But I'll take my lumps. I can't stress enough that the inconsistency is very much temporary, and will make sense once I explain in detail in the next pod. Soon enough you'll be able to listen to me talk to myself on a weekly basis -- although I'm not sure why anyone would willingly subject themselves to such a fate.
The Streak: Nine winning weeks in a row. If each unit were to correspond to a hypothetical $50 bet, someone tailing my weekly NASL picks would have netted $1,497.00 on the season so far. Fire emoji.
The Format: Each betting line is assigned a star (★) rating. For the purposes of ROI calculation, each star corresponds to a single unit.
Week 9 Results: 4-1-0 (OVR: 37-16-3 / +32.73% ROI / +29.94 units)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers +.25 (+100, ★★): I'll admit that there may be some wishful thinking involved here (the thought of the Cosmos winning the Spring season is almost vomit inducing), but Fort Lauderdale is unbeaten in their last five in all competitions (4W, 1D), while New York's road form has been terrible this season (1W, 3L).
The modern-era Strikers have yet to beat the modern-era Cosmos. Fans across the NASL -- particularly those in Minnesota and Indiana -- will be hoping that changes on Saturday.
I would like to point out how convenient it is for US Open Cup purposes that the Cosmos have their bye week on the last week of the Spring season. This allows them to clinch or almost clinch the Spring season, take a week off, and have their best XI fresh for a matchup with NYCFC. Don't think that wasn't intentional.
Indy Eleven Draw No Bet (-130, ★★★): After an extremely disappointing performance in Jacksonville, the Eleven turned it around midweek with a come-from-behind victory against I-65 rivals (and USL league-leaders) Louisville City FC. Staying unbeaten in all competitions came at a price, however: Midfielder Don Smart suffered a partially-torn ligament and is expected to miss 4-5 weeks.
Miami struggled midweek, being one of only two NASL teams to lose on the night -- but this is a team that is slowly starting to find its form. The much-discussed cash infusion to the midfield is beginning to pay dividends, showcased by earning their first win in club history a week ago against an FC Edmonton side which had been unbeaten in five.
The Eleven have played eleven games in the state of Florida, winning only one of them (4 L, 6D), but I don't believe the 2016 unbeaten streak ends here. Indy's starting centerback pairing will be back in action for the first time since the early moments of their matchup with Minnesota, and Nesta's side has yet to prove they can score consistently.
Miami might play well enough to force a draw, but that should be the worst-case scenario for this match up.
If you haven't already, be sure you check out our own James Cormack's in-depth match preview.
Minnesota United Draw No Bet (-125, ★★★): Alen Marcina's side has -- as Alen Marcina sides often do -- completely lost control. After picking up three red cards last Saturday against the Cosmos (Forbes, Michel, Samaras), Michel managed to get himself sent off for the second time in five days in midweek action against the OKC Energy. Boateng also saw red, bringing the tally to five reds in two games. Rayo hasn't won a game since the April 22nd rain delay thriller in Miami.
The Loons aren't in particularly great form either (and have been depleted by injuries in recent weeks), but they still boast more than enough talent to beat a Forbes-less and Michel-less Rayo squad.
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Ottawa Fury Over 2.5 (+120, ★): Going against conventional wisdom on this one: In their 16 combined matches this season, 11 have finished with two goals or less.
Here's why I think there's value in this line: the Rowdies haven't been kept out of the net since the season opener, and with each week are looking more threatening offensively. If they hadn't been the victims of a terrible offside call (which might hand the Cosmos the Spring title), Tampa would have tallied four goals in their last two league games. The Fury haven't been kept scoreless in five (all competitions), finding the net eight times in that stretch.
We are tracking these predictions in a points-based system throughout the season: 3 points for correct game result, 1 point for each correct score (by team), and 1 additional point for a perfect game.
James: 80 points
Seth: 88 points
Caleb: 100 points
Have any questions about any of the numbers or terminology found in this post? Reach out to @CalebRamp on Twitter.
Remember: All gambling and betting line discussion is for entertainment purposes only. If you do choose to gamble, be sure to do so legally and responsibly.
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James and Seth (@SoccerBits) can also be found on Twitter.