Alabama, and the house, always comes out on top

Published 7:50 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

Faithful readers might remember last week’s column when I offered some friendly advice and one notable trend — Alabama’s tendency to not embarrass non-conference opponents — for bettors now that sports gambling is legal in Mississippi.

Don’t let it be said I’m not willing to put my money where my mouth is. For my maiden voyage into sports betting I headed to the Ameristar sports book and handed over a crisp $20 bill to the cashier. In return I received a ticket for Arkansas State and 36 wonderful points against mighty Alabama.

Arkansas State has a good team. History is on my side. That $38.20 I was going to win was as good as mine. It won’t fund my retirement, but it’ll buy lunch for the week.

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At 2:30 Saturday I flipped on ESPN2 and got ready to watch one team I can’t stand play one I don’t care about. Visions of tasty sandwiches filled my head, only to quickly be replaced by the feeling you get when you take the first bite of questionable clam chowder.

To quote Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide was running through Arkansas State “like (bleep) through a tin horn.” Five minutes into the game, it was 13-0. On its second possession, already down two touchdowns, Arkansas State punted — from the Alabama 40-yard line.

Many more bleeps echoed through the palatial Bowker estate over that decision.

By halftime, Alabama was ahead 40-0 and it wasn’t that close. The only person wishing for a Tua Tagovailoa hamstring pull more than me was Jalen Hurts.

Still, I had those 36 points to play with. Arkansas State scored on the other side of halftime to make it 40-7 and get back within the number. One more touchdown and they’d probably do no worse than “tie” as Alabama eased to the blowout victory.

Tagovailoa stayed in the game through the third quarter and kept tormenting me with his touchdown passes and abundance of syllables. Alabama, rather than letting off the gas, kept on it like a NASCAR driver powering through a lap at Talladega.

I’m sure you saw how it turned out. Alabama won 57-7. Fifty points is more than 36. I’ll be brown-bagging lunch this week.

Luckily, there was one other bet on my ledger. Rutgers stinks, and did not let me down. Its 52-3 loss to Ohio State pulled me even for the week.

Well, not quite.

Thanks to the casino’s vig, or take from a winning bet, I’m still $1.80 in the hole.
Just another reminder, folks, that the house — and Alabama — always wins.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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