On April 10, Covers Experts trotted out a handicapper named Jack Zito, a 21-year-old whiz kid who not only “cashed in the Hilton NFL Supercontest” but also has a team of statisticians working on his behalf.
The problem? His name isn’t Zito, he did not compete in the Supercontest and he also does not have a team of statisticians.
Zito’s marketing slogan — “I’m not your typical professional sports bettor” — is one of the only pieces of truthful information found on his (former) pick-selling home page, and it isn’t truthful in the way that Covers would like it to be.
The reason why Zito is not your typical professional sports bettor is because he isn’t a professional sports bettor at all. In fact, he’s actually a senior in marketing at a Southeastern Conference school, a kid who spent last Saturday morning playing NBA 2K with a friend rather than picking winners for his clients.
Zito initially inquired about a position at Covers Experts on March 24, according to e-mails obtained by BTB. He was fired on April 14 — five days into his pick-selling career (he posted a 3-9 overall record) — after Covers discovered Zito wasn’t who he said he was.
Still, the obvious question is this: How on earth did a 21-year-old college kid land on the Internet’s No. 1 sports betting site selling picks at a cost of up to $450/month? After a review of roughly two dozen e-mails, it’s quite apparent how it happened.
But more on that some other time.
Instead, let’s focus on the résumé that Zito submitted to Covers, a résumé that would have made anybody in a hiring position extremely skeptical. Keep in mind: Zito told Covers that he was 21 years old; a college student; and a professional bettor.
Here’s one of several laugh-out-loud funny portions of the submitted résumé:
A quick glance at Zito’s employment history reveals an inconsistency.
He says that he has been “betting on sports as only source of income” since August 2008. And yet, he also says that he was employed by a storage garage from May 2008 through August 2009.
How many professional bettors are also part-time employees? How many write free entries for a blog that receives such minimal traffic that Alexa doesn’t even recognize it? (Jack Zito, by the way, isn’t listed as a contributing writer.)
How many pro bettors live in Oxford, Miss.?
More specifically: How many of them turn pro at age 19 or 20?
SAY IT OUT LOUD
ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd has something he likes to call the “Say It Out Loud” test, which can be best summed up like this:
Simply recite the fact set of the issue(s) at hand out loud and listen to see how stupid it actually sounds against a framework of basic, simple common sense.
So, let’s go through them. Zito …
- Claims to be a 21-year-old professional bettor and has been for three years.
- Says he handicaps games 12 to 15 hours per day.
- Says he is a college student.
Say it out loud: What 21-year-old college student has 12 to 15 hours per day to devote to handicapping games, while also maintaining outside employment?
Class alone — assuming he attended them — would require at least three hours per day. Homework assignments and studying would have required at least twice that amount, if not more.
Factor in football games, parties, eating, showering, television, Facebook, etc., and a reasonable person would have come to the conclusion that Zito isn’t who he portrays himself to be. (Unless, of course, he has 38-hour days.)
Covers wants you to believe that they were victimized, and maybe there’s some truth to that.
But the real victim is its readers, who for five days were vulnerable to buying picks from a storage garage manager who is the “owner and operator” of a fake alias and nothing more.