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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 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 will two re-buys will be listed below those with one re-buy, and so on.

Last year, only one Razzball reader was able to beat Bet the Farm writer Josh Carey (Darth Ripken) – will that be you this year? Also competing against him will be fellow Razzball writer Zorboss, who also put up positive production last year. The bets you’ll see first in this column belong to the writer who has the higher bankroll at that point in time. Josh goes first this week based on his stronger performance last season.

Josh Carey’s Picks

Bankroll: $1,000
Record: 0-0-0
Locks: 0-0-0

(Last year’s finish: $1,656; 49-34-1 [58.3%], 11-5-1 in locks. 2011 finish: 50-32-3 [58.8%] in top 5 picks each week)

Typically, this is the space where I’ll give some deep-seeded insight or commentary on gambling or football or life. There haven’t been any real games yet, so I’ll just give a quick rundown of my betting philosophy for those of you who weren’t here last year. I am half “numbers” gambler and half “feel” gambler. A bet really has to work in both my brain and my gut for me to think it’s a good bet. This column actually started out with three more bets than you see this week, but my brain and gut each got to veto one before they got into the ether (and two bets increased in wager as my brain and gut started agreeing even more on them). A huge part of what helps in this endeavour is being in touch with NFL news and information so that your “gut” is actually well-trained. That being said, I’m actually a bit of a conservative gambler and you won’t see me risking a huge percentage of my bankroll on any given week: last year there were spots were I only picked 2 or 3 games because they don’t pay me very much (at all) to write this and thus I’m more concerned with having a strong showing than filling up column inches. Thankfully, my ego is large enough that filling up space isn’t usually a problem. With that out of the way, on to the picks!

$50 Denver/Baltimore OVER 48.5 (and the Lock of the Week): Welcome to my first “big” bet of the year. Of course, I wouldn’t be laying my hard-earned (fake) money down on it unless it was a surer bet than Charlie Sheen going crazy again. When these two teams met in the playoffs last year, they combined for 70 points in regulation, also in the high altitude of Denver. When they met during the regular season in Baltimore, they combined for 51 points. In those games, Ray Lewis wasn’t retired and Ed Reed wasn’t a Texan. Now we add in a suspended Von Miller and injured Champ Bailey and wonder why the scoring would suddenly decrease when offensively we’ve only swapped out Anquan Boldin for Wes Welker. You’ll notice I didn’t mention Elvis Dumervil because he merely switched sides. The point is, it only looks more likely for a lot of points to be scored in this game than before.

$30 Oakland Raiders +10.5 at Indianapolis: Quick: Name the team you expect to take the furthest step back in 2013. I’ll consider answers of Minnesota because they have the karma hit coming for releasing the entertaining Chris Kluwe this offseason, but the real answer is Indianapolis. Their -30 point differential from last year is the stuff 7-9 teams are made of, not 11-5 playoff teams, so even “holding steady” would actually lead to being “four games worse.” This is a narrative you’re going to see pig-headed dumbass announcers like Chris Berman spouting all season long. “Why is Indianapolis doing so bad after making the playoffs last year!?” The answer is: they’re doing just as bad as they were last year, but the expectation of their win results from doing that poorly is evening out with a larger sample size. Teams facing a double digit pregame margin are historic losers against the spread anyways, but getting this spread against such a poor home team is excellent. And don’t give me any crap about Terrelle Pryor starting either. Take away an opening kickoff return for a touchdown from San Diego and Oakland wins his start against the Chargers in Week 17 outright last year. He’ll be fine.

$20 Green Bay Packers +4.5 at San Francisco: I think Green Bay is one of the most underrated teams heading into the season. Yes, their offensive line is best described as sieve-like, but that’s really more of a problem for Eddie Lacy than the talented Aaron Rodgers with all the offensive weapons at his disposal in the passing game. The thoughts of Colin Kaepernick running all over the Packers in last year’s playoffs are fresh in the minds of many, but Green Bay hasn’t been scrounging up former 49er backup quarterbacks for nothing (they’re up to two in the last week). Green Bay should have a handle on the attack they’re facing this time around and keep it at least within a field goal.

$10 Miami (PK) at Cleveland: Quick: Name the team you expect to make the most improvement in 2013. Okay, other than Kansas City, because they were terrible. And other than New Orleans, they didn’t have a head coach. Yes, now the correct answer is Miami, who should move from “almost .500″ to “quite possibly a playoff team.” Ryan Tannenhill has shown some promise and the front office went and grabbed some playmakers to put around him. An increased role for Lamar Miller, plus the addition of Mike Wallace, should make this a formidable squad. Of course, Cleveland is probably going to continue to be bad anyways, so picking [Insert random NFL Team here] to beat them straight up is probably a good bet over the course of the season. You remember the “Factory of Sadness [NSFW]” video, right? That’s the Browns team we’re dealing with here. A Browns team that spends a first-round pick on a unproven player who might not even suit up for this game a year after spending a first round pick on a 28-year old rookie quarterback. Seriously, their second-year quarterback is older than I am. Home field advantage is worth three points, so you just have to believe Miami is a field goal better than Cleveland on the merits to think this is a good bet (hint: it is).

Total wagered: $110

Follow @josh_carey on Twitter for updated picks as the weekend approaches, and Josh’s full picks for every single game against the spread.

Zorboss’ Picks

Bankroll:  $1000
Record:  0-0
Locks:  0-0

2012 – Bankroll:  $1196 (+196), Record 43-34 (55.8%), Locks 9-6

There isn’t much in this world that I look forward to more than the start to the NFL season.  Birthdays, holidays and Breaking Bad all take a back seat to the real fire created by road trips, fantasy and gambling.  Walter Camp, Father of American Football, I thank you for the gift of the gridiron.

Even though Josh defeated me in our mini head-to-head match last year, I still managed to end up on the positive side of the pigskin.  If you followed us last year then you know our record – recorded for those of you who are new to Razzball – speaks for itself and hopefully led most of you to a few extra bucks.  Bucks I hope you used to upgrade your audio CD collection and video DVD compilation.

It’s time to put on your rain dance pants, get your reaper ready for harvest and send some sacrifices up to the gambling gods of mount footballus.  We have $1000 magical dollars to romp with, but in my universe, magic is real and the only thing fake are the smoke, mirrors and New England Patriots.

$30 Tampa Bay -3 at New York Jets:  Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland.  If we were playing a game of Where’s Waldo, and you found any of Waldo’s friends, from Wizard Whitebeard to Woof, they would all be able to muster up a better attack than the bunch of bums the Jets will trot out in 2013.  Rex Ryan will have all the time in the world for his foot cakes when he is fired as coach of the Jets come 2014.  Give me the talented Buccaneers to canon through the shipwreck that already is the New York Jets.  Bucs 24 Jets 10.

$30 New Orleans vs. Atlanta Over 54 (Lock):  They’re back!  9-6 on the over in 2012 and a record breaking 7042 yards against!  The return of Sean Payton!  While Payton will bring the offense back to a balanced attack in 2013, the hiring of old school defensive coach Rob Ryan will only add more confusion to the lacklustre talent on the defensive side.  The only positive Ryan in this post is Matt, and he will no doubt help lead us to a flying start on the 2013 Saints over campaign.  I’m so excited for another season of Saints overs!  Saints 34 Falcons 31.

$20 Denver vs. Baltimore Over 48.5:  Sign me up for a bet on the opening night game taking place in Denver.  Side note: how do the Super Bowl champions open the season on the road due to a scheduling conflict with their cousin baseball team the Orioles who don’t even play in the same stadium?!  Couldn’t they have an early game (4pm)/late game (8pm) party in Maryland?  Why not push the Orioles into a lovely doubleheader the next day?  Who doesn’t love a doubleheader?!  Apparently birds don’t.  Anyways, give me a replay of last year’s playoff showdown, full of mile long passes and stacks of green backs.  Broncos 28 Ravens 27.

$20 Pittsburgh -7 vs. Tennessee:  For the most part if you asked anyone around town, city for us bright-light and sky-scrapper folk, how the Steelers did last year, most would say they had a disappointing year.  And if I asked those same voters about the defensive ranking of the steel squad last year, most would say average.  The correct response would be above-above average, at the number 1 spot to be exact.  Give me the number one defense, at home, with a healthy-ish quarterback to defeat the 2012 2013 Tennessee Titans.  Steelers 24 Titans 6.

Total Wagered:  $100

Now it’s your turn! Give us your picks for Week One in the comments below.

  1. Aconstipatedmonkey says:
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    $30 Bal-Den Over 48, for obvious reasons

    $20 Tampa-NYJ Tampa -3.5 lol :) oh that means I have to watch this now :(

    $20 Cin-Chi Cin +3 Cin is superior to chi at every pos except QB and RB, Cin can slow BM, don’t think Chi can do the same with AJ

    $20 Atl-NO Over 54 why do I feel many people will be losing money on this one? Seems too good to be true.

    $10 N E-Buf Under -51 so you mean to tell me a pat off with only Brady and Ridley as proven guys and an Underrated pats D is going to combine to score 51+ against a team that may be better off with C.J. Spiller running the wildcat 60+ times and a college coach with a 25-25 record at Syracuse. Hell, bobby petrino had better credentials. Anyway, this looks like a 27-14 game to me.

    Good luck betting this weekend guys, and of course, good luck me.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Aconstipatedmonkey: amendola’s not “proven”? Isn’t NE’s def getting drafted like top 7 or somesuch shit?

      • @goodfold2: Amendola has never had more than 689 yards receiving in a season, has only played all 16 games once in four years, and is currently listed on the Patriots’ injury report. The point seems valid. If I was forced to take a bet on that game, it would be the under as well.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Josh Carey: he was also a PPR machine in a much worse system, with a much worse QB and O Line. when he played he was great. He’s also probable. I’d bet a lot that he plays Sun. I wasn’t disagreeing with the under, though. This could easily be a 35-10 game, or even less NE pts.

  2. RambleOn says:
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    $50 Tampa Bay -3 at Jets
    $30 Denver/Baltimore OVER 47.5
    $20 New Orleans/Atlanta OVER 53.5

    Nice work guys!

  3. Mr. April says:
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    Bankroll:  $1000
    Record:  0-0

    Cincinnati Bengals +3 ($80)
    Cleveland Browns PK ($50)
    Carolina Panthers +3.5 ($50)
    Houston Texans/San Diego Chargers U44 ($30)
    New England Patriots/Buffalo Bills U51 ($30)

    Total Risked: $240

    Good Luck Everyone…

  4. Jay

    jaywrong says:
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    Chargers, +3.5 (1000.00)

    • @jaywrong: I love seeing the different strategies people use. This is one of my favorites to watch. I made it less risky with the re-buys this year, but still, nobody who threw all their money down every week made it past Week 4 last year.

      • Jay

        jaywrong says:
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        @Josh Carey: Especially if you consider I’ll only be betting on the chargers.

  5. Heraldo says:
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    Big Fan of “Bet the Farm” articles. Glad you guys are doing them again. Its always fun to gamble fake money.

    Name: Heraldo
    Bankroll: $1000
    Record: 0-0

    Liked Zorboss’ pick of
    $50 New Orleans vs. Atlanta – Over 54 (Lock)

    And

    $50 Green Bay vs. San Francisco – Under 48.5

  6. Natural Born Champs says:
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    BAL +8 (scores and odds) – 500$
    BAL@DEN over 48 (5dimes) – 500$

  7. mdig66 says:
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    BAL@DEN over 48.5 – $100

  8. Grant says:
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    Saints/Falcons Over 54 – $100
    Eagles/Redskins Over 51.5 – $100

  9. CWebb says:
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    $50 New Orleans vs. Atlanta Over 54 (Lock)

    $50 Baltimore (+8) over Denver

  10. CramYourCatcherQuestionUpYourCramhole says:
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    Green Bay +4.5 (100.00)

  11. $70 Green Bay +4.5
    $20 Tennessee +7
    $20 Baltimore +7.5

  12. CarryYoTeamOnHisBackDoe says:
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    This looks fun, thanks for running it…

    $40 Jets +3.5
    $30 Jags +4
    $30 Chargers +4

  13. Comatose says:
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    $500 Bucs -3
    $500 Panthers +4

  14. goodfold2 says:
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    where are we supposed to get our lines from? if there’s no specified sources who’s to say what’s objective or not?

    • @goodfold2: As listed in the rules, the Yahoo Sports odds page is a good place to get lines. People are allowed to use different lines (so long as they have a source for anything that looks too good to be true) to simulate the real gambling ability to shop lines at different sportsbooks, make wagers at different points during the week, etc. It’s open-ended by design.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Josh Carey: ok, so internet bookshops would work. got it.

  15. TheTinDoor says:
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    $50 Atlanta +3
    $50 Tampa -3
    $50 Carolina +3.5
    $50 Houston -3.5
    $50 Kansas City -4

  16. Euroalien says:
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    $30 New Orleans Saints -3
    $30 Seattle Seahawks -3.5

    Thanks for running this guys!!

  17. Tehol Beddict says:
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    1000- on colts -10

    BET THE FARM

  18. goodfold2 says:
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    N.O. vs ATL over 54 $30
    TB -3 $30
    SEA -3 $20
    could be more coming before sun at noon (in central time that’s when the games start)

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: i’m sorry SEA is -3.5. same bet size.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @goodfold2: -42 it is. damn.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @goodfold2: freeman sucks.

  19. Cray says:
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    $1000 KC-3.5 (5d)

  20. Edgecrusher says:
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    All lines as of 11:55pm EST 9/7/13

    $30 Falcons +3 (Bovada)

    $30 Chiefs -3.5 (5dimes)

    $30 Colts/Raiders under 47 (Bovada)

    $30 Cardinals +4.5 (Bovada)

    $30 Texans -4 (5dimes)

    $30 Seahawks -2.5 (5dimes)

    $30 Browns Pk (5dimes)

  21. DC4Life says:
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    Just found this site. Hope I am doing this right.

    Tenessee +7 $50
    Buffalo +11 $50
    Buf Vs. NE Under 51 $30
    Tampa Bay -3 $120
    Dallas -3 $60
    Houston -3.5 $30

  22. frankgrimes says:
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    Buf +10.5 $110
    Oak +11 $110
    Jax +4.5 $110
    Car +3.5 $110
    Jets +4.5 $110

  23. Darth ripken says:
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    Hey guys, love the changes to the game this year. Hoping for a strong season to defend my title (hope the luck doesn’t run out)

    Tenn +7 at Pitt 20
    NE -9.5 at Buf 40
    Jac +4 vs KC 20
    Hou -4 at SD 40
    Sea -3 at Car 40
    Det -4 vs Min 40

  24. Phil says:
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    Fieldvision is ready to win it all.
    Carolina +3 1/2 …… Sea will start the year without many players. Look for Carolina to win outright. $25
    Rams -4 1/2. ….. Rams are the sleeper team this year. $25
    The over in the Indy game looks likes easy …so I will take that also .over 46 $25

  25. Phil says:
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    Soory did I do that wrong. Ok make all those bets $50 not $25
    Fieldvision

  26. Bonghuetz says:
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    $25 Carolina (+3.5)
    $25 Giants (+3.5)
    $25 Oakland (+11)
    $25 Minnesota/Detroit Under 47

  27. Aconstipatedmonkey says:
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    Well since I lost 4 dollars, I will try my luck with the night and Monday games.

    NYG-DAL: under 49 1/2
    PHI-WAS: WAS -3 1/2
    HOU-SD: under 44 1/2

    Each bet will be $10

  28. frankgrimes says:
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    $110 Hou -4

    early week 2
    Car -2.5 $110
    Chi -5 $110
    Jets +14 $110

  29. Natural Born Champs says:
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    PHI +3.5 (5dimes) – 200$
    PHI@WAS under 52 (5dimes) – 200$

Comments are closed.