Sports gambling column: Week Two

Over the weekend, I had the single most unexpected gambling loss of my gambling career. Of course, I’ve only officially made three bets, so that isn’t saying much. Anyway, remember how I almost bet on the Maryland money line to beat Texas in week one of the college football season? And remember how I said that college sports are just too unpredictable? No? Well, for those of you who did read my first gambling column, basically I was going to make that bet for over three months and then backed out at the last second. To everyone’s surprise but mine, Maryland beat Texas. Texas won by seven at home vs Tulsa in week two, in a game where Tulsa’s kicker missed three field goals. So, Texas was lucky to beat the smallest school in the Football Bowl Subdivision, which is the group of teams that can be in the College Football Playoff in any given year. Naturally, senior Thomas Skinner and I felt pretty good about putting $20 each on the USC money line, which sat at +140. USC was ranked as a top-25 team heading into this game, and we didn’t believe the hype over Texas. Even my friends who are Texas fans agreed that the USC money line at +140 was basically a free $28 profit for anyone who bet $20 on it.  

It definitely seemed that way at first. USC jumped out to a 14-3 lead, and it appeared that the Longhorns were just as inept in their play calling vs USC than they were in their previous two games. Thomas and I were certainly excited about this, and maybe we garnered the attention of the gambling gods when we celebrated multiple times in the first quarter, saying things like “We’re gonna make some money,” and blatantly rooting for USC in front of our Texas-fan friends. It could have been the gambling gods looking down unfavorably on us that night, it could have been the fact that Texas really wanted revenge after their heartbreaking loss at USC last year, or it even could have been that Texas might be half-decent this year. Either way, Thomas and I lost $20 each Saturday. Texas turned it on after the first quarter and never looked back, scoring 23 unanswered points to win 37-14. Normally, I wouldn’t kick myself after losing a bet. But this one hurt, both because how confident I was about it, and the fact that USC looked like they were going to run away with it at first. But I probably deserved it for not betting on Maryland. Or maybe I should never gamble again. (Who am I kidding? See you next week).

Money spent to date: $30

Winnings to date: $0