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 12:
Josh Carey’s Picks:
Bankroll: $1,099 (Last week: +$56)
Record 33-31-2 (Last week: 2-2-0)
Locks: 4-5-1 (Last week: 1-0-0)
My fellow Americans, let us give thanks for that which we already have… by going out and buying as much new crap as we possibly can. While I can’t really understand going shopping on Black Friday (in a former life as a news reporter, I once was tasked with interviewing Black Friday shoppers, because news producers are lazy), I certainly can’t understand what would compel you to go shopping on Thanksgiving. Sit back, stuff your face and watch some football, I say. Maybe even bet on same games and win some money, rather than pissing it down the hole of wanton commercialization. I even have some Thanksgiving suggestions for you! Aren’t I nice?
$50 Carolina -8.5 vs. Tampa Bay (Lock of the week): I’ve unfortunately been as slow to pick up on Carolina this year as America was picking up Firefly, but no longer! The Panthers are a legitimate playoff team with a superb defense carrying them. Much like the Giants last week, a bad team on a winning streak (in this case, the Bucs) is still a bad team. I’m also not terribly impressed with the aforementioned winning streak either, as the Dolphins, Falcons, and Lions are pretty much the height of inconsistency this year (think of the quality of the first six Star Trek movies and you’ve pretty much got it). The computer says this is a 16 point spread (because it doesn’t forgot Tamps’a eight losses like most of the betting public apparently does), so you’re getting a touchdown even though you’re laying almost nine. Still worth it.
$40 Miami +2.5 at New York Jets: Yes, Miami is inconsistent (I just said as much one paragraph above), but the Jets are out-inconsistenting them by far. Yes, I just made up the term “out-inconsistenting” there. Now, go make it the 2014 word of the year (beats “selfie” for sure). Yes, as I said last week, the Jets are better at home. And it’s a Miami team playing in cold weather. But the Jets should be just bad enough to at least let the Dolphins hang around (the fact this line has been moving in my favor this week surely helps).
$40 Kansas City +5.5 vs. Denver: Zorboss and I disagree on this one, so it seems like money in the bank to me. Two weeks ago, these two teams played to a ten point Bronco edge in Denver. Home field is about a four point advantage in the NFL this season, so that’s an eight point swing from Denver to Kansas City. That right there gets you under this spread with room for a field goal’s worth of variance. Kansas City probably loses this game, but they’ll do so by a field goal or less. The way this line has been moving, you might get close to a touchdown by the end of the weekend, though.
$30 Baltimore -2.5 vs. Pittsburgh: Baltimore is 4-1 at home on the season, giving up just under 11 points per game there. The one loss? A 19-17 affair with the Packers back when this guy named Aaron Rodgers was leading their offense. Aside from the Week One blowout at the hands of a potentially historic Denver team, every loss has come by a touchdown or less (and heck, only one of those was by more than a field goal). So, they’re a decent team, playing at home against a bad team once again inflated by a couple recent victories. Hopefully you can hold off the Tryptophan and stay awake to see your winning bet play out.
$20 Dallas -7.5 vs. Oakland: This is another case where a reasonably good (if not spectacular) team hosts a pretty mediocre-to-bad team. I’m a little hesitant about giving up that final half point, which is why it’s my smallest bet of the week, but I still think is has an excellent chance to be a winner.
Total wagered: $180
Bankroll: $117 (last week -$136)
Record: 17-32-3 (last week 1-3)
Locks: 2-8 (last week 0-0)
Hey, can’t say I’m not consistent. By now you shouldn’t in any way, shape, or form be following my picks. Not sure who invented this phrase but shape and form are the same thing, and ‘any way’ also implies/includes shapes and forms! I’m hitting about one in every three picks, which is good if you follow the ‘rule of three’, but bad in the framework of football. Do I chase a respectable bankroll or record as the season moves to a close? In honour of Thanksgiving and the many courses for digestion, I will provide a full meal of picks for lucky week 13.
$20 Dallas vs. Oakland OVER 47: The only positive spin to this disastrous betting year is that I have the chance to make the fantasy playoffs in all four of my leagues, including the Razzball Writers League. In two leagues, I have Tony Romo at the helm and my only Thanksgiving wish is that he produces a satiable amount of fantasy points. I get one wish for all holidays, right? Up here in the land of ice and igloos, I am thankful for the opportunity to celebrate two Thanksgivings every year; yes, we get ‘Black Friday’ deals up here north of the border too. Cowboys 34, Raiders 17.
$20 Indianapolis -4 vs. Tennessee: I’m calling it right now: the Colts will not be down by two touchdowns in the first quarter of this game. I was looking at the historical matchup between these two teams and the Colts have dominated the wins column. The Colts have won nine of their last 10 games versus the Titans; one loss back in 2011 with Curtis Painter at quarterback. I have all the faith in Andrew Luck, his passion for winning trumps all other angles. I will also predict that Trent Richardson will find the endzone and have his first impactful game in the blue and white. Colts 27 Titans 21.
$20 Denver -4.5 at Kansas City: Both teams lost the sandwich game in disheartening fashion last week before colliding again in a battle for the division; one blew their big lead and the other flat-lined late. The Chiefs have relied on their defense the entire year so the injuries sustained last week will be massive. A team that has trouble scoring and becomes weaker on defense is the wrong recipe when it comes to beating Peyton Manning. Sure, the Broncos have to worry about Knowshon Moreno’s durability, but they have other durable pieces to move up the board. It’s one thing to lose a knight (Denver-Moreno); it’s another to have forfeited your queen (Chiefs –Hali/Houston). They also call for a warmish temperatures in Missouri and Kansis this weekend so Manning can avoid the cold weather stigma for a little while. Broncos 31 Chiefs 20.
(Ed’s note: Zorboss submitted this pick on Wednesday before the line for this game universally moved off of 4.5. The man’s got like $100, so let’s give him the line. Those of you in the comments? Not so lucky.)
$20 New Orleans +6 at Seattle: The Seahawks are a great home team and the Saints a poor road team, but no way can I turn down a Saints +6 on Monday Night Football bet. Seattle will be reeling with a few suspensions on defense which only boosts the value of Drew Brees. I like the Saints in an upset win, making the discussion for the number one seed in the NFC very interesting the rest of the year. If I were bold and loved to boast my winning picks, the beauty in the Saints moneyline at +220 looks most excellent. Saints 27 Seahawks 24.
$10 Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh UNDER 41: I’ve bet on home teams, road teams, favourites, underdogs, an over this week, now to complete the card I add an under. Cold weather, stomachs full or L-Tryptophan and a classic battle between low scoring foes. Happy food, football and family day. Steelers 17 Ravens 16.
Total Wagered: $110