Testing My Sophisticated Theory of Sports Betting

Well, the power is finally back on, just in time for Sunday football viewing.  Although I generally have no idea which teams are better than their rivals, I do have my own pet theory for picking the winners.  But, does it work?

Because I am male, and sometimes am found around a water cooler or in a gym locker room, I’ve often heard The Talk:  Yeah, one guy will say:  Rex Ryan oughta play Tim Tebow.  Duke is gonna lose all of its best players when they graduate next season.  How about that kid who’s the first Heisman Trophy winner to be home-schooled?

I say  nothing.  But, silently, I ask an important question.  HOW DO YOU HAVE THE TIME OR THE GREY MATTER TO LEARN AND REMEMBER THESE THINGS?  Who is the coach of the Houston Texans (and, when did they stop being the Houston Oilers)? What was the key play in the last Army-Navy game?  How do you pronounce “Favre”?  There are 32 NFL teams and 119 Division 1 college teams…how much of a brain does it take to know all of the skinny on each of them?

I do not know the Te-Bow, the Aaron Rogers belt celebration (looped here like a cheesy porno money-shot compilation reel), or the Icky Icky Shuffle.  I watch football because it’s an amazing spectator sport, carried on by superhuman athletes in often subhuman weather conditions.  So, I am catholic in my choice of games to watch, and will happily watch an hour of the game without ever checking who won.

Nevertheless; I have a system for choosing the winner of any game, any time, pro or college, in any sport.  I simply take the teams’ names and consider which of those anthropomorphized creatures would defeat the other.  A Jet would surely dismember a Seahawk.  A Patriot is an honorable thing to be, but would not stand much of a chance against a Jaguar.  Woe to those teams that chose merely mortal sobriquets, like Packers, Vikings, or Texans.  All rugged types, but no match for a Titan or a Giant.  And, of course, let’s not even discuss the Saints.

I’ve never actually considered whether this method (YES, it’s a method) actually works.  So, let’s give it a look-see.

First, as Bill Clinton might say, we need to define what “works” means.  It looks like there are plenty of analysts out there who blurt forth weekly predictions about who will win NFL games.  Let’s choose the oracle for NFL Network and NFL.com, Eric Harrison.   (He was also the football guy for Fox News, but let’s assume they do better at predicting football scores thant they do at predicting presidential elections).

Eric calls just over 2/3 of the games correctly (going into today’s games, he’s 58 right and 26 wrong).  He’s crowing about that record, so let’s assume that’s pretty darned good.  So, that will be the standard.

Now, let’s consider today’s matchups, and apply The Method.

BILLS – PATRIOTS:  You would’ve guessed that the team is named after Buffalo Bill Cody, which would introduce an element of gunplay into this battle.  But, it is actually named after a young bison named Billy.  So, you’ve got a guy with a musket versus a buffalo.  Which of those species is now almost extinct?  PATRIOTS.

RAIDERS – RAVENS:  Here, you’ve got a pirate up against a bird.  Even Hitchcock would say, “nevermore.”  RAIDERS.

BRONCOS-PANTHERS:  Would a panther be able to defeat a horse?  It would be close call.  The Panther mascot, however, is named “Sir Purr,” who prides himself on “a league-leading 451 hugs ‘purr’ appearance.”  ’nuff said.  BRONCOS.

GIANTS – BENGALS:  There are giants, and then there are Giants.  According to this blog, the Biblical giants were somewhere between 6’8″ (4.5 cubits) and 11’10” (based on the coffin size of King Og of Bashan).  Then again, the blog also contains “handy hints” on how to know when you’re having sex with a fallen angel.  Anyway, let’s assume that the Maras visualized their Giant as being on the tall side as giants go, with massive feet that can stomp a tiger.  So, GIANTS.

LIONS – VIKINGS:  Vikings, on the other hand, are of ordinary height.  LIONS.

TITANS – DOLPHINS:  Titan, I assume, means one of the ancient Gods who ruled the Earth until they were overthrown by Zeus, and not a Titan of Industry, say like Mitt Romney.  So, TITANS.

FALCONS – SAINTS:  Bird of Prey versus Born to Pray.  FALCONS.

CHARGERS – BUCCANEERS:  The Chargers were so named because the owners liked the fact that fans at other stadiums yelled “Charge!” and sounded bugles.  This suggests that the Chargers are soldiers charging into battle.  With guns.  The Buccaneers’ mascot, Captain Fear, carries only a sword.  CHARGERS.

COWBOYS – EAGLES:  It’s against federal law to kill an eagle; but then what do cowboys care about the law?  COWBOYS.

RAMS – 49ERS:  A peaceful bend in the river, where prospectors pan for gold.  Suddenly, a male sheep butts in, with fire in his eyes.  It’s not easy to tell how this will turn out; but since the San Francisco mascot is named Sourdough Sam, I’d say RAMS.

TEXANS – BEARS:  Although there was a day when a Texan meant a sure-shooting big-hatted ornery rattlesnake of a gentleman, that was before the Bushes.  BEARS.

Okay.  It’s 11AM Sunday morning.  Those are the predictions.  Who will win, the NFL analyst or The Method? Let the test begin!

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE:  So, out of the twelve games above, The Method called three correctly, and one was a tie.  That’s not great; BUT guess what?  Eric Harrison got only five out of twelve right.  I don’t know if there is such a thing, but I will declare that the difference between The Method’s results and Eric Harrison’s results are within the statistical margin of error.  Also, the 49er versus the Ram, which I said was almost too close to call, turned out to be a tie!  I am now blinded with science.  See you at the track…I like I Want Revenge over Shy Romance in the fourth.

 

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Testing My Sophisticated Theory of Sports Betting

  1. B deWilde

    Wish you were helping me load the car, Mudge, but I have to say I love this post. Let the games begin!

  2. So, out of the twelve games above, The Method called three correctly, and one was a tie. That’s not great; BUT guess what? Eric Harrison got only five out of twelve right. I don’t know if there is such a thing, but I will declare that the difference between The Method’s results and Eric Harrison’s results are within the statistical margin of error. Also, the 49er versus the Ram, which I said was almost too close to call, turned out to be a tie! I am now blinded with science.

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