After reading Joe Lunardi’s book that I referred to in the post titled It’s never too early to utter Joe Lunardi’s name… on October 1st, I was surprised to find that there is no true “algorithm” that Joey Brackets formulates while he constructs his bracketology predications week after week. That was one of the many talking-points that I took away from his book. One thought that got brought up that I found very interesting left me pondering: was ESPN the beneficiary of March Madness or was it the other way around? Lunardi states, “It begs the question: did college sports, especially college basketball, grow because of ESPN, or did ESPN grow because of college hoops?” I got to thinking and began to take this idea a step further as it more adequality relates to this particular blog – Has sports in general become more popular because of sports gambling? I would have to argue yes, and quite frankly would not accept the ladder. Sports gambling has allowed for the low to moderate sports fans to become average sports fans, the average sports fan to become an avid sports fan, so on and so forth. It’s not like this is some new thing to us right? Well kind of… in 1949 sports gambling became legalized in Nevada and only Nevada. So maybe it is like a bright and shiny new toy to most of us even though the act of sports gambling has been know for quite some time. However, now that more and more states are beginning to legalize betting while coupling that with the availability and access to online bookies, odds, and other platforms encompassing sports gambling gives way for a whole new crowd of the masses to enter the sports gambling realm. So when you get the chance, ask yourself: who is the real beneficiary? Popularity of sports because of legalized gambling access or gambling in general due to sports. Similar to the ole’ “chicken before the egg” phenomenon because non-sports gambling has been around long before organized sports have been. Oh, I took Quinnipiac (+1) at home over Marist tonight -you’re welcome.
While we are on the topic of beneficiaries; how much is Jimmy G. thriving off the fact that he has a very solid, young head coach and not to mention that he has had the best defense (2019) and the 6th best defense (present), in terms of total yards, in both of his playoff runs.
With this being said, I tend to value the 49ers defense despite the fact that the NFC Championship game will be played on turf which is rather friendly to the OVERS. I like the UNDER in this game at 46.5. I foresee these teams having a very difficult time scoring, especially in the first half. If you are as high on the 49ers defense as I am than you may want to go against the mean of siding with the Rams in this NFC West showdown. The sharpest NFL sports gamblers love to make their living on taking road underdogs that have solid defenses. Hmmmm… oh! the 49ers meet this criteria. This game has a final score of 17-16 written all over it to me for whatever reason. Take that projected total of 33 with a grain of salt, would ya. I say this because over the past four years, the favorites in conference championship weekend have gone 11-5 ATS. Obviously this would contradict the 49ers play; however, Kyle Shanahan (49ers HC) is 7-3 against Sean McVay’s Rams while winning six straight of those seven. This a classic example of “buyer beware.” Nevertheless, should be a great match-up this upcoming Sunday afternoon!
Week 2 of the NFL season just doesn’t seem to have the “glimmer” to it as Week 1. Fans, coaches, players, media, you name it are all hyped up and ready to go for Week 1. Hence, making Week 2 seem not as important; when it reality, A teams’ Week 2 WIN or LOSS is just as important as their Week 1 WIN or LOSS. This “hangover”effect may also find its way into the hearts and minds of the casual sports gambler. You see, many (including myself at some points) fall victim to Week-two-itis. What is Week-two-itis you ask? Simply put, sports gamblers alike will often take the whole grocery list when it comes to Week 1 NFL results. Whereas is reality, we as fans, spectators, and gamblers of football should take Week 1’s results with a grain of salt and not the whole grocery list, as previously alluded to. Week-two-itis plays tricks in our heads that gives us one small sample size of a teams’ previous performance and making that one performance out to be the end-all-be-all of the rest of their respective season. Getting to the point, stay true to your sports gambling intuition and knowledge that you have possessed over the years. Do not let one week of competition cause you to throw everything that you know out the window. Analyze, study, research, and go with your heart is the process (in Layman’s terms). If you only analyze and skip steps two, three, and four, you are missing out on 75% of laying down a solid play.
NOTABLE WEEK 2 NFL INJURY REPORT:
CHIEFS (-7.5) @ RAIDERS: TYREEK HILL (KC/WR)
49ERS (+1) @ BENGALS: TEVIN COLEMAN (SF/RB)
JAGUARS (+8.5) @ TEXANS: NICK FOLES (QB/JAX)
COWBOYS @ REDSKINS (+6): DERRIUS GUICE (RB/WAS)
COLTS (+3) @ TITANS: DEVIN FUNCHESS (WR/IND)
BROWNS @ JETS (+6.5): SAM DARNOLD (QB/NYJ)
WORTHY HISTORICAL NOTES:
The patriots simply just do not play well in Miami, for whatever reason… In fact, the Patriots are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in Miami.
The ‘Boys and ‘Skins like to score against one another… In fact, 3 of the last 4 games in this series have gone OVER.
On the flip side, the Jaguars and Texans do not like scoring against one another… In fact, 3 of the last 4 games in this series have gone UNDER.
Covers.com is a excellent source (taking a backseat to my blog, of course) to gain knowledgeable insight for betting tips and which lines to keep an eye on. Covers has been a tool that I have utilized as of late. This site shows you where the majority of bets are leaning towards. Not to mention, proving you with all the scores from every sport that one could ask for.
To this point, I have discussed a lot pertaining to the MLB and NFL. This, in part, is due to the fact that these were/are the sports that are currently in season. However, I would like to write about the NBA and some tips for making your plays on this particular sport. The tips are as follow:
When betting on NBA, if a home team is favored and winning at half; make your play on the visiting team if, and only if, they are getting points at the half (i.e. -3.5).
Stay away from gambling on a team that is showing (-120); this is a sucker bet! Odds makers know that uneducated betters will see that the favorite has the edge (obviously). Hence, making a lot of small-money flowing towards the sucker bet. My advice is to stick with the even match-ups that offer an even (-110) for both squads.
Do not shy away from making plays on teams that are without their “star” player for competition. NBA players tend to elevate their game when they know that their “dude” is absent. Not to mention, lines makers will typically “over-favor” the opponent of the missing player. These plays can be gold if recognized correctly!
Use common intuition. This is a very important part of handicapping. Take a look to see if a team has played 3 or 4 games in 4 days. Or, see if a team has had to travel a long distance to play their next opponent. Keep in mind that these players are humans too. Travel and rest are crucial factors in any type of competition.
49ERS @ REDSKINS (-10) – I like the Redskins to cover in this match-up. The Redskins are coming off their bye and look like a team that is heading in the right direction. Also, remember my post from 9/30 titled: Don’t be a lazy Bettor, I detail how a team traveling from West Coast to East Coast offers a significant disadvantage. This travel takes a toll on these players bodies. Look for Kirk Cousins and the ‘Skins to win 31 – 13. (PICK = REDSKINS)
PATRIOTS @ JETS (+9.5) – I love picking dogs that are at home in divisional rivalries. The Jets are looking much better than anyone could have foreseen. I mean come on, the Jets’ preseason season win total O/U was set at 2.5. It goes without saying that the Patriots have been bullying the Jets for over a decade now. Look for the Jets to seek out some revenge and just fall short to the Pats 27 – 21 and cover! (PICK = JETS)
ARKANSAS @ ALABAMA (-30) – The Razorbacks are simply too big of dogs in this game. With the Razorbacks quarterback (Austin Allen) as doubtful for Saturday’s match-up, look for Arkansas to run the ball a lot. I believe that there will not be enough time to put up too many points against an in conference rival. The Razorbacks will lose, but will cover the spread. Final: 38 – 13 (PICK = ARKANSAS)
OHIO ST. @ NEBRASKA (+24) – Ohio State will finally be facing a decent defense. Not the Rutgers D and Army D that they have recently faced. Nebraska has had this home game highlighted on their schedule all season. I foresee this being a lower scoring affair than Ohio St. is most comfortable with. Look for this game to be a lot closer than most think with the Buckeyes pulling it out. Final: 28 – 20 (PICK = NEBRASKA)
KANSAS @ IOWA ST. (+20.5) – I took the Jayhawks in this particular game after the Cyclones incredible upset over Oklahoma in Week 6. I believe that the Cyclones will have a bit of a wining hangover and come out sluggish against a Kansas team that no one respects and tend to take lightly on a weekly basis. Kansas will come out fully prepared against this Iowa State team due to their recent success. Also, lets be honest; Iowa State is clearly a pretender when it comes to beating teams with a caliber like the Sooners. Iowa St. will win, but not cover Final: 42 – 27 (PICK = KANSAS)
***Remember, do your research! And as always, good luck and don’t be afraid to leave some comments and tell me what you think. Oh, and go DOGS this week!