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BTSC Bookie: An exercise in betting on NFL games for the 2019 season

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It’s time for the BTSC community to show they could cash in betting on NFL football games.

Super Bowl LI Proposition Bets At The Westgate Las Vegas Race & Sports SuperBook Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Betting lines have always intrigued me. Although I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve placed a wager on an NFL game, I’ve often been interested about the process of sports betting and if I could do it successfully. Between the lines, the over/under, and how things move as a game approaches, I’ve often felt I could finish to the good each week if I placed my bets properly. I also have a hunch that I am not alone.

For this reason, I’ve decided to use some virtual money (lets call them “BTSC Bucks”) to see how the readers of Behind The Steel Curtain would fare betting on NFL games. Here’s how it’s going to work:


  • We will start with $500 for the season. If we bust, we may borrow from the BTSC Bookie, but will have to pay 20% interest each week it isn’t paid. It’s a steep price, but there are consequences to failure.
  • All games will be betting against the spread.
  • Each Wednesday I will publish an article with 10 betting lines for users to place a vote. I’ll use the point spreads as of Tuesday evening and they will be locked in throughout the voting. The polls will run for a few days (I’m thinking Saturday night at 11:59 PM E.T.) and the top three results will have wagers placed: $100 for the top choice, $50 for the second choice, and $25 for the third.
  • Suggestions for which lines to include can be given in the live chat during the Steelers Stat Geek podcast which airs live on YouTube Tuesday nights at approximately 9 PM. If you didn’t know Behind The Steel Curtain has their entire family of podcasts live on YouTube, just search for BTSC Steelers Radio and subscribe to receive notifications when any of the seven shows go live.
  • A write-in campaign can be staged for voting. If any comment in the weekly article brings up a different game in the comments to make the wager and can receive enough recommendations to place it in the top three vote-wise, it will be calculated accordingly. I know it’s highly unlikely for a comment to receive that many recommendations, but if it does it will count.
  • Thursday games will not be included due to obvious time constraints.
  • Some games may have the two opposing lines as an option. If so, only the higher vote-getter will be eligible for the wager. For example, if betting on the Steelers in Week 1 earns the most votes while betting for New England is the second highest, only the bet for the Steelers will be placed.
  • Betting both for and against the Steelers will be an option each week with the exception of the bye week and when the Steelers play in Cleveland on Thursday Night Football.

So that’s how it’s going to work. Hopefully this will be a fun and worthwhile activity which may give some incentive for some to scoreboard watch on on Sundays. Be on the lookout for the “BTSC Bookie” article each week and make sure you vote for the game with which you would place your hard-earned money.