We have all been there. The ultimate dismay of every gambler. You get the lines and study for hours. Then, you make the call. Give me XYZ University and I’ll lay the 18 1/2 you say. Or, you may go on-line and click the wager button. You’re down, now its game time.
Everything goes as planned and when the clock finds you in the 4th quarter with 2:05 left you are up by 28. Nice bet you tell yourself. I knew XYZ would crush this team. Then you hear someone announce from the other end of the bar, “here come the scrubs.” You can’t blame the coach for wanting to clear the bench. I mean, he’s up by 28 and he didn’t lay the -18 1/2 points. He wants to give his players minutes. The opponent of XYZ University may or may not elect to clearing his bench. His objective and that of his team is to make the final score respectable when the buzzer or gun sounds.
So as the nonstarters and kids that have played maybe 3 minutes all season start taking wild desperation shots for XYZ University, combined with missed foul shots and turnovers while playing no defense you begin to see the score evaporate and with less than a minute left you are up by 20.
Your first impulse is to light a candle and pray. Your second is to call the coach on his cell phone and to tell him to get his starters back in. NOW! All you can do is wait until the game goes final. Maybe the other team will clear their bench and you can watch and wait as the foul shots mount, the wild three pointers get padded in the stats and the turnovers mount. Hopefully you hold on and cash. Will you?
These are the games that can turn a huge lead by XYZ University into a 15 point win. Blowing the cover. Or, they can hold on and you cash. When you lay massive points, there is always a big risk involved.
Such was the case when Michigan State played Penn State a couple weeks back. Michigan State was laying Penn State (you guessed it) -18 1/2 and cruised out in front out of the gate. The entire game Penn State looked confused and dazed as the Spartans of Michigan had their way with the Penn State squad. Then it happened. Coach Izzo started to pull his seniors in front of the last home game crowd they would face late in the fourth quarter. One by one, the Michigan State studs were given a cheerful ovation by the home crowd as they passed by center court and kissed the floor, and the logo of Michigan State. While this was an awesome, touching gesture, keep in mind there was still a game to be played, albeit only 2:00 minutes left. Michigan State freshman were in. Yes, five freshman. The entire Michigan State bench in tears, including coach Izzo. You look up and see in awe that Penn State still had all five starters in the game as you rush to the liquor cabinet.
What could have been the longest 2:00 minutes in history did turn out okay in the end. While the final two minutes was a wild one, the Michigan State pimple faced boys were able to hit free throws and thanks to a good coach Izzo team didn’t turn the ball over that much. When the benches started to clear, the lead was Michigan State up by 30. They covered by a diminishing margin but was also helped by Penn State putting in a few scrubs of their own.
Such is the life of a gambler. Never count you money until its in your wallet. EVER.