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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sports Betting

Clemson’s upset of Alabama was devastating for Las Vegas

Ben Boulware

Many have already dubbed Clemson’s upset of Alabama on Monday night “the greatest National Championship Game ever played,” but bookies in Las Vegas have a few different adjectives they would used to describe it.

Not only did the Tigers pull off a stunning last-second upset of college football’s dynasty team, but the “over” was hit, triggering a worst case scenario of sorts for the house.

In a Tuesday morning interview series published by ESPN, one bookie went as far as to say it could not possibly have been worse.

“It was as bad as a result as humanly possible,” William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich, a veteran Las Vegas bookmaker, said.

Bill Sattler, director of specialty games for Caesars Entertainment, doubled down on Hill’s assessment with a little added doom and gloom.

“[It was] the worst loss in any college football game I can remember,” Sattler said.

After closing as 6-point underdogs despite most early money being placed on them, Clemson’s upset victory cost MGM a loss in the “high six figures.” Other sportsbooks, including Wynn race and sportsbook, said their losses were similar and closed in the low six figures.

As exciting a game as it was for fans, and as fruitful as it may have been for some gamblers, Vegas took quite a beating.

Bettor misses out on $100K with 15-team parlay as Patriots fail to cover by a point


A bettor who stood to win $100,000 on a 15-team parlay over the weekend ended up losing the $5 he risked when the New England Patriots failed to cover against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. Worse yet, the Pats fell just one point shy.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the bettor had hit all 14 legs of his 15-leg parlay with a William Hill sports book in Nevada heading into “Monday Night Football.” The Patriots were favored by seven and won 30-23. And since the wager was an all-or-nothing parlay card, the push did not result in a 14-leg parlay win. The entire card end up losing.


Those of you who watched the game know just how painful it must have been for that guy. The Patriots could have easily won by 30, but a rare Tom Brady red zone interception and two special teams blunders kept Baltimore in the game. New England should have been up 23-0 at the half and run away with the game.

The last NFL gambler we heard of that came this close to a life-changing win had one quarterback to blame, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the latest bad beat victim blames Brady.

Since the wager amount was only $5 and 14 legs of the parlay had already hit, you have to hope the bettor was wise enough to hedge. At the very least, he could have bet enough to win $10,000 on the Ravens at +7.5 (by buying a half-point) just so he wouldn’t go home empty handed. Hopefully that’s what happened.

Tip via Big Daddy

Eli Manning cost bettor shot at winning $150K in eight-team parlay

Eli Manning Giants

The New York Giants had multiple chances to beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday, but Eli Manning single-handedly blew two of them. If you’re a fan of the G-Men who is angry with Eli at the moment, just be thankful he didn’t cost you a legitimate chance at winning $150,000.

According to ESPN’s David Purdum, that’s exactly what happened to one gutsy gambler who included the Giants in his $1,500, eight-team parlay over the weekend. Seven legs of the parlay — which included four MLB games, one college football game and three NFL money lines — hit before Manning threw two awful interceptions against Washington in the fourth quarter. The Giants ended up losing 29-27.

You never expect to win an eight-team parlay, but that doesn’t make losing one on a brutal Manning interception any less heartbreaking. To make matters worse, one of the picks came at the goal line. Had the Giants simply kicked a field goal and held on to win, the bettor would have had his $150,000.

For every insane parlay we have seen gamblers hit (like this massive UFC payday), there countless people who get burned. Needless to say, we know one person who won’t be hanging a No. 10 Giants jersey on his or her wall anytime soon.

Gambler wins big on crazy Henrik Stenson, Aaron Baddeley parlay


Henrik Stenson was arguably the best golfer in the world to never win a major prior to his dominating performance at The Open Championship over the weekend. Betting on him to break through and end the drought would not have been all that insane. But betting on Stenson to win the Open and Aaron Baddeley to win the Barbasol Championship would be just plain lunacy, right?

Tell that to the person who won more than $86,000 doing exactly that.

For whatever reason, a gambler in Australia decided to place $50 on Stenson winning the Open and Baddeley winning the Barbasol Championship this past weekend. He parlayed it, meaning both had to win for the bet to pay out. Here’s the slip:

How? Why? Elvy told Golf Digest that the slip belongs to a “renowned” gambler in Australia. We don’t doubt that he is renowned, but he’s also pretty damn lucky.

We’ve seen gamblers win big bucks on insane parlays like this, but this one was almost more impressive. There’s only two teams squaring off in each leg of most parlays. These guys were taking on an entire field of golfers. Bravo, mysterious Australian gambling shark.

Photo: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Bovada no longer accepting bets on NL Central winner due to Cubs lead

Joe Maddon Cubs Theo Epstein

July 1 may seem like it’s too early to call time on one of MLB’s division races, but the folks in Las Vegas have done just that.

As part of their latest MLB odds, Bovada stated that they’ve taken the NL Central off the board due to the Cubs’ huge lead in the division.

The Cubs are 11 games ahead of second place St. Louis, with the Pittsburgh Pirates in their dust at 13.5 games back in third place. Sure, stranger things have happened, and there is still just over half the season to go. It’s a lot of ground to make up, especially if the Cubs manage to pry a reliever like this away from the Yankees. It’s telling that the Cubs have lost 7 of 11, but the Cardinals have only made up a game and a half during that timespan. It’s Chicago’s division to lose.

H/T theScore

RJ Bell of Pregame hires Charles Harder over Deadspin ‘hit piece’

Last week Deadspin published a lengthy takedown of RJ Bell, founder of Pregame.com — a sports betting website. This week, Bell says he has hired attorney Charles Harder to respond to Deadspin over what he claims is a “hit piece.”

The piece on Deadspin was called “How America’s Favorite Sports Betting Expert Turned A Sucker’s Game Into An Industry,” and it detailed the way Bell has run his business and explains some of the alleged scams. For instance, they go into great lengths to dispute the stats of the touts Bell has on his site who sell their picks, and they ultimate show how many of them have losing records over time.

Bell explained via email sent to Larry Brown Sports and others Friday how he has responded.

Still, it feels wrong to sit back and let anybody be misled about what the Pregame team has spent so long building. The lies were extreme enough for attorney Charles Harder (Hulk Hogan’s lead counsel against Gawker) to take Pregame’s case. Mr. Harder sent Deadspin a 9-Page Legal Demand Letter. This isn’t about money for us. We are insisting upon a full retraction.

Beyond the libel, defamation, and other legal violations, there were 28 additional Deadspin deceptions – requiring 12 more written pages to detail their rampant dishonesty. Both of these documents have received wide coverage. No reasonable person could be aware of all the facts and believe their disingenuous story.

As noted in the email, Harder is the same attorney who has represented Hulk Hogan against Gawker. Harder has filed many suits/complaints against Gawker, and he is backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, whose aim is to put Gawker out of business.

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Book Review: ‘No Grey Areas’ – Inside the Arizona State point shaving scandal

No Grey Areas

A couple of months ago, I had a book sent out to me by a marketing group called “No Grey Areas: The Inside Story of the Largest Point Shaving Scandal in History and the Consequences Thereafter,” asking me to review it.

The book is a memoir by Joseph N. Gagliano, and it was billed as a cross between “Moneyball” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (available for purchase here). Naturally anything billed in such a manner and about a point shaving scandal had my attention, so I requested a copy for review. It took a while, but I finally was able to crack open the book while on a plane Sunday, and less than two days later I finished it. As you can tell, it’s a grabber.

The book is about Gagliano’s personal story. The first half focuses on the infamous 1994 Arizona State point shaving scandal, while the second half focuses on Gagliano’s life after serving time for his role in the game fixing.

I was a little too young to know about much less understand what happened with the ASU scandal, so I had zero recollection of the incident. But this was told from the perspective of the guy who masterminded the whole thing and made millions off of it.

Just learning how a college athlete can get himself in the position where he is presented with an opportunity to shave points was fascinating. Reading about it from the perspective of the the guy who took millions around to different sports books in Las Vegas to bet on a game he had fixed was equally gripping.

You read about the art of the fix — how they decided which games they would fix, how many points they would shave, and how to spread the bets around to avoid suspicion. At first you get caught up in the exciting tale when they’ve made millions off the first few games being fixed, but then you find out exactly where they went wrong and how they aroused so much suspicion that they got caught by the third and fourth games.

The major takeaway is that when you get greedy — and with seedy people, limits are not something they live by — you are bound to get in trouble.

For those who enjoy the lives of someone living the fast life with all the riches and glory and money, you will like this. But the book sends a message of the sobering truth: No matter how much you justify your actions to yourself or others, you must take responsibility when you have done wrong and stop rationalizing it.

The second half of the book is more about the personal life of Gagliano and how he ended up in federal prison a second time — this time for bank fraud — which led him to write the memoir. There is less excitement and less of a hook for sports fans in this portion but the important reminder is there: Don’t mess with the federal government and commit felonies, because they will always get you in the end.

From fixing Super Bowl squares in a betting pool to creating a phony 900 number business and using other peoples’ phones to make calls there so he could pocket to the money, it’s hard to have the sympathy or empathy for Gagliano that he tries to elicit. The guy has poor character and deserves his time in prison. Even after he’s gotten into trouble many times, he continues to break laws, make shady business deals, blame his lawyers and others, and he fails to take responsibility for his actions. He is not a good guy. But he does have a good story to tell — one that is fascinating, one that I think you will enjoy, and one that reiterates the importance of doing right instead of wrong.

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