I think it was around this time last year that I whipped out a quasi-weekly post about my football gambling thoughts ahead of a Vegas trip in December. God, remember last year? Remember how all those FOOLS thought 2019 was the “worst year ever”?
Anyway, that Vegas trip was a notorious debacle (I should note, as a quick update to that post, that all of my long-distance missles ended up being duds that fell harmlessly into a bottomless pit of despair), and this year’s proposed Vegas trip – on the weekend of December 4-6 – is in COVID-related doubt (with a potential backup being: pouring all of the money we would’ve gambled with into high-payout scratch tickets). But, I’m living my life under the (almost-certainly misguided) assumption that the trip will happen. And, as such, I need to be properly prepared for winning many many monies!
So, as a quick exercise, I set up some fake bets over the weekend to see how I might’ve done.
First up: a 3-team, 10-point teaser. The Steelers were favored over the Jaguars by 10.5 points, so I moved the Steelers down to a 0.5 favorite (meaning they just had to win the game). The Broncos were home underdogs to the Dolphins by 3.5 points, so I gave the Broncos those ten points to move the line to 13.5 (meaning they just needed to keep the game within two touchdowns). And, finally, the Titans were road underdogs to the Ravens by 5 points, so I gave them the points to move the line to 15. Steelers -0.5, Broncos +13.5, Titans +15. Survey SAYS … I’m a winner! The Steelers won by 24, the Broncos won outright, and the Titans did the same. Easy money!
Next up: I thought the Vikings line was too high (Vikings favored over Dallas by 7 points, probably should be more like 4 points). So, I took the Cowboys and the points in that one (Dallas did, indeed, prevail). I also thought the Dolphins line was too high, so I took the Broncos +3.5 (Denver won too). Finally, I liked the Bengals as road underdogs in Washington, so I took them on the money line (Cincy lost Joe Burrow for the season in this one, and lost to Washington as a result)
Finally: not a lot of great over/unders, but I liked the Jets & Chargers OVER 46.0 points (they combined to score 62!).
And, for some fun college bets, I took the following:
- Coastal Carolina -5 over Appalachian State (WIN – Costal Carolina won by 11)
- Clemson -35.5 over Florida State (CANCELED)
- Army -3.5 over Georgia Southern (LOSS – Army only won by 1)
- Indiana +20.5 over Ohio State (WIN – Indiana lost by only 7)
- UCF on the money line at home against Cincinnati (5.5-point underdogs, pays +180) (LOSS – UCF lost by 3)
- Alabama -30 over Kentucky (WIN – Bama won by 60)
- Northwestern +7.5 over Wisconsin (WIN – Northwestern won outright)
- Liberty +4.5 over NC State (WIN – Liberty lost by only 1)
- Rutgers +11 over Michigan (WIN – Rutgers only lost by 6)
- OVER 59.0 points in Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (LOSS – only 54 points scored, because Oklahoma State is fucking worthless)
- USC -2.5 over Utah (WIN – USC won by 16)
- UNDER 62.5 points in Washington State @ Stanford (CANCELED)
I probably would’ve put a little change on the Huskies -11.5 over Arizona (we won by 17), but that’s a big spread to want to put a lot of money on. Of those college games, I probably would’ve put the most money on the top three, with a fair amount going towards Liberty, USC, and the OVER in Oklahoma.
That would’ve been an insanely profitable weekend, I think! Does that mean I’m getting smarter about all of this, or did I have one lucky hypothetical run and used up all of my good fortune on a bunch of fake bets? We’ll see!
We’re through 11 weeks in the NFL season. As we slide into Thanksgiving, that means every team (except Tampa and Carolina, apparently) has had their BYE week and we should have a pretty decent idea of how to rank these teams. I’m still struggling overall on my NFL picks this season, so I hope thinking about things in this way helps me going forward. Without further ado, here are all the NFL teams ranked, based on my humble estimation:
- Kansas City (9-1)
- Pittsburgh (10-0)
- New Orleans (8-2)
- Buffalo (7-3)
- Indianapolis (7-3)
- L.A. Rams (7-3)
- Seattle (7-3)
- Tampa Bay (7-4)
- Green Bay (7-3)
- Tennessee (7-3)
- Arizona (6-4)
- Las Vegas (6-4)
- Cleveland (7-3)
- Baltimore (6-4)
- Miami (6-4)
- New England (4-6)
- Denver (4-6)
- San Francisco (4-6)
- Chicago (5-5)
- Carolina (4-7)
- Minnesota (4-6)
- L.A. Chargers (3-7)
- Atlanta (3-7)
- Detroit (4-6)
- Houston (3-7)
- N.Y. Giants (3-7)
- Philadelphia (3-6-1)
- Washington (3-7)
- Dallas (3-7)
- Jacksonville (1-9)
- Cincinnati (2-7-1)
- N.Y. Jets (0-10)
I would say anyone in the Top 10 has a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl this year. Any of the next 12 have a chance of winning on any given Sunday. And the bottom 10 are PRETTY bad.
So far, I’m following the NFL lines and should have my official picks recorded later this week (even though I’m, like, 98% sure I won’t be in Vegas in December; humor me, it’s been a weird year). Check back next week to watch me fall on my face!