Friday, January 29, 2010

Degenerate Friday! What Is There to Bet On?

Wait, there are no football games this weekend…… what the hell am I going to bet on? I could have my wife flip a coin and bet on the outcome, would that mean I have a problem? I’m definitely not going to bet on the Pro Bowl. The NFC is favored by 2.5, but who is betting on an exhibition game? That might be the sign that you have a problem. But if you forced me to take a side, I guess I’ll take the NFC and lay the points. Why? Because the AFC has the AFC South quarterbacks – Matt Schaub, Vince Young and David Gerrard. Well, almost all of the AFC South quarterbacks, with the exception of the best one, Peyton Manning. So go NFC and lay the points. But again, please call gambler’s anonymous after you cash your ticket.

So what else can we bet on now? NBA? No chance there – too many factors that can’t be controlled. You have to look at who is playing on back-to-back nights, is a team on a road trip, what’s the night life like in the city the team played in the night before, and so on and so on. Then after all of that analysis, you have to add in the “Vince Carter” factor, which is to say you have to try and guess whether a team is going to put forth 50%, 70% or 85% effort on any given night. And there is no way of ever knowing that answer. That’s why the NBA is off limits for my betting money………if gambling were legal.

College hoops? That could be a place to go because you’re going to get maximum effort every game, home court advantage can make a difference, and the teams typically only play 2 games a week. The problem? The best place to make money in college basketball is with the small conferences because it’s all about getting value. And the way to get value is through information mismatches. That lack of transparency and lack of information is more prevalent with the small conference games than it is with games in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC or Big East. Yes, that means you’re gambling on Harvard laying 7 at Columbia on Friday night. But you also know that the kid from Harvard, Jeremy Lin carries a grudge because he didn’t get recruited by many D-I schools, and already lead the Crimson to a victory over ACC member Boston College, and only lost to UConn by 6. I mean, anyone can make a case for either Jennifer Anniston or Angelina Jolie. The real value is if someone can point out an up and coming superstar, like AnnaLynne McCord.

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