I did you all a favor and did something over the holiday. I scoured the web for any prediction that had Illinois NOT finishing dead last in the Big Ten West. How do you think I did? That’s right, I couldn’t find ONE prediction that had the Illini in any other place than last. Because we have Lovie and he will resurrect the program and stuff. Or something.
Some good news, however – my “Fire Lovie Smith” tag is re-usable from his Bears days so at least I am saved that tiny bit of labor.
Meanwhile, you get a cool 150-1 for Illinois to win the Big Ten Title, only “bested” by Rutgers at 250-1. I always laugh at these futures odds. That Illinois bet should be at least a thousand to one if not more. For Illinois to win the Big Ten every other team except perhaps Purdue and Rutgers would have to go down in a plane crash or get hit by a meteor.
Anyways, looking forward to another great year of football from Champaign.
Dan and I and our friend Brian and some others are heading out to Reno for the Super Bowl. Reno? Why Reno? Easy. In Reno things are comped, and in Vegas we are nobody.
The highlight is betting on the Super Bowl. It is great to be in a big real sports book (sure it’s nothing compared to Vegas but it beats the local bookie) and to also be able to bet on the NCAA and NBA games the day before, too.
This year the betting will be easy. Manning, who beat the Bears in the 2007 Super Bowl after the 2006 season, is despised by our crew (even though hell it is Ron Turner and our idiotic coaching and strategy that really did us in, but that’s beside the point) and we will gladly bet against them and for Carolina.
The line started around 4.5 for Denver but seems to have gotten as low as 3 as Denver fans piled in. Keep it up, Denver fans! Bet everything you can put your hands on. Not that I am any sort of line guru but I figured the line would start at 4.5 and even move beyond 7 since Tom Brady, Gronk and a bunch of random guys off the street replacing injured stars took Denver within a 2 point conversion of OT. But the line is going the other way, and that’s awesome.
We want a repeat of the Broncos vs. Seattle from 2 years ago when they were crushed from the opening kickoff and Manning’s dinky little passes went nowhere while the opposing offense piled up more than enough points.
As Bear fans we can count on a few things 1) likely not making the playoffs any time soon 2) watching the much better and hated Slack get into the playoffs, then hopefully losing in a heartbreaking fashion 3) putting money on someone else to win the Super Bowl than our usual hated teams and opposing players.
Not that we would ever gamble here at Fire Everybody, but let’s just say theoretically we were at Reno for the Super Bowl and we had some money from sold off South Lot passes and also a bit of money to keep it interesting… what is our Super Bowl betting algorithm? Here’s my take on it and Dan can throw in his 2 cents…
- Bet on Bears – God knows that this will never happen but just in case of course that is what we’d do, even if we felt like the odds were crazy
- Bet against the Slack – there’s nothing in the universe that would make us bet on the Slack. In all cases we’d bet against them
- Bet against Pittsburgh – we hate the lunchbox Steelers. Would be a brutal day in the life if we had to choose between the Slack and the Steelers… last time I prayed for a meteor to strike the field and only let the ex-Illini survive
- Bet on the Patriots – we have a profound respect for their coach and his ability to stay ahead of whatever is going on in the NFL. Damn I wish he was in charge of the Bears
I think these are the actually only four “lock” bets in sequence. After that it is a bit situational. Here are some general rules of thumb…
- Bet against either Manning – I still can’t believe f*cking Eli has 2 Super Bowl wins. DAMN YOU. If they played those games over 100 times the Giants would lose 99 times… and yet he has 2 rings. Plus his brother has to give it up he’s hurt and a shell of himself and we are tired of hearing him shilling Buicks
- Bet against Flacco – Flacco is one guy that goes out of his mind in the playoffs, but we still don’t want to see the NFL title parade going through the rubble-strewn badlands of Baltimore
- Screw our divisional rivals – although it is purely theoretical we’d have to swallow damn hard to root for the Queens or bankrupt Detroit. Most likely it would be the other guy
- Bet on Dallas – hell I have to give it to them they have the best cheerleaders and their stadium is out of this world
After that there are some obscure scenarios like Oakland (hell yes I’d bet on those lunatics) but not worth worrying about. That is my betting tree up above and it covers a reasonable amount of contingencies.
Dan, our friend Brian, and I recently were in Reno for the Super Bowl. We go there to relax and unwind a bit and also to gamble at the sports book in town. Why Reno? Hell, it is way cheaper than Vegas and they treat you like a king.
One of the days we usually hang out at the Sports Book, get free drink tickets, and put a bunch of bets on NCAA and NBA games. It is pretty amazing when you look at the increased level of competition from a typical Big Ten game to then move to a division zero team like Louisville and then on finally to an NBA game.
I just started making random bets and this was one of them – Memphis + 17.5 points under Gonzaga. Boy has the Memphis program fallen on hard times since Mr. “One and Done” moved on to Kentucky.
Somehow Memphis managed to lose by 18! (we had already crashed by then and I checked the score in the morning) Of course black helicopter fans would note that Memphis was losing by nearly this amount at the half and then in the second half the game dragged on and then Gonzaga just barely covered…
We also had Mr. Harden of Houston split 2 free throws with almost no time left making both Dan and I a loser even though we had Houston on opposite sides of the line! I had 5.5 points and Dan had 7 and then managed to win by 6. Never thought I’d see that and it seemed almost personal.
The official definition is
Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
Well here at Fire Everybody that’s about all we have nowadays. Our hated rivals the Slack had an epic collapse for the ages and now are not going to the Super Bowl. A lot of things had to go wrong at the end for them to lose that game and it all occurred in a row.
Dan and I are on to Reno for the Super Bowl (yes Reno, damn they treat us like kings with comped rooms and you can play $5 craps and blackjack and drink free for days while you couldn’t even get near a $50 table in Vegas and you’d have to spend $25k to be treated the same) and it looks like New England for us. Damn I still can’t believe those 2 losses to the Giants if those games were played over again 100 times the Pats would win 99% of them but that’s life and why Eli Manning is somehow blessed.
Over at my “mothership”, LITGM, I put up a post analyzing FanDuel and give my take on it. Click here if you are interested. Also, I had a thought of starting up some challenges there for us 12 guys that read this website. Probably a $2 entry fee, limit six players, salary cap rules. If we don’t get six, the contest for that week would be cancelled and FanDuel returns the money. Let me know in the comments. And yes, I know fantasy football is dumb.
40% of our starting offensive line likely won’t play for the next few weeks. Slauson and Garza both suffered high ankle sprains on Sunday. This really smarts but is all part of being an NFL team. I haven’t heard too much on Jeffrey’s hamstring besides that is isn’t too serious. The Bears are keeping that one close to the vest. Sunday is a stiff test and we need all the help we can get. Vegas has the 49ers as a solid 7 point favorite.