It is always tough to bet on the Premier League in August. You are trying to figure out how new managers will affect their teams, who is fit for matches and whether new signings will play or not. 15 questions are asked of you and you have to come up with one answer for all of them.
But while bettors everywhere are befuddled, yourself included, remember one thing -- the books are as confused as you. The same questions that are being asked of you are being asked of them and while your probably beer-induced state once you remember to put any money down makes them more equipped to handle the questions than you are, at least you're both being asked the same questions.
The secret is finding out which questions the books are struggling to answer. They are just as likely to overreact to a summer move as you are, but they have to make the first move and you get to respond.
If that doesn't make you feel any better, bet on the team with the best colors, even if the absence of Wolves this season renders the "anything but orange" rule meaningless. How do you think your grandma afforded that desert with her Denny's Grand Slam at 4 p.m. dinner last week?
Manchester City to win (+135) at Liverpool
The injury to Sergio Aguero undoubtedly affected this line, but why? Are you any less confident that Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Samir Nasri can break down a defense that includes Jamie Carragher? Liverpool's only chance is to dominate the center, but after watching Lucas visibly struggle in his return from injury last week that is asking a lot.
Swansea vs. West Ham, no Americans watch
If ESPN wants people to wake up and watch a match at 7:45 am, or worse, 4:45 am on the west coast, they have to do better than the Swans and Hammers. In fact, they would get better ratings if they spent two hours trying to teach a swan to use a hammer.
Sunderland vs. Reading, under 2.5 (-130)
It doesn't matter what year it is, Sunderland and Martin O'Neill are always a good bet for the under. The Reading defense did look leaky against Chelsea and would have surrendered a nickel-plus if Fernando Torres was, well, not Fernando Torres, but the Black Cats don't have the midfielders that the Blues do. The Royals' five-man midfield should put the clamps on Stephane Sessegnon and without him, Sunderland don't have the kind of players that can trouble Reading the way that Chelsea did.
Norwich City vs. Queens Park Rangers, fewest bets ever
Who would put money on this match? Unless you dropped some LSD and had an epiphany, you have no idea what to make of either team. Books are rumored to only be accepting Monopoly money or the Canadian dollar for this match.
Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic to draw (+240)
Short memories will tell you that Southampton looked bright and in no way out of its depth against City last weekend and long memories will tell you that Wigan were playing incredible at the end of last season. They're both right.
Robin van Persie to get injured, shame on you
Every week this bet looks tantalizing, but then you realize that betting on someone to get hurt makes you scum. And in this case, poor scum.
Last week: 3-0. Season record: 3-0