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*This is the transcript of our Handicapping group wager chat for this particular game. Taking it as it is, so forgive any typos, etc. It's just casual opinions shared. Also we may veer way off topic, but that's half the fun of it.
-- The team is back, The Impractical Gamblers, Season Two : Katz, Rabbitt, Skolman (defending champion), Savage and RC. Enjoy!... --
Katz: Due to popular demand, we're going to do a survivor chat. I know a couple of your picks already, but for the sake of the chat, let's start fresh here. Who we got and why?
Savage: There's probably only 3-4 realistic options this week. The Patriots, Steelers, Bills, and maybe the Rams. I'd say Pittsburgh and New England have the best chance of winning, but I want to save the big guns for the times when they're 14+ point home favorites. This will likely be the best chance to use Buffalo and one of the few times you can pick a 10 pt favorite that isn't considered a playoff team. Tyrod has been cleared, the team is energized by a new coach who has shaken things up in the locker room, and the Jets are the worst team in the league.
Katz: I'll probably look really stupid here, but would it really shock you if the Josh McCown led Jets went into Buffalo and won? Isn't that such a Jets thing to do in a season where they're blatantly trying to lose? I know the Steelers are winning. I'm pretty sure the Bills are winning. That's the difference for me.
RC: Am I the only one who’s blood bleeds Jets green? So what if I’m sitting here in a green fireman’s hat and Joe Klecko throwback jersey…what’s it to ya? Seriously, I think Buffalo is not a given here, in the Survivor pool’ sense. I’m also taking the Jets and the points as a potential Blazing Five. I hate the Jets football product like every other red blooded American, but the Bills are nothing to write home about at this point either. The Bills should win, maybe dominate…but the Jets offense isn’t awful with McCown, and I’ve seen Tyrod look pretty disgusting this preseason. I can’t take Week 1 survivors with awful QBs…which leads me back to the only guaranteed $$$ on the board, I think – Pittsburgh. Myles Garrett out makes this even more of a lock.
I’m saving the Pats. A slight bit wary of a the Chiefs with months to prepare for this. I like the Pts, Bills, Rams as well, but they all gimme pause. I cannot think of one reason to pause on the Steelers.
Savage: I wouldn't be shocked to see McCown lead an upset. I also wouldn't be shocked if Big Ben knocked out of the game on the first drive and suddenly Landry Jones has to win a road game.
The goal is to survive the entire season, not survive until week 2. I think if you burn Pittsburgh here you're going to be in a tough spot when the byes start and there's less to chose from. Sure, maybe Pittsburgh has a 95% chance of winning, but what are Buffalo's chances? 85%? To me that's a good opportunity to take a calculated risk. If it doesn't work out, its no different than losing in week 17.
Skolman: I'm going to apply the principles I believe in and the ones that members of this group have taught/reinforced for me. Need a home team...so goodbye to my beloved Falcons. Avoid division matchups...so long Steelers and Bills. That leaves you Patriots. If KC wins after the banner drops you can have my $20. Good feeling knowing you won before the Sun games kickoff is the cherry on top.
RC: I take an opposite approach to Survivor, and starting that for talking point/debate. I feel like I play for it all this week and then I’ll deal with next week. Only if I’m a 50-50 between two picks do I start thinking bigger. Especially, early in the season…we don’t know which teams will emerge and who’s going to lose a QB to make them a target to pick on. Week 1 more than any – I’m playing to survive to Week 2 to have more cards revealed in this poker game. That’s just my theory when I get into it. Anyone else strong opinion on how to look at Survivor pool play?
Rabbitt: So a couple of things here- First I think we all agree generally on the 4 teams that warrant consideration, Pit, NE, Buf, LAR (as a long shot).
I tend to be a mix of Chris and RC in terms of strategy, and it really depends on how big your pool is as well. If you are in a huge pool with a thousand people, you need to take a long look, or you aren't going to gain anything by winning week 1.
Personally I'm on Buffalo this week. Mostly because A). it's the Jets. B). when else am I going to take the Bills C). It's the freaking Jets.