Fantasy football is a popular pastime – and it’s easy to see why. Putting together your own team is a way of bringing to life your football passion and giving yourself a chance to put yourself in the coach’s shoes while feeling the power of assembling a team of your own design.
But with sports betting now legal across the US, many people who previously enjoyed fantasy football are now finding themselves moving into the world of sports betting. Sports betting has some similarities to fantasy football in that it allows the bettor to experiment with different potential outcomes. It does, of course, come with the crucial difference of having a financial element. This blog post will explore just what the difference is between fantasy football and sports betting and will look at what each can offer.
What is fantasy football?
Put simply, fantasy football is a pastime which involves piecing together your ideal football team and then running models of the team playing live, to see how they perform. It’s a common pastime in Europe, where fantasy soccer is common – but it’s also popular in North America for American football. It’s normally played on a computer or tablet, and often requires internet connectivity.
With fantasy football, it’s possible to piece together different players from different teams to form an ideal team. In essence, you become the manager – and also the owner. That means you’re not only arranging the players and their line-up – you’re also virtually buying and selling players as though you were responsible for the transfer window! There’s also a competitive element to it. Once you’ve put your team together you can play against your buddies and see whose team is the best.
Fantasy football can be played without any financial element at all. However, if you prefer, it’s possible to play for cash – or other – prizes. Fantasy sports sites allow players to win cash prizes if they reach certain metrics, for example – but it remains entirely optional, and you can simply play for fun.
How is sports betting different?
As you’ll know if you’ve ever taken part in online sports betting in MI, there are some key differences between fantasy football and sports betting. The first is that the potential to secure cash payouts is entirely optional in fantasy football while with sports betting it’s basically not. While a group of friends might “place bets” in a casual context without any cash changing hands, the almost-universally understood definition of a “bet” is that cash will be won or lost.
In sports betting, bettors will bet a wager or stake on a particular outcome or set of player performances. Then, they will wait for the outcome and either lose their stake or win more money. Fundamentally, then, sports betting is totally different. While both sports betting and fantasy football involve key considerations around what the outcomes of sporting events are likely to be, they take very different approaches when it comes to money changing hands and the risk levels involved.
There’s no reason why a player of fantasy football can’t also be a sports bettor. The two aren’t mutually exclusive – and sometimes you may even be able to use the same provider. Some sites offer both, although you should always check that sports betting is legal in your state before plunging in and getting started.
However, it’s important to make a distinction between the two, and to ensure that you learn what the two different types of gameplay are. If you go into sports betting thinking that it’s as risk-free as fantasy football, for example, you’re likely to be in for a rude awakening. Provided you understand the difference and can judge the risk accurately for yourself, you’re likely to enjoy the experience.
Fantasy football is clearly a highly popular activity with lots of fans. It allows people to enjoy the thrill of creating an ideal team, and also to predict the outcomes of games. In the latter sense, it’s not unlike sports betting – and now that sports betting has been effectively legalized in a number of jurisdictions across the US, it’s clear that there are plenty of ways for fans who want to experiment with different outcomes to indulge themselves.
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