The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh finally opened the city’s first legal sportsbook on Thursday, just in time for the Steelers clash with the New England Patriots in Week 15. Located across the road from Heinz Field, the casino is sure to see a lot of action from fans on game day and it was perhaps somewhat appropriate to note that a lifelong Steelers fan was the one invited to place the sportsbook’s first ever wager.
As a VIP member of the casino, local Pittsburgh resident David Eldridge was given the honor of making the opening bet, but his selection is unlikely to meet the approval of his fellow fans.
Eldridge placed a sizeable $11,000 on New England to cover a spread of 2.5 points, a bet that would return $21,010 if it won for a profit of $10,010. Despite his love of the Steelers, Eldridge had no problem backing the hated Patriots when money was on the line, even if he wasn't completely confident in his bet. As he told Darren Rovell of the Action Network.
“Over the last 15 years, I’ve gotten burned too many times, I just hope it’s not one of the three games a year they show up for.”
Betting against your own team can be a difficult thing for even the more hardened gamblers to do at times, but this lifelong Steelers’ fan does not seem as conflicted as he could be.
“Put it this way: If I managed my companies the way Mike Tomlin coaches this team, I wouldn’t have $11,000 to put down on this type of bet.”
Should he collect on his bet, Eldridge is unlikely to find too many people in the casino will be happy for him. As a gambler of some 25 years or so myself and also a former bookmaker, I have always considered it bad form to bet against your own team and will have no sympathy for him if he loses, even if I do agree it is a solid bet.