Football nation has week 1 elations…

The countdown to football season is one of the most anticipated “look-aheads” in all of sports. As Happy Gilmore once famously quoted, “…364 more days until next year’s hockey tryouts…” Some fan bases would tell you that the countdown begins once they come to the realization that their team has a better chance of giving up 100 points in a single game than make the playoffs. Sometimes, this optimism from such fan bases is warranted seeing how on average six of the 14 playoff members are not present in the following season. For example, these teams were absent from the 2021 NFL Playoffs but were members in the 2022 tournament: Cincinnati, Las Vegas, New England, Arizona, San Francisco, Dallas, and Philadelphia. This year exceeded the six number with seven new members entering the NFL Playoffs. So why not start your countdown as soon as possible because each new season is just that! The parody surrounding the NFL is real and might go in the favor of your team any given year! So without further ado, game one of the NFL regular season is just two days out which features the Rams hosting the Bills on September 8th for Thursday Night Football. Here is the full slate of the NFL Week 1 matchups.

With the preseason underway, we finally get to see some of the new faces and “old” faces in new uniforms. We are all aware of the Brown’s newest and rather suspect acquisition, Deshawn Watson. However, who were some of the other house-hold-names making big splashes around the league? There were a plethora as the league saw Russell Wilson become a Bronco, Tyreek Hill dive into Miami, Khalil Mack came to the Chargers, Davante Adams lusted over Las Vegas as he was reunited with his former college quarterback, Derek Carr. To round out some of the more impactful off season transactions, Matt Ryan was enticed to move to Indianapolis. The lack of continuity that will inevitably exist between a good portion of these franchises could make for a rather unpredictable fantasy football season featuring a rather large amount of “sleepers” emerging whereas those previously mentioned “house-hold-names” could be overvalued if one were to assume that they would continue to produce at a high level despite the change of scenery. In regards to your fantasy football lineups, two teams come to mind when looking to acquire some potential “sleepers” at the WR position. The Cowboys and Chiefs, both of which lost their number one options at the receiving position via trades. Amari Cooper is now a Brown whereas Tyreek Hill is now a Dolphin. With Cooper being targeted 104 times and Hill 159 times, those 263 targets are going to be divvied up amongst other wide-receivers between these two franchises. The Cowboys WR Depth Chart is as follows: CeeDee Lamb > Jalen Tolbert > Noah Brown > Dennis Houston. The Chiefs WR room is as follows: JuJu Smith-Schuster > Marquez Valdes-Scantling > Mecole Hardman > Skyy Moore. As far as running-backs are concerned, fantasypros.com recommends taking a flyer on the following available free-agent RB’s in your respective league(s): Dameon Pierce (Texans), Brian Robinson Jr. (Commanders), Jerick McKinnon (Chiefs), Darrell Henderson Jr. (Rams).

The OVER hit at a 57% rate this preseason. For our Week 1 plays, let’s continue to be on the side of this trend when making our O/U plays with one caveat – divisional rivals tend to favor scores resulting in the UNDER. There you have it, an easy Week 1 blind-play for ya! Divisional opponents = UNDER, all others = OVER. For the record, six of the sixteen Week 1 match-ups are within a division (i.e. AFC West).

If we take the names on the back of the jerseys away from our sports gambling strategies, we can hone in on some previous NFL Week 1 trends to get us ahead of the 8-ball before we even begin to calculate and determine our Week 1 plays. Although there are typically only three NFL preseason opponents nowadays, it is said that if a team goes 0-4 in these games then they only have a 30% ATS rate against their Week 1 opponent. Now that there are only the three games, we only saw one team this preseason windup sitting at 0-4, the Jaguars *only two teams competed in four preseason games: the Raiders and Jaguars by way of the annual NFL Hall of Fame game in Canton, OH.* Nevertheless, there could still be some potential value in fading the handful of teams that finished 0-3: Bucs, Chargers, Commanders, Seahawks, and Vikings. Let’s keep an eye on these six teams as maybe there is some validity and insightfulness to these “waste-of-time” preseason games. Another aspect that we can blindly use for our Week 1 plays around the NFL falls within the turnover margin umbrella. You see, history shows that teams that accrued poor turnover differential one year typically display a much more gracious margin the following year. In a nutshell, this statistic is said to be more so based on luck as opposed to anything else; giving way for a “what goes up, must come down” correlation between any two given franchises seasons. Now, let’s take a look at some of the top performers and under achievers in the 2021 NFL campaign, as far as turnover differential is concerned – shall we?! Of the six teams provided that finished the preseason at 0-3 or 0-4, three of which finished the previous season with a positive turnover margin over their opponents. The Vikings, Bucs, and Seahawks tallied a combined +26 turnover differential. I foresee the tides to turn and for at least two of these organizations to not cover their respective Week 1 point-spread lines. Week 1 features the Packers @ Vikings (+2.5), Bucs @ Cowboys (+2), and the Broncos @ Seahawks (+4.5). Of these three matchups, I am leaning towards fading the Bucs laying a couple of points on the road. Maybe, just maybe, this is the season that Brady finally begins to physically deplete while Dak hits his peak. Give me the points for the home underdog!

Football lost a great on the 28th…

On December 28th, the NFL lost former player, coach, broadcaster, and video-game endorser unexpectedly. Madden owns the best winning percentage by any coach in NFL history throughout his ten year coaching stint. In 1978, Madden put away the playbook and put on the broadcasting headset; not after posting a 103-32-7 overall record (76%) while coaching the Oakland Raiders. Whether your memories of Madden are most vivid on the gridiron, in the press box, or his iconic voice in Madden ’09;

Brett Favre on the cover of Madden ’09 video game

one thing is for certain, he had a positive impact in some shape or form for all football fans, players, employees, and coaches. Rest in peach John Madden, you will be missed.


With the conclusion of several college football bowl games, we are seeing more and more “opt-outs” ever than before by these athletes. Mix this with coaches being fired faster than being hired makes it very difficult to know where a teams’ head is at entering a particular match-up. This new and evolving variable that is frustrating and taxing to keep track of makes gambling in this era of the bowl season harder than ever. Typically we would like to “proceed with caution” when making a play on odds/lines that seem too good to be true. When it comes to college football and bowl season, I highly recommend neglecting these such odds/lines as a whole. There are others out there that know way more than we do regarding a teams’ psyche, attitude, you name it; best to stay clear of those lines that make us scratch our heads. A good example of this scenario occurred this bowl season at Dallas, TX at the First Responder Bowl. Louisville closed as a 2 pint underdogs against Air Force?… The Cardinals are getting points against a Mountain West team, seems a bit fishy, right? The Cardinals ended up not covering the point spread after losing 31-28 to the Falcons. I have been searching out for some tangible edge(s) to capture for the remainder of the bowl season. Of the 24 games that have taken place, 12 of which have seen the underdogs cover ATS whereas the favorites have also covered half of the bowl games – no edge there. However, thus far there have been four games in which a mid-major program is facing off against a Power 5 foe. In each of these four games the mid-major program has won outright while going 3-1 ATS. Pretty impressive, right? Looking forward, there are only two of these match-ups remaining (Cincinnati vs. Alabama & C. Michigan vs. Washington St.). The Bearcats

currently sit as 14 point underdogs, whereas the Chippewas are 7 point underdogs. If you can shop around and find the hook on these numbers to get to 14.5 and/or 7.5 then I would like to stay true to the trend and side with both the mid-major underdogs over the Power 5 opponents… *as I bite my nails anxiously knowing that Alabama could very well be ahead by 24 points by halftime.*


Before I sign off, I came across a new development in Las Vegas. Vegas opened its doors to a new casino and resort in October of this year by the name of New Circa Resort in Vegas. What makes this resort unlike anything you’ve ever seen is its 4,000 capacity sportsbook-pool in one as you gaze above at the 143 ft. TV all while relaxing in the pool with your favorite beverage! Circa is just off the Vegas strip located downtown on Fremont St. Next time you decide to visit Sin City, look into planning your stay at Circa Casino and Resort.

Bowling Green is not ‘bowling’ this year…

College football bowl season begins in just six short days on the 17th. Leading us off are the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee St. and the Rockets from Toledo with action starting at 11:00am CST in the Bahamas. Subscribe to get the full College Football Bowl Game Schedule including the point spreads.

Currently, the odds sit in the Rockets favor as 10 point favorites, while the total is listed at 52 points. These two teams are just the tip of the iceberg with all that encompasses each and every bowl season bonanza! This season (post season) for college football is compiled of 42 bowl games for the pickings – betting pickings that is. We will spoiled with more college football from December 17th through January 4th (not including the CFP National Championship Game).

A “tip” that you may hear quite often when referring to betting bowl games is having awareness of certain teams’ motivation levels, or lack thereof. However, I have a strong belief that this lack of motivation only stems from Power 5 schools. Point being, smaller, mid-major programs will typically always fight tooth-and-nail during these bowl game match-ups. For the most part, they have no business, nor shot, at competing for an FBS college football national championship. Hence, these are the moments and games that they live to play for with their emotional and motivational levels at very high levels compared to some Power 5 programs that view these match-ups as just that – just another game.

Getting down to “how” and “why: behind making our plays, lets take a peak at a few tips that we’ll need to keep in mind while “bowl-betting” this winter. Thus far, I have already mentioned the motivation factor; now we need to be weary of each team’s player “opt-outs.” Opt-outs are become more and more prevalent in the college football bowl season realm. Athletes now understand how much is potential at stake for their future. Many argue if this is the right or wrong OPTion to consider as a student-athlete; however, maybe that discussion can be had a different time for a different post. As a side note: the first name that comes to mind when I think about the most impactful college football bowl “opt-outs” is Christian McCaffrey during his time at Stanford as he decided to not participate in the Sun Bowl in 2016. This created a storm of controversy regarding whether or not McCaffrey was in the right or wrong by abandoning his team to secure himself for a high draft pick and inevitably make millions for the single stroke of a pen. Pause and think to yourself for just a second: What would you do in his situation? Would you abandon your team and Seniors during their last moments of battle or would you guarantee that your future was safe by not participating in just another bowl game? Thankfully I have no skin in the game, so I don’t have any strong opinions siding either which way.

While we are on the subject of bowl season, we obviously have to discuss the CFP a bit (College Football Playoff). For the first time in its infancy, a mid-major school has been awarded to participate in the CFP. It’s a progressive world that we live in so I guess that this too fits the bill. On December 31st, Alabama (1) will take on Cincinnati (4) in the Cotton Bowl where the Tide is currently 13.5 point favorites. Immediately following, Michigan (2) squares up against Georgia (3) as 7.5 point underdogs in the Orange Bowl.

These odds seem very difficult to side with, at least in my “professional” opinion. However, I do know that both Michigan and Georgia have exceptional defenses that would pose for a low scoring game. Hence, I would more often than not side with the given points in low scoring affairs as the total is currently only set at 43.5… Michigan +7.5, give it to me! That is my best bet for these two CFP match-ups. Best of luck come this bowl-betting season and may the most motivated come out victorious (at least from a point-spread perspective).


Upcoming Football Picks:

Military Bowl: Boston College vs. E. Carolina (+3.5) – PICK: E. CAROLINA

RAVENS @ BROWNS (-2.5) – PICK: BROWNS

FALCONS @ PANTHERS (-3) – PICK: PANTHERS

SEAHAWKS @ TEXANS (+7.5) – PICK: TEXANS

STEELERS @ VIKINGS (-3) – PICK: VIKINGS

49ERS @ BENGALS (-1) – PICK: BENGALS

Week 8, time to be great…

By this point in the NFL season, we have a very good sample size for each team’s strengths, weaknesses, and identities. A handful of teams currently find themselves in the midst of some rather surprising W-L records nearing the halfway point of the 2021 – 22 campaign; some good, and some not so good. This year’s NFL over-achieving awards go out to the Bengals of the AFC and the Cardinals of the NFC. Interestingly enough, both of these squads are lead by recent Heisman Trophy QB’s that were number one overall draft picks in back-to-back years (2018-19). With it now being Week 8 around the NFL, we can rely on not only our eyes, but also the numbers that each team has accumulated thus far. Stats may be a bit skewed in the early weeks due to several factors; a few being a team’s strength of schedule (or lack thereof), or a couple of poor performances that would rather be anomalies for a particular team. You could fill in the blank with whatever variable you’d like; the point is that by this point in the season we can certainly rely on the statistics to paint a clear picture of league wide trends and each team’s performance(s) moving forward. Up to this point, Away Underdogs have been the most profitable teams to bet on ATS, covering at a 57% clip. As far as the totals are concerned, the UNDER has been the more favorable play covering in 56% of the games. Week 8 presents nine match-ups where the road team will serve as the underdog. Last year was the first year that the NFL saw road teams with a better winning percentage outright, not ATS. This year is not only trending in a similar direction but the road teams are once again winning at an alarming rate when having to pack their bags. Although it is by a slight margin, road teams are currently 54-53 overall.

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Last night the Houston Astros evened up the the World Series tying the Atlanta Braves one game apiece. A quick and blind play that might be worth taking note of is the total based on the where each game is being played. Minute Maid Park is home to the Astros where left field is only 315ft from home plate; Truist park, where the Braves call home, is a much larger park as far as dimensions are concerned. I believe that we can blindly take the OVER when the Astros are at home and the UNDER when the Braves are at home. The homerun ball is so prevalent and such a crucial factor in today’s game leaving me to purchase stock in the fact that ballparks dimensions can have that much of an influence on the outcome/total for each game. Let’s also not forget to take advantage of the National League vacant DH spot while it still exists (that debate is for a different time as far as the universal designated hitter is concerned). With the Braves having a larger ballpark and the DH being substituted for the pitcher makes me lean towards the UNDERS when these World Series games are held in Atlanta, vice-versa when Houston is hosting. So, if you are lost on which way to lean on your World Series plays and just want some action on the game because, well… just because it’s fun, then I recommend leaning towards the game totals depending on which city each World Series game is played in. Game 3 of the World Series will take place in Atlanta tomorrow night at 7:10 CST on FOX where the O/U is currently set at 8.5.

It’s no fantasy, I’m back with more football!

What a time to be alive (if you’re a sports fan), the 2021 NFL season is right around the corner and the MLB Playoff picture is beginning to take shape. I would first like to apologize for my recent absence. I began coaching high school level baseball this past summer and took up a lot of my free time that I would typically spend in front of a computer typing for the very minimal audience of this blog. While away, the MLB has been in full swing, the NBA Finals concluded with a Bucks win, and both the NBA & NFL Draft’s occurred.

With the NFL season on the horizon, that also means that the NCAAF seasoning is upon us. Guess who tops the preseason polls for the 2021 season? Yep, Alabama. Below are the preseason rankings for the upcoming NCAAF season.

With the start of the NFL season comes the start of a new year of Fantasy Football. A brand new opportunity to prove to your buddies that you do in fact have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to the NFL and its players. We are beginning to see the NFL take on a new form with fresh faces emerging as some of the top performers and stars in the league. It is important to find that fine line between letting go of the “has-been” veterans that possess “house-hold” name status and begin accepting the transformational new beings of the league and its future.

2021 NFL Pump Hype Video

When it comes to the later rounds of you fantasy drafts, here are some “sleepers” to think about placing in your draft queue… Rondale Moore (WR – Cardinals): Although he only stands at 5-7, Moore is a very athletic and shifty wideout that could cause some serious issues for DB’s due to his unique skill set. Gus Edwards (RB – Ravens): Most believe that JK Dobbins will be the shiny new toy that will be highly utilized this season for the Ravens, however, look for Baltimore to rely on their veteran back to carry more of a workload than most are anticipating. Gabriel Davis (WR – Bills): with this being his Sophomore season, Davis is looking to take that next step and continue his success that he had with QB Josh Allen in their 2020 campaign. Cole Kmet (TE – Bears): With current TE1 (Jimmy Graham) being on the wrong side of 30, Kmet is prime for the opportunity to take over that TE1 position for Justin Fields and Chicago.

My Week 1 plays are in and there are only two games that I was particularly fond of. I like the Cowboys (+6.5) over the Bucs and the Giants (+1) over the Broncos. I foresee the Bucs having somewhat of a Super Bowl hangover and with so many uncertainties at quarterback with the Broncos it seems hard to not take the points especially with them being on the road. Over the past ten seasons, Week 1 underdogs have gone 92-79 ATS (54%); while big Week 1 underdogs getting 6.5 or more points cover at an even better clip of 61%. In short, the worse a team performed in the previous season the better off they are ATS in Week 1 of the following season. Why is this? Simple, the public tends to fade the “lesser” team while clinging on to a team’s past performances. There is just simply too much turnover in the NFL with each game’s outcome being decided by only a few plays to assume that a team will duplicate its previous year’s performance. In this instance, a team that I would like to jump on its bandwagon before it’s too late is the Atlanta Flacons. The Falcons ended the season with an underwhelming 4-12 record. However, the average scores from their games only ended with them losing by 1.1 point(s). You don’t have to be a sports gambling guru to understand that the 2020 Atlanta Falcons could have easily have been an 8-8 club as opposed to the 4-12 showing that they produced. Point here is that the public will only see the 4-12 record that was manufactured from last season and ignore what lies beneath the naked eye. I believe that the 2021 campaign will result in the ball bouncing more favorably for the Falcons and that slight 1.1 deficit margin might shift their way in the winning direction. In hopes of Matt Ryan returning back to a somewhat quality QB; look for Calvin Ridley to have a breakout year with Julio Jones now removed from the Falcons roster; meanwhile with the addition of potential star and 4th overall draft pick TE Kyle Pitts entering the equation should provide the Falcons offense with some fantasy and handicapping value.

Difficult divisional decisions…

And then there were 8… Welcome to the Divisional round of the 2020 – 21 NFL Postseason! All Wildcard games went chalk aside from those 6 vs. 3 match-ups on both the AFC and NFC sides of the bracket. Both the Steelers and Seahawks represented the 3 seeds from each conference only to lose outright to the wildcard recipients, Browns and Rams. Does this 6 vs. 3 match-up typically tend to threaten the playoff run for those 3 seeds more often than it should? Let’s take a look at some historical analytics and trends to see what we can come up with. I like to think of this 6 vs. 3 NFL Playoff match-up as the ole’ 12 vs. 5 seeded match-up in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Often times, teams would prefer to avoid being the 5 seed simply based on its win percentage (or lack thereof) against a much lower seeded opponent. Now a days, we are even beginning to see some of these 12 seeds favored over the 5 seeds. How in the hell does that make any sense, right?! I digress, although the 6 seed may never be favored over a 3 seed in the NFL postseason, (mainly due to home-field advantage I would presume) the winning percentage continues to grow as time goes on. Currently, the 6 seed has a winning percentage of 38.1% over the 3 seed in Wildcard Weekend. Not too shabby, right? If you compare it to the win percentage of the 5 seed during Wildcard Weekend (33.3%) than one would have to assume two things: A. How does this make any sense at all?? and B. The 6 vs. 3 NFL match-up might have more similar correlations to the 12 vs. 5 NCAAB match-ups than we think. Taking this another step forward, if these 6 seeds are fortunate enough to capture that 38.1%, how do they fair in the Divisional round when they have to once again go on the road and face the number one seeded team from the conference? Oh, and by the way has had an extra week to rest and prepare… good luck.

This weekend provides us with four divisional games; two on Saturday and two on Sunday. According to MyBookie, the Packers are 7 point favorites over the Rams, the Bills are 2.5 point favorites over the Ravens, the Chiefs are 10 point favorites over the Browns, and the Saints are 3 point favorites over the Bucs. This is the playoffs we are talking about so the lines are going to be sharp. However, this year in particular has been a tough one to crack. To put it into perspective, of the four games slated for this weekend, not even a half of a point from the point spread has been adjusted. These lines were available on Monday and have not budged even the slightest; pretty crazy, right? So what do we do? Are these games truly just a flip of a coin? Do we just go ahead and go with our guts? Or do we just stay away in general and just enjoy the games like a normal football viewer? Surely we can find some sort of edge that can make these extremely sharp lines a bit dull. Last weekend, both 4 seeds fell to the visiting 5 seeds and both 3 seeds fell to the 6 seeds. Historically, the lower seeded teams winning percentage have been trending upwards over the past thirty years, meaning that the high seeded teams would inevitably be trending downwards. In these thirty years, the 5 and 6 seeds have an 11.9% winning percentage during the divisional round. If we assume that the Rams, Bucs, Browns, and Ravens all posses an 11.9% chance of winning this weekend than we can get a better idea of the point spreads and money lines. However, one must take into account that this is the inaugural season for the revamped NFL

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postseason format. Hence, the 5 seed has coincidentally had the same success rate as the 6 seed because they have had to been matched-up against the 2 seed whom of which also had a bye during Wildcard Weekend. After analyzing a more recent graph that takes into account the newly reformatted playoff model, the 2 seed unfortunately possesses the distinct disadvantage when it comes to the new playoff format. Obviously this has to do with the extra bye week that the 2 seed is accustomed to having that is no longer at their disposal. Without the bye week, the 2 seed in the NFL playoff’s Super Bowl winning chances decrease by 8.8%. That is a pretty drastic drop, especially considering that all of the remaining seeds chances to win the Super Bowl increase with the new format. Now, that is not to say that the 6 seeds now has a better chance to win the

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Super Bowl over the 2 seeds. No, but rather that their previous chances have increased compared to the original playoff structure. Point being, if the 2 seeds are the only teams that are projected to have more difficulty to win, advance, and become champions than any other team’s than we should look to make our potential plays against those teams (Bills and Saints). I would advocate the money-line plays on these underdogs. Currently, you can get the Ravens at +125 and the Bucs at +135. In order to get a positive rate of return, we just need one of these teams to win this coming weekend. Adding both the 2 seeds 11.9% (which is greater due to the new playoff format) and taking into account the 2 seed regression of 8.8%, we can informally calculate that there is at least a 41.4% chance of one these 5 seeds winning this weekend with a 20.7% chance of both of them winning outright. I like taking both money lines in this spot with the lines being so sharp. For the record, your boy went 3 for 3 last weekend with two ATS winners and an UNDER that hit.


NFL Divisional Weekend Picks:

RAVENS (+125) @ BILLS – Pick = RAVENS

BUCS (+135) @ SAINTS – Pick = BUCS

RAMS @ PACKERS (O/U 46) – Pick = OVER

A peculiar playoff path in the NFL…

The 2020-21 NFL Playoff format marks the inaugural implementation of the new playoff structure where just one team from each conference receives a bye week during Wildcard Weekend. In previous years, two teams from each conference receives a bye for the first week. In addition, the “new” Wildcard Weekend has invited an additional team from each conference to compete in the playoff bracket. Hate it, love it, who cares – more football is all I care about!

NFL Playoff action begins on Saturday the 9th with the Colts and Bills kicking us off. For what it’s worth, the Bills are currently a 7 point favorite with the O/U sitting at 51.5 (MyBookie). Before you, the reader, abruptly quits reading this blog post to hurries to make your plays, consider the following… Throughout the past two NFL playoffs, the road team has covered in all eight wildcard match-ups (5-3 outright). The money-line could be very profitable come this Wildcard Weekend since we are getting an extra game compared to recent years. If you are an avid reader of mine, than you will know that I love those DOGS and UNDERS. Since 2012, the UNDER has gone 20-8 in the wildcard games. That’s good for a cool 71% levy in return. While we are on the subject of underdogs, the Washington Football Team is the third team in the Super Bowl era to reach the playoffs with a losing record. The other two teams did not only cover ATS, but won outright in their respective match-ups. If history tell us anything, you should absolutely take the points if you like this game; not to

mention that the money-line would be hard to argue against as well. One last NFL playoff trend to consider is defense. “Yeah, yeah, of course you need a solid defense to win in the playoffs,” one might say. Which would not be wrong by any account. However, passing defense is the key statistical trend that has stuck out over the past eight NFL playoffs. Throughout the last eight NFL postseasons, all Super Bowl winners have possessed a top 10 ranking in terms of total QBR allowed (i.e. passing defense). Would you all like to know which teams have ranked the highest is total QBR against this season? The top 5 are all in the playoffs: 1. Steelers – 2. Rams – 3. Football Team – 4. Saints – 5. Bills. If one is able to take all of these quick and “already done for you” information and compile it into the best play for this weekends wildcard match-up’s than we would see that the Washington Football Team would be your best bet ATS. I know, I know, how in the world could Washington beat Tampa Bay?! A. They do not have to beat them, only cover; and B. these are all professionals on the same playing field where history and analytical trends say to do so. So if you don’t want to take my word(s) for it, take good ole’ histories playbook into account!

I hope that you guys are as excited for this years’ playoff match-ups as I am! Here is a quick hype-up video to get you into the NFL Wildcard Weekend spirit! Enjoy.

NFL Playoff Picks:

RAMS (+4.5) @ SEAHAWKS – PICK = RAMS

WFT (+9) @ BUCS – PICK = WFT

BEARS @ SAINTS (O/U 48) – PICK = UNDER

***It is worth noting that this NFL season has seen the most road wins in NFL history (56% ATS). Look for this trend persist come Wildcard Weekend!

2020: Where 50+ year old’s are boxing & women are playing NCAAF

I think that it is pretty safe to say that the year of 2020 has brought us many new peculiar circumstances; some for better, others for worse. Regardless, this year has allowed our society to alter and experiment in which the ways we act and interpret. Alluding to the title of this post, ten years ago would you think that two grown men whom of which are “out of shape” and way past their prime’s would arrange to box one another? Or, would you believe that a woman would be a member of an SEC football program? Probably not, right? However, it is important to note that venturing out and deviating away from what we believe to be the “norm” is certainly not bad practice. Besides, what is the harm of going against the grain and testing the waters, if you will, of what our past may have been too afraid to endeavor? Sarah Fuller is her name, she is the goal keeper for the Vanderbilt Commodore’s Women’s Soccer team; however, now she is known as being the first female football player in a Power 5 program. During her debut, Vanderbilt got blanked against

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Missouri where she was unable to display her talents to even attempt an extra point. The Commodore’s next opponent is against Georgia which has been… yep, you guessed it – POSTPONED due to COVID-19. However, the game has been rescheduled for December 19th. Although their next opponent’s defense does not get any easier, let’s hope that the Commodore’s offense can move the ball a bit better and give Fuller a chance to showcase her talents.

Now, it would be irresponsible of me to not discuss a boxing match that may never take place again. A 51 and 54 year old had their way with one another in late November for a charity boxing bout. Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson squared off in Los Angeles where the fight resulted in a draw… LAME! It is presumed that Tyson made up to as much as $10 million for the fight and stated that he would donate his entire earnings to charity. In case you missed it (like myself) below are some of the highlights from the fight.

Now, for most you fantasy football playoffs are this coming weekend. If you’re like me, over half of my drafted team is either injured or on the COVID reserved list by this point. During this season, it has been imperative to strategically add and drop players from your roster’s due to the revolving door of injuries and illnesses. Sometimes they hit, and other times they don’t. I suppose that this is the luck and skill portions that go into managing a Fantasy Football squad. A lot more goes on behind the scenes than we as fans know about. These football players have been and are going through extensive protocols to enhance safety measures. How is this going to influence their mental and physical well-being come game time? Only they themselves know the answer to that; that is what has made this year a bit more difficult to navigate our ways through the fantasy football drawing board. My advice is to stick with your workhorses; the athletes that have been consistently available for your roster spots. By now, the healthy are in a rhythm and have had more “in-game” experience during this unusual season providing us (the managers) with a sense of “you know what you’re going to get” with this player. Aside from the fantasy football spectrum, let’s take a look at some of ATS and Totals trends that have accumulated over the past 12 weeks of the NFL season. Best ATS: Pittsburgh, Worst ATS: Dallas – % OVER: Tennessee, % UNDER: LA Rams. As the NFL is over halfway through its season, it is important to keep in mind that OVERS and home-field advantage tend to become more prominent. Why is this you ask? OVERS seem to be a more favorable pick in the latter part of the NFL season because defenses are beat up and very tired (rest benefits defenses more than offenses). Also, the later portion of the NFL season is in the month of December which means cold weather. However, the public obviously knows that the winter means tougher conditions to play in, meaning that game totals and point spreads are over stated due to the “obvious” or “gullible” perceptions. As for the home field advantage “advantage” that we as sports gambler’s may benefit from once again comes from the longevity and rigorous strain that these NFL players endure throughout any given season. In betting terms, home-field advantage is awarded anywhere from 2 – 5 points depending on the location and significance of the match-up. Later in the season, home-field advantage is amplified due to the amount of traveling that any given team has logged during the course of given season. It’s not rocket science, the San Francisco 49ers are going to be more rested and geared up for the 3,000 mile trek to Miami if the match-up is slated for Week 1 of the NFL season as opposed to Week 13 of the NFL season. We have all flown on planes and gone through a long day of travel; it can take a toll on one’s body. Not to mention that you basically lose a day of practice and preparation with a long day of travel such as this example. So what am I getting at here? In the later portions of the NFL schedule/season, look to make your plays on those OVERS and home teams. As always, these insights are just a brainless way to make your plays; but in order to be successful in the long run, you must do your own extensive research.

The COVID-Kids and their counterparts…

Week 8 of the NFL season is this weekend. Although the corona-virus has presented play with numerous amounts of speed bumps, competition has continued on – for better or for worse… The BIG10 football conference has finally resumed play after taking a more conservative stance, as far as athletic competition is concerned. However, the conservative efforts may have been all for not. Just this past week, the Wisconsin vs. Nebraska game has been postponed due to an outbreak among Badger athletes and coaches. With so many postponements/cancellations occurring over the NFL and NCAAF landscape, schools and franchises are beginning to crack down on safety measures and protocols to keep their seasons in tact and play out as smoothly as possible. In fact, the Carolina Panthers organization released CB Josh Hawkins after being recorded on video dancing in a crowded restaurant without wearing a mask. This is a classic example of a “zero tolerance policy.” Below is the video that essentially got him fired.

I know, I know, the video seems very harmless. Whether the decision to release Hawkins was right or wrong is irrelevant. Point being, NFL and NCAAF programs are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their players and keep their season’s afloat.

Aside from the virus in general, let’s get to some NFL mid season gambling trends. We are basically half way through the season and by now we have a very solid sample size on each team and their superiority/inferiority along with their respective identities. Side note: I have the TV on here in front of me and just glanced upon an absurd stat that flashed on ESPN. This season, the New York Jets have a point differential of -118. Take a guess at to what the point differential that the rest of the league has compiled over the course of the season??? +118. To put this in perspective, the team with the second worst point differential in the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys at -67. Yikes. Anyways, if you’re like myself, I have struggled this year in terms of my NFL plays. I would like to think that with a bit more studying and luck on my side, and if these trends continue to persist, I can begin to get on the winning side of my plays! Now, let’s get into some of those betting trends that have presented themselves thus far during the 2020 NFL season. Thus far, road teams are covering 55% ATS; couple that with underdogs are also covering 55% of the games. What does this tell us? Ding, ding, ding: Look at making your plays on those road underdogs. In fact, they are 58% ATS this NFL season. I agree, it is very hard to take underdogs, especially when you know that they are those so called inferior opponents. However, keep in mind that these are all professionals (specifically in the NFL) and it is the best versus the best each and every week; meaning that anything can happen.

The first version of the NFL mock draft has been released, and here is what CBS Sports has from 1 to 32… Spoiler Alert: the Jets are the presumed number one overall pick! Despite the recent positive COVID-19 test from Clemson’s QB Trevor Lawrence, the New York Jets are sure to move on from their previous first round pick (Sam Darnold) and acquire Lawrence to begin their rebuilding process. Click the link below to take a look at the first version of the 2021 NFL Draft.

It takes 10 to Tango…

I know, I know, I know. There are more than ten members apart of the BIG10. In fact, there are 14. Announced on September 16th, the BIG10 conference released that they would resume football competition in late October. Come October 24th, the Week 1 BIG10 marquee match-up is slated for Michigan @ Minnesota. For better or worse, no gambling options are yet available for the BIG10 games with players that have opted out, now opting back in. Going forward, who knows how the player in-and-out carousel will unfold.

Video provided below is the Zoom meeting that took place for the announcement of the continuation of the BIG10 football season…

While we are on the topic of BIG10 football, lets go ahead and discuss some college football sports gambling tips to look for throughout the remainder of the season. Let me preface by stating that the information provided was aided by Josh Appelbaum, author and professional sports gambler. We will uncover some of the college football gambling angles and potential teams that may fall under these qualifications/criteria for this upcoming week of college football match-ups. Appelbaum has concluded that home football teams ATS cover 48.8% of the time; hence, road teams cover at a 51.2% clip. To piggy-back on these analytics, ROAD UNDERDOGS have been covering 51.1% of games. By this point, you might be thinking to yourself, 51.2% and 51.1%, those are not winning/significant odds to give YOU, the bettor, an advantageous edge; remember: every added value helps, even the smallest of ones. Once we have our ROAD UNDERDOG method established, we need to look for them in match-ups where the TOTAL (U/D) is less than 50. In these types of games, teams meeting this criteria cover at a solid rate of 53.2%. Again, we are chipping away at our plays of the day being more than just a “flip of a coin.” The idea behind this edge is when a particular game is not projected to produce too many points (by NCAAF standards) than the UNDERDOG will benefit by way of fewer points scores, meaning a “tighter” game. Now, lets sift through the teams that meet these three particular criteria for Week 4 of the college football season. Teams that Josh and I would recommend keeping an eye on to cover this Saturday include: Kentucky (+7 vs. Auburn), Army (+13 vs. Cincinnati), UTEP (+10, vs. LA Monroe), Duke (+5, vs. Virginia), and Vanderbilt (+30.5, vs. Texas AM). For the record, I am very high on the Blue Devils to cover ATS this Saturday. They are in a bounce back spot after their Week 3 loss against Boston College and they meet the three criteria.

As always, best of luck with your future plays and during this college football season. BIG10, welcome back… PAC12, where ya at?! Check out Josh Appelbaum’s book titled “The Everything Guide to Sports Betting” on Amazon, or wherever your get your books. Thanks guys and stay safe!