Do you want to be a millionaire?

Sagely sports betting advice from the best weekly read in sports betting – The Sports and Gaming News.

Who wants to almost be a millionaire? The first four finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday were sent off at odds of 19-1, 26-1, 75-1, and 63-1. Out of the $923,876 bet in the superfecta pool, a single $1 winning ticket was sold. Why didn’t more people hit it simply by playing their phone number or license number? One of the finishers was the number 12. If all of the finishers had single digit program numbers it wouldn’t have been such a bonanza, as some of the phone number players would have hit it. There were also many more combinations to be covered than in an ordinary superfecta, as there were 14 betting entries in the race. There were 24,024 possible superfecta combinations, while a race with only eight entries would have only 1,680 possible combinations.

The Thursday night contest between North Carolina and North Carolina State may appear to be in Chapel Hill according to your schedule, but it isn’t. The game is actually in Charlotte on the Panthers home field. It’s no mystery that money rules college athletics, but it’s a shame that two schools that are about fifteen minutes apart are making their fans drive two hours on a Thursday night. Fans getting home at 2 or 3 in the morning may be unsafe and inconvenient, but those TV checks help pay the salaries of the administrators who make the decisions. Call 770.618.8700 on Thursday night for a preview of this game. The Hotline didn’t do a lot of good last weekend but over the long run you’ll profit from the valuable information on this 24-hour free service.

It’s tough to tell what a lot of NFL teams are coming to the table with each week. Dallas and San Francisco are banged up and old. Tampa Bay and San Diego have unfathomably poor quarterback play. Atlanta and Cincinnati may have quit. Cleveland follows up a road win with a 32-point home loss to Baltimore. A college game that is difficult to handicap this week is the Western Michigan-Marshall contest. These teams each have their respective divisions of the MAC all but wrapped up and will be playing each other again on December 4 in the conference title game. Marshall wants a major bowl berth, but does Western have any reason to show Marshall anything interesting that they may use in the more important title game?

Readers alerted me to “Big East is a Good Conference” column by our favorite writer, Mark Blaudschun. While looking for it, I stumbled across the absolute height of media arrogance by his Boston Globe colleague TV sports columnist Howard Manly. Manly wrote of Fox’s televised bass fishing tournament “Proving once again that underestimating American’s intelligence works on television.” I don’t fish often, but my friends who fish and enjoy watching their favorite activity covered on television are generally pretty sharp. Professional couch potato Manly may be alone in considering his critiques of sportscasters to have more value than enjoying the outdoors.

Expect the Kansas State Wildcats to receive significant public support this weekend as an undefeated underdog. That confidence is unwarranted. The Wildcats flawless record has been bolstered by their usual scheduling of patsies, highlighted by homers against Temple, UTEP, and Utah State. K-State has had three road games and fell behind in all three, down 7-28 at Iowa State, down 0-21 at Oklahoma State, and down 6-14 against Texas. The Cats came back to win all three, beating Texas thanks to a +6 turnover ratio, but there’s no coming back against Nebraska in Lincoln. The Huskers defense is punishing people, giving up only 118 yards (2 yards rushing) in steamrollering A&M; last week, while Kansas State gained only 197 yards in their win against Colorado. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to lay single digits with the homestanding Huskers, as they gain revenge in stifling a phony K-State outfit.

If Virginia Tech, who played non-conference games against Virginia and Clemson, goes undefeated and misses out on a national championship shot, the BCS’s days are numbered. Tennessee supporters who see Tech’s miraculous win at West Virginia as a reason to exclude the Hokies have poor memories. I’m speaking of the Vols 17-16 gift from the heavens as a 30½-point favorite hosting Memphis on September 25. One of the computer rankings dropped Virginia Tech from first to sixth after their escape in Morgantown. There is reason to believe the Seattle Times rankings are calculated in the SEC’s offices in Birmingham. The Times not only ranks Virginia Tech eight, they rank Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi State, and Alabama 2-3-5-6. Mississippi State is ranked from 11th to 29th by the other formulas used by the BCS.

The ESPN Thursday Night crew could be a little more in tune with their viewers. During a live “phone in to the play by play crew” interview during the Mississippi State-Kentucky game Tim Couch was asked about the Kentucky system, Coach Hal Mumme, and Dusty Bonners’ development. What went unmentioned was Couch’s Hail Mary to give the Browns their first win in the new franchise’s history. Have to think that the average fan wouldn’t have minded hearing that spoken of. Incidentally, fishing is a higher calling than the preceding three sentences. On October 17 Drew Bledsoe connected with New England Wide Receiver Tony Simmons on a 29-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against Miami. That play is notable because it is the last time the Dolphins defense gave up a touchdown. Despite the prowess of their stop unit, the Dolphins need Marino back if they are to go deep into the playoffs. Damon Huard isn’t ready to take the ‘fins to the Promised Land, which accounts for Miami’s defense and no turnovers strategy.

The Grand Salami is a great concept. It’s an over-under number on the total goals scored in the entire NHL each day. For instance, Wednesday night’s Salami is 46½ on a pretty full hockey card. It’s a lot of fun that keeps you interested in the entire night’s action. So why isn’t there a NFL Salami, which would undoubtedly attract enormous attention from the casual p layer? The answer is two-fold. First, the books want the casual player to play parlay cards, with their high profit margins for the house. If someone is playing 11-10 propositions the books want them to play early, late and at night so they can churn them. Having people tying their money up on an all-day 11-10 proposition that may limit their action for the rest of the day is not in the book’s best interests. The Salami attracts hockey action, but it’s doubtful that the Salami would draw fresh money to football.

Look for the Jets to hang with New England on Monday night. Parcells distaste for Pats owner Bob Kraft insures that the Jets will be properly prepared this week. New England has been playing well and winning close games, but they have been far from dominant. Parcells ace staff knows New England well from their tenure in Foxboro and the Tuna himself does a masterful job of getting inside the head of his former players. Pats win, as Bledsoe vs. Mirer/Lucas/whoever is a gargantuan mismatch. It won’t be easy, however, and the points come into play in a low scoring contest.

Pass this along to those you think may be interested. Good luck this weekend and be careful. | November 10th, 1999

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
Kevin is the author of two best selling books on football betting. His weekly column covers the world of sports betting, the media and football handicapping.

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