Since I am the Minnesota blogosphere's preeminent sports handicapper, I thought I'd apply my talents for today's election. Below are my point spreads for the various major Minnesota races and the presidential race. These are the rules:
1) Make your picks against the spread in the comment thread. Spreads are based on percentage of the vote (i.e. "-3" means the candidate is favored by 3 percentage points).
2) Indicate the amount you want to bet for each wager. Maximum bet for any single wager is 100 (hypothetical) dollars. Minimum is $10.
3) Straight bets pay 10 to 9. For example, if you want to win $18 on a wager, you need to bet $20. (the usual is 11 to 10, but the math is easier this way). ONLY MAKE WAGERS ON STRAIGHT BETS IN MULTIPLES OF 10.
4) Two-way parlays pay 2.5 to 1. Three way parlays pay 6 to 1. Four-way parlays pay 11 to 1. No action on five or more. Ties lose.
5) No teasers. No "buying the hook".
6) I may move the lines from time to time, based on the action. That's how real books do it. So when you place your "bets" make sure you indicate the spreads they're based on. If you fail to do so I WILL ASSIGN THE MOST RECENT SPREAD AND EDIT YOUR COMMENT ACCORDINGLY. (Note: I may edit some comments for format or clarity - but not content - to make the tally easier in the end. If you don't trust me, take a screen shot of your comment / bet after you post it.) If a spread is changed, I will strike-through the old spread on the board and publish the new spread in bold to its right. The spread that applies to you is the one in effect when you make the wager (which is why it's very important you indicate it when you place your bet).
7) Final scores will be based on the percentage spread, rounded to the nearest half-percent. Third parties will not be considered. So for example, if Norm Coleman gets 49% of the vote, Franken gets 45% and Barkley wins the remaining 6%, the final score is Coleman 49, Franken 45 and the loser votes for Barkley are disregarded. A bet for Coleman favored by 1 wins in this scenario. In the unlikely event a third party does win, there will be no action: straight bets are pushes, parlays are reduced by one play. In the less unlikely (but still improbable) event that a 3rd party finishes second, there will still be action on the bet, the spread being determined by subtracting that number from the winner's.
8) NO BETS AFTER 7 PM TODAY. Moonbat and wingnut wagers alike are accepted. After all, what's more non-partisan than a point spread?
9) Whoever wins the most amount of money based on their bets wins their choice of a six pack of premium beer -or- a 3/4-full bottle of Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch (tried it - way too peety for me).
UPDATE: Forgot to mention your hypothetical bankroll. You can make up to $200 in bets. Only winnings and losses will be counted, so if you only make $150 in bets, that DOES NOT COUNT as $50 toward your total score.
UPDATE 2: Pursuant to the Nihilist's request, we've added the Legacy Amendment referendum to the board for your wagering pleasure.
UPDATE 3: Clarification: the presidential race wager is based on NATIONAL popular vote.
UPDATE 4: Some lines have moved - 11:05.
UPDATE 5: More line adjustments 12:17. PLEASE BE SURE TO USE THE MOST CURRENT LINE WHEN MAKING YOUR BETS.
NEW RULE: Animals and those pretending to be animals are not eligible to play.
UPDATE 6: More line motion at 1:08.
(ALL CAPS indicates incumbent)
WALZ (D) -14.5
Madia (D) Pick
BACHMANN (R) -.5
PETERSON (D) off
OBERSTAR (D) - 18
Some guy (R)
***NEW*** LEGACY AMENDMENT SALES TAX
Good luck, and please practice responsible hypothetical wagering.