Saturday, March 30, 2013

You Can't Win

I write in the Madness of March that those few who travel to Las Vegas to make money betting on sporting events, are deluding themselves.  The majority of those people with whom I interacted when I was in Las Vegas for March Madness, were not there primarily to make money. It was a vacation like going to Disney World to them.  If you were to travel to earn money, you might as well go get a barrel to wear around your waist, because you eventually will go broke. You cannot consistently make money betting on sports.  If you could, there would be no Las Vegas.

This weekend I made selections in the eight games that made up the sweet sixteen round.  I went 3 and 5.  Only one of the wins was based on my knowledge of the game.  I could not see how Indiana could penetrate Syracuse's zone so I went with Syracuse on the money line and I was right. Because of what would have been a money line bet, despite the 3-5 record, I probably would have come out in the black.  But for the others, no intelligence affected the wins and losses. I pick Louisville giving up 10, and they win by 8, having really turned off the burners at the very end when they were up by more than ten.  So I would have lost that one.  I pick Florida Gulf Coast taking the 13 points and they lose by 12, making me a winner.  No wisdom accounts for this; they easily could have lost by 14.  Michigan is down by 5 with 20 plus seconds left, and miraculously tie, throwing the acumen that fueled that bet off.

Against the spread you cannot win on a consistent basis any more than you could win on a consistent basis guessing heads and tales with a coin flip. 

Today and tomorrow, we are down to the elite 8. Today, I like Ohio State to cover and Syracuse to beat Marquette regardless of the spread. 

Don't bet on it.

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