Written by Steven Marcuz and Shaun Meyer, who go by @sidskeat and @deadduck, respectively, on the Fantasy Life App
Get to Know Steven Marcuz AKA @sidskeat
It’s been hard growing up…just in general I guess, but I digress (that might be a record) it was hard growing up in what people consider a “small town” centrally located an equally absurd distance from anything resembling a city, so sports were definitely something that I relied on to help get me there. It doesn’t matter where you’re from when it comes to sports. You have a team and you’re all set. Being from a small town, I had to wait until I was 18 to make an account online to start betting, but I’ve been following point spreads since high school, and what it does for me is put that little extra pizazz (yeah I said, what, wanna fight about it?) on the game, that little extra dose of excitement.
There’s nothing like winning $500 on a last second Aaron Rodgers hail mary to cover a spread and hit a parlay. Unfortunately, there’s also nothing more agonizing than missing out on a huge payout by 2pts in a basketball game because players are trying to miss foul shots. I don’t pretend to be a fortune teller when it comes to this stuff, but I’ve paid enough attention to it over the last 15 years to confidently help everyone win a little extra money this season. You play the odds, and always look for that “too good to be true line” and fade it!
Get to Know Shaun Meyer AKA @deadduck
Growing up in Indiana during the Bobby knight era, and living 15 minutes from Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby), I've been picking horses and filling out march madness brackets since i was old enough to hold a pencil. I became aware of point spreads in high school, but was really introduced to sports gambling through bookie cards in the mid 90's. The first time I saw one I fell in love. So many spreads jumped off the card as sure things. How could I not get rich? Played 10 games for $10 for a payout of $3000. All the old guys laughed. I was told even the bookie noticed and commented I was trying to put him out of business. After a month or so of going 5-5 I quickly realized why they called it gambling and that I needed to decrease my number of picks.
My first victory was in '97. I was 5 for 5 and it came down to a Sunday night barn burner between the 3-11 Bears, and the 4-10 rams. The Bears were -1. Longest game of my life. A field goal seals it. Now to collect the payout. The cards came from a bar and I was only 18 so I trusted some old guy to turn in my $10 card, but not to collect my winnings. So my car is in the shop and my dad giving me a ride to work. I tell him to go into this bar, directly across from police station, and go up to the bar to ask if they have something for "Duck". He walks out like he's seen a ghost, hops up into the truck, throws a wad of bills in my lap, and asks "boy what the hell kind of stuff you got me into?”. I explained that I was gambling on sports and the rest as they say, is history
Before we get the season started, we wanted to introduce you to a few terms that will most likely be coming up now and again throughout our time together here.
• Favorites – the team/side expected to win an event. In a point spread bet, the favorite is indicated by a negative (-) point value. In a money line, or “straight” bet, the higher the value, the more that team is favorited.
• Futures – placing a bet on an outcome taking place sometime in the future (betting on a division or Super Bowl winner before or during the season)
• Money Line – a bet with no point spread. A money line bet has the bettor picking only a winner. Payouts for the money line favorites are usually much lower, and much better for underdogs.
• Over/Unders – a bet on whether the combine score of a game will be above or below a specified number.
• Parlay – combining multiple bets onto one card, multiplying the payout exponentially with each added bet. All bets in a parlay must hit for a payout to occur
• Point Spread (the Line) – the “head start” which the favorite gives to the underdog for betting purposes. If you bet on a team, Seattle -8, think of that as giving the other team an 8pt head start. Seattle is the favorite, making Oakland the underdog at +8. The favorite must win the game by more points than the spread allows, and the underdog will “win” if they lose by less than 8 points or win the game.
• Prop Bets – these are unique bets put out by a bookmaker. They can include player performance odds (Matt Forte over/under 4.5 receptions, Steph Curry over/under 6.5 3s made). They can also be on other unique outcomes like political elections or the length of the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
• Taking vs Laying Points – Laying points means that you’re picking the favorite. “Laying” or giving the point spread. Taking the points means that you are picking the underdog. You are taking the points given to that side in the point spread.
• Underdogs – the team/side expected to lose an event. In a point spread bet, the dog is indicated by a positive (+) point value. In a money line bet, the higher the number, the more that team is expected to loser.
We hope that this helps, and look forward to our article coming out, highlight our futures picks for this upcoming season! We look forward to doing battle with each other, and hopefully winning some of the money we all love in the process!
Also remember, that gambling is not legal in all states and please make sure that you are not breaking any laws if you plan to make a wager. Please also gamble responsibly, and if you have an addiction to gambling, there is help out there. Visit www.gamblersanonymous.com if you need help.