Welcome to Bet the Farm, Razzball’s weekly NFL wagering contest. We’re back for our second season and ready to take you on over the course of 17 weeks of NFL play. For those new to the game, here are the rules:
- You start with $1,000 in contest money to make wagers with. You may join in any week.
- You can wager on the spread or Over/Under for any NFL game, so long as your pick is made by kickoff of that game. The Yahoo Sports Odds page is a good place to get betting lines: you may use the best line you find available when you make your post, but revisions to wagers are not allowed.
- Your wager must be in an increment of $10.
- You must beat the House: Therefore, you only receive 90% of your wager for a win ($9 on a $10 bet), but lose 100% of your wager on a loss.
- Your wager may be any amount between $10 and your full bankroll.
- New this year: If you lose your entire bankroll, you are allowed a re-buy for another $1,000. Unlimited re-buys are available.
- New this year: Bet the Farm staff will keep track of the full leaderboard for all participants. However, any player who has taken a re-buy will be listed below all players who have not taken a re-buy – even those with lower current balances. It’s always better to not lose all your money. Players with two re-buys will be listed below those with one re-buy, and so on.
Standings After Week 9:
Josh Carey’s Picks
Bankroll: $880 (Last week: +$100)
Record 23-26-1 (Last week: 5-2-0)
Locks: 3-4-1 (Last week: 1-0-0)
Last week I finally had a winning week (my first since September), so I’m on cloud nine this week. Oh, there are almost no matchups that I feel confident in this week? Well, that sucks again. So, lacking confidence in any system I could construct, I headed over to Jeff Sagarin’s NFL rankings, ran the numbers, and came up with a slate I feel reasonably comfortable with.
$50 Tennessee -12 vs. Jacksonville (Lock of the week): The concept of making a 12 point favorite my lock of the week really makes me question whether or not I know anything at all about betting on football (cue the comments saying that no, I don’t). But the Jaguars may be historically bad, averaging just under 11 points per game so far this season. So, 24 points from the Titans would put them a little over fifty percent to cover. That seems like a reasonable wager for a team facing a squad that just lost its most explosive threat (Justin Blackmon) on offense.
$40 Arizona -2 vs. Houston: Arizona is 3-1 at home and Wade Phillips is the head coach. If you think that isn’t a big deal, you might be forgetting some of his previous stints as a head coach.
$40 Minnesota +2.5 vs. Washington: “The Vikings are so bad!” you say, “They’ve only won one game this season!” Both those statements are true, but did you also know that Washington’s point differential is just two points per game better than the Vikings’? What’s that, a spread of 2.5? Sounds like it’s just enough to cover the Washington -2 outcome expected…. on a neutral field. Tack on the fact this game is being played in Minnesota and get a game where the home team is receiving points when they should be getting them. I love that.
$30 Baltimore +1.5 vs. Cincinnati: Another case where home/road splits paint a picture of why you should be taking the home team. Baltimore is 2-1 in their own park, the Bengals are a mere 2-3 on the road. This, like the Minnesota game, is another one where Sagarin thinks the wrong team is giving up points. I love that more than I love taffy. And I am a man who loves my taffy.
$20 Chicago +2.5 vs. Detroit and $20 Green Bay PK vs. Philadelphia: These two games are the games where Sagarin’s numbers differed the greatest from the actual spread. “Well of course dummy, Chicago and Green Bay both have their backup QBs in.” Yup, except you would have you believe that Jay Cutler is worth seven points over Josh McCown and that Aaron Rodgers is worth a whopping 11.5 points over Seneca Wallace to pass up these lines. Your typical NFL bettor is dumb. He sees an Eagles blowout and a Packers loss without Rodgers and says “Jackpot! Eagles win!” He’s dumb. The Packers like has already moved three points to Philadelphia this week. By Sunday, Green Bay might even be getting points. I wish I got to wait to make my picks like the rest of you do…
Total wagered: $200
Bankroll: $443 (last week -$105)
Record: 14-23 (last week 1-3)
Locks: 2-7 (last week 0-1)
It’s been a rough start to the season for Zorboss. Can’t stay on the gambling tracks, my research and analytical skills have let me down, and even luck is running on the other side of the ledger. Where do I turn for answers? Who can guide me back to the promise land? While reading an interactive National Geographic article titled “If All the Ice Melted,” the answer hit me: Kevin Costner and Waterworld! A cool little opening scene – comparable to the excitement of week one in the NFL – where Mariner (Costner) takes out a thief and some smokers. Then a slow first half to the movie where we find out Mariner is a mutant human/fish hybrid, dirt is more valuable than gold, and the entire world is really covered in water. My picks have been covered in dirt for the first half of the season. Where is the plot of the movie going? How can they make a movie entirely on water? Where am I going with this? Just like in the action packed end to Waterworld, the discovery of dry land on Mt. Everest, there is hope for my picks in the second half of the year! I can find my winning way in a world full of degenerates, addiction and defeat. Thank you Kevin Costner, you have inspired me to succeed. Man, I miss the glory days of movie graphics.
$50 Giants -7.5 vs. Oakland: The return of Andre Brown to the Giants’ line-up couldn’t have come soon enough. He’ll create an offensive balance so desperately needed by New York. The Raiders travel to the Big Apple with a banged up quarterback and running back and a defense who just gave up seven touchdown passes! Look for an Andre the Giant type of smackdown in this game. Giants 31 Raiders 13.
$50 Arizona -2 vs. Houston: It’s going to be a long road the rest of the way for the Texans. Poor record, player injuries, and their head coach Kubiak’s health scare, will lead this team to an off season of major questions and decisions. Arizona has been surprisingly good at home this year with a 3-1 record. If the Colts figured out the Texans’ only offensive play (Case to Andre Bomb) by halftime, then the Cardinals will no doubt diffuse the Texans without the need of a blast suit. Cardinals 24 Texans 17.
$50 Green Bay PK vs. Philadelphia: I know the Packers will be without head cheesemaker Aaron Rodgers, but give them a full week of practice with intern Seneca Wallace, and another home cooked meal, and they can beat the deceiving and soft Eagles. Every time the Eagles play a tough team (Dal, Den, KC, SD, NYG) they come away with a decisive loss, and every time they play a soft team (TB, OAK, Was, NYG) they come away with a standard win; the Giants are an enigmatic team. Green Bay is a tough place to play and I’m not fooled by Nick Foles’ seven touchdowns from last game. Packers 23 Eagles 17.
Total Wagered: $250