DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2022 WEEK 11!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT'S UP SPECIAL ED?!?!?!?!?!? The World Cup is coming up next week and the DYM Staff is HYPED!!!!!!!!!!! Between Miss Cleo's cold snap and the Bills losing streak we've been taking a bath at the sportsbooks the last few weeks. So this week we decided to just switch gears and focus on soccer instead. We got a 2-phase plan for World Cup betting preparation: (1) Listening to lots of soccer podcasts to find out which teams are good and which players have the funny names; (2) Read the Dune novel(s) to figure out who's best equipped for survival in the desert. Dune fucking rules, by the way, it's easily the best Star War. WORLD CUP TEAMS TO WATCH!!!!!!!!!!! QATAR Qatar is the host nation this year, presumably because they offered exorbitant bribes to FIFA officials. The bribes were so exorbitant that FIFA decided they'd rather hold the World Cup in the winter than accept Japan or the US's lesser bribes. FUNNIEST NAMES: The dudes with the funniest names on Qatar are actually Europeans. Karim Boudiaf was born in France and Ro-Ro is Portuguese. Everybody on Qatar plays in the Qatari Pro League, so don't assume those guys are good just cause they're European. Also they might be slaves. DESERT SURVIVAL: In Dune - bribery, slavery, and graft are fundamental elements of the galactic economy. The very survival of the Fremen people of Arrakis depends upon their forced labor and exorbitant bribes to the Space Guild. The galactic monarchs are jealous and petty, and they are beholden to the whims of religious extremists. They hold generational grudges and invest fortunes in sabotaging their enemies. -- Which is all reminiscent of politics on the Arab peninsula today. QATAR BETS: Qatar ML v. Ecuador +225 Qatar +.5 v. Ecuador -170 Saudi Arabia to Lose all Group Games +175 The World Cup host nation has NEVER lost their opening round game. EVER. There have been several ties, but the home team has never lost their first game in WC history. So, Qatar moneyline +255 is extremely attractive, and Qatar +.5 i s one of the biggest locks of the whole tournament. A few years ago Saudi Arabia was beefing with Qatar. In 2018 the Saudis got so sick of their shit they hired contractors to build a canal along the Qatari border that would have turned Qatar into an island . They never really went through with it, and tensions seem to have cooled since then. But we doubt Qatar forgot about that petty-ass shit, so if you really think Qatar is paying off refs and pulling strings around town, then the sneakiest bet is Saudi Arabia to lose all their group games (+175) . Saudi has to play Mexico, Poland, and Argentina so they're gonna be huge dogs anyway, plus we think Qatar'd be pretty happy to send Saudi Arabia home with no wins even if they can't get one themselves. SERBIA: Two fun facts about this Serbian team: Almost every player on the team was born in Yugoslavia. Even their youngest player, 21-year-old Ivan Ilić, was born in a country that doesn't exist anymore. That's crazy. Really makes ya think. Serbia has two left-footed wingers: Ivan Ilić and Dušan Tadić (the squad's oldest player at 34). That actually could give them a little advantage in corner kicks and penalties. FUNNIEST NAMES: Saša Lukić and Uroš Račić DESERT SURVIVAL: The Fremen in Dune built their cities in caves deep underground. They only travel at night in small, ninja-like bands, so they are almost never seen. Many have heard rumors of the Fremen warriors' strength, ruggedness, and ingenuity; but the size of the Fremen population on Arrakis is entirely unknown to the monarchy. Just like the Fremen, Serbia is dangerous and flying under the radar this year. They're sneaky hot over the last two years: They lost a couple of dumb friendlies, and they played in relatively weak groups in Nations Cup and WC Qualifiers - but they only lost 2 of their last 17 competitive international games, including a tie and a win over Portugal. Serbia is in Group G with Brazil, Cameroon, and Switzerland. Brazil are the prohibitive favorites, but we like Serbia to beat Switzerland who are probably the least desert-ready team in the tournament. SERBIA BETS: Brazil/Serbia - Group G Straight Forecast +190 Serbia to Reach Quarter Final +350 Serbia ML v. Cameroon -125 (11/28) Serbia v. Switzerland will be the very last match of the group stage on Dec. 2. That's a long way off, a lot could happen between now and then so we're not gonna lay any bets on that yet. We are gonna lay a Group G straight future bet with Brazil first and Serbia second . Then, if Serbia is second in the group they'll most likely face Portugal in the round of 16. Portugal are gonna be favorites but Serbia beat them 2-1 in WC Qualifiers last November, so +350 seems like great odds to us. NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands is weird. They came in 2nd in the 2010 WC and 3rd in 2014, then they didn't qualify in 2018. But they're back now!!! The Dutch Masters haven't lost an international match since September 2020. Right now they might be the hottest European squad, going 11-0-4 over the past year in World Cup Qualifiers and Nations Cup matches. They'll win Group A, but then if they advance to the Quarterfinals they'll have to face the hottest team in THE WORLD - Argentina . FUNNIEST NAMES: The Dutch are always good for some funny names. This year's squad has got some doozies - they got Cody Gakpo , Memphis Depay, Daley Blind , Jeremie Frimpong , and our personal favorite - Teun Koopmeiners DESERT SURVIVAL: In Dune there's all these people who have weird psychic powers. There's a few different types - super-soldiers, witches, dudes that can see the future, and autistic human-computers. Like the Jedi, these special people are bred, or recruited, and trained from a young age; and they are revered by society for their abilities. But unlike the Jedi, their powers require HEAVY drug use. It's wild, it's just non-stop-drugs out there in the desert. We're 3/4 of the way through the first book and we think Paul has been tripping balls for about two straight years now. The Dutch's cultural drug tolerance probably makes them the most desert-ready European team. NETHERLANDS BETS: Netherlands/Senegal Group A Straight Forecast +225 Quarter-finals Netherlands Stage of Elimination +300 Argentina or Brazil Winner Double Chance +175 Argentina Winner +500 Senegal is the best African team right now so we're going with a straight Netherlands(1) Senegal (2) for Group A at +255 . Then we're also betting Netherlands to lose in the quarterfinals (+300), assuming they'll have to play Argentina. Our favorite World Cup champion bet is Argentina +500 , but since they'll probably play Brazil in the Semi-Finals we also took a double-chance Brazil or Argentina (+175) as well. Argentina is on a legendary 36 game undefeated streak dating back to July 2019 - including a win over Brazil in the Copa America Finals. They're the world's hottest team, and maybe the hottest team ever entering a World Cup. This will be the last tournament for Lionel Messi (underrated funny name), but at 35 he's still at the top of his game - Messi has scored in each of Argentina's last three games (international friendlies). Now, he just needs to stay hot for one more month to claim Soccer GOAT status. WHOS HOT?!?!?!?!?!? Heading into the last four week of the season only two games separate first and seventh place, and there is no clear favorite in the Special Ed League. THE PLAYOFF RACE IS WIDE OPEN!!!!!!!!!!! The two highest scoring teams overall - Bring It On Home and Defend Your Moves - sit in 4th and 6th place respectively, and they are both getting hotter after week 10. The league's hottest team - Paul's Awesome Team - is still in 7th place. The top two teams in the standings - Sharon Ertz and Fisto Kidds!! - have both gone cold in recent weeks. Sharon has scored below league average in two of the last three, while Fisto just put up their lowest score of the year this past week. The sneakiest bad teams are Hamburglars and Tobin & The Rippers . Both teams are still over .500, and in playoff position, despite scoring below league average over the last ten weeks and getting even colder over the last three. Those two play each other this week, and while it's not a must-win on paper we'd bet the loser of that game ends up missing the playoffs. NEW-LOOK WHOS HOT NOTES: For the second week in a row the NEW WHOS HOT formula pushed the highest scoring team of the week to the top and the lowest scoring team to the bottom. This is a potential flaw in the new system and something we had wanted to avoid. We may have to tinker with the formula again next week. But for now we can accept these results because this was another pretty unusual week of scoring league-wide. This was the first time all year that the highest scoring team scored a full 100 points more than the lowest scoring team. Fisto's 67.72 was the second lowest raw score of the year, and Paul's 168.54 was the third highest raw score and #1 highest adjusted score of the season. Also, we still think the new formula is preferable because we don't have to admit that the very worst team in the league - Polk High Panthers - is actually the hottest. PHP averaged a pathetic 87.19 per game in the first 7 weeks, so although their 99.60 last week was five points below league average it still raised their OG Heat Index by +.08 . The new formula had them -.05 cooler this week which seems right. FOOD BEEF: EMPANADAS!!!!!!!!!!! Old Havana Cuban Cuisine 🇨🇺 - Westfield, NJ Old Havana was a late entry to the Empanada Tour. They've only been open for about a year and we just found out about it a few weeks ago. Westfield is technically outside the traditional 8-mile-radius we set up for Food Beef contestants. But we really wanted to get some caribbean representation. Plus Westfield is a nice town, and it's still part of the Morris-Union-Jointure-Commission so we're gonna allow it. Old Havana has three empanadas: Chicken, Beef, and their special - "Empanadas con Lechon" - that's suckling pig pulled pork. They all come in filo dough that was fried hard and very crispy👍. The Chicken was meh - the meat was kinda dry and it had a ton of garlic that overpowered any other flavor. The Beef was pretty good - no veggies but it was very juicy and savory. The pork empanadas were THE BOMB!!! Very juicy and a more subtle mix of spices than the others which let the meat flavor shine through. One of the very best flavors we've had on this entire tour. That Empanada Con Lechon earns Old Havana a trip to the EMPANADA PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's the final standings for the Empanada Regular Season: Big honorable mention shout-out to Patria Station Cafe. The lady that runs the place is super friendly and it's a really cute little shop. Unfortunately all Argentinian empanadas we had were baked, not fried, so the shells were all very bland. The Empanada Playoffs will kickoff after Thanksgiving with Ecuador vs Colombia : #1 seed Pan Casero facing our local favorite Delikositas of Madison. LETS GOOO!!!!! MISS CLEOS PLAYER OF THE WEEK Miss Cleo's taking a week off to focus her energy on our World Cup futures and gear up for Thanksgiving. CALL ME NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK PAULS AWESOME TEAM vs SHARON ERTZ THE FIRST PLACE TEAM MEETS THE LEAGUE'S HOTTEST TEAM IN WEEK ELEVEN!!!!!!!!!!! CRUNCH TIME: Right now Sharon Ertz is in first and Pauls Awesome Team is in seventh but, with only two games separating them, either one could end the season in first and either could miss the playoffs entirely. Sharon Ertz is having a weird season. The team got much worse on paper after they traded Josh Allen for Burrow and Javonte right before Javonte went on IR back in week 3. But somehow the Burrow team turned out to be much better, they were the second highest scoring team in weeks 4-7. The really wild thing about that streak is they haven't picked up or dropped any position player since week 3 (nine moves but only kickers and defenses). It's a real tortoise and hare scenario - with Sharon Ertz showing no hustle whatsoever but cruising to six wins in the last seven games. The schedule down the stretch gets very tough for Sharon Ertz tho. They face DYM next, followed by BIOH and Tobin - all games where they'll likely be underdogs. This is an under-the-radar must-win game for the Ertz's. PAT was one of the very best teams in the first four weeks and then lost four out of six since. But they're definitely trending back up now. They've scored over 120 in both games with Justin Fields at QB. Fields is gonna be the #1 fantasy QB for the rest of the season - he's an absolute league winner. It also seems possible that Jonathan Taylor isn't a bust afterall. With Nyheim Hines out of town and a whole new coaching staff on board they might have no choice but to give JT the ball 25+ times every week. This squad is a little thin this week with Mark Andrews and Gus Edwards still questionable. As of today (Saturday) it looks like Andrews is gonna try to play through a sprained ankle and shoulder. That's a 1pm game so he'll be able to swap in Pacheco if need be. Yahoo! thinks this one'll be a barnburner with less than a point difference in projected scores. We're tempted to agree. This is a really tough one to call. But Fields is playing in the dome at Atlanta, we'd say that gives Paul a slight advantage regardless of what happens in his second flex. Prediction: PAULS AWESOME TEAM: 129.98 SHARON ERTZ: 127.32 SPECIAL ED MATCHUPS!!!!!!!!!!! Hamburglars vs. Tobin y Los Rippers The trade market is ICE COLD right now. Nobody's really tryin to make moves this week and that's bad news for The Hamburglars and The Rippers. Both have averaged under 100 per game the last two weeks; They both have shitty QB situations; and lots of guys on bye and injured dudes on the benches. These teams both need a trade BAD. We think Tobin should offer Ja'Marr Chase to Paul for Dak. And also Kull should offer Marquise Brown to Paul for Dak. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!!!!!!!! Fisto Kidds!! vs We got Team USA to make it through the group stage ( England/USA dual forecast +100 ), but if they finish second they'll have to play Netherlands in the Round of 16. For the opening games we got USA moneyline vs. Wales +155 , and a super-smooth parlay of Qatar+.5, USA+.5, and England ML for +207 . Easy money. FISTO KIDDS!! WINS!!!!!!!!!!! Bring It On Home vs Fingerbang! BIOH is averaging about 30 more points per game than Fingerbang. This is gonna be a blowout. BRING IT ON HOME WINS!!!!!!!!!!! Defend Your Moves vs Polk High Panthers DYM is also averaging about 30 more points per game than PHP, but PHP did have that one good game two weeks ago. That was weird. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!