February 10, 2023
Low risk, high reward — that's the way to gamble, right?
It was August of this past year, and Springfield, Pa. native Adam Garling was poking around on Barstool's sportsbook. The Eagles were looking good in training camp and the Phillies were clinging to the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
"I was putting in future bets on the NFL and I thought 'This team [the Phillies] could get hot.' I didn't imagine it would have the legs to go all the way to the World Series.
"I also put in a futures bet for the Phils to win and Eagles to win [championships], but I decided to scale it back. Both teams could go on a run but the likelihood of them both winning titles is a little ridiculous."
Garling, who works in the tech field and lives in Delaware County, took a flyer on a $25 bet for both the Phillies to win the NL Pennant and the Eagles to win the NFC Championship. The odds were +20300, a possible payout of $5,100.
The Phillies did their job in improbable fashion, making it to the Fall Classic where they'd eventually lose in six games to the Astros.
Then the Eagles started winning games and did not stop.
"I have season tickets, I am down there for most of the home games," Garling said. "As they kept winning and they were rounding out the season I was getting cash-out options. Week 17 or 18 , they were saying they'd cash me out at like $1,700. I wanted to ride this out. It's 25 bucks, it's not going to make or break me."
Garling, who is an enthusiastic recreational gambler who bets mostly on the NFL and PGA, said he nearly hit the big one during a regular season week in October. He bet on Ezekiel Elliott, Ja'Marr Chase and Aaron Jones each scoring two touchdowns that week. Elliott and Chase did it quickly and Jones was one touchdown away. He elected to cash out for $480, rather than letting his $10 bet ride to win $3,200. Sure enough, Jones found paydirt for a second time and he learned a lesson.
"I cashed out and five minutes later Jones scored a second TD," he said. "I vowed then and there for anything under $100 I am never cashing out again. If that hadn't happened, there might have been a chance I'd have cashed out before the Niners game."
Garling will be recreating his entire 2018 Super Bowl setup to watch this weekend's game, down to the same food spread, the same outfits for him and his family, and even the same seating arrangements.
The best thing a fan can do is be superstitious and try and will a team to victory. He's cautiously optimistic about the Eagles' chances against the Chiefs Sunday.
"I don't love how the public is all over the Eagles, 80% of the Vegas money is on the Eagles money line," he said. "That being said, I think the defense could probably slow Kansas City down a little bit and if that's the case, the Eagles' run game is fantastic. I think like a 27-23 kinda game. If Jalen [Hurts] doesn't turn it over I think the Eagles have a chance to win."
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