So that’s more like it! It was a winning week across the board at Bet the Farm last week, where we spend the NFL season trying to prove you can actually make money betting on professional football games. Here are the rules for the newcomers:
– 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
– 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).
Let’s recap last week and dive right into my picks:
Bankroll: $1,012 (Change: +$71)
Record 4-4 (Last week: 3-1)
“Lock of the Week”: 1-1 (Last week: 1-0)
$40 Tampa Bay +8 at Dallas (LOCK OF THE WEEK): This is one of my favorite things in the world, like Firefly, Cookie dough ice cream without chocolate chips in it, and Super Mario Brothers 3: A team that I like (Tampa Bay) losing a game they easily could have won (but still forcing a push against the spread) and then getting underrated against their next opponent. What’s this line of the Bucs beat the Giants last week? Something like +3, right? But that doesn’t fundamentally change who Tampa Bay is as a football team and they were right with the defending Super Bowl champions right until the very end. Now, a cynic will say that Tampa lost to the Giants by seven and the Cowboys beat those same Giants by 7, so this spread is already six points too low. But that ignore the Bucs six point win over Carolina and the Cowboys getting shellacked by Seattle 27-7 as well as Dallas being down defensive starters Jay Ratliff, Kenyon Coleman, and Gerald Sensabaugh. What’s the (very long) point here? These teams are actually even and you should love the points.
$30 Arizona +3.5 vs. Philadelphia: Repeat after me: “I love home underdogs. I love home underdogs. I love home underdogs.” Home teams went 14-2 last weekend straight up, which means they’re a great bet when they’re getting points as well. It’s easy to look at Arizona’s narrow wins over Seattle and New England and say “they got lucky,” but what if the real takeaway is “their defense got good?” Consider Michael Vick hasn’t looked terrible impressive at all this year, isn’t it worth the shot considering you’re getting three-and-a-half with a home team?
$20 New England +2.5 at Baltimore: Speaking of the Patriots, this might be one of the biggest bargains since something you’d find on Supermarket Sweep. In the Belichick era, the Patriots are 43-16 straight up (they’re slightly worse against the spread, but that’s a result of still being favored in a lot of those games, obviously). The point here is that getting New England with points after a loss is something you should be very, very thankful to the gambling Gods for.
$10 Seattle +3 vs. Green Bay: Remember last week when I told you it’s incredibly difficult for road teams to come into Seattle and cover? Rinse, wash, repeat, win.
Total Wagered: $100
Now, imagine going back in time, to before the Tonight Show was dulled down with Jay Leno, and Heeeeeeeeere’s Zorboss!
Bankroll: $1072 (last week +$72)
Record: 4-0 (last week 4-0)
Locks: 1-0 (last week 1-0)
$20 Baltimore -2.5 vs. New England: Revenge, the eighth deadly sin. The Ravens will be looking to avenge the AFC championship game loss from last year. I just watched ‘Ray Lewis A Football Life’ three times since it aired Wednesday. He motivated and inspired me to bet on him this week. Something is off with this Patriots team. I haven’t put my finger on it yet but I think it has something to do with them not being able to cheat. I said it last week and I’ll say it again; the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL. The train is slowly picking up steam, so all aboard or stand clear of the tracks. Patriots have regressed since last year while the Ravens have progressed. Ravens 24 Patriots 17. Seriously, stop reading and go watch ‘Ray Lewis A Football Life’!
$20 Chicago -7.5 (Lock) vs. St Louis: I loved the Bears acquisition of Michael Bush in the off-season. I thought it was a smart and sneaky move. Combo a power runner with an agile one in Forte, and you have yourself a dangerous attack. With Forte hurting, Bush should have no problem carrying the load and producing some quality gains on the grass. The Bears are a better home team and are coming off a nice 10-day break. Amendola Shmamendola. If he catches more than five balls in this game I will say 15 amens. The Rams are one of the worst teams in the NFL on the road; not only did they win once last year (vs. the Browns), they usual get smashed worse than a Kentuckian on a Kentucky Bourbon distillery tour. Bears 31 Rams 10.
$20 New Orleans vs. Kansas City over 53: #iwillbeteverysaintsgameover. They can climb this total all they want, I’m not fooled by a team that can’t stop anybody and can score on anybody. 132 points combined in 2 games! I’m going to miss them on their bye week. Saints 37 Chiefs 24.
$20 Pittsburgh at Oakland under 45: 100 Americans surveyed, only one answer on the board, what is the ‘Black Hole’? Preston says a hole in space?! Survey says…X. Maurice says Raider fans?! Survey says…Men with spiked shoulders 100! The Raiders have scored 13 and 14 points in their first two games this season. Against the Steelers, I don’t see them scoring more than 14 points again; which means the Steelers would need to drop over 30 to push this game over. The Steelers have scored 27 and 19 points so far this season. Pittsburgh likes to play it safe when they are in the lead and I don’t see this game going any different. Steelers 24 Raiders 13.
Total Wagered: $80