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.
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.
Fantasy owners rejoice! The NFL season looks very promising despite the absence of the four weeks of preseason. Starting with some of the more notable off-season acquisitions, here are a few to keep in mind when beginning to compute your Fantasy Football Draft strategies. First, we can get the obvious one out of the way with Tom Brady (QB) heading south to Tampa Bay with Bruce Arians. Going down the line: DeAndre Hopkins (WR) to the Cardinals, Stefon Diggs (WR) to the Bills, and Emmanuel Sanders (WR) to the Saints; just to name a few. Here is a quick link to obtain your PPR cheat sheet, your welcome PPR CHEAT SHEET BY POSITION
Aside from the ever-growing Fantasy Football phenomena; let’s take a look at some of the Week 1 sports gambling strategies. According to Action Network, the point spread that is most “off” for NFL’s Week 1 is the Steelers @ Giants match-up. Currently, the line is Steelers (-3.5); Action Network believes that this line should have the Steelers as a 6 point favorite, despite being road favorites. However, remember your rules… Over the past 10 Week 1’s of the NFL season, teams that are getting 3 or fewer points (UNDERDOGS) are actually winning 52% of those games! This is a money-line fanatic’s dream come true. “So you’re telling me that every team that is getting 3 or fewer points will be profitable on the money-line?!” I would respond with: “Yes, according to history you would be a profitable gambler in Week 1 without doing any real homework and/or number crunching.” Taking this a step further, teams with a worse previous year recorded win percentage in the opening week of the NFL favored quite well against their opponents. In fact, they win outright 43% of the time, and cover ATS 58% of the time. Please, do not fall victim to a teams’ last years successes or detriments.
To all, best of luck this fantasy season and take a look at the 2020 team and their dynamics and roster; not the 2019 version of them. To piggy back on this idea, once Week 2 of the NFL season comes along, do not fall in love with a teams’ Week 1 performance. There are 17 weeks in an NFL season; one week’s result will not uncovered a teams true identity as a whole for the remainder of the season.
This NBA bubble is one tough bubble, unlike its other bubble cousins; this bubble is durable and efficient. The NBA Bubble metaphor has been a name that has caught on, to say the least. This “bubble” has withstood the Lou Williams nightclub fleeing, unwelcomed Tinder hookups, and relatively poor meals. Bravo NBA, bravo. It seems as if the NBA Bubble is actually a success… thus far. The NBA playoffs got underway August 17th which displayed both number one seeds falling to the eight seed’s in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs. This begs the question(s): Is the bubble creating parody? Or is this just a coincidence? Regardless, drama is brewin’ out at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.
So how do we tackle these NBA bubble games in terms of sports gambling and laying action on them? For starters, the Zig-Zag Theory has been a very effective gambling angle for quite sometime that has been known to be profitable among sports gamblers. The Zig-Zag Theory is simple: if an NBA team loses outright in the playoffs, the next game that same team will cover ATS in their next competition. Note: This is not to say that they will win, but rather they will cover the offered point-spread. The Zig-Zag Theory… easy to use, effective, and requires little homework/thinking. This is a breath of fresh air after reading all of the sports gambling books that regurgitate these algorithms that are often very time consuming and intricate. One that utilizes this advantage will reap the benefits of a 62% covering rate. Hence, if you like a a playoff team after a loss, put your money where your mouth is! While we are on the topic of NBA, today was the NBA Draft Lottery. The Minnesota Timberwolves were granted with the number overall selection. The presumptuous number one pick in this years’ NBA Draft is LaMelo Ball. He is currently tearing it up overseas and apparently the scouts are liking what their seeing. Picks 2, 3, 4, and 5 are held by the Warriors, Hornets, Bulls, and Cavaliers.
Don’t look now, but Week 1 of the NFL season is less than one month away. The Chiefs will host the Texans for Thursday Night Football on September 10th. Currently, the Chiefs are 9.5 points favorites. Is this line inflated because of the Chiefs 2020 Super Bowl win? Possibly. It is common knowledge that Super Bowl winners are not great ATS in Week 1 match-ups. In addition, the Texans were victorious over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 6. Look to see a hungry Texans squad to cover this point spread in Week 1 and possibly even win outright. Besides, it’s 2020 right?! Who knows, take the points!!!
On April 17th, history was made after the WNBA hosted the first ever live, virtual draft. Oddly enough, I had to tune in to view the draft. Maybe I was curious to see how the whole “virtual” thing would go, or perhaps I am craving some fashion of a live sporting event; regardless of the sport. With that being said, the draft as a whole was rather awkward, in my opinion. Imagining this should not be too big of challenge as the WNBA commissioner was literally announcing pick after pick from her living room. In the league’s defense, what are they supposed to do. At this point in World History, our hands are tightly bound limiting our access to our resources. Nevertheless, the NFL draft is only days away! (April 23rd). I am anticipating what Roger Goodell and the rest of the league rolls out there and what they have ultimately learned from the pros and cons that the WNBA draft possessed.
Mel Kiper’s latest 4.0 mock draft has been released with Joe Burrow remaining as the first overall pick to the Bengal’s. Click for a clear list of his 2020 mock draft… Mel Kiper’s NFL Mock Draft 4.0
Obviously we are not all experts at breaking down each and every pick and its overall grade. So how you we semi-accurately analyze a teams’ draft grade through the average Joe’s eyes? Aaron Lesher of Hog Haven points out that many of the top performers in the NFL are not 1st round picks. For instance, in 2017 the top rushing leaders in the NFL, top to bottom, averaged at the 100th overall pick. That pick falls within the 4th round! Not sufficient enough? How about the top DB’s from that year averaged out at the 156th overall pick! That pick lies within the 5th round. As for the pass rushers of the league, the best sack artists from 2017 averaged in the 56th round, 2nd round guys. Are you noticing the trend here? The vast majority of these athletes are not 1st round picks. Hence, come this Thursday and this weekend, look to see which teams are grabbing those late round treasures. I believe that a lot of gamblers put too much stock in a teams’ first and second round picks because they are the “sexy” and well-known college super-stars. However, if you can do your research and hone in on an organization’s late round picks along with their undrafted signee’s than you will have a much better idea of what kind of season they are in store for. Obviously there are a lot more factors that go into a teams’ win-loss record at the end of a season other than the draft. Nevertheless, knowing how to further analyze the draft in greater detail than the guy next to you can assist you when making plays on the preseason team win/loss totals, ect.
*Possessing the final draft spot never felt so good, GO CHIEFS!
COVID-19 (corona virus) has impacted many individuals far and wide. The virus has affected each of us in its own unique way(s). Unfortunately, some of you are out of a job because of it; or even worse, have lost a loved one in lieu of this mysterious, yet contagious virus. I truly am thankful that I have not fallen victim to either of these two scenarios. Nevertheless, if you are spending your valuable time sifting through this blog than you too have probably been negatively affected by this pandemic. Obviously all of our sports have been taken away from us until further notice!!! And where there are no sports, there is no gambling. In fact, Casino bookie stocks have dropped, on average, 63% since the pandemic made its way to the states.
Along with many of you, I always look forward to MLB’s Opening Day. The timeless game has now become timed-out. So when will the season begin? For starters, there is much more than meets the eye when orchestrating the continuation of America’s pastime. The logistical side of the sport requires far more work than just a simple start-up date. Will the season be shortened? If so, will broken records be eligible? Will players and coaches obtain full salaries? Will double-headers become a normalcy? So on and so forth. According to Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports, he believes that the MLB schedule in its entirety will need to be reconstructed. As far as I’m concerned, the season will have to be shortened. The league cannot allow for the season to extend into the winter months. Think about baseball games being played at Target Field (Minneapolis, MN) in the middle of January… Yeah, no thanks. Back to the anticipated, yet artificial MLB Opening Day; the players union and the association are hopeful for a June 1st start to the season. If the season were not shortened with its original 162 game schedule, than we would be watching playoff baseball in the month of December with a June 1st first pitch. It will be the MLB’s duty to decide if a 2020 All-Star Game/All-Star break is necessary, or if all 162 games are needed to complete the 2020 MLB season. These unanswered questions will be very interesting to take note of as they unfold. Now, if you are a baseball freak and you are on the verge of gouging out your eyes; than there is in fact a temporary “baseball-fix” for people like yourself. CBS Sports did us the honor of simulating each and every Opening Day game with superficial box scores. Click HERE to see how your team would have done on Opening Day!
I would like to use this platform to recognize those whom have passed away, been laid-off, missed out on their athletic seasons, and all others whom have been negatively affected in the ever bit slightest during these unusual times.
NCAAB is now in full swing. Thus far, we have seen it all in this 2019-2020 college basketball season. We have seen everything from WWE style brawls to the major upsets that Kentucky and Duke both suffered as 28.5 and 25.5 point favorites (Duke losing to Stephen F. Austin, whereas Kentucky fell short to Evansville).
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines the term parity as, “the quality or state of being equal or equivalent.” The 2019-2020 NCAAB season has displayed this so called “parity” more so than ever. Underdogs are covering at a scale-tipping rate this season. Now a days, more and more mid-major schools are striving to keep up with the Power 5 programs in terms of scholarship amounts and quality in facilities, just to name a few. As these smaller programs begin to creep their way into the equivalence of the Duke’s and Kentucky’s of the world, we should begin to notice that the college basketball parity will be here to stay for the long haul. As you assess your next presumable plays, ask yourself, “why can this underdog not cover?” As opposed to, “how could this underdog possibly cover?” Understand the difference? Other than the Duke and Kentucky examples above, parity may reveals itself many fashions; one of those being the current Bracketology projections administered by Joe Lunardi. Currently, Lunardi has only 30 of the 68 fielded teams in the tournament as Power 5 conference schools. That’s not even half! Not to mention that San Diego St. (non Power 5 program) is currently slated as a number one seed.
Since 1980, the Super Bowl underdog has covered the point spread 52% of the time, the favorite has covered 45% of the time, and the point spread has pushed 3% of the games. This could pose some value when making your Super Bowl plays. However, the true value lies in the OVER/UNDER when it comes to Super Bowl match-ups. This value comes straight fromyour own personal intuition. The 49ers offense is predicated on their rushing abilities. If you couple that with their highly touted defense, then the UNDER is surely to hit if they come out on top of Super Bowl 54. Hence, if you like the 49ers to win, go with the UNDER. On the flip side, if you think that the Chiefs will comeout on top, go with the OVER. Do not be afraid to parlay these two scenarios… (49ers/UNDER or Chiefs/OVER).
Friendly Tip: Prop bets (also refers to as side bets) should be utilized for entertainment purposes only! These prop bets might include: Coin Toss, National Anthem Length, Gatorade Shower Color, and so on. There is typically no real value or edge that can be gathered from these types of bets. Hence, virtually making each of their outcomes a flip of a coin.
As Wildcard Weekend creeps closer and closer, we as fans gear up for yet another NFL Playoff roller coaster! This is peak season for sports gambling action. More plays are transacted than any other time of the year. This should come as no surprise considering that the NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in the United States. With so much attention and action being placed on each playoff game, it naturally creates very sharp lines. Side note: Super Bowl point spreads are said to be the sharpest lines above all others. It is worth mentioning that sharp lines are more difficult to uncover advantageous handicapping edges. Now you can really laugh at someone when they tell you that X playoff match-up is an absolute “lock.” In my opinion, the only place where these sacred “locks” exists are on NCAAB Saturday slates when Howard is facing off against Bethune-Cookman in a MEAC showdown. Get the idea? With that being said, just because it is more difficult (a lot more difficult) to discover edges in the NFL Playoffs, does not mean that we completely abandon our research and rigorous statistical digging. When looking at your NFL Playoff match-ups, some key factors that many betters neglect, yet are worth keeping in mind may include a teams’ depth at each position, and their regular season strength of schedule. These playoff games are a war of attrition; plain and simple. Hence, each team must be deep up and down their line-ups and must have been battle tested during the regular season with a significant sample size of their possible playoff opponent(s).
HISTORICAL TRENDS BY EACH MATCH-UP (Note: It is very difficult to compile data that offers you a significant edge. Call it, “Every little bit helps.” Or, “Better to be safe than sorry.”)
BILLS @ TEXANS (-2.5)
Record versus playoff teams… Bills (1-4) Texans (3-3)
Strength of schedule (SOS)… Bills (30th) Texans (6th)
My Pick: TEXANS – JJ Watt finally returns, period.
TITANS @ PATRIOTS (-5)
Record versus playoff teams… Titans (2-3) Patriots (3-3)
SOS… Titans (29th) Patriots (32nd – WORST)
My Pick: TITANS – Titans are playing well down the stretch, the Patriots are not. Give me the points.
VIKINGS @ SAINTS (-8)
Record versus playoff teams… Vikings (1-4) Saints (3-1)
SOS… Vikings (20th) Saints (22nd)
My Pick: SAINTS – Cousins sucks on prime-time spotlights and the Saints have a slight motivational edge after the “no-call” pass interference call last year in the NFC Championship game against the Rams.
SEAHAWKS @ EAGLES (+2)
Record versus playoff teams… Seahawks (3-3) Eagles (2-3)
SOS… Seahawks (2nd) Eagles (27th)
My Pick: SEAHAWKS – Eagles are pretty banged-up as a whole. Not to mention, the Eagles played a far easier schedule and managed to squeeze out a very mediocre 9-7 regular season record.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of an ad that seems too good to be true? Well, a lot of times this is in fact the case. Same holds true for the so called, “Sports Gambling Prophecies” that we listen to and watch from time-to-time. You may have heard that a sports gambling professional handicapper can win you over 80% of your point-spread plays, or that they have knowledge about a particular game that no one else is aware of. All I can rebuke back to these individuals is, LIES LIES LIES!!! These situations are a classic form of “buyer beware.” In fact, Bleacher Report’s Thomas Moreland quotes, “The service will tell 10 people to bet on Washington [for example] and 10 people to bet Dallas. Then they call the 10 winning individuals back to tell them, “See! I told you so, we have a significant edge on these games all the time and I will keep you winning!” This type of scam concludes in a winner each and every week, but also the same amount of losses that they fail to mention. If a professional handicapper can “honestly” tell you that they gave the correct pick for every game in Week 8 of the NFL season, then they will. By “honesty,” I am recalling the fact they give out both winning sides of the point spread pick to their clients. The only aspect that I would look to the “experts” for when it comes to sports handicapping advice is as a “self-checker.” By “self-checker” I mean, if you are on the fence on a particular play and look to see what the “experts” are saying; then by all means, use them as a point of reference when making your own plays. The only true way to be a successful handicapper is by doing your extensive homework/research sprinkled with a hint of luck.
Before I leave you, I would like to bring to the reader’s attention a philosophy that recently came to my attention. What I find humorous about this next ideology is that I have fallen victim to it all too often. Have you ever said to yourself, ” Oh, this play is my “lock” of the week!” Well, I have… many times. Why do we say this to ourselves when we obviously, or subconsciously know that gambling is a very difficult endeavor to concur? A wise man once told me, “Why do you think your play is a “lock” when another 50% of the general public on that particular game like the other side of your “lock?” This question was quite the head-scratcher for myself. Since this moment, it is an absolute must for me to find out why someone could possibly prefer the other side of the line than I do. By doing so, I simply just Google something like “Why should I bet on the Miami Dolphins versus the Buffalo Bills.” Once we as betters can understand the other side of the line, then we will be able to truly distinguish who is on the more advantageous side of the betting market. Keep your friends close, but enemies closer!!!
One last thought, gamble on those underdogs in your NCAAB plays. We have no clue how good or bad a team is at the start of sports seasons… hence, take those points!!!
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.
Anticipation for each Super Bowl builds up immediately following the conclusion of the Conference Championships. The narrative for Super Bowl LIII is no different. What is so intriguing about this particular match-up is that it features the highly decorated veteran QB (Tom Brady) versus the young-gun, unproven QB in Jared Goff. To take this match-up a step further, Bill Belichick (NE Head Coach) is 66 years old, whereas Sean McVay (LA Head Coach) is only 33. Literally half his age, McVay will have to go toe-to-toe with one of the greatest coaches that the National Football League has ever seen.
When making plays this Sunday, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Although I am not a huge fan of looking too deep in the past for my sports gambling insight; however, the 53 all time Super Bowl trends could in fact provide useful knowledge that may correlate to Super Bowl 53. For instance…
Obviously there have been 53 Super Bowl’s played with the modern NFL era. Of those 53 games, the underdog has covered 24 for of them with 2 pushes. That leaves the favorites covering 27 of those 53 match-ups. The favorite covers 53% of the time. Not that significant right? At least not significant enough to make a “blind” play on the game. However, in the last 11 Super Bowl’s, the underdog has covered 9 out of those 11 games. This comes out to an 82% covering clip. Now this statistic may hold some significance. By no means am I saying to not fancy the Patriots. With this being said, have some solid statistical reasoning to back the favorite in the Patriots if you do so. If the last 11 years have taught us anything, it is that the underdogs prevail in the end.
Now for some OVRE/UNDER advice. In the 53 years of the Super Bowl, only one match-up did not offer an OVER/UNDER (Super Bowl I). Since then, 27 of the 52 have ended with the OVER (52%). Again, not that significant; right? Looking once more at the past 11 years, you will see that 7 of those 11 contests ended in the OVER (63%). Again, this is another statistic that can provide us with some serious edge against the bookies.
For now, the current lines that are available for Super Bowl LIII are as follow:
PATRIOTS (-2.5 / -155) | RAMS (+2.5 / +125)
As always, best of luck and happy Super Bowl weekend!