Friday Forecasts: Careful of betting with a system
Everybody has a system for betting sports. Break Even Benny told me about his surefire method to do no worse than break even.
“If you lose the first bet, just double the wager on the next,” he said. “And if you lose again, just double the amount you lost and keep doubling until you win and you’re guaranteed to break even.”
OK, but it only works if you have enough money set aside to cover a real long losing streak. For example, after going 0-3 for the second week in a row, my losing streak stands at six.
So here’s how I would have done starting with a $110 bet to make $100 on the first game.
Game 1: Lost $110.
Game 2: Lost $121 (Total losses: $231).
Game 3: Lost $254.10 (Total losses: $485.10).
Game 4: Lost $533.61 (Total losses: $1,018.71).
Game 5: Lost $1,120.58 (Total losses: $2,139.29).
Game 6: Lost $2,139.29 (Total losses: $4,278.58).
So in order to break now, I would need to wager $4,706.44 one my first game and win. If only I had $4,706.44 I might just do that because my streak is bound to end. Just in case it doesn’t, you might want to go opposite.
1 - (Best bet) Central Florida -4.5 at Memphis: UCF is 5-0, ranked No. 10 in the nation and is 4-1 vs. the spread, the only loss coming a 38-0 victory vs. South Carolina State, a 52-point underdog.
Memphis’ Heisman Trophy candidate Darrell Henderson bounced back with a 174-yard, three-touchdown game vs. UConn last week. He averaged 12.4 yards per carry.
Still, Central Florida, which averages 574.4 yards in offense per game, didn’t lose last year and hasn’t lost this year. The Knights aren’t going to leave anything to chance.
Predicted score: Central Florida 42, Memphis 31.
Pick vs. spread: Central Florida.
2 - Nebraska +3.5 at Northwestern: The Huskers opened as 8.5-point underdogs and the line quickly dropped five points and has stayed there. Northwestern has three key starters out with injury. The Huskers put up big numbers offensively most weeks but don’t have the athletes they will after a couple of years of Scott Frost recruiting. At some point, the Frost effect will kick in even before the athletes arrive. Why not this week?
Predicted score: Nebraska 31, Northwestern 28.
Pick vs. spread: Nebraska.
3 - West Virginia -6.5 at Iowa State: Braxton Lewis, a redshirt junior safety from Overland Park, was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, another good Kansan who got away. He led the team in tackles in a 48-42 victory over Oklahoma State and had one of the Cyclones’ 16 tackles for loss, a school record.
Predicted score: West Virginia 28, Iowa State 24.
Pick vs. spread: Iowa State.
Overall record vs. spread: 2-7.
Best bet record: 1-2.