As sports gamblers, one moral quandary that we’ve all faced is whether or not to bet on games involving our favorite team. I know this decision has kept me up at night on more than one occasion. There are a few different ways to look at this problem, and whether betting on your favorite team is a good or bad decision primarily depends on your ability to be objective and control your emotions.
Personally, I’ve spent entire seasons avoiding my squads like the plague, while other years I’ve bet them almost every week. There have even been some occasions in which I would comfortably wager against my own franchise to lose! Especially during my years of protest against the Kubiak regime (I’m a Houston Texans fanatic).
There are a lot of different factors to consider when decided whether or not gambling on your own favorite team is right for you. In this blog, I’ll explore some of the pros and cons of putting it all on the line for the organization with which you’re already morally invested. Legal gambling can make the wins much better, the failures ten times worse, or provide some relief from bad real-life losses, all depending on your mindset.
I’ll explain what I mean in the next couple of sections!
Let’s first look at the positives when talking about betting on your favorite team. In legalized sports gambling, we often advise readers to wager on the franchises about which they know the most about. The deeper your knowledge, the easier a game is to handicap accurately. Let’s look at some of the specific reasons why you absolutely should place bets on your own squad.
In-depth Knowledge of How they Play
The majority of the best reasons why you should bet on your favorite franchise have to do with familiarity with the organization. The majority of recreational legal sports bettors don’t know the system every team in the league runs or even the general style with which they play. But if there’s one team you know intimately, it’s the one whose games you rarely miss!
In football, styles often dictate the outcome of contests, sometimes even helping lesser rosters overcome better opponents. We see Bill Belichick alter his style of playbook and play calling every season to best utilize his talent, something most coaches do not. Time and time again he outcoaches the rest, even when stuck with a depleted roster.
Whereas you’d typically need to dig in and handicap both teams in an upcoming matchup, if you already know how one team plays in just about every situation, you only have to do half the research. It just becomes a matter of identifying what the opponent likes to do, then predicting how the two teams’ styles will mesh on Sunday.
Roster Strengths / Weaknesses
Along that same line of thinking, you’re more likely to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your favorite team. While the pundits on television may speak in generalities, telling the world that your boys don’t have a good offensive line or secondary or whatever else, you’ll know precisely where the issue is.
Rather than a basic overview understanding, you’ll know which player on the offensive line always gets burnt, and by what kind of pass rusher. Or you’ll remember which cornerback is invariably responsible for those terrible pass interference calls. Just by having this extra layer of understanding, your pre-game handicapping should be much more effective.
By knowing a team’s specific strengths and weaknesses, you can better analyze whether the upcoming opponent will be able to exploit any of those holes. Maybe your squads struggling right tackle won’t hurt as severely against a defense without any decent pass rushers. Or perhaps that undisciplined cornerback only struggles against speedy deep threats and the next matchup has none.
Patterns and Trends
Have you ever noticed how some franchises follow the same patterns no matter how much of the roster has been turned over? As a Houston Texans fan, I have grown to have no faith anytime they’re playing in a primetime nationally televised game. It hasn’t mattered if the quarterback was David Carr, Matt Shaub, or Deshaun Watson (I refuse to speak of Brock Osweiler, that never happened) when the lights are the brightest, my boys have crumbled time and time again.
There are lots of teams that have followed similar patterns or trends, we just usually don’t recognize them unless they’re our own. Personally, I’ll put my Texans up against just about anyone on Sunday at 10 AM. But when those Sunday night games come up, I know better than even to get my hopes up most of the time.
Wins are Twice as Exciting
Another reason to visit some legal US gambling sites to put a little action on your favorite organization has nothing to do with the accuracy of your predictions; it’s about the payoff. It’s already a wonderful day when your boys make you proud and take care of business. It’s also already a real treat when you nail a wager and get rewarded with a nice payout.
So, when you get to experience both of these little dopamine bursts on the same day, your weekend can’t get much better! It’s like those athletes that you follow and love so much actually went out and earned money on your behalf. If you want to add to the thrill of being a hardcore fan, there’s nothing better than putting your money where your allegiance is, only to be rewarded for your loyalty.
Possible to Create a Win-Win
On the flip side, there’s another benefit to betting on games involving the team you love. This is more for the glass half empty people out there. If you’re having a rough week and don’t feel like you can even handle a significant loss for the weekend, you can wager in such a way that no matter what happens, you’ll have at least something to be happy with.
In order to ensure yourself at least one good result, you’re going to have to do the unthinkable and bet against your boys. That’s right, by placing a bet on the opponent, you can guarantee yourself either a gambling win or a real-life NFL win. I once spent an entire season doing this, wagering whichever amount each week that I felt I’d be willing to pay for a win.
For example, when we’d play that Patriots, I’d say “I would gladly pay $100 for the Texans to win this game.” Now, if they pulled it out and won, I was out $100, which I was perfectly comfortable spending on such a result. But, since that never happens and we always lose to the Pats, more often than not I got a free $60 – $75 to make me feel better about being outclassed and outcoached yet again.
However, using legal US gambling sites to bet on your favorite team isn’t always the incredible plan it can seem like at times. Having additional knowledge isn’t always particularly helpful, especially when there’s emotion involved. Every year, the team on HBO Hard Knocks sees an increase in betting action because the increased familiarity the public gains from the show convinces many that the franchise being covered is much better than in reality.
May Overrate Players
One of the most significant issues with hardcore fandom is the prevalence of fans grossly overestimating the talent of their favorite players. It can sometimes be difficult to stay objective when evaluating talent, especially when you’re emotionally invested in a team.
I’ve talked myself into players like Louis Nix III, Devier Posey (he actually went on to be pretty good in the CFL), Braxton Miller, Jaelen Strong, and countless other Texans players who went on to be bums in the NFL.
It’s hard not to overrate your own guys! You see all of their upsides on draft night, hear great things about them from the local media and coaches during training camp, and get hyped over their potential in various message boards and subreddits.
Then when the whole fanbase is whipped into a frenzy, you see them on the field, and the do absolutely nothing. It’s a bad enough feeling on its own, much less with money on the line.
Betting with Your Heart
We also have a tendency to bet on that which we want to have happen more so than what we believe will actually take place. It can feel like if you have enough faith and put some money on your squad, you may somehow will them to win with your confidence. And while that book The Secret may suggest you’re correct, It’s often not the wisest wagering strategy.
The bottom line is, it can be tough to be objective when it comes to one of your personal favorites. So, if you’re unable to separate your fandom from your handicapping, placing bets on your favorite franchise might not be the best idea.
When it comes to gambling, the less frequently you allow your heart to make decisions over your brain, the better. Betting is all about probabilities and math, and to make the right choices, you often have to swallow your fandom and gamble on what’s most likely to happen, not just what you want to happen.
Hesitant to Bet Against
Placing bets on the team, you call your own is definitely a bad idea if you’re unable to wager on their opponent from time to time. This falls into that same mindset of betting with your heart over your head. If you’ve followed an organization for long enough, chances are you have a pretty decent idea when they’re entering a contest that they’re destined to lose.
All of that additional knowledge and understanding isn’t all that helpful if you can only utilize it half the time. Often, it’s easier to use your background with a team to spot losses than it is to say that they’re going to win with any confidence. At least that’s been my experience with the Houston Texans.
I swear, I can look at the schedule and diagnose the matchups that they’re going to let me down. This is true even when they’re the favorite to win. In those situations, I have no issue at all putting money on the other side. Again, I justify this essentially “purchasing” an unlikely win.
I put a nice chunk of change on the opponent that I’m willing to give away for a win, but if they flounder as expected, at least the extra cash will brighten my mood. If you feel too much like a traitor to pull such mental gymnastics, betting on your home team may not be for you.
Salt in the Wounds
If you do enjoy legally gambling on the team that you’ve given your fandom, it can lead to some very salty Sundays. Losing bets stinks, as does having your squad lay an egg over the weekend or Monday night. But when both of these things happen on the same field, it can be downright sickening. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that nothing will make you hate the National Football League faster than a few of those double-loss weekends.
So, if you’re only willing to bet for your squad, and not against them, prepare yourself for some angry Sundays. Maybe sign up for a boxing class or yoga or meditation ahead of time so that you’re able to burn off any stress caused by a full systemic failure on both the field and sportsbook ticket.
Personally, I’ve sworn off betting, football, fantasy football, and sports in general during loss-induced rage; yet here I am pumped up beyond belief at the beginning of another season.
At the end of the day, whether or not betting on your favorite team is the right move comes down to the individual. First, ask yourself if you can evaluate the roster without bias. Overrating their talent or always predicting the best-case scenario is not going to do you any favors with the oddsmakers. To bet on your own team, you have to be able to separate your emotions and the cold, hard, data.
There’s also the issue of what such bets may do to you psychologically. Are you someone who can go all in without concern or worry? If you lose both the money and the game, will your weekend be ruined? Are you like me, who prefers to wager against his own team to ensure that something good happens no matter what?
If you want to utilize legal US gambling sites to gamble on the franchise closest to your heart, make sure that you can decide what you think will happen, even if it’s not what you want to happen. Few bettors out there know your squad more intimately than you and the rest of the hardcore fans, which gives you an edge at the bookie.
Knowing the ins and outs of a squad is arguably most valuable when identifying weaknesses and anticipating bad matchups and losses. Do you have the nerve to profit off those bad matchups? If not, steer clear of your favorite team altogether.