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Hard Knocks Is Great, But Here’s Why You Should Fade The Hard Knocks Hype

Fade The Hard Knocks Hype

Let me start by saying Hard Knocks fucking rules. There is no television show that I look forward to more than it. Not only does it signal that football season is here, but it is also a fantastic television show with intriguing storylines, characters, and real drama. It’s brought us hilarious moments like Rex Ryan telling the Jets “to go get a goddamn snack”:

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Super cool, dope moments like when J.J. Watt flipped a tire and rapped Fort Minor like any other super cool dude out there (skip to 1:30):

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And truly poetic, magical moments like when Bob Wylie’s gut so masterfully jiggled up and down as he yelled ‘hut’ on last week’s episode:

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Just as sure as the memorable moments that it will provide us with, Hard Knocks also always seems to make whatever team they are following both more interesting and, many times, more competitive than they actually are. Rewind to last year’s Hard Knocks and I thought Mike Evans was Jerry Rice and that Jameis Winston was essentially FDR as a leader.

Two years before Tavon Austin was going to set the league on fire and before that, they almost convinced me that Matt Ryan was interesting. So, where does that leave us? Well, pretty much everyone that I know that watches Hard Knocks has the Browns penciled in to win at least 8 games and to be knocking on the door of the playoffs. The public is POUNDING the Browns over 5.5 wins and, to most, this feels like free money.

Instead of just standing pat in my contrarian ways and simply telling people to not get caught up in the hype. I decided to actually dive into the numbers and see if fading the Hard Knocks hype could actually be a profitable betting strategy. Let’s take a look at the historical data:

hard knocks win totals

The under on total wins for the team followed by Hard Knocks has gone 7-4-1, including 3-1 in the last 4.

While 5.5 wins for the Cleveland Browns feel like an achievable goal, both classical contrarian tactics coupled with some real historical data suggest that looking toward the under may be a good value play. Furthermore, I don’t know about anybody else but Hue Jackson has looked underwhelming as a leader of men to say the absolute least.

He looks soft, unconvincing and devoid of the type of passion required to bring a team from 0 wins to 6 wins. Notable player additions like Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, and Baker Mayfield may look promising. But, generally speaking, player additions in the NFL move win total significantly less than the public seems to think they do (looking at you 2011 Philadelphia Eagles). Join the contrarian dark side with me and bet the Browns under 5.5 wins.

Eric Olson is a washed up former Division 1 football player. He played ball for Northwestern University from 2012-2016, where he started over 30 career games at Right Tackle. Between injuries (two elbow and two ankle surgeries) and not wanting to have his head bashed-in any longer, he decided to not seriously pursue the NFL and entered the corporate world where he currently works at a consulting firm in downtown Chicago. In an effort to keep his love of sports alive without getting the rush of playing them, Eric writes (mostly) in-depth articles on various sports stories and trends (he also degenerately gambles on them). While his primary focus is football, Eric covers (and gambles on) all sports and will be contributing to the Sports Gambling Podcast website moving forward.

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