Similarities Between Fantasy Leagues and Sports Betting

by Andy Stitzer

Everyone who plays in fantasy sports leagues will already know that the big appeal is the additional level of excitement it adds to the season. It also lets you have more control than you do over the fortunes of your team in the real-world leagues! Some fantasy league fans also enjoy sports betting, but what are the similarities and differences between the two for the novice?

Well, one key thing that the two have in common is that both require knowledge and skill if you want to be a success, but people who don’t take part in them see them as just a matter of luck. There are rules for smart sports betting, such as to pick sports you know about, keep up to date with the latest news about them, and to watch closely if you are making live in-game bets. Well, the same is true for fantasy league betting, with a study published by MIT showing that knowledge has more to do with success than luck. It found that the players who win are the ones who keep themselves fully informed about everything from weather conditions to player injuries and form – all the same factors that can affect the success of sports bets. The study didn’t reveal some magic talent that can make you king of the fantasy leagues, sadly, but it did show that it is not just about blind chance.

Perhaps some people think that fantasy leagues are like a sports equivalent to Harry Potter, because of the use of ‘fantasy’, but of course this is…well…a fantasy. They use statistical data that is taken from the performances of sports stars in the real world, which is another thing they have in common with sports betting. The valuation of a particular player in fantasy leagues is determined based on current form and expectations for him in upcoming matches. As both draw from the same pool of statistical information, being good at fantasy league can actually help you be good at betting on sports.

There are differences between the two as well though, as fantasy league betting involves building a side that you think can beat those put together by other players competing in the same league, whereas with sports betting you just place bets on existing sides to win. Fantasy league is more demanding in this respect, because you have to be able to analyze what players will work well together and compete against others who are doing the same. Standard sports betting is about putting faith in the outcome of teams put together by others. It is precisely because of this team building aspect that fantasy league is officially classified as a skill game and legal throughout the US while sports’ betting is not, which is surely the biggest difference between the two.

There are definite similarities and differences between fantasy league and sports betting, but being good at one can help you be good at the other.

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