It’s the reason we love sports, isn’t it? The reason live sporting events will always be the most valued of televised properties. You never know. You just never know. So we watch and marvel.
You can have all the analytics in the world at your disposal, make the most informed wager possible, and sometimes you just must shrug and acknowledge it’s down to Uncle Fate. It’s one of the few salves we can slather on the wound when our parlay gets blown. And it’s what keeps pulling us back in.
The Loser is speaking about the World Series, of course. It was clear after four games that the Houston Astros, winners of 106 regular season games and undefeated in the playoffs until Game 1 of what’s been a whacky World Series, were the better team.
The Phillies, and this is difficult for a New Yorker to admit, were a bearded band of brash bashers. It was easy to get behind them, especially when the Astros still have more than a whiff of cheat about them.
When Philly rallied for an unfathomable 6-5 win in Game 1, you could dare to believe. And when they slugged a record five home runs off Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 to claim a 7-0 victory and a 2-1 series lead, well, fire up the grills boys, there’s going to be a run on cheesesteaks.
And then Uncle Fate showed up and there went the Loser’s parlay – Phillies in six and Bryce Harper to lead the series in RBIs. Might get the Harper part. But the Phillies are kaput.
Four Houston pitchers combined on just the second no hitter in World Series history in Game 4. Series tied 2-2. Harper, and his bearded brash brothers, are done.
If that didn’t convince you the series was for all intent over, Game 5, provided the smoking gun.
Trey Mancini, who might as well have gone into witness protection, finds himself playing first base in the eighth inning because starter Yuli Gurriel got shaken up in a collision. Runners are at the corners with two outs in a 3-2 game and Philly fans are deliriously drunk on Yuengling, an underrated beverage, in The Loser’s opinion.
Kyle Schwarber, a working man’s slugger, blasts a one-hopper down the first base line, ticketed to right field and a tie game. Mancini, from his knees, snags the rocket and steps on first. Inning over. Uncle Fate is just warming up.
Bottom of the ninth. One out. J.T Realmuto cracks an opposite field blast that looks like it could get out, if not hit the top of the wall. Centerfield Chas McCormick races 92 feet, feels for the fence, leaps, and makes a backhanded catch as he ricochets off the wall. 😲
Uncle Fate all but farted in the Phillies face.
The series heads back to Houston for Game 6 Saturday night and The Loser will try to recoup some of his losses by taking the Astros to win, Bryce Harper (22 hits) and Jeremy Pena (18 hits) to each get a hit. The Loser got +270 at BetMGM and put down a $20 stake, which gets a $74 payoff, for a net gain of $54.
Goodbye baseball; all on eyes on you NFL. NBA – see you Christmas Day.
FALCONS +3 over Chargers – With WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams out, sources tell The Loser the Chargers have offered Lance “Bambi” Alworth a one-day contract. Can the Falcons really win the NFC South? No. Can they stay in the hunt? Have you seen the NFC South?
Dolphins -4.5 at BEARS – The Loser is taking out a Disability Insurance policy in the name of Justin Fields, the first quarterback to face the Killer Fish combo of Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips.
+BENGALS -7 over Panthers – If the defending AFC Champs at 4-4 are going to challenge the Ravens in the AFC North, it must start this weekend against the Carolina Fire Sale and next week against the (gulp!) Rebuilding Steelers.
LIONS +3.5 over Packers – The Lions are entertainingly awful while the Packers are vying for MDT honors this season – Most Disappointing Team. Aaron Rodgers’ act has worn out. His receiving corps is abysmal. And the defense has been a major disappointment.
RAIDERS +2 over Jaguars – The Raiders stayed on the East Coast following their humiliating 24-0 loss at New Orleans because the airport in Las Vegas refused to allow the team plane to land. After showing improvement early on under new coach Doug Peterson, QB Trevor Lawrence has stagnated. Mad Maxx Crosby will find him.
+PATRIOTS -6 over Colts – There are no guarantees in the NFL except this – Bill Belichick will make any rookie quarterback look like, well, a rookie quarterback. Sam Ehlinger, you’re turn.
Bills -11.5 over JETS – The Bills are going to force Zach Wilson to cover, uh, beat them. He hasn’t shows he can.
COMMANDERS +3 over Vikings– Jeff Bezos and Jay-Z to bid on the Washington Football Team? Will Bezos change the name of the stadium to Amazon Field. Will Mr. Carter perform the national anthem before all home games? Will Dan Snyder please go to prison? QB Kirk Cousins is overdue for his signature letdown game. Why not against the team that let him get away? 🏟️
Seahawks +2 over CARDINALS – Toughest pick of the weekend. Seattle has scored 210 points. Arizona has given up 210. We’re putting the over/under on the Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury weekly sideline spat at 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. More certain of that than the pick.
Rams +3 over BUCCANEERS – The Rams O-Line is awful. Ditto the Bucs. The Rams run game is awful. Ditto the Bucs. Matt Stafford is having an awful season. Tom Brady (on the field) is not. Bucs win but don’t cover.
+CHIEFS -12.5 over Titans – The Bills are the best team in football. The Eagles have the best record. But the Chiefs offense is breathtaking. Tennessee’s only chance to stay in the game is to play from in front and run Derrick “Designated Hitter” Henry until the tires fall off.
Ravens -2.5 over SAINTS – The Ravens acquired the tackling machine known as LB Roquan Smith. Once again Baltimore’s brilliant front office comes through. This is now the Ravens division to lose.
Home team in CAPS.
Last week: 8-7; +Best bets: 2-1
Overall: 64-59-2; +Best bets: 14-10