I love the movie Pulp Fiction…and enjoy that line the most! While the movie doesn’t focus specifically on sports and gambling, the Gold Watch vignette classically showcases the temptation of sports betting, having a big pile of cash and betting it on a sure thing!
You, gentle reader, are probably confused by now, asking what the hell does the coffee shop scene have to do with the boxer? Well, it’s like this…
Over my sports betting career, I have made ALL the mistakes. Some of them repeatedly. Being “good” at this is not easy. It is probably the most counter-intuitive thing anyone can do. But it sure is rewarding, creating cash out of nothing but intelligence, an understanding of how the “game” is played and a bankroll.
The light went on for me during the 2009 college football season. The Houston Cougars, coached by Kevin Sumlin, who always has a stud quarterback, and that season it was Case Keenum. Going over to El Paso to beat up on the lowly UTEP Miners squad. The line was Cougars -14.0. My friend Spike and I looked at each other and could not believe our great gambling fortune. The mighty Houston Cougars and all we had to do was lay 14 points? We couldn’t get our money out of our pockets fast enough. I tripled down on that contest!
You know what happened.
As I said, that is when the light went on. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. But I learned from that mistake. And I learned to look real hard at the lines being offered and ask WHY they are the numbers they are. And why after everyone in the world must surely be betting on the Cougars, the line didn’t go up to 15 or 17 or 24 for that matter! The oddsmakers are idiots!
No, they aren’t. They know what you know, and they know HOW you will bet.
Understand this, the line is not always fair. Sure, it’s based on power ratings and other statistics, but there is also a “feel” used to make the line. An oddsmakers “feel” for how the gambling public will bet a line. Hanging out 14 on the Cougars was almost criminal.
Let’s get this back to Pulp Fiction and allow me to break down the title of this missive:
You – the gambling public
Are the weak – you will bet any damn line we dangle out to you
I am the Tyranny – the Unfair Betting Line
Of Evil Men – the oddsmakers who know exactly what they are doing and pocketing your hard-earned cash.
Think about that before making your next bet.