(CBS New York/CBS Local) — Sports betting is sweeping the nation.
Sports gambling is now legal in eight states, but it wasn’t that long ago that Nevada was the only state in the country to allow this. Professional sports handicapper Kelly Stewart has seen this industry grow from the inside and is one of the many people that Showtime followed in its new docu-series “Action.” The four part docu-series explores the rise of this big business and its key players. Stewart’s whole life changed with one college football bet.
“In reality I made $8500 from that parlay, but that one bet changed my life,” said Stewart in an interview with CBS Local. “What catapulted me into the spotlight is that I was a female who hit on an 85-1 ticket. People were like ‘who is this girl’ or ‘who is her boyfriend giving her picks.’ With the legislation last year, this whole world has blown up.”
Stewart provides betting advice weekly on CBS Sports HQ and WagerTalk. Kelly in Vegas was ahead of the curve in predicting the rise of the gambling industry.
“I wrote an article for the New York Times seven years ago and predicted in five or six years that we would have legalized sports betting,” said Stewart. “So much money is going to the offshores. It is amazing to see these states legalize it. We need money for schools and infrastructure. In New Jersey, this may help revitalize Atlantic City.”
This week will be a busy one for Stewart with the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. The professional sports handicapper has a few words of advice for everyday people looking to lay down some money on the games.
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“There’s a lot of really interesting dynamics that go into March Madness,” said Stewart. “The bookmakers focus really hard on their numbers, so by the time you go to bet, the lines have already shifted to where the market wants them to be. Bet early, bet often and look for those juicy underdogs. Those 12 seeds and 13 seeds might surprise you. Teams that have lost six of their last 10 games usually lose in the second round.”
Watch “Action” on Showtime starting Sunday, Mar. 24th at 8pm EST/PST.