I hate gambling on sports, because no matter how good you think you are at it, things always end up out of your hands and you’re inevitably reduced to sitting idly by while your money floats away in the midst of an infuriating circumstance you otherwise wouldn’t have cared anything about (come ON, Jaguars! COVER!!!!!)
But you know what I hate slightly less? Typing out some picks on a website and not losing any actual money when those picks turn out to be stupid (and boy, will they ever!)
Starting this week, I will now place several fake bets on NFL games each week in order to test my prognosticating skillz, as well as to gauge how well I would have done if I were some theoretical highrolling gambling addict. I’ll be using the Thursday point spreads from FootballLocks.com, and betting on a 1-1 return ratio, losing my money if the spread is an exact tie. Also, I will be betting billions of dollars, because in this fantasy, I am a trillionaire.
My NFL Week 2 FakeBets:
$1 billion on Kansas City (+2 at CLEVELAND) – KC’s defense played outstandingly in Week One (though some of that can be likely attributed to the raucous home crowd), and even though the offense struggled, they should be able to run the ball against the Browns. Two points is insignificant, but I thought the Chiefs would be favored in this game, so I’ll take ’em.
$2 billion on GREEN BAY (-13 vs Buffalo) – Miami’s a solid team, and the Bills played them close at home in Week One, but this one has “14-0 the second time it scrolls by on the ticker” written all over it. I also don’t foresee Aaron Rodgers passing up a chance to pad his stats in a season where every writer is looking for any excuse to toss him the MVP Award.
$1 billion on Miami (+5.5 at MINNESOTA) – Minnesota looked all kinds of off against the Saints in their Thursday opener, likely because Brett Favre has an injured ankle and threw 7 passes this offseason and their best receiver is out for half the year. While a return to the Vikodome (anyone call it that? no?) should bolster the O a bit, their passing problems extended far beyond the Saints’ D and riled-up home crowd, and they were completely ineffective when the Saints adjusted and started covering Visanthe Shiancoe. I don’t have the guts to say Miami will win outright, but they’ve been masters at exploiting opponents’ weaknesses under Tony Sparano (remember the Saints game last year they almost pulled off?) and can definitely keep this game within 5 1/2 points.
$1 billion on DALLAS (-7.5 vs Chicago) – A number of prominent 0-1 teams seem to have inflated lines this week, with Vegas likely banking on bettors assuming that teams like the Cowboys can’t possibly start off 0-2. 7 1/2 points seems awfully high for a team that managed just 7 total points in their opener, but I just don’t see any way Chicago wins this game on the road, and one or two home run plays by the Dallas O might be enough to settle this.
$2 billion on INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5 vs NY Giants) – The Colts, unlike Dallas, do not appear to have one of those “0-1 team” inflated lines, as -5.5 seems slightly reasonable for Peyton Manning at home in a night game against a team with a shaky secondary. The Colts did allow 790 rushing yards to Houston last week, which can’t be overlooked, but I’m fighting my urge to lazily declare “you know the Mannings are gonna play each other close” and trying to be level-headed about this one, taking the enticingly obvious pick.
SUICIDE POOL PICK: Green Bay. (Survived with Miami last week. Spot the pattern?)
That’s it for the week. I’m not betting on the Steeler game, because I would pick Tennessee, but they’re -5 and I know they’d end up still winning but not covering and I’d be pissed twice (much more so about the game outcome than my newly-created blog feature being wrong. But I don’t need anything to compound my impending frustration.)