Preseason football begins next weekend. While that seems thrilling on one level, I know from previous experience it will lead to me getting really excited, watching four minutes of backups playing football poorly, and then swearing off of it until next season, when I once again forget how boring it really is.
I lose interest because I like to watch games where there’s something at stake. I had a friend tell me he loves to bet money on the NFL preseason games. He even calls it the “free-season.” I should probably point out here that this guy was formerly my accountant, before I decided it would be better to bury my money under a rock in a state park.
One of the ways Las Vegas gets people interested in losing their money in a long-term manner is by letting them wager on “NFL Futures.” It’s like putting a sum of money in an envelope and then coming back after the season ends to make sure it’s gone.
You can bet on the Super Bowl winner, rookies of the year, or first player arrested. OK, maybe not one of those, but I’m sure that’s coming.
My favorite NFL Future is the over/under on number of wins for each team, where you can actually lay money on how good or how incompetent your favorite organization is. Past performance does not guarantee future results, but you can certainly look back and guess where a team is headed.
Dallas Cowboys, 9.5 wins. The thought here is whether or not Dallas gets back to 10 after going 13-3 last year. I don’t think they’ll be nearly as good as last season, and that secondary looks worse than a spec script for “Grown-Ups 3.” I’ll still take them with 10 wins, though, but I’d only go lightly on that one.
Chicago Bears, 5.5 wins. The Bears were a three-win team last year, and one of those was over San Francisco, which should only count as partial credit. I would bet heavy they don’t get back there, much less to six wins.
Oakland Raiders, 9.5 wins. Seems low for a team that went 12-3 before Derek Carr’s injury sank their pirate ship. But on the other hand, the Raiders are in a tough division, Carr’s coming off an injury, and they’re lame ducks in a city that may come to hate them. I’d still take the over, but lightly.
New York Jets, 4.5 wins. This upcoming Jets season is a catastrophe, wrapped in a disaster, drowned in New Coke. I’d bet my house, car and beloved Tom Tupa jersey they wind up no better than 3-13.
Los Angeles Chargers, 7.5 wins, Los Angeles Rams, 5.5 wins. I don’t know which is funnier, the thought of both of these teams improving from 5 and 4 wins, respectively, or the thought of Los Angeles suddenly having two teams in town that people won’t look up from their phones to watch. I’m taking the under on both of these, with the caveat that I won’t watch any games by either team to check and see if I was right.
Cleveland Browns, 4.5 wins. I’ll always put a small wager on the Browns to succeed, just for the sheer dumpster-fire aspect of it. The odds seemed so stacked it’s a must to take the longshot. I do the same thing when I also occasionally wager on MMA fighters to beat professional boxers, John Cougar Mellencamp to win an Oscar, and for reality TV show hosts to win Presidential elections.
- Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid’s second book, “I Hate It Here: A Love Story,” is out now on Amazon.com. You can always tweet questions, comments and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.