In the days of yore, before Covid-19 walked the land, humans gathered in no-frills watering holes to converse with other such beings, watch padded warriors clash on the screen and, of course, get their load on.
Back in the day, every dive bar had a sketchy guy who showed up every Wednesday distributing parlay cards ("spot cards" in the lingo of my native Ohio). On Friday, the same guy would circulate back through and collect the filled-out cards, along with each patron's wager for the week, generally in one of three denominations: a "fin" ($5), a "sawbuck" ($10) or, for the big spenders, an "Andy J" ($20). Early the next week, he'd pop back in, order a boilermaker, pay the winners and assure the losers, with a grizzled wink, that they were that much closer to a payday.
"Fucking Oregon State," the downtrodden patrons would say, "they killed me when they went for two after that last touchdown." Our anti-hero would pat their shoulders, shake his head in feigned empathy, and head out into the night with a shit-eating grin, knowing he'd be having the same conversations a week hence.
A few such mavericks still roam, but they are an endangered species, unable to sustain their breed due mostly to alcohol-related erectile dysfunction issues. Very soon, the sun will set on the last of them.
Thus does it fall to us, pandemic-weary though we may be, to rage against the dying of the light. One by one, let us raise our voices:
"The parlay card must live!
Our traditions will survive!
Pass the bourbon, my brothers and sisters . . .
And give me the Longhorns, minus five!"
At Dive Bar Cards, we keep it pretty simple. You can only bet on two outcomes:
1) TEAM BETS: Which team will win, taking into account the point spread (subtracting the point spread from the favored team's final score or adding it to the underdog's final score)?
In the example above from November 2021, the spread is 38 points, meaning you must subtract 38 points from favorite Georgia's score if you bet on the Bulldogs, or add 38 points to Missouri's score if you bet on the Tigers.
2) OVER/UNDER (O/U) BETS: How many points will be scored in the game?
In the example above, the O/U is 59.5 points. If you think Georgia and Mizzou will combine for 59 or fewer points, bet the Under. If you think they'll compile 60 or more points between them, bet the Over.
The actual final score was Georgia 43, Missouri 6, a 37-point Bulldogs' victory. But with the 38-point spread factored in, Missouri wins AGAINST THE SPREAD by 1 point. And the combined 49 points scored by the two teams was well UNDER the 59.5 O/U line. So the two winning bets on the example above are 18 and 19; the two losing bets are 17 and 20.
With the exception of a push (tie), there are two winning and two losing wagers on every game, meaning you have a 50-50 chance of winning every wager. In the example above, if the final sore had been 44-6 in Georgia's favor, the 38-point victory would have exactly matched the point spread, hence a tie, or a PUSH, as ties are called in gaming parlance.
ALL PUSHES (TIES) GO THE HOUSE, MEANING ALL BETS PLACED ON A LINE THAT PUSHES ARE LOSERS. If Georgia had won the game by 38 points rather than 37, everyone who placed a team bet would have lost.
Now that you understand how to wager on Teams and Over/Unders, it's time to decide which type of bet(s) you want to place: Parlays or Teasers.
Since Teasers are actually a version of Parlays, we'll start with those: A Parlay is merely a chain of Team and/or Over/Under bets strung together. In the case of Dive Bar Cards and most casinos, the minimum bets on a parlay is a 2-way and the maximum is a 10-way. In a parlay, every wager must be a winner for the parlay to win; a single loss or push (tie) dooms a Parlay (or Teaser) Card.
A Teaser is like a Parlay or training wheels; you get a 6-point safety cushion that considerably boosts your chance of winning each bet within your card. Thus, Teasers Cards are considerably lower risk than Parlay Cards, and therefore pay considerably less. But if winning cash (rather than winning BIG cash) is your goal, Teasers may be the way to go. Teasers are also great slump-busters for Divers who normally play Parlays. Since introducing Teasers to Dive Bar Cards at the outset of October, Teaser Cards have overtaken Parlay Cards in popularity by a slight margin.
On both types of cards, the more successful wagers you string together, the higher your payoff, as you can see from the chart above.
The two cards below demonstrate one player -- we'll call him Hank -- playing the same set of games as a Parlay Card and a Teaser Card.
On the first card below, Hank wagered $20 on a 6-bet (or, as we call it, 6-way) Parlay Card, hoping to reap a $720 payoff. To do that, he'd have to hit all six of his bets. He didn't come close, only hitting three. At the bottom, Hank wagered that same $20 on a 6-bet/6-way Teaser Card, and the 6-point error for margin turned the three losing bets from his Parlay Card into winners. But while he would have collected $720 on his 6-way Parlay Card (a 36-for-1 payout on his $20 wager), he collected just $140 (7-for-1) on his $20 Teaser Card wager. The payouts tell the story: It's approximately 5x more difficult to hit a 6-way Parlay than a 6-way Teaser.
Here's a breakdown explaining the outcome of each bet of the six bets on Hank's two cards in light of the final scores (NOTE: Any winner on a Parlay Card is also going to be a winner on a Teaser Card, so we only applied a Teaser breakdown to Hank's three losing Parlay Card bets):
53 - Actual final score: NOTRE DAME 34, NAVY 6. The Irish were favored by 21 and won by 28. Final score against the spread: NOTRE DAME (-21) 13, NAVY 6 . PARLAY & TEASER WINNER!
66 - Actual final score: TCU 30, BAYLOR 28. TCU was a 7-point underdog but didn't need the points, upsetting Baylor outright. Final against the spread: TCU (+7) 37, BAYLOR 28. PARLAY & TEASER WINNER!
76 - WISCONSIN 52, RUTGERS 3. Though Rutgers didn't do much to contribute, the combined 55 points teams the two teams scored was well OVER the Over/Under line of 37.5 points. PARLAY & TEASER WINNER!
79 - Actual final score: ARKANSAS 31, MISSISSIPPI STATE 28. The 59 points scored by the two teams was well OVER the the Over/Under line of 55.5 points. PARLAY LOSER.
TEASER CARD: With a 6-point cushion, the UNDER 55.5 points that Hank bet on his Parlay Card was increased to UNDER 61.5 points, more than the 59 points scored. TEASER WINNER!
90 - Actual final score: TENNESSEE 45, KENTUCKY 42. Slight underdog Kentucky was getting a point but lost by 3. Final score against the spread: TENNESSEE 45, KENTUCKY (+1) 43. PARLAY LOSER.
TEASER CARD: With the 6-point cushion, Kentucky received 7 points rather 1, thus making the final score TENNESSEE 45, KENTUCKY (+7) 50. TEASE WINNER!
106 - Actual final score: MICHIGAN 29, INDIANA 7. Heavy Underdog Indiana was getting 20 points but lost by 22. Final score against the spread: MICHIGAN 29, INDIANA (+20) 27. PARLAY LOSER.
TEASER CARD: With a 6-point cushion, the Hoosiers (+26) prevail 33-29. TEASER WINNER!
There's some info that doesn't apply to Dive Bar Cards (betting on different sports, placing Money Line and First-Half bets) and DBC Parlay cards max out at 10 bets, not the 12 mentioned here. But it's still a worthwhile look.
DBC uses 6-point Teasers (the video gives examples of 6, 6.5 & 7-point teasers).
As noted above, all PUSHES (TIES) go the house, and thus are losers to bettors. Any parlay or teaser containing a wager that pushes -- that is, the Team or Over/Under outcome exactly matches the point spread -- will render your wager a loss. If you're betting in Las Vegas, a push outcome will merely remove that bet from the card; in old-school parlay-card wagering, the format to which Dive Bar Cards plays homage, ALL PUSHES LOSE.
Though pushes have occurred on less than 3% of Dive Bar Cards betting lines in 2021, some Divers prefer to avoid that risk altogether by betting only Team & Over/under lines in half-point increments (e.g. Ohio State - 19.5 or Ohio State-Indiana Over 62.5 points), since final margins and accumulated points occur only in integers (whole numbers).
Choose any combination of NCAA and NFL Team & Over/Under bets -- a minimum of 2 bets for Parlay Cards and 3 bets for Teaser Cards -- then simply notate the corresponding number. In this case 80-85-94-104. That's all you need! Please submit in chronological order.
High risk and high reward, or low-risk and moderate payout? It's your call.
Every Dive Bar Dive Bar Cards transaction revolves around an exclusive identification number. The numbers are assigned by seniority and participation level . . . and they're yours for life. Each wager must be addressed as above, taking care to note whether it's a Parlay Card or Wager Card, with your exclusive ID# and the number of cards you're playing on the subject line. You're free to submit more bets over the course of the weekend -- most Divers do -- but each one should contain the information above readily apparent before opening the body of the email. Please submit Parlay Cards and Teaser Cards in separate emails!
Once your Subject Line has clearly identified your DBC# and your type of wager (again, please submit Parlay and Teaser Cards in separate emails), the body of your email should contain the precise and succinct details of your wager(s). In this sequence, I know that DBC Member #21 is playing two PARLAY CARDS cbefore I even open his email. Inside, he informs me that he is wagering $40 on a 3-bet parlay and reveals those 3 bets -- #17, #40 & #101. It turns out that he hit all three games on that card and collected $240 ($40 wager at a 6-for-1 payoff). He also hit all four games on his second parlay card and collected another $110 ($10 wager at a 11-to-1 payoff). Dupllcate cards are not permitted, even if their combined wager does not exceed our $50 limit.
Click on the DBC logo or point your phone's camera at the QR Code and click on the link that pops up on your phone. Either way, you're seconds away from DBC's PayPal account. Please use the SENDING TO A FRIEND option on PayPal (as opposed to PAYING FOR GOODS & SERVICES) in order to avoid fees on my end. If you are using a credit card that delays PayPal payments or your payment has not cleared by the DISPLAYED kickoff time (see next box), your wager(s) will be null and void AND you must pay a $50 fraudulence penalty per wager (and only for those whose failure to pay was inadvertent; if your lack of payment was determined to be purposefully fraudulent, you will be banned from all Meadow of Shame platforms). For your convenience, direct-link payment boxes like these will also appear below every week's master parlay card at the very bottom of this page.
One member-friendly change from 2020 is a vastly expanded wagering window. This season, you can submit your parlay card(s) any time before the DISPLAYED TIME of the earliest scheduled game on your parlay card(s). To clarify, the display time listed on each game is the time the TV coverage starts at the top or bottom of the hour -- NOT THE KICKOFF TIME. For example, if the earliest game on your Parlay or Teaser card is the Alabama-Miami game (above), your wager email AND your payment is due by 12:30 p.m., even though the game won't actually kick off until 12:43 p.m. Like Las Vegas or an online bookmaker, 12:31 p.m. is too late, and that wager will be voided.
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