of it horse poop. So how do you stay informed? How do you get the information you need to place the right bet, the one that leads to the ecstasy of victory over the anguish of defeat? The key, at the end of the day, is knowing who to listen to. Check out these top gambling sports pod casts to make sure you place the right bet.