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How-To Guide: Betting For College Students

by Joe Cipollone on January 27, 2012
Senior > Criminal Justice > University of Maryland
Betting sports is an amazing way to make an otherwise uninteresting games worth watching. Photo by stevendepolo > Flickr
Betting sports is an amazing way to make an otherwise uninteresting games worth watching. Photo by stevendepolo > Flickr

You are not a handicapper. You are not a sharp. You are not an expert. And you are not 40. Betting is not and should not be relied on for your main source of income, and by no surprise the way you bet must reflect these simple truths. 

So let's focus on what you are. You are a college student. You love sports. You watch the games and you have an interest in betting and point spreads. If picking the games straight up is like algebra, then picking with the point spread is like calculus. 

Make no mistake: betting sports is not easy. It does, however, add an extra complexity and intricacy to sports that enhances the sport experience for millions across the country.  So let’s look at some things to remember for a college student in the betting world.

1. Stick to your budget

We all know how important budgeting is during college life. We don’t have high-paying jobs and are often scrapping to get by so we have enough money to go out on the weekends. As a result, it is very important to make a betting budget you are comfortable with that would not significantly affect your lifestyle if you were to (God forbid) go on a cold streak.

Once you make a budget, stick to it. Sure, some weeks you may bet more than others because, naturally, there will be some games you like more than others. But make sure your weekly betting budget isn’t as volatile as the stock market. Think of it like your drinking budget – you are going to spend more on the big nights that you and everyone else are really excited about, but you never want to wake up the next morning stunned at how much money you just lost. So yeah, your bets will fluctuate, but just make sure it is within a range so you can get out of bed the next morning.      

2. Do your Homework

This isn’t a 100-level college course; you need to do your homework. Never bet a game just because your Uncle Jim or buddy Jake swears it’s the lock of the century. Watch the games; keep up with injuries and team news; pay attention to standings, trends and momentum. 

3. Stick with what you know

This is a simple one. Bill Parcells always said you are what your record is. Dennis Green likes to know who the other team is. In your case, it is important to know who you are and what you know. If you are a big football fan, bet football. If you never watch hockey, don’t bet the over on a Capitals-Rangers game because you are just bored on a Tuesday night and none of your friends want to go out.

4. Have fun

Why not right? This isn’t your job; you don’t need to win these bets to pay your mortgage or your kid’s college tuition. Betting sports is an amazing way to make an otherwise uninteresting games worth watching. As Will Smith knows, life is about the moments that take your breath away. So yeah, you are a college kid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with sports betting. And maybe you may just win some money. 

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