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Online Sports Betting for the Very First Time

Aug 17, 2007
I've been watching professional sports for more than 30 years now. In that time, I've listened to radio broadcasts, watched television, and tracked my favorite teams in the newspaper and on the internet.

And never have I experienced the same thrill as when I won $20 last weekend betting on my college basketball team to win. It was the first time I placed a bet online, but it won't be the last time.

First off, let me clarify: I'm by no means a professional sports gambler. In fact, for the most part I don't really know enough about sports to wager much. That's why I am such a fan of online sports betting: in my experience last week, online betting was convenient, easy to do, and, all things considered, a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment.

You might wonder how I even ended up betting online. I happened simply enough: I was looking up my alma mater's basketball team because I wanted to see their standings from the season. I haven't really been following them that closely this year, so I was a little out of touch with their stats, game results and even the players.

In fact, what I was looking for was the odds that my college ball team would win, or at least their chances of going far in the tournament. I had a running bet with a couple of buddies who cheered for different college basketball teams, and the last thing I wanted to do was commit to a bet I couldn't win.

What I discovered is that online sports wagering is big business. Depending on what you search for, you can find sportsbooks that provide odds and betting lines, some sites that review payouts, and a bunch of sites that allow you to actually place a bet online.

So, given all the options, how did I end up choosing an internet sportsbook? Well, with the relative lack of experience I have in online gambling, I was looking for the easiest, most accessible online sportsbook I could find.

I didn't really need all the bells and whistles, because I wasn't really looking for an online casino or to play online poker. I just wanted basketball odds. What I discovered is that it's incredibly easy, once on an odds place, to choose your team and place a bet. In fact, almost all the sites offered the opportunity to check sports betting odds, including football betting lines, basketball betting and even baseball betting.

And while I was understandably concerned about payment security, I can attest to the fact that the transaction happened safely, and, even better, I received my payout almost instantly after visiting the online cashier. My first online bet ever was relatively low, just in case there were any problems, but fortunately, there were none to report.

Now that I've seen how easy online sports betting can be, I'm positive I'm going to give it a try again. There are so many options, not just because you can bet on different sports such as football, hockey and baseball, but also because you can bet on different outcomes, such as point spreads and player propositions.

All in all, I can see that betting online could seriously increase my level of enjoyment when it comes to watching some of my favorite sports.

I will say a word of important caution however: You still need to pick correctly. So if you plan to place a wager on your home team, make sure it makes sense. Otherwise, save your money for some other form of entertainment. Remember: only bet what you can afford to lose.

All in all, I think the online sportsbook you choose should suit your personality. If you're a small bettor, I would suggest avoiding online sportsbooks that cater to big bettors. If you follow football closely, you shouldn't put your money with a sportsbook that doesn't regularly deal with football bets. After all, the internet sports book you choose can make a huge difference to how much you enjoy your first experience gambling online.

Good luck, and enjoy!
About the Author
Michael Lee-Smith enjoys sports, and particularly enjoys online sports betting at sites such as the Bodog Sportsbook.
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