The Airing of Grievances
Monday, December 13, 2004
Be Careful, Indeed
Despite his usually boring ESPN: The Magazine column and an ill-advised foray into animation, I have to say, I'm still a Bill Simmons fan. Every week he writes an NFL picks column, in which he picks games based on the spreads, asserts what he thinks to be gambling absolutes, asks you to trust him on these absolutes, and is, inevitably, right about half the time, exactly the way Vegas likes it.

This week, Simmons rationalizes his unspectactular, slightly-better-than-.500 performance this season, as he claims to be ahead in the only statistic that matters, money. His secret? Betting on the five indisputably superior NFL teams. Fair point:
Smart gamblers have been putting their faith in the same five teams every week: Philly, New England, Indy, San Diego and Pittsburgh. Since the World Series ended, those teams are a combined 20-4-1 against the spread and 24-1 overall (and that loss happened because Philly lost at Pittsburgh).
Well, Simmons goes on to argue that, given this truly impressive statistic, Vegas overdid it with many of the spreads this week, yet another point that was really hard to argue on a Friday afternoon. I forwarded the column to a heavy gambling friend, she was so convinced, she took all underdogs, just to see what would happen.

His performance yesterday? 7-8 and 2-3 in games involving the elite 5. Picking all 'dogs? 7-8.

Exactly the way Vegas likes it and exactly why I'm not much of a gambler.
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