NFL Picks: Week 14 (updated)

UPDATE:  Hooray!  Gamblor got off to a great start this week, nailing its second-largest bet as Cleveland dropped Pittsburgh last night.  The 10.5 points that Atlanta is getting against the Saints has tempted it into a moderate hedge bet on the Falcons, and the drift in the spread in the Kansas City game means it has flipped its bet to Kansas City – for a pretty sizeable amount.  It no longer has any interest in Detroit, and the extra half-point has convinced it to throw away a little more money on the Seahawks.  Son of Gamblor, which will be getting an off-book test run in Vegas this week, likes Dallas, Chicago, Tampa, Detroit, and Jacksonville in that order.  Good luck to everyone this week!

Sigh.  For the fourth week in a row, and the sixth out of seven, Gamblor lost money.  It only dropped $21 on a weighted win percentage of 46.5%, but this losing streak is seriously getting old.  What’s worse is that Gamblor hasn’t bet money on a single favorite since Jacksonville in Week 11, and hasn’t seen a 90% flip bet since Dallas in Week 10.  And to really pile it on, it was a fantastic weekend for the sportsbooks, as Detroit, Miami, Cleveland, and Washington all covered as underdogs and Oakland, Jacksonville, and Arizona pulled off surprise victories.  Gamblor is designed (in theory) to profit alongside the books, which makes it doubly disappointing to have lost money last week.  I hadn’t planned on pulling the trigger on Son of Gamblor until the beginning of next year, but I’m tempted to do so just to keep from having to throw money at underdogs every week.  I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because despite it’s troubles lately the computer is still in the black over its lifetime, but what’s the fun in taking the points in every single game and spending every Sunday agonizing over mistakes by guys like Josh Freeman and Ryan Fitzpatrick?

I’ve made no secret about my hatred of the Seahawks, which is driven entirely by my gambling losses on them this year.  It’s funny how spiteful I can get.  In particular, when it becomes clear that a favorite I’ve bet on isn’t going to cover the spread, I’ll start rooting for them to lose the game outright.  Why?  Because fuck them, that’s why.  And that attitude extends towards the stock market as well.  Once I’ve sold a stock, I want to see it take a dive into the toilet – just so I don’t feel like I missed out on a good thing.  It’s petty and childish, but I can’t seem to stop myself.  A few years ago I bought stock in a Canadian gold mining company called Rubicon (RBY) on a tip from a mining lawyer friend in Johannesburg.  It’s done very well for me (even spinning off a pair of adorable little baby corporations – of which I received a chunk of stock; kind of like getting a free prop bet from the house) and in November I sold it all off in two phases – at an average share price of $4.22.  Shortly after I sold out, it climbed all the way up to $4.50.  It has since sunk back down to $4.09.  Neither of these facts should matter to me in the least, but of course they do.  Instead of worrying about how much money I might have made if I’d held on, or how much money I saved by walking away from the table, I should be thinking about how I’m going to reinvest the money I did make.  Which brings me to my feature for the week:

(To watch this video, right-click and hit play)

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When I originally programmed Gamblor, I was using three-letter abbreviations for each team.  I’ve learned how to code things a bit better now, so this isn’t really necessary anymore, but I still use the abbreviations for bookkeeping purposes.  The scheme is pretty simple.  For teams where the home city (or state) consists of a single word (such as Atlanta, Buffalo, or Cleveland), I simply use the first three letters (ATL, BUF, CLE).  For teams where the first word of the home city is “New” (New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints), I use the first letter of each word (NEP, NOS).  For teams where the first word of the city is “Saint” or “San” (San Francisco, Saint Louis) I use the first and last letter of the first word and the first letter of the second word (SNF, STL).  The only irregular forms are Tampa Bay (TAM)  and Green Bay (GNB).  Since I’m looking for new places to invest the profits from my sale of Rubicon, I thought it would be a fun diversion to take a look at all the stocks that share the same ticker symbol as the team abbreviations that I use, and choose five to invest in.

ATL:  Atlantia Spa.  No information available.  Might be out of business.

ARI:  Apollo Commercial Real Estate.  Over the last three months, this real estate investment trust has drifted downwards by a single point from $18.50 to $17.62, but you’d have to be crazy to invest in commercial real estate with the imminent crash that’s on its way.  No thank you.

BAL:  IPath DJ-AIG Cotton.  I’m not even sure what this is, or what exchange it’s on.  Is it a commodity?  Baled cotton?  Beats the hell out of me, and with 29 more teams to go, I’m not going to take the time to find out.

BUF:  Minrad International, Inc.  Again, I’m not really sure what this company is – though it is listed on the American Stock Exchange and has a share price of $0.19, and there’s no trading taking place.

CAR:  Avis Budget Group.  Aha!  These guys rent cars.  But it’s not a traditional stock as far as I can tell, the data only goes back five days, which is bizarre for something that supposedly has a market capitalization of $1.2 billion and a volume of almost 2.5 million.

CHI:  Calamos Convertible Opportunities & Income Fund.   Ugh.  A junk bond fund, and a very poorly performing one at that.  I’ve never been a fan of letting other people gamble my money away.

CIN: Cintra Conc. Infra. De Transpo.  Given the direction the stimulus funds are flowing, I’ve thought that transportation and infrastructure companies might be a good investment in the next couple of years, but this stock isn’t domestic.  Nor is it tradeable for a mere mortal like me.

CLE:  No exact matches.  There’s a couple of Carlisle stocks and a China Prosperous Clean Energy Corporation, but nothing that’s listed on the American exchanges.

DAL:  Delta Air Lines.  I actually looked at this stock a while back and gave it some thought.  It’s a big stock, it has been drifting slowly upwards over the last sixth months, and if I can think of reason why it might do well over the next year, it will be a serious contender.

DEN:  No exact matches.  A few foreign stocks, and nothing enticing.

DET:  Same as Denver.

GNB:  GNB Financial Services.  No history, no reported trade volume, and sold on the over-the-counter bulletin board market.  Very mysterious.

HOU:  No exact match.  Looks like a few energy stocks traded on foreign exchanges.

IND:  ING Groep Perpetual Debt.  Sounds about as profitable as giving your money to “Black Hole Investments, LLC.”  Looks like it, too.

JAC: Jap. Acc. Rtn. II Red SHS.  I’m not even sure what all those prefixes mean, and Yahoo can’t seem to tell me.  Japanese Accelerated Return?  This is a lot like IND and CHI, in that it takes a huge dive in October of 2008 and bottoms out in March of 2009.  Do these have something to do with the mortgage crisis?

KAN:  Medca Japan.  Another foreign stock that won’t come to play in the U.S. markets.

MIA:  No exact matches.

MIN:  MFS Intermediate Income Trust.  Like those other investment groups, except without bottoming out in March.  Looks like they mostly buy mortgage-backed securities, which makes me wonder how they escaped the beating the other guys took.  There’s no way in hell I’d buy one of these things, though – I’d make more (or lose less) money gambling on football, and have more fun doing it.

NEP:  China North East Petroleum.  Ah, finally, a real company.  This one is a serious contender.  I don’t ever feel like oil is a bad investment because the world is definitely going to run out of  oil someday, so the price will eventually go up in the long term no matter what.  It’s got a great Price/Earnings ratio (7.70), and even though it’s pretty small (total capitalization of $150 million) it’s trading at a pretty brisk rate.  The downside is that it’s already gone up 300% this year, so I might be arriving late to the party on this one.

NOS:  No exact matches.

NYG:  Nayarit Gold, Incorporated.  A gold and silver mining company.  If I hadn’t just finished having so much fun with Rubicon, I’d give it some thought.  But I’m done with gold for the time being.

NYJ:  Mercury Recycling Group.  Few details.  Traded on the Berlin exchange.  Is this one of those stocks that’s “poised to explode” that Alicia and Rachel keep sending me spam about?

OAK:  Oak Ridge Financial Services.  By now you know my thoughts on these sorts of guys.

PHI:  Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.  Despite its name, this actually seems like it might be a pretty solid company.  It’s big ($10.5 billion) and its shares have more or less steadily increased from $22 to $56 in the last five years.  It looks like they’ve kept up relatively well with technology, so they’re definitely on the shortlist.

PIT:  Pittler Maschinen.  Looks like a German tool company. No dice.

SND:  Morgan Stanley Plus.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  I’d sooner leave my money in a room with Ronald Bartel, two quarts of gasoline, and a lighter than I’d trust it in the hands of these guys.

SNF:  Spain Fund, Incorporated.  Same as all the other useless investment funds.

SEA:  Claymore Delta Global Shipping.  Now here’s an interesting question.  Do I believe that the economy is going to start picking up anytime soon?  This fund tracks the Delta Global Shipping index and is sitting right at a nice value – $13 per share.  It’s got a decent P/E of 10.19, and as bizarre as it sounds (and as dirty as it would make me feel), it might be one of the few ways to capitalize on global warming. Plus, it’s a nice calm stock, which might be nice after the adventures I’ve had in the last few years.

STL:  Sterling Bancorp.  Too many banks gambled too heavily on shitty mortgages and mortgate-backed securities, and they’re on their way out as an institution.  Just look at this company’s performance over the last five years.  I’d like to invest in a company that’s run by competent businessmen who manufacture products or perform services of actual value, instead of a bunch of arrogant jackasses who think they can create more money buy simply moving other money around in circles.

TAM:  TAM S.A.  A Brazilian air carrier.  They’re okay, I guess, but I’d be more likely to invest in Delta just because it’s more familiar.

TEN:  Tenneco, Incorporated.  Interesting.  These fellows manufacture auto parts, but their stock follows the same exact profile as the shitty investment groups from above.  They’ve started off well this year but have since gone flat, and it looks like they’re losing money, so it’s hard to envision a particularly bright future for them.

WAS:  No exact matches.

Wow, that wasn’t nearly as much fun as I thought it would be.  I can’t say there’s anything here that really catches my fancy.  I think it’s most likely that I’ll invest in the Global Shipping Index for a modest amount, because I think the world economy will pick up modestly in the near future, and I don’t think there’s too much potential for it to collapse.

Here are the computer’s picks for the week.  Once again, it’s enamored of underdogs, which is a bit tiresome.  When I update later on this week, I’ll pass on Son of Gambor’s favorites as well.  Oh, by the way, don’t listen to my own opinion on these things – I was 4-12 last week.  You’d do better tossing a coin.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS
at
CLEVELAND BROWNS
Gamblor’s Pick: Cleveland (+10)
Bet Amount: $44.22 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: Last week I expected Pittsburgh to toy with the Raiders, and they did – so much so that they ended up losing the game.  Their playoff hopes are in jeopardy, and when they come into Cleveland they’re not going to take any chances – especially after seeing the Browns almost sneak back into their game against the Chargers.  Pittsburgh won’t let up in this one.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
at
ATLANTA FALCONS
Gamblor’s Pick: Atlanta (+6)
Bet Amount: $15.40 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: New Orleans has done a very poor job covering the spread lately.  They’re just 2-4 in their last six games.  But Atlanta’s defense is terrible, and it won’t matter whether Ryan plays or not.  New Orleans is just too strong to pick against.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
at
CHICAGO BEARS
Gamblor’s Pick: Chicago (+3)
Bet Amount: $11.45 (Flip and Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: My only hope for Gamblor on this one is that this line is a trap.  Green Bay has looked unbeatable since they beat Dallas four weeks ago, and I don’t expect that to change against a disintegrating Chicago team.
CAROLINA PANTHERS
at
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Gamblor’s Pick: Carolina (+13.5)
Bet Amount: $20.93 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Tom Brady ain’t right.  He just had a baby boy and his finger hurts.  I doubt that New England is going to lose this game, but they won’t be able to blow Carolina out.
DENVER BRONCOS
at
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Gamblor’s Pick: Denver (+7)
Bet Amount: $14.41 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Indianapolis doesn’t care about winning these last few games.  They probably will, but chances are it won’t be by a huge score.  All they care about right now is going into the playoffs with a healthy squad.
BUFFALO BILLS
at
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Gamblor’s Pick: Kansas City (+1)
Bet Amount: $30.60 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: In these situations, Gamblor defaults to the away team with its hedge bets.  I’m glad that’s how it’s programmed – Kansas City is one of the worst teams in the league this year, while at least Buffalo has some potential.  There’s no home field advantage for the Chiefs in this one – who’s going to head out into an empty, freezing stadium to watch a 3-9 team play against a 4-8 one?
NEW YORK JETS
at
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Gamblor’s Pick: Tampa Bay (+3)
Bet Amount: None (Flip)
WHY IT’S WRONG: The Jets have a lot to play for – the Buccaneers don’t.  I certainly don’t expect that Tampa will lie down for them, but they won’t have any reason to get charged up for this game.
MIAMI DOLPHINS
at
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Gamblor’s Pick: Miami (+3)
Bet Amount: $22.51 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: I can’t get behind Jacksonville this season.  I’ve been wrong about them a lot, but even now, I just don’t believe in them.
DETROIT LIONS
at
BALTIMORE RAVENS
Gamblor’s Pick: Detroit (+13.5)
Bet Amount: $2.57
WHY I AGREE: Baltimore isn’t what they used to be.  It’s impossible to see them losing this game, but they’ll be conservative enough on offense that they won’t be able to cover a spread this large.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
at
HOUSTON TEXANS
Gamblor’s Pick: Seattle (+6.5)
Bet Amount: $32.97 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: In every single game this year when they’ve been underdogs, the Seahawks have lost and failed to cover the spread.  In every single game (except for against Arizona in Week 6) when they’ve been favorites, they’ve won and covered the spread.  In layman’s terms, that means that if you’d always bet on the favorite in Seahawks games this season, you’d be 11-1 right now.  Guess what I expect to happen yet again this week?
CINCINNATI BENGALS
at
MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Gamblor’s Pick: Cincinnati (+6.5)
Bet Amount: $41.26 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Minnesota had some problems against Arizona, and I think they’ll still be reeling.  There’s not much for them to play for – Arizona, Philadelphia and Dallas won’t catch them and they won’t catch New Orleans.  So their playoff position is pretty much settled.  Cincinnati, on the other hand, will be attempting to make a statement.  I’m happy with Gamblor’s choice on this one.
SAINT LOUIS RAMS
at
TENNESSEE TITANS
Gamblor’s Pick: St. Louis (+13)
Bet Amount: $11.45 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: It’s a lot of points to cover.  And Tennessee doesn’t have such a high-powered offense.  Late last season, Tennessee managed to pile the points on against Cleveland in a cover that surprised a lot of people.  I’m expecting the same result here.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS
at
OAKLAND RAIDERS
Gamblor’s Pick: Oakland (+1)
Bet Amount: $51.13 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Washington just had their hearts broken last week in a game they really should have won.  Oakland pulled off an amazing victory against the Superbowl champs.  As hard as it is to believe in the Raiders, they should be in good shape to win this game against a Redskins team that has got to travel across the entire country.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
at
DALLAS COWBOYS
Gamblor’s Pick: San Diego (+3)
Bet Amount: $0.59
WHY IT’S WRONG: Gamblor rarely has any interest in betting on San Diego, but the one time it does, I don’t agree.  And it’s simply based on pure contrariness.  Everyone in the country sees a San Diego team that’s on fire walking into Dallas and beating up on a Cowboys team that regularly chokes in December.  And yet Vegas treats this game like it’s a toss-up, with only the home field advantage as the difference in this game.  Remind me – where did they get the money to pay for those hotel foundations again?
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
at
NEW YORK GIANTS
Gamblor’s Pick: Philadelphia (+1)
Bet Amount: $2.37 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: Andy Reid will fuck this one up.
ARIZONA CARDINALS
at
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Gamblor’s Pick: San Francisco (+3.5)
Bet Amount: $8.69 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Arizona managed to lock down the division with their huge win against Minnesota last week.  They won’t worry too much about San Francisco.  The 49ers don’t have much shot at making the playoffs – but they won’t give up until it’s final.
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Week

Zack

Gamblor

Weighted Wins

Weighted Picks

Weighted Win %

Profit

Win

Lose

Push

Win

Lose

Push

1

7

9

-

9

7

-

1339

1727

77.5%

$155.71

2

9

7

-

11

5

-

970

1292

75.1%

$98.97

3

9

7

-

6

10

-

607

1552

39.1%

-$61.75

4

8

6

-

5

9

-

288

963

29.9%

-$70.33

5

6

8

-

6

8

-

655

1217

53.8%

$15.46

6

7

7

-

8

6

-

625

1231

50.8%

-$10.53

7

8

4

1

3

9

1

246

1161

21.2%

-$127.43

8

3

10

-

9

7

-

709

1548

45.8%

-$34.43

9

7

6

-

10

3

-

1152

1609

71.6%

$119.67

10

7

8

-

8

7

-

660

2110

31.3%

-$159.21

11

8

8

-

8

8

-

745

1614

46.2%

-$29.81

12

7

8

1

6

9

-

496

1230

40.3%

-$59.66

13

4

12

-

7

9

-

482

1037

46.5%

-$20.55

Total

86

88

2

86

88

2

8492

17254

49.1%

-$183.89

For legality purposes, this website does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.




  • http://www.lionsdenu.com/category/sports/nfl-guide-2009-2010/ lduthecoach

    Sundays looking good for both of us but I took the Steelers “to unleash hell” against the Browns and -10 is a little low… they are going to be PISSED after last week and no question this is the biggest game of the season for Pittsburgh…
    Also, Arizona wins on MNF

    Check out theCoachs picks @ http://www.lionsdenu.com/category/sports/nfl-gu
    and best of luck this week,

    Regards,
    TheCoach

  • http://notthatyoung.blogspot.com SteveC

    I owned Morgan Stanley stock for a few years…didn't do jack until literally the week I sold it…haven't looked at it since.

    Am I ever conflicted over the Chargers game this week. On the one hand, I want them to pound the Cowboys into dust for their sloppy, uninspired game against the Giants. If I have to see Wade Phillips and his stupid, constipated, “what just happened?” look one more time, I think I'll go nuts. The Cowboys had the game in the bag until the last minute of the half and totally fell apart. On the other hand, I want the Chargers to lose because the Broncos need all the help they can get coming down the stretch…but, in the end, I think the Chargers are going to win, so why not make some money off of it!

    The Raiders game looks very good to me. They're a completely different team with Gradkowski playing (except for when I bet on them…grrrr) and I think they're going to be really tough these last few weeks of the season. I'm going big on this game.

    And, I think the Broncos have a puncher's chance against the Colts. Manning seems to struggle against the 3-4 and if the Broncos can get good pressure on him, they've got a real chance to win the game.

  • http://www.popdose.com Zack

    I wish us both the best of luck on the Raiders game. It will be a long, long time before I ever trust them to win games outright (hell, they couldn't even beat Kansas City) but maybe they've actually managed to find a spark.

    My hatred for the Chargers seems to grow daily (almost like it's somehow connected to their level of proficiency). I'll be rooting against them with all my heart.

  • http://www.popdose.com Zack

    I wish us both the best of luck on the Raiders game. It will be a long, long time before I ever trust them to win games outright (hell, they couldn't even beat Kansas City) but maybe they've actually managed to find a spark.

    My hatred for the Chargers seems to grow daily (almost like it's somehow connected to their level of proficiency). I'll be rooting against them with all my heart.

  • rodger

    When did you start hating the Chargers? Wait, are you still a Raiders fan?

  • http://notthatyoung.blogspot.com SteveC

    Just wait until the playoffs, the Chargers will choke and fold like they always do…

  • http://www.popdose.com Zack

    Yeah, I still root for the Raiders, though I recognize, like most folks, that the Raiders have absolutely zero chance until someone pries control of the team from Al Davis' cold, undead hands. The Chargers have always been “the enemy” but this year they've been bugging me more than ever; not entirely sure why.

  • http://www.popdose.com Zack

    Yeah, I still root for the Raiders, though I recognize, like most folks, that the Raiders have absolutely zero chance until someone pries control of the team from Al Davis' cold, undead hands. The Chargers have always been “the enemy” but this year they've been bugging me more than ever; not entirely sure why.