When Vegas sets the lines and establishes the spreads, they are looking at a lot of factors. There's obvious things like team record, starting quarterback, recent play ... but clearly, they are also seeing things not privy to the average bettor. For example, how did Vegas KNOW to set the line for the Stanford Cardinal at -5.5 over the ASU Sun Devils? It's almost as if they KNEW that with a four-point lead and less than two minutes remaining, the Cardinal running back would take a seat on his (gr)ass instead of punching in the touchdown that would have pushed Stanford over the spread.
So what's a smart gambler to do? Is there even such a thing as a smart gambler? Clearly the game is
rigged stacked against you. If you needed more proof, consider that eight out of our 11 "experts" are averaging less than 50 percent accuracy in picking against the spread. Only one guy, Dennis Tarwood, has had any kind of success and he's only at 57 percent. He doesn't really count, though, since we all know he uses magical powers in making his picks. He's a secret warlock, but don't tell anyone.
You best bet if you are a bettor is to flip a coin. We've proven that with a 56 percent pick rate for our Coin Flip, which proves beyond scientific doubt that Vegas is just playing on your emotions and perceptions. That's why the Vegas slicks set the line at -11.5 for the New Orleans Saints at home over the Seattle Seahawks. That's a LOT of points, but Vegas knows people will bet the name "Saints," so they bump up the line to catch the fools napping and make sure they come out on top.
There are some other picks that I swear they throw in just to make us fools feel better. Why is Philadelphia (6-3), coming off the best performance of the season with Michael Vick dominating the Washington Redskins -- 59 points in only three quarters! -- only a three-point favorite at home over the New York Giants (6-3)? It has to be the New York betting bias here. There are more bettors from New York, so they must skew the line against logic. Sure, the Giants are pissed at getting killed by the Dallas Cowboys last week, but they've not beaten a single quality opponent in their six wins and they lost at home to Dallas.
Here's our picks for NFL Week 11 and the standings so far. Sorry, Cory, 37 percent isn't going to cut it, but even more embarrassing has to be Bryan Gibberman's 42 percent accuracy. No one watches more football than that guy, which is probably the problem.
Notice how we didn't once even mention the Arizona Cardinals? Irrelevancy is such a sad thing.