Tales from the Hard Rock, Vol. 6: My cellphone’s newest application and a sportsbook in waiting

I placed a wager yesterday.

This wager, however, was different from all other wagers I’d ever placed and I’ve been doing this for the shy side of two decades.

As of November 2, 2021, Florida residents such as myself can now legally gamble on sports.  Hallelujah!  There is a God and he wants you to gamble freely (and responsibly, of course).

The Hard Rock casinos in both Hollywood and Tampa will soon be opening sportsbooks much to the delight of countless sports fans throughout the Sunshine State, present company gloriously included.  You can also now place a wager online using their user-friendly app or visit the brick-and-mortar, which I have yet to do since the decision to make gambling legal.  Stay tuned for further details as my first visit is impending.  Either way, Christmastime has arrived two months early at SportsChump Manor and it comes in the form of a virtual ticket window.

My first play, you ask?  Something simple to kick the tires: an NBA three-team, money line parlay on the Bucks, Jazz and Lakers all to win.  $25 came back $54.39, not a huge payout but a healthy, conservative wager to get the ball rolling.

But here’s the disturbing thing and why this latest venture is about to make the Seminole Tribe enough money to add another wing to their already monstrous gambling complex. 

Do you have any idea how many people that downloaded the app have no idea how to properly place a wager?  I can assure you it’s a significant amount.  That bodes well for the casinos, barring the lucky schmuck who happens to press a button and win a wager he had no idea he was placing.  I can assure you that will be few and far between.

In my experience, I’ve found that many, knowledgeable sports fans have no earthly idea how to gamble.  Money lines, parlays, teasers, pleasers, futures, point spreads.  These are all terms with which gamblers better get familiar before they go linking their bank accounts to their sports book app if they want to increase the likelihood of winning wagers and decrease the odds of them needing a second job.

Forget about the poor saps who don’t know what they’re doing (we’ll get back to them in a bit), every single person who placed their first legal wager in Florida on Tuesday wanted nothing more than to make it memorable.  I was among them.  After all, there’s nothing like saying you hit your very first wager ever.  The boasting is just as enjoyable as the winning.

As soon as I heard that the Hard Rock was live, I downloaded the app, entered the required information to prove my residency and looked over the night’s slate of games.  If you haven’t played around on the app, I highly recommend you do so, finding a comfort level before wagering large stakes.  I believe you’ll find it extremely user-friendly with plenty of options to peruse.  It can link directly into any of your accounts, i.e., bank, Venmo, Paypal, credit card, etc.  Just always remember to wager WISELY!  The last thing you need to do is gamble away your 401K.

After placing my three-teamer late that afternoon, I checked anxiously throughout the evening to see how my wager was doing.  The app not only updates scores in real time but also offers live wagering.  Years from now, we’ll look back and wonder why this ever took so long but for the first night, there was definitely some added excitement.

We’ve discussed money line wagers on this website ad nauseum but I want to make sure we’re clear on how this can make you money because I have had several conversations with people that still don’t get it.  A “money line” wager means I am abandoning the points in the hopes the team will win outright.  For example, the Milwaukee Bucks were 4 ½ point favorites at Detroit Tuesday evening.  Utah was home to Sacramento laying 9 ½ and the Lakers were at home to Houston laying a whopping 10 ½.

While I didn’t necessarily like all three of those teams to cover the point spreads (only Milwaukee did), I did like all three teams to win (they all did).  A normal three-teamer where you lay (or take) the points pays around six-to-one.  A money line wager where you’re not laying (or taking) the points but rather betting they win will vary depending on how high the point spread.  Considering Utah and Los Angeles were significant favorites, my return on a winning wager was considerably less than six-to-one.  That mattered not to me as I wanted a conservative winner.  That three-teamer only paid +118 times (or 1.18 times) my money… but most importantly, it paid.

One must remember that if any one of those three teams lost, the parlay was shot and I would have lost the $25 wager.  But my logic told me these teams would hit.  The Bucks had just lost three straight games; I didn’t see them losing a fourth to Detroit.  The Jazz were 5-1 and hosting the Kings (a no-brainer) and the Lakers were hosting Houston.  Pretty no nonsense wagering even though the last two games turned out to be close, which is exactly why I played them money line and didn’t lay the points.  Advantage SportsChump.  Until we meet again, Hard Rock.

And so, our journey into an entirely new world of wagering begins, this time in an all-new format.  Here are some words to the wise, fellow Floridians, as we travel this road together.  Get to the know the app and more importantly, know what you’re doing.  Learn how to place wagers and if you don’t know, there’s no shame in asking.  Look for specials, re-up bonuses and free plays to maximize your return.  Do your research and watch it pay off.

We’ll talk plenty more about wagering as the months progress.  Feel free to drop me a line and ask questions.  I’m always down for a healthy tip or two as well.  Until then, happy wagering.

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