Alright, so I won my last bet (even though I was one Arizona Cardinal penalty from being out another $50. Whatever. I won. That’s all that counts). And I am optimistic about this week for a few reasons: 1) As late as last Thursday, three games still didn’t have a line. Vegas doesn’t have a shit clue what’s going on here. I cannot remember ever looking in the Thursday paper and seeing three NLs (and I have been gambling for almost nine years). This season is unprecedented. 2) When Tony and I were discussing the spreads, he acted like a kid on a free shopping spree in a toy store. He was jumping around, hooting and hollering, and generally getting into it. By the time we finished talking, I was giving some serious thought to calling Gambler’s Anonymous to get us some help (bet me I won’t. Go on. I dare you). Anyway, six games piqued his interest. Four games piqued mine. Three of these were the same. I just can’t help but be optimistic (which means I’m doomed to failure this week, but who cares? I’m smiling right now and that’s all that matters). 3) I just called my bookie, and he tried to sucker me into three bets by mentioning what action he’s laying off to other bookies (this is how a bookie will try to lure you into what he thinks is a sure thing for him) and he has never done this before. Why would he pull this crap-ass stunt and risk losing me as a client if he wasn’t dead sure about those bets going the other way? Answer: he would not. Coincidentally, those three games were the exact three that Tony and I agreed on. The stars are aligned here, people.

In the interest of keeping this under a thousand words, I’m skipping my review of the Bucs game and my experiences at The Local Pub last Sunday. I will, however, give you the Late Great Chris Farley SNL version: that was awesome.

Onto this week’s wager:

This week’s wager is what we call a Cracker, which is a combination of a Teaser and a Parlay. It combines the increased payout of the parlay, (though it does not pay quite as much as a parlay), and does not offer any extra points like a teaser does. An example is forthcoming. First, onto the picks.

Pick 1: The Giants over the Chargers. The Giants are pretty damn good this year. The Chargers aren’t relying on Tomlinson that much, and even if they did, the Giants defense can handle him. For whatever reason, the Giants are getting six points.

Pick 2: The Steelers over the Patriots. Don’t you just smell a Brady injury? Can’t you just feel the whoosh of air as Willie Parker flings past the revamped Patriots secondary? I think I detect the scent of… no, it couldn’t be… but I swear I smell four touchdown tosses by Big Ben. Wow, what an aroma. Mmm, I love the smell of wagers in the morning. The Steelers are giving 3, and I’m sure pompous New Englanders are playing the “we get no respect” card. Right now, PIC legend Justin Rebello is openly hoping that I fall on something sharp. (Side note on New England fans: Does happiness exist in Boston? Are blowjobs illegal there? Are they all like a bunch of menstrual women whose only bit of happiness can be derived from constantly bitching about stuff? Do they even have hippies in Boston? Seriously guys: two Super Bowl Championships and a World Series Title in three years and you can still bitch every week, win or lose, rain or shine? Man, it must suck up there).

Pick 3: The Saints over the Vikings. The Vikings can’t be as bad as they look. The Saints can’t be as bad as the Vikings, and yet the Vikings are favored. The Saints are getting 4? Am I reading this right?

Example of how a Cracker works: one of my bets is giving 3 points (the Steelers). The other two are getting a combined 10 points. So all three of my bets are getting a combined seven points. So, to use an example here: If the Steelers win by one point, then I have used two of my tease points. So then, if the Saints lose by seven, then I have used an additional three tease points, which leaves me with only two points for the Giants game. So if the giants lose by four, I push. If they lose by three, I win. And if they lose by five, I lose.

So there you go. Tony and I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

I wagered $50. I could win $150. (If this were a straight parlay I could win $230. If it were a straight teaser I would most likely get about seven additional points, just so you know.) My juice is $2.

Total yearly earnings: $44
Total record: 2-1

College Football Note:

UCF got routed by USF. I feel horrible for questioning the strength of my alma mater (I wrote that they would win, but not cover. They covered like a big top. I mean, that was some covering). And to all the UCF fans reading this, I’m so sorry about the rivalry thing, but unless you do something against us in Orlando next year, you ain’t playing us again. Also, I want to toss a shout out to Mike, former UCF student, current USF student, and general hater of all things UCF. He hated the school, the students and the athletic departments when he attended the home of the Golden Knights so Saturday was like revenge for him. We killed them. Most of the fans were gone before the third quarter ended. But not Mike. He savored that game like a puppy with his first steak bone. Mike, no one will ever take that away from you.

However, we’re about to get our asses kicked by Louisville tomorrow night. See you at the game.

Nevertheless, USF is 3-0 against the spread this year. They are getting 20.5 points for this game. I’d be happy if we lost by 14, but I’d be really happy if we lost by less than a touchdown. And if we win, I promise to dance the jig like a drunken Irishman for fifteen whole minutes. My cashless, riskless prediction: USF wins in overtime (why the hell not, right? What’s wrong with a lil’ school spirit?). Get ready to see me jig sports fans.

Nate’s note: I am finally figuring out how to structure this blog, and for those of you who read it daily, I would like to keep you abreast. Here’s what I’m going for: once a week I will do observations, snippets and football picks. Football picks will always be on Friday, the snippets and observations will be on whatever day they fit and I reserve the right to use the other two days for anything else, really. I am also not writing on weekends any more lest my columns suffer from focusing on the blog too much. So there you go: a lil’ inside info.