Upon the eve of this year's Super Bowl, I'm reminded of a Super Bowl prop bet from several years ago that couldn't lose - literally. It was guaranteed to make at least a 54% return on your investment.
The sports book obviously screwed up. They shouldn't have allowed this type of bet to be placed.
It was nine years ago... Super Bowl XL (Steelers and the Seahawks)
At the time, SportsInterAction offered a bet on whether Pittsburgh's final score would be ODD or EVEN. Likewise with Seattle's final score. Also, you could bet on whether the final score, of both teams combined, will be ODD or EVEN.
You can, of course, make these same type of odd/even bets at most sports books today.
Normally sports books won't all you PARLAY bets that are RELATED. For example, you can't parlay Seattle on the moneyline with Seattle and points. Obviously, if the moneyline bet wins, then OF COURSE the other bet will win too.
Apparently SIA hadn't realized the total score of each team, and the final score, are NOT independent events! They allowed you to PARLAY these bets!
If I have an ODD number of marbles in my left hand and an ODD number of marbles in my right hand, then the TOTAL number of marbles I have MUST be an EVEN number... because two odd numbers added together will always equal an even number.
Likewise, two even numbers added together will always equal an even number. And an odd and an even number added together will always equal an odd number.
Here were my four parlay bets:
1) Pittsburgh to score an ODD number of points, Seattle to score an ODD number of points, and the total combined score to be an EVEN number.
2) Pittsburgh to score an ODD number of points, Seattle to score an EVEN number of points, and the total combined score to be an ODD number.
3) Pittsburgh to score an EVEN number of points, Seattle to score an ODD number of points, and the total combined score to be an ODD number.
4) Pittsburgh to score an EVEN number of points, Seattle to score an EVEN number of points, the total combined score to be an EVEN number.
(Again, each of the four bets above is a "three-leg" parlay bet.)
No matter who won that day, and no matter by how much or what the final score was, one of those four bets HAD to win. (And three bets had to lose.)
My notes indicate the payoff for the first three bets were just slightly less than 5.19 to 1. The chances of the fourth bet occurring were less than the other three, since this payoff for this bet was even higher... 5.96 to 1.
Those four combinations were all I needed. Obviously, I don't have to worry about the combination of Pittsburgh scoring an ODD number of points, Seattle scoring an ODD number of points, and the total points combined also being ODD... since again, by the laws of arithmetic, that's impossible! Likewise with even+even=odd, even+odd=even, and odd+even=even... it just can't happen.
In summary, I was being paid a true 3-leg parlay payoff, but in this particular parlay, four of the eight "legs," which would normally also have a chance of occurring, simply could not! I was being paid
5.19 to 1 (minimum) when the true odds are just 3 to 1 against me. By betting on all four possibilities, I guaranteed myself a profit.
As soon as I saw I could do this I immediately opened an account with those guys and then funded my account with the maximum allowed for first time users. In summary, they never discovered their error and I collected my money. If my memory is correct, I was able to successfully do this one year later too, but by the third year they no longer allowed it.
Be sure to check with your sports book, to see if this is possible. It shouldn't be... but you never know.
This prop was even better than the guy in this article, who found an overlay on Super Bowl XXXVI. His discovery only resulted in a guaranteed 10% return! Ha!
If you want to maximize your long-term profits, do NOT hedge.
Many posters here will tell you to take the "guaranteed" money. Well, taking "guaranteed money" is not always a smart move, and I can prove it with a simple example:
Let's say your team, that was favored by just a point, is leading by two touchdowns with just a minute or two left to go in the game. If they cover the spread, which it look like they will almost certainly, you win $1,000.00.
I come along and offer to buy your ticket for $500, right here and now. Do you sell it to me?
If your answer is no, they why not? I'm offering you guaranteed money right now! Anything could still happen in this game!
Well, of course you shouldn't sell it to me or anyone else. Not for $500. The reason is simple - that ticket, at this moment in time, is worth much more than $500.00. (Depending upon exact game scenario, it's probably worth upwards of $990.00.)
This is EXACTLY what happens when you hedge. You sell something for less than what it's worth. You normally do NOT want to do this, whether you're selling or a car or a house or whatever.
Hedging comes at a price and you have to pay that price.
You will make more money in a very short period of time if you never hedge. To put it another way, if you and I bet on the same teams/games, and you hedge whenever you can and I never hedge, I will very soon have more money than you. Maybe not that weekend... maybe not that month... but very soon.
Too many players here want to be a winner after each "weekend." Hedging will give them that.
FORGET "weekend." Think "lifetime" or "season."
Another example: Blackjack players should NOT take insurance when it is offered, when they themselves have a blackjack. You can find this topic and the reason why in any worthwhile blackjack book. But why not? If you take insurance, you're guaranteed a win! In fact, the dealer will pay you immediately!
The reason, again, is if you do take insurance you're basically selling your hand for less than what it is worth. More often than not the dealer will NOT have a ten in the hole. And when that happens your own blackjack will pay 1.5 to 1. Thus, you should not settle for the guaranteed 1 to 1 payout. (If you're counting cards and the ratio of non-tens to tens to left in the deck falls below 2 to 1, it becomes worthwhile.)
Furthermore, if you hedge, then why in the world did you put that last, late game on the card in the first place? Arrgh! You should have just left it off completely! If you had left it off, you'd now already have your "guaranteed" money and could now bet all of it, or a portion of it, on this late game, if desired.
Hedging comes at a price and you have to pay that price.
As was said so well in this epic thread,
"If you find yourself in a POSITION to hedge, you've already made a fundamental error."
If the amount is life-changing amount of money, I can understand why you would hedge. If the GAME CONDITIONS have changed (the starting quarterback gets hit by a bus on the way to the game) then you can and often should hedge. But otherwise, be aware you are giving selling your ticket for LESS than what it is worth!