Vegas, Day 0.

by A.J. Coltrane

We arrived in the casino on Wednesday, early evening. The late, tournament “play-in” games hadn’t started yet.

The game that interested me was Boise St. versus Dayton. I’d seen both teams recently and felt fairly confident that I knew what they were — that I had a good idea of their styles, strengths, weaknesses, and true talent levels.

To backtrack a bit: We’d been enjoying adult beverages starting in the mid-morning. (Especially me.) Free cocktails in the VIP lounge at the airport. Free cocktails on the plane. I was well lubricated. I was ready to make a “fun” bet to kick off the weekend, and Boise St. – Dayton seemed like an excellent place to start.

We made our way to the sports book and were presented with something like this:

sportsbook

But the game I wanted to place a bet on said “SUSP”. Which I took to mean “suspended”. I didn’t know why the betting might be “off” on that game so I asked the attendant:

Me:  “Is the betting off on the Boise St. game?”

Attendant:  “Let’s see… no, the line is +4.5 for Boise St.”

That means that if I were to take Boise St. at say, $50, and they were to either win outright or lose by 4 or less, then I’d win $45.45 and pocket a total of $95.45, counting my original $50 I’d get back. Not bad. But then I’m thinking that if Boise St. is that slim of an underdog maybe I can make more money by betting them to win outright….

Me:  “What’s the Money Line?” (Odds for Boise St. to win outright.)

Attendant:  “+175”

Now that’s interesting! If Boise St. wins outright then I’ll win $87.50 and pocket $137.50. That, to my mind, is a good value bet in this scenario. So, quickly, and with confidence…

Me:  “$50 on the Money Line please.”

Random Regular Leaning On The Counter To My Right:  “Me Likey! They’re my team!”

And by that, he doesn’t mean he’s rooting for Boise St., only that he has money on them too. I take it as an encouraging sign that one of the degenerates approves of my taste in Boise St.

The game begins. Our favorite bartender is feeding me more adult beverages, and I’m feeling pretty good about things:

Boise St. led 29-17 with 2:09 to go in the 1st half.

Boise St. led 29-20 at halftime.

Boise St. led 50-41 with 6:36 to go in the game.

At the 1:24 mark it was still 53-50, Boise St.

Then:

[Dayton’s] Jordan Sibert’s two free throws tied it at 53-53 with 1:02 left, and his long 3-pointer gave the Flyers a 56-55 lead with 34 seconds to go.

After [Boise St.’s] Montigo Alford missed a driving bank shot, [Dayton’s] Pollard got the rebound, was fouled and missed both free throws with 14 seconds left, giving the Broncos a final shot.

The final, contested 3-point attempt by Boise St. missed everything.

Ugh.

But it gets worse before it gets better…

 

 

2 comments to Vegas, Day 0.

  • Annie S.

    Did the fact that it was a “home” game for Dayton ever cross your mind?

  • A.J. Coltrane

    No, but then I basically never factor in “home field” during the tournament.

    Boise St. outshot Dayton 55 to 42. They shot 40% from the floor overall, and Dayton shot 47.6%.

    If there’s a place the refs might have been influenced it’d be in Dayton shooting 14 free throws to Boise St.’s 10, though I’m more inclined to attribute the disparity to the fact that Dayton is the stronger, more rough-and-tumble team — they pushed around (and defeated) Providence in the next round, and Providence is a much bigger team than Boise St.

    Boise St. went 5-10 (50%) from the free throw line and 6-20 (30%) from the 3-point line. Vaguely better shooting from basically anywhere would have won the game for them. They’re normally a very good shooting team, so…. oh well.

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