Didn’t think to think

Football Sep 28, 2020

Week 3 of the NFL and we’ve seen a lot of injuries, crazy plays, and improbable comebacks. Right now it’s the last one that has me thinking before I go to sleep this Sunday night. The Falcons. More in a minute.

Overall I had a good wagering day. I had Green Bay +3 in the night game. Was thinking of taking them money line, but thought again and decided that I wanted the field goal's wiggle room to work with. I had Seattle earlier with an in-game line of -2.5 today as I decided to wait for the Cowboys to score first so I did not have to give 5.5. In the end it turned out it didn’t matter as they won by 7, but the point is I thought about how I wanted to put the action on the game before the game started. You have to think what you want to put on so you're happy with your decision, win or lose. The outcome is the outcome, and it's out of your hands. But your strategy, your manner of thinking about the game, is entirely IN your hands.

The Falcons. Is there a team this past decade you’d put less trust in finishing it out  when up huge? Obviously that epic Super Bowl collapse vs the Patriots is the most glaring example, but it seems to be all the time with these dirty birds! They held a lead in the 4th quarter last week against the Cowboys too.....and blew it. They wouldn't do it back-to-back, would they?


The thing I’m thinking about tonight is the opportune moment that I missed because I wasn't thinking. The momentum shift that sprang from the bench in human form wearing number 9 to overcome a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter: Nick. <beat> Foles. Yeah, the Patriots know about him too, right?

I was on the Falcons -1.5 on the alternative handicap getting odds of 1.85, because I THOUGHT about it pre-game that it was worth taking that alternative line to not give up 3 points and push on a field goal win. I was worried about a PUSH. Ha! That's funny now. I was THINKING they might push so I took the lower payout alternative line to get -1.5 instead. This is the thing: with a ticking clock in the 4th quarter and a three-score lead it didn’t even occur to me to look at the other side of the bet. Cashing out is one thing. Could have done that too. But taking a bet on the other side can often offer you even more opportunity. It’s a way to lock in a win, and  supercharge the other result if you catch that wave at the right time.

That “right time” today was in hindsight as clear as, well, something in hindsight. But it’s my lack of thought at that moment that is spinning in my head right now. I had a friend on the Falcons as well and we were texting throughout the game. We often give each other confidence, pats on the back at our prowess, or commiserate when our obviously "great" call doesn't pan out.

Today as the game turned, he tells me that he bet the Bears when Foles came in and he got them at 16-to-1 !! Listed at 17.00 as you’d see it on spreads.ca. if you thought to make a bet on the Bears at that moment. And that’s the thing: I WASN’T THINKING about it at all. It was a game I figured to be over so it didn’t even occur to me to look at the in-game lines. I was looking at my fantasy team, thumbing through Twitter, and not being really attentive or in the moment. That’s a massive error. That’s how I miss opportunities.

If I had bet 10% of my original bet on the Bears when my friend did, I’d have locked in 90% of my win REGARDLESS of which team won. Actually I could have won BOTH if the Bears won by only a single point. The ultimate middle! Or....now let’s get greedy: if I'd bet 20% of my original bet I’d still cash 80% of the original cash out (if the Falcons had held on for the win) with a chance to triple that original win as I switched allegiance to the Bears 🐻 and shed all my risk!

My friend has young kids. He likely got distracted from our chat banter and I didn’t get that usual prompt to jump on an opportunity with him. He still had time to think about that bet though, with a kid on his lap and another one running around. I can't think about it while I thumb through social media nonsense? Apparently not.

My lesson today that I hope will sink into my skull in the future: You can’t think about putting in a hedge bet or locking in a profit if it never occurs to you to think about thinking about it!