Monday, September 7, 2020

Nurse the Hate: 2020 NFL Season Win Total Locks


As Purgatory 2020 marches on into Fall, the only solace is that NFL Football is going to be back.  Sure, there is an almost certain chance that the shaky pillars of American Society are about to collapse, and we will only leave our disease bunkers to fire off rounds from semi automatic weapons at our once friendly neighbors, but that's just a minor inconvenience with the assurance that I can get action down on the Broncos over the Chargers in the late game.  I don't know if civil unrest will make its impossible to go to leave the house and get food, but I do know that the NFL is going to get those games off no matter what.  There might be a moment of silence to recognize the headless corpses of BLM or Patriot Prayer members hanging from lampposts outside of empty stadiums, but goddammit that Redskins... sorry... Washington Football Team... game is going off at 1pm.  

I enjoy betting season win totals, especially the under on teams I am largely ambivalent about.  The New York Giants are a perfect example.  I think about the Giants about as often as I think about the recorded catalogue of Little Feat.  While both the Giants and Little Feat no doubt have enthusiastic fans, I am not among them.  I am not a sworn enemy to either the Giants or Little Feat, but I am quite indifferent to either.  Yet, for some reason, I find a perverse pleasure in creating a scenario where I can root against the Giants, hence I am going to take GIANTS UNDER 6.5 WINS.  If I could get a bet down against Little Feat, I would probably do that as well.  Can I get action on "LITTLE FEAT FIRST LIVE PERFORMANCE IN CASINO WITH LESS THAN 2 ACTUAL MEMBERS BEFORE EASTER"?

The under bet is much more assured than the over bet.  For an OVER to come in, everything has to happen just right.  Injuries are avoided.  Lucky bounces all go your way.  You win every coin flip.  In 2020, I am firmly in the camp of those things going the other way.  2020 is a bust in a complete sense.  It is unwise to bet on anything requiring optimism.  In 2020 it is obviously more likely that a team's best player spontaneously combusts than it is that he tosses four touchdowns.  These NFL players haven't practiced, done OTOs, and have had to workout on their own.  After week two, 60% of most team's rosters will be on the IR with pulled hamstrings and knee injuries.  A crappy team from last year without much depth does not provide me with an optimistic outlook.  The Giants are going to be fun to root against.

New York teams can be reliably counted on to be overhyped.  Daniel Jones went from being "Hey, he might be OK" to "This guy is a top tier QB" in the media chatter without any clear evidence.  The guy is a turnover machine, and it is impossible to win in the NFL if your team makes three turnovers a game.  He personally had 23 turnovers in 13 games last year.  He fumbled 18 times and lost 11 of them.  The Giants offensive line is poor.  There is no defense to speak of.  They will be lucky to go 2-4 in the division, which means they have to go 5-5 against the NFC North and AFC South.  You think the Giants are splitting with 49ers, Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, Steelers, Ravens, Browns and Bucs?  I sure don't.  GIANTS UNDER 6.5.

I am taking a firm position against the Las Vegas Raiders.  The Raiders are doing all of those Raider things with their roster that makes everyone scratch their heads.  Players are signed at great expense and then released a few weeks later.  Jon Gruden is a wildly overrated coach playing in a town that drives the gambling lines.  The Vegas local news has had daily Raider reports for over a year driving local interest from the gambling community.  There is a new stadium and the bright lights are on the franchise.  Each time a team moves into a new stadium, inevitably the pundits will start that shit talk about "Well, with their new stadium, that should translate into a more wins."  Why is that?  The Raiders went 7-9 last year with all the emotion of the fans helping them at home, so now in a sterile environment they are going to pick up another win?  They lost five of their last six and all of their wins were one score wins.  This does not seem like a team poised for a breakout year.  This seems like 6-10.

The Raiders signed Marcus Mariota in the off season.  Gruden clearly dislikes Carr and has been figuring out how to get him out of there since he arrived.  Mariota, a decent QB in a dink and dunk system, will no doubt be behind center in Week 5 and expected to fire the ball downfield.  That's not going to work out.  This 2020 season in Vegas has the feel of an extended training camp to me.  I think Gruden is till trying to build whatever his vision is of the Raiders.  He's on a long term contract with zero pressure to win now.  You think the locals are going to take to the streets because the Raiders have a losing record?  They could give two shits.  This seems like a 6-10 team.  The Broncos and Chargers improved this off season, and as an added bonus the Raiders have to play KC twice along with the AFC North.  RAIDERS UNDER 7.5 wins.

My last bet is the one I make each and every season, BROWNS UNDER WHATEVER THE TOTAL IS.  If you bet the Browns UNDER season win total each year since they returned in 1999, you would have more money than Jeff Bezos and tried to rightfully wrestle control of the Browns from the Haslem Family.  It is important to remember that any random Joe off the street is as qualified as the Haslems to run an NFL franchise.  The Haslems made their fortune ripping people off with gas contracts, selling Oak Ridge Boys cassette cut-outs, and the unwavering appeal of beef jerky.  They know even less about football than the guys you see at the Cleveland Muni Lot with backward baseball caps yelling out "Here we go Brownies!  Here we go!  Woof!  Woof!" that feel certain that this is the season the team goes 12-4 and wins it all.  It isn't.  It won't ever be.  The team is cursed as are the doomed residents of NE Ohio to never see a winning professional football team.  Yet, the Browns are sitting at 8.5 wins.

This is as easy a bet that has ever presented itself.  All you have to do to win is allow the Browns to go out and play "Browns Football".  It has been 13 years since the team has had a winning season.  Last year they were the preseason darlings, picked to go to the Playoffs and went 6-10.  They have won more than 8 games two times (2) since returning in 1999.  They have a new coach (4th in 3 years), new offensive coordinator, four new offensive line starters, a rookie left tackle, and the back seven of the defense is already injury depleted.  Yet, all I hear is this talk about all the "talent" on the field.  I DO NOT see this talent.  Baker Mayfield is a bust.  Case Keenum will be starting Week 6 after Mayfield is benched with a mysterious "injury".  Teams will score 31+ on them every week.  They could go 5-11.  BROWNS UNDER 8.5        

Now let's get out there and root for the UNDER!  Failure is profit!  


At September 7, 2020 at 6:11:00 PM EDT , Blogger Mike Scott said...

You taking the unders on total wins is the most optimistic thing you've written in a while. You're sleeping on the Rams though.

At September 8, 2020 at 12:13:00 PM EDT , Blogger Cy Zibrik, MPA said...

The good thing about unders is you’re a winner until they hit the over. If that ever happens.


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