Five months after we initially embarked on this crazy endeavor, the NFL season and, as a result, Bet the Farm is coming to an end. But there’s still plenty of competition to be had. So let’s review the rules for our special playoff contest one last time:
- Each week we’ll list the current point spread and total for each playoff game when this goes live. Those are the spreads/totals everybody will use for their picks that week, no matter when they pick (even if the spreads/totals change officially).
- You must make one wager on each playoff game. You can wager either the spread or total, but not both, for any single game. You must bet every single game during the postseason.
- You get one point for each Wild Card and Divisional Round game you guess correctly, two points for each correct Conference Championship Game, and four points for the Super Bowl. However, you will make each of these wagers the week of that specific game.
- Once during the playoffs, you may identify one game as your “lock.” If you get that game right, you get two extra points. You only get one lock for the entire playoffs, so the maximum final point total is 18.
- You can jump in at any time (even now), just try to use the same handle throughout the entire playoffs.
* indicates a player has used the Playoff Lock. The first number is total points scored. The number in parenthesis is the number of points scored in the Championship Round. After total points, participants are listed alphabetically. List any concerns about scoring in the comments.
Danski6*: 9 (2)
ichirosan*: 9 (4)
King Daddy Crunch*: 9 (2)
Scott P*: 9 (4)
TheTinDoor*: 9 (4)
Josh Carey*: 8 (2)
Tehol Beddict*: 8 (2)
Blake Fusion: 5 (0)
Phil*: 5 (0)
Darth Ripken*: 4 (-)
goodfold2*: 4 (-)
Heraldo*: 4 (-)
TheBigAndTheRed*: 4 (-)
VinWins*: 4 (0)
Comatose*: 3 (0)
Nick S*: 5 (2)
Sky*: 5 (2)
Zorboss: 3 (0)
RambleOn: 2 (-)
Tristan*: 2 (-)
Lambeau Leap: 1 (-)
First things first, let’s address that whole “push” situation from the Atlanta game. It was always in my mind that, for this contest, a push would be the same as a loss. The wording of the rules was thus intentional in that regard – points are awarded for correct guesses only. A push isn’t “correct” so much as it’s “not wrong.” So, anyone (and this includes myself) who picked the point spread for the Atlanta-San Francisco game received 0 points. Which ends up meaning everybody gets zero points for that game. Pretty crazy.
The big movers this week are thus those people who hit their Playoff Lock on the New England/Baltimore game. That includes ichirosan, Scott P, and TheTinDoor. They join KingDaddyCrunch and danski6 holding serve at the top of the standings. Tehol Beddict tried to sneak in a second Playoff Lock, but I already counted his “lock of the century” in the conference championship game, so he’s stuck in that sixth place tie with me. Those top eight are all where they are because they’ve used up their Playoff Locks. That opens the door for Blake Fusion to be able to sneak into the top spot by hitting his pick this week and getting a bunch of help. Even Zorboss could still tie for first, technically. Everybody else (including any newcomers)? You can still try to put on a good show.
Bet the Farm Official Lines for the Super Bowl
San Francisco -3.5 vs. Baltimore. O/U: 47.5
Josh Carey’s Pick
UNDER 47.5: This is a tricky spot for me. Sitting behind five competitors with better points, my only hope to come out on top is to make a pick that none of them do and have them all on the opposite side of my bet and all on the same side of the other bet, thus putting my eggs in the basket that they miss the other bet, I score my bet, and leap up into first place. Simple, right?
So, I need to put myself on the least popular possible wager. The one that, even if somebody thinks might be correct, they don’t like enough to actually take (and don’t want to take just to block me off from the possibility of the top spot). This leads me to going under 47.5 points in the game. Yes, early betting of the under has actually pushed the line down from 49 to 47.5 – but that just means I expect to see the correction when the picks for this column are made, with anyone betting the total taking the over.
So, what football reasons do I have to be making this pick? Pretty much none, it’s all game theory, strategy, and gambling/hoping to get lucky. So if you’ve been following my picks all season and want to use my advice to place an actual wager on the game, I recommend Baltimore +3.5.
Can you smell that? No, not what the Rock is cooking. The distinct smell of caveman, the burning of high-density wavelengths, and the cutting of cheese – both literally and figuratively. The Super Bowl is here! The gift of the Mississippi River, the French onion soup of all soups, and the birth and creation of life (commercial). However, it is the year 2013, and there is a real threat to the existence of mankind. It is very possible that 1% of you have a 5% chance of walking into a Super Bowl party without prior knowledge that the spread being served is 100% gluten-free, organic, and a vegan’s delight; while the drink of choice is a nice glass of sparkling merlot. Be not afraid of such deep and dark threats to one’s survival, I am here to help. Well, by help I mean proper etiquette of exiting said party: do not speak a single word of the King’s English, put on your coat and shoes (because these creatures are the ones where shoes are not for wear), and briskly Olympic race-walk your body and soul to the nearest dirty tavern. Don’t worry, judges won’t red flag you if you happen to not have one foot in contact with the ground. Order a keg of beer, a bushel of wings, and wake up Tuesday morning knowing you are still alive after one very close call with the Princes and Princesses of Darkness.
I love mathematics as it provides false hope and security that I have a punchers chance of winning/tying for first in this competition. Let’s face it, I have a better chance at performing a karaoke version of a Busta Rhymes song word for word than I do winning this Razzball playoff bout. One thing math and science don’t account for is nature and the realistic outcome of events. In the championship round two weeks ago, I went the ‘got to go against the grain to make up some ground route’, and I ended up losing and falling deeper into depression. But as the latest saying goes, “you are only as good as your last bet”.
San Francisco -3.5, LOCK: I still have my ‘lock of the playoffs’ option to use, and I’m going to invoke that right as of this very instantly typed word. I got a feeling that San Francisco will dink and dunk Baltimore to death with a lot of first downs and possession. The deciding factor will be the Niners’ defense and their ability to attack the football with lightening quickness and hard-hitting plays from all directions. San Francisco has been on a tear the last few years, and could have easily been in back-to-back Super Bowls if it wasn’t for a few rare special team mistakes. It all comes together Sunday, with a sixth Super Bowl ring, without a single loss in their storied history, and a new dynasty may be forming for many more bowls to come. 49ers 31 Ravens 17.
Check back early next week for the final standings and declaration of the official playoff contest winner.