Welcome to Project 256 or Bust: Why I’m Betting Every NFL Game This Season & Week 2 Picks

Welcome to Project 256 or Bust: Why I’m Betting Every NFL Game This Season & Week 2 Picks article feature image

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson

  • Tired of winning his friend's pick 'em pool, Chad Millman devised a new plan.
  • Project 256orBust will feature bets on every NFL game this season.
  • Check The Action Network App every Friday to see the weekend's picks.

It started, like all great moments between friends, with a bet.

Way back in 2006, I lived in Manhattan and my buddy, Matt, lived in San Francisco. We had young kids, stressful jobs and thousands of miles separating us, so Matt proposed a head-to-head NFL, ATS pick ’em contest.

“It will be fun. We won’t even play for money, just pride,” he said.  “In fact, instead of the winner winning something, he gets to send the loser second-place trophies.”

Shame trophies! What a brilliant concept! Forget for a moment that the winner is now spending money instead of, you know, winning actual money. Shaming a friend is priceless. Or so I thought.

One year, Matt sent me eight trophies, each engraved with one word from the following sentence: “Second…place…2010…pigskin…pick…‘em…contest…bitch.” Another year, I sent him a four-foot tall trophy that he had to assemble with help from his kids.

But over the past few years, because I am practically a wiseguy, I’ve become so dominant that the thrill has faded. I was spending hundreds of dollars on trophies just to top myself from the season before. Last year, after winning, I sent Matt a Cameo from Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin on The Office. You can watch it here. To summarize, he says, “Matt, you suck, how could you lose again?” He proceeds to name all of Matt’s kids so they can wallow in their father’s shame.

This year, I needed a new challenge. I called Matt and proposed that, instead of me beating him again and spending $400 or so on shame trophies, why don’t we put that money into a pool and I bet every game on the board. If I do well, we celebrate; if I don’t, he can finally lord it over me.

He agreed, kind of. “I want to play, too,” he said.

“This isn’t pick ‘em camp,” I told him. “Only the best get to play.”

“Bullshit, I’d rather pick and lose than just sit back and watch.”

I gave in, mainly so he would stop texting. And, soon after, Project 256 or Bust was born.

For the entire season, Matt and I will bet every NFL game on the board. You can follow our progress in The Action Network app, appropriately titled 256 or Bust. You can also check this space every Friday to see who we picked for the upcoming weekend. As you can see, we are already 11-5.

Why didn’t I write about this last week? Was I waiting to see how we started before revealing this to the world? Perhaps. Or maybe I’m just very busy as an important leader at a growing company.

I’m kidding. It’s the first reason. But there’s no turning back now.

Current record: 12-5

This week’s picks:

Panthers-Buccaneers under 49.5 (win)
Jaguars at Texans (-8.5)
Cowboys (-4.5) at Redskins
Patriots at Dolphins (+19) 
Chargers (-2.5) at Lions
49ers at Bengals (-2)
Cardinals (+13) at Ravens
Seahawks at Steelers (-4) 
Colts (+3) at Titans
Vikings at Packers (-3)
Bills at Giants (+2.5)
Chiefs (-7.5) at Raiders
Saints at Rams (-2.5)
Bears at Broncos (+2.5) 
Eagles at Falcons (+1) 
Browns (-2.5) at Jets

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