While this story isn’t anywhere near as disturbing as his recent assault on the city of New Orleans not based in fact, or his history of bizarre, reckless social commentary, it still makes you scratch your head.  One of the consistent themes of ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd’s show is his football betting picks.  Cowherd routinely gives selections based on Over/Under win totals for the coming season and who he thinks may be a good bet as beating the set Vegas line.  

Wednesday, he offered four of these picks.  Except, according to Beyond the Bets, Cowherd was using numbers nobody else has…

ESPN’s Colin Cowherd is a favorite around here, and on Wednesday morning he offered his early take on some NFL win totals.

The problem? I have no idea where he got his numbers.

He sure as hell didn’t look at the over/unders released by Cantor Gaming5Dimes or BetOnline.

“I’m telling you right now,” Cowherd said, “If you had $10,000 and you gave it to me and said, ‘Colin, bet four teams at $2,500 apiece to win more games than Vegas predicts,’ I’m gonna tell you my four right now.

“I’m telling you, [these four teams] are better than the wiseguys think.”

The discrepancies pointed out by BtB are as follows:

Buffalo – Cowherd’s O/U: 6, Actual O/U: 7
Dallas – Cowherd’s O/U: 6, Actual O/U: 8.5
Indianapolis – Cowherd’s O/U: 3, Actual O/U: 5.5 
St. Louis – Cowherd’s O/U: 5, Actual O/U: 6

It’s bizarre.  Obviously there’s an edge to using faulty numbers.  If you want to pick Dallas over 6 instead of Dallas over 8.5, you’ve got a lot more room to maneuver with.  But why use numbers that aren’t accurate – I’m not saying there’s any malicious intent here, it could just be a more innocent slip, but it still doesn’t make sense.  It’s not like the Vegas numbers are that hard to find.  A quick Google search shows a myriad of articles using and referencing the same numbers used by BtB at the sites mentioned above.  Why can’t Cowherd use the actual numbers?

(Then again, much of Cowherd’s eccentric social commentary is loosely based in fact to begin with, so perhaps these numbers being pulled from nowhere shouldn’t be a surprise.)

On another note, if you’re ESPN, why take seriously all the offensive statements and factually incorrect statements Cowherd consistently uses to misrepresent the truth?  Why worry about dealing in fact and serving your audience with the truth?  Why take seriously your own commitment to journalism and transparency?  Why consider the negative impact of inaccurately trashing an entire city or entire regions of the country to a national audience?

Why not go ahead and endlessly self-promote the fact that Colin Cowherd can run a mile in under 6:30, because that’s what sports fans really care about.  That’s more important.

(Beyond the Bets)

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