Best Bets of the week


NFL betting for week 2, one best bet, one pick of the week, one serious oultier

Sunday, 15 September 2019 11:20 EST

One of the best tips on poker ever is from … well, NFLbets forgets who said it first, probably Phil Ivey or one of those guys who hardly needs more free publicity anyway. Regardless, the sage advice insists that, when playing Texas Hold ‘Em, the player must always forget his/her cards immediately upon folding them.

The reasoning goes like so: Say you’re dealt J-7 of hearts, you fold, and the flop turns up A, K, Q of hearts. Should you take that crummy J-7 hand the least bit seriously, you may be tempted to stay in with that nonsense in the future – and lose repeatedly.

A similar principle can be applied to NFL/sports betting, i.e. The bettor must forget the teams from week to week – and medium- to long-term history can be utterly ignored.

Now don’t get us wrong: NFLbets is hardly of the History Will Teach Us Nothing philosophy; however, we have long since discovered (the hard way) that holding grudges and/or keeping to dogmatic beliefs literally do not pay.

For example, the NFL bettor should not forget the utterly awful performance turned in by Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears offense ¬– or the surprisingly fleet-looking Green Bay Packers defense, for that matter – in a brutal 10-0 spread-adjusted season-opening loss; such information will be useful if only for betting the under in Bears games going forward.

But.

One must not recall the doink-doink playoff loss in combination or separately from the Bears week 1 ATS loss, particularly if one had money on either side in either game. Thoughts of “The Bears always burn me when I bet on them” are extremely dangerous for the bankroll, and, lest one be tempted to counter any anti-Bears sentiment with Chicago’s league-best 12-5 ATS mark for 2018 (the New England Patriots went 12-7 ATS), just go ahead and throw that now-nearly useless information out, too.

Forgetting the particulars is bad; remembering historical, league-wide trends is good.

As a test of intestinal fortitude are a pair of bets which appear unscientific in the extreme, but simply answer to the cold, hard numbers. First, a relatively uncontroversial player prop bet…

NFL betting, week 2: Best Bets

Alvin Kamara, over/under 73½ rushing yards at Los Angeles Rams
NFLbets knows two things about Sunday’s Saints-Rams game: Zero close calls by the referee will go in the Rams’ favor, and Alvin Kamara should run up the stats.

While the Rams defense is certainly quite a bit better than the 27-point allowing unit seen last week at Carolina, no one on L.A. could stop Christian McCaffrey. Take away McCaffrey’s efforts, however, and Cam Newton has just 158 yards passing, the running game manages minus-1 total yards … and the Panthers score at least 14 fewer points.

Kamara filled a similar role for his Saints against another pretty good defense, that of the Houston Texans, going for 169 total yards including a single run of 28 and a reception of 41 yards. Fortunately, Drew Brees has one megaweapon more than Cam Newton, namely Michael Thomas, and thus is not nearly as dependent on his own backfield stud, but NFLbets’d give better odds on the Rams pass rush and secondary stifling Thomas’s numbers than on anyone shutting down Kamara at this point.

As for the game result, who knows? The Rams could blow ’em out of the Colosseum,the Panthers could win on a blown call, or anything in-between, beyond or reversed. But here’s to thinking that nothing short of an act of god (we’re discounting Aaron Donald as an actual literal deity-like being, though he may be) can stop Kamara. Take Alvin Kamara going over 73½ yards rushing at L.A.

NFL betting, week 2: Pick of the week

Jacksonville Jaguars +7½ at Houston Texans, over/under 43 points
And in the category of dominant individuals in the NFL circa 2019 we may place DeAndre Hopkins alongside McCaffrey and Kamara; double teams, triple teams – nothing mattered to the battery of Watson and Hopkins for Houston against, yep, *another* above-average defense.

Meanwhile, the sate of the Jacksonville defense is impossible to gauge after the Kansas City Chiefs whirlwind machine blew through town last weekend. The Chiefs ran up 40 points with ease, rapidly bringing a prideful defense to its boiling point with an ejection for Myles Jack and the apparent removal of Jalen Ramsey’s hand-eye coordination faculties.

And on the offense – could Magic Nick Foles just have been magicked out of a job by the legend Gardner Minshew II. All this über-system QB did last week was throw 25 on-target passes, 22 of them complete for 275 yards and 2 TDs against just one interception.

Now.

NFLbets is not going to get caught up in the Minshew II stories, hilarious and/or compelling as so many of them are, but will ask for a memory-check on just how many times a fill-in rookie QB – particularly late-draft round rookies – has fooled opposing defenses who haven’t enough tape. Call it the Tim Tebow Principle and damn does NFLbets need to go back and crunch some numbers of this soon.

In any case, the Jaguars and Texans defenses alike should certainly look better than last week, but the latter we reckon will bring just enough surprises. As for the latter, we’ll figure that All-Pro acquisition Laremy Tunsil will show at least a slight improvement to the Texans’ six sacks surrendered against the Saints after another week with the team – and that’ll mean Houston will bring very much Hopkins along with some runs from DeShaun Watson. Here’s to thinking we’re going to see some touchdowns in this one. Take the Saints-Texans game to go over 43 points.

NFL betting, week 2: Outlier of the week

First, consider the facts.

• Since 2000, just seven NFL games (regular season or playoffs) prior to this one have carried a pointspread of 19 or more. The underdog is, predictably enough, 0-7 SU in those games – but are nevertheless 6-1 ATS.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=game&year_min=2000&year_max=2019&game_type=R&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&week_num_min=0&week_num_max=99&temperature_gtlt=lt&c1stat=vegas_line&c1comp=gte&c1val=19&c5val=1.0&order_by=pass_td

• The sole ATS win while giving 19 or more points came in 2013, when the eventual champion Seattle Seahawks covered an incredible (but ultimately justifiable) 20½ against the eventual 4-12 SU Jacksonville Jaguars in a 45-17 win.

• Four of the seven big-pointspread games involved the Belichick/Brady Patriots, but *three* of these came in the 2007 season. Regardless, note that New England is 0-4 ATS in those games – despite a reputation solidified in ’07 for running up the score in blowouts.

• Finally, in these seven games, home underdogs are … 0-0-0 ATS.

We need these facts in order to consider – ahem, not NFLbets or anything, but only the, likesay, foolhardy – betting on New England Patriots -19 at Miami Dolphins.

For NFL bettors foolish enough not to stay away from this one, the decision will be based on how seriously he/she takes facts no. 2, 3 and 4. On one hand, these Patriots certainly look like at least a Super Bowl contender and the Dolphins look at absolute best a 4-12 team. On the other hand, Belichick could damn well take the foot off the pedal with a 35-7 lead at halftime, bench 42-year-old Tom Bardy for much of the second half and coast while Miami racks up garbage-time points in front of about 2,000 fans in the fourth quarter.

On the other other hand, homefield’s gotta mean something, right? The Patriots with Brady at Miami are just 7-11 SU, after all, including the memorable New England at Miami game of last season, which would have seen the Dolphins win ATS regardless of the rugby play which gave them the SU win.

But one final point: The 2019 Miami Dolphins may be historically bad, and NFLbets believes this team is certainly capable of losing by at least three TDs to the Patriots right now, home or now.

In the final analysis, in no way can NFLbets recommend a play either way on this one. Outliers such as this with no precedent are essentially straight-up gambles and we stay away from pure gambling (it’s why we don’t play fantasy football). One final fun fact: On the sole other occasion in the modern era in which a home team faced such a ’spread, the Walsh/Montana 49ers could not cover an insane 23 points against the ultimately 3-12 SU Atlanta Falcons in 1987.

I mean, not to make things more difficult for you or anything…


Thanks to Trubisky and Nagy, NFLbets forces bets on Rams and Jets in week 1

Sunday, 08 September 2019 10:26 EST

See, now this is why proper NFL bettors stick to their own rules. Mentally, NFLbets is as tormented about betting any game in NFL week 1 as we are flabbergasted by Mitchell Trubisky’s ineptitude, Matt Nagy’s colorless play-calling and Tarik Cohen’s subsequent invisibility out of the backfield.

Our response to totally whiffing on the Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears TNF season opener, i.e. to take a couple more swings in opening week, is not at all recommended. The easier of our two makeup bets – just two; again, let’s not go nuts here – may not even go off:

Los Angeles Rams -2 at Carolina Panthers

Betting on a home underdog particularly in week 1 has, until very recently, been thought to be a no-no. But as Bill Simmons reported on a recent podcast, a study showed that home ’dogs are just 49% ATS in recent years, essentially reducing these bets to (imagine this) talent winning out.

And surely we’ll admit that the L.A. Rams have talent to spare. Despite the reputation, Jared Goff led a statistically top-10 offense last season; admittedly, these stats were distorted by the single 105-point game against the Kansas City Chiefs and the numbers decidedly tailed off with Cooper Kupp’s injury. But Kupp is back, and fireworks are expected from Todd Gurley again despite the RB’s own mysterious apparently lingering injury of late 2018/early ’19.

As for the defense, well, you know about the defense.

On the other side are the Carolina Panthers, not dramatically reworked from the 7-9 SU squad of last season. Much will hinge on two-way offensive threat Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton. One never feels especially great about betting against these two – especially in fantasy football, eh…? – but it’s tough to side with Newton coming off massive surgery for yet another undefined ailment.

You know what the record is for QBs in their first game after double shoulder surgery? Okay, that stat doesn’t exist because … *it’s never freakin’ happened before*. You really want to cover that against the defending NFC champs? Hell, if you like the Rams as bona fide Super Bowl LIV contenders as does NFLbets, you should be covering them to win this game by a field goal or more, Newton at 100% or no. Take the Los Angeles Rams -2 at Carolina.

Buffalo Bills +2 at New York Jets, over/under 41 points

Why is NFLbets crazy for believing in the Jets offense in 2019? The Jets front office did some nice work in the offseason in reshaping a bottom-5 unit. LeVeon Bell was naturally the headline-grabber (though the deal LB C.J. Moseley signed was actually bigger money), but Bell will now be joined in the backfield by hybrid HB/WR Ty Montgomery and the returning Bilal Powell.

Though Josh Darnold’s rookie season was mostly known for the gobs of interceptions, at least the dude has confidence to chuck the ball to spare – and he’s got lots more viable targets for 2019 including Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy along with Montgomery and a nice under-the-radar acquisition in TE Ryan Griffin, who nabbed 50 catches in 2016 and has a lifetime 11.0 yards per reception average. The real key to any success Darnold may enjoy in ’19, though, will be buoyed by newly-acquired center Ryan Kalil; after giving up 30 sacks plus untold hurries in 13 games, Kalil by default to lift this OL to the next level.

NFLbets is liking this Jets offense so much alone that we’re already ready to jump on the over. But what about those Buffalo Bills, another low-watt offense in 2018?

Darnold’s counterpart in Buffalo, like rookie Josh Allen, was just about as fearless as the Jets’ new guy, but far less successful with 28 sacks taken in 12 games to go along with 12 interceptions against just 10 TDs. Yeesh.

So Buffalo's offseason was even more action-packed (and expensive) than the Jets’. The Bills will be paying out some $23.35 million next year on new offensive linemen (Mitch Morse from Kansas City, Spencer Long from the Jets, Ty Nsekhe from Washington, Jon Feliciano from Oakland); $16.25 million combined on WRs Cole Beasley from Dallas and John Brown from Baltimore; and $9.25 million on TEs Tyler Kroft from Cincinnati and Lee Smith from Oakland.

Maybe we’re filing this under “So Crazy It Just Might Work”, but if the Bills can’t manage to improve on their sad-ass 16.8 ppg of 2018, well, their start to gambling in ’19 is well worse than NFLbets’: They’re already down, likesay, $48.85 million.

Which team actually wins this game? NFLbets ain’t nutty enough to pick this outcome for money, but we figure that two teams that scored 51 and 50 in this matchup last year both bringing better offenses this time ’round should smoke that 41-point over/under. Take the over on an O/U of 41 points for Bills-Jets.


Hey, let’s start the 2019 NFL season by violating our primary betting rule – and then double down!

Thursday, 05 September 2019 18:44 EST

So you may have heard the 2019 NFL season kicks off tonight with an all-time classic rivalry matchup. Normally, NFLbets would be content to merely sit back and watch this one play out while staking no money; after all, our first rule of NFL betting is this: Do not bet on NFL week 1 games.

But how often have the schedule makers conspired with the football gods and bookmakers to bring us such an incredible opportunity for betting right off the kickoff? Just look at it:

Green Bay Packers +3 at Chicago Bears, over/under 46½ points

NFLbets doesn’t believe we need to belabor the point, but consider:

• In 2018, the Bears went 12-5 SU and ATS, the latter the league’s best. The widest margin of defeat was 7 points, to the eventual champion New England Patriots, and exhibited some of the worst placekicking ever seen over the course of a season. The Packers went 6-9-1 SU/ATS, including 0-7-1 SU against teams with a winning record (not to mention 0-2 against these Bears in Green Bay on opening Sunday).

• In the offseason, the Bears lost one key player – FS Adrian Amos – of a potential six from 2018’s world-beating, record-threatening, straight-up scary defense. And sure, the Bears lost Vic Fangio at defensive coordinator; Chuck Pagano, with extensive DC and head coach experience, will probably be a pretty decent replacement.

• The Packers churned their roster to the extent that fewer than half of last year’s starters are returning and brought in a new coaching staff, headed up by first-timer Matt LaFleur as coach. Why do the sportsbooks put the Packers’ over/under for wins in 2019 at 8½ when the Bears are at 9½? Interesting fact: The last coach to make his professional head coaching debut in the so-called “NFL Kickoff Game” was … no one. It’s never happened, and this game has been happening since 2002. As for debuting head coaches winning game one SU last year … well, they went 0-5.

• So you want to put everything on Aaron Rodgeers The Savior. Fair enough, but you’re probably saying the same thing and bearing the same expectations for Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers – and all those dudes are over 37. Are we supposed to believe (and to bet real money on, no less) that each of these five will be just as good, carrying a team to a Super Bowl win pretty much solo? Come on now…

• And before the snarkiness about Mitch Trubisky and a weak-ass Chicago offense starts, let’s admit that the 2018 Bears offense was top 10 in scoring and turnovers surrendered – perhaps that’s the reason they closed out the regular season on a 9-1 run…

In short, this line appears to be based on – and holding steadily because of – sheer tradition. And not only tradition of the scary Belichick/Brady sort but rather of the historical franchise sort, which is complete nonsense to the proper NFL bettor. Almost no one on the current Green Bay roster other than Rodgers has a title to his credit and, in case no one’s mentioned so, the Packers have a new head coach, too. So … the opposition is supposed to run in fear of the big G because … the autobiography of Vince Lombardi might fall on them?

Now, sure, in the long-term the Bears may appear a bit wonky for betting purposes. The wacky schedule certainly won’t make things easy for NFL bettors with five primetime games (including this one), Thanksgiving Day in Detroit and a London game. But that’s the future – in week 1, no norms exist from which to deviate and all the offseason preparation comes to fruition.

NFLbets usually avoids betting week 1 games like betting Finnish league volleyball, but we’re willing to exploit the foolishness of mystique. We’ll even calling this our first Sure Bet for 2019: Take the Chicago Bears -3 vs Green Bay, and get this season in NFL betting started right (by doing things the wrong way, admittedly…)!


Super Bowl LIV winner proposition bet odds

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 13:15 EST

Ah, yes – the incredible, inexorable and irresistible pull of the preseason NFL team proposition bet! Particularly alluring is the siren’s call of the Super Bowl winner prop, which all but the sharpest of sharps should admit is essentially gambling. Who can resist throwing a few moneys at one’s favorite team or a nice longshot that banks a great return and potentially viralizes the story? After all, some NFL bettors covered the Philadelphia Eagles at 40/1 and even 50/1 prior to the 2017 season…

So, sure, NFLbets’ll be wagering on the Super Bowl LIV winner, but you damn skippy we won’t be betting the house on any team. The odds table running below lists odds from leading online sportsbook My Bookie and odds offered at the average Las Vegas sportsbook, respectively. Note that Vegas offerings are far less fluid than their online counterparts’: Lines on the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns have all seen noticeable shrinkage since these odds first dropped in February. (Odds up-to-date as of August 20, 2019.)

Odds to win Super Bowl LIV

Super Bowl LIV winner prop betKansas City Chiefs, 6/1; 6/1
New England Patriots, 6/1; 8/1
New Orleans Saints, 9/1; 8/1
Los Angeles Rams, 12/1; 8/1
Cleveland Browns, 12/1; 20/1
Indianapolis Colts, 12/1; 20/1
Philadelphia Eagles, 13/1; 20/1
Los Angeles Chargers, 15/1; 14/1
Chicago Bears, 16/1; 14/1
Dallas Cowboys, 20/1; 16/1
Green Bay Packers, 22/1; 16/1
Pittsburgh Steelers, 25/1; 14/1
Minnesota Vikings, 25/1; 16/1
Atlanta Falcons, 30/1; 40/1
Houston Texans, 33/1; 20/1
Carolina Panthers, 35/1; 60/1
Seattle Seahawks, 37/1; 30/1
San Francisco 49ers, 40/1; 50/1
Baltimore Ravens, 45/1; 20/1
Jacksonville Jaguars, 50/1; 40/1
New York Jets, 70/1; 80/1
Tennessee Titans, 90/1; 60/1
Denver Broncos, 100/1; 60/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 100/1; 80/1
Buffalo Bills, 100/1; 100/1
Detroit Lions, 100/1; 100/1
Oakland Raiders, 125/1; 100/1
New York Giants, 145/1; 40/1
Arizona Cardinals, 150/1; 100/1
Washington, 150/1; 100/1
Cincinnati Bengals, 180/1; 100/1
Miami Dolphins, 200/1; 300/1

Onto the takes – and tips!

Kansas City Chiefs: Best hedge on the board

NFLbets begins the wagering with MyBookie’s co-favorites and Vegas’s odds-on favorite. Normally, we’d eschew the top pick on the Super Bowl table because a) the odds are too short and b) examples of underdogs taking the title are rife.

In 2019, however, the top-dog Chiefs are going off at 6/1, more than reasonable for a team that appears to be on the classic ’Bowl-winning trajectory. RBs Spencer Ware and Kareem Hunt are gone, taking 1096 yards rushing along; after a fairly brutal 2018, Carlos Hyde joined Kansas City this offseason and … ah, never mind – we’re talking about Patrick Mahomes’s team here and the Chiefs ranked just 16th in rushing attempts last season. And check this out: How many changes did the Chiefs make on the offensive side this past offseason? Zero.

Meanwhile, the new defensive coordinator is apparent upgrade Steve Spagnuolo (formerly of the New York Giants), though quite honestly Mike Pence would have been a certain improvement for a D ranked dead-last or dead-penultimate by most key statistical measures.

With an average rushing attack and a pretty bad defense, Andy Reid still got Mahomes & the boys to the AFC championship game. If one contender doesn’t regress in 2019, this is likely that team. We’ll say take the Kansas City Chiefs at 6/1, thereby allowing us five other bets with the opportunity to still break even on K.C.

Chargers, Saints, Cowboys: Don’t lose money on these three

Beyond the top two, the NFL bettor considering the Super Bowl LIV winner prop soon lands upon the New Orleans Saints at 9/1 (or 8/1 in Vegas), Los Angeles Chargers at 15/1 (14/1), and the Dallas Cowboys at 16/1 (20/1) – bad bets one and all, simply put.

First up are the Saints, whose darling status twice crested last season, first when 173-year old QB Drew Brees broke some individual record on Monday Night Football and later when a blind referee screwed them in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game. But just take a closer look at some of the stats as 2018 wore on…

In his final seven starts last season including the two playoff games, Brees passed for over 300 yards just once and couldn’t manage to break 200 in four more; in those game, New Orleans managed to win five SU while going just 2-5 ATS. Note that Brees will be taking snaps from a new center, i.e. free-agent signing Marcus Henry from the Seattle Seahawks and, while TE Jared Cook and RB Latavious Murray *might* make an impact, the clever bettor will definitely expect regression to the mean from this team.

As for that on-again/off-again defense of ’18, some 10 signings in free agency spun forecasting this side of the ball in New Orleans the purview of chaos theorists. We’ll be staying away from the Saints.

Did we say “regression to the mean”? The 2018 Los Angeles Chargers were statistically freakish in many many ways, but off-the-charts bananas was their home-away split. In games played outside Los Angeles, the Chargers were a ridiculous 9-1 SU, including wins at Seattle, Kansas City, Denver and Baltimore. And who knows what might’ve happened in the divisional playoff in New England if the team hadn’t jetted from East Coast to West and back inside of a week after playing the Ravens. Can the Chargers be expected to reproduce those particular results? Unlikely to say the least.

On the plus side for Chargers backers is an easier schedule than in ’18: Beyond getting four ((((wins)))) games against the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders and the Denver Broncos, NFLbets figures these guys are looking at four (or five, depending on how you feel about the Houston Texans): vs Indianapolis in the opener, at Chicago in week 8, and the two games against Kansas City – L.A. could even win the AFC West with a week 17 upset, but home field means little to these Chargers. We’re not feeling it.

As for the Dallas Cowboys … come on now. Yes, NFLbets realizes that the Ezekiel Elliott holdout melodrama is exactly that; Zeke will surely rejoin the Cowboys in due time, he’ll be productive barring an early injury due to lack of offseason training and will do amazing things. The promotion of Kellen Moore from QB coach to OC might even prove a boon to Elliott et al in getting Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper to play all-star seasons – but who outside of Cowboys fandom believes that’s enough?

Bears, Colts, Rams: Three bets we like more than the Chiefs

Odds on the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams at 12/1 (8/1), Chicago Bears at 12/1 (20/1) and Indianapolis Colts at 12/1 (20/1) all make NFLbets ask the same question: What are we missing here?

Okay, we’ll admit betting on the Colts at 12/1 is a bit dodgy, what with every month bringing news of a brand new injury to QB Andrew Luck; on the other (hopefully uninjured) hand, newly-acquired Chandarick West and WR Devin Funchess certainly can’t hurt an offense that was top-10 overall in passing yardage and overall yardage. Improvements to the skill positions plus losses of no full-time starter in free agency would be enough for a good value bet, but let us not forget that this team finished last season on a 10-2 SU run. Take the Indianapolis Colts at 12/1 – and absolutely definitely positively at 20/1.

And the Bears at that same 12/1 (20/1)? Bizarre. How did everyone forget Cody Parkey’s double doink to cost Chicago a deep playoff run after a 12-4 SU regular season with no losses of more than seven points. In the offseason, the Bears lost one key player – FS Adrian Amos – of a potential six from 2018’s world-beating, record-threatening, straight-up scary defense. And if you think a potential all-time great Khalil Mack can’t help win enough games in the days of point-a-minute offense to at least get his team to the Super Bowl, just ask Aaron Donald what he thinks.

And speaking (writing?) of Aaron Donald and his L.A. Rams, shouldn’t the conference defending champs be getting slightly more respect, particularly in Vegas at 12/1 odds…? Bettors at My Bookie have dragged down those odds from 10/1, but nevertheless in both spheres the, likesay, overhyped and downward-trending Saints are outdoing the Rams.

So … it’s all about Jared Goff, right? And sure, after that 105-point game against the Chiefs on MNF in week 11, the Rams offense got criminally low-watt in managing just 17.5 ppg in five games against playoff teams. Fair enough, but Goff’s favorite target Cooper Kupp is back after missing the last half of ’18 – and regardless of public perception of their QB, the Rams offense was top-3 in overall scoring, rushing TDs, first downs, yards per pass attempt, yards per rushing attempt and points per drive.

For 2019, the Rams defense looks just as impressive, as in-season acquisition Dante Fowler was extended and again disappointing Ndamokung Suh was not. We’d advise simply forgetting the name of the Los Angeles QB and take the Rams at 8/1 or longer.

Seahawks and Jets: A longshot and a really longshot

A tsunami of gushing about Bill Belichick has apparently swamped Pete Carroll’s reputation: Carroll fairly well rose to the consensus rank as no. 2 among head coaches after his Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII – and he’s still got his Lombardi-winning all-star QB at the top of his game. Indeed, Carroll and Russell Wilson have made the Seahawks, even in the post-Legion of Boom era, a model of consistency in the NFC. In Wilson’s seven seasons at the helm, Seattle’s yet to have a losing season, making the playoffs six times.

The Seahawks have been undergoing something of a slow roster churn a la Belichick’s Patriots over the past four seasons or so; the departure of Earl Thomas represents the last of outgoing all-stars. Last season’s abominable 51 sacks allowed has got to improve with newly acquired guards Mike Iupati and Marcus Martin on the OL for 2019.

Now, Carroll & Co. still have the L.A. Rams and San Francisco 49ers to contend with before 37/1 odds to win Super Bowl LIV, while the playoffs have proven a stumbling block for Carroll’s ’Hawks since losing to the New England Patriots and the departure of Marshawn Lynch, with just a 2-3 SU/ATS postseason mark.

But say the Rams regress and the Niners aren’t quite up to the hype, so the Seahawks take the NFC West. Seattle’s famed homefield advantage – Carroll ‘n’ Russell are 5-0 SU/ATS in home playoff games – get them through one round, even two. (Heck, 12-4 could easily bag the no. 1 seed in the conference this season.) Imagine the season culminating in Carroll vs. Andy Reid with two minutes remaining. At 37/1 odds, we’ll take the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl and live that fantasy for a couple months at least…

Meanwhile, those wanting a serious stretch might consider covering the New York Jets at 70/1. NFLbets realizes such a wager is made in the face of loads of unknowns, chiefly that of Sam Darnold making The Leap, which may even be limited as the dude continues to resemble Vinny “Vinterception” Testaverde 2.0. Questions remain about the viability of LeVeon Bell (though we’d strongly hedge with the philosophy that Bell’ll rip shit up for the Jets in 2019) and the effect of losing Avery Williamson from last year’s 29th-“best” defense. Geez, these guys went 4-12 in ’18.

We’re not nutty enough to suggest covering the Jets to win the AFC East, mind you, but NFLbets will definitely be covering these guys to make the playoffs and you know what they say about anything happening during said playoffs; for confirmation consult last year’s Bears. Or Saints. Or Chiefs. Or…

So go ahead and join NFLbets in throwing a few moneys at a longshot – take the New York Jets at 70/1.


When betting the 2019 NFL Draft, we’re forced to ask, “What Will Gruden Do?”

Thursday, 25 April 2019 13:49 EST

NFL draft bettingAll righty, here’s the NFL bettor’s first legitimate chance to wager on something other than NFL team futures: 2019 NFL Draft props! NFLbets’ El Jefe and lead writer/editor Os Davis will definitely be watching this draft with regard to a handful of teams of decent-to-good value in the “To Win Super Bowl LIV” proposition bet.

We’ll be readjusting our potential wagers on those teams (spoilers: the list includes the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs) after the draft is in the books, and today we look at some NFL props on offer at online sportsbooks.

Sadly, quite a few of these props are highly unattractive, and all the good opportunities appear to involve the Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders with the crazed Jon Gruden in the captain’s chair. After trading away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, then signing Antonio Brown, NFLbets won’t say Chucky’s drunk with power, but he’s certainly got a good buzz going into this draft…

To see how Gruden is fated to determine much cashflow to and fro the sportsbooks on Thursday night, let’s first consider the tables on props involving picks 1 and 2 overall.

Chucky Gruden leads RaidersPlayer to be taken first overall
Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), 2/7
Nick Bosa (Ohio State), 2/1
Quinnen Williams (Alabama), 5/1
Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), 14/1
Josh Allen (Kentucky), 25/1

Player to be taken second overall
Nick Bosa (Ohio State), 2/5
Quinnen Williams (Alabama), 3/1
Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), 4/1
Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), 12/1
Josh Allen (Kentucky), 12/1

Team to draft Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals, 4/11
Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, 9/4
New York Giants, 7/1
Miami Dolphins, 8/1
Washington, 10/1
Cincinnati Bengals, 28/1
Jacksonville Jaguars, 35/1

In any other season, Nick Bosa would certainly be a legitimate bet to go no. 1 overall; however, Kyler Murray appears locked into that top spot. The Cardinals front office could not even justify going with Bosa on the basis of attempting to screw the San Francisco 49ers out of their choice at no. 2, as word has it that the Niners would certainly be good with landing Quinnen Williams in that spot.

Thus do the selections of Murray and Bosa at nos. 1 and 2 appear fairly well dead certain; if you can get a sportsbook to do so, a parlay at 2/7 and 2/5, respectively, would fetch odds of just 4/5 (-125). Hardly worth the risk.

As for the “Team to draft Kyler Murray” prop, Washington is getting outstanding odds. Apparently, free-spending, incompetent asshat team owner Daniel Snyder his (literally) bad self we’ll be doing the drafting for Washington. While reports have Snyder trading up from the no. 15 spot solely in order to grab his coveted Dwayne Haskins, who would be surprised if the chump didn’t overpay to land Murray?

(Also a good bet: In the “Team to Draft Dwayne Haskins” prop, Washington’s getting 5/2 (+250) odds while the Giants are at 11/5 (+220); here’s to thinking that Snyder will be the more desperate of the two drafters here.)

The New York Giants are tempting in this prop at 7/1. Not only do they seem likely to land the Hard Knocks gig, but with Murray, the Giants would be in the very desirable scenario of outgoing veteran/incoming rookie stud as a 1-2 QB punch that worked for Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and (slightly unorthodoxly) Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s just that … what can the Giants offer the Cards beyond the no. 6 overall pick, at which they could easily land Josh Allen (Duke)?

Then there are the Raiders. Jon Gruden has apparently dismissed his draft team (damn, that’s gonna be one empty war room), so we’ll have to assuming Chucky’s choosing. And we know he loves quarterbacks – though Derek Carr not so much. Now maybe the Cardinals haven’t traded away that no. 1 so as to get the biggest possible haul for the privilege of drafting Kyler, but who believes this organization is smart enough not to draft QBs in back-to-back first rounds? There’s a reason the odds on the Cardinals in this prop at 4/11, after all…

Other NFL Draft props of note
Few other interesting opportunities exist among the NFL props, most of which have to do with draft order of players who are pretty much known to be going in the top 10: Ed Oliver, Nick Bosa, etc. In fact, the one eye-catching prop involves, again, trying to figure out what Chucky’s gonna do.

In the “Josh Allen draft position” prop, the over/under is 4½, essentially making this a “Will the Raiders draft Josh Allen?” Because here’s the thing: We know how San Francisco’s going at no. 2. At no. 3, the Jets are said to be looking at Ed Oliver or trading down, though not to far as to avoid grabbing a top-quality defensive player. So let’s say the Jets don’t risk it, stand pat at no. 3, and take Oliver or even Quinnen Williams. How could Gruden pass on whichever defensive player of the two is left? (Concomitantly, could Williams really drop to no. 5 or 6?) Because he’s Jon Gruden.

A salient point to be fair, but NFLbets will guess that not even Chucky will violate the go-to method when drafting: Take the best player available. And that player in this scenario is Quinnen Williams. Take the over-4½ in the Josh Allen Draft Position prop at 7/5 (+140).


Never mind Thanos – can the Avengers beat 87.5% at Rotten Tomatoes?

Sunday, 07 April 2019 19:46 EST

NFbets content overseer and lead writer Os Davis is now on the MacGuffin Report, a weekly podcast devoted to movies, tv and streaming content (especially streaming content). This is just as much a shameless plug as a notice of qualifications to write on the “specials” proposition bet “"Opening Weekend Score on Rotten Tomatoes for Avengers: Endgame.”

The over/under on this prop is pretty much exactly what you’d expect: At 87.5%, such a Rotten Tomatoes rating would rank it 11th among the then-22 Marvel Comics Studios releases – dead center if you don’t include the 2008 Incredible Hulk, which for many reasons we shouldn’t. Said list with each movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score *to date* runs as follows:

ThanosBlack Panther (2018) – 97%
Iron Man (2008) – 93%
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – 92%
The Avengers (2012) – 92%
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 92%
Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 91%
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – 91%
Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014) – 90%
Doctor Strange (2016) – 89%
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – 88%
over/under for Avengers: Endgame opening weekend – 87.5%
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 85%
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017) – 83%
Ant-Man (2015) - 82%
Iron Man 3 (2013) – 80%
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – 80%
Captain Marvel (2019) – 78%
Thor (2011) – 77%
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – 75%
Iron Man 2 (2010) – 73%
The Incredible Hulk (2008) – 67%
Thor: The Dark World (2013) – 66%

But what do movie fans like? Actually, NFLbets does know: They like Marvel Movies! Geez, 18 of the above score a 75% or better approval rating at ’Tomatoes. Certain other studios would certainly like to see their superhero franchises snag such nice numbers., but such high scores across the board certainly make it damn tough to forecast where the next Marvel flick might land on the Tomatometer.

• Five of the bottom seven films on the Tomatometer list were released in 2013 or earlier, but two of the top four – Iron Man, The Avengers – hit screens in 2008 and ’12, respectively. And the studio’s lastest release, Captain Marvel, also landed in the bottom third of the table.

• The first Iron Man, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy have bettered all their sequels, but Thor, Captain America and Ant-Man were each topped by sequels; in fact, in the cases of Thor and Captain America, the *third* film in each series-within-the-series ranks best.

• As for the Avengers movies specifically, we’ve got two above the magic 87½ (the 2012 original and Captain America: Civil War, which was essentially an Avengers plus a few others not officially on that superteam) and two below (Age of Ultron and, perhaps significantly, Infinity War).

At this point, the reality should be getting quite clear, particularly to the NFL bettor: Betting against a Marvel movie is like betting against the New England Patriots. On top of this, notice that the prop covers only through opening weekend, and it seems more likely that positive reviews will be run up from the franchise’s most ardent supporters with prepaid tickets.

But, but … and NFLbets knows this is the Patriots and all, but just look at this trailer…

Dark stuff, right? Well, no kidding. After half the universe gets dusted – including many of the funnier and/or more popular characters in the Marvel Universe including Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Wasp – by Thanos’s killer snap, things apparently get as broody as Zach Snyder’s desecration of DC Comics heroes.

And if there’s one thing that’ll dampen the general enthusiasm for any Marvel movie, it’s a dark tone. Consider the bottom of the above list again, and you’ll find the first two Thor movies, the darkest Avengers movie, the un-humorous Incredible Hulk, and the first two films featuring the ultra-earnest super-serious Captain America.

Now NFLbets knows that resurrections are certainly in store for essentially every one of the dusted characters (strictly pragmatically speaking, plans ae already in place for Guardians 3 and Black Panther 2 has got to be in pre-preproduction by now), so Avengers: Endgame may not go out on a completely bum trip. On the other other hand, old favorites like Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk *could* be killed off (at lest in their present incarnations) before the final reels – and the demise of any of those guys could be way more bummerific than seeing Henry Cavill’s Superman bite the kryptonite dust in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

We might also note that, while expectations for this film are damn high, Marvel Comics succeeds pretty much again and again (and again!) despite such weight…

The last question, then, is this: Will Endgame fare just slightly worse than Infinity War among the Tomatoes-throwers? NFLbets knows we might be betting against the Patriots, but in this case the competition is also the Patriots. We’re saying take under 87.5% in the Avengers: Endgame Opening Weekend Rotten Tomatoes Score prop.


Do you believe? Betting on the prop “Will the Cleveland Browns Win a Playoff Game?”

Sunday, 07 April 2019 14:04 EST

Making predictions for the upcoming NFL season this far out from the actual kickoff date is of course folly, but if sportsbooks are already taking bets on the flipping *CLEVELAND BROWNS* to make the playoffs, we can predict with some assurance that the 2019 NFL season is destined to be a weird one.

In the proposition bet “Will the Cleveland Browns Win a Playoff Game?”, the NO is listed at an incredibly short 1/7, while the YES is at an incredible 4/1. Thus will NFLbets immediately cut through the BS and advise NFL bettors to take the Browns to win a playoff game at 4/1 all day long.

NFLbets has been on the 2019 Cleveland Browns bandwagon since, what, Chris Jones came over from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to take a pretty damn low-level position with the team. The man is a Grey Cup winner and now he’s a mere senior defensive specialist – whatever that is – with the Browns? Nice.

After the Kareem Hunt signing, NFLbets was ready to cover the over on over/under for wins and was pretty confident about covering Cleveland winning the AFC North. After the Odell Beckham trade, we got more specific:

“…Cleveland should be a 10- or even 11-win team, so bet the over/under wins accordingly. We’ll also cover the Browns to win the AFC North, as we honestly believe that they’ll go a solid 5-1 against the North’s teams in rebuild and/or decline and should be getting three wins against the AFC East. By dint of their third-place finish in 2018, the Browns also draw the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos, this far out both looking like wins.

NFLbets’ll admit that covering Cleveland to win a playoff game is a risky proposition (so to speak), but you gotta admit there’s some solid value here. Even with opening day about four months away, NFLbets is penciling in the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans for playoff spots. We’ll assume that the second-place finisher in the AFC South is also good for double-digit wins, so we’ll put the Colts/Texans in the no. 5 seed. As it stands, we’ve got the Browns to win the AFC North, holding off the Baltimore Ravens, enjoying Mike Tomlin’s final season in Pittsburgh and looking down the table all season at the Cincinnati Bengals.

So naturally the viability of this bet hinges on the New England Patriots.

Unless the New York Jets – right now a good two seasons away from actually winning the AFC East – pull off some shrewd moves and/or miracles in the draft and free agency, we’ll have to assume the Patriots (yawn) win this division again whether or not T.J. Hockensen becomes the next Rob Gronkowski. The question is just how many wins will be required; last season provided ample evidence that Bill Belichick has adopted Gregg Popovich’s foot-off-the-pedal strategy for the regular season. We’re thinking the Dark Emperor might decide that 10 (or even nine) wins is enough to take this hapless division, particularly if they go 6-0 against the division.

The conclusion seems pretty clear: The Browns will need to go into the playoffs at no. 3 (or even no. 6 if, likesay, the Ravens take the North) to get this prop cashed in. Ideally, of course, they’d want the no. 1 or no. 2 spot to get that first-round bye, but let’s not get too nuts over a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since the Clinton Administration. (Besides, if you’re a Cleveland backer, do you really want to see the Patriots, Chargers, Colts or Texans in the playoffs, even in Ohio, even after the bye?)

And full disclosure here: Taking Cleveland to win the wild-card round game is very nearly a 50/50 proposition these days. In the past 10 years’ worth of NFL playoffs, the home team is just 23-21 SU (and 19-25 ATS!) in wild card games. On the other hand, the conservative NFL bettor can simply hedge by covering the Browns’ opponent, either plus or minus the points on the ’spread.

So, yes, some risk is involved in covering the Browns in this prop – but that’s why they call it gambling, right?

Betting on the Cleveland Browns in the playoffs – What a time to be alive!


Wagering on Bill Cosby, Roseanne Barr, Donald Trump in “Death Matchups” proposition bets

Monday, 25 March 2019 13:30 EST

Betting on death matchup propsWhoa, My Bookie is getting dark. After a few years of offering a fairly straightforward slate of game lines, odds, proposition bets and futures, the folks there are finally dipping toes in to the waters of “Specials” betting. – and, as they say, things escalated rather quickly.

NFLbets admits a profound fondness for Specials are those props that usually have nothing to do with sports and are instead focused on celebrities or political elections. Most online sportsbooks will post offerings on now traditional proposition bet specials such as “Who will be the next Pope?” and “Gender of the next baby born in the British royal family.”, and some particularly controversial campaigns has helped build the notoriety and brand name of bookmakers such as Paddy Power.

It is, apparently, in the spirit of the outrageous that My Bookie has posted a series of proposition bets entitled “Death Matchups.” We’re not sure how to further lead into these props without just posting ‘n’ analyzing, so here goes. For all of the following, the proposition bet is entitled “Who Will Die First?” unless otherwise noted.

Betty White (5/13) vs Carol Burnett (2/1)

Now right from the start, isn’t this some bad juju? Likesay, isn’t it the law that Americans must adore Betty White as a national treasure? Besides this, Carol Burnett turns 86 in April 2019 – and she’s still playing comedy clubs. No bet here.

Charlie Sheen (1/2) vs Magic Johnson (8/5)

Los Angeles Lakers fans will likely be driving both sides of this prop, with younger Laker backers who never saw Magic play silently, malevolently cover Johnson here in hopes of dislodging him from the general manager position after one of L.A.’s most nightmarish seasons of basketball ever. The smart money here has got to be on Sheen though – why else that crazy -150 line? – as both TMZ and South Park have revealed that Magic has discovered the cure for HIV.

Regis Philbin (20/21) vs Bob Barker (20/21)

Well, this bookmaker ain’t appealing to Millennials here, that’s for sure. Barker turns 96 in 2019 and hasn’t appeared regularly on TV since 2007; Philbin is 88 in ’19 and last did morning TV in ’11. I guess the sheer numbers say to bet on Bob, but -105 ain’t a great payout.

Rosie O'Donnell (4/6) vs Roseanne Barr (11/10)

Now this one was definitely designed with politics in mind, but we’re really stumped as to why the odds on O’Donnell are so unfavorable; she’s just 57 in 2019 and has had no recent reported health issues. By contrast, have you seen Roseanne since her ejection from her own sitcom? She’s *taken up* smoking cigarettes, has little impetus to keep up her health with her career essentially over and is 9½ years older than Rosie. Call this a medium-term investment and back Roseanne Barr at 11/10.

Prince Phillip (5/7) vs Queen Elizabeth (1/1)

Look, yours truly has been losing bets on the death of queen Elizabeth since the late 1990s. We don’t care if she is 92, we’re not touching this one with a 20-imperial foot pole.

Jay Leno (6/5) vs David Letterman (5/8)

Jay Leno has blissfully been off the air for forever, while Letterman may or may not be on Netflix occasionally. These guys are basically both already in the talk show host’s afterlife anyway, right?

Donald Trump (10/11) vs Vladimir Putin (10/13)

Now these odds make no sense, either. Trump is six years older than his Russian BFF and prefers a diet of fast food. One look at the lean Putin shows that this is not at all the case, and Putin often makes a show of public displays of exercise and sport. Can you imagine Trump publicly participating in any form of exercise? This guy probably thinks a pushup is what must be done to the couch so as to get a better view of Fox News.

On top of this is Russian medical technology. Gods only know what the doctors have over there, but if they kept Leonid Brezhnev and Boris Yeltsin alive into their mid-70s despite basketball-sized livers, the well healthier Putin must be good to go for another, what, 25 years or so? Take Trump at 10/11 odds.

Rae Carruth (3/1) vs Ray Lewis (20/1) vs O.J. Simpson (1/10)

Wait a minute, is My Bookie taking some kind of shot at the American criminal justice system? After all, two of these three former NFL players were found “not guilty” in courts of law…

Will Bill Cosby die in prison?

Eighteen months ago, NFLbets would’ve been all over the NO at 5/2 in this proposition bet, but ol’ Dr. Huxtable (remember, ladies, he’s not a real doctor!) was indeed actually sentenced to a bona fide prison for a term beginning in September 2018 – but we’re not rushing to wager on YES at 2/9, either. After all, said prison term could be as short as three years, with Cosby scot free (until the next trial) in late 2021. Do you have enough confidence in the American incarceration system to believe that Coz will serve his full term in prison? If so, consider the names (and current residential status) involved in the above three-way prop.

Free for all: The sex criminals and deviants

Take a look at this lineup:

Jerry Lee Lewis (6/4)
Bill Cosby (1/1)
Woody Allen (5/2)
Roman Polanski (5/2)
Jerry Sandusky (6/1)
Harvey Weinstein (8/1)
Subway Jared (10/1)

Now that’s an interesting field. The best value bet may be Sandusky at age 75, though his current incarceration in a minimum-security jail rather eliminates the possibility of proper prison justice for this child molester. Speaking of child molestation, Jared Fogle might make a great bet here; he’ll likely spend the rest of his life in prison and has already been assaulted once by a fellow inmate. Unfortunately, Fogle is now in a minimal-security federal prison.

Cosby is the most compelling name on this list, as he’s the only one clearly seeing action. Coz had been equal with pervy film directors Woody Allen and Roman Polanski at 5/2 when My Bookie opened this prop. Some of this might be related to the fact that Polanski (86 years old in August 2019) and Jerry Lee Lewis (84 in September) have been culturally irrelevant for essentially the entire 21st century thus far. And on this entire list, Allen (84 in December) is the only one still actively working.

In the final analysis, NFLbets is going to go with the majority on this one: Take Bill Cosby at 1/1 in this death prop, and you won’t even have to feel bad about winning.


Feel the Bern 2.0: Tremendous odds on a Sanders win in Election 2020 – if the Democrats don’t f*##*&$# it up

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 13:09 EST

Bernie Sanders and/or Larry DavidYesterday, Larry David Bernie Sanders formally declared his intention to run for the Democratic Party’s primary for the U.S. presidential election of 2020. Within eight hours, his campaign had drawn over $1 million in small donations but, more importantly for our purposes, rose to 10/1 odds in the proposition bet “US Presidential Election 2020 – Odds to Win.”  

For the dispassionate NFL bettor, i.e. he/she who can look at this election objectively with all political belief and personal repulsion put aside, Sanders would seem to make a great investment at the aforementioned 10/1, particularly since two of the four candidates with shorter odds have yet to declare intentions to run.

Already polling at 19% among likely Iowa caucus voters and as high as 30% among all Democratic primary voters, Bernie’s odds will likely not get lower until he is all but mathematically eliminated from the race. A bet on Sanders at 10/1 would seem to be a terrific long-term investment, especially when parleyed with something like the New England Patriots or Kansas City Chiefs in a “To Win Division” prop.

But then there are the Democrats – a perpetual fusterluck of a party which still (still!) has mostly existed since the days of Martin Van Buren as an exemplar of a Will Rogers witticism of a century ago: “I belong to no organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

We’ll get back to The Democratic Party’s awesome (not) success in presidential elections shortly, but we’ll first consider the odds for some top non-Bernie candidates listed for betting in the “US Presidential Election 2020 – Odds to Win” prop.

Democratic Party: The 2020 field, odds
Kamala Harris (5/1) is a self-described "top cop" who was pretty spectacular as a state attorney in keeping Clinton Administration Era corporate prisons well stocked with peoples of color. And when faced with criticism on said record openly, she simply waves away these folks with memories as “Russian bots.” Will Kamala Harris get the votes Barack Obama did? Not all of ’em, that’s for sure.

Elizabeth Warren (22/1), a.k.a. the Rachel Donezal of the Senate, is adored by mainstream media outlets left of Fox and will get lots of free press coverage. This could be a minus for Warren, however, whose ugly use of race falsification plus her clearly staged crap about drinking beer will only hurt. Can you imagine President Elizabeth Warren? Me neither.

Tulsi Gabbert (25/1) brings one of the Seante’s most liberal voting records and represents a state on the front line of climate change, but for some reason won’t be covered with a 10-foot pole by CNN or anyone – she’s the Bizarro Warren!

•  Amy Klobuchar (15/1) is proud to claim to be a moderate, pooh-poohing the radical ideas of free college tuition and the Green New Deal., but we’re thinking the progressive elements of the party are going to drive the Democrats this election, and a moderate won’t make it for them.

•  The super-progressive Cory Booker (35/1) has long been touted by some in the party as their next presidential candidate, but despite announcing his candidacy on February 1, nearly three weeks later, has taken one legal or bureaucratic step forward to actually, likesay, officially getting in the race. We’re thinking this is because the man’s a serious Bernie acolyte who was waiting to see if Sanders entered. Booker is already feeling like more of a VP candidate.

•  See the odds on Julian Castro (66/1)? There’s a reason for that: His experience as an elected official measures exactly four years as mayor of San Antonio. This guy also seems like a vice-presidential candidate in 2020, but prez? Hard to buy.

•  The most ridiculous odds on the whole board have got to be on Beto O'Rourke (8/1), though. O’Rourke campaign gladly took the second-most money in campaign contributions from Big Oil of any Senate candidate and still lost to Ted Cruz. If political analysis website Fivethirtyeight described Bernie as “a famous, successful loser,” then Beto may be called the “unknown, unsuccessful loser,” thus making him actually an ideal candidate for the Democrats, come to think of it…

•  Joe Biden (8/1) looks like a classic Democratic Party failure in the mold of Al Gore. Veep to a popular president, lots of relevant experience … heck, they were both even also-rans in primaries a couple of times. So why wouldn’t the Dems put up another milquetoast old with guy playing a “centrist” for “nationwide” appeal? Because if Biden even tries to run in the primaries, he’ll get MeToo'ed so fast, you'll think his name is Weinstein.

So … the Democrats can’t f*#^^#& up this one, can they? To paraphrase their last above-average presidential campaign, “Yes, They Can.”

Consider: In 1960, John F. Kennedy needed up to 100,000 dead people to vote for him in Chicago to beat the miscreant Dick Nixon. In ’64, Lyndon Johnson won against a extremist so far right he alienated 70% of Americans with a single word. In ’76, Jimmy Carter snuck into the White House by beating the party of Watergate by 2.1% of the vote.

In 1992 and ’96, Bill Clinton won elections without a majority of the popular vote either time, making him the only president ever to do so. In 2000, Al Gore couldn’t even win his home state, leaving Democrats to feebly blame Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for their woes. Fair enough, the Democrats finally got a legitimate presidential election win in ’08 with Barack Obama – and all it took was a near-collapse of the entire global economy.

And then, in 2016, the coup de grace. Having already committed to throw the party’s nomination to their biggest loser of ’o8 and screw what the voters thought. With the incredibly unlikeable Hillary Clinton steering the ship, the USS Democrat wrecked itself on an orange-haired iceberg.

NFLbets’ Best (early) Bets for Election 2020
NFLbets isn’t going to back down from advising bettors of the “2020 U.S. Presidential Election – Odds to Win” prop to take Bernie Sanders at 10/1 but, given the Democrats’ ridiculous performance over the past 60 years, hedging is a smart idea. Remember “hold your nose and vote for Clinton”? Well, hold your nose and take Donald Trump at 2/1.


Six good bets for Super Bowl LIII MVP – whether you’re backing the Patriots or Rams

Sunday, 03 February 2019 10:29 EST

Are your bets for Super Bowl LIII MVP all in? Looking for some hedging possibilities? Great – that justifies this relatively late column from NFLbets. We’ve got six good wagers for you to hopefully cash in on what is probably our favorite proposition bet of the year in any sport.

The obvious choices

Tom Brady, +120 to +140
Jared Goff, 2/1 to 3/1

If you’re taking the Patriots, you’ve got to be pragmatic and go with Touchdown Tom, right? And if you’ve got serious money on the Rams, Brady for MVP makes an excellent hedge to erase some of those losses. And just imagine, for hilarity’s sake, this scenario: The Rams win the Super Bowl in a 31-28 game, with scoring evenly distributed, no offensive skill player going over 100 total yards, plus combined sacks and TOs generated by the defense numbering 1. Could the Rams win and yet Brady be named MVP? Would he refuse the award?

Equally a no-brainer (and an even better hedge for the Patriots bettor) is the potentially unimaginative choice of Goff at 2/1 or up. Catching Goff at 3/1 essentially allows the Rams backer to cover three other players in the MVP prop and still get a likely push. Nice.

The really advantageous odds

Aaron Donald, 12/1 to 18/1
This line on Donald – Bovada’s giving 18/1 on him? WTF? – makes absolutely no sense to NFLbets. MGM VP of race and sports Jay Rood was quoted over at ESPN.com on various Super Bowl betting action in Las Vegas, particularly with regard to the Rams-backing Bettor X. Here’s a sample for our purposes:

MGM opened Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald at 70-1 to win Super Bowl MVP. Money flowed in on Donald, driving the price down to 15-1.

“[Donald] winning MVP is not good for us,” Rood said. “One of our biggest losing propositions ever was [Broncos OLB] Von Miller winning MVP [in Super Bowl 50].”

How could the bookmakers be so fuzzy on their history? Are they sweating more the day after Donald bagged the NFL DMVP, just as Miller did three years ago? Proponents of conspiracy theories are likely to go against Donald for MVP on precisely this basis, but NFLbets has already taken advantage of the opportunity – just like we did for 50.

(Bettors should also note that Super Bowl 50 was the sole instance of the under hitting in the past seven years…)

Julian Edelman, 12/1 to 20/1
Edelman’s XLIX numbers (9 catches for 109 yards, 1 TD, long of 23) are emblematic of Brady’s attack in 2010s Super Bowls. Since Randy Moss, the Patriots have never had a real A-list deep threat and thus has Brady gone from dink-and-dunk to stretching the field to his present-day medium-range assault – precisely where the Rams are most vulnerable.

Brady & Co. have in their past three Super Bowl appearances combined a threat out of the backfield (Shane Vereen previously, James White now), a medium-range guy (formerly Wes Welker, now Edelman) and Rob Gronkowski. The result? Of the nine players who have caught 10 or more passes in the Super Bowl – Jerry Rice and Deion Branch did so twice – four are Brady-era Patriots.

With Gronk now longer Gronk – and just last year, the guy dominated the second half with two TDs and most of his 116 yards receiving – Edelman could very well break James White’s record for receptions in this one.

The longshots

Aqib Talib, 65/1 to 90/1
So let’s say Brady in fact does target Edelman early and often. Talib will be a difference maker in helping cover the Rams’ vulnerability over the middle. The Rams have been digging on sending their nasty three- or four-man rush while essentially playing LBs and CBs in a nickel package. Suh running over David Andrews a couple of times could get Brady to launch a duck or two, as in the AFC Championship Game.

NFLbets also admits a serious attraction to betting Talib for MVP just for the glorious possibility of our Islamophobic POTUS having to congratulate a Muslim for his tremendous performance in America’s game…

Trey Flowers, 55/1 to 120/1
Let’s stretch the Talib-wins-MVP scenario a bit further: What if defense dominates both sides of the ball and instead of the 30-27 game most are expecting, we get more of a 16-9 with the sole touchdown the result of advantageous field position after a turnover?

Flowers has already played in two Super Bowls in his fledgling career and was particularly good against Atlanta, his two tackles for loss and five QB hits making him essentially the only outstanding defensive player for New England in LI. If Flowers and the other stalwarts of the Patriot defense make Goff’s life a living hell for 60 minutes, the few holders of tickets with Flowers as MVP are going to see one sweet payout indeed.