Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Upside of Soccer

NOTE: This post was eaten by blogger. Twice. I better get some nice comments.

OK, so we're all agreed that soccer is a mindbendingly dull spectator sport. Be that as it may, a soccer game - er, match - is also an unscripted competitive event where the outcome is in doubt up until the final( bell / buzzer / horn / whistle) is (rung /buzzed /blown /blown), whatever that sound may be in that game. This means that while soccer sucks, one may wager on it which always has the effect of decreasing any sport's suckitude. Cornhuskers beating Boise State by 45? No matter - according to the line, the Broncos are up by 3!

Ah the magic of parimutuel betting.

As the Jimmy "the Greek" of the MOB (Learned "the Foot"), I shall provide the following betting guide for the initial matches of the World Cup as a public service. I will only be betting the over/unders because I haven't the foggiest idea which teams are good and which are not. I will be using the lines from here. The numbers in parentheses are the payoffs for the over and under respectively. I am hoping that someone out there will track my bets to keep me from having to search the dark corners of the sports page for the scores honest. I'm looking at you, Bananaman.

Germany
Costa Rica Over/Under 2.5 (-140/+100)

Germany is a fading powerhouse in international soccer. Costa Rica is an up and comer. The game is soccer.

Pick: Under 2.5 for $200

Poland
Ecuador Over/Under 2.5 (+120/-160)

Not a real good payout for the under for this game. Insert your own Ecuadorian joke here.

Pick: Under for $160

Trinidad & Tobago
Sweden Over/Under 2.5 (-135/-105)

This is a tough pick because there are actually 3 countries taking part in this game instead of the conventional 2. But when it comes to soccer, I am a firm believer in declining marginal utility.

Pick: Under for $105

Serbia Montenegro
Netherlands Over/Under 2.5 (+120/-160)

Not a real good payout for the under here. This is another polynational matchup. Serbia Montenegro may begin the match as two nations and finish as seven. See above.

Pick: Under for $160

Mexico
Iran Over/Under 2.5 (+115/-155)

Not so good payout for the under here, but, this game may end in a forfeit with the Mexican team fleeing across the Danube thinking that it's the Rio Grande.

Pick: Off the board.

England
Paraguay Over/Under 2.5 (+120/-160)

Not so good payout for the under here, but this may be the only number that will be lower than the total number of deaths from rioting in the stands.

Pick: Under for $160

United States
Czech Republic Over/Under 2.5 (+105/-145)

Not so good payout for the under here. But:

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO MOTHERFUCKER!!!! WOOT!!!

A SOCCER SNOT (ASS) INTERRUPTS: I say old chap! You seem to be a typical loutish American sports fan!

LEARNEDFOOT: Say, where did you get that neat scar on your face?

ASS: Some bloke brought an axe handle to last month's Manchester United match.

LF: Ah, I see. Please leave before I finish that job.

***

Sorry about that. Now, where was I? Oh yeah:

Pick: Under for $145. WOOT!!!!!

That's all I've got time for today. Remember: only bet what the Nihilist in Golf Pants can afford. Otherwise, you might not collect.

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