Bet­ting on sports now le­gal, so (sur­prise!) I will now bet on sports

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Jeff Edel­stein jedel­stein@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Jef­fEdel­stein on Twit­ter

Sports bet­ting is le­gal in New Jer­sey. It’s been le­gal for about two months or so, but dig it: It’s like re­ally, re­ally le­gal. You can place bets at a half-dozen lo­ca­tions in the state, and DraftKing’s and FanDuel have their on­line apps up and run­ning.

In short: I’m prob­a­bly go­ing to get di­vorced soon.

Ha! Kid­ding. My wife is to­tally cool with me bet­ting on sports, day or night, at any time, on any­thing. Right honey? {crick­ets} Any­way, I’ve dab­bled in sports bet­ting since it be­came le­gal. I hadn’t placed a bet since high school, when I knew a guy who knew a guy. So far, I’m up $3. Lost $30 on base­ball, won $33 on the (don’t judge me) Cana­dian Foot­ball League.

Yep. The CFL. I’m prof­itable there. Why? Be­cause I’ve been fol­low­ing the season closely, play­ing in daily fan­tasy con­tests on DraftKings, and win­ning in those tour­na­ments as well. In short: I’m con­fi­dent in bet­ting on CFL games based on my Fan­tasy re­search.

Which brings me to this: I’m also con­fi­dent I can win at bet­ting NFL games based on my Fan­tasy re­search. I’ve been play­ing fan­tasy foot­ball for 33 years, and the last four years I’ve been neck-deep (eyes deep?) (scalp deep?) in daily fan­tasy con­tests.

And I be­lieve there is no bet­ter way to attack tra­di­tional NFL bet­ting than be do­ing it through the prism of fan­tasy foot­ball.

What do I mean? Sim­ple: I don’t care if the Ea­gles are 18-10 in home games against the spread af­ter Mon­day night games since 1996. That’s a madeup stat, BTW, which is kind of my point here: All the touts out there who spout those kinds of statis­tics are full of crap. May as well say the Ea­gles are 22-0 in games where the sit­ting pres­i­dent said the word “fluffer­nut­ter” in their weekly ra­dio ad­dress. It’s mean­ing­less. Cau­sa­tion, cor­re­la­tion, etc.

Me? I worry about matchups, plain and sim­ple. I’ll bet on matchups over ev­ery other vari­able all day long. Sure, home/ road counts, weather counts, de­sire counts, it all counts, but most of the time, it’s matchups. (And you need not worry about my fan­dom com­ing into play. I haven’t had a fa­vorite team since I started play­ing Fan­tasy. Runs counter-in­tu­itive.)

And so with that in mind, I’m go­ing write a weekly NFL picks col­umn, ap­pear­ing on­line Thurs­days and in print Fri­days. I’ll tweet out up­dates to my picks as needed at @ jef­fedel­stein.

I don’t re­ally want you to take my ad­vice, though feel free to do so. In other words, don’t blame me if I go 0-16. I’m an am­a­teur with a mouth­piece.

In fact, know this: It’s not en­tirely my ad­vice. While I trust my own process in han­dling Fan­tasy de­ci­sions, I also like to hear what other peo­ple are say­ing. I do my re­search, and then I look to see what I missed by read­ing Evan Silva on Ro­toworld (or lis­ten­ing to him on the seem­ingly end­less pod­casts he’s a guest on) and read­ing J.M. Tohline’s thoughts (be­hind a pay­wall at one­week­sea­son. com).

There’s an im­por­tant rea­son why I con­sider th­ese two the Dy­namic Duo of daily fan­tasy re­search: Sure, they know what they’re talk­ing about, but that can be said for hun­dreds, if not thou­sands of NFL-cen­tric writ­ers and gab­bers.

But what sets them apart is they never say “play this guy, he’s a lock!” Nope. In­stead, they present their week’s worth of re­search and lay it out there. All of it. I mean, I need to set aside time to get through th­ese things. Tohline’s week 1 break­down came in at well over 25,000(!) words. To give you an idea of what that means, John Gr­isham’s “The Firm” had 141,000 words. Tohline is will be writ­ing three nov­els worth of ma­te­rial this year for NFL games. Silva, for the record, usu­ally slouches in at around 14,000(!) words or so each week. He’ll com­plete roughly half of the word count of “War and Peace” by week 17.

I’m telling you: Th­ese guys do a deep dive, and fill in ev­ery re­search hole. But they still leave it to you to de­cide what to do with the in­for­ma­tion they un­earth.

So to be clear: I lean on th­ese two. I con­sider them my crack re­search de­part­ment. My process is in­com­plete with­out their work. Know this, if you plan on fol­low­ing along with my bet­ting ex­ploits. (Es­pe­cially this week, as I’m de­but­ing the picks for Fri­day print. I’ll prob­a­bly move it to Satur­day or Sun­day next week.)

And yes, there will be le­git bet­ting ex­ploits. I’m putting my money where my mouth is. My bets will be high­lighted in the ar­ti­cle. Small pota­toes, to be sure, but real money.

Here’s hop­ing I make it 17 weeks be­fore my wife finds out …

Jeff Edel­stein is a colum­nist for The Tren­to­nian. He can be reached at jedel­stein@tren­to­nian.

Sports bet­ting, via the FanDuel app. It’s real, and it’s spec­tac­u­lar.

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