Might as well go for the gold
There is a chance that we might get legal sports betting here in Georgia some day – a bill was actually introduced in the legislature – but until then, I am going to have to live vicariously through people who make mind numbing bets. Such was the case for one bettor this weekend, who placed a $4,000 seven-team parlay and won about $440,000.
The William Hill sportsbook at The Venetian had the honor on taking the person’s bet, a wager that the sportsbook was likely thrilled about, as the chances of winning were terrible. Not only is a seven-team parlay a longshot to begin with, but this one included a couple real, individual longshots. I mean massive underdogs.
College dogs come through
Two of the teams the bettor included were Maryland, which was a four-touchdown dog to Penn State, and Liberty, a 17-point underdog to Virginia Tech. The bettor picked both of them to win outright, bets that would, frankly be silly on their own (obviously, the odds offered by the book have something to do with how good of a bet they would be).
As it turned out, Maryland not only beat Penn State, but beat them easily, 35-19. It was one of the biggest point-spread upsets in Big Ten history. And then Liberty beat Virginia Tech, 38-35 to give the bettor two entirely unexpected wins. Liberty’s victory was particularly crazy, as it went for a last-second, 59-yard field goal in a tie game, only to have the kick blocked and returned for a touchdown for an apparent Virginia Tech win. But officials said the Hokies called a timeout right before the snap, meaning there was no play. Liberty then ended up going for it on 4th-and-6 and gained 8 yards. The slightly more manageable, but still very long 51-yard attempt was good and Liberty celebrated.
The rest of the selections in the parlay were on favorites: Oklahoma, Ohio State, Appalachian State, and Iowa State, and the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. No real sweats in those college games, so it came down to the Steelers game on Sunday.
Steelers steal a victory
It was a lock. The Steelers were the NFL’s only undefeated team at 7-0 and were two-touchdown favorites against the Dallas Cowboys, who were reeling and playing their fourth-string quarterback. But Pittsburgh was actually down 13-9 at the half, with star QB Ben Roethlisberger injured.
He returned in the second half, though, and rallied his team from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win, 24-19. Even then, there were still some nerves at the end as the Cowboys had a pass attempt into the endzone as time expired.
Somewhere in Las Vegas, a bettor was kissing the television and buying a Big Ben jersey, knowing he had profited $438,643.40 in one of the more improbable parlays you will see.