Dave Portnoy Blames $500k Losing Bet on a Jinx

Virginia Tech vs Miami Hurricanes

Although Portnoy isn’t the kind of bettor who tries to hide his losses, he understandably doesn’t shout them from the rooftops either. So while he has talked about the loss in the odd interview, the specific details aren’t widely known.

Despite this, we can deduce the basics simply by knowing which team he bet on and in which game.

It was towards the end of the 2021 College Football season, and the Miami Hurricanes were hosting the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami had won 3 of their last 4 games, whereas Virginia Tech had lost 2 of their last 4 and they came off he back of a 3 game losing streak.

What was Dave Portnoy’s rationale here? We likely will never know.

Betting against Miami on home turf was always a risky proposition, but perhaps it was the +220 odds that convinced him to make the bet.

That translates as odds of 11/5 or 3.2 in decimal, so his $500k would have turned into $1,600,000 had the bet come off.

But of course, it didn’t.

Miami took the lead early on and never looked back. They dominated the first half of the game, and although Virginia did manage to close the gap, the game ended 38-26 to Miami, and Portnoy’s $500k was lost.

He did not take it well.

As he often did at the time, Dave was watching the game with his friends on a live stream, so that others could watch along with him. He likes everyone to be focussed on the game when he is betting, so that the ‘energy’ is right. However, one of his friends was not behaving in a way that Dave approved of, and he lost his temper, storming off the stream.

Shortly afterwards, he tweeted this:

Obviously, there is absolutely no sense in the way he feels – his friend’s actions cannot impact the result of a football game being played hundreds of miles away – but that’s what high stakes bets can do to a person I suppose.

In interviews, Portnoy has claimed several times that the loss was down to his friend changing the energy and ‘jinxing’ the game. Anyone who has seen even the highlights will know that Miami didn’t need help from a jinx to win that one.

See more bets by Dave Portnoy