The NFL vs My Bank Account: Week 8 Results

Week 7 Record: 3-4-1

Net Earnings: -$1.63

1. Jacksonville +3 @ Tennessee $22 to win $20.00 – Win

2. Detroit +2 @ Houston: $17.55 to win $16.00 – Loss

3. Oakland pick ’em @ Tampa Bay: $11.00 to win $10.00 – Win

4. New York Jets -3 @ Cleveland: $44.05 to win $41.00 – Push

5. Minnesota -6 @ Chicago: $11.45 to win $11.00 – Loss

6. Washington +3 @ Cincinnati (in cheery old London town): $11.00 to win $10.00 – Loss

7. New England -6.5 @ Buffalo: $10.00 to win $9.52 – Win

8. Arizona +2 @ Carolina: $1.15 to win $1.00 – Loss

What I’ve learned: I can’t mess with Houston, may have to ease up on AZ, I need to bet the house on Tom Brady every week, the Vikings could be on their way down, Jacksonville SUCKS, Derek Carr don’t lose, and in Europe, the law dictates all sporting events must end in ties. Not my best week, but certainly not my worst. My winning percentage is 61% and I’m still in the black. For now…

 

Season Record: 10-6-2

Season Earnings: +54.87

How (I Think) You Build a Good Football Team

It seems like there is a recipe for a winning team that a lot of franchises are ignoring.

Let me preface this by saying I’m just another asshole who watches sports and thinks I somehow could manage a team. The good not useless part of my brain certainly knows I can’t, but even so, the idiot on my shoulder keeps whispering “you know better than the experienced millionaires who run franchises, if you were in charge you’d have a winning team” and I want to share those ridiculous whispers with you.

I’m watching the NFL this year, and it feels kind of apparent that there is a hierarchy of tools that create good teams, and a lack of prioritization of said tools creates bad teams. Here is what I believe based on what I’ve seen empirically to be the building blocks in order of importance.

1. Offensive Line
It gives every player on your offense a chance to reach their full potential. Need I say look at the Cowboys? QBs have more time to make decisions, backs have more holes to run through, and receivers have consistent opportunities to finish their routes. Hell, you even give your coach and OC the freedom to draw up a wider variety of more complex plays. Which brings me to…

2. Head Coach
A really tough call, had it at no. 1 originally, and here’s why it comes in so high. Football along with every other sport today are so much more nuanced and cerebral than they have been in the past. The trend of increased complexity has been both exponential and steady. Without a great playbook, it’s nearly impossible to be a great football team. That is pretty obvious.

3. Defensive Line
The inverse of #1. Give the other team less time and fewer holes. Any great QB or RB can turn average at best with lots of pressure. You can turn Tom Brady into Sam Bradford with a good enough pass rush.

4. Quarterback
Pretty obvious and most people would put this first. A QB that reads defenses well, makes good decisions and throws accurately is the single most terrifying thing in the eyes of a defensive coordinator. Sets the pace for your offense and ideally leads it emotionally as well.

5. Defensive Backs
If you have a Josh Norman or a Richard Sherman, you can frustrate quarterbacks and make receivers cry. Well, just the one but you get my point. A great secondary completely neutralizes WR-dependent teams.

If your team focuses on those five things in order before the glamorous running backs and receivers you’ve got the blueprint of a contender at worst and champion at best. Unfortunately, fans only want to see their teams pick up the glamor positions (notice, only one such position is in my top 5 top 5 top 5) and management must do so to appease them. Patience is hard to come by, but it’s necessary to go from good to great.

So, if you love your team, get excited about star right guards, crafty coaches and threatening D ends. If you can manage to wait on that running back, and he’ll play to his full potential.

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

Can We All Settle Down About That Cardinals Seahawks 6-6 Game?

The uproar over this game has really brought to light how spoiled and unsophisticated NFL-only fans are. If you are a true sports fan, hell even a true football fan, you loved this game, or at least didn’t mind it.

I get not liking the result, our constitution basically starts “We the People Hate Ties.” But flipping out over it is too much. I personally loved this game because it was a reminder that sports are supposed to be hard. Winning games is supposed to be hard, a feat too difficult for either team to accomplish last SNF.

Ever watched a baseball game? US World Cup Soccer? It’s fucking impossible to score in those two sports, and when someone does, it’s awesome. You don’t go nuts for every layup in the NBA, you go nuts when once every 5-10 possessions, something truly extraordinary happens — an out of nowhere dunk, a three in a player’s eye, a sprinting down the court come from behind swat. Suspense is what makes sports great, not just the scoring.

Macro, we’re fine with how hard it is to win a Super Bowl. When you have the Patriots standing in your way and still manage to get a ring, well, that’s why those things are all iced out. I think the same thing applies on a micro scale. When the confetti blasts everywhere and the team runs onto the field after a week 4 out of conference game, it’s because it’s deserved. Celebration is special because it’s not easy to come by. It takes a game like this to remind us of that.

Also, can this game serve as proof that kickers matter? And that they’re pretty fun to watch? I had lots of gambling and fantasy stake in this game, and some people (Cards/Hawks fans) cared about the outcome. Those of us who cared went nuts when those field goals were missed. Kickers decide games all the time, just because they don’t score TDs or bash into each other all the time they suck? I don’t buy that one bit. Kickers’ WAR matter. Period.

I think if you found this game boring, you should have found the Saints-Panthers score at will game boring as well. I genuinely like football. I like defense and high pressure kicks. Hell, I like seeing a deep well placed punt. Because it’s what makes the rest of the game so beautiful.

So breathe NFL-only fans. Both teams play this week and they’re both coming out FIERY about last week. And that’s gonna be nothing compared to the next AZ-Seattle showdown.

And if you still just can’t imagine a game with “no action” ie no TDs, put your own action on it for god sakes. Ensure the juice by buying some. There’s nothing like potential eviction to make you care about field goals. Go out and gamble, like a true American. If I can do it, so can you.

 

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

The NFL vs My Bank Account: Week 7 Results

Week 7 Record: 4-1

Net Earnings: +$79.00 (not including parlay)

1. Washington +1 @ Detroit $16.50 to win $15.00 – Win

2. San Diego +6.5 @ Atlanta: $11.00 to win $1o.00 – Loss

3. Oakland pick ’em @ Jacksonville: $11.00 to win $10.00 – Win

4. Seattle +2 @ Arizona: $17.75 to win $15.00 – Win

5. New England -7.5 @ Pittsburgh: $61.00 to win $50.00 – Win

I feel… Weird. This is… odd. Am I good at this? The numbers indicate I am, but that just doesn’t feel right. I feel like Clayton Kershaw throwing 5 scoreless in the playoffs. Or Barry Bonds passing a drug test. Just like “uhh… Yeah… That was me, I meant to do that… nothing weird going on here…” *tugs collar* The New England and Seattle picks were very dicey at points, but then Rob Gronkowski and Chandler Catanzaro existed. And I would have won a shitload if it weren’t for those meddling Falcons blowing a massive lead. Fumble 6 and you lose the game? Come on. The football Gods are furious with you. So 4 and 1, maybe bet with me before the four horsemen show up. I’m feeling confident, which is a great sign I’m about to completely fucking melt down over the next few weeks. We’ll just have to find out.

Season Record: 7-2-1

Season Earnings: +$56.50

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

The NFL vs My Bank Account: Week 7

Total money wagered: $110.50 (not including $4.51 to win $110 parlay)
Potential winnings: $95.00 ($205 w/ parlay win — Yeah right…)

The picks (in bold):

1. Washington +1 @ Detroit $16.50 to win $15.00
The Washington Racists (new nickname) defense has been a little disappointing, and Stafford has been the opposite. I think Cousins has a big game, but simply, Stafford has a bigger one. I like the small line given Detroit’s momentum.

2. San Diego +6.5 @ Atlanta: $11.00 to win $1o.00
Atlanta should be good, and they finally are. I think they win by a TD at least. They almost beat Seattle’s staunch defense last week, and they face a not even fake-good, but rather fake-decent San Diego defense this week.

3. Oakland pick ’em @ Jacksonville: $11.00 to win $10.00
Jacksonville fucks up all the time and Carr has a chip on his shoulder after that KC loss. I think this is the game that gets Oakland rolling again.

4. Seattle +2 @ Arizona: $17.75 to win $15.00
I almost never bet against AZ cus they usually cover, and I never bet on Seattle because I hate them so. But the Seahawks getting points is too hard to resist, and my crystal ball has Carson Palmer having a little meltdown this week. Plus, Russell Wilson knowing his boys can swim and feeling honored to be able to do god’s work (procreate, procreate, procreate, no sex for fun) could give him a little boost.

5. New England -7.5 @ Pittsburgh: $11.00 to win $10.00
***5.1 New England -7 @ Pittsburgh: $50.00 to win $40.00
At one point, when Big Ben was still kinda sorta questionable, the line was -7 and I couldn’t resist getting down given the John 3:16 of gambling (The Pats always cover) and my confidence that rapist was going to be on the sideline. -7 or -7.5 this is still my mortal lock of the week. My only concern is that the line is way lower than I’d expect it to be, and that screams Vegas knowing something we don’t. Still, I just can’t imagine the red hot Pats not slaughtering the Steeler’s inconsistent offense and consistently bad defense.

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

The NFL vs My Bank Account: Week 6 Results

Shocker, I fuckin’ lost.

Record: 3-1-1

Net Earnings: -$22.50 (not including parlay)

How it went down:

1. Jacksonville +1.5 @ Chicago: $5.75 to win $5.00 –  Win

2. Cincinnati +9.5 @ New England: $16.50 to win $15.00 – Win

3. Dallas +4 @ Green Bay: $57.50 to win $50.00 – Loss

4. New York Jets +7 @ Arizona: $17.75 to win $15.00 – Win

5. Indianapolis +3 @ Houston: $15.75 to win $15.00 – Push

Of course, I actually make good picks, but my one loss completely fucks me. *Betting tip: Look at my “mortal lock,” and take the opposite. Simple equation, guaranteed money. Hey Aaron Rodgers, do I look like Olivia Munn? No? Then why did you fuck me like I was your everything? After this painful loss, I’m fully on Dak’s jock like the rest of America. Great opportunity to help me lose some money next week when I let my emotional hangover bet on him.

There’s little else to say. Arizona and New England always cover, I got extremely lucky with Jacksonville, and maybe luckier getting that push outta Brock Osweiler in OT.

Like I said, off to a strong start losing 22.50. Just where I’m comfortable: in the red. I’ll keep a running tally and put it at the bottom of these, starting now.

 

Season Earnings: -$22.50

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

P.S. Week 7 picks will be up before TNF if I’m betting on TNF, if not, they will be up before Sunday.