The Worst Futures Bet in NFL History

Jul 17, 2020

Last night, I was walking through the mostly deserted Westgate Las Vegas Casino sportsbook where I came upon the futures sheets which are printed up for bettors.

There it was, in black and white.  Ladies and gentlemen, the worst future bet in the history of the NFL, and maybe sports history!  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little.  There's a British sportsbook someplace with a prop on the world being wiped out by a giant asteroid – which might be hard to collect on if "it hits."

Anyway, the Westgate (what old timers still call the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook) has a new prop on – now, get this – the total number of Super Bowls that will be won by the Kansas City Chiefs between Jan. 2021 and Jan. 2032.  

Oh, the over/under is 1.5

That's right.  Bettors can wager if the defending Super Bowl champs will win 1 or less Super Bowls versus 2 or more Super Bowls (the one earlier this year doesn't count).  Presumably, this prop bet was triggered by the Chiefs signing superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a lengthy multi-year contract, which should keep Kansas City a Super Bowl contender for a very long time.

Frankly, that line sounds about right, even if it's juiced up to -125 on the OVER, which comes back and +105 to the UNDER.  Mahomes could turn into another Tom Brady and rattle off another 5 or 6 championships.  Yeah, that's a stretch, but it's possible.  

On the other hand, the Chiefs could also decline and perhaps have to wait another 50 years before they reach the championship game again.  Recall that a very talented and well-coached Kansas City team won the Super Bowl in 1970, and then had to wait a half century to return to the big game.  In the NFL, given injuries and other unforeseeable events, anything is possible.

So, what makes this prop such a ridiculous venture?  Well, for one thing – whichever side wins, bettors will most likely have to wait until February 2032 to collect!  That's 11 years and 6 months from now!

Will the Westgate Casino even exist in 2032?  Will Las Vegas still be Las Vegas?  Will the world survive pandemics, nuclear threats, rising authoritarianism, and a Kanye West Administration?

Aside from parking your hard-earned money in the Westgate Casino cage for more than a decade, you also lose interest on the funds, which loses value due to inflation, even if it's incremental.  Yeah, this isn't a large sum, but it still adds up.  It would be wiser just to stuff your money into a mattress and forget about it until we are all living on Mars and driving Teslas.

Actuarial tables also suggest that some percentage of those who make this wager will either lose their tickets, or – here's a really bad beat – will die.  Lost sports tickets are a nice little hidden bonus to casino sportsbooks, which don't cash perhaps 2-3 percent of winning tickets because they either get lost or are simply forgotten.  And death would almost certainly lock up a win for the house since most sports bettors on their death beds won't be thinking about the year 2032.

It's a sucker bet.  Either way.  

The Westgate folks will insist the prop is intended to be for fun.  I can go along with that.  It's an interesting conversation topic.  How many Super Bowls will Kansas City win in what may be known as the "Patrick Mahomes era?"

They did get the number right.  But making such an actual wager would be a very wrong thing to do.

In fact, if you want to bet the OVER, let me know.  I'll take the other side.  You don't even have to post the money.

The bigger risk, it seems, is will we all be here in 2032?

Oh, and finally, there's this: