Ok, so, we’re taking a week off from non-Spurs bets, and take stock of the season. But I (Joel) did get us caught up on calculating outcomes so far!
Through week six:
Joel: +$890 fake dollars.
Bryan: Literally even Steven. Bryan has won $0 dollars.
Joel: What have we learned so far? We’ve learned that prop bets are very dumb. We’ve learned that Watford don’t make much sense, that it has been very valuable to bet against United (they have a big fan base and are not as good as their underlying numbers, this is something I plan to keep doing until reality catches up).
Mostly, we really don’t know who Spurs are and that they don’t make a lot of sense. In very fleeting moments, the 4-3-3 can look interesting and new, like it’s unlocking Dele Alli as Spurs best player. At others, Spurs look fatigued and old, with Moose, Son (when he’s around), Dier, Eriksen, and Kane all looking weary from wear and tear. Davi looks bad and Toby looks great. Ben Davies looks not great but Danny Rose seems to be rounding back into form. Harry Kane can’t shoot for 70 minutes, but in the last 20 minutes of games is ripping shots. Spurs defend well for 70 minutes, but completely fall apart defensively at the end of matches.
Maybe these aren’t really patterns. Six weeks isn’t a lot of information. Maybe things that feel like patterns will stop being patterns soon - a true gambler’s fallacy. I’m going to try to not see these things as patterns. Ultimately, Spurs have problems, but they’ve been pretty good for the most part. The schedule has been hard: four away matches and two matches against other top six teams. Summing up 538’s projection, Spurs “should” be on 11 points so far this season given baseline expectations, and they’re on 12. Spurs have 11 xG and 8.1 xG allowed. Not great, but not terrible.
We’re going to take a week off from bouncing around the league and doing prop bets, but we are going to do a Spurs bet this week, and take stock of this match. Spurs are projected to win at Huddersfield this weekend 60% of the time. As of this writing, they’ll be without Christian Eriksen and maybe Dele. That likely means Lamela, Son, Lucas, and Kane up top, with Dier and Dembele (uh oh) in the middle. It’s a fine line up that should get the job done against Huddersfield, but it also seems to be all of our tired players. Odds right now are 1:2 to win, 7:2 to draw, and 7:1 for Huddersfield to win.
The smart money would be to go on the draw per 538 and our injuries, but on a matchup basis, Huddersfield don’t like particularly able to take advantage of our weakness on the wings and through the midfield right now. The big question here is whether we’ll be able to knock on the door against their bunkered D and get a couple goals, and I suspect Lamela and Lucas can unlock the doors. I’ll go $200 on Spurs to get the W to win $100.
Bryan: Obviously, I am not a bad gambler because I have not lost any money. I think not losing money on all my dumb bets that have no actual basis is a mark of true genius and I’m upset that Joel didn’t make a bigger deal of it. Joel did say lots of smart stuff about what we’ve learned, but I’d like to offer this counterpoint. I’ve learned nothing. I am no better at picking these bets than I was at the beginning. In fact, I might be worse, because now I’m just picking longer and longer odds on the off chance that one of them will pay off to the tune of $1,500 fake dollars. This does not seem like an improvement or a lesson learned.
If I was smart, like Joel, I’d go with something safe like a bet on Spurs to win at 1/2. That, however, seems very boring and not very fun at all. I am certain Spurs will win. The betting market seems to reflect a similar level of certainty too. So if I know it and the bookies know it, why would I bet on that? I suppose I could just shove my whole stake on the sure thing and return $5,000 on a bet of $10,000, but that seems even more dumb than my usual bets. So, I’ll put $100 fake dollars on Harry Kane to score two or more goals at 10/3.
Look, I’m aware that Joel said prop bets are stupid. I’ve said the same thing, but they sure are a hell of a lot more fun than Spurs to win at 1/2. Plus, I have some ground to make up and I’m not going to do that with safe bets, am I?