If anyone felt particularly passionate about a team or matchup, we’d take the quick drive down to that gigantic wall of televisions and put a down dollar or two, eat some chicken fingers, and cheer for a team no one really cared about just to see the other person lose.
The best and most often debated subjects were the prop bets. Have you ever watched two grown men scream louder during the coin toss than when their team scores a winning touchdown? It’s a thing of beauty.
Prop bets are the not-so-serious, but still real wagers that can draw the quirky crowd into the actually-serious world of sports betting.
While the biggest single day for the bookies may be the Super Bowl (where I usually bet on which color of Gatorade is in the home team’s cooler rather than the final score), March Madness always draws an overly confident and tremendous crowd.
But we want to talk about another March Madness - the NCAA Indoor National Championships. In the last few days, we’ve said, “I bet X person wins... There is no way that Y relay loses.” Why not pretend that we’re confident enough to put our money where we’re spewing that bullhonkey from?
There’s no betting lines for NCAA track and field, but that’s not the most concerning...
WHERE ARE THE PROP BETS?!
In the past few days, we’ve come across some good ones. To avoid any legal trouble, please, please do not bet on these. They’re simply not-so-serious wagers with semi-serious undertones.
Over/under: The women's mile goes out in 2:56.74
Mile finals are always tactical. Are some of these races becoming a kicker’s paradise or has it always been this way? If you think this is a new trend, the Big 10 would like to have a word with you.
Someone will dive for the line in the men's mile: 5/1
In the last two men’s finals, there has been someone who’s dove for a potential title. That special someone, Miles Batty, is 0 for 2 in that category. With him out of the picture, does that open the door for a newcomer to break the diving curse?
Erik Kynard will bring a burger king crown: 2/1
He might want to consider just wearing his silver medal. Keep the socks, though.
Someone will fall on the men's 4x4: 4/1
We’ve had a few collisions this winter. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little bumpin’ and rubbin’, but if someone goes down in Fayetteville, it’ll be serious.
Someone will lose the baton in the men's 4x4: 12/1
If Penn State hadn’t lost the baton at Alex Wilson, they would have been the last team in to nationals. If you can’t laugh about it, then it’s just an incredibly unfortunate turn of events. Maybe some sticky glue, perhaps?
Someone will start a fight in the men's 4x4: 1/1
The stage? The egos? The intensity? It’s not the Armory, but the 400m is no stranger to brawls. Anyone remember when Antonion Cromartie was in the ACC?
Kennedy Kithuka will high five Lolo Jones on the way to the finish: 3/7
The safest bet so far.
A #16 seed will win: 20/1
This one was discussed at some length. NCAA basketball has its bubble busters, why can’t track and field have some cinderella stories? Remember, Girma Mecheso is the last seed in the men’s 5000m.
Jordan Hasay's hair - French braid or ponytail?
It’s her last NCAA indoor championship. This is easily the most important question of the meet.
If you had to guess which prop bet we spent the most time on google doing “research” for, it would be this one. On another note, we’re now experts at female hair styles.
An American wins a men’s distance event: 15/1
Between Chris O’Hare (mile), Lawi Lalang (3000m), and Kennedy Kithuka (5000m), does an American have a shot of winning? It’s like cross country all over again.
Ryan Hill is the top ranked American in the mile and 3000m while one of our sleeper picks, Kevin Williams, is the leader in the 5000m.
The favorites in those events appear to be fairly safe bets, which brings us to the parlay bets.
For those that don’t know, parlay bets is a single bet that links together multiple wagers. If you lose any of the bets, then you lose the entire parlay. If you win all of them, then the payout is higher because it’s obviously more difficult to win a string of bets than a single one. Here we go.
Four-peats on both sides for the team titles
The Florida men and Oregon women are on the verge of becoming the “four-time four-time four-time four-time” NCAA indoor champions. Heading into the weekend, USTFCCCA lists the favorites as the Arkansas men and LSU women.
Can the Gators and Ducks continue their indoor dominance? Despite being ranked second (Florida) and fourth (Oregon), they’re a bit of ways away from the trophy.
The two OG silver medalists win NCAAs
One would think that if you win a medal at the Olympics, then an NCAA title would come easy. The high jump was a stellar event for the U.S. at the London Games with Brigetta Barrett and Erik Kynard both winning silver medals, so why isn’t this a safe bet?
It’s because even though they’re back in the NCAA, they’re still up against Olympians (and future ones, too). Good ones, too.
Kynard may have grabbed silver in London, but the bronze medalist is right on his heels. Derek Drouin cleared 2.32m (7’ 7.25”) at Hoosier Hills, which just a half of an inch behind Kynard. No one likes being the second fiddle and Ryan thinks that Drouin could win.
Barrett isn’t facing a current Olympian, but she’s sure shaping up to be one. South Carolina’s Jennelle Scheper competed for St. Lucia this summer at the Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation (CACAC) Junior Championships and the IAAF World Junior Championships and has the same seed as Barrett at 1.91m.
Barrett hasn’t lost 19-straight competitions against collegians, but could the streak end this weekend?
The Favorites on the Men’s Side Win (O'Hare - Lawi - Kithuka)
There are tough challengers, but it’s hard to go against the favorites here. O’Hare is a gamer, Lawi is Lawi, and Kithuka doesn’t even know that other people are in the 5000m.
Who could break this one up? It could be one person as Ryan Hill is seeded third in both the mile and 3000m. If you win the top American bet and lose this parlay, is the payout even (someone make the odds for this one, please).
The Favorites on the Men’s Side Win (Coburn - D’Agostino - Saina)
The men’s favorite parlay may seem safe, but the women’s one isn’t. Alex didn’t pick Coburn or D’Agostino in their respective events, but Ryan thinks that they’re both locks. A little doubt makes this one tough.
Come Friday, all bets are off. Some are easier than others, but which ones would you take?