Amarillo Slim – famed poker player and gambler – says that you’ll break even always backing the underdog, even if you know nothing about the subject you bet on.
I remember when England beat Australia 12-10 in the Rugby World Cup quarter final, and then France beat NZ. NZ were huge favorites to win the cup. They have dominated world rugby for the past 2 years. Australia was second favorites. Meanwhile, the press had written of England and France as hopeless.
The bookies had Australia at 16 points over England – a huge handicap and NZ was probably twelve points better than France. (France had home field advantage.) I wished I’d bet on the games…
Anyway, another evening years back…the Florida Gators took on LSU. My girlfriend and I wanted to get out of the house and do something with Ian – he was moving back to Seattle – so we decided to go to a sports bar and watch the game.
LSU were the number one ranked team in the nation, they hadn’t lost a game in 12 fixtures, and they were playing at home. The Gators won the National Championship the year before, but a week earlier they looked horrible and lost against a mediocre side.
At the time the bookies had LSU minus 8.5 points. (ie favorites by 8.5 points.) And the idiot that I am, I decided NOT to back the underdog Gators. I felt 8.5 points wasn’t enough handicap, given LSU’s home field advantage and form.
Well the Gators dominated LSU but ended up losing in the last minute of the game. So LSU won the game and I lost the bet. Worst possible outcome.