Ballantyne Bets

Hello folks, welcome to August, aka the climax of summer before reality sets back in. As a University student, the past number of months can be characterized as a combination of working (as a janitor, cha-ching) and mooching off my parent’s resources resulting in a semi-noticeable growth in my net worth – which really isn’t saying much. That being said, this month can be seen as the so-called “peak” before I return to school and my personal independence is a requirement once again. Being myself and the degenerate that I am, this is the sort of thing that I feel needs to be taken advantage of.

Just yesterday the NBA announced a deal to make MGM their official betting sponsor, the first such deal of its kind since sports gambling was legalized across the U.S.


As a writer for the website known as “Bench Life Sports”, it’s probably not a shock to find out that I like to gamble on a sports game on occasion to spice things up. The thing is though, I don’t really know if I’m actually good at it or not. Sure I have my fair share of wins, and definitely some losses too, but I’m not a “high roller” by any means and don’t bet consistently enough to really draw that great of a conclusion. So how could I accurately evaluate my sports gambling abilities with such a lack of consistency in my participation? Well, I can’t really. So I think I should try and find out, because current events suggest I should, of course.

Here’s some additional empty justification: since I’ve been away from school for a few months I think it’d be wise to try something out to jumpstart my brain back into research mode. You may see where I’m going with this already, but let me describe this a bit more in depth. While this might be a loose usage of the term “research”, I’m proposing that I take this month of August to discover my gambling “truth”, and with my artificial presence of wealth at this point in time, this is the time to act on such a thing.

I’m going to conduct a study to attempt to determine if I’m actually any good at sports gambling and I welcome you to follow along. Doing this on this platform opens things up to public criticism and I look forward to that. For one, if I win, I get to brag a little. And b), if I fail greatly, I will have a chorus of people capable of shaming me for trying to blow my money in the future, thus saving me more in the long run. It’s a win-win situation (said the loser).

The parameters for my “study” are as follows:

– I will start the month with $200 available for gambling use

– I will make at least one bet on a professional sports game (or games) per day, every day

– I will record each bet placed

– I will summarize my wins/losses on the website

Let’s see what happens… but realistically, I just really need a distraction from this whole janitor thing.

Stay tuned.

August 1st:

Bet 1: Rays v. Angels (Glasnow v. Tropeano): OVER 8 runs scored (+105).

Cardinals v. Rockies (Weaver v. Freeland): Rockies WIN (+110).

$5 bet parlayed to profit $16.52.

Bet 2: Pirates v. Cubs (Kingham v. Hamels): Cubs WIN (-137).

$20 bet to profit $14.60.

Decent opening night. Cashed in on the Cubs win but was unable to get help from the Rockies to seal the parlay alongside a correct “over” selection. Overall, we’re up $9.60.

August 2nd:

Bet 1: Nationals v. Reds (Scherzer v. Mahle): Nationals -1.5 (1.69).

Diamondbacks v. Giants (Greinke v. Bumgarner): UNDER 7.5 runs (1.87).

The “Ace’s Parlay”. I’m rolling over the $9.60 for this bet, it would profit $20.73.

Bet 2: Mets v. Braves (Vargas v. Foltynewicz): Braves (1.60).

Big fan of the Braves here; Vargas is a gas can and the Mets as a whole have been a disaster. $30 bet to profit $18.06.

Bet 3: Ravens v. Bears: OVER 35 points (1.90). 

Football is back! I don’t care if it’s the Hall of Fame game, I gotta get in on the action. We’ll see some decent enough QBs tonight (Trubisky, Lamar Jackson, RG3), and I can see them picking apart the backups and future cuts easily enough. $5 bet to profit $4.55.

Tough night, but the Braves pick saved things. After a couple narrow losses in the parlay and football game, we still managed to scrape out $3.46 in profit. We’re up $13.06 through two days.

August 3rd:

Bet 1: Montreal Alouettes v. Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Tiger-Cats WIN (1.36).

Milwaukee Brewers v. Colorado Rockies (Guerra v. Marquez): Rockies WIN (2.10). 

Johnny Football is back, but there’s no way he’s ready to win games with a garbage Als team. Plus, pretty solid value with the Rockies tonight. $10 parlay bet to profit $18.64.

Bet 2: Pirates v. Cardinals (Archer v. Gant): Pirates WIN (1.63).

Nationals v. Reds (Gonzalez v. DeSclafani): Nationals WIN (1.54).

Archer’s first start after moving from the AL to the NL is an intriguing prospect. And I feel like the Nats might be starting to put things together, it helps that it’s against the Reds too. $15 parlay bet to profit $22.80.

One out away from a great night and then Eric Thames hits a walk-off homerun for the Brewers, brutal. Anyways, the Nats/Reds game was actually postponed and “pushed”, so luckily the Pirates still came through and netted $9.50. But because of that heartbreaking loss on the $10 parlay, we ended up taking our first loss of the month, a whopping 50 cents. So, through three days we remain in the money at $12.56.

August 4th:

Bet 1: Rays v. White Sox (Snell v. Rodon): White Sox WIN (2.44).

All-Star Blake Snell is back off the DL for the Rays but will be on a pitch count. Carlos Rodon has been dominant recently for the White Sox and they’re looking for their third straight win. I like this as the underdog pick of the day. $15 bet to profit $21.60.

Bet 2: Nationals v. Reds (Gonzalez v. Mahle): Nationals WIN (1.48).

Nationals v. Reds (Hellickson v. Harvey): Nationals WIN (1.56).

I had one of these picked last night and it’s rolled over to today due to the postponement. I’ll stick with the Nats once again and parlay it into a sweep with of the doubleheader. $15 bet to profit $19.86.

Bet 3: Mets v. Braves (Wheeler v. Gausman): Braves WIN (1.78).

Mariners v. Blue Jays (Paxton v. Estrada): Mariners WIN (1.40).

The Braves are hot and the Mets haven’t seen much of Gausman as it’s his first start as a member of an NL team. The Mariners are desperate for a win after dropping four straight and now finding themselves outside of the playoff picture. No better guy than your Ace to right the ship. $20 bet to profit $30.04.

Tough one today, but it seems to have followed a trend. To this point, I have hit on each single-game bet and missed on each parlay…maybe I should act accordingly. I lost $13.40 today, so our running total now has us in the hole 84 cents.

August 5th:

Bet 1: Cubs v. Padres (Lester v. Lucchesi): Cubs -1.5 (1.95).

When Jon Lester starts the Cubs have gone on to win 17 out of those 22 games this season. 13 of which were by two or more runs. $20 bet to profit $19.05.

Bet 2: Brewers v. Rockies (Miley v. Gray): Rockies WIN (1.97).

Dodgers v. Astros (Buehler v. Cole): Astros WIN (1.94).

Two games that look to be providing good value, especially with the Astros. They just won 14-0 against this Dodgers team yesterday and are starting Gerrit Cole today, yet the odds have them as the underdog. Am I missing something? $10 bet to profit $28.30

Adversity is now present for the first time, but that’s how the game goes. After an 0-2 day that lost $30, the progress to this point has been negative. -$30.84 to be exact.

August 6th: 

Bet 1: Royals v. Cubs (Junis v. Hamels): Cubs WIN (1.50).

$20 bet to profit $10.

Bet 2: Diamondbacks v. Phillies (Godley v. Arrieta): Phillies WIN (2.13).

$10 bet to profit $11.30.

Bet 3: White Sox v. Yankees (Covey v. Lynn): OVER 9.5 runs (1.80).

Giants v. Astros (Rodriguez v. Morton): Astros WIN (1.67).

$10 bet parlayed to profit $20.08.

We’ve hit the skids folks…that’s four straight losing days after a nice two-day win streak to open things up. The Cubs pick came through last night, but the winnings just canceled out the cost of bet two’s heartbreaking, extra innings loss. Add in the negative result from bet 3 and the deficit has ballooned to -$40.84.

August 7th

Bet 1: Giants v. Astros: Astros WIN (2.95)

Tried something a bit different here with a live bet. I placed this with two out in the top of the 6th inning, Giants leading 1-0. I felt confident enough in the Astros ability to make the comeback in the final third of the game and couldn’t pass up those odds. $10 bet to profit $19.50.

Bet 2: Nationals v. Braves (Scherzer v. Newcomb): Nationals WIN (1.46)

Indians v. Twins (Carrasco v. Mejia): Indians WIN (1.40)

$10 bet parlayed to profit $10.51.

Bet 3: Blue Jays v. Red Sox (Stroman v. Pomeranz): Red Sox WIN (1.86)

$10 bet to profit $8.62.

The most successful day to this point came through at the closing of the opening week as we got a 2/3 result for a profit of $18.12. That’ll cut the hole nearly in half as we now stand at -$22.72.

Week One Summary: $244.60 has been put on the line with $221.88 coming back in for a net of -$22.72. Individual Picks Record: 13-13. Bet Record: 7-11.

August 8th

Bet 1: Nationals v. Braves (Milone v. Foltynewicz): Braves WIN (2.25).

$10 bet to profit $12.50.

Bet 2: Jays v. Red Sox (Hauschild v. Johnson): Red Sox WIN (1.61).

Athletics v. Dodgers (Fiers v. Kershaw): Dodgers WIN (1.56).

$15 bet parlayed to win $22.72.

Bet 3: Royals v. Cubs (Fillmyer v. Quintana): Cubs WIN (1.42).

$25 bet to profit $10.64.

The Cubs really blew this one, and the parlay was also split due to a Dodgers one-run loss. So the only positive result was the Braves win, but that still means it was a loss of $27.50 for the day. -$50.22 through 8 days…ouch.

August 9th 

Bet 1: Astros v. Mariners (Verlander v. Paxton): Astros WIN (1.65).

Rockies v. Dodgers (Anderson v. Stripling): Dodgers WIN (1.75).

$20 bet parlayed to profit $37.96.

Bet 2: Patriots v. Redskins: Patriots WIN (1.74).

$10 bet to profit $7.41.

Astros, Dodgers and Patriots – really going out on a limb, I know. But I need something to stop the bleeding.

Alright, this is officially pissing me off. The Patriots pick came through but I went 1/2 on ANOTHER parlay. -$12.59 for the day, -$62.81 through nine.

August 10th:

Bet 1: Orioles v. Red Sox (Eovaldi v. Bundy): Red Sox WIN (1.50).

White Sox v. Indians (Rodon v. Bieber): Indians WIN (1.65).

$15 bet parlayed to profit $22.31.

Bet 2: Reds v. Diamondbacks (DeSclafani v. Bucholz): Diamondbacks WIN (1.74).

$20 bet to profit $14.82.

The god damn White Sox beat the Indians 1-0. This is just depressing…-$35 for the day, -$97.81 overall.

August 11th:

Bet 1: Angels v. Athletics (Skaggs v. Jackson): Athletics WIN (2.05).

$7 bet to profit $7.35.

Bet 2: Astros v. Mariners (Morton v. LeBlanc): Astros WIN (1.45).

White Sox v. Indians (Shields v. Bauer): Indians WIN (1.42).

$7 bet to profit $7.51.

Two $7 bets for some extra luck (also to limit the inevitable damage).

This day was essentially a wash. Bet 1 came through and bet 2 didn’t, so a whopping profit of 35 cents was made. -$97.46 now.

August 12th:

Bet 1: Cubs v. Nationals (Hamels v. Scherzer): Cubs WIN (2.26).

I kind of slacked today and didn’t get my bets in until this was the last game on the schedule. Maybe that’s for the better. $10 bet to profit $12.60.

David Bote!!! That was electric. A pinch-hit, walk-off Grand Slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and a $12.60 cherry on top. It doesn’t get any bett… -$84.86. Oh.

August 13th: 

Bet 1: Cardinals v. Nationals (Mikolas v. Milone): Cardinals WIN (1.66).

Rangers v. Diamondbacks (Colon v. Greinke): Diamondbacks WIN (1.56).

$10 bet parlayed to profit $16.01.

Bet 2: Athletics v. Mariners (Manaea v. Gonzales): UNDER 8 runs (2.05).

Big Wild Card implications in this series, so this should be a tightly contested game and stay under the number. $10 bet to profit $10.50.

Well, it’s clear this isn’t going too well, but we’re only halfway there, so we’ve gotta battle. -$104.86 overall after a -$20 night.

August 14th:

Bet 1: Reds v. Indians (Romano v. Kluber): Indians WIN (1.43).

Yankees v. Rays (Happ v. Wood): Yankees WIN (1.43).

$15 bet to profit $15.88.

Finally! A parlay came through! It’s actually kind of impressive how long we managed to dodge a positive result. -$88.98 now.

August 15th:

Bet 1: Reds v. Indians (Stephenson v. Bieber): Indians WIN (1.57).

$20 bet to profit $11.50.

Bet 2: Phillies v. Red Sox (Velazquez v. Eovaldi): Red Sox WIN (1.85).

Braves v. Marlins (Urena v. Gausman): Braves WIN (1.40).

$10 bet parlayed to profit $15.97.

The Indians bet came through, but we once again split a parlay. Managed a slight profit of $1.50 on the day. -$87.48. 

August 16th:

Bet 1: Royals v. Blue Jays (Sparkman v. Gaviglio): Blue Jays WIN (1.71).

Padres v. Diamondbacks (Nix v. Buchholz): Diamondbacks WIN (1.67).

$15 bet parlayed to profit $28.10.

Took an L on a parlay once again, I think I’m finally going to step away from those. Good riddance. -$102.48.

August 17th:

Bet 1: Padres v. Diamondbacks (Lucchesi v. Ray): Diamondbacks WIN (1.72).

$10 bet to profit $7.25.

Bet 2: Pirates v. Cubs (Williams v. Hamels): Cubs WIN (1.70).

$10 bet to profit $7.09.

Bet 3: Braves v. Rockies (Newcomb v. Freeland): Braves WIN (1.72). 

$10 bet to profit $7.25.

2/3 = profit. Marginal profit, but profit. The Diamondbacks and Cubs managed to scrape us out $4.34. -$98.14 overall.

August 18th:

Bet 1: Phillies v. Mets (Arrieta v. deGrom): Phillies WIN (1.90).

$10 bet to profit $9.09.

Bet 2: Athletics v. Astros (Cahill v. Keuchel): Astros WIN (1.90).

$10 bet to profit $9.09.

Bet 3: Reds v. Giants (Harvey v. Bumgarner): Giants WIN (1.64).

$10 bet to profit $6.41.

Lots of marquee names pitching today. Should be fun to watch. The A’s managed to creep within a game of the Astros last night, I don’t see them leveling things up today with Keuchel on the opposing side.

0 for 3 today, big thumbs down. Caught in the deepest hole yet of -$128.14.

August 19th:

Got in on some live bets today.

Bet 1: Pirates v. Cubs (Taillon v. Quintana): Cubs WIN (1.95)

I got in on this one in the 2nd inning, 0-0 tie. $10 bet to profit $9.52.

Bet 2: Indians v. Orioles (Clevinger v. Ramirez): Indians WIN (1.22).

Red Sox v. Rays (Velazquez v. Castillo): Red Sox WIN (1.64).

Two games that were also in the 2nd inning. The Indians were up 1-0 while the Red Sox trailed 1-0. $10 bet to profit $10.11.

Couple more losses, nothing new. -$148.14.

August 20th:

Bet 1: Mariners v. Astros (Hernandez v. Cole): Astros WIN (1.55)

$20 bet to profit $11.11.

You would think something positive is bound to happen at some point, but that definitely has not happened. -$168.14.

August 21st:

Bet 1: Nationals v. Phillies (Roark v. Velazquez): Phillies WIN (2.20).

$10 bet to profit $12.

Bet 2: Athletics v. Rangers (Jurado v. Anderson): Athletics WIN (1.43)

Dodgers v. Cardinals (Ryu v. Poncedeleon): Dodgers WIN (1.52)

$5 bet parlayed to profit $5.95.

In reality, I would’ve quit many days ago, but that’s not how this works. -$183.14.

August 22nd:

Bet 1: Tigers v. Cubs (Liriano v. Lester): Cubs WIN (1.51).

Red Sox v. Indians (Johnson v. Carrasco): Indians WIN (1.95).

Diamondbacks v. Angels (Buchholz v. Despaigne): Diamondbacks WIN (1.50).

$5 bet parlayed to profit $17.18.

2/3…once again, just not good enough. -$188.14.

August 23rd:

Bet 1: Braves v. Marlins: Marlins +6.5 (1.60).

The Marlins were down 5-0 in the 7th when this bet was placed.

Cubs v. Reds: Cubs -3.5 (2.05).

The Cubs were up 4-1 in the 5th when this bet was placed.

$5 bet parlayed to profit $11.46.

What’s this??? A win? It’s about time. -$176.68.

August 24th:

Bet 1: Rockies v. Cardinals: Cardinals WIN (1.26).

Orioles v. Yankees: Yankees WIN (1.69).

Twins v. Athletics: Athletics WIN (1.54).

Each these were placed live during games. The Cardinals were up by 1, Yankees were tied late in the game and the A’s were tied early. $5 bet parlayed to profit $11.49.

Bet 2: Angels v. Astros (Heaney v. Keuchel): Astros WIN (1.72)

$10 bet to profit $7.25.

Don’t look now folks but we’ve strung together back to back profitable days. With just a weeks worth of bets to go, this is almost unheard of. $18.74 for the day brings it to -$157.94.

August 25th:

I’ve been having some decent success with the live betting, so why not turn to that for now?

Bet 1: Diamondbacks v. Mariners: Diamondbacks WIN (1.77).

$10 bet to profit $7.69.

Bet 2: Rockies v. Cardinals: Rockies WIN (2.10).

$5 bet to profit $5.50.

Bet 3: Diamondbacks v. Mariners: Under 4.5 Runs (2.20).

$5 bet to profit $6.

Both games were tied 1-1 in the 7th inning.

The Rockies scored 8 runs in the inning right after I placed the bet. Maybe the luck is turning a bit?…or so I thought. Cue Kyle Seager RBI double with 2 out in the 9th to bust the over under and tie the game 3-3. And of course, the Mariners then win in extras. -$9.50 for the day, -$167.44.

August 26th:

Bet 1: Orioles v. Yankees: Yankees -4.5 Runs (1.80).

The Yankees were up 4-0 in the 3rd inning when this bet was placed. $10 bet to profit $8.

Bet 2: Cowboys v. Cardinals: Under 37.5 Points (1.83).

17-0 Cardinals with two minutes to go in the first half at the time of this bet. $10 bet to profit $8.33.

Small loss of $1.67 after going 1/2. -$169.11 total.

August 27th:

5 more days of bets to go. Lots of catching up to do.

Bet 1: Yankees v. White Sox: Yankees WIN (2.05).

Bet was placed in the 4th inning, tie ballgame. $10 bet to profit $10.50.

Bet 2: Phillies v. Nationals: Phillies WIN (2.15).

Orioles v. Blue Jays: Blue Jays WIN (2.00).

Both games were tied in the 4th in when the bet was placed. $5 bet parlayed to profit $16.50.

Bet 3: Giants v. Diamondbacks (Stratton v. Corbin): Diamondbacks WIN (1.56).

Angels v. Rockies (Despaigne v. Gray): Rockies WIN (1.67).

$5 bet parlayed to profit $8.09.

August 27th was a  microcosm of this entire experience. I was more confident about this day of bets than I had been in a while…but I whiffed on all five games. How does that happen? Up against it now, -$189.11.

August 28th:

Bet 1: This was a weird one. I’m not going to list it all, but it was a 7 game parlay on teams that each had at least a three run lead at the time. $5.89 bet to profit $3.41.

Bet 2: Padres v. Mariners (Nix v. Hernandez): Mariners WIN (1.80).

Angels v. Rockies (Ramirez v. Freeland): Rockies WIN (1.77).

$5 bet parlayed to profit $10.98.

We’re all in. If we go 0/2 tonight, it’s over.

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