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Just Another Week 6

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Initially built by NASA to set lines for the Las Vegas casinos in the late 50’s (who do you think funded the Apollo missions? The government? It was the mob…), The Sin City Betbot 6000 calculated lines for over 30 years. The Betbot was given various upgrades through the years, not always with the best equipment, but he was very good at setting lines, and living the good life.

The Betbot was de-commissioned in 1990 after San Francisco destroyed Denver in the Super Bowl. The 45 point spread simply fried a number of the Betbot’s wires and he retired. The Betbot was discovered by Fantasysharks.com and retooled to give fantasy advice. He lives now to give his own unique, well cultured take on the NFL.The Sin City Betbot 6000 Presents is transcribed by Joe Petrizzi and Tom Walls because “typing.. .BZZT… is a dame’s job.”

Back in the ‘80s, I dated a makeup artist named Mindy. No, not Mindy Cohn, you animals.  Mindy was what you would call a “bottle blond” nowadays but at the time it never seemed like a big deal.  Thanks to Madonna, I expect most girls I dated at that time dyed their hair blond, although none of them were as spectacular as Madonna herself, who I once escorted to the Golden Globes as a favor to Sean Penn, and then briefly dated.  Madonna was a bona fide stunner, although a little messy as a long term investment.  I’m as adventurous as the next sports gambling robot but she was over the top with the parties, especially the third parties if you catch my drift.  Given my state of mind at the time, especially leading up to my breakdown in 1990, I would have been better served with a more conservative companion. 

Anyway, I digress - I was discussing the makeup artist, Mindy.  The thing about Mindy was that she was all about appearances.  Obviously, her career meant she was concerned with how she looked, and how her clients looked.  The problem with this attitude is that you get to worrying so much about how you look that you forget about who you really are, and that can lead you down a dark, sad path.  People will find out your inner demons before long, faster if alcohol is involved.  Mindy herself was a deeply troubled girl - someone who was once humble and sweet but corrupted by the lies she wanted everyone to believe.  She put on a glamorous and wild facade, and her resulting drug problems eventually became too much for me to bear.

I was thinking about Mindy this week as I perused the current state of the NFL.  Take a team like the Rams, who have no business holding a winning record.  If you can make up a nice story about them, dress them up nice in the papers and such, you can convince yourself this team is a contender.  Same thing with the Bengals, or the Eagles.  Don’t fall for this trap - these teams are all significantly flawed, but because of their record they appear to be something they are not.  They have their own PR “Mindys” working to hide their true nature.  Do not get excited by a couple of close victories early in the season, or else you’ll end up being disappointed when these teams start piling up losses.

NFC NOTES  I continue to be impressed with the Vikings (see my notes on Christian Ponder and Percy Harvin two weeks ago). This team won’t make much noise in the playoffs this year, but I think they can make it in, especially if the Seahawks fall out of Wild Card contention.

Speaking of the Seahawks, Russell Wilson …BZZZT… is a real Jekyll/Hyde type deal, eh? That will drive any coach nuts. I do see Wilson getting benched at some point this season, but he’ll likely end the season as the starting QB.

There are 32 teams in the NFL, meaning there are 32 bye week/team combos. Each team gets one bye, capiche? Bye weeks give a team a chance to get healthy, plan for their next opponent for two weeks instead of one, and generally unwind. Teams look forward to their bye week, and are largely successful after a bye week. Since 2002, teams win 44% of the time when playing a team coming off their…BZT…bye. That’s a big deal, there aren’t many trends in the NFL which cover such a large population (the entire NFL) with such definable results (a win). You would think there would be some effort for the NFL to try to spread the pain so to speak, and give teams 1-2 games max when they play a team coming off a bye. You would be wrong in 2012. The Eagles play five teams coming off of their bye. Five! Roughly 16% of all games played against teams coming off their bye are against the Eagles. I’m not even counting the Giants game recently played, where the Giants had 10 days between games. Simple linear programming could set the NFL schedule very quickly. Set a rule such that no team faces more than two other teams coming off a bye week. Las Vegas cares about bye weeks when setting point spreads, we know…BZZZT.. what matters. Shame on Roger Goodell for not doing a better job, and stacking the deck against one team.

I feel I would be amiss in not mentioning Drew Brees breaking Johnny Unitas’ TD streak record. So there…BZZT… I mentioned it.

AFC NOTES The Patriots quietly upped their point differential to +52, good for second in the AFC behind Houston.  As I said two weeks ago, New England will be just fine.

I would not sleep on the San Diego Chargers just yet.  Of course, they still have to deal with the handicap that is Norv Turner, however, they do have two nice skill players in Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews .  In addition, the next five weeks on their schedule consists entirely of teams with losing records.  Anytime I see Cleveland and Kansas City on the horizon, I get excited.

Hey, the Titans won a game last night!  Point differential is now -90, which means you can continue to look away.  Good effort against the Steelers, guys!  Consider that your super bowl.  Don’t tell anyone, but Kenny Britt scored.

The Raiders return to action this week, just to get their face painted courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons.  Now, I am no fan of the Falcons or their QB Matt Ryan, but this is a gimme.

The Bills spent gobs of money in the offseason to shore up their defense and currently sport the second worst points against in the entire NFL.  Congratulations on your new albatross, Buffalo!

So long for now, and remember “Showgirls and gin my friends, showgirls and …BZT…gin.”