Streak for the Cash Chronicles: The Adventure Begins!
I’ve had an itch that I’ve wanted to scratch for awhile: sports gambling. But, because I’m too big of a wuss to actually bet real money (and would prefer not to have any limbs broken), I’ve taken to the safer routes: fantasy sports, friendly bets with comrades, and now I’ve been playing a lot of ESPN’s Streak For the Cash.
For those of you not in the know, SftC was a game created by ESPN in 2008. Originally designed to give away 1 million dollars to the winner, the contest has since be retooled to offer $50,000 to its winner and an additional $50,000 for whoever has the longest streak.
The game itself is simple: pick correctly on sporting events. Every day, the contest site updates with new game picks. What makes it interesting, though, is the fact that ALL sports are up for selection. Ranging from golf to obscure (at least to us Yanks) African soccer, SftC challenges players to think outside of their comfort zone and try to build a long correct pick streak. Longest streak at the end of the month wins $50,000, and if you top 27 wins in a row, you win an additional $50,000. Sounds easy, right?
Let’s dive into today’s picks shall we? My choice is in bold.
Who will ADVANCE?
World Golf Championships Match Play – 1st Rd (Marana, AZ):
Charl Schwartzel vs. Russell Henley
This one seemed easy enough at first glance. Schwartzel, after all, won the Masters a few years back and is currently ranked 11th in the world. Russell Henley is a guy that I really should have researched more before making this pick. A rookie out of the University of Georgia, Henley became the first newbie in 23 years to win his debut event when he set a record at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Result: This one hurt a bit, because they were all square on the 11th hole. Henley took a 2-up advantage and never looked back, upsetting Schwartzel and ruining my streak before it even began.
Who Will Win This Matchup?
New Jersey Devils @ Washington Capitals
The Devils are coming off a season that saw them make the Stanley Cup finals, only to lose 4-2 in a hard-fought series against the LA Kings. This season looks like the Devils are trying to return to the finals and avenge their loss. Their record currently sits at 9-3-4, good enough for 2nd in the Eastern Conference, but are currently on a two game losing streak.
The Washington Capitals are currently a shell of their former selves. Once one of the most exciting teams in the NHL, the Caps now find themselves in the cellar of the Eastern conference with a record of 5-9-1. Their biggest problem? Defense. Washington is ranked 27th in goals against. Second biggest problem? Alexander Ovechkin. The two-time MVP has only scored 5 goals this season. If the Caps want to avoid being a joke this season, Ovechkin will have to step it up.
I look for the Devils to use the Caps as a slumpbuster in this match-up.
Whew. Little bit of a scare there heading into the 3rd period, but two big goals from Ilya Kovalchuk and Andrei Loktionov pull the Devils ahead and kick off my streak. Let’s keep it rolling!
How many POINTS will Duke SCORE in the 2nd Half?
35+ or 34-
I’m going with the over on this one. Duke has already lit up Virginia Tech in the first half, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Duke plays at one of the higher paces in college basketball and has one of the most efficient offenses.
VTech? Their defense is in the low 200s. There’s a chance I get screwed if Duke steps off the gas pedal, but I like them to make an example of the Hokies tonight.
Result: Duke cruises to an easy 88 to 56 victory, scoring 40 in the second half, winning me my pick with room to spare.
Here’s hoping that initial misfire of a pick removed the bad luck from my system. Riding on two in a row has me feeling confident, so we’ll see what happens next time I dive into Streak for the Cash. Let’s have Lou Brown tell us what winning three-in-a-row is called.
When not making terrible picks, Ben Christ writes about sports and video games for Hobbeslives.com