It’s December 31st and I am in my car driving home from Walgreens, not the typical location that is within walking distance to my apartment but one in a strategically random, yet accessible, location that I assumed would have New Years’ decorations – thankfully I was correct. Although most locations were sold out, this Walgreens had 2020 balloons and other effects that would welcome my guests and encourage pictures to remember the night. I still have those polaroids and chuckle as I think back to how much different things were back then.
It is key to remember these nights, the laughter, the shots of malort, the non-social distancing, the polaroid pictures, the roommates who still lived in the city, the bars being open, the lack of masks, travelling being straightforward and easy WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR PARLAY BY .5!
You probably thought this was a sappy ‘2020 sucks’ blog. It is not. This is a blog about picking your sportsbook carefully and to remember nice times WHEN YOUR PARLAY COLLAPSES AT THE LAST SECOND.
Let’s flashback to Saturday night.
The Matlack Parlay was going great, I went 2/2 on the first legs after ASU covered and Cinci kicked the crap out of Houston. Going into the Coastal game I was feeling confident, not just from the multiple beers I had consumed(high percentage IPAs naturally) but more so because I really liked Coastal. Back in week 1, I was surprised when Coastal beat Kansas, a losing gambling effort on my part, so I have been monitoring the team’s 6-0 record and consistency covering the spread. South Alabama was not a great team. They were 3-3 against average opponents and lacked any sort of real talent to compete with Coastal – this reflected in the 17.5 point spread that was assigned to the game. 17.5 is such a weird number. In my opinion 0, 4, and 7 are all very realistic numbers for teams to win by (for example 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, 24, and 27) and in an ideal world, especially in a parlay, you can buy that down a point or so to 17 or 16.5.
When I started the college football year I was using Draft Kings. They were the first major company to get a sports book in Illinois and I really enjoyed their interphase. Nice features included the ability to choose alternative lines, the ability to cash out at a wide range of times throughout your bet, and my friends were using it. Say what you want but it make things easier when you and your buddies are playing on the same book. There was only one problem with Draft Kings, you are not able to parlay prop bets and as someone who loves NFL prop bets this was a problem and one that had me open to other books.
This is where FanDuel came into play. FanDuel was behind Draft Kings in getting a book in Illinois, mind you by 4 days but I hadn’t used them because I was enjoying my experience on another book. Through rigorous advertising on all of my favorite podcasts I became aware of their Same Game Parlay, it was exactly what I was looking for! I could now parlay overs on passing yards or points scored for a half and a game, they even would give you up to $10 back if you lost the bet! It was perfect. I made the switch fully over from DraftKings and didn’t think twice about it until the week 5 Matlack Parlay.
That 17.5 spread stared at my soul while looking over the late games, it didn’t look right, I couldn’t get my head around it because I wanted to bet on Coastal so bad(who was 5-0 against the spread on the year). With DraftKings it would have been a click of a button, the odds go down a little bit and I get a 16.5 spread that would sit well with my soul. With FanDuel, I needed to take it or leave it, and damnit I took it.
Coastal is up 17-6 at the half and are cruising to victory, the game is at the same time as Clemson/ND so admittedly I was barely paying attention. When I check back 20 minutes later and the third quarter is coming to a close the score remains the same. One touchdown is all I need but I’ve seen this before, a 17 point win is possible, very possible. Four minutes into the 4th quarter coastal gets a field goal, 14 points, two plays later South Alabama fumbles, IT’S A MIRACLE. All Coastal needs to do is drive down the field and score a touchdown and it’s over. They get to the 12-yard line, and after 3 downs only get 3 yards, you know what that means. Field goal, 17 points. This is where I really begin to sweat and naturally start bitching and moaning to everyone in sight, I’ve seen this before, well not to this extent but losing close spreads is a part of the game and I am on my way to an all-time collapse, I mean shit, I blogged about this Parlay. South Alabama gets the ball with 5 minutes to go AND PICK! Coastal gets the ball back! On the S. Alabama’s 27! They have to score! All they need to is get a touchdown in 5 minutes or kick a field goal after a defensive stop, it’s a lock – thank god.
You guessed it, Coastal ran down every second of that clock. To make matters worse they even got down to South Alabama’s 3 yard line, I was literally 3 yards, less than 10 feet, from the first Matlack parlay win of the year and I blame FanDuel. The lack of ability to change spreads needs to be a part of every book and although they won’t change this lack of feature being they win money, they should for the betterment of the experience. I have a simple rule moving forward: For parlays think about using Draft Kings, for props use FanDuel.
I am now a man of two sportsbooks because when gambling, you need to choose who you bet with carefully.