Football has never been my favorite sport.
I say that even while I spend my weekdays watching press conferences, updating my last-place fantasy team and being up to date on all the NFL headlines and stats. I actually texted a friend with the term “13 personnel” last weekend.
When Sundays come around, I can’t help but be like the millions of other people and turn on my TV at 1 p.m. and let it ride throughout the day up to or including Sunday Night Football.
If you’re one of those people who consumes a large amount of pro football, you’ve probably seen your fair share of gambling content as well. In fact, there’s a DraftKings commercial on my TV right now. (Promo code “SAFETY,” if that interests you.)
Gambling and sports used to be like driving five miles an hour over the speed limit — technically illegal and you shouldn’t do it, but who’s going to do anything about it?
Now that sportsbooks are becoming legal in more and more states, the big-money advertising revenue is full speed ahead. Pennsylvania, for once, was actually ahead of the nationwide trend when it started allowing sports gambling in 2018.
Now, you can place bets on just about everything. The sportsbooks try to “boost” the odds, offering promotions with absurd point spreads or sure-bet winners. You’re telling me I can have the Lakers plus 99 points? I’m in!
Except I’m out.
I don’t like to gamble aside from the occasional Super Bowl prop bets or March Madness bracket challenge — not that I’m very good at either.
I like to think I’m smart enough to know that there are no sure bets in gambling. The house always wins. Why? Because the house sets the odds. And because who would ever bet No. 1-seed Virginia to be the first team in the history of the world to lose to a 16-seed?
I’m not willing to bet my life savings on Detroit’s kicker making a field goal or assuming LeBron isn’t going to get ejected in the first half and miss his over/under points total.
The only spread I’m interested in is what’s for dinner. My advice when a gambling commercial comes on TV is use my code “PETE10” and take that $10 you were going to lay on the Steelers and go buy a sandwich instead.
(Pete Sirianni is the managing editor at the New Castle News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)