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 11:
Josh Carey’s Picks
Bankroll: $1,043 (Last week: +$116)
Record 31-29-2 (Last week: 4-1-1)
Locks: 3-5-1 (Last week: 0-0-0)
Holy crapballs, I’m back above .500! In record and in (fake) cashy money! That’s the first time since Week Four, for those of you keeping score at home (except that everything is made up and the points don’t matter. That’s right, the points are like Britney Spears. Not anything about her, just her in general). I’ve been riding the computer on my way to my recent winning streak, but it appears this is the week where it goes all “I can’t do that Dave” and only spits out three games worth betting on. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. How smart can a computer be if it’s calling me Dave when my name is clearly Josh?
It’s also difficult to be excited about being up to 12th place (and one of just 14 people with a positive ledger) since Cray is just absolutely killing this season. An undefeated week earned him the largest single-week payout in Bet the Farm history and he’s now nearly tripled his money. Seriously man, if you want to do a guest column on what the hell your system is, I will make it happen (I’ll even give you every penny they pay me for that week). I’m impressed.
$60 Baltimore -4 vs. New York Jets (Lock of the week): Not only does Jeff Sagarin’s computer have the Jets as the third-worst team in the league, their record on the road the last two seasons has been dreadful. Let’s recount it:
2012: 20-10 loss at Pittsburgh. 23-20 win at Miami. 29-26 OT loss at New England. 26-7 loss at Seattle. 27-13 win at St. Louis. 17-10 win at Jacksonville. 14-10 loss at Tennessee. 28-9 loss at Buffalo. (3-5)
2013: 13-10 loss at New England. 38-13 loss at Tennessee. 30-28 win at Atlanta. 49-9 loss at Cincinnati. 37-14 loss at Buffalo. (1-4)
Even almost all of the wins look about as pathetic as the healthcare.gov website rollout. The computer says Baltimore should be laying ten here, and that’s assuming an “average” home field advantage, not a “Hey let’s go to Dave & Buster’s” home field advantage. I love this line.
$50 Dallas +2.5 at New York Giants: Oh look the Giants are on a four-game winning streak. They must be good and able to beat the team they lost to in the opener now. “But the Giants are on such a great streak!” you might say. And were it not for Matthew Stafford being amazing, the Cowboys would actually have the same record in their last five games (including two wins over the same teams) as those “streaking” Giants. The fact that New York’s course correction came in a row doesn’t suddenly make them a 16-0 team. They’re still a 4-6 (read: 7-9) team. The Cowboys should have no trouble keeping this one within a field goal, if not winning outright.
$40 Kansas City -5 vs. San Diego: The spread after Kansas City’s first loss was always going to be as favorable to gamblers as the government bailout of banks was to rich criminals. The Chiefs losing to what might end up being one of the best teams of all time just makes the extra four points they’re getting here even tastier.
Now, you might have noticed I’ve been shying away from totals in recent weeks. I have no computer to guide me there, so instead I’m going to listen to the wisdom of the people. Pregame.com’s Sportsbook Spy currently has six totals being taken on 90% or more of tickets. I am going to put $10 on each of the sides getting 10% of less, under the theory that most sports gamblers are dumb. So, my six $10 bets are: Tampa Bay/Detroit UNDER 49, Jacksonville/Houston UNDER 43.5, San Diego/Kansas City OVER 41.5, Tennessee/Oakland UNDER 41.5, Indianapolis/Arizona UNDER 45, and San Francisco/Washington OVER 47. For the purposes of my season-long record, I am going to count this as one win or one loss, with it only counting as a win if I hit four or more correctly. Truthfully, the Titans/Raiders line is the only one I’m really worried about, but two backup quarterbacks could actually make it a steal.
Total wagered: $210
Bankroll: $253 (last week -$35)
Record: 16-29-3 (last week 1-2-3)
Locks: 2-8 (last week 0-0)
Is pushing three games in a week comparable to a) hitting three sevens on a slot machine jackpot, b) getting stopped by three red lights in a row, or c) waiting in line for 3 hours to get into a club only to find out they are at capacity once you make it to the front of the line?! My answer is d) all of the above. At least I spent more than my current bankroll at the bar after being denied access to said club. Good times!
$70 New Orleans -9.5 at Atlanta: Atlanta has had a lot of injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Many might assume that their downfall has been due to the absence of that firepower upfront, but it has been the struggles defending, problems stuffing the run, and blocking the pass that have smoked them out of the playoff race so quickly. Some may argue that they will be try-hards in this home game as underdogs, trying to put a damper on their rival’s season. One problem: Drew Brees. If a calm afternoon breeze can get by Atlanta’s defense, then Brees and his number nine Beaufort level will surely wreak havoc in Georgia. Saints 37 Falcons 20.
$60 Chicago PK at St Louis: When I first saw this line at a pick I was a little surprised and shocked. Was there a major injury that I wasn’t aware of? Was Kellen Clemens not starting at quarterback for the Rams? I know Tavon Austin was sensational the previous game but does one game make him a dangerous threat for every game here on out? The Bears may have an overrated defense and Jay Cutler is still out nursing his ego ankle, but Josh McCown has been more than effective as a replacement and Chicago has been in every game except for one the entire year. This game may be a trap but even the thought of taking the side of Kellen Clemens in a bet is making my traps hurt. Bears 24 Rams 17.
$60 Carolina -4.5 at Miami: When the men in stripes picked up the pass interference call to end the game on Monday night, I was happier than the gift Rob Ford gave to late night comedians. Not only does Carolina’s win become slightly tainted creating a useful drop in this week’s line, but the Patriots, who are one of my least favourite franchises, lost in an excruciating way. As they say in Australia, “bugger me dead”! Carolina has the 10th ranked rushing attack and in the last four games the dolphins have given up 153, 163, 140 and 154 yards rushing. The Panthers also boast the third best rushing defense. Get ready to talc up those hands and moisten up those finger tips as this will be the first game off the board for you to cash on Sunday. Panthers 27 Dolphins 13.
Total Wagered: $250