In this article, I’ll lay out five tips to help you make smarter decisions when betting on cultural events.
1 – Value, Value, Value
You’ve probably heard the old adage about the three most important real estate rules being, “Location, location, location.” The same applies to betting, only this time the word is “value.”
When betting on political elections or reality TV, it’s important to determine what the odds are telling you or how they’re trying to trap you into making a bad decision. First and foremost, in the case of reality TV, unpredictability is just part of its nature. It’s critical that you don’t make decisions that put you in a high-risk, low-reward situation.
If there’s an option to bet on who is going to be the next contestant sent home on The Bachelor, it can get risky to bet on the person who is the biggest “favorite.” Even if you believe it’s a foregone conclusion, you need to lay out a number that you decide is just too much to risk. For me, that would be around -200.
The bottom line is that when it comes to real-world events, the level of variability and unpredictability rivals that of sports. In many cases, it’s even more pronounced.
I believe strongly in the philosophy that if you make plays with favorable odds, meaning putting yourself in positions in low-risk, high-reward situations, it’ll work out in your favor over time. To sum it up – when in doubt, go with value over certainty.
2 – Know the Rules (It’s Different Than Sports)
Nearly every online sportsbook has live betting options for sporting events. If you’re unfamiliar, live betting refers to putting wagers on the outcome of the event while it’s taking place. Of course, the odds will change as the action dictates, but at least you feel like you’re making a more educated decision.
When it comes to reality TV bets, live betting is rarely offered. If you want to bet, you need to make sure everything is locked in before the start of the show.
On the other hand, if you’re betting on elections, live betting is typically an option. However, I’d highly advise against it.
In most elections, there’s a clear favorite. In fact, many times, the person who is expected to win doesn’t even face any real competition. When an election is expected to be close to the point where nobody has real confidence in the outcome, don’t wait until the votes start coming in to make your bet.
You know that votes come in sporadically if you’ve ever sat down for a night of presidential election coverage. It can look like one candidate is running away with it, only to have the tides turn when a certain state or district submits its count.
Yes, the online betting sites will adjust odds accordingly as the votes come in, but the reality is that it’s pretty much irrelevant until it’s near the very end. If you try to wait until you think you know who will win to place a bet, the sportsbooks are going to thank you for your participation.
In an NFL game, you can make smart live bets. For example, betting on the pre-game favorite after they get down a score would be a good one. But when it comes to politics, the sportsbook is in control.
Live betting is an awesome tool for sports bettors, however, when it comes to reality TV or politics, it’s best to not even consider it an option.
3 – Find a Good Sportsbook
It doesn’t matter if you’re betting on the NFL, cricket, horse racing, reality TV, or politics, finding a good sportsbook—preferably a few good sportsbooks—is a top priority.
When it comes to betting on sports online, every wagering platform is going to have roughly the same offerings at approximately the same odds. The same cannot be said for reality TV or politics.
First and foremost, there are plenty of online sportsbooks that don’t offer reality TV or politics aside from presidential elections. If these are the events you want to wager on, it’s necessary to find a site that has everything you want.
Some online sportsbooks have carved out a niche and specialize in putting odds on cultural events. As with anything else, it’s best to find a company that “specializes” in your interests. In this case, that means certain platforms will have vast array of betting options that encompass more shows and elections than just the notable ones that everyone is typically aware of, bettor or not.
Betting on entertainment and cultural events isn’t for everyone. When I say that, I mean it’s not for every sportsbook either. It takes time and resources to go through the process of putting together odds for Survivor, Big Brother, The Bachelor, Senate races—you get the point. You’ll have a much better time if you stick to sites that are geared toward these events.
Not settling for the first sportsbook that is offering a bet you want can save you a ton of headaches down the road. If the site you’re looking at isn’t exactly what you want, chances are it’s out there somewhere if you take the time to find it.
4 – Gauge the Public Interest
One of the most exciting aspects of reality TV, especially shows that have a winner, is that the public gets to join the conversation and make its collective voice heard.
In some shows, such as Survivor, the responsibility of sending someone home falls on the contestants themselves. In other shows, like The Masked Singer, contestants rely on the crowd or the public to pick a winner.
What does this mean for bettors?
It means you must determine how you think people feel about a certain contestant and more so if a real relationship has been developed with the audience.
Everyone knows that regardless of what show you’re talking about, there are some contestants that just endear themselves to the audience in a way that helps form a real connection. These types of individuals are also great for the shows themselves, as viewers tune in to get updates on their “friends.”
As much as gauging public interest can help you when betting on reality TV, it’s even more critical when betting on politics. Obviously, voting is an indicator of public interest in and of itself, but in order to make it useful from a betting standpoint, you need to have a feel for how people are thinking about each candidate before the votes start coming in.
One way to do this is by going back and looking at the approval ratings of incumbent candidates. If, for example, a candidate for governor has had a pristine record in every political job they’ve had along the way, it could be an indication that they’ve inspired his or her voting base to get out and cast a ballot.
Remember, when it comes to winning an election, half the battle is simply getting people off the couch and to the ballot box. If one candidate has a clear an obvious edge as far as that’s concerned, history would suggest they’re more likely to win.
5 – Watch, Then Watch Some More
If you’re really looking to turn your television watching experience into a profitable endeavor, you actually need to watch the shows you’re betting on. If you’re talking about political betting, you need to be reading all the latest updates on the candidates involved.
Simply put, there are no shortcuts to predicting future events. You need to do your research and put in the time to learn exactly what’s going on. And even then, sometimes it’s not enough. But if you prepare adequately, at the very least, you can rest assured that you did all you could to give yourself the best chance at winning.
Aside from the gambling implications, if you’re even reading this article, it’s probably because you genuinely enjoy the drama that comes with reality TV or politics (which some might argue have much more in common than you’d think). It’s time you started making money from your interests instead of letting all that previously-unimportant knowledge go to waste.
The reality TV and political betting markets are nowhere near the size of its sports betting counterpart, but there’s still plenty of money to be made.
Keep in mind that finding a good sportsbook has to be your first step, so choose carefully. But once you have your preferred site selected, revisit this list and start putting some action on the outcomes of elections and reality TV.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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