It’s Ridiculous That You Can Bet on Lionel Messi’s Overs, Not Unders, For Inter Miami Debut
Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi, center, midfielder Sergio Busquets, left, and forward Leonardo Campana, right, do drills during practice for a Leagues Cup soccer match, Thursday, July 20, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Inter Miami plays Cruz Azul Friday in Fort Lauderdale. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
It's supposed to be a feel good night tonight as Lionel Messi plays on American soil for an American team for the first time.
Many sportsbooks are, of course, offering odds on Lionel Messi to score. Some are going further by offering hat tricks props and more (with horrible vig) in order to capitalize on the casual Messi fan tonight.
But one thing you can't bet, at least legally, is for Messi NOT TO SCORE.
This is betting after all, why can't I get the other side?
BetMGM offers a special on "Lionel Messi to score in his first MLS match?"
And offers "yes" at a paltry price of -140.
FanDuel is offering Messi as an anytime goal scorer for -115 and as a first goalscorer at +290.
PointsBet is offering Messi as anytime goal scorer -110 and first goal scorer or last goal scorer at +300.
Frankly, it's a disgusting amount of juice for what will amount to an exhibition game, in which I'll be shocked if Messi suits up for more than 45 minutes.
And that's why, I surmise, sportsbooks aren't willing to slap a "no" on the market. Sharps would be all over it, on account of Messi's playtime and the fact that he hasn't played touched a proper pitch in almost two months.
And the casuals would be all over the "yes" at ballooned odds, creating a balancing conundrum sportsbooks don't want to deal with.
We couldn't get any oddsmaker to talk on the record about why there isn't a "no goalscorer" market.
It's a travesty in general, but also for me in particular, seeing as I almost exclusively bets on unders.
I want to root for Messi to only get a couple minutes. I want to root for Messi to not do anything spectacular. I want to make money off of it.
And I don't think it's a particularly good look for the betting industry to exploit bettors who want the opposite to happen, too.