sports betting

I’m not a gambling man, at least not a large scale. I’ll get together with the guys once in a while and play a good game of poker in a smoke-filled room, hopefully wearing a pork pie hat (I thought “porkpie” was one word in the case of hats, but spell check just flagged it – it flagged “spellcheck,” too; maybe they should be hyphenated). However, I’ve never gotten into the big bucks, the world of sports betting. A lot of my friends do it, and they tend to stick to the common targets, the “big four” sports (though I don’t know one that bets on hockey). But here are some things I didn’t know anybody bet on, and maybe some that you shouldn’t be able to bet on. (Note – all odds and lines taken from Bodog)

Darts

In the world of professional darts, the action is hot and heavy. Apparently there is a Darts Premier League, a Darts Masters, and a Darts World Championship, so it’s sort of like tennis in that there’s no definite champion of the whole thing, but there is a series of major tournaments. The current number one appears to be Phil Taylor, but knowing nothing about the sport, I’d put my money on James Wade (how could someone with such a basketball-friendly name be bad at any sport?) or Peter Manley (the last name says it all).

Snooker

What the hell is Snooker? (…30 seconds later…) Snooker is a cue sport, much like pool, but with a bunch of differently colored balls with no numbers, and most of them are red. This sport is “particularly popular in many of the English-speaking and Commonwealth countries” (Wikipedia), and so it’s no surprise to me that a guy with the right good Irish name of Ronnie O’Sullivan is the #1 Snooker player out there. But, though the odds are against him, I’d be likely to bet on Joe Perry (if he’s half as good at snooking as he is at guitar, how can I lose?).

American Idol Props

I was well aware that you could bet on who would be the winner of this popular show. However, I had no idea one could bet on these two things:

Will a contestant kiss Paula Abdul during a performance?

The odds are heavy toward “no,” and I sure hope nobody puts their lips near that decrepit lunatic.

Will a contestant sit on Simon Cowell’s lap during a performance?

Here’s the weird thing with this one: you can only bet “yes,” +600. What the hell? Do the good people at Bodog have a man on the inside? If so, why such high odds? Strange…

US Presidential Election

There’s something about this that seems highly illegal, but whatever, Obama’s got the odds (I wonder if 41 MTF’s endorsement had anything to do with it?). However, an interesting thing to note about the odds is that the field – the collective group of all candidates we’ve never heard of – has better odds (100/1) than Mike Huckabee (125/1), a legitimate contender for the nomination (though it is now virtually impossible for him to surpass McCain). In this heated race, how is it feasible that a candidate most have never heard of will come out of nowhere and win the election? Strange breed, those odds-makers.

Weird Wagers

This section of Bodog doesn’t currently have anything under it. That’s right, none of the above wagers are what a major betting site would classify as “weird.” I wonder what would fall under this category. Perhaps the number of Oscars that Still-Life will take home? I’m setting the over/under at 6

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