This Week's Best NFL Bets


Below you'll find weekly updated NFL bets of the week. Find out what are the best NFL games to bet on today, tonight, tomorrow or this weekend.


O boy o boy o boy o boy, have we got a Super Bowl LV bet for you…

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 18:00 EST

No good football betting to be had, you think? It’s way too early to be considering Super Bowl betting options, you say? (Actually, NFLbets has said this on numerous occasions.) Well, perhaps it’s a consequence of an improper ratio of time to available bets, but this line looks quite tasty:

To win Super Bowl LV
AFC champion +1 (-105) vs NFC champion (-115)

We’re not crazy, right?

Just on a pure gambling, all-things-being-equal basis, any proper NFL bettor should be jumping on the AFC champion +1. Strictly mathematically, with the actual Super Bowl teams unknown, this bet has a slightly better chance of not losing due to the push the bettor gets should the NFC team win by a single point. (Nevermind that just one in the 54 Super Bowls thus far has been decided by 1 point; it could happen again…)

The current favorites – and justifiably so, we certainly can all agree – in any “To Win Super Bowl LV” proposition bet are the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens, who whipped off a 14-2 mark in 2019. And with seven of the top 10 on the table are NFC sides (in some order, these include San Francisco, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Dallas, Seattle and Green Bay), the bookie is basically offering Kansas City and Baltimore against the field.

Now, sure, a team that’s not among the top 10 shortest odds at season’s beginning can win the Super Bowl – the 2011 New York Giants and 2017 Philadelphia Eagles come immediately to mind – but damn if the AFC doesn’t seem rather top heavy going into ’20. Additionally, a repeat visit by Kansas City would certainly make them the favorite and so would the Ravens if they enjoy anywhere near as successful a season as last year’s.

Beyond this, the odds of -105 are likely to be excellent as compared to a comparable line once the Super Bowl LV teams are set – that’s some superb value. And on top of everything else, say a 9-7 Buffalo Bills or Cleveland Browns team somehow sneaks into the big game as a no. 7 seed to face, likesay, the 49ers, just hedge!

All in all, this is a great flyer to get while you can this preaseason. Take the AFC champion +1 to win Super Bowl LV

– written by Os Davis


Betting Tom Brady’s successor in New England (Hint: not Jameis Winston)

Saturday, 21 March 2020 14:29 EST

Would you believe that the My Bookie sportsbook has been reduced to taking bets on Belarusian soccer matches and, even more insanely, on EA Sports’ 2K20-simulated “NBA” games? NFLbets thinks we can speak for us all when we say “Fuck this coronavirus!” (But not literally. That would certainly make you super sick and/or virulent.!

Happily, not all rational bets are off during this international quarantine season. The move of GOAT QB Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has already allowed some prescient NFL bettors to kinda sorta cash in – though most sportsbooks aren’t paying out on their variant of the “Which Team will Tom Brady Play For in 2020” proposition bet until he literally takes a snap on opening day.

And in the wake of Brady’s departure, My Bookie brings us the related prop “Next Starting Quarterback for the New England Patriots”, which features some surprisingly good value – and one option with surprisingly short odds. The table looks as follows:

Jarrett Stridham: +155
Cam Newton: +200
Andy Dalton: +500
Jameis Winston: +600
Derek Carr: 14/1
Tua Tagovailoa: 25/1
Joe Flacco: 28/1
Cody Kessler: 28/1

You see what we’re saying: Most of these lines are outrageous, the 2/1 on Cam Newton (down from 10/1 on opening) is utterly thought-provoking, and the smart money is probably on Jarrett Stridham at +155 and certain to shorten daily.

The rest can be eliminated rather easily: Covering Joe Flacco or Cody Kessler at 28/1 it throwing money away. Flacco was cut by the Denver Broncos after a 2-6 record as a starter while throwing just 6 touchdown passes against five interceptions – and a huge 26 sacks taken. As a starter at very least, he’s done, folks. Kessler? Um, no.

Tua Tagovailoa at 25/1 is certainly intriguing from either the NFL bettor’s or fan’s perspective, but Truth is that the only way this happens is for medical reports to scare enough teams off to fall to Belichick & Co. at no. 23. Unlikely, and perhaps even more unlikely is the willingness for any but the most desperate of teams dealing with the Patriots after untold fleecings perpetuated by their front office. On the other hand, Washington’s at no. 2 and the New York Giants sit at no. 4, so…

Derek Carr at 14/1 would make gobs more sense if the Las Vegas Raiders had somehow pulled off the Brady signing. Now, Chucky Gruden may be deluded enough to think he can work his “quarterback whisperer” juju on Marcus Mariota, but here’s to thinking that Carr’s going nowhere. And NFLbets would still guess that Carr is still probably the safest bet in a “Staring Quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders on Opening Day 2020” prop as well.

Throw away any consideration of Jameis Winston at 6/1, too. While Winston-to-New England certainly makes a great storyline and an intriguing reclamation project for Belichick, there is this:

Surely you’ll agree that odds on Winston now look outlandish. (Yeah, yeah, don’t call me Shirley…)

NFLbets has never understood this taken-for-granted attitude toward the Patriots signing Andy Dalton (at 5/1), either. After all, will the Cincinnati Bengals necessarily rid themselves of The Red Rifle (lolz) to make way for the incoming Dominant Force in the Universe, Joe Burrow, immediately? Particularly if in a rebuilding year, why would the Bengals front office throw Burrow out there behind a tissue-paper line and little on offense beyond A.C. Green to work with? The key to a Bengals deal

Jarrett Stridham at +155 is an excellent pick for now. NFLbets believes that if Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft agree on anything, it’s that they’ll be having none of that tanking or rebuilding bullshit. The Patriots are already entering the season with the NFL’s best defense and a top-10 offensive line. True enough, they’re poor on talent at WR and TE, but sticking with Stridham’s rookie contract would allow New England to trade for proper talent at those sports – again, if anyone want to deal with the Pats.

And then there’s Cam Newton at 2/1. In short, WFT is up with this? Okay, sure, both the NFL Network and CBS Sports have run high-profile items about the possibility in recent days, but NFLbets would sure like to find out why – unless it’s merely process of elimination – Cam’s drawing so much action in this prop. Heck, maybe with such a lack of sports, sports news outlets feel compelled to run away with “Wouldn’t It Be Great” storylines; this, however, is no justification for losing moneys.

In the end, then, we’d advise covering Jarrett Stridham and, if you really believe Newton to New England could happen, you can hedge Stridham with Newton in a ratio of 2:1 and still come out ahead.

– written by Os Davis


NFL 2020 Over/under win totals: Six to watch in the AFC

Monday, 16 March 2020 14:11 EST

As the NFL free-agency period opens, NFLbets has a few last-minute AFC over/under win lines for you to bet online. After all, the online sportsbooks remain open and would certainly love to have your business.

The following were the current lines in the Over/Under Wins for 2020 NFL Season” proposition bet (numbers in parentheses indicate potential payout on bets on the over or under, respectively)…

Baltimore Ravens: 11 (-115, -115)
Buffalo Bills: 8½ (-105, -125)
Cincinnati Bengals: 5½ (-150, +120)
Cleveland Browns: 8 (-105, -125)
Denver Broncos: 8 (-105, -125)
Houston Texans: 8½ (-115,-115)
Indianapolis Colts: 7½ (-140, +110)
Jacksonville Jaguars: 6½ (-115, -115)
Kansas City Chiefs: 11½ (-115, -115)
Las Vegas Raiders: 7 (-115, -115)
Los Angeles Chargers: 7½ (-130, +100)
Miami Dolphins: 5½ (-150, +120)
New England Patriots: 10½ (-115, -115)
New York Jets: 6½ (-150, +120)
Pittsburgh Steelers: 9 (-130, +100)
Tennessee Titans: 8½ (+100, -130)

Right, one more time, all together now: It’s way too early to be betting on this NFL proposition bet, but these are some AFC teams that NFLbets will be watching in 2020, starting now.

• Let’s talk the Tennessee Titans first. If NFLbets were a player returning to this club after a pretty nice 2019 and an apparent step forward for the team. They’ve already guaranteed the return of Derrick Henry by franchise tag and Ryan Tannehill via reup. The sportsbook here may be appealing to the dogma that the AFC South teams will beat each other up during the regular season again and that the scheduled opposition from the AFC North and the NFC North will be tougher than NFLbets believes. Even if this does pan out, we just simply can’t believe that the Titans are due for a regression from last season’s 9-7, particularly when they’re 9-4 SU (8-4-1 ATS) in the post-Mariota era. We’re thinking Tennessee’s primed for the over 8½ wins, a good value bet at +100.

• We’re also loving the apparent lack of confidence in the Las Vegas Raiders online. The payout of -115 on over 7 wins is certainly well lower in the Raiders’ new hometown. We’d say bet online and bet the over here. Bringing in a new QB – even if it’s not Tom Brady – might bolster the confidence in such a wager, as Jon Gruden appears to have hit a ceiling with Derek Carr, but truth is that Gruden has done a pretty fair job building up a team on the cheap through the draft and castoffs à la Belichick. On top of this, unless John Elway gets the Broncos’ shit together, a lack of in-division competition outside of Kansas City plus four games against the not-necessarily awesome NFC South. Over.

• NFLbets doesn’t get that 11-win over/under on the Baltimore Ravens after a 14-2 SU (10-6 ATS, including a 9-1 ATS run at finish) regular season in which Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram were the only major producers on offense? If the Ravens make any positive moves on this side of the ball, 11 wins will be child’s play.

• We’d like to thank the betting public’s apparent penchant for overemphasizing past results for resulting in +100 payouts on both Pittsburgh Steelers under-9 and “Los Angeles” Chargers under-7½ wins. We’re less confident in covering the Steelers under, as two losses to the Cleveland Browns, which would be a huge help, simply cannot be depended upon. But Pittsburgh went through three quarterbacks on the way to an 8-8 SU mark purely by dint of some clever coaching from Mike Tomlin.

As for the Chargers, this team has been an outlier since abandoning San Diego to play in a city where no one cares other than the given week’s opposing fans. What suggests a .500 mark by the Chargers beyond a single Bosa boy is not apparent to NFLbets.

• Finally, we love the Indianapolis Colts going over 7½ wins, regardless of quarterback signing, but -140 is just terrible value. We’d definitely wait on a better offer than this one…

Happy free agency season, everyone!

-- written by Os Davis


What to make of these “To Win AFC West in 2020” odds

Monday, 09 March 2020 17:54 EST

It’s way too early to be thinking about NFL proposition bets like the “To Win AFC West in 2020” prop – or is it? Fair enough, so just don’t go betting the entire bankroll on such props and simply earmark opportunities to exploit a tiny advantage.

The odds table on the “To Win AFC West in 2020” prop are as follows:

Kansas City Chiefs: -500
“Los Angeles” Chargers: 7/1
Las Vegas Raiders: 10/1
Denver Broncos: 12/1

The most obvious recommendations are all about those top two on the table. At 1/5 odds, the Chiefs currently enjoy Patriots-like short odds and, while not exactly providing great value, seem like a pretty solid bet. Most of the key “skill players” and lineman should keep the offense intact, and the attraction of playing for the Super Bowl champions (as well as contenders for seemingly some time to come) will certainly help fill any remaining gaps. If there’s one team prop you make this offseason, it should probably be this one – though you may want to hedge come free-agency time.

But not on the Chargers. NFLbets figures the only reason for this line is that more are betting on this essentially homeless team than support them as fans. Quite frankly, NFLbets is looking for the Chargers to finish last in this division in 2020 after a 2019 that looked well worse than 5-11 SU (4-9-3 ATS). And after a season of likely the lowest gate and paraphernalia sales in the league by a long shot, how much will the Chargers be spending in free agency? And aside from location, what will draw any of the name QBs on the open market here? If you’re making this bet, you’re figuring on probably the greatest draft of all-time by a single team. Also, you’re throwing your money away.

Denver seems like a decently attractive option at 12/1, until one recalls the basically complete lack of production at the quarterback position since John Elway took over as team president. (Okay, things haven’t been a complete bust, like when Payton Manning was resurrected by the voodoo priest after leaving Indianapolis and managed a few decent bits of seasons, but when your second-best QB of the past 20 years is Jake Plummer, yeah, well.)

On the other hard, Denver closed the season 5-1 SU, while the Chargers closed out with a 1-6 “run.” NFLbets puts some stock into teams closing the previous season badly or well, but is Drew Lock really the answer?

Finally, there are those Las Vegas Raiders. Look: This entire proposition bet hinges on whether you believe the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster will take enough hits (i.e. one, to Patrick Mahomes) to kill their season or at least a fair amount, thus allowing the would-be second-place finisher to leapfrog the unfortunate KC side. These Raiders, if you squint enough and apply some imagination, might just kinda sorts resemble that team.

Jon Gruden has done a nice job on draft days building up a team with a top-5 offesnive line and a top-10 secondary. They’re now one of the youngest teams in the league and they’re certainly way up there in favorable contracts (not yet a metric with official records).

The equation, of course, is easy. You’re not throwing any money – even a hedge – on Vegas in this prop until we learn what the team does in free agency at quarterback. And the equation is simple: Tom Brady is certainly the only answer for the quarterback guru. Jacoby Brissette might in the medium term prove a great pickup but if the Raiders want to win in season 1 in Vegas a la the Golden Knights, the only QB NFLbets believes whom Chucky will believe in enough to let loose and, you know, win is Brady. In addition, rumor has it that Antonio Brown wants to sign where Brady does – and what team seems more natural to give the miscreant a chance?

The recommendation: Cover the Chiefs right now at -500 and, should Gruden & Co. win the Brady sweepstakes, immediately wager before the odds turn on the Raiders at +1000 or thereabouts.


Odds, picks in “Which Team Will Tom Brady Play for in 2020?” proposition bet

Sunday, 08 March 2020 17:30 EST

Here’s yet another area of sports betting in which the emotions must give way to pragmatism – if you want the bankroll to survive before the NFL season starts. We’re talking the proposition bet “Which Team Will Tom Brady Play for In 2020?”

Evidence of too many bettors succumbing to the hype of the NFL rumor mill is rife when considering the odds table. In this prop, odds on the New England Patriots have gone from -400 to -180 at the end of February to just -120 at present. This is, of course, ridiculous. Any sharps betting this prop (and, yesh, NFLbets knows true sharps almost never play props, particularly those of this sort) are certainly piling on to Brady sticking with the Patriots.

Look, we know many NFL fans and bettors *want* Touchdown Tom to go elsewhere. Many are still laboring under the delusion that Brady can still handle the workload of a dude half his age; these folks reckon that Golden Boy leaving New England means the end of the Patriots dynasty. Except that, if Tom gets paid the big bucks as suspected, New England won’t be offering the replacements so needed at many a position.

None of this is to say (write?) that one shouldn’t take a chance with a decent value bet elsewhere; a couple of teams could certainly wind up with Brady – and might get better results than did the Patriots in 2019. Firstly, NFLbets is still thinking about…

• Tennessee Titans (5/1). This one seems like a natural, with Brady’s former teammate Mike Vrabel already in town. One primary argument against Tom ditching Belichick & Co. is the requirement to learn a new playbook. Vrabel of course hasn’t teamed with Brady in over a decade, so some catchup will be required, but we’d guess that speaking the same language will cut through a lot of early chemistry-making BS. Also note that Tennessee has the cap space and a top-5 offensive line. The Titans’ll need Derrick Henry to reup, but would Brady and Henry be a swell draw for each other?

•  Las Vegas Raiders (6/1). In theory, this too looks nearly ideal for Brady. Jon Gruden has done an incredibly good job in the draft and free agency. The Raiders’ OL ranked just behind the Titans’ in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric at no. 5, RB Josh Jacobs is a beast and Jon Gruden is notably quarterback-centric.

By the sheer mathematics, Chucky and the Raiders currently have enough budget room to offer Tommy a $30 million deal – but recall the rumors that two years ago the Black-and-Silver were “forced” to deal Khalil Mack to Chicago due to cashflow problems. Too bad for them – Brady to Vegas would create even more of a splash in Sin City in the team’s first season, and Gruden with Brady would certainly create quite the interesting offense…

•  “Los Angeles” Chargers (8/1). Does Brady even know this team is still in the league? Aside from the logic of plunking down wads of millions to make L.A. sports fans cheer the city’s, what, 20th-favorite NFL team, nothing suggests Brady plays for this bunch on a franchise which may be in rebuilding mode. (It’s so hard to tell…)

•  Indianapolis Colts (9/1). Sure, Brady playing for the team that triggered Deflategate would be hilariously ironic and all, but better sources from among the rumor mill suggest that the Indy front office is focused on Philip Rivers, which seems will more likely than Brady coming aboard.

•  San Francisco 49ers (10/1). How many more superlatives will we have to apply to Bill Belichick’s future Hall of Fame plaque if he can flip Brady for Jimmy Garoppolo, the dude he wanted to start for the Pats three years ago? Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s distrust in Jimmy G. down the stretch run and straight through to the Super Bowl was incomprehensible to NFLbets – and we’re not just saying (writing?) that because we had several wagers on the Niners. At 10/1, this isn’t the worst bet on the board, but this seems very unlikely.

•  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12/1). Here’s one that appears to be getting lots of play due to sheer logic. Warm weather should extend the career of an aging QB, and Bruce Arians would certainly relish the opportunity to pair a quarterback well less erratic than Jameis Winston with the likes of Chris Godwin, Brashad Perriman and O.J. Howard. But nothing real indicates that Tampa Bay is on the Bradar.

•  Chicago Bears (20/1). The Bears have cap room, a decent OL and what might yet become a top-notch defense again (defense wins championships, don’tcha know), but with his family in New York plus homes in Las Vegas and California, what’s the draw to Chicago for Brady? (It’s the Bizarro Tampa Bay!)

•  Dallas Cowboys (25/1). You know who’s betting these odds? Gullible Cowboys fans and Jerry Jones. Look, just as with the Patriots haters, simply wanting something to happen will not necessarily make it so – even if you’re a billionaire desperate for a Lombardi Trophy…

The NFL free agency period officially opens on March 18.


Earliest Super Bowl LV odds: Chances of Baltimore Ravens, 31 other teams to win in 2021

Wednesday, 05 February 2020 14:49 EST

Sure, it’s seriously waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too early to be betting on Super Bowl LV – even if you were among the reported great majority who lost on Super Bowl betting this year thanks to some underwhelming offensive performances – but it’s never too early to make snarky comments and goggle at some frankly weird lines. So let’s have at; the top spot on My Bookie's odds table is naturally held by the…

• Kansas City Chiefs: 4/1. So if Kansas City managed to go back-to-back titles by managing not lose winning Super Bowl LV, they’d be the first since the 2003-04 New England Patriots? Yeah, NFLbets isn’t ready to make that sort of commitment yet.

• Baltimore Ravens: 13/2. We’re thinking this line is only going to get shorter as the season progresses; there’s no way the Ravens front office can avoid improving Lamar Jackson’s WR corps this offseason. Ravens fans are certainly already jumping on this one.

• San Francisco 49ers: 15/2. Given that 9 of the last 19 Super Bowl-losing teams have missed the playoffs altogether the following season (7 of 15 if excluding Patriots teams) and that Kyle Shanahan has inexplicably demonstrated little confidence in Jimmy Garoppolo, what gives with this line? As for NFLbets, we’ll most likely be taking the under on 49ers wins in 2020.

• New England Patriots: 8/1. You can’t ever write off these Patriots, so – no, wait. Yes, you can write off the Patriots in 2020.

• New Orleans Saints: 15/1
• Pittsburgh Steelers: 18/1
. Even with killer offseasons, the willingness to continue running with QBs so far past their prime will eliminate the Saints and Steelers from contention again.

• Dallas Cowboys: 20/1. Sure, the Cowboys should be well improved under Mike McCarthy. We can easily imagine them winning a weak-ass NFC East, sneaking through the playoffs and finally getting smoked in the Super Bowl. What a lucrative, glorious dream…

• Green Bay Packers, “Los Angeles” Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks: 25/1. NFLbets always seems to throw a few moneys at Seattle prior to the season, and the Seahawks typically exceed expectations. Given a decent offseason, the Packers would appear to be a decent bet here as well.

• Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings: 30/1. Call this bunch the “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” Group. Or the Led by Once-Overblown Quarterbacks Bunch.

• Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans: 35/1
• Jacksonville Jaguars: 100/1
. Apparently, the AFC South winner and interdivisional games will be as preposterously difficult to predict in 2020 as in ’19…

• Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears: 40/1. NFLbets is a bit surprised that the Buffalo Bills, after two straight playoff appearances and showing real improvement in the 2019 season. Maybe it’s all in the marketing.

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 45/1
• Denver Broncos: 50/1
• Carolina Panthers, New York Giants: 66/1
• New York Jets: 70/1
• Detroit Lions: 80/1
. The Rebuilding Level, we’d call this quintet – except we’re not sure what to call what the Broncos front office has been doing since signing decrepit Peyton Manning.

• Arizona Cardinals: 85/1. NFLbets hopes the Cardinals go into the 2020 season as underrated as these early odds indicate. Again, it’s way early, but we’ve got a feeling about Kyler Murray & Co...

• Cincinnati Bengals: 100/1
• Miami Dolphins: 125/1
• Washington: 150/1
. Prediction: At least 75% betting on any of these three teams in any “To Win Super Bowl LV” prop will continue to deny reality for one more season.

– written by Os Davis

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The top 5 Biggest Losers in NFL betting, 2019-20

Monday, 03 February 2020 14:58 EST

So no matter which side you backed in Super Bowl LIV, you probably lost money in prop betting or an the over/under, thanks to underwhelming statistical performances all around and an outcome few expected – just repeat the mantra “that’s why they call it gambling” and get back on the horse. (Assuming you didn’t put the horse on San Francisco 49ers +1½…)

In the meantime, under the proviso that “misery loves company,” NFLbets’ll attempt to cheer you up with a list of folks who lost bigger and harder than you did. Following our first annual Top 5 Losers in NFL Betting list. Happy schadenfreude!

Honorable mention. Howard Ratner. The protagonist of Uncut Gems, essentially the sports bettor’s Trainspotting, cannot technically be included in this list because ol’ Howie’s poison was NBA betting and because he’s, likesay, fictional. However, this character’s status as a big-time loser cannot be underestimated. Even when hitting an incredibly stupid three-bet parlay for upward of $1 million, he still manages to lose his shop and (SPOILERS!) his life right there on Netflix in front of everyone. Combine with the Academy’s snub of Adam Sandler for an Oscar nomination – to be fair, a very strong five make up the nominees in this category this year – and it adds up to a big L.

5. Patrick Mahomes bettors. Those expecting big returns from Kansas City Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes in Super Bowl LIV proposition bets got burned all over the place, as Mahomes passed for less than 300 yards, had zero TD passes and threw and interception. But at least until the 4th quarter, he had crept over the 33½ to 36½ yards to cover on most “Pat Mahomes rushing yards” props; then came three successive kneeldowns to subtract 15 yards and bam went all those bets as well. Mahomes’s performance was pretty negative for those wagering on him, but those kneeldowns finished ’em off: At least four major US sportsbooks reported that between 66% and 75% of bets in this prop had been put on the over.

4. Jade Roper Tolbert. Kicking off year 2020 was the sordid tale of former Bachelor in Paradise stars who may or may not have cheated at online fantasy football and thus were denied a $1 million grand prize won during a wild-card weekend contest hosted by Draft Kings. Tanner and Jade both entered their max 150 entries in the contest, but after Jade was congratulated for her first-place finish, an investigation by DK revealed that every one of Jade’s and husband Tanner’s entries were unique – quite a coincidence. Naturally, Tanner took to Twitter to cry sexism; no matter: Citing the zillions-to-1 odds required for 300 unique entries to be filed honestly, DK ultimately rescinded the $1 million. Just goes to show: DFS is pure gambling.  

3. Mattress Mack. Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is the embodiment of the gambler with far more money than brain. Like Howard Ratner, Mattress Mack’s main area of betting is outside football; however, McIngvale’s story should be a lot more directly useful to the average NFL bettor than does Ranter’s. As an unabashed fan of the Houston Astros, McIngvale lost some $13 million alone in bets on the Astros to win the World Series – before losing to the Washington Nationals. As it turns out, McIngvale had offered a refund for the full price of a mattress from any of his Texas furniture stores if the Astros won the World Series and $13 million would have covered that promise financially with a profit. The lesson for football bettors: Hedging doesn’t pay.

2. Josh Shaw. On November 10 at Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas, Jsoh shaw placed at least one odd parlay involving three second-half point spreads and lost. Happens every Sunday during NFL season, right? Yes, but. As it turns out, Shaw was under contract with the Arizona Cardinals and, when the illicit wager was discovered, earned himself an open-ended suspension from the league. Worse yet, one of the ends of the parlay had the Cardinals on the losing side. Still worse yet, the Cardinals covered the second-half spread, but lost SU and busted Shaw’s parlay. Dude, it was the Buccaneers – you should’ve taken the over…

1. Anybody who bet on the Cleveland Browns at season’s beginning. NFLbets is not counted among the lot who figured a team which blew its last realistic shot at a Super Bowl in 1988 and was two seasons removed from an 0-16 finish – and so could harangue with impunity, but we’ll spare you. After all, the embarrassment of throwing good money at a team led by a QBs coach, “powered” by a guy who seemed to have dropped football awareness from his retinue altogether, featuring a helmet-swinging psychopath and a prima donna WR who taught teammates only to jokingly ask for trades to other teams should be enough. How the hell were these guys getting better odds than the Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in the preseason? 2019 may have put NFL bettors off the Browns permanently. (Now watch the 2020 Cleveland Browns win Super Bowl LV starting the eason at 80/1. We may already have an early entry for next year’s list...)

–written by Os Davis

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Look at all of NFLbets wacky wagering on Super Bowl prop bets...

Sunday, 02 February 2020 08:10 EST

Yet more awesomeness about both Super Bowl betting and Las Vegas: Super Bowl betting *in* Las Vegas. Seriously, what is better in life than staying at a quality non-casino hotel, picking up a fat list of proposition bets and poring over offerings not necessarily available at online sportsbooks for hours on end in comfort and drink comps? Nothing, we daresay.

Nothing, that is, except for cashing out on a majority of those utterly enticing and totally tempting Super Bowl props. Rest assured that NFLbets is sitting here with a fat stack of betting slips which we’ll be manipulating and sorting throughout Sunday. NFLbets has detailed our recommendations for Super Bowl LIV prop betting elsewhere; running below are some last-minute wagers you can get in before game time – if you’re as wacky as we were.

San Francisco 49ers score in every quarter, +150
Kansas City Chiefs score in every quarter: +140
. NFLbets fully expects on Monday to be tweeting deliriously about how Super Bowl LIV was the Bizarro Super Bowl LIII (or perhaps vice-versa), i.e. an exciting high-flying shootout with highlights on both sides of the ball by both teams. The relatively high odds on the Chiefs in this prop are likely down to their reputation as a slow starter, but the truth is Kansas City was no. 10 in the league in first quarter scoring. The 49ers, meanwhile, are top-6 in every quarter and the Chiefs’ no. 18 rank in the fourth quarter may simply be down to their routine blowouts. NFLbets like these bets!

• Over 6½ total touchdowns in game, +110. Apparently, NFLbets is not alone in expecting a pinball machine-type speed and scoring in Super Bowl LIV: Bettors have pushed the over/under from 51 points at opening to 54½ on gameday. At 51 points, one would figure on six TDs plus three FGs as a logical outcome. And while NFLbets is ordering up a pair of 30-burgers, even a 28-21 (or, likesay, 31-28) can mean seven touchdowns…

• Successful 2-point conversion, +220. This bet is precisely why proposition betting is dangerous: NFLbets is gambling here, hoping against hope for a 2-pointer simply because 2-point conversions are awesome. The numbers say that in 256 regular-season games in 2019, 113 2-pointers were attempted, with 52 made for a 50.1% success rate and a 20.3% chance of success in any given game. If the odds were fair (yeah, surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre), the potential payout would be more like +450.

• Game goes into overtime, 8/1. Again, silly betting. No genius is required to realize that exactly one of the last 53 Super Bowls has gone into overtime (a less than 2% probability) and with Andy “Clock King” Reid on the sideline, well … nah, this bet is totally unjustifiable.

• Largest lead of game: under 15½ points, -110. All you millennial whippersnappers are spoiled rotten by 21st-century Super Bowls. You don’t remember 1980-1997, when all but three Super Bowls were uneventful slogs with the outcome decided early. Sheesh, in those days, if it wasn’t 49ers-Cincinnati Bengals, you might as well have planned to be good and drunk by halftime. No, instead, you guys get one-score games in nine of the last 12, and most of the upsets in all of Super Bowl history have taken place since ’98. And in the last 18, under-15½ has gone 15-3. So utilize your advantages, ya buncha ankle biters…

• Tyrann Matthieu to make the game’s first interception, 5/1. NFLbets is already committed to both Mahomes and Garoppolo to throw picks in this game, but clearly the latter is thought much more likely to err in this department. So we ran with this assumption and found an excellent reason to back Matthieu here. Matthieu was s led the Chiefs in 2019 in interceptions with four. And guess what? Three came in the first half, including two in the first quarter. This bet is either genius or the product of delusion, but 5/1 are some pretty good odds.

• 49ers more time of possession, +140. Right along with the “Largest Lead of Game” prop, this wager is based on the premise of a fairly close game. Particularly if the Niners get the game’s first possession – or at least the game’s first substantial possession – and score after a long drive, a one-score game means San Francisco should win the TOP battle. Note, too, that the 49ers were no. 4 in the league in the stat in 2019 and were just one of seven teams to average more than 31 minutes of TOP per game.

• Over 2½ TD passes by Patrick Mahomes, even/+100
• Over 1½ TD passes by Jimmy Garappolo, -105
. Has NFLbets mentioned we’re anticipating scoring? Forget Jimmy’s two playoff games thus far; we’re of the belief that he wasn’t called on the throw in those games, thanks to the inability of either the Minnesota Vikings or Green Bay Packers to slow the run one whit. And if 1½ touchdowns seems low for Garoppolo, we can certainly all agree that 2½ for Mahomes feels very low.

• George Kittle scores a TD, +140. This prop bet can justify the entire existence of fantasy football. Why? Because without fantasy football, we might not otherwise realize that Kansas City is a botoom-5 team against tight ends this season. And since Kittle is a, what, top-2 TE, the math is pretty simple here.

• Emmanuel Sanders over 43½ receiving yards, -110. NFLbets wrote earlier this week about Sanders’s possibilities as a longshot in the Super Bowl MVP prop at 40/1, and we convinced ourselves of his veteran presence and team-first mentality that we covered him in this prop as well, despite his recent stat-poor results and just three games of over 43½ receiving yards since joining San Francisco in week 10. This prop also comprises half of our favorite fictional parlay bet: Just pair Sanders over 43½ with Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic Party nomination for POTUS at +225 – Sanders and Sanders for a +520 payout! Nice.

– written by Os Davis

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NFLbets’ favorite Super Bowl proposition bet? MVP and it’s not even close

Saturday, 01 February 2020 13:00 EST

NFLbets is generally not a fan of proposition betting prior to the Super Bowl, when hundreds of props hit the market and we get two weeks to analyze the probabilities. And as we always say, the best bacon-saving bet you can make is Super Bowl MVP. Sure, most NFL bettors will (justifiably) cover the starting QB(s) of any team with a chance to win straight up – but the winnings on a hedge bet of a Julian Edelman (12/1), Von Miller (15/1) or Malcolm Smith (20/1) covers a lot of bad beats and bad bets.

Unfortunately, offerings on the “To Win Super Bowl MVP” prop bet aren’t great this year if you’re backing the Kansas City Chiefs. Right off the top, QBs have won 9 of the last 13 MVP awards, including two each by Tom Brady and Eli Manning; they’ve also taken 29 of 53 MVPs thus far, but note that for six years no QB won the award – in Super Bowls VII through XII. Yeah, the 1970s.

Patrick Mahomes (even odds/+100) overshadows everything on the Kansas City side of this prop – with good reason, as all the history is on his side. Going back to Kurt Warner in XXXVI, the MVP award has been won by a quarterback appearing in his first Super Bowl eight times of 17.

Additionally, there’s this: In how many scenarios do the Chiefs win but Mahomes doesn’t get the MVP? Considering that My Bookie has opened up a “Will Patrick Mahomes win Super Bowl MVP” prop (“yes” at +100, “no” at -135), a proposition combining “no” with the Kansas City money line (ML) at -125 would fetch better than 2/1 or +225 if going Kansas City -1½. Now think before you bet that, pilgrim – even if you can get someone to take the bet.

No need to overcomplicate things, though. The more you believe in a Chiefs win, the more you should be betting on Mahomes for MVP. And those covering the San Francisco 49ers plus points or ML can essentially hedge that bet with a few moneys on Mahomes here.

Now on the San Francisco side of this proposition bet, things get more interesting. NFLbets believes in covering several offerings in this prop and lots of great value exists among 49ers, starting with QB Jimmy Garoppolo (5/2). Poor Jimmy G. has been hacked on like no Super Bowl quarterback in recent history, based on the Niners run-first offense and the mere eight pass attempts in the Green Bay Packers game.

NFLbtes isn’t sure why talking heads and internet buzz alike are ignoring the very probable likelihood that passing simply wasn’t necessary with Raheem Mostert (6/1) destroying the Packers D, but we’re not. If backing the 49ers, you’re betting Garappolo in the Super Bowl MVP prop. Chiefs bettors may consider hedging with some moneys on Jimmy G. as well.

As for Mostert, his 6/1 odds would appear to be good value; the dude has literally improved week to week through 2019-20, culminating in the four-TD blowup in the NFC Championship. But how can the proper NFL bettor believe in any member of a RB-by-committee winning this award? Upward trajectory aside, Mostert accounted for just over 35% of the team’s total running yards in 2019; even if Tevin Coleman’s injury keeps him limited, the big over/under of 55 points implies lots of passing and quick scores.

Speaking of this eventuality, NFLbets is loving the current vogue pick in this prop, WR Deebo Samuel, currently at 22/1 after opening at 25/1. Historically speaking, wide receivers are only second to QBs in winning this award, with seven WR MVPs in Super Bowl history, and four in the past 14 years. Betting on Samuel represents outstanding value and since the rookie has few truly outstanding games on the résumé thus far, well, Jimmy hasn’t been throwing much lately. If you’re thinking San Francisco wins and the over hits, Samuel would be getting a good 10 targets at least and you’re covering this.

Tempting, too, are the 13/1 odds that TE George Kittle’s getting in this prop. While no tight end has ever won the Super Bowl MVP, the game’s evolution suggests that such an eventuality is not far off. Hell, Rob Gronkowski might’ve taken the trophy in LII had his Patriots not blown the game to the Philadelphia Eagles. Kittle is a pretty decent pick here, but we like the far less risky “yes” in the “Will George Kittle score a Touchdown” prop bet at +130 well more.

So let’s say you believe the 49ers defense gets to Mahomes, who’s sacked frequently enough – likesay, three times – to significantly alter the game. Look no further than Nick Bosa, currently at 17/1. Bosa has had an All-Pro season and has garnered much hype as the best player on the league’s best defense. In an emphatic win by San Francisco in which individual stats are spread thin among many Niners, Bosa’s a no-brainer.

If you’re thinking about longshots, first stop is Emmanuel Sanders (40/1). In 12 games with the 2019 49ers, Sanders has gotten 56 targets total, or 5.66 per, and in two playoff games has caught just two passes on three targets, called upon mostly for run blocking. Any such bet here is based on Sanders’s veteran experience – he’s already played three Super Bowls, while the great majority of the team outside of Richard Sherman has yet to appear in one – and is predicated on, again, at least a highish-scoring game with lots of passing from Garoppolo.

Finally, for a real miracle win, look at FS Jimmy Ward at 100/1. My Bookie currently lists some 25 players other than Ward – so nearly one-quarter of the total number of players on active rosters for this game – in their “To Win Super Bowl MVP” offerings and yet “the field” is somehow going off at 16/1. Ward was a late addition to MB’s board, so at least one or two significant bets have been placed on him, and the appeal of this pick beyond the outstanding value is that the formula for a Ward MVP is simple.

The only time a safety has won MVP honors in this game was when Jake Scott did so for the Miami Dolphins waaaaaay back in Super Bowl VII to cap the Fins’ perfect season. Scott simply picked two passes while his quarterback threw for just 88 yards in the victory of a 1-point (!) favorite. Grabbing two interceptions against Patrick Mahomes, who’s thrown just five interceptions in 16 games this season? Yeah, that’d probably get Ward the MVP trophy…

–written by Os Davis

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Super Bowl LIV props: Which head coach calls timeout first? (This is an easy one.)

Monday, 27 January 2020 16:28 EST

Now this is a proposition bet that NFLbets can really sink our teeth (and bankroll) into: “Team to Call First Timeout.” Both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are getting -115 payouts in this prop at My Bookie as of Monday, January 27, with little reason to suspect much movement on either side; after all, this prop isn’t exactly going to attract the actions of, likesay, point spread betting or even the (silly-ass) coin flip prop.

At first, NFLbets figured this one would be pretty cut-and-dried, given Andy Reid’s rather checkered history with clock management – but this prop bet is actually quite a bit more difficult than it seems.

For example, the easiest way to burning that first timeous is on a losing coach’s challenge call. About two-thirds of the way through the 2019 season, the NFL’s official website released this handy chart detailing career tendencies on challenges for all 32 then-employed NFL head coaches (alas, poor Freddie).

On Reid, 16 seasons’ worth of data shows that the Kansas City head coach has amassed a 48% success rate on fewer than 0.4 challenges per game. Kyle Shanahan’s sample size is of course well smaller; in three seasons heading up the Niners, Shanahan has won 10 of 18 challenges, but began his career in 2018 winning five of his first six; his frequency rate is thus 0.36 red flags thrown per game.

So purely mathematically, Shanahan has a 16% of blowing a challenge in the Super Bowl while Reid’s at about 20.3% likely. However, the Super Bowl factor may have to be factored in: Despite what one may guess, head coaches get a lot more liberal chucking the challenge flag: In the past 20 Super Bowls, some 25 challenges have been made and all flag-throwing coaches have enjoyed a nice 56% success rate.

Therefore, the odds suggest that a timeout will not be lost to a losing coaches’ challenge in the first half at all, but the 4-plus percentage point difference becomes more weighted (so to speak) against Redi and the Chiefs.

So how about the perception of Reid as mishandling timeouts? In 2018, a study undertaken by the Green Bay Packers (!) blog called Acme Packing Co. found that Chiefs were the single most effective team in plays directly following a TO called by Reid – but with Patrick Mahomes leading a point-a-minute offense, Reid called just 17 timeouts in the 2018 season, ranking the Chiefs 16th in the stat. And Reid Reided in last year’s AFC Championship game, never using one of his three TOs in the OT against the New England Patriots.

Shanahan’s 49ers, by contrast, called 20 – this may not seem significant in comparison, but only seven teams in ’18 called more TOs than Shanahan and San Francisco. Note, too, that all only one TO was called in the three games total started by Jimmy Garoppolo that season.

The point: Compared to Ried, Shanahan basically throws timeouts around. Combined with the fact that Mahomes tends to go off-book into improvisation after the first quarter and the 49ers’ interests lie in keeping the game slow and deliberate, this bet really is one of the biggest no-brainers on the Super Bowl LIV proposition bet table: Take the San Francisco 49ers in the First Team to Call a Timeout prop bet.

–written by Os Davis

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