Gambling: America’s Real Favorite Pastime

Anyone who lives in this area knows by now that the NFL just won a hard-fought court battle to prevent the State of Delaware from having a legal sports book.  Sure, we can still bet on pools of games, but no single game wagering, please.  I think this is just slightly hypocritical of a league that built its popularity on gambling to argue against it, but hey, they own it, they can be as two-faced as they want.  Don’t think gambling is what the league is all about?  Well, explain the injury reports.  The league will tell you the rules about reporting injury status are about keeping teams from using injuries to key players to gain a competitive advantage.  Yeah, okay, sure.  I think it’s so the gambler’s will have the most accurate information and keep them placing wagers (and buying season tickets and watching on TV) in large numbers.

I don’t have any problem with gambling, mind you, I think it should be legal across the board.  As such, I’ve decided to use this NFL season to do a little experiment.  If I were to put a C-note down on every one of the 256 regular season games, how would my bank account look at the end of the year?  I’m not actually placing these bets.  I don’t happen to have $25,600 laying around handy.  It’s just a hypothetical experiment.  To contrast the gambling on football games, I’ve also decided to pit the same amount of money in a more-accepted form of gambling in this country, the stock market.  I’ve selected 5 of the top performing stocks from a list I found on MSN Money, and I’m going to divide up the same $25,600 into five pools of $5,120 and hypothetically invest that in each of the stocks.  During the season, I’ll track how my wagering is working out and contrast it with how my investment portfolio is faring.

Here are the five stocks and how much of each I’m “buying”:

Company, Starting Price, Current Price, Shares, Current Total

Thompson Creek Metals, $12.55, $12.55, 408, $5,120

Infosys Technologies Ltd, $46.78, $46.78, 109, $5,120

General Cable Corp, $39.59, $39.59, 129, $5,120

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, $70.37, $70.37, 73, $5,120

Fortescue Metals Group, $3.70, $3.70, 1,384, $5,120

Total:       $25, 600

Now I’ll pick every game this week according to the point spread.  If I win a game, I make $100, if I lose, I lose $100.  By the end of the season, we’ll see if betting on football or putting your money in the stock market has the better upside.  By the way, since I missed the Thursday night game, I’m taking that as a loss.  So far, I’m 0-1 and down $100.

Week One

Philadelphia      -2.5        Carolina

Cincinnati           -4.5        Denver

Minnesota           -4            Cleveland

Houston               -4.5        NY Jets

Jacksonville       +7           Indianapolis

Dallas                     -5.5        Tampa Bay

Arizona                 -6            San Francisco

Washington         +6.5       NY Giants

Chicago                 +4.5       Green Bay

Miami                     +4           Atlanta

Kansas City          +12.5     Baltimore

Seattle                    -7            St. Louis

New Orleans         -13.5      Detroit

San Diego               -9.5        Oakland

Buffalo                     +11        New England

Check back next week and track my new investment portfolio.

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Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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