Is It Ever Ok To Ask Your Buddy To ‘Let You Off The Hook’ For A Lost Sports Bet?

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The answer is yes, if you just watched your home burn to the ground with the majority of your family inside, i.e. Casey Affleck’s character in Manchester By-The-Sea. That’s the time, folks. That’s the one time where it’s ok to ask your buddy to “call it even,” or maybe to bring him a bushel of apples in lieu of the $400 you lost because the Celtics didn’t cover. You’ll find that most friends are willing to forgive a debt in the wake of an unspeakable family tragedy.

Otherwise, pay up. We’ve moved into a new age where sports gambling is remarkably accessible. Either you live in a state where it’s legal, or you have a friend with a bookie and you can Venmo your buddy with the stroke of a thumb. And right now, we’re in a mini-renaissance of sports, a blossoming of opportunity for gamblers that we’ve never seen before. Coronavirus turned off the lights for months until, at what seemed like the same moment, every major sport returned in full-swing. NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, baseball, football, US Open tennis, US Open golf… how do we handle it all? Which checking account should we light on fire first?

The problem I’ve found with the bet-through-my-buddy system is that sometimes, my friends will just take the other side of the bet I’m proposing. They don’t put it in to their account; they just face me themselves, no vig. We determine the mid-line (they do this, I don’t understand math) and then settle up without bringing some carpenter from New Jersey who runs a little side operation into the equation. Far cleaner that way. Nothing wrong with a fun wager among friends.

That is, until your buddy texts the group chat and says he wants to bet that the Nuggets will come back to beat the Clippers, even though they’re down 3-1 in the series. And you check BetMGM and they say it’s +5000 that the Nuggets will do it. Surely, that can’t happen. Scientificaly, the Clippers can’t lose three straight games. Happily, you’ll take your buddy’s $100 gift.

Whoops.

Where do we keep the matches again?