Week 2 Sweat Bets
For my previous writing gig, I came up with this incredibly original idea of posting football picks every Friday. I called them Sweat Bets because as my gambling partner and cousin, Grant, and I discussed, gambling is more about survival than actually making money. Gambling is for entertainment. It’s for the sweat. If we’re in the black at the end of the season, even better.
A recap of last week
Grant and I went 3-2-1 during an undocumented Week 1, but it should’ve been 3-1-0 had it not been for a stupid mistake on my part. We have this strategy that seems fairly intuitive, which essentially means we’re squares making sucker bets. I don’t have the data in front of me, but I’d bet -650 that it was profitable last season, granted in a small sample size. The strategy is this: Wait for a quality, favored team to have a deficit at halftime – especially if they’re at home – and then take them in the second half.
When the Lions were down three points at halftime at home against the Rams, it was a perfect scenario to use the strategy. The second half line was Lions -7, which meant they had to win by four for the push, five or more for the win. We thought the Lions should’ve been winning the game, but Matthew Stafford threw three picks, which we figured probably wouldn’t happen again in the second half. So we bet on it at +100. It was stupid on my part because it was -110 and then the line moved to +100. I should’ve waited even longer because eventually, it did move to -6.5 which was the difference between outplaying the Rams by two scores in the second half and one. Well, the Lions outscored the Rams by one touchdown in the second half. Push.
In the Redskins/Saints game, however, we (Grant, actually) decided to not use the Square Strategy. The Saints were down six points at halftime and the second half line was Saints -6, so betting either side was essentially taking the moneyline for the game. It was an ideal situation to employ the Square Strategy – a quality team that was favored, down at halftime, and at home. But maybe the Saints aren’t a quality team. They sure didn’t look like it on Sunday. Fortunately, the decision to not use the strategy paid off.
It’s funny though. Grant and I have this thing against Robert Griffin III. We bet on a lot of Baylor games last year so we saw him play quite often. We happened to lose rather frequently when betting Baylor, but that’s beside the point. After their third game of the season, RG III had a touchdown/incompletion ratio of 13:12. In other words, he had thrown more touchdowns than incomplete passes to that point in the season. But it was flawed. There was one play in particular where he could’ve thrown the ball away, but he ran out of bounds for a loss instead. I’d bet -800 the ratio was on his mind. Although it was a fairly irrelevant play, it turned us off on RG III. If he can help us turn a profit more often that not, though, all might be forgiven.
Week 2 picks
1. Chicago Bears +6 L
2. Chicago Bears Over 23 L
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7.5 W
4. Baltimore Ravens +2.5 W
5. San Francisco 49ers -6.5 W
6. USC Trojans -8 L
7. Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 W
8. Seattle Seahawks +3 W
9. Carolina Panthers +3 W
10. St. Louis Rams +3.5 W
11. Denver Broncos Over 24 L
12. Denver Broncos Over 12.5 2h W
Minor detail that might not be that minor: We bet on some of these lines a couple of days ago so they might not reflect the line at kickoff.
I’ll most likely add more picks throughout the weekend. I’m thinking about betting against some short road favorites like the Cowboys, Saints, and Redskins, but we’ll see.
Check back next week to see if we survived another week.
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