Tuesday, August 13, 2013


In sports betting, the over-under refers to the anticipated sum of both teams' scores in a particular contest. So, for example, if the Patriots play the Jets the over-under could be 60.  A bettor who decides to bet the over, is betting that the two teams collectively will score more than 60.  A final of 31-30 makes the bettor a winner; 31-28 and she or he is a loser.

Over-under bets result in otherwise unexplainable cheering in casinos.  There can be a good deal of shouting for a team down 54-0 as they march for a meaningless touchdown in the closing seconds of a game.  A novice observes the shouting viewers and can't understand the commotion.  If you understand the over-under, and it is at this hypothetical 60, then a last minute "meaningless" touchdown in a 54-0 game can make someone richer or poorer.

What if there were over-under wagers in other aspects of life.  Your neighbor marries a ne'er do well and you cannot imagine what she possibly can see in him. You figure the over-under is 18 months before they seek out the lawyers.  A pal of yours who is notoriously late tells you that he will be at your house at 6 pm. The over under for how late he will be is 25 minutes.  Someone declares for the entire world to hear that he is going to go on a diet and lose the forty pounds he has gained by drinking malt beverages and opting for the fries over the vegetables every time he gets a burger.  The over under could be how much weight he actually loses, or how many days he lasts on his diet before he snorts a plate of onion rings.

Charlie, always an irritant, comes to a department meeting.  What is the over-under on the minutes it will take for him to aggravate a majority of attendees.  A big mouth at the session is recognized and you bet on the over-under regarding how many words the big mouth will utter to respond to the simple question:  Do you prefer plan A or plan B?

This type of wagering could spice up department meetings, conversations in your clubs, interpersonal friendships, and even your own relationships. What is the over-under on the number of times you will have to ask your spouse to make sure the towels are done before they are taken out of the drier?  What is the over under on how many items from the store will be forgotten after you send her or him out with a list?  How many times will you have to tell your spouse, in a given week, to shut the light off in the bathroom before you say, "shut the goddamn light off in the goddamn bathroom?" What is the over-under on the next time there will be physical intimacy.

Las Vegas is missing out on a real market here.

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