(DISCLAIMER: This contest is for entertainment purposes only. No actual money is being wagered.)
Press Your Luck is one of the best game shows of all time. It had a simple but successful formula: round up a bunch of broke, crazy people, put them in a random game with gigantic cash prizes, then just sit back and film the resulting cruelty.
Parlay wagers are sort of like playing Press Your Luck. There's a lot of money within your grasp, but one mistake and you lose it all. As our once-leader AndrewPorter found out this week, when he placed $248 on a parlay of Georgia Tech (won in a rout), SMU +3.5 (won the game outright), and... Connecticut +15. FAIL HORN. Cue crappy CGI. Play "boing" sound effect. Instead of winning $1,488 fake dollars, a huge lead, and a spin, our Husky friend crashes down the standings.
He could have taken a lesson from Press Your Luck, which is: when you find a pattern that works, stick with it. No discussion of the show would be complete without the story of Michael Larson, a real-life Bill Murray character who memorized the game board's predictable light pattern and looted the show for $110,000 (almost $250,000 in today's money). Next time you're aimlessly wandering around YouTube, set aside half an hour and watch his reign of terror. I watched it when it first aired in 1984, and it is still one of the most gut-wrenching things I've ever seen on television.
The pattern in our game is that Connecticut is awful against the spread. They're 1-5 ATS this season, the win being their surprisingly close loss to Michigan. Andrew had built a lead making large wagers against UConn every week. But he abandoned that tactic, betting big on the Huskies instead, for two straight weeks. Patterns in sports gambling rarely hold up for long (the line adjusts to them), so you've got to cash in while you can, or get lucky. As Michael Larson did: during his lengthy run of spins, he misfired a couple times, but managed to avoid the whammy.
Here are the biggest winning bets of the season so far:
|LeavittTown||PARLAY: TEXAS A&M -3 OVER ARKANSAS (WON), ARIZONA STATE -5.5 OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (WON), CENTRAL FLORIDA +7 OVER SOUTH CAROLINA (WON)||$100||$600.00|
|LeavittTown||EAST CAROLINA +394 OVER NORTH CAROLINA||$100||$394.00|
|AndrewPorter||MARYLAND -6.5 OVER CONNECTICUT||$248||$225.46|
|AndrewPorter||BUFFALO +1 OVER CONNECTICUT||$248||$225.46|
|AndrewPorter||MICHIGAN-CONNECTICUT UNDER 52||$225||$204.55|
|ulismyhothotsex||NORTH TEXAS -6 OVER LOUISIANA TECH||$220||$200.00|
|CedSaidZed||AIR FORCE-BOISE STATE OVER 57||$201||$182.73|
|iwaswrongabouthowell||SOUTH FLORIDA +180 OVER CONNECTICUT||$100||$180.00|
|danj725||SOUTHERN METHODIST +155 OVER MEMPHIS||$100||$155.00|
|chuckycrater||ALABAMA -19 OVER VIRGINIA TECH||$150||$136.36|
|RyanTSmith||TEXAS A&M -3 OVER ARKANSAS||$150||$136.36|
|chuckycrater||BOISE STATE -7 OVER UTAH STATE||$150||$136.36|
|chuckycrater||OREGON STATE -11 OVER CALIFORNIA||$150||$136.36|
And the biggest one-off losses of the season:
|AndrewPorter||CINCINNATI -11.5 OVER SOUTH FLORIDA||$248||-$248.00|
|AndrewPorter||CONNECTICUT -4.5 OVER SOUTH FLORIDA||$248||-$248.00|
|AndrewPorter||PARLAY: CONNECTICUT +15 OVER CINCINNATI (LOST), GEORGIA TECH -7.5 OVER SYRACUSE (WON), SOUTHERN METHODIST +3.5 OVER MEMPHIS (WON)||$248||-$248.00|
|RyanTSmith||IOWA STATE +32 OVER BAYLOR||$228||-$228.00|
|AndrewPorter||CINCINNATI -8 OVER ILLINOIS||$200||-$200.00|
|LeavittTown||KANSAS STATE +186 OVER TEXAS||$200||-$200.00|
|RyanTSmith||CINCINNATI -23 OVER MIAMI (OHIO)||$200||-$200.00|
|GarySJ||GEORGIA -280 OVER VANDERBILT||$200||-$200.00|
|LeavittTown||FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL +148 OVER BETHUNE-COOKMAN||$175||-$175.00|
|Collin||RUTGERS -4.5 OVER SOUTHERN METHODIST||$130||-$130.00|
|diddybull32||GEORGIA -9 OVER MISSOURI||$130||-$130.00|
The Floyd's Money Team Degenerate Bet of the Week goes to zls44, for his parlay of New Mexico State and Massachusetts. Neither team even came close to covering.
I know it's poor form to do this, but I'm giving the Randolph and Mortimer Spite Bet of the Week Award to myself, since nobody even tried to guess the significance of the $9.07 I wagered against Central Florida. It is the length of the video of Ken Caldwell's pathetic/hilarious explanation of his actions that got the school on thank-God-SMU-happened NCAA probation. I KNOW PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT A CRIME.
Chuckycrater takes the lead, and LrdNorman continues to slowly climb the standings. But all of our competitors still have a lot of money and time to play with. As always, the first lines for next week's games are posted Monday night. We've got Tuesday night Sun Belt action, three other weeknight games, Louisville at USF, and there will be some interesting SEC lines after Saturday's carnage in that league.
Host Peter Tomarken always ended the show with an awful poem submitted by a viewer. So here's mine: Roses are red, and Clemson just blew. Now watch Florida State lose to NCSU. Good night, everybody!