Thursday, November 24, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Thanksgiving Galaxy of Wagers

Most people have Thanksgiving traditions.  Perhaps your family likes pumpkin pie made a certain way, or are very particular about a certain recipe for stuffing.  Maybe you decide that it's a good idea to play a "Turkey Bowl" tackle football game in the morning with old high school friends.  I would like to warn you right now that you aren't 16 any longer and you will either be so sore you can't move or will shatter your fibula.  Once you get past age forty, there is only one real decision to be made on fitness and overall health.  You can choose to be either fat or sore.  It's one or the other. That football game idea will catapult you well beyond sore and straight into traction.  You have been warned.

My brother and I have a Thanksgiving tradition of our own, the Thanksgiving "Galaxy of Wagers".  We gamble on every possible outcome of each one of the onslaught of games coming our way.  The centerpiece of this "Galaxy of Wagers" is the time honored tradition of The Thanksgiving Teaser.  The teaser is known in gambling circles as "a sucker bet".  It requires the gambler to pick the outcome of two or three games but gives the illusionary advantage of being able to move the line by six points.  On paper, the teaser looks like a sure thing.  It isn't.  It's for suckers.  Like my brother and I.

There is almost no chance to go 3 for 3 in betting on NFL games.  These games are all on a razor thin margin, and making matters worse is that it is a short week.  I have read accounts from players that compare playing in an NFL game and the after effects of "like waking up in the morning after you have been in a terrible car crash".  Put it this way.  These guys all have four days to recover from being in an enormous car crash instead of seven.  While we see "Andrew Luck, QB, questionable", what that really means is "He's crying in his condo because if he even glances at any light an electric current of pain runs through his broken skull".  Meanwhile guys like me are fully reclined on a couch drinking heavily and eating sausages saying things like "Aw yeah, he'll play...  It's not that bad.".  The injury report is key to these games.

That being said, I like what is going on with the Lions.  They have guys coming back from injury whereas the Vikings have guys in walking boots and knee braces,  Detroit has won five of their last six and is 4-1 at home.  The Vikings, who betrayed me last week, have lost four of their last five.  I hate betting on the Lions.  The Lions exist only to crush your dreams, and I'm a guy that knows what it is like to have these dreams come crashing down around you.  I have shuffled around the post industrial landscape of Downtown Detroit.  There's not much good that can happen there except for pretty good chili dogs and avoiding Greektown.  Still, I'm on the Lions.  God help me.  I will drive to Minneapolis on Friday and attack the Viking complex if they screw me two weeks in a row.

My gut tells me Washington is going to hang in there versus the Cowboys today.  It just seems like the Cowboys will have trouble pressuring Cousins, and he's pretty good when he can stand around in the pocket and fire away.  However, the Redskins are 30th versus the rush.  This is going to be a major issue as Ezekiel Elliot will continue to be a monster player until he eventually gets arrested for getting on an airplane with a duffle bag full of weed.  That didn't happen this week, so he should have a big day.  As long as the Cowboys don't fall behind early, they should cover.  Dallas has yet to lose against the spread this season.  Let me repeat that.  The Cowboys are 9-0-1 ATS.  I'm on Dallas.

The late game might be unwatchable.  Andrew Luck isn't going to play.  That means the Colts are without their best player, the guy that singlehandedly makes them competitive.  Instead they roll out against Pittsburgh with Scott Tolzien under center.  It's not easy to imagine Scott Tolzien rallying the troops.  I like to think of the Colts being in their meeting room and being told Tolzien is going to start and a guy puts his hand up to say "Seriously Coach?".  It's hard to come up with a scenario where the Steelers lose this game.  Then again they are a perplexing team that is capable of losing to anyone at any time..  That being said, there is no way that I can bet on Scott Tolzien, especially with how intoxicated I am likely to be by the time that game goes off.  I am tying the Steelers into everything.

So what to do?  How to tangle all these games up together?  Here's my extremely ill-advised plan.  I am on the money line in a three team parlay with Detroit/Dallas/Pittsburgh at +211.  I am also going to tie all three up in a teaser with Detroit +4.5/Dallas -.5/Pitt -3.5.  I am going to come out of the gate hard with Detroit money line .  After that, I am going to play fast and loose with the individual games hoping like high hell I don't have to chase when LSU v Texas A&M comes on.  I don't want to have a thousand dollars on my beloved LSU wondering why I'm not returning the punts.

Buckle up.  Let's get after it.  


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