Dear Rod: Hey, I love your radio show. I know we’re all LDS and all. But just hypothetically, do you know of a reliable football betting strategy that’s consistent with the scriptures?
—Ted from West Valley
Dear Ted: First, the church is opposed to gambling in all its forms, and me and Sparky and the rest of the guys at Mormon Sports support that 110 percent. But in answer to your question, the thing we have to ask ourselves is this: What does God like? And the answer to that is clear: God likes the passing game. I mean, just look at the quarterbacks he’s blessed us with, Nielson, Wilson and Young and Ty Detmer and, yes, Jim McMahon—I know he’s not officially LDS yet, but his wife is, and I have a source upstairs that tells me she’s bringing him ‘round, line upon line, precept on precept. Not to mention Danny White. So, God loves a good offense, and that means God loves your crossing routes, your tight end up the seam, your outlet pass to the running back, and, on third and short, your play action rollout. Lots of points scored, that’s God’s plan for us. So that’s the first thing.
Now, I don’t want to get all BYU-centric here—we’re a worldwide church, and there are plenty of good RMs in other Mountain West schools—and I don’t want to suggest that God plays favorites. But he clearly favors those late-night ESPN games, where midlevel conferences get some national exposure. God hates the BCS—that goes without saying—but what does God love? Family activities, and is there a better family outing than a weeknight football game in November? I think not. So put all that together and whaddya got? I don’t approve of gambling, and frankly it’s not something I pay much attention to, but if you want to put a little Zeier zest in your tithing envelope, look for MWC night games where the over/under is plus 39, and take the over.