Charles K. McNeil was a genius with numbers. Despite this, he was a history major at the University of Chicago, with a past time of betting. On anything. Charles K. McNeil would bet on the slightest thing, and usually win too. When he graduated he taught math at a New England prep school, but soon returned to Chicago to work as an analyst in a bank. He was so fond of betting that he even opened a pool at his bank as to who would be fired next. His favourite was the bank manager, his boss, but in a huge upset the boss got wind of what was going on and fired Charles instead. This was one of the only bets that Charles K. McNeil lost in his life.
After he was fired he bet on everything from college basketball to little league baseball to supplement his income. This started simply with friends in the stands, but quickly moved on to bookies when he realised what an income he could make. Unfortunately he was a tad too good at betting, and beat the house so many times that his bookie put limits on his betting. The bookies started to ask questions, curious as to how Charles K. McNeil won all the time. He confided that he had come up with a points system that analyzed the competing teams to come up with a predicted outcome. His method was so successful that he suggested that the bookies follow his lead, and offer bets based on his system.
The whole beauty of the point system is that unlike adds that can confuse the casual gambler, and things like tilt action and limit interest in uneven games, the point system encourages betting on both sides. Charles K. McNeil’s points system was so successful that he in fact opened a bookies himself, right across the street from the one who had limited him. His success eventually led to the original bookie closing down.
How the Points System Works
It works like this. Say for example that South Arica and England play each other in rugby. On the books South Africa are six points better than England, wagers on each team will reflect that. South African bettors will then give six points, which means that South Africa has to win the game by more than six points to cover the spread for them to win the wagers. England mean while gets six points. Even if the underdog England lost, provided that it is by five or less points, they would still beat the spread and result in payout for their backers.
Repercussions of the Points Spread System
Charles K. McNeil’s system worked very well, but it also opened up a whole new angle for game fixing. All of a sudden a team didn’t have to lose outright. They simply had to fail to cover the spread to alter the gambling outcome of the match. This created Point Shaving, which many unscrupulous sportsmen took money to do. Point Shaving resulted in a spree of scandals that hit college basketball in the 1950’s and were directly accredited to Charles K. McNeil’s system. The system also attracted the attention of much darker and more dangerous people. At one stage Charles K. McNeil said that The Mob wanted to go partners with his brain. Charles K. McNeil was an upstanding man of great repute and of course took no part in any of these goings on. His system is still in use today worldwide.