The Home Dawgs: ‘Tis The Season

A sports gambler’s wishlist

By Brandon Hurley

If my 10-yer old son can pen a Christmas letter to Santa, I sure as hell can too, right? Well, here we go, a 30-year old sports fanatic sharing his wishlist for the world to see.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good sports gambler this year. I’ve dished out a lot of winners and even hit a seven-leg parlay. I haven’t lost any money, and I even cashed out once. I only bet with my heart a few times, and I’ve generally stayed away from the public bets as well as parlays. So please, will you grant me some of these gift ideas?
I’ve drummed up three ideas that I believe would make my life as a sports fan even better. Because what’s he holiday season if you can’t ask for a few things?
I turned 30 this past year, and my goal from here on out is how to make life easier. So, being that I’m a hardcore sports enthusiast, I’ve got a few things in mind that will help.
I hope Mrs. Claus is treating you well and hasn’t been on your case too often about how much football you’ve been watching.

Here we go:

1. A man cave
I need an 95-inch 4K TV with wireless and bluetooth surround sound, a leather Lay-Z Boy recliner, a plush and large sectional couch in addition to a pool table and ping pong combo, a granite bar stocked full with all the adult pops imaginable, along with any sports TV package imaginable. None of this streaming crap. I need my big remote in hand that not only controls the DVR but the lights, surround sound and even air conditioning. If I get all this, I promise you I’ll hand out some guaranteed winners each week, Santa.

2.  My own personal oddsmaker
I want a guy in my ear every day of the year telling me where he’s putting the line. If I can get a leg up on the competition, that would be fantastic. I’m still learning this racket we call sports gambling, so anything I can pick up along the way is gravy. I’ve had a good year, as I said earlier, I think that deserves my own oddsmaker. This fella can tell me where the public is leaning or why he or she laid that particular line. I know it’s a big ask, but do it for me, please? I’ll make sure he’s feed and gets his yearly haircut, I promise.

3. Help Iowa win a national title
I know it’ll never happen, but please, let there be some hope. The University of Iowa, my alma matter, needs to pay me back somehow. I’ve been loyal to them for 30 years, and I’m still paying them for an education that’s becoming more and more obsolete. The least the Hawks could do is bring home a national title. Preferably in football, but with the talent Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson keep compiling, I don’t see that as a real possibility. I’ll settle for basketball and March Madness. Any team can get deep from three, so why not Iowa?
Imagine the ridiculous payouts on a futures bet, too. That would be one hell of a haul if I put my cold, hard cash down on the Hawks. Let’s see it happen soon, OK, big guy?
Feel free to deliver these gifts by sleigh, we don’t want those online retailers wrecking even more havoc on our local businesses.

Sincerely, your No. 1 sports fan,



As we transition back to the sports gambling portion of this column, I’m frustrated to admit how poorly we did a week ago. We weren’t even close to a winning record, going a dismal 0-3-1, missing the Oklahoma and Georgia picks by a wide margin.
Despite that embarrassing performance on championship weekend, I stand at a more than respectable 31-22-1 as we hit the stretch one.
Since I took a hard hit last week, I’ve decided to keep things a little light, only picking three NFL games.

    Last week: 0-3-1

        - Winners are in bold
        - Lines courtesy of Draftkings Sportsbook

1. Texans (+3) at Titans
I know the Titans have been on a tear lately, and I know the Texans were a disaster at home against the Broncos last week, but this one is too good to pass up. The road ‘dogs continue to eat and this is one we can trick Vegas with. The public is heavy on the Titans, but remember, the Texans did just throttle the Pats two weeks ago. This is a gigantic divisional match up - winner all but wraps up the AFC South - so you know the Texans will be ready.

2. Colts (+9.5) at Saints
The Colts blew a big lead last week and really burned me against the Bucs, but I still, for some god-forsaken reason, have faith in this Colts squad. Draftkings has this line (as of Tuesday, Dec. 10) at a tasty 9.5. I think the Saints have a little bit of a let-down after their insane thriller against the 49ers last week and ease up a little bit. But hell, these past few weeks have been so unpredictable, I don’t know what to think. I’m barely hanging on by a string. None of the lines this week make any sense.

3. Dolphins (+3.5) at Giants
I don’t even know why I’m betting on this game, it absolutely screams stay away. A pair of teams who have combined for five wins, do I even know what I’m doing?
But after the Giants blew a lead against their rivals last week (the Eagles), I firmly believe the New York Football Giants are going to fold it in and aim for that No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft. Miami has actually been a strong bet to cover most of the season (7-6) and I like them to go at it again against the soon-to-be-dumpster fire in New York.


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