Good picks don’t alway win, bad picks always lose.
Good picks are those games when a team has a distinct talent or motivational edge over their opponent and a point spread that doesn’t tip the scales away from an expected win on the line. Good picks are often selections that the public and wise guys agree on, which makes them a play that requires most often covering a slightly bloated point spread.
Good picks are easy to defend after the game even if they lose.
Bad picks, on the other hand, are popular plays among most bettors that seem to enjoy conventional wisdom support. They are favored on the point spread, and after the game people who lost on a bad play still contend it was the right side of the proposition to back.
Getting on the other side of a bad pick takes courage. “No” one is with you before the game is played, and after the contest, when the other side of a bad pick wins, the losers think it was a fluke and still think they made the right play even though it cost them money.
So, we all know what a good pick is, but what is a bad pick? How can we find a bad pick when a huge majority think it is a winning play?
First of all, a bad pick will always have public backing and often it is more a bet tied to the opponent in the game instead of the “bad” pick most are betting on. I could spend time going over bad picks that everyone backed that lost over the past forty seasons, but it is always much more profitable if we can find one in the windshield instead of the rearview mirror.
While it is only the preseason, and this theory is much more tied to how teams perform in the regular season, we have a perfect illustration of a “bad” pick available this Saturday.
After Trevor Lawrence participated in his second preseason game on Monday and is still looking to engineer his first touchdown drive, the media was brutal to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Questions on just how bad they are and has the coaching change and addition of the quarterback out of Clemson really made any difference for a squad that finished with only one win and 15 losses last season?
Lawrence took some of the blame for the Jaguars opening two losses in August, but many reports also brought into question whether new head coach Urban Meyer was the right man for the job. In fact, some suggested he was not the right head coach for the National Football League.
History shows us that a number of coaches that gained success in the college game have failed at the pro level. Steve Spurrier comes to mind. He ran a great program at Florida before two dismal seasons as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Then, back to the college game, Spurrier again did well at South Carolina. Nick Saban, who this season is looking for his seventh National Championship as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, was unsuccessful in two years as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Is that what is in store for Meyer? He had successful runs as a college head coach in all four of his former posts at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. Now he has for the first time eschewed a college position for a spot in the NFL.
So far, not going well.
Okay, it is early. Meyer is working with a new cast of characters and a team that was bad enough last year to earn the first pick in this year’s draft. So, if the Jaguars are to develop into a winner under his leadership, and Lawrence puts up touchdowns at a pace that earns him a gold jacket five years after his playing career ends, all the success for Jacksonville is in front of them.
But, back to the criteria of a bad play.
Despite the obvious problems with the Jaguars and the long road to success the stretches in front of them, this week they are favored on the road?
The Jaguars with all their problems being favored against anyone is a surprise, but to be favored on the road is truly amazing.
Why are they favored on the road?
Because they are playing a team this week that has an even higher stack of concerns and problems than do the Jaguars, the Dallas Cowboys. This is where I could start the long list of the problems with Jerry Jones’ squad in Big D, but suffice it to say they are still contending their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, is recovered from his injury and will be ready for opening day. But, they haven’t yet subjected him to game action in the preseason despite playing three games already, they participated in the Hall of Fame Game earlier this month.
This is the set up for a bad pick. When a team is favored on the road only because of the perceived weakness of their opponent, even though they are not playing well, and the public gravitates to the road team they are walking into a bad pick. It takes courage to bet the other side of a bad pick, because the bad pick is so darn easy to bet on.
And lose with.
Qoxhi Picks: Dallas Cowboys (+3) ovr Jacksonville Jaguars