Howdy partners! This here is Bet the Farm, the new gambling post for y’all whose wants to make some cashy money from these here NFL games they gonna be playing this here weekend. In fact, yous alls can play along right here in this here comments section. It easy, too!
Of course, the Old West farmer impression gets old after about three sentences. So let’s talk about what we’re going to be doing here. This series is a betting simulation. I’m going to start out with a pretend budget of $1,000 to bet on the NFL with this season (and next week, I’ll be joined by a special guest who I’ll compete with for the rest of the year… ooh intrigue!) targeting the spread or over/under on any game. Any bet in $10 increments up to the full $1,000 is allowed. Get it right, we add $9 to the total (that’s right, you’ve got to beat the rake, and we’re not talking about the one your wife is going to try to get you to use this weekend when you just want to watch Russell Wilson‘s debut). Get it wrong, you lose $10. If it’s a push, your total stays the same. If you play along in the comments and track your total all year, I’ll admire you in the same way I admire Jay Leno (the man just keeps at it, no matter what). Do that and beat me? I’ll admire you the same way I admire Gus Johnson (dude is awesome). So, let’s get to the Week One picks.
Starting Budget: $1,000.
$30 Buffalo +3 at New York Jets: The first pick of the year and I already want to change the rules of my own game, since the Bills are going to take this game outright and I’d love to bet the moneyline. Aaron Rodgers says calling a quarterback a game manager is an insult. Well, what Mark Sanchez does on the football field is an insult to my eyes and calling him a game manager is too generous. I’d tell Jets fans to hope he gets benched, but the other option is Tim Tebow, who is just… no. The point here is the Jets offense is bad. Like 9th-season X-Files bad. And the addition of Mario Williams actually makes the Buffalo defense a little freightening. Call the locksmith cause this is my lock of the week.
$10 Tampa Bay +2.5 vs. Carolina: Home underdogs are better than a Sports Illustrated with Kate Upton on the cover. Especially when the road team is overrated based on the overachieving rookie year of their quarterback (who still only has one proven target to throw towards). Josh Freeman is poised for a bounce-back season now with Vincent Jackson downfield and Doug Martin behind him. Maybe the Bucs don’t win, but they should keep it close enough to cover.
$10 Pittsburgh +1 at Denver and $10 Pit/Den UNDER 44.5: What’s lost in all the Peyton Manning brouhaha is that both these teams have very elite defenses, even if James Harrison isn’t in the lineup for the Steelers. That makes the under even more likely than your teenaged daughter wanting to go see the new Twilight movie in November (and yes, I just had to put “Twilight” into Google to verify that, so now my future searches are going to be far too sparkly and depressing). As for the spread itself, home field is generally worth three points, so Vegas is telling you Pittsburgh is a better team than Denver on a neutral field. Since I think they’re even overrating the Broncos with this line, I’ll take the free point and watch the Steelers stroll to an outright victory.
Total wagered: $60.
My philosophy is to be a little more cautious early on in the season. You remember what happened when the characters in Cloverfield decided it was a smart idea to walk through the tunnels, right? So while I was considering San Diego +1 at Oakland, the Charger injuries and wide receiver changes scared me off in the end. The Chiefs, Browns, and Titans are the only other home underdogs, but each is facing a potentially elite team. I’m not ready to put a wager on Cleveland +9.5 vs. Philadelphia, but I certainly won’t argue with you if you do.
So jump in with your picks in the comments and see if you can do better than me (and my upcoming competitor) as the season goes on. Or just rip on my picks. Either’s good.