Believers, it's time to put your gold on the Black & Gold! : The Whims and Foibles of Sports...
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Believers, it's time to put your gold on the Black & Gold!

by J.W. Miller on 07/29/19

Okay, Who Dats, I know you’re fired up about Saints training camp opening up, and I know you believe your heroes are destined to win the 2020 Super Bowl. But are you ready to back up those lofty expectations with your money? I did on Friday when I traveled to my local sports book, at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and put down a little gold on the Black and Gold. 

Regular readers of this erstwhile epistle will recall that about this time last year, when Mississippi approved sports wagering at select casinos, I high-tailed it to the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi, the first sports book to open on the Gulf Coast, to do my part for Mississippi’s economy. As I wrote then, I put down a Benjamin (Mr. Franklin’s picture is on the $100 bill) on each of the three teams that I write most about. Thankfully, all three were legitimate choices to win their championships. 

My three bets were on the Red Sox at 4-1 to win the World Series, Kentucky at 4-1 to win the NCAA basketball title and the Saints at 15-1 to win the Super Bowl. (Please don’t whine to me about the “No Call” game because I was cheated out of some serious cheese!) Thankfully, the Sox covered all my bets by winning the World Series, so I finished my first round of wagering with a little jingle in my jeans. 

So on Friday when I went to the Hollywood casino (they pronounce it casina over here!), my intentions were to bet on the Saints to win the Super Bowl and Kentucky football to win seven games or more. I still regret not wagering on Kentucky football last year when the over-under was 5.5 wins and they wound up winning ten games and finished No. 12 in the nation. I think Kentucky football is again heavily undervalued this year at the official Vegas over-under of 6.5 wins, so I was intending to put a little extra on that wager. 

But when I arrived and began looking over the tout sheets with the available bets, the Kentucky over-under was not listed. It seems that Vegas came to the same conclusion that I and announcer Kirk Herbstreit came to, that Kentucky should be a lock to win at least seven games. But I was locked out of that one and had to make another plan. 

I thought about another wager on the Red Sox, who had a poor start and are playing better, but I question whether their pitching can hold up down the stretch. I also thought about my basketball Wildcats, who are listed as one of the favorites to win the Final Four this year.  But I decided not to bet on them this year, in an effort to hedge my emotional well-being. It’s hard enough when your favorite all-time team loses, but to lose AND cost you cold cash is emotional overload. I’ve even considered betting on their opponents in big games just so I can win either way. Cats win the game, I’m fired up! Cats get beat, and I get paid. Sounds disturbing, but so is caring too much about a basketball or a football game. 

Besides, I honestly think the Saints are a better investment this year. They not only have improved the roster in key spots, they should have the chip on their shoulder from the previous two NFC playoff debacles. So I placed two bets on the Saints. 

The first bet is 9-2 that they will win the NFC championship game and get to the Super Bowl. The second bet is 10-1 they will win the Super Bowl. For your information, the oddsmakers favor the Rams to win the NFC title game, and the Patriots – over the Chiefs, Rams and Saints - to win the Super Bowl. What do they know?

So are you ready to put your money where your hope is? Only believers need apply!

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