Sports Betting: Even Thanksgiving Pickup Football Isn’t Safe
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Each Thanksgiving, families and friends across America face off in backyards or public parks in pre-meal football games they dub “Turkey Bowl.”
Now, there’s a way to determine which side is favored to win — a way you can bet on.
Bookmaker William Hill US has come up with a tongue-in-cheek formula to generate point spreads in individual Turkey Bowl games. It’s designed to add some more fun to the family faceoffs while promoting itself as the fast-growing legal sports betting industry spreads throughout the country.
Are there any college football players, past or present, on your team? You’ll be giving 3.5 points for that. No one on your team was a college athlete? You’ll get a point for that.
Is Uncle John drunk again (or hung over)? You’re getting 2 points for that. Everyone on your team clear-headed? That’s a minus-2.
Cigarette smokers or those considered “extremely” out of shape (be your own judge on that) will either add or take away a point. Have a player over 6 feet tall on your team? You’ll give 1.5 points for that.
Add and subtract those and other numbers, and the result is the point spread for your very own Turkey Bowl game.
Jauckee Moton is excited to try it out in the Turkey Bowl he and friends have been playing for the past five years in Zion, Illinois.
“It’s been getting kind of competitive the last couple years,” he said. “The winning team gets a trophy that they take home and keep until the next year’s game.”
The teams don’t form until 30 minutes before kickoff, so he can’t calculate a point spread until then. But he’s fairly certain a number of criteria will apply to the two teams in his game.
“Far as being hung over, yeah, we get some of that from Thanksgiving Eve,” he said. “Injuries, surgeries, we got that, too.”
Several regular players routinely bet on college and pro football, so Moton thinks there might be some interest in a friendly wager on the outcome of his Turkey Bowl.
Other criteria used in determining the spread include whether a player had run in a Thanksgiving Day race earlier that day and would presumably be tired (plus or minus 2 points); having one more player than the other team does (plus or minus 2 points); having an injured player or one who recently had surgery (plus or minus 1.5 points); a player wearing (or not wearing) cleats and gloves (plus or minus 1 point); and wearing non-athletic clothes such as blue jeans or a dress, or loafers or heels (plus or minus 1 point.)