Hello, degenerate gamblers. March Madness is upon us, so whataya say we get mad together? Props are plentiful in this year's NCAA tournament. Some of these are harder to find than a clean Lindsay Lohan urine sample, but I promise if you go online and search hard enough you'll hit pay dirt.
There will be ZERO buzzer-beaters during the second-round (Thursday-Friday) games (-140)
Aside from the over/under for Joey Chestnut hot dogs consumed, this is my favorite annual bet in all of sports. I've won with this play the last two years. Yes — betting against buzzer-beaters makes me the equivalent of the kill-joy douche bag who plays the don't-pass line in craps. But I don't care — it's an adrenaline rush like none other. Remember — you lose only if the game ends on the shot itself. If the shot sends the game into overtime, it is not considered a buzzer-beater. If there's .3 still on the clock after the shot is made, it is not considered a buzzer-beater. If some drunken coed sets off an app that sounds like bees swarming while a free throw is converted — not a buzzer-beater.
Let's break down this prop. Of the 32 second-round games, 25 or so are not going to be within seven points in the final 30 seconds — so those are throwaways. (I completely made up that stat but it sounds about right.) That leaves only a handful of games you have to watch from the edge of your laptop. Please jump on this one with me, if for no other reason than I don't have to feel like such a loser.
Rough week last week. My NFL prop picks got smoked harder than a blunt backstage at a Bieber concert. I pulled a giant oh-fer, wiping out my entire jermajesty savings account. In fact, I now owe 22,500 jermajesties*.
But look at me. Do I seem worried? Not even a little, and you know why? Because I have this week — traditionally the most effed-up week of the NFL season — completely figured out. Every year during the divisional round of the playoffs there's a huge (eight points or higher) upset. Let me quickly refresh your memories:
In 2007 Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for some reason played on the road, otherwise the streak would've been six-plus years.
The divisional playoff round is when the bookies make a killing. Well — this year we're gonna kill them right back. Come Monday when you're gathered around a water cooler talking about the games you'll be able to pull out your own bottle of artesian mineral water and tell everyone you've got boatloads of it back home thanks to Cousin Sal steering you away from the big favorites.
Here's how we're doing it. I'll do it with jermajesties. You use the real stuff. Just follow my lead. Especially with this first prop:
Why does rooting for sports hurt so much? How does one allow himself to get to a point where his favorite player blowing a winnable game for his favorite team is as painful as hearing about the near death of a loved one or a breakup of a long-term relationship?
A normal person would step back and realize that the sadness/frustration that goes with rooting for a game played by mostly thuggish multimillionaires who couldn't give a crap about you should fall somewhere between getting a parking ticket and not being able to guess someone's offering on Draw Something. That's it. No more demoralizing, no less.
So what if Tony Romo came up short again? Why, after 41 years on this planet, why should I care? If I were still 7 years old, fine — but 41? The fact that I can't outgrow this is grotesque. I feel like I can laugh off "I know you are but what am I?" retorts. I can roll my eyes at a grownup singing about my wife and me sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. So why is it so enraging if a hundred Twitter followers send me the same stupid tweet: "How do you say Romo in Spanish? Sanchez." Not funny — don't laugh.
Don't worry — I don't expect you to have an answer to these rhetorical — yet painful questions. My New Year's resolution is to not care as much about stupid shit. And if I break that resolution — I don't care as much. See — I'm off to a great start!
Good thing that therapist of mine is still accepting jermajesties* cuz I have plenty of those lying around. 185,000 to be exact. That's the profit I've turned wagering on NFL propositions this season. My road to a million jermajesties (sounds like a bad Max Allan Collins novel) has taken a few slight detours. Let's get it back on track this wild-card weekend:
If you're reading this, the end of the world did not take place and the Mayans will forever be seen as crap-filled liars. Let's hope that's the case.
As far as my personal interest goes, the end of the football world (at least the season) has been perplexingly delayed by my beloved Dallas Cowboys. I guess they just want to disappoint me closer to the holidays. This team is the equivalent of unwrapping a bolo tie on Christmas Day.
I actually thought of a way the Cowboys could prolong the inevitable agony for their fans before even stepping on the field this Sunday. I know bullying is frowned on in today's society, but I wouldn't mind seeing uber-rich Cowboys owner Jerry Jones make a public statement before the Saints game. And it should go something like this: "Let it be known that if we are to lose this week against the Saints, we will actively and aggressively pursue Sean Payton in the offseason. And don't think we won't." And then when New Orleans backs off and lets us win — we steal Payton away in mid-January anyway.
There you have it. Easy Peasy George and Weezie.
Here's my jermajesty* update: -19,500 last week and +180,000 overall. My apologies for last Sunday's Ray Rice over 19.5 carries prop. I thought I read somewhere that the Ravens hired a new offensive coordinator. He must not have started yet.
This week, we up the ante in our quest for one million jermajesties.
And so ends this dismal installment of Thursday Night Football 2012. Remember when Thursdays used to be must-see TV? At best — this season — NFL Network presented us with “Must C-minus TV.” I fondly recall the legendary names associated with Thursday night television: Cosby, Seinfeld, J. Fox. Just like that, those icons have given way to the likes of Cassel, Hartline, and Heyward-Bey. If nothing else, we shouldn’t be featuring Clay Harbor this close to the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Too depressing.
Back to what’s important — gambling on men who protect their genitals with plastic! Was anyone else bold enough to urge you to bet that Mark Sanchez would end his coveted interception streak last week? Probably not. I can’t brag too much as, overall, my prop bet predictions took a small dip — bringing my season-long tally to a positive and still impressive 199,500 jermajesties overall.*
(*Obligatory weekly explanation: A "jermajesty" represents the fake name given for a dollar amount in this blog. It’s also the unfortunate name of one of Jermaine Jackson's sons.)
Before Thursday night’s game, teams that were 8+-point underdogs at home were 21-1 against the spread. 21-1! Leave it to the dismal Raiders to screw up that trend.
But still, that’s a bizarre progression — one that will undoubtedly trip up even the most astute degenerate gambler. That’s why I like that I stay clear of the lines themselves and play the prop bets, where there are no pitfalls to speak of whatsoever. Yeah, right.
We took a little hit last week, shaving 7,500 off our bundle, which took the grand total to 210,000 jermajesties* overall. Our quest for a million jermajesties in the hopes to buy some really cool fake Christmas gifts begins right now.
Quick question: Is it safe to hide jermajesties* in the crisper or will they eventually go bad? I have a serious problem trying to hide the many bundles I’ve accumulated from the wife and kids. Thanks to my Week 12 prop bet conquest, I’ve now amassed 217,500 jermajesties on the year.
Let’s recap my glorious Week 12:
Lions first half over the Texans. (Easy.)
Redskins over 22 points. (Easier.)
Seahawks under 21 points. (That one pushed, so not as easy.)
Basically, if the Dolphins’ defense were on the field for punt returns, I would’ve swept the board.
Quick poll: Did anyone else turn a 70,000 -jermajesties profit on NFL propositions last week, taking his or her season-long total to 182,0500 jermajesties in the plus overall? Probably not, since jermajesties* don’t really exist, except in Jermaine Jackson’s household. Actually, I did come across some good news, as the soon-to-be-defunct Hostess Brands Inc. has agreed to let me purchase their remaining stock using jermajesties. Looks like everyone’s getting a gross of Twinkies and Suzy Q’s from me for Christmas.
Where was I? Oh yeah — Twinkies. This is a tough week to pick props. Mainly because as of Tuesday night, there were absolutely none to be found.
Because everyone on the Grantland staff (including and especially myself) is too lazy to work on Friday, we’ll have to make do on three propositions that I’m pretty sure will be on the board, followed by a bunch I’m positive you will not be able to wager on.
Only I could win four out of five of my major prop bets, go 3-and-0 with my best bets against the spread, and not have a dime to show for it. Yes — I too loaded up on a three-team teaser with the 49ers over the Rams. Neither team won, so as a result, I became the only loser. They say a tie is like kissing your sister, but I’d like to see another example of a peck on a sibling’s cheek that results in a lost car payment. And that includes the oddly amorous connection between Angelina Jolie and James Haven last decade.
For those keeping track — in make-believe degenerate gambling land, I netted +47,000 jermajesties*, which takes it to +112,050 jermajesties overall this year.
No matter what your affiliations are, or how you were affected by this week’s big news, you must admit we’ve experienced a major moment in the storied history of this country. That’s right: an African American man once again put himself in a position to make a decision that can change millions of lives for the better. Yes, fellow countrymen — Jermaine Jackson has decided to change his name.
This week, the brother of pop legend Michael Jackson filed a petition at an L.A. courthouse asking to change his last name to “Jacksun.” In case you still can’t figure out the difference, Jermaine just wants to scrap the “o” in Jackson and make it a “u.”
I’m sure the letter O is thrilled to be done with this lunatic. (Calls have been put out to O’s publicist — still no response.)
But this is especially fun news for me because (a) I love when celebrities (albeit D-listers) lose their minds, and (b) Jermaine is solely responsible for this blog’s long-running monetary unit.*
Back in 2000 (presumably when he was more lucid), Jermaine thought it would be wise to name his son Jermajesty. So the poor bastard is stuck with that first name, but his old man feels it’s necessary to have a minor surgical procedure done to his last name that doesn’t even change it phonetically?
He claims the switch is for artistic reasons, but Jermaine, I have a feeling you’re going to find out the “u” will not help so long as the “you” is behind the celebrity.
OK, back to winning jermajesties. After hearing about political propositions all week, I think people have forgotten about the propositions that count, those being the ones I cover in the NFL.
Last week, I went in the tank 31,000 jermajesties, bringing my yearly total to +65,050 jermajesties overall. On to Week 10
This week, Jimmy Kimmel Livemoved its entire production to Brooklyn, USA. Jimmy and I were born in Brooklyn, and it was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts. Little did we know (actually, we knew, we saw the forecast a week before — we’re stupid) a huge storm would interfere with this homecoming by ravaging the East Coast. Luckily, our venue, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, was not affected and we were able to film four of our five planned shows in front of the most enthusiastic crowds we’ve ever hosted.
Bad news is — as a result of Hurricane Sandy, many of the great eateries in Brooklyn have been closed indefinitely, which means we’ve been stuck eating two-and-a-half-ish star hotel food for most of the week. If there’s a worse Sandy-related story, I’ve not yet heard it.
I'm kidding, of course. There’s devastation just minutes away from our studio. The effects of this storm have been horrendous, and it’s heartbreaking to see what these people are going through.
But I have a plan: We should capitalize on my incredibly dynamite-as-of-late NFL prop picks — then take the Chris Christie–size profits and donate them to a relief fund tasked with cleaning up the mess left behind by Sandy.
Speaking of those profits — last week, I netted 29,000 jermajesties,* bringing my yearly total to 96,050 jermajesties overall. Let’s keep it going in Week 9.
Back in the early 1990s, when I was in college, I had a friend we called “Cow.” Like me, Cow had a terrible gambling problem and an even worse gambling theory. Cow swore that every NFL night game was fixed. “Don’t bet it, it’s a good fix.” We would laugh at him — mostly because he weighed more than 300 pounds, had an extra row of teeth, and was missing a baker’s dozen worth of chromosomes. But also because it was an outrageous theory. How could the NFL fix all the night games on their schedule without anyone noticing except for an obese imbecile who grew up too close to a nuclear power plant in upstate New York? Well, I’m beginning to think Cow was right.
Every week there appears to be a night game that keeps you wondering. Some weeks have multiple head-scratchers. Here’s a recap of the fishy final scores/endings:
I’m still reeling from Thursday night’s gambling fiasco. For those of you who were lucky enough not to have watched, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh (who I now wish had been punched hard in the face by Lions coach Jim Schwartz during Shakegate) declined a penalty that would have given his team a nine-point lead with under a minute remaining, opting instead to keep the opportunity to kneel down for two plays and maintain a seven-point lead.
Why get in victory formation up one score when you can get in the same formation up two scores? Especially knowing the droves of people on Twitter who want to kill me for telling them to “bet the farm” on the 49ers giving eight points? Thanks to Harbaugh, these degenerates are both furious and farmless.
The worst part is that after 10 years, my wife finally decided to care about my rooting interests, which forced me to spend 25 minutes explaining this very confusing scenario — of course — with no success. A waste of time, even by Jason Garrett’s standards.
I’m going to help you get your farms back, one domestic goat at a time, with NFL prop bets. If you’ve followed my prop bets since the beginning of the season, you’ve done very well. How well? 69,050 jermajesties* well. Among the winners I gave out last week were the Jets to score over 23 points against the emotionally spent Colts, Michael Vick’s fumble woes to continue, and Antonio Gates to score the first touchdown in the Monday-night game. That particular wager paid 10/1. I’m really, really good at this. Let’s keep it going in Week 7.
Rough one last week. My wretched prop bets cost me a gargantuan 49,700 jermajesties.* These days the gambling gods and I are getting along about as well as Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. I’d like to know — do those gambling gods think I’m playing? I’ll tell you right now I’m not sitting here for 20 minutes and having them run down their résumé every five minutes, every day. They’d better not say one more disrespectful thing to me about my crappy picks or I’ll shoot their Dreamloving asses.
OK — glad I got that off my chest. Now I can ditch my pink wig and hopefully move on from this pigskin-prognostication misery.
The good news is, my fake bankroll is still at a positive 18,050 jermajesties overall. The bad news is, this is all nonsense and I’ll never be able to cash in.
(*Obligatory weekly explanation: A "jermajesty" represents the fake name given for a dollar amount. It is also the unfortunate name of one of Jermaine Jackson's sons. Unfortunate for him. Fortunate for us.)
Jets to score over 23 pts. vs. the Colts
I know betting on the Jets seems like a great waste of jermajesties, especially since in the last four games the Jets have put up 10, 23, 0, and 17 points. This week they face a Colts team that’s coming off an emotional game. You can’t expect them to show as much effort in Week 6. They are, in fact, the Colts. The Jets’ biggest problem (besides disrespecting God by keeping his favorite player sidelined) has been getting the running game going. I like their matchup against the 25th-ranked Colts rush defense. 20,000 jermajesties
Here we are. A good four days later, and I’m still sick to my bloated stomach over the latest Cowboys meltdown. I’ve tried to conjure up a non-football analogy to describe what I’m feeling, and the best I can come up with is that it’s similar to when an average-at-best Bears squad embarrasses your disgustingly overexposed, overrated, and overpaid team at home. It’s sort of like that.
Plus, I just suffered my first losing week of the season, jermajesty-wise* (-16,250). This, despite my “New England (18/1) to score the most points in Week 4” play coming through. Shame on you, Vegas, for listing such ridiculous odds on Tommy Uggs and the potent Pats offense.
Overall, I’m still in the positive (+67,750 jermajesties), not to mention 8-4 overall (3-0 last week) with my best bets against the spread.
Have I fully confused you enough with meaningless numbers? Good. Here are more