I quit betting on football a few years ago. All though college, I bet money I didn’t have and ended up having to call home for extra cash because of “an extra book for class” or because I “needed it”. Most of the time, it was because one of my locks of the week ended up getting…….I don’t know…..unlocked.
After college, I continued betting. I studied the lines like it was my career. (Actually, since I was a freelance writer for a newspaper, covering high shcool sports for 50 dollars an assignment, betting WAS my career.) Inevitably, I was down somewhere between 1000 and 2000 at the end of the year. Since I was making about 20,000 a year, this was quite steep.
So a few years ago, I decided to quit betting on football outside of the playoffs and Super Bowl. And its worked out well. I get the extra edge I used to get from gambling from fantasy football. And I save money. Everyone wins. Except my bookie.
But this year, like the previous two, I resume betting on football on Wild Card Weekend. Here’s how the 2008 start went.
Washington at Seattle: So I start off with 25 bucks on Washington plus 3, and 75 on the 1st half under, which is 19. As I’m watching the game, it becomes obvious Washington’s offense can’t do a thing. Todd Collins is under constant pressure, and even when he’s able to get a good throw off, his receivers are dropping them. While Seattle’s offense isn’t exactly tearing it up, it seems apparent they won’t have to score much to win this game. At the half, its 10-0 Seahawks and I’m already up 75. I check the site and see that the 2nd half spread is a pick em. After watching that Redskin offense in the first half, I figure they’d be lucky to score, let alone outscore Seattle in the final thirty minutes. I lay 100 on Seattle in the 2nd half. So, because I am bad at gambling, the Redskins score two touchdowns in the third quarter and then immediately get the ball again because Seattle forgets they have to field kicks in football. But apparently Shaun Suisham didn’t get the memo that Sean Taylor died, because he shanks a 30-yard field goal. From there on, the Seahawks score 22 points, including 2 interception returns for touchdowns and the Seahawks win 35-14. It was nice of them to honor Taylor’s memory by beating Washington by 21. As for me, I’m up 147.50 after one game. Sweet.
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh: I liked Pittsburgh plus 2 and a half here, so I put 50 on it and leave it at that. I know everyone and their mother was loving the Jags, but I thought it would be difficult for Jacksonville to win at Pittsburgh twice in a four-week span. And it was difficult. Great comeback by Pittsburgh, and an equally great late drive by the Jags and David Garrard, who’s 30-yard scramble on 4th-and-2 set up the game winning field goal. But I covered the spread, and that is all that matters. Even Mike Tomlin will tell you that. For the day, I’m up 197.50. Awesome.
NY Giants at Tampa Bay: Again I go against the grain. Everyone seems to feel the Giants are hot and Tampa is not. I go with the theory that Jon Gruden has had three weeks to prepare for the Giants and the Bucs are well-rested, and therefore I’m laying the points for a small 25 bucks. I am also putting another 25 on the first half under of 20.5. The Bucs go down the field late in the first quarter for an early 7-0 lead, and both bets look great. This is the last time I would be happy on this Sunday.
The Giants, from that point on, completely dominate Tampa Bay. Jeff Garcia is under constant pressure, and when he’s not, he’s throwing horrible passes. Its the worst he’s looked since his Detroit days. Meanwhile, Eli Manning is carving up the Bucs, and it has become apparent that he is unstoppable on the road. Maybe the Giants should just play all their games on the road. Just donate their 8 home games to their opponents. Eli would probably be MVP. Anyway, I lose both bets and I’m now at +142.50.
Tennessee at San Diego: Oh, fuck this game. Fuck it right in the ear. I start off with a 50 spot on the Titans plus 10. I have no faith in Norv or Philip Rivers, so I also put 25 on the Tennessee money line, at +400. (For those not familiar with gambling, this means I take the Titans–with odds–to win the game straight up. So if I lose, I drop 25; if I were to win, I get 100 bucks.) The first half is exactly how I expected–and hoped–it would go. The Titans are playing their usual boring as shit ball, just running it and playing field position. They have been able to shut down LT, and I have no doubt that Rivers will choke on his own cock in the 2nd half. Up 6-0 at the half, I see that the Titans are +9 for the second half. Even though the Chargers are a second half team, this seems like a lock.
Well, there were a few things I didn’t know. First off, Rod Bironas would miss a 30-yard field goal on the Titans’ only scoring chance of the second half. Second, the Titans’ defensive backs are fucking atrocious. With Antonio Gates out, you’d think they could stop the Chargers on 3rd-and-10 or more; you’d think wrong. Time and time again, the Charger receviers were wide open on 3rd and long plays, and eventually the Tennessee defense just didn’t have it anymore. Oh, and also, Vince Young is fucking horrible. You know how many times he tucked it and ran yesterday? Zero. None. Apparently, he thought his rocket arm and receiving corps of Justin Gage and Ben Troupe would be enough. Fuck, Vince. Run the fucking ball. And finally, the Chargers might be the biggest team of douchebags in the entire league. Philip Rivers is a whining little bitch who complains about fucking EVERYTHING. Every time they show him he’s crying to the refs or to his teammates or coaches. Just shut the fuck up and play. Its your second year in the league as a starter, douche. But its not just him. The whole Charger defense acts like they won the lottery every time they make a play. I love celebrations and hate the NFL for trying to cut down on players’ expressing themselves, but if Shawne Merriman does that stupid ass dance one more time, I’m going to kill myself. And whats up with Shaun Phillips and Luis Castillo doing the ‘kick your leg’ thing after every play? Jesus, go back to the huddle, fucksticks.
Honestly, if I had to make a list of the biggest asswipes in the NFL, I think Rivers and Merriman would definitely be in the top 10. Rodney Harrison is definitely at the top. So is Roy Williams of the Cowboys. Learn how to not horse collar, you fucking faggot. Olin Kruetz is a major shithead. Oh, and watch the Packers sometime. Focus on Nick Barnett, and how often he jumps late into piles and just acts like a total asswipe. Well, I’ve gone off on a tangent here. Sorry.
Anyway, I lose all my Sunday bets and end up at +32.50 for the weekend. Fuck the Chargers.