Over the weekend, I had to fly home to Louisiana for a funeral of a close family member. After paying my respects and spending much needed quality time with my family, my brother suggested that we go do something to blow off some steam after an emotional day. He asked me if I ever bet on sports and my answer was "No, because I never put my money on anything I can't directly control". The old saying "Never say Never" is true because I got convinced to put my money on sports.

My First Time Sports Betting

Melz
Melz
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We took a trip to Baton Rouge and found a casino with a bunch of sportsbook kiosks which allowed us to place our bets. Before going inside, my brother pretty much coached me up on what to look for and how to bet but it was still an overwhelming process. I went with bets on all the NFL Week 13 matchups and I must have been at my kiosk for nearly an hour trying to come up with the right combination of picks to maximize my jackpot. I only spent $40 total on 3 "parlays" which will be explained shortly.

How Did You Do??

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iStock
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Let's just say that since I'm writing this article, I didn't win a damn thing. For some strange reason, the Detroit Lions decided that my first week betting would be the week they wanted to win JUST ONE GAME this season. Thanks Minnesota for ruining my picks...I had every game correctly picked on my parlays which would have paid me over $1500 on $30 in bets. I spent $10 on a parlay ticket of just afternoon games as well but I went with Jacksonville to win as an underdog against the L.A. Rams and the Jags got blowed out by 30 points. So asking me to help you pick games is a waste of time.

Sports Gambling Is Now Legal All Around Us...Except In Texas And Oklahoma

Pile of Money
Ingram Publishing
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With sports gambling now allowed to be legal in all 50 states, you still can't place a bet in Texas or Oklahoma so you'll have to drive to either New Mexico, Arkansas or in this case, Louisiana to find some action. If you do decide to get your blood revved up and make your sports watching more interesting (and stressful) then there are some things you need to know before you go.

1. UNDERSTAND THE TERMINOLOGY

How much time you got? If you have 7 minutes, this video will help you understand the 3 main methods you can bet on sports: Spread, Moneyline and Over/Under. It will also explain other forms like "parlays" which I mentioned earlier.

2. Know EXACTLY who or what you're picking

Football.
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Save yourself time and "temptation" and know what teams you're teams and bets you're going to make before you arrive at the casino, especially if you plan on going up to the "window" at some locations to place your bet. Luckily, I went to a casino with kiosks so I took my time making my picks but you don't want to hold up other bettors asking a million questions and the casino employees can't help you with "picks".

3. Have FUN, Don't Take It Too Seriously

Super Bowl LII Proposition Bets At The Westgate Las Vegas Race & Sports SuperBook
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Remember that this is meant to be fun so keep it that way by not putting your life savings or your kids college tuition into this. Don't become an addict. Sure, its easy to say now that you're just getting started but the adrenaline rush can get you folks. Set strict limits on what you're going to spend and stick to it. While there's a chance that you can "strike it rich" the chances of you NOT winning are even greater. Have FUN.

The Definitive Ranking of Texas Professional Sports Mascots

I am a Dallas fan for pretty much everything, except baseball. Sorry, grew up in Baltimore so the Orioles are my team. However, when it comes to my mascot list below, I am being 100% honest. I think my choices will honestly shock you.

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