FALCON POINTS

5 basic betting tips now that more sports have returned

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Now that the NBA and NHL have returned to join MLB, golf and NASCAR, among others, there is no shortage of sports to wager on. If you are going to dive in, we provide a few tips on how to approach these sports, which are all essentially being played under unique rules. That will impact games and wagers. As a general rule, I rarely bet baseball and the NBA, but if you spot some trends, there is money to be made:

1) Don't overdo it

The temptation is there to play everything, especially since we have not had much to bet on. But keep in mind there are lots of options every day now. Pick your spots and be patient. Don't bet just to have action.

2) Don't be afraid to bet on your teams

Sometimes, having an emotional involvement in a team can be a negative. But if you can look at it objectively, it makes sense to bet on the team you follow. It's simple reasoning; you will know more about that team than any other. Sometimes that knowledge will lead you to bet against them. Again, be objective and it can pay off.

3) Throw out the old trends

Treat each sport like it is a new season and you have to develop new trends and data. For instance, early in the real regular season, hockey overs were easy money. But in the re-start, defenses and goalies have been well ahead, and that trend has reversed. Keep in mind some hockey and basketball teams have players who were out when the season was paused and have returned now, so you are starting from scratch in many ways. In baseball, watch for struggling high profile pitchers and bet against them until it turns around. In hockey, keep an eye out for hot goalies. And in the NBA, some teams are more prepared. These are all things to look for.

4) Keep an eye on the bankroll

With so much action available, be smart with your money. One rule I always use is never bet more than 10 percent of your bankroll on a given game. So if you are playing with $100 in your account, your maximum bet should be $10 per game. It will help mitigate your losses and keep you from chasing lost money.

5) Where you bet is critical

Having more than one web site is always a good idea, so you can shop for value and bet where you have the best lines or totals. If you like an over in a baseball game, for instance, and it is 8 runs on Website A and 9 on Website B, clearly you will take the extra run. Also make sure you use sites that will actually pay you when you win. I use two sites - mybookie.ag and BUSR. Both have lots of deposit options, are very user friendly and actually pay you when you win.

Whatever sport you are into, try some of these basic tips and good luck with your wagers.

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Correa could be on his way out. Composite image by Jack Brame.

It has not been the best of times to be a star athlete in Houston. In the last year, Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins were solid off for a warm bucket of spit. George Springer won't be back. James Harden and Russell Westbrook rumors are rampant. J.J. Watt might be moving on as well.

Now, reports are the Astros are listening to offers for Carlos Correa.

Predictably, Astros fans are livid. And if it's true, they should be concerned about the bigger picture.

Trading Correa makes sense - if you have no plans on keeping him after next season, as was clearly the case with Springer. If the Astros can get a haul and replenish the farm system, it would be the right move, especially considering Correa's injury history.

But in the long run, it does not bode well for the direction of the team. All recent indications are that the Astros are going cheap.

They would still be a competitive team without Correa, but it would be yet another indication their World Series window has closed. Alex Bregman could slide over to shortstop, but who would play third? And they only have one starting outfielder on the roster as it is. Putting together a competitive lineup around Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez would still be possible, but if the Astros aren't going to spend money, that could be problematic.

The writing was probably on the wall when the team hired James Click as GM from the notoriously frugal Tampa Bay organization. The good news is the Rays have been successful. But this is a new direction for a team that was not afraid to spend big money to make runs at the World Series.

If they lose Correa, they lose a team leader, one of the few players who embraced the villain role in the wake of the cheating controversy and was not afraid to speak out. But he has never lived up to his MVP potential, has battled injuries and will command big dollars on the open market. He is still young enough to become that kind of player, and someone will gamble big money that he will.

Sadly, if this rumor is true, it won't be the Astros.

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