If you're looking for a last-minute gambling pool for you and your friends, I highly recommend a surprisingly simple (and addictive) NFL wins pool. I love this pool. My friends love this pool. And now, you can love this pool.
Here's what you do: Find nine friends, agree on an entry fee and prize money, then come up with a draft order from 1-10.
From there, you use the following "drafting system" to pick teams. I have no idea how the creator came up with these numbers, just that there's a 20 percent chance he was one of those MIT brainiacs or something. Anyway ...
Team 1 — 1st pick, 20th pick, 26th pick
Team 2 — 2, 16, 29
Team 3 — 3, 13, 30
Team 4 — 4, 18, 25
Team 5 — 5, 15, 27
Team 6 — 6, 19, 22
Team 7 — 7, 11, 28
Team 8 — 8, 17, 21
Team 9 — 9, 14, 23
Team 10 — 10, 12, 24
Everyone picks three teams. The highest total number of victories for those three teams wins the pool.
Easy, right? Last season's winner (my buddy House) picked third, 13th and 30th and ended up with the 15-win Packers, nine-win Giants and nine-win Bengals for a total of 33 wins, stumbling into such a three-headed juggernaut with which he clinched the pool with a week to go. (I finished six wins behind him with the 13-win Patriots, nine-win Titans and five-win Redskins, who were the 1-20-26 picks.) For this year's pool, I drew the fifth slot and agonized over the Ravens and Niners (ultimately taking the Ravens). Here's how that 2012 pool panned out.
Team 1 — Pats, Panthers, Cardinals
Team 2 — Packers, Cowboys, Jaguars
Team 3 — Texans, Chiefs, Rams
Team 4 — Falcons, Bills, Redskins
Simmons — Ravens, Seahawks, Colts
Team 6 — Niners, Chargers, Bucs
Team 7 — Saints, Broncos, Vikings
Team 8 — Bears, Bengals, Titans
House — Eagles, Steelers, Jets
Team 10 — Giants, Lions, Raiders
Which two teams weren't selected and shared the Turd in the Punchbowl booby prize? The Browns and Dolphins.
(The lesson, as always: God hates Cleveland.)
P.S. If you love this pool, you can always run it back by reversing it and doing a Losers Pool. Same idea except you count losses, not wins.
Yours in gambling on things that may or may not be legal ...