Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Introducing Lady Godiva's Weekly NFL Picks

Greetings, fans of gridiron or football as you call it here in North America.

I am Dr. Veronica (Ronnie) Gipp. Born and raised in Coventry, England, I know nothing about American football rules or strategy.

Despite my ignorance of your brand of footie, over the past six National Football League (NFL) seasons I have averaged a 53% winning percentage picking winners against the point spread in a non-profit office pool. I won first prize in 2005 for picking winners in 57% of the games and finished 4th last year with 55% winners.

I call myself the Lady Godiva of football picking. Like the original Lady G, I hail from Coventry, am naked (of football knowledge in my case) and have a pack of foolish lads trailing behind me wondering how I get away with it.

To pick NFL winners, I ignore all team and individual stats. Instead, I exploit persistent patterns in home team and road team winning percentages against the spread.

I might not finish first every week. But, I fancy my chances against any self-proclaimed football expert over a full season.

On Thursday, September 6, the NFL season will start and I will post a full set of picks for all 16 NFL games that week. I will continue every Thursday until the Super Bowl in February 2008.

You will NOT be able to use my picks to make a living betting on football. To cover the commissions charged by bookmakers and gaming houses, you need to win 55% of your bets just to break even. Only con artists promise a betting system that can consistently win at a 55% rate.

You WILL be able to use my picks to improve your odds of winning a friendly, not-for-profit NFL office pool where everyone chips in a modest entry fee at the start of the season and the person with the best record at the end of the year takes home the pot.

My picks should be of special interest to women as well as those few sensible men who have no interest in football, but have been pressured into participating by the office jock in charge of your local football pool.

How did I become a sporting Nostradamus? While doing graduate work at the Indiana Institute of Technology (IIT), I wasted many hours in front of the boob tube watching football with Reginald, my first North American boyfriend. I could never make out why those fat slobs wearing colourful hard hats were deliberately crashing into each other.

Reginald insisted that I join the NFL pool run by one of his student buddies. According to Reginald: “The more women in the pool, the more money for me to win.”

I accepted Reginald’s challenge after putting in a small amount of research. I discovered convincing academic work identifying consistent historical patterns in football betting. The data are freely available, but few professional gamblers make use of useful information. Most gamblers are learned fools like Reginald poring over meaningless team statistics, injury reports and something that I never understood that he called “key match-ups”.

Sadly for Reginald, he never twigged to the Scottish gambler Macbeth’s advice that a computer full of football data amounts to no more than:

… a tale told by an idiot
Full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Reginald devoted so much time to analyzing each game in minute detail that he lost everything – first yours truly and then his IIT scholarship. The last I heard, Reginald was living in Las Vegas supporting a retired exotic dancer and his gambling habit on his modest salary as a teaching assistant at the University of Nevada.

Reginald is long gone from my life, but he did leave me with an abiding passion to beat the pants off men at their own game – the football pool.

So, let the word go forth. Lady Godiva will be here each week from September to the Super Bowl with a full set of NFL picks.


Travis Lee said...

Looking forward to seeing your picks for week one.

Travis Lee said...

So where are the picks?