You Better, You Better, You Bet

It’s a random winter Monday. I’m in front of my TV flipping between USA Network, Peacock, Paramount+, and ESPN+. There are random league games on ESPN. Nothing was on Paramount+ because it seems their only broadcast edict is to show EVERY SINGLE CUP IN THE FOOTBALL WORLD but no regular season matches.

READ MORENobody Told The Bee It Can’t Fly by Jeff Cutler
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It’s frustrating because I’m not even looking for a Liverpool match. I just want to watch EPL football. My goals are to breathe in the majesty of the game, cheer on the teams with the better uniforms, and be amazed at the plays, shots, passes, and of course, the corners.

That leaves me rushing around the visual and audio world looking for coverage of West Ham and Brentford at the London Stadium. Why am I so dead set on watching this match? DraftKings owns my soul.

An Ironic Moment

I’m not literally under the demonic possession of DraftKings. However, they have hooked me on placing a bet (or many) on all soccer, European and otherwise.

The pure irony of chasing the Hammers and the Bees on this particular occasion is that it has Ivan Toney playing in it. If you are unaware, Toney just recently returned from an FA-imposed betting exile. The striker will surely be moving on from Brentford at season’s end. His gambling charges will probably not even cause a blip on his next club’s radar as his talent shines through.

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I have no idea what got Toney hooked, but for me it is parlays. That’s right. I’m blaming the system instead of taking responsibility. It’s essentially the American way. If you’re not familiar with placing an online bet on football, here’s a VERY light primer.

Daily Fantasy Does Not A Bet Make

For the purposes of this discussion, there are two types of online football betting. Fantasy is a separate beast and should remain its own animal.

This first type is like fielding a side that will get the most fantasy points. The pools on these contests can run from short money, a 10-25 cent entry, all the way up to thousands of dollars for entry. It’s a sort of fantasy hybrid where you can choose a group of players (at least one player from each side) and then decide how much to bet.

The best way to win on this first type of betting is to know the team AND to be methodical will your selection of contests and wager amounts. For example, if you have a good feeling about LFC at Anfield against Toulouse, you might select a $1 or $5 bet. Choose the contest early and then select a place-holder team.

Then, wait until minutes before match time and go back to your lineup. At that time, you should adjust your picks to reflect the actual lineup. In most cases, this is only presented in the hour before the match starts. Further, you would be doing yourself a favor to look at the benches for both sides. There can be gem players in there who might win you some money. A great example was when Mo Salah was coming on to play from the bench instead of starting for the club.


It goes without saying that the better you know the opponents, the better you can evaluate who might give you a problem….and subsequently win you some money.

DISCLAIMER – If I were a player, it would be entirely unacceptable to wager on my team. As a supporter, it’s not really advisable unless you can compartmentalize your feelings and emotions. Otherwise, you’ll be doubly disappointed when Nunez comes back and hits the framework four times in a game (again) if you had chosen him as your DraftKings captain.

My Vice Of Choice

The second type, and the one I’m personally hooked on, is the SPORTSBOOK. This is the stuff!

If you’re an American, can you remember the first time you saw Super Bowl squares or an NFL card? Did you get a sheet with prop bets for the big game from the coin toss to the National Anthem to the number of punts? That’s where the excitement came from…THE PROPS!

According to the Internet, a prop bet (or proposition bet to be more proper) is a wager placed on an event happening during a game that does not directly affect the final outcome. A player having an assist or a certain number of corner kicks occurring are just two of the vast number of examples of a prop bet. That’s where it BEGINS.

Once you’ve selected your bets, you can PARLAY them for higher winnings. Each bet has to win, but this type of wager allows you to allocate a tiny amount on each individual bet. That in turn allows you to spend less and have a better opportunity to win big.

***TRUE STORY TIME: Last fall I placed a 9-pick parlay on the EPL and wagered $2 on it. It paid off more than $1000 when I selected the nine results correctly – including two games that I picked to end in draws.***

But that doesn’t happen too often, and $2 was about 10X the amount I like to regularly bet. In fact, I usually keep my bets to ten cents each if possible. Looking at the parlay winner, if that was a 10-cent bet, it still would have paid off $53. That’s better than a stick in the eye…and sometimes a lot better.

So Is It Healthy?

Who’s to say what’s healthy? A popsicle truck might run you over when you look the wrong way or your Apple watch distracts you. The steak you just ate might contain the Mad Cow bacteria in vast numbers.

Healthy activities are the ones that make us happier without hurting others or wrecking our bodies irreparably. So get going. Do what makes you happy. Continue to support the Reds voraciously. And if you find some side activities that serve to heighten your joy of watching Liverpool, jump at them.

It’ll make you healthier mentally and probably physically. It’s a pretty sure bet.


Another Monday of looking for answers as we look at the recent struggles but put all of it in perspective as we talk about the 35th anniversary and what it means to us
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