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NFL Picks: Gambling Preview Week 11

And how did the Degenerate Gambler fare last week?

Jason Michaels

Another week, another win! That’s great for the LA Chargers, but how about those who put a little bit more on the line than just their team pride? And with that we meet back with the Degenerate Gambler, our stabilizing force when things seem to be going just a little too well.

For the uninitiated, the Degenerate Gambler is exactly what it says on the tin. He is a Southern California native that no longer gets his kicks by just merely watching games. Each week he takes $100 in bets that relate to the Chargers matchup that week, though don’t assume that means he always takes the Bolts. He is a gambler to the core, and he certainly enjoys positive-value bets, even if those rarely pan out. Let’s review how he did in Week 10, shall we?

Week 10 Chargers @ Raiders

  • Wager 1 - Chargers Spread (-10) $25 [-115] W = +$21.74
  • Wager 2 - Chargers 1st Half (>15.5) $30 [-115] L = $(30.00)
  • Wager 3 - Anytime TD - Antonio Gates $8 [+325] L = $(8.00)
  • Wager 4 - Neither team score 3 consecutive times $15 [+200] L = $(15.00)
  • Wager 5 - Total Field Goals (>3.5) $22 [+105] W = $23.10

TOTAL: $ -8.16

Season Total: $ +10.86

This is the kind of week that keeps the business booming—the Gambler should have walked away with a shiny positive win, but he swung for a few long-shot bets that put him in the red. In fact, the Gambler is quite happy with this result— he evened out, minus a small $8 bet on Antonio Gates that would have paid back triple what he put in.

For a few weeks there, the Degenerate Gambler was on borrowed time, and he was leaning heavily on creditors to make his weekly $100 bets. He was over -$140 in the hole prior to dropping an additional $100 on his bets by Week 6, but the Browns helped right the ship and he’s been making up lost ground ever since. While week 10 wasn’t a win for the Gambler, he’s happy enough to essentially break even and still be ‘up’ on the year.

Looking ahead

The Chargers greet the Denver Broncos to LA, which is quite preferable to playing in Denver itself. The Broncos are not good this year. The Broncos are also not the Raiders, and they appear to be playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder as they revel in the underdog role. They will play hard, as nearly every seat is hot in Denver. Mr. Elway isn’t as concerned about draft placement as to who will actually be on and coaching the team next year.

The Chargers are concerned about keeping pace in the AFC West (they have the #2 record in the entire conference, but sit 5th in playoff charts because, well, the Chiefs). Their offense is really moving well, and defense nearly equally impressive. They are the most balanced team in the entire NFL, with only the Rams playing similarly well on both sides.

The Degenerate Gambler is not a big fan of the current spread of -7.5 for the Chargers. Right now, he’s eyeing up the Under line of 46 points and plans on taking as many defensive bets as he can find. The Chargers have not let any team score more than 19 points since October began. The Broncos are a huge question mark on both offense and defense, with a resume that has given and taken small and large sums with no true rhyme or reason.

Add that all together and he’s currently primed to take the Broncos for the +7.5 spread, dubiously considering the fairly rough Under 46, staying far away from any 1st or 2nd half bets, and waiting patiently for the prop bets to post. If total sacks is 3.5 or less, he’s going to go heavy on an over there; 4 or over will depend on the return but seem pretty safe from the outset. These teams are rated 7th and 9th in sacks, and both QBs should be a bit muddied by the final seconds.

The Bolts are pretty good in the sack department, if you haven’t heard
Jason Michaels

Check in later in the week to see what the Gambler actually takes, as injury reports and prop bets start to trickle in.

EDIT: The line for the game has already changed to -7.0 for the Chargers since this morning. This could very well change the bet— any more movement would make it a definite.

-Jason “That’s a lot of stress for $10” Michaels