Odds & Ends is BTB’s look at betting stories making headlines both in newspapers and on the Web.
The Michigan Wolverines are all the way up to 14-point underdogs for their showdown with Alabama on opening weekend and, no surprise, the players aren’t letting that bother them.
“We wouldn’t want it any other way,” safety Jordan Kovacs told the Detroit News. “Last I heard we were a couple touchdown underdogs. That’s OK.”
Players always talk like this, of course, as they should.
The opposite (“That point spread is huge! We don’t stand a chance!”) would be a funnier news story, but it’s very rare that you hear players talking about specific numbers. Especially those in college, where we’re all so concerned about the depths of the gambling underworld tainting these sacred athletes.
“I don’t think we’re the underdog,” receiver Roy Roundtree told the News. “Our record is 0-0. They’re the defending champs, and we’re the Sugar Bowl champs. We’ll see.”
Sound logic, but sorry, Roy. You’re the underdog. If only oddsmakers were as simple-minded.
“We’ve been underdogs plenty of times in the past,” tackle Taylor Lewan said, “and we’ve come out successful. Why not do that now?”
Is that true? Not quite. Since Lewan went to Michigan in 2009, the Wolverines have been underdogs 14 times, posting a 4-10 record in those games (6-8 against the spread).
It’s interesting to note that 5Dimes sportsbook originally opened Alabama as 7.5-point favorites back in mid-January, about a week after the Tide won the BCS national championship.
GRANDMA’S AT IT AGAIN
Every time we turn our eyes, it seems an old lady is making some kind of news at a casino.
This time, an unnamed 83-year-old lady didn’t exactly choose the “Good Samaritan” option at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa. When she saw the lady next to her at the slot machines drop a voucher worth $113, the lady scooped it up and immediately cashed the ticket.
She didn’t get away with it.
The casino security took her into custody, and she then agreed to pay the $113 back to the original winner.
Was $113 really worth her integrity? Probably. Just think, that would’ve paid for years of birthday card gifts to her grandkids.
ODDS & ENDS
- The Jets are the first NFL team in 35 years without a touchdown through their first three preseason games. Panic time? Not quite. One BTB Sports Betting Forum member thinks they’re the most undervalued NFL team entering the regular season.
- For gambling history buffs, a great piece from ESPN’s Chad Millman on “the mystique of the opening line.”
- In case you haven’t heard, our 2012 college football season preview is out. It only took a few months and about 19 delayed release dates, but the finished product has finally arrived.
- Could Hurricane Isaac have an effect on a number of college football games during opening weekend?