Saturday, February 4, 2017

Oh Canada!: NHL Fantasy Franchise Bet


            As I made my yearly journey to down Alabama for a Fantasy Football draft, the other owners tried to bring me into a long-term bet on the NFL. The bottom ten teams in the NFL were drafted, with the owner owing $100 each year until one of them wins the Super Bowl. A version had just finished with the Bronco’s victory last season, the winner taking $7,000. The boys wanted me to take the Dolphins, and I gave it serious consideration, before passing.

            The bet intrigued me enough to mention it to a few hockey friends and we set up a similar version with the NHL. We decided on an auction style draft, going up from the bottom of the standings, starting each team at $5. Montreal earned the most competitive bidding, before I won it with $50. Buffalo shocked us all, when the amount jumped straight to $40. I gave a pity $5 offer for Columbus, before reselling them for $10.

            The rules are quite simple:
  • The bet continues until one of the teams wins The Stanley Cup.
  • If a team loses in the final, the owner is excused from payment for the following season.
  • Full payment is due at the start of each season, and the funds are kept in an interest bearing account.
  • An owner can opt out at anytime for any team, but may not reenter the bet.
  • Teams can be sold for equal or greater value.
  • The bet can be dissolved if all the owners agree, and money will be refunded based on contributions.

Because Canada had a miserable 2015-2016 season, every team except Ottawa was available. I ended up with four Canadian teams and hope I can get two “lotto tickets” into the playoffs each season. But, since the last of the teams to win The Cup was Colorado in 2001, this could potentially be the longest term bet I ever embark upon. Let the action begin.


Colorado
Player J
17
Montreal
Mine
50
Buffalo
Player R
40
Arizona
Player R
10
Winnipeg
Player J
10
Calgary
Mine
10
Columbus
Player (J)
(5) resold 10
Vancouver
Player J
13
Edmonton
Mine
16
Toronto
Mine
12


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This Bet Is Yuuuge


In a lifetime of gambling, I’ve bet on some pretty unusual and fairly important outcomes before: careers, relationships, pregnancy…long term wagers that affect lives. But I don’t suppose any speculation I’ve done to date can measure with this race for President of The United States, in the year of our Lord 2016.

Early in the festivities, way before the Trump clown army ramped into full gear, I was desperate to go big (BIG) against the Cheeto-colored buffoon, and his hands so tiny, they’d struggle to lift one decent moral fiber.

I could never find any players who wanted to swim in the deep end, but I did give up some big odds on a couple smaller bets that should just about cover my titanic bar tab that will float me through the dark night.

Trump never had a chance. Logic tells us a country that twice elected Obama will not suddenly turn racist and trust the most important political office in the world to a bigoted con-artist. Plain and simple, if you voted Trump, you are on the wrong side of history, aligned with the weakest, slug-like creatures that slime their way blindly through the excrement of our national soul.

And no, I’m not particularly overjoyed with Secretary Clinton either, but I live in a solid red state, so my vote doesn’t really matter much, thanks to the Electoral College process. Bare bones minimum, she’s qualified for the job of running my country, but I didn’t vote for her either.

But, I’m gonna be louder than hell when she wins; and I'm gonna hoist round after round to the cheers of “You’re Fired!” ©

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Juice Will Murder You!


Experiment:
This NFL season I have decided to embark upon a great undertaking. Dismayed that I didn’t want to join his “free” Fantasy League with him, a friend has proposed that we pick every game on the 17 week schedule. I suppose this is the gambling equivalent of running a football marathon.

At first he simply wanted to pick the winner of each game. Perhaps I shouldn’t have, but I pointed out that I’d just take the favorite for each game, since I can’t beat the Vegas line. This seemed like no fun, so we settled picking against the lines he would post before the first game of each week. He even created a webpage that would time stamp and email picks to both of us. We agreed upon $25 a week and we were off and racing.

Since I will be forced to mull over the lines for each and every NFL game this season, as a side challenge, I decided to pick games that I feel particularly confident about, and place a theoretical $100 or $200 bet.

Hypothesis:
My season average against the predictions of professional bookmakers will likely fall somewhere between .450 and .550. But, if I were to place actual bets on the games, even if I proved better than 50% accurate, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to beat a basic 10% bookmaker’s commission, or “juice.”

Results:
NFL Week
Win/Loss
Opponent Record
My Record
My Season Total
Cumulative Average
Hypothetical Side Bet (total)
1
Loss
9-6-1
7-8-1
7-8-1
.467
-200(-200)
2
Win
6-10
9-7
16-15-1
.516
+100(-100)
3
Win
6-10
10-6
26-21-1
.553
+300(+200)
4
Win
6-9
9-6
35-27-1
.565
-100(+100)
5
Win
3-10-1
7-6-1
42-33-2
.560
+200(+300)
6
Win
6-7-1
7-6-1
49-39-3
.557
-200(+100)
7
Win
8-5
9-5
58-44-3
.568
+100(+200)
8
Loss
7-5-1
5-7-1*
63-51-4
.553
+100(+300)
9
Loss
8-3
7-6#
70-57-4
.551
-100(+200)
10
Tie
5-9
5-9
75-66-4
.532
-100(+100)
11
Win
2-10-1
11-2-1%
86-68-5
.558
+100(+200)
12
Win
7-9
8-8
94-76-5
.553
+100(+300)
13
Tie
6-10
6-10
100-86-5
.538
+100(+400)
14
Tie
9-6-1
9-6-1
109-92-6
.542
+200(+600)
15
Loss
12-3
9-6
118-98-6
.546
+200(+800)
16
Win
8-8
10-6
128-104-6
.552
-100(+700)
17
Win
6-10
10-6
138-110-6
.556
+100(+800)

*Missed TEN@HOU
#Opponent failed to pick JAC@NYJ and TEN@NO
%Opponent failed to pick NYJ@HOU

Analysis:
I'm tempted to feel pride at achieving a .556 average against the spread, slightly above my anticipated ceiling result. If I had placed $100 on every game I picked, I would've won $2,800 without calculating commission. For 254 games, at 10% ($2,540 in juice), that would leave me with a net profit of $260 on $25,400 worth of action. Peanuts.

When you factor in my undeniable luck this year, the stress free nature of hypothetical betting, and the significant advantage of capturing the lines on Wednesday, then waiting until Sunday to make picks, it's hard to imagine I could've earned a net gain.

My hypothetical side bet netted $800 on 62 wagers. After 10% commission, I am left with $180 profit on $6,800 action. Popcorn.