It’s here. The first Sunday of the 2021 Season of NFL Football and here’s a reflection on my first real weekend of football betting.
Growing up, my dad had always taken me to the track to bet on the ponies and he would give me those paper football pools where you could bet $5 to try and win 3 or 4 games and cash. But that was all small stakes. Finally the weekend came where I grabbed my dad’s Winning Points magazine, listened to their stupid ass bullshit and made some real bets with my own bookie. Like Adam Lippman from Seinfeld, I was a man. This…was…real.
So with a mix of straight bets and parlays, I’d dug myself into a pretty nice little hole. Heading into Monday Night Football I was down $305. I will never forget that number, it seemed like one that was insurmountable. The Monday night game in question was October 1, 1990 and the 3-0 Cincinnati Bengals were travelling to the Kingdome to take on the Seattle Seahawks.
The Bengals were -2.5 favorites. So, as a born and bred degenerate, what did I do? You’re damn straight, I tried to wager the total amount on the Seahawks to cover the spread. I was only 21 at the time and still in college, so this would have been a fairly substantial wager. If the Seahawks won I’d be even, but if they lost I’d be even worse, down $640.50.
So what happened? Well the bookie, who was a friend, worried I was going to be in deep shit and talked me out of that bet and instead I only wagered $50 on the Seahawks. Well, thanks to three touchdowns by RB Derrick Fenner, guess who won and won big. Yup, the Seahawks 31-16, and not me.
I had the winner and could have been even. Instead I still owed $255 at the end of the week and had a really shitty taste in my mouth. And the guy barely apologized. Yeah he was looking out for my well being, but that’s not what you need when you have a wager in which you feel really strongly. It’s like at the track when you like a horse and someone says well I like the 6. Who gives a fuck what you like? The moral of the story, stick by your guns. You want to make a bet, make it. Any old school gambler will tell you, study long, study wrong. It has its merits, until it doesn’t. Like in this case.
Well, if you want to make a wager on the Bengals or the Seahawks today then head over to BetRivers. Over 30 years later I still love a tasty home dog, so I’m all in on Cincy +3. As Sinatra would say, I hope you are fortunate. Enjoy week #1.