I wanted to do a special guest appearance on the WNST blog to help two types of football fans enjoy the NFL season a little more. The first type is the bar stool know-it-all (which basically includes all of us). We like to spout out information like it was carved in a stone tablet, and when we end up being right, we remind everyone about three thousand times. When you’re wrong, you never mention it again.
The other group I’m trying to help is the short term investor. Let me give you the realistic number associated with sports gambling…..you can’t win. The house has too many advantages. It’s why when you go to Vegas the casinos just get bigger and bigger. A wise man once told me that he budgets his gambling money just like he would that of a golf trip or a night out on the town. It’s an entertainment expense. Eventually, you’ll have nothing to show for it. So just expect it to happen, and enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. So that’s where we come to the theory of another wise friend of mine. Actually, this second friend isn’t quite so wise, so I’m guessing he heard it from someone else, but either way, I like the idea.
You don’t bet games each week. That would be like day trading in a choppy stock market. You might hit a big one here or there, but the commissions will kill you, and eventually, you’ll lose. Instead you bet over/unders for the season win totals, which would be like investing for the long term, you know companies like Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola. After four months, you may have made a little, you may have lost a little, but you probably have most of the money you started with. Let me give you an example.
Last spring on Bob’s show I made six predictions of where I thought the baseball geniuses were way wrong. I thought they vastly underrated the win potential of four teams.
Kansas City 66 ½ wins
Pittsburgh 72 wins
Colorado 75 wins
Milwaukee 81 wins
I also thought they greatly overrated two teams.
San Fran 80 ½ wins
Cleveland 86 ½ wins
So, if you are a baseball bettor (which I don’t really understand since the great teams win six out of ten and the awful teams win four out of ten. Also, the main guy you’re betting on, the starting pitcher is only going to go six or seven innings. Would you bet the Colts if Peyton Manning wasn’t going to play the fourth quarter? Anyway, I digress) So anyway, you could day trade. You could bet everyday, looking for hot pitchers, cold pitchers, teams that can’t win on the road, bullpens that can’t hold leads, whatever your little theory of the day is, and I’m sure you would have lost all of you money by Father’s Day. Or you could invest for the long term. If you would have liked the six teams that I liked, then with three weeks to go in the season you would look pretty good.
KC, Colorado, and San Fran are all easy winners.
Cleveland and Pittsburgh are both losers.
That leaves you at 3-2 with Milwaukee to go. If they can hang on and finish 82-80 (they are 70-68 right now) that would leave you at 4-2. So if you started the season with $600 in you account, and bet $100 on each one, you would now have $800 in you account. An actual profit. What a concept! It’s like investing a stock with a dividend! And if Milwaukee blows it, you went 3-3, broke even, and had all the enjoyment of without losing money. Do you know how much fun it would be to have all the enjoyment of a round of golf and not have to pay anything?
So who’s paying dividends this NFL season?
Philadelphia Eagles over 9 ½ wins: And I’m a Cowboy fan! But hey, they always figure out ways to win. They’ll go 4-2 in their division, and then they just have to go 6-4 outside of it in games that include home against Detroit, home against Buffalo, and at Minnesota. Unless injuries riddle this team, I think they have a better chance of going 11-5 than they do going 9-7.
Miami Dolphins under seven wins: Trent Green can’t last the season. There’s no way. This team also can’t go 3-3 in their division. There’s no way. So say they go 2-4 in the AFC East, they would have to go 5-5 against everybody else just to push. They do have some winnable games on their schedule, with Oakland at home, and at both Houston and Cleveland, but if they don’t come out of the gate like gangbusters, they could be talking about drafting first next April. Look at they way the close out the last seven weeks of the season: at Phily, at Pittsburgh, home versus the Jets, at Buffalo (on a cold December 9th), home versus the Ravens, at New England, and home versus Cincinnati. If they go 2-5 in that stretch they should be proud.
Oakland Raiders under 5 ½ wins: They can’t be as bad as last year when you heard every bed and breakfast joke in the world. And I know that they’re defense was pretty good, and although they lost Randy Moss, they got Joey Porter back from his season long stint on the naughty mat. They also have a quarterback we’ve heard of in Daunte Culpepper. But seriously, let’s look at this. #1. New coach who is 31 and has never been a head coach anywhere. #2, Brutal division, should go 1-5. #3. Al Davis is still in charge.
They have some wins on their schedule. Two of their first three games are home against Detroit and Cleveland. They could win them both, but I just don’t think they will. They also have at Tennessee, at Minnesota and home versus Houston. Three games in which they certainly can compete. But unless they win all of these games, I don’ t know how they can find six wins unless they win a game that they have no business winning, like they did against Pittsburgh last year.
Arizona Cardinals under 7 ½ wins: This was the en vogue pick last year like Tampa used to be and now San Fran has become. There division is way too good. 2-4 is a realistic pick, but they’ll go 1-5 before they’ll go 3-3. Then beyond that they don’t have that many patsies, at least not enough to get to eight wins. Matt Leinart has good receivers. But he’s too young. Also, the Cardinals have the same problem that the Dolphins do. They hate to go north when it’s cold, but everybody likes to come play them when it’s seventy-five degrees in December.
So there you go, three unders and an over. These are your plays for the season. It’s like every week you have money riding on four games, all season long. And let’s be honest, mathematically speaking, if you take these four teams, you’ll probably go 2-2. So if you start with $400 and put $100 on each team, you’ll end up with right around $400. But hey, here’s to hoping for 3-1.
P.S. My two selections that just missed the cut were the Giants under 7 ½ and the Jets under 7 ½. I think the Giants schedule might be a little too easy, and I think the Jets are really well coached. I also think the Giants may implode and the Jets aren’t very talented, but I still just didn’t have to stones to add them to my pick list. On the over side, I like Green Bay over 7 ½ and St. Louis over 8. So If I had to pick eight, those would round it out, but I’ll stick with four. Good luck, and enjoy the season.