If you’re reading this, chances are you didn’t win the PowerBall. If you’re paying someone to read this to you, however, chances are you did. Either that or you’re Floyd Mayweather.
I didn’t go anywhere near it because of the odds. I read one report that said a person has a 1 in 280 million chance of winning. Whoops. Wrong report. Those are Martin O’Malley’s. But the ones I read on PowerBall weren’t much better, which is why I stick to betting football and from now on you should, too.
Some of you PowerBallers might hear that and say, “But I don’t know anything about football,” to which I say, “Where was such rational thought when you were buying PowerBall tickets?” For that matter, how much research supported your decision to select your birthday, your dog’s age, and the number of Star Wars movies that have been made? I’m guessing not much.
Bet Football, Not PowerBall
The nice thing about betting football games is that they’re a lot like this year’s Republican polls. You don’t have to know what you’re talking about to win them. No matter how much research you may or may not do, the odds on every game are still 50-50, which means that, unlike the PowerBall, there’s a good shot you’ll go home with some actual money.
And you won’t have to split your winnings with the other 42 people in your office, because nobody chips in to bet a football game. The only time a group of people are that hard up for $50 there’s usually meth involved. Either that or they work for the Santorum campaign—but let’s stay focused here.
Football bets not only come with better odds, but each game will provide you with three hours of entertainment, so even if you lose, you’ll have some bang for your buck. The only thing you get for losing the 45-second PowerBall drawing is the realization that you were an idiot for playing. (Just to be clear, I’m not calling you an idiot, the laws of probability are.)
So this weekend, I invite you to put the PowerBall in your rearview and join me at the Sportsbook, where I’m betting the following games. If my recent history is any indicator, you should probably pick your own, but I’m submitting mine anyway, because if you’re like most people on the Internet these days, you can’t get out of bed without a scapegoat.
Here’s How You Should Bet
I love the New England Patriots, giving five (-5) to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are the NFL’s hottest team right now, having won 11 straight, but nine of those wins came against teams with a losing record. And can you really count last week’s win against the Texans? Brian Hoyer played like he was sharing a Gatorade bottle with Johnny Manziel.
Experts are harping on the fact that the Patriots lost their last two games of the regular season, but they did so with half of their team on the disabled list. Were it not for the traffic, I would have started at wide receiver for the Pats in week 17. (That’s a much funnier line if you’ve seen how much weight I gained over the holidays.)
The Chiefs are a nice story, but a healthy New England team should beat them by 20. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure Bill Belichick can sneak in a hypnotist to make Alex Smith throw a few picks. Pats 41, Chiefs 20.
The Arizona Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers by 30 in week 15, and the line on this game tells me Vegas is banking on a sequel. Green Bay just blew out the Redskins in the wild card round and is vastly more experienced in the playoffs. That’s exactly why I’m taking the Cardinals.
The Packers look like a clearance sale bargain at plus seven, and if you know anything about casinos, it’s that their bargains aren’t there to help you. Free drinks at the blackjack table seem like a huge bargain, until you’re hitting the ATM at 3:16 in the morning so you can lose another $500. Take the Cardinals, -7, and buy your own damn drinks. Cardinals 38, Packers 17.
Go Seahawks or Go Home
The Denver Broncos are giving seven (-7) to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they’ll cover with ease. Pittsburgh took the regular season matchup 34-27, but that was back when Ben Roethlisberger had two arms attached to his body and Peyton Manning was sitting at home, getting spied on by Al Jazeera.
Now a healthy Manning is back for one more shot at the Super Bowl, and he brings the AFC’s best defense with him. The Steelers will most likely be playing without star wide receiver Antonio Brown, which will only make it harder on whatever fan wins the pre-game raffle to play quarterback. Broncos 28, Steelers 9.
Finally, the Seattle Seahawks getting three (+3) against the Carolina Panthers is without question my best bet of the weekend. People are reading way too much into the Seahawks’ struggles against the Vikings in the wild card round. Did their offense look great? No. But show me an offense that does when it’s negative four degrees out. I know penguins who gave away their tickets to that game.
The temperature in Carolina is expected to be 55 degrees at kickoff, which will be infinitely easier on Pete Carroll’s troops. And Russell Wilson is way more experienced than Cam Newton (1-2 in the playoffs). Wilson comes into this one sporting a 7-2 record that includes a win over the Panthers last year in the divisional round.
There’s also the fact that the Seahawks defense gave up the fewest points in the league for the fourth year in a row, and they only seem to get better in the playoffs. If all of that weren’t enough, 65 percent of the money in this game is on the Panthers, which means the house needs the Seahawks, big.
I don’t know how rowdy you get on a weekend, but even if you drink until you go all Nick Carter and get arrested, use your one phone call to dial the bookie and bet the Seahawks, 27-13. But don’t call me if it loses. I’ll be buying PowerBall tickets.