I have never been good at betting on NFL football. Invariably, I am on the wrong side of picking the over/under or the winner, especially Superbowl games. I always thought it was my lack of information. So this season I entered two NFL football pools sponsored by a friend, and I was determined to do some research on ESPN every week.
The first pool is called “Pick ‘em/ Rank’em” where you pick the winner of every NFL game each week, and then assign a confidence level of 1 (think Browns) to 16 (think Patriots) to each pick. Since everyone has a bad week now and then, you get to throw out your two worst weekly totals.
The point spreads do not matter in “Pick ‘em/ Rank’em”, other than showing the bookies’ confidence level. When the Patriots are playing the Miami Dolphins, for example, and the point spread is minus 17 for the Patriots it means the betting book is willing to give Miami a 17 point lead before the first kick-off. This was a no-brainer. Take the Patriots because the minus spread does not count – just the Patriots must win.
The second pool was even easier. It is called “Survivor”, and all you have to do is pick one and only one winner (without point spreads), each week. The wrinkle is you cannot pick the same team twice.
So, after you have picked the Patriots, 49ers, Ravens, Kansas City, Green Bay, and New Orleans, you have to start thinking about Cleveland, Miami, Arizona and the Bengals. Luckily it takes two mistakes to be eliminated. How hard could this be with all the information I had at my fingertips?
“Pick ‘em/ Rank’em” has been a disaster. I am in 40th place. “Survivor”, was even worse. I was wrong for the second time after week 7, and was the 3rd player out of 53 to be eliminated. Clearly, it was not me. I was not getting enough information in a timely fashion.
5G and Sensor Technology To The Rescue
But I am no quitter, so when I read the WSJ’s special report this week written by Sarah Krouse about the information surge coming to professional sports betting from 5G and sensors I was thrilled. According to Ms. Krouse the U.S.A is finally going to catch up with the Europeans, and I will have all the information I need to excel in some sort of betting opportunity:
“Faster 5G service will help connect more sensors within stadiums and bring much lower latency, which translates into more in-game betting opportunities, says Guru Gowrappan, chief executive officer of Verizon Media Group… In the U.K., more than 70% of all mobile sports bets are in-play or after the game has started, while sports betting in the U.S. has focused primarily on which team will win or lose, says Stephen Master, president of sports-business advisory firm Master Consulting.
U.S. sports are well positioned for in-game betting, he says, because games like baseball and football are less free-flowing than soccer. Every at-bat, drive or kickoff has an outcome on which to bet.”
Mound Ball Is My Only In-Game Betting Experience
Actually, the only in-game experience I have so far in my betting career is “mound ball”, where you bet beers on whether the defensive player in baseball holding the ball after the 3rd out in any inning will roll the ball to the area designated as the “mound”, or whether it will roll off into the grass. I always fashioned myself as a mound ball savant and had several memorable hangovers to prove it.
Think of the thrill of having twenty mound ball games going simultaneously! 5G will make it possible. Unsolicited, the beer vendor in your aisle in Cleveland will pour you a beer in the 5th inning when you win the 3rd inning (time change) mound ball bet in Milwaukee. When you lose, the internet of things (IOT) will debit your Venmo account and credit a beer opponent in Boston who will get an unsolicited pour of Sam Adams.
The same opportunity will exist for bets on whether the Browns will be offside on a 4th and 1 in the red zone, or whether Coach Kitchen’s heart rate will spike when Jarvis Landry is called for taunting on the first touchdown of the game.
With 5G and the IOT my betting opportunities will definitely abound. My sports betting record will probably continue to be like every Browns’ season except for mound ball where, happily, the beer hangovers will be like the Patriots.