Bet the Farm is Razzball’s weekly wagering column. Josh Carey and Zorboss compete against your picks in the comments. The rules?
– You start off with $1,000 (and can start playing along in the comments any time you want – even now)
– Every bet must be an increment of $10 up to your full bankroll ($1,000 or maybe more)
– You can bet on the over/under or spread for any NFL game (Yahoo Sports’ Odds page is a good place to pick your lines)
– Win, add $9 to your total for every $10 bet (you have to beat the rake). Lose, subtract $10. Push, keep it the same.
– Beat us over the entire season and win our admiration (Note: our admiration has a cash value of $0).
Bankroll: $1426 (last week +$84)
Record: 30-15 (last week 3-2)
Locks: 8-3 (last week 1-0)
$40 New Orleans vs. San Francisco Over 48.5: I survived week 11 by the hair on my teeth, the skin on the back of my neck, or whatever those too-close-to-call idioms are. You have to be lucky to be good, good to be lucky, and when it comes to gambling with your own hard earned money, all systems go. I give thanks to all the puppet masters who control the game of football for allowing me to be the bettor that I am. I am grateful for all the bounces and aerodynamic flight patterns the pigskin has taken in 2012. I am indebted to the Saints for their remarkable ease at creating an environment with more overs than a cricket match. I show gratitude to the NFL odd-makers for reducing a New Orleans Saints game total to 48.5, the lowest it has been all year. And now we take advantage by eating leftover turkey in one hand while counting our winnings thanks to a Saints over in the other. #iwillalwaysbeteverysaintsgameover. Niners 34 Saints 28.
$20 Denver -10.5 at Kansas City and $20 Over 44: I was going to list a few great historical facts about Kansas City but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to list some poor unhistorical factoids produced by the Chiefs. Kansas City is currently 0-5 at home this year; Arrowhead used to be a very tough and loud place for visitors to achieve even the slightest bit of success, but not anymore. The Chiefs have been outscored by 132 points in 10 games during the 2012 season. I tried to look up the QB rating for either Brady Quinn or Matt Cassel but both numbers keep lowering themselves deeper into the matrix of the internet, not wanting to be found by any potential fumble, incomplete pass, or interception. I am not going to go on any further as Denver should have no trouble making history out of Kansas City and their lackluster squad. Broncos 38 Chiefs 17.
$50 Seattle -3 (Lock) at Miami: Usually when you play in the Thursday night game the previous week, your 10 days of rest before the next game results in you having more rest than your opponent. In this case, the Seahawks trump the Dolphins with a well deserved 14 days off before making the long journey to South Beach. Seattle is a notoriously well versed home team and poorly traveled road team. So then why am I taking them over Miami in the Sunshine State? Simple: they are the better team in all the areas played during a football game. Guy who throws the ball, people who run the ball, folks who catch the ball and men who tackle them, all are all better on the Seahawks side of the ball. I’m a little concerned betting on a road favorite in this affair, but with all the aforementioned points, and taking a look at the Dolphins schedule so far this season, they haven’t played an opponent of Seattle’s quality since week one versus the Texans. Against this weak 2012 schedule, the Dolphins have managed to accumulate four wins and five embarrassing losses. Seahawks 27 Dolphins 20.
Total Wagered – $130
Josh Carey’s Picks
Bankroll: $1,303 (Last week: -$23)
Record: 27-20-1 (Last week: 41-2)
Locks: 7-3-1 (Last week: 0-1)
So I’m pretty sure my editor won’t actually edit anything for content here, which means I’m going to start out on this whole Jim Schwartz challenge flag controversy thing. First, I think a 15 yard penalty is absolutely appropriate for a coach who throws a challenge flag when he otherwise isn’t allowed to. Even before turnovers were reviewed last season we saw a ridiculous number of coaches throwing challenge flags on scoring plays last year to try and coax a review out of the booth upstairs. The ref had to walk over, tell the coach to piss off, and then finally things could get back on their merry way. Annoyed me every time.
The question becomes, is a 15 yard penalty sufficient? I’d argue no. Say you’re trying to force a challenge of a called touchdown and the review would be unsuccessful (the Schwartz situation aside, we have to assume this will generally be the case, since the booth is reviewing it anyways). The 15 yard penalty is assessed on the kickoff, the offending coach’s team is now receiving when the penalty is assessed and the kickoff likely finds its way into the back of the end zone for a touchback anyways, making the penalty meaningless (of course, this whole discussion ignores that the team that just scored absolutely should try an onside kick there, since even a failed attempt would result in the ball at the receiving team’s own 35-40 yard line, but as we’ve seen, NFL coaches are dumb).
So if we accept that a mere 15 yard penalty is meaningless, there’s no disincentive for the coach to keep the flag in his pocket and not disrupt the game more if that’s the only punishment. This is clearly why the “you can’t benefit from this situation” addendum was put into effect with that rule. Of course, I don’t argue the Texans clearly benefited from that situation this week and it’s patently unfair. So I also agree that needs to be changed, but firmly believe there should still be some other punishment for the delay of game red flag.
What’s my solution? Eject from the game any coach who throws a red flag when he is otherwise unable to. That’s right. The Lions should have gotten the touchdown called back, but their head coach should have spent the rest of the day watching from the locker room. All it will take it one coach having to justify to his owner and general manager why he watched the second half of a close game from the locker room to ensure that those unnecessary delays won’t happen any more. The players don’t get punished for their coach being a moron, but it does force the team into a competitive disadvantage, though one they can still overcome on the field. Plus you get assistant coaches that get to audition for future jobs in game situations when they are forced to take over. It’s a win-win!
So for the actual betting this week, I like this slate quite a bit, which is why I’m putting my entire profit margin on the line right now. Go big or go home, right? Lots of home underdogs and other things to just love.
$80 Jacksonville +3.5 vs. Tennessee (LOCK OF THE WEEK): I’ll admit it, I’ve got a little man crush on Chad Henne. But here’s a guy who keeps getting the short end of the stick despite always being a solid, if not spectacular, quarterback. His career line is a 77.0 rating, 60.1 completion percentage on 1,136 attempts, 36:38 TD:INT ratio. I’m not saying he’s great, but he’s good enough to start in the NFL, far better than Blaine Gabbart, and he showed last week he’s capable of carrying the Jags to a win. Plus, home underdog against a just terrible team.
$40 Indianapolis Colts -3 vs. Buffalo: They’re pretty much the same team, so this line is about right. Still, given the opportunity I expect the Bills to find a way to lose games like this. A push seems like the worst case scenario here.
$40 Tampa Bay +1.5 vs. Atlanta: “Look at me, I’m a home underdog” said the Bucs line to Josh. Spoke out loud and everything. On a completely unrelated note, I know this guy who has just a wonderful stash of… daisies. Non-mind-altering daisies. Tampa Bay is on a four-game winning streak and scoring just two points per game fewer than the Falcons on average. Which seems like I’m making a bad bet based on the 1.5 line, but you have to remember the 2-3 points for home field, too. This one should be close all day long.
$40 San Francisco at New Orleans OVER 48.5: My man-crush on Henne is only exceeded by my man crush on Colin Kaepernick. And I hate to say it, but the 49ers defense isn’t quite what it was last year. Over.
$20 Miami +3 vs. Seattle: Seattle’s lone road win this season was a four-point squeaker over Carolina where just thirty total points were scored. Granted, they’ve kept all those games close, but the question here isn’t “will they keep this one close” it’s “will they win by three or more?” No, they will not.
$20 St. Louis at Arizona UNDER 37: Ryan Lindley is starting at quarterback for the Cardinals. Danny Amendola is doubtful for the Rams. Anyone expecting to see any offense in this one is likely in for a significant disappointment the like of which haven’t been seen since the release weekend of The Phantom Menace.
Total wagered: $310