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 4
Josh Carey’s Picks
Bankroll: $1,056 (-$64)
Record: 10-9-1 (Last week: 1-3-0)
Locks: 2-1-1 (Last week: 0-1-0)
Finally, a losing week! I was pretty much asking for it when I went on bragging about how I’d had three consecutive winning weeks to begin the season. So it’s really no surprise. That’s how karma works after all. So, I’ll just keep rolling with the punches, leave it all behind. These highway signs are a sign of the times. Still, it’s all about the process – and all of my losses were by a single possession last week. So please, keep paying attention to what I write. I’m begging you! Or just wait for the Cray guy to show up and makes his picks in the comments. He’s on fire. They’ll probably can me and bring him on to write this next year the way things are going right now…
$50 Atlanta Falcons -9.5 vs. New York Jets (LOCK OF THE WEEK): The Jets are so bad they were considering color-coding their playbook so their inept rookie quarterback would know when it was okay to try and throw an interception. They didn’t, so we’re just going to have to assume he has clearance to try and throw an interception on every passing play still. Of course, with both Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill expected to miss this game, Mike Goodson (recently un-suspended) is probably going to be his top target. Let’s think about that considering the fact the opponent will be a team that hung with the Patriots last week. Any frequent reader of Bet the Farm knows I usually shy away from spreads this large, but man, the Jets are just bad. Far worse than their record would indicate.
$40 Miami -2.5 vs. Baltimore: I’m working on a theory here. That theory mostly amounts to “I don’t think the Ravens are very good this year.” Joe Flacco got a huge payday, which means they couldn’t afford anybody for him to throw to. Ray Rice looks almost as pedestrian as Maurice Jones-Drew and the loss of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed seems to have really taken a toll on the defense, too. I’ve been a supporter of the Dolphins pretty much all season long at this point and I’m mostly going to give them a pass for a road loss against New Orleans. The Saints, after all, are likely the second-best team in the league (That’s right, I said it. Come at me, Seahawks fans). So, can the Dolphins cover a field goal at home against a team that looks very little like the one that won the Super Bowl last year? Yes, I think they can.
$30 New England (PK) at Cincinnati: New England is 4-0 with a +32 point differential (+8 PPG, for the mathematically challenged). Cincinnati is 2-2, with an even point differential and just lost to Cleveland last week! Cleveland!
$30 Cleveland -3.5 vs. Buffalo: All right, maybe the Browns aren’t all that bad after all. This Hoyer guy looks pretty good. It’s possible Trent Richardson was just another expendable NFL running back. And even when Buffalo has been winning (or close to it), they have looked not at all effective while doing so. Thursday Night Football favors the home team, so go ahead and lay the points.
$20 Houston at San Francisco OVER 41.5: This is a number Houston has covered in 75% of their games this year, and San Francisco in 50% of theirs. In all three cases where their games hit the under, one team’s offense didn’t show up at all, turning the game into a blowout. So, all we need to see this game hit the over is for everybody to play a solid, average game. Or for Matt Schaub to throw two pick-6s this week. Either works.
Total wagered: $170
Follow @josh_carey on Twitter for updated picks as the weekend approaches, and Josh’s full picks for every single game against the spread. Please.
Bankroll: $713 (last week -$28)
Record: 6-12 (2-2 last week)
Locks: 0-4 (0-1 last week)
I don’t know if my judgement is clouded after being on the road for too long, but I like a lot of road teams this week. And by a lot, I mean all of them (Bills +4, Jags +11.5, KC -2.5, Philly +1, Ravens +3, Seahawks -2.5, Lions +7, Pats PK, Saints PK, Panthers -1.5, Peyton -7.5, Texans +7, and Chargers -4)! Scary, I know. To be fair, I do tend to bet more road teams then the average better (maybe my road trips do have an effect on me), but this week scares the crap out of me. I’m just sticking to the two games I like and calling it a week.
$80 Kansas City -2.5 (Lock) at Tennessee: After travelling for 10 days, driving 5400 kilometres (3355 miles for you folks south of the 49th parallel, eh), and riding on any and all surfaces imaginable, I can safely say that all roads/teams are not travelled equally. The Kansas City Chiefs just took apart the NFC East division by allowing a combined 39 points against in three games; vs. quarterbacks Eli Manning, Michael Vick, and Tony Romo. Granted, these three elite QBs have not been playing the best football in 2013, but three games in a row is no fluke. They leave the comfort and fanatical support of Arrowhead and travel 549 miles (883 kilometres for us folk north of the border, okay) to take on Ryan Fitzpatrick. The injury to Jake Locker is a significant one as he was playing well for Tennessee to start the season by managing the games well and not turning the ball over. Fitzpatrick in three years at Buffalo turned the ball over 20, 26, and 22 times in 45 games. The Chiefs have forced 12 turnovers in four games and gladly add the Harvard quarterback to their season long equation. Chiefs 27 Titans 13.
$80 Carolina -1.5 at Arizona: We are starting to enter the bye week zone in the NFL, leading to some difficult matchups for some teams and advantageous moments for others. Since 2001, teams off a bye had a winning percentage against the spread of 54 percent. Not only do the Panthers have two weeks of rest behind them but they’ve been playing some good football in the previous three weeks as well. Arizona needed two interception return TDs to win both of their games this year. I feel strong enough about this game to list it as a lock of the automotive club variety or mobile phone lock screen display (not the titanium padlock with iron chains variety listed above because have you seen my record ?!). Panthers 24 Cardinals 17.
$40 New Orleans at Chicago Over 48.5: Finally, an over! I’d like to thank Josh for giving us that last little motivation to push us over the top. Please, feel free to keep pushing us from down under. We all know the team New Orleans possesses, but are the Bears who we think they are? Good defense, you say? The Bears have allowed 21, 30, 23 and 40 points against in their first four games to start the season. They have combated those points against with 24, 31, 40 and 32 points, leading them to their 3-1 start. Again, I still believe any number under 50 for a Saints game is valuable. Saints 31 Bears 24.