Before diving into how punters can legally place a wager on the Pittsburgh Steelers, this post will briefly touch upon the chain of events that has in recent years landed bettors with 9 online sportsbooks to choose from in the Keystone state legally and safely.
Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992
PASPA, otherwise known as the Bradley Act, established by Congress in 1992, restricted most legal betting to Nevada. Except for a few lotteries in Delaware, Montana, and Oregon.
Sports leagues initially supported PASPA to sustain the integrity of sports events and stamp out potential bribery scandals from occurring.
However, research from the American Gaming Association (AGA) revealed, before PASPA was struck down, 97% of the $150 billion a year wagered on sports was done so illegally.
Which caused a surge in organized crime groups creating unsafe gambling opportunities and an abundance of money being sent illegally to offshore gambling companies.
The Elimination of PASPA
New Jersey was instrumental in the process of urging the Supreme Court to decriminalize the act. As of 14th May 2018, each US state may choose whether to authorize sports bookmakers and wagers in-person and online.
In the first year, numerous states declared one or more forms of sports betting legal. Delaware dived in first, with New Jersey close behind.
PA Modernizes Legal System for Gambling
Pennsylvania, home to The Steelers and an array of sports fans, were fourth in line to modernize their gambling laws in 2018 and regulate sports wagers.
The law allows people within state lines to place bets in person and online on collegiate, professional, and international sporting events. However, bettors must be 21 years of age or over to gamble.
The intention of the PA to legalize gambling was to uplift the economy. By 2019, PA had succeeded in their quest as they reportedly collected $33.9 million from online gambling alone.
Today, Pennsylvania proudly owns the fastest-growing gambling market out of all states in the US. To supplement the increasing demand for sports betting platforms, Pennsylvania is partnering with online providers to offer an enhanced iGaming experience for all players.
Football’s Most Popular Sports Wagers
With the legal side of sports betting in Pennsylvania covered. The below section moves onto the different types of bets sports fans can place on one of America’s most loved sports, and for readers, their most-loved team, the Steelers!
In football, point spreads, also referred to as betting lines and handicaps, are the most popular bets Americans make.
Football point spreads involve the bookmaker determining the final margin for a football game as a 50/50 bet based on the forecasted final margin of the game.
One team tends to be the favorite which will have a higher likelihood of winning. At the same time, the other is seen as the underdog with a lower chance of winning.
If the Steelers happen to be the favorite, and bettors choose them to win, they will need to surrender a certain number of points. Plus, for the punter to win, the Steelers must earn more points than the bettor has given up.
In opposition, the underdog must win outright or by less than the points they received. Point spreads in pro football can range between +1/-1 to +14/-14.
The second favorite sports bet in football is over under wagers.
Much like a point spread, a sports bookmaker forecasts what points are likely to be won in a game. With a 50/50 chance, the event will either finish with more or less than the estimated points score for each team.
For example, suppose a bookmaker reveals the over under points to be 50.5 between the Steelers and Browns. Bettors will need both teams to win a minimum of 51 points to win.
However, if fans place a bet on under at 50.5 points, they will need both teams to score 50 points tops. There are also options to place wagers on an individual team’s points totals too.
Without handicaps or points total in play, all that matters in a money line bet is which team wins.
While the bookie will display the odds of who is favorite to win, keep in mind, betting on the favorite is likely to earn bettors less of a return if the team wins. However, if bettors see value in betting on the underdog with lower odds, the return is likely to be much better if they win.
Most football bettors prefer to mix up point spread and money line bets to hedge their chances of winning a greater return.
Parlay bets combine multiple winning outcomes on one betting slip. Parlay is popular among skilled bettors who are comfortable calling more than one team’s result at a time.
To win, all of the bettor’s predictions for every game selected must-win for the bookies to pay-out.
Depending on cash to spend, knowledge of the game, and confidence in a set number of teams to win, some bettors may bet up to 12 team parlays.
In which case, often, only a tiny amount is required to secure the bet and so, should the predictions be correct, the bettor could win a humongous pile of cash. If they’re wrong, they haven’t lost a significant sum of money.
With the legal knowledge of sports betting and different football bets, bettors can easily determine their legal stance on betting in PA on the Steelers next season and which football wagers to make.