Pros and Cons of Betting on Sports This Season

kids-56952_1920It’s almost fall and that means football season will be among us soon enough. Many people are already scoping out various different athletes’ strengths and weaknesses and getting ready for their fantasy football drafts.

It’s also a common time to place bets on sporting events and I can’t say I’ve done this much myself but I have heard of friends and family members who have bet money on NBA games and other sports drafts. I realized placing bets on the Superbowl game is super common when we visited a friend’s house last year and they were jumping up and down with joy whenever they won some extra money from placing several bets on different aspects of the game.

My husband scheduled a fantasy football draft last weekend and decided just to play for fun and not for money. I’m grateful he took the time out to explain the pros and cons of betting on sports this fall so I could use the information to highlight how it may affect your finances. I’m always interested to see how certain habits affect our finances, and betting on sports is very similar to gambling meaning sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose.

Let’s take a look at some of the clear benefits and drawbacks.

Pro: Make Some Extra Money

Of course, the main benefit of betting on sports is actually winning and receiving some extra money. It can be inconsistent and often unexpected, but more money in your pocket is a good thing nonetheless. If you’re smart with your bets or fantasy picks, you can win some cash you didn’t have before and use it to save, cover a regular expenses, or even put it to good use and make a debt payment.

If you do decide to do a fantasy team for money, depending on how many people are in your league, you may be able to contribute just $10 or so which will add up to a larger amount once everyone pitches in. This lease less risk on your behalf. If you do a league with 9 other people and your all contribute $15, the winner will receive $150 which is a nice chunk of change. However, if you lose, instead of paying the winner $150 you only lose out on your $15 contribution which isn’t much to worry about.

Con: Losing Money

Just like how winning extra money can be a benefit when you bet on sports, you run the risk of losing some money as well. Just like if you were to have a bad night at the casino, the more money you bet for, the greater your potential loss can be. If you decided against doing a fantasy league for money and placed a one-on-one bet with someone, you’d have to own up to your word and pay them if you lost.

This is why it’s important to make sure you are taking things too seriously and betting hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That’s money that would stay in your bank account if you don’t place any bets on sports. If you have a spouse or significant other and you are managing your finances together, you should let them know before you place a bet so you can make sure you’re not going overboard and spending money for important expenses like rent or your mortgage and other bills.

Just because celebrities like Floyd Mayweather bet hundreds of thousands of dollars on sports doesn’t mean you need to. Betting on sports can get addicting and prompt you to be careless with your money which is not good in the long run.

Pro: Freedom To Bet on Whatever Sport You Know About

Another benefit of betting on sports is having the freedom to bet on sports you are knowledgeable about and choose how much you want to risk. In other words, no one is forcing you to bet on Baseball games when you are a die hard hockey fan. In terms of fantasy leagues, there are so many including fantasy baseball, NASCAR, basketball, football and more.

If you’re going to put your money at stake, you might as well know a lot about the sport and the team in order to make an educated guess on the outcome of the game. In terms of how much to bet, you don’t have to give in to peer pressure and go big or go home. Personally, I would start with a small fantasy team and offer up $10 to contribute the grand prize. That way you have little to lose.

Con: Getting Too Involved

It’s important to trade lightly when betting on sports. I can’t speak from personal experience but I know it can get very addicting and take a negative toll on your life if you get too involved with placing bets because I’ve seen it happen to other people. Betting on sports online is the worst because it’s so flexible and convenient. It’s easy to sit down at the computer and just get carried away.

If you get addicted, you won’t only lose money but you’ll also lose valuable time with your friends and family which can cause a strain on your relationships with them. If you are constantly placing pet, attending games, and checking out player injuries and stats all the time, you might find you have less and less time to do other things you enjoy in life. Plus it can be quite stressful to deal with since you’ve got money on the line.

Pro: Something Fun to Do

Given the two drawbacks of betting on sports that I mentioned so far, some of you might be wondering: what is the point of placing these bets and potentially losing out on your hard earned money? For some sports betters, the answer is simple, it’s fun.

My husband consistently joins a fantasy league each month and whether he plays for money or not, he does it because he enjoys it. It can be an interesting hobby, similar to watching TV or playing a video game, if you can manage to keep it under control. It’s a fun way to connect with friends and compete. With a fantasy league, you may find that you start talking to a friend that you normally didn’t interact with every day.

Con: Losing Friends

On the other hand, you might lose some friends if things turn sour. Competition isn’t for everyone and some people don’t take losing very well. If you bet on a large amount of money and someone is a sore loser, it may have a negative effect on your friendship.

Others might have a better attitude about it but it’s another risk you’ll have to take so make sure you set clear expectations before placing any bets.

Betting on sports is common, but it’s important to keep it under control for the sake of your finances.

For ways to make money that you can use for anything, including spots bets, check out these articles.

5 Creative Ways to Make Extra Money
4 Reasons Why You Need to Diversify Your Income
How to Make Time to Side Hustle

Have you ever placed bets on sports? Why or why not?

Posted in: Money

Top of page