Last week, I felt great about my NFL picks across the board.
My father was wrapping up his time working in Las Vegas, meaning that it would be the last week of him betting my picks without telling me even though I had a hunch he was doing it. I wanted to make him back some of the money he had undoubtedly lost as I continued to pick Derek Carr to cover the spread over and over again. I did a good amount of research, mixed it with a dash of nonsense, and found myself five underdogs that I felt confident could win my pops some money. Again, one of them was David Carr.
The Raiders failed to cover. My picks went 1-4, and I went into Monday morning feeling like a failure once again.
I have to stop feeling confident about my picks. In gambling, confidence is a myth. It cannot exist, because everything is chance and no one knows anything about anything, especially football. I wanted to remember this fact while making my picks during Week 8. I wanted to focus on facts and emotions and up to date injury information all while knowing that it was ultimately a crapshoot. I took to Twitter with intentions of making my usual pre-picking rounds: checking in on Adam Schefter, Stephania Bell, and a few NFL players that might give a little hint towards their team’s mindset heading into Sunday. But I got distracted by Zach Mettenberger.
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.
Last week I watched football in New York City.
After checking out the People’s Climate March and a bit of yelling at corporations, I met up with my friend and diehard cheesehead Peter at a Packers bar uptown. We drank and watched the Packers lose, then drank and watched the Eagles win, then drank another shot because we remembered that the Packers had lost. After that we went back to his apartment and ate tacos and watched RedZone. It was a great day.
A little before 7:30pm I had to roll out, with plans to meet my cousin for more drinks later in the evening. At the time of my departure, there was about ten minutes left in the Broncos-Seahawks game, the Broncos defense had just forced a safety to cut the Seahawks lead to 17-5. I felt pretty good about my chances of Seattle (-5) covering as my feet hit 83rd street, but as I walked south towards my subway station I chanced upon a bar with open bay windows and a big screen showing the game. Peyton Manning was driving the field and eventually hit Julius Thomas with a three yard touchdown pass to make it 17-12. My bet now felt like a sure push.
I decided to wait and see what happened on the next few drives, and what followed was one of the most exciting conclusions to a game so far this season. This is because I watch games as both a football fanatic and gambling addict. Sometimes, both of those synapses in my brain start firing on all cylinders and a perfect union of football appreciation is born. Allow me to explain.
Last week I checked off an item from my bucket list.
That is an excerpt from the Week 2 picks column of Bill Simmons. My Grantland fandom is well documented, and after missing out on the chance to intern there this fall, making an article was an appreciated, if bittersweet consolation prize. Read More
We made it.
After the months of convincing ourselves we care more about baseball than we actually do, football is back. Last night, my boy RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON and his Seahawk compatriots took the field against the Green Bay Packers. The Legion of Boom and Beast Mode and 12th Man all looked like champions, because they are. Read More
This Thanksgiving was my first away from my family. While I was studying in London my family gathered to see my father and celebrate in Las Vegas. This is what we call a “double-whammy” in the business. In addition to the the delicious taste of a Mom-made Thanksgiving, I would also be missing the chance to turn all of my Hypothetical bets into real (and legal) ones. I didn’t get to bet on the Iron Bowl and the craziest finish in recent sports memory. Read More
I know I said this last week, but I really can’t believe how okay this exercise is going. I have now successfully made winning picks for two consecutive weeks. I feel like I am swimming (or skiing) in money. This never happens. I have attempted to write recurring gambling columns in the past, but quickly got frustrated as my jokes ran dry and my picks ran drier. Read More