My friend and I have been competing against each other by picking college and NFL underdogs (straight up, points awarded are based on the midweek line) for about 10 years. We worked together as police officers and he has since moved up the chain of command quickly, while I moved away and changed careers. Calling them "Stupid Underdog Picks" and playing for food, I have lost the last three or so years in a row--ever since the contest was decided by the last bowl game of the season and Reggie Bush and company bumbled away that second-half lead in the national championship.

This year, my strategy was to look for short term trends and spend much less time analyzing and essentially over-analyzing games. Early in the season, the Thursday night underdog won multiple times and I was fortunate enough to jump on that bandwagon and get some wins early. I have built my lead to "need a miracle" level and am enjoying inflicting suffering on this high ranking officer for his previous trash talk.

From our competition, if you can beat the line straight-up 30% of the time, you are doing well. It has helped that his 2008 winning percentage is paltry, but the percentage has been skewed by the high number of longshots he has taken for the last month to try and catch me. This should be the last week of his torment , but I am enjoying the retribution it immensely.