For conservative bettors, Indiana was right at 8-1

Apr 2, 2002 11:01 AM

Last week I was asked what my thoughts were on Indiana at 8-1 to win the NCAA tournament (only four teams remained at the time).

I said if you like Indiana that you should bet them. He suggested it would be a better bet if he parlayed it on the money line in both games. If you did it that way instead of getting 8-1 you would get between 12-1 and 13-1.

In theory he was correct, but the problem with that is twofold. First, a small player like myself would find it very difficult to let all the money ride if I won the initial wager. I think that would be hard for any conservative bettor to do.

The other obstacle is that the bettor may not be able to make the second wager. That person may have to work or leave town. So if one decides to wager at 8-1, you lock yourself into the bet with no worries.

In betting futures, no matter what event, you are unlikely to receive the correct price as far as value is concerned.

The best chance is to wager when these events are first put up.

Ever since Baltimore won the World Series at 200-1 in 1983, the sports books in Las Vegas are very reluctant to absorb another major loss and place big prices on teams that have any chance of winning. Now if you get 25 or 50-1 on a team, you are getting a big price.

Sports books have a philosophy that futures are geared to the squares, not the wise guys. The casinos have no need to offer huge prices that could hurt their bottom line. Books get all the action they need from casual players visiting our great city on vacation.

Here’s the scenario: Players go to Vegas and wager $20 on the Cubbies to win the World Series. They don’t care what the price is, just that they want the ticket. They could get 10-1 on a team that in the real world should be 25-1.

Futures are no longer put up for the wise guy, but for us little guys who just want to have fun. If you are a local and looking to bet a future on any sport, owe it to yourself to shop around.

No matter what, keep it all in perspective and always have a good time with it. That’s what it’s all about. So, good luck in the future with all your plays and have a good baseball  season.