On Aug. 23, @Pistol_Pete82, a self-employed California resident, decided to check out Indianapolis Colts regular season props at his offshore sportsbook.
He had been listening to ESPN Radio during his morning drive, and the host was breaking down Peyton Manning’s injury, the likelihood he’d have to miss the opener, and the possibility that he could miss the entire season.
The more Pete thought about it, the more he believed Manning wouldn’t play a single down in 2011.
“My rationale was simple: Peyton has made a ton of money in his career already, why chance it if this thing is serious?” Pete said in an e-mail to BTB. “We’re not talking about some ligament damage in a knee, we are talking about his spine and neck. There is no way a multi-million dollar enterprise like Peyton, Inc., is going to take any chances or rush a neck injury.”
Pete said he knew the Colts would be in trouble without Manning, especially with an aging defense that he predicted would show signs of decline. So he decided to take a chance and throw $10 on the Colts to finish winless at odds of 1,000-to-1.
“I made the bet a few days before the announcement of the second surgery,” Pete said. “At the time, they said he was doubtful for week 1, I think.”
Of course, the announcement was made soon after that Manning would miss the entire season. A month in, the Colts were 0-5 and looked like the worst team in football. Now, it’s official: The Colts are the worst team in football, and possibly the worst team in NFL history.
The Colts are currently 0-11. If they lose five more games, Pete stands to win $10,000.
“From weeks 1 to 5, I was watching their final scores, but I wasn’t too interested in it because I was betting on games each week that meant more to me,” Pete said. “When St. Louis and Miami were winless after their bye I started to think that maybe the lockout affected these guys more than normal.”
Pete, who bets anywhere between $40 and $50 per game, said the money won’t have any real effect on his life, though his friends and family are mixed on whether or not he should hedge his bet. Pete took to the BTB Forums yesterday asking for hedge advice, and is still planning his strategy.
And if he wins the $10,000?
“I think I would try and convince my wife to let me take a few grand to Vegas for the NFL playoffs, pay a bill or two, and give the kids a solid christmas bonus,” Pete said. “Aside from taxes, of course.”
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Up next: The Colts take on the New England Patriots. They are 21-point underdogs.