Edson: The Tigers, Las Vegas and a Season-Ending Bet

This is a story about the Detroit Tigers win total for 2018 and a legal bet in Las Vegas.

Every year for the past nine years, a friend of mine and his wife have spent the winter in Las Vegas. Sports gambling is legal in Nevada and since we both love sports, we always try to get a bet down on the Tigers win total every year.

We don’t bet much, $50 each, but it makes the season a little more interesting.

Over the last eight years, we have won seven times. We have won by betting the “over” total for wins in a season.

For instance, if the sports books say the Tigers will win 75.5 games and you want to bet the “over,” the Tigers have to win at least 76 games in that season.

The advantage of having a person in Las Vegas is that they can go from casino to casino, comparing the win totals and seeing which one is most advantageous to you.

Last February, my friend started doing our advanced scouting. He found a sports book, which is located in just about every casino on The Strip, that had an “over-under” for wins at 66.5.

That means, if you bet the “over,” the Tigers needed to win 67 times this year.

Just about every year we bet the “over” and root like crazy for the Tigers to rack up wins. This year, with all the wholesale changes over the past winter, we didn’t see the team having much luck.

So we bet the “under.” The Tigers can win 66 or fewer games and we would win our bet.

As we enter the last week of the season, with six games remaining on the road, manager Ron Gardenhire’s club has to win four times for us to lose our bet.

Please be clear about this: We are NOT rooting against the Tigers. My friends and I have been Tigers fans since the late 1950s.

But we do feel that all of our homework has paid off, if just barely.

That’s why new casinos continue getting built in Las Vegas. It is absolutely incredible how good their sports books are. Whether it’s NFL football bets on a game-by-game basis or a MLB season win total bet, it’s scary how close they are season after season.

So as this week progresses, keep an eye on the Tigers final scores. If they end up with 66 or fewer wins by the time the season ends next Sunday, we will be taking our wives out for a nice

If they do happen to win four of the six games this week, we’ll be talking about how the Tigers finished strong… and how we’ll be eating soup for dinner the following week.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.