Back on the horse.
After a demoralizing 0-5 in Week 4, we rebounded back to stasis in Week 5, putting up a record of 2-3 ATS thanks to a lot of hard work and Excel spreadsheets. I believe that gambling well has a lot to do with hard work; if you know what to be looking for and when to be weary of Vegas, you put yourself in a position to be more successful than the average schlub that rolls into Vegas.
But, as with many aspects of life, greatness cannot come from hard work alone. Every once in a while, you need a little bit of luck. I’ll explain further. For now, just take a gander at the Week 6 slate. Home team gets the asterisk.
What a week. Even excluding the Texans after last night’s loss to the Colts, we’re still looking at seven home dogs. While I haven’t crunched the numbers (yet), I can tell you that seven feels like an extremely high number. How will we examine such a strenuous week? We will leave it to luck and random chance.
Random chance is all around us. My parents met at the New York Marathon. It was pure chance, random atoms colliding with random atoms and eventually turning into a relationship and then eventually led to me. That was 23 years ago as of yesterday, and I am extremely grateful for how far random chance has gotten me so far in life. In honor of that, this week we are flipping coins and getting weird.
Step One: Flip Coins
The plan was simple. Flip a coin once for every game, heads = favorite, tails = underdog. I was expecting this to produce an even, seemingly random spread, with a few flips leaving me super unhappy in an “Aw man, I really don’t want to pick the Jets in the column” sort of way. And then, well, this happened…
I flipped heads 13 times in a row.
I have no proof of the experience; there were no witnesses to the event. But I obviously wouldn’t lie in my gambling column, and if I was going to, there’s no way in hell I would lie so that I could pick 13 favorites. It’s against everything I stand for. In way of hard proof, I can take you through the experience of flipping a coin and having it come heads over and over again.
4th Flip: Think to myself, “This is pretty crazy.” Also, realize that I have been flipping the coin, catching it, and slapping it on the the back of my hand (as coin-flippers do). I become aware that I have committed to this process of flipping, and that if I had chosen to simply catch the coin, I’d be looking at four straight underdog picks and be super-hyped about it. Them’s the breaks though. Back to flipping.
8th Flip: Alone in my house, flipping coins on my couch, I yell out loud “JESUS.” I had to audibly acknowledge that this shit was wild in order to ensure that this was happening in reality. After the seventh toss, I had a moment where I got excited about tails being due, as the coin I was flipping was a North Carolina quarter, and I thought picking Panthers (+7) could be a good bit for the column. I had forgotten that every toss is 50/50; that each flip of a coin was an independent event.
11th Flip: Okay I am going to freak out if my first underdog pick is against RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON.
12th Flip: Thank God.
14th Flip: I fall over laughing. Just as I am getting excited about the possibility of running the slate with favorite bets, I hit tails just in time to bet against my Eagles. Super bummer. It’s either proof of a God with an extremely specific sense of humor, or more evidence that the key to life is simply being in on the cosmic joke. I finish my flips and could not be more satisfied with the way this experiment in randomness turned out.
Thirteen heads in a row.
It sounds ridiculous because it totally is; according to math, this shit only happens once in 8,192 sets of 13 coin flips. There was only a 0.012% chance of that happening. But here’s the thing: there was only a 0.012% chance of any permutation of 13 coin flips. The fact that they every coin came out heads only registers with us as impressive because it is a recognizable pattern.
As ridiculous as they came out, I now had a pick for every game. Now I needed to select which five picks would become my SuperContest picks. So I got weird.
Step Two: Get Weird
I numbered the games 1-15. Since Texans-Colts already happened, 2-15 were the only usable digits for my selection process. I decided on a set of ten rules based on the Thursday night game that would result in a seeming random integer. Here, check it out.
And the end of the Colts-Texans game, all of those statistics would result in a number. Some of the rules had the potential to produce an unusable number, out of my range of 2-15. I ranked the rules by how hilarious/dope/random I found them, and committed to taking the top five usable results, rounding to the nearest whole number. Here’s how it went down.
- Trent Richardson’s (YPC)2 = 6
- JJ Watt sacks + Andrew Luck total TDs = 5
- Difference in Jersey # of each team’s first scoring player =
- Total Touchbacks = 7
- Total Penalties = 10
- 20% Tip at BWW = 9
And we made it. Here are the picks.
Packers (-3.5) over Dolphins*
Falcons* (-3.5) over Bears
Lions (-1.5) over Vikings*
Ravens (-3) over Buccaneers*
Patriots (-3) over Bills*
Oh man. I love these picks. I should get weird more often.
I have to go – it is almost 5am and I am going to camp out to hopefully get tickets to SNL. Pray for me to have a Happy Saturday.
To you, I wish, as always:
Last Week: 2-3