One of my favorite old sports movies is called "It Happens Every Spring". It celebrated America's ritual opening of Major League Baseball coinciding with beginning of Spring. By no coincidence it also signified a time of new hope, a fresh start and the birth of flowers, trees, etc.
Flash forward to the beginning of July and a very similar tradition albeit much sadder one seems to take place every year. The beginning of "desperation wagering season". New flowers aren't blooming but surely more ways to bet your money on sports and often non-sports grow out of the offshore sportsbooks like roots from the earth. Not that I can honestly blame them. Any business goes through a slow season and needs creative ways to help promote their venture until their traditional cycle kicks in.
But that doesn't mean that savvy bettors must wager every option offered on the board. If he were alive, Ben Franklin would have said "a penny BET on Michael Phelps at +350 vs. the Great White Shark at -650 is a penny burned. Yup, you can find their upcoming race on July 23rd during Shark Week to wager online. A recent view of esteemed online sportsbook Bovada offered up these tempting selections under their "sports" category:
Why Not Basketball?
Nothing against you cricket and handball sharpies but you may be alarmed why I listed basketball within the shaky list. Uhh, we're not talking NBA regular season, playoff or even pre-season basketball. Most preferred offshore sportsbooks have lines listed on NBA Summer League action. A full scrimmage-type arrangement for NBA executives to test rookies, free agents and make a few corporate dollars. Perhaps these books should offer prop wagering for bettors who could just name the starting five in the line-up!!
I'd have to research the popularity of International hoops wagering. Wednesday night Bovada listed Guaros DeLara as a solid -6 favorite over Marinos DeAnzotegui. And if you're hung up on a side, the Over/Under Total was 173.5. Unfortunately, you couldn't research any past history or receive any edge on StatFox. Sorry, I couldn't give you a recommendation there either because I don't how to pronounce these team's names.
As I mentioned in a previous article, the WNBA is your only legitimate option to potentially wager a few basketball dollars. At least this league televises most of their games on ESPN, put forth 100% and play a real season schedule toward a playoff. But again, I wouldn't wager on the Dallas Wings +5 with the same budget as the Dallas Mavericks in January.
Off-Season Best Bets
Unfortunately, we missed the most obvious best bets during July's showcase offseason event. That of course was the annual July 4th Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship. Most top online sportsbooks offered a few to several proposition options to wager. Upon. This gluttony orgy was certainly more intriguing than the Phillies-Pirates game that day and more exciting to bet on.
Talk about "the line is telling you something". It seems there is no stopping legend Joey Chestnut in this classic. Bovada had the winning Over/Under Total at 63.5 hot dogs. By consuming 72 dogs, Joey cashed the Over easier than the two sides in the past NBA All-Star Game. By claiming his 10th title, Babe Ruth should be more known as "the Joey Chestnut of baseball". And if you didn't want to wait the full 10 minutes to cash a lock wager, Chestnut also went Over 12.5 wieners by gobbling 14 in the very first minute. Much more impressive than the Patriots Super Bowl comeback.
Only Eight Weeks to Go
Please remember that regular Major League Baseball wagering still does exist and is in full force once the All-Star Game break occurs next week. And Home Run Derby betting isn't much different than darts, volleyball or even popular Trump wagering. As all can be prominently found on most offshore wagering menus.
It won't be long at all until regular season NFL action gets under way and even sooner when NCAA College Football begins early this year on August 26th. Among the four NCAA College games slated that day I would surely prefer wagering upon Portland State – BYU before putting any money on PGA golf's Greenbrier Classic this weekend. But hey, everyone has their preference and opinion.
Lastly, if you can't wait until kickoff, Bovada features this interesting proposition wager on their "entertainment" menu:
Will OJ Simpson be granted parole in 2017?
Again, you won't find any wagering edge to potentially exploit on StatFox nor locate any inside information that I am aware of. All I can assume is that at an alarming -270, the Juice loves his odds and is feeling optimistic of scoring before the end of the year.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.