Warrick: Let me see if I can break it down: Monday morning, the week of the Duke/Louisville game, VSL sets the line at Duke minus 15.
Catherine: So if I were to place a bet on Duke, they would have to win by more than fifteen for me to win the bet.
Warrick: Right. Now, according to the manager of the book, the moment that number went up, cash came rolling in on Duke. Professional bettors were all over the number. Dispatching runners in every book in town. Now, remember, money moves the line, so by mid-week, the tourists and the local suckers caught wind of what the pros were betting, [therefore] pumping the line to Duke minus 25.
Catherine: Yeah, everybody's throwing money on Duke. Big favorite.
Warrick: Now here's where it gets weird. By Friday, all sorts of cash starts rolling in, but this time on the underdog -- Louisville plus 25.
Catherine: Which means Louisville could lose by 24 [points] and still win the bet. So why would you bet on the underdog if you had already put money on the favorite?
Warrick: Our vic had Lou Barnes lay 17 points with Duke, and take 23 with Louisville. The game landed 22. How do you think he did it?
Catherine: He got more than 17 and less than 23...he won both bets.
Warrick: All that action created this big middle, so he was able to win on both sides. I think Kelvin Russell sold VSL's numbers, and got killed for it.
And now we meet Lou Barnes, whom Brass evidently found wandering around a local crypt, mumbling, "Brains! Need brains! More brains!" As Brass beholds Lou's ashy complexion and vacant expression, he snaps, "Hey! Focus! You all right?" Lou elects to answer by passing out sideways. Brass cocks an eyebrow as if to say, I hadn't even asked him if he was gay yet.
When we return from commercials, we're in a hospital with Lou. A doctor matter-of-factly hands over a little baggie full of No. 4 buckshot and says briskly, "Found this in his leg. It's been there at least a week. He was septic. Lucky to be alive." Nicky and Brass then collaborate on conjecturing the circumstances leading to septicemia: Kelvin knew the line was going to go funky, but he couldn't cash in on it. So he hired Barnes to place his bets. And they both ended up on the wrong end of a shotgun. After an interminable flashback -- remember, watching someone sprint through the woods whilst being gunned down like a tranquilized bear is less likely to leave an impression on little viewers than Wendie Malick explaining how she never bargained for a husband who wanted a wet-wipe warmer.