As if he needs another reason to scowl, coach Gene Keady has his worst team in his 25th and final season at Purdue.
The Boilermakers are 7-17 going into today’s home game against Big Ten opponent Minnesota. Betting on a bad team is a risky proposition, but the two contestants in the finals of the Leroy’s Challenge agree Purdue as a Pick is a good bet.
Alan Boston, a professional sports bettor who specializes in college basketball, and Golden Nugget sports book manager Nick Bogdanovich both made the Boilermakers one of their top five plays mainly because Keady is coaching his last home game and his team should be on an emotional high.
The handicapping contest, staged Friday nights at the Riviera, was started by Jimmy Vaccaro, public relations director for Leroy’s sports books.
Beginning with a field of nine handicappers, two went head-to-head each week. The contestants picked five games against the spread from the Saturday college schedule.
One selection was designated the best bet for tiebreaking purposes, and Bogdanovich picked Purdue as his best bet.
Boston played Auburn as a 4-point home underdog to Louisiana State as his best bet.
Boston’s other three plays: Kentucky (+3) over Alabama, Rhode Island (+8) over St. Joseph’s, and Northern Arizona (-7) over Sacramento State.
Bogdanovich’s other four Togel plays: Providence (+9) over Syracuse, Texas A&M; (-2) over Texas Tech, UNLV (-2) over Air Force, and Weber State (-9) over Idaho State.
Leroy’s is awarding $5,000 to the winner, plus $5,000 to the winner’s selected charity.
Vaccaro said the contest has been a success despite the combined record of the handicappers — 29-40-1, including 2-12 on best bets.
“At least we’ve got people talking about it,” he said. “Not one person has said it’s a bad show.”