Saturday, September 16, 2006

Better Than March Madness

This weekend's games are soon to be upon us, and I can't wait. There are so many great games on the agenda, for both college and pro, that I'll probably wear out my remote control sometime in the next 48 hours. And the great thing about working in a casino is that I have a sportsbook available to me every time I take a break--no more trying out overseas books, hoping they're legit, and no worrying that the heavy jackboot of the justice department is gonna come raid my house and take my computer away as 'evidence', because we all know what a scourge to society laying a twenty spot against the Raider Nation is.

Anyhow, with that in mind, this is the action I've got going so far this weekend. First of all, let me say how surprised I am with how few moneylines there are for the NFL this week. There are so many double-digit underdogs that you can hardly make a decent bet, but I think I may have found a few.

As far as today's college games go, my buddy Todd and I have done our usual $10 eight-team jackpot parlay, that will net us $1600 if we ever get lucky enough to hit it. He's from Nashville, too, and a huge Titans fan, and is taking a vacation this weekend to go out to San Diego to see them get whacked by the Chargers. Poor guy. Maybe we can win this weekly sucker bet while he's gone and it'll help soothe the pain.

This is what we went with:

Boise State -7.5 over Wyoming

Florida -3.5 over Tennessee

Notre Dame -6.5 over Michigan

Louisville -4.5 over Miami

Fresno State -3.5 over Washington

Kentucky -3.5 over Ole Miss

Vanderbilt +5.5 over Arkansas

Southern Cal -18.5 over Nebraska

Coleslaw -4.5 over Ice Cream

Yep--That's eight hundred bucks each if we've guessed all eight games correctly. I can smell those crispy new Benjamins now...

Of course, we know it's a ridiculous longshot to cash an eight teamer, so I've made a couple of other parlays. Yesterday the book offered Friday-only 'Happy Hour' lines, where they sometimes shave off a half point here and there or raise the money lines a bit to induce early action. And since I make my college bets on Friday anyways, I went that route.

With college, there are never a lot of great moneylines out there, but I did find a few, so I did a three-team moneyline parlay for $25.

If Notre Dame, Florida, and Louisville all win their games straight up today, (no point spread), my $25 bet turns into $90.30. Not too bad, I think.

I also did a $20 four-team parlay for tomorrow's NFL games. Here's what I went with:

Ravens -11.5 over the Raiders

Colts -13.5 over the Texans

Bengals -10.5 over the Browns

Rams -3 over the 49ers

If I catch all four, that's a $280 payoff.

Yeah, I know that a lot of you savvy sports bettors out there think that I'm doing a bunch of sucker bets, but the truth is, every year I manage to catch three or four of these four-teamers out of 17 tries. That's somewhere north of $800 for a $340 investment. And it's a lot of fun, too. Even more fun than buying Powerball tickets and hoping that your number comes up. At least with sports betting, you have a shot of winning every now and then. And I get a helluva lot more entertainment out of that $20 than I would if I went to a movie and then bought popcorn and a large Coke.

But yeah, straight up bets are a much better deal, and of course I do my fair share of those too. But we'll see how today's games go before I wager anything else on Sunday's action.

I just realized that I've probably made more sports bets this month than I did during the past two March Madness tournaments combined. College basketball is fun and all, but football is America's Game.

And gambling is it's true pastime.


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