Latest NFL insider articles

2020 NFL Draft props: Jeff Okudah to the Detroit Lions or what…?

Sunday, 29 March 2020 18:13 EST

If rationality prevails in the 2020 NFL Draft, LSU’s Joe Burrow and OSU’s Chase Young are going no.1 and no. 2. Of course, Washington may have reason not to simply draft the beastly Buckeye with the second overall pick; NFLbets detailed possible rationales for doing so here.

Thus do we as NFL bettors move on to proposition betting on the no. 3 overall selection when, especially if Washington’s already blown rationality to hell, chaos theory takes over the draft. How aware is the sportsbook of the potential difficulty faced in the no.3 and 4 spots? Very. Here’s what the related prop’s odds table looks like:

When will Jeff Okudah be drafted?
Over-4½th pick: 10/11
Under 4½th pick: 10/13

In the third and fourth spots are the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, respectively. And while both teams would probably both be best served by drafting an offensive lineman, the former has been in such a position essentially since Matt Stafford took over as quarterback, while the latter hasn’t had a really respectable OL since their last Super Bowl win.

On the other hand, the 2020 Draft class is particularly rich in linemen : Just for starters, Tristan Wirfs (Iowa), Andrew Thomas (Georgia), Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama), Derrick Brown (Auburn) and Mekhi Becton (Louisville) are touted as potential top-10 picks. For two teams who perpetually seem unable to build a good offensive line, waiting until round two to address the need is hardly unimaginable.

Plus, Okudah has gobs of NFL potential, with incredible speed to the ball whether en route or after the catch.

Supertalented or no, Okudah likely is not under consideration by the Giants brain trust: In 2019, the Giants picked CB DeAndre Baker at no. 30, trading three picks to the Seattle Seahawks to obtain the draft position. Baker started in all but one game last season and had a decent enough year to have earned the top position on the depth chart going into the preseason.

But defensively-minded Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia? How will Patricia resist such an outlier talent in what could well be his last year as a head coach with another losing season? Much to the former Patriots DC’s chagrin, his Lions were just brutal against the pass in 2019: In all passing and scoring statistical measures, they finished in the bottom quarter of the league, including ranking dead last in passing yards allowed, and bottom-3 in total yards, total first downs allowed and interceptions.

Sounds pretty simple for the boys in Detroit: If Chase Young is somehow available, that’s the pick. Otherwise, it’s got to be Okudah. Okudah in himself may not be enough to keep Detroit out of the NFC North basement, but if Patricia muffs this pick (and ruins our recommended bet), his inevitable dismissal will be justified. Take under-4½ in the Jeff Okudah draft prop.

--written by Os Davis

2020 NFL Draft props: Tua Tagaovailda, Chase Young or neither for Washington?

Saturday, 28 March 2020 21:22 EST

Come hell, high water or killer viruses, the NFL Draft remains great stuff for NFL bettors. Kudos to My Bookie for getting out its offerings in 2020 NFL Draft proposition bets a month beforehand – plenty of time to invest money which might otherwise be going on the XFL or even (gasp) other sports altogether.

As in the great majority of past drafts, the no. 1 selection is no mystery: Joe Burrow, a true man among boys in 2019 college football, the Cincinnati Bengals will be drafting the LSU Tiger in the top spot. Hell, rumor has it that the no-longer tanking (?) Bengals franchised all-time stud WR A.J. Green at Burrow’s request.

To start off a long run on NFL Draft prop-betting articles at NFLbets, then, we’re considering the no. 2 pick in the draft. With Burrow to Cincinnati a no-brainer, we see essentially two choices for the Washington brain trust, who may as well consider themselves on the clock. The odds in the two player props are currently posted as:

When will Tua Tagaovailda be drafted?
5th pick: 7/4
3rd pick: 9/5
2nd pick: 4/1
4th pick: 9/1
6th pick: 19/2
any other: 10/1

When will Chase Young be drafted?
Over 2½th pick: 13/4
Under 2½th pick: 9/50

With Burrow immediately off the board and pick no. 2 set up, the second question may essentially be translated as, “Will Washington draft Chase Young?” with the YES getting a measly -556 payout, while NO pays at +325.

Young, an utter beast out of Ohio State, certainly looks like a can’t-miss superstar in waiting – the proverbial best player remaining. And Washington, despite its general non-competitiveness in recent years, has done a reasonable job in drafts. Between the RG3 debacle and last season’s drafting of QB Dwayne Haskins, Washington has landed three-time Pro Bowler OG Brandon Scherf; WR Josh Doctson (now with the New York Jets after two decent seasons in D.C.); DT Jonathan Allen, who’s gotten 14 sacks in playing 31 of Washington’s 32 games; Da’Ron Payne, currently a second-stringer evolving from his strictly-NT days at Alabama.

So yeah, the smart money is on the under in this prop but this depends on the bettor depending on Washington to avoid overthinking this thing and rewards a measly $18 on a $100 wager. At +325, the over is well worthy of consideration. We’re not suggesting that folks necessary bet on over -2½ in the Chase Young prop, but the justification for wagering this way would go something like the following.

First, toss away the history delineated above, unless you believe that owner Dan Snyder had say or hand in any of picks. Washington’s going into this draft with no general manager. Instead, running the “war room” will be the recently-promoted Kyle Smith, now vice president of player personnel. (Interesting to note that no one within the franchise is listed as president of player personnel…) Smith introduces a significant X-factor into the equation.

Then there’s Ron Rivera. New to the job, Rivera’s already brought in veteran LBs Thomas Davis and Kevin Pierre-Louis and therefore may be looking to bolster an offense that was dead last in points scored and 31st-“best” in yardage. The offensive line meanwhile ranked 18th overall, per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, but just 23rd in pass protection.

This draft looks well stocked in offensive linemen, but at other “skill positions”, the field is fairly sparse. The sole halfback worth discussing is Jonathan Taylor, coming off consecutive season of 2000+ yards at Wisconsin; at wide receiver is CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma plus a handful of guys from Clemson and Alabama.

Combining the probability that Smith will want to make a splash but do right by Rivera, Rivera’s desire to win now, Washington’s unwillingness to give up on Haskins after a decent enough rookie season and that two teams (Jacksonville, Las Vegas) have two first-round picks, could Washington deal the pick? If so, wouldn’t the Jaguars love to stymie the Miami Dolphins, known to have very serious interest in Tua? Aren’t they desperate for a franchise QB not named Blake Bortles?

Or how about a scenario in which Miami leadership gets spooked enough to pull a 2017 Chicago Bears-style move and trade up a few spots to grab Tua *just in case*. Or what if the “Los Angeles” Chargers trade up in similar fashion? Either situation would then allow Smith and Rivera to flip the no. 5/6 for panicking teams desperately seeking a QB – such as, for example, Jacksonville...

One has to wonder, too, whether the anything concrete backs the speculation and rumors on the interwebs regarding the possibility of Washington simply drafting Tua themselves, with an eye to dealing Haskins, a la the 2019 Arizona Cardinals. NFLbets realizes that this is probably 95% to 99% hype with noting (absolutely fucking nothing!) on which to report, talk or write about, but…

No matter: Any of the aforementioned trade scenarios would allow Washington to draft both Taylor and Lamb (or another top-flight WR) to assemble a young and interesting offense immediately -- not to mention make for one helluva coup by Rivera and Smith.

And finally, the 7/4 odds on no. 5 in the Tua Tagaovailda prop make for a great hedge bet for those willing to take a chance on the Washington brass making the absolute worst choice or making an absolutely brilliant transaction or two. The Dolphins are the default choice for Tula’s destination should he get past no. 2, with the non-QB hunting Detroit Lions and New York Giants up at nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

In all honesty, though, there’s a reason why the payout on Young’s draft position under-2½ is that ridiculous -556. The oddsmakers don’t believe Smith, Rivera et al will botch this one, so NFL bettors probably shouldn’t test their luck on this prop: much more interesting to consider what the Lions might do when drafting at no. 3.

Next time: What the Lions might do when drafting at no. 3.

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

Nobel Peace Prize 2020: Make bets, not war!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 11:31 EST

Nobel Peace Prize awardBetting on sports at My Bookie has been reduced to wagering on Belarusian football, e-sports and even simulations of NBA games on EA Sports’ 2K20. Well, we here at NFLbets say screw all that; we’d rather check the “Specials” markets because the truth is most NFL bettors likely know more about current events than about the top button-mashers in Asia and any soccer league east of Germany combined. And least NFLbets’d like to think so…

The proposition bet that’s got NFLbets thinking in our current nearly sports-free universe is on entitled Nobel Peace Prize 2020 – To Win.

We’re also tempted by the prospect of covering NO in the “Will Mike Pence Test Positive for Coroonavirus?” prop at -600, seemingly an easy payout once the veep has heard the Will of God, but we figure that’s probably bad juju. Nevertheless, My Bookie is doubtlessly seeing sufficient action on the Pence prop from all those unfettered by thoughts of karma. Come to think of it, taking a flier on YES at +350 might not be a bad idea…

The table in the Peace Prize prop starts with some solid offerings:

• climate change activist Greta Thunberg: -130
• New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern: +170
Reporters Without Borders (RWB): +700
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR): +700
• Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange: +900

However, the table then turns to a lot of straight-up laughable suggestions that make NFLbets wonder if My Bookie isn’t trolling bettors a bit with offerings like:

The European Union: 12/1
Donald Trump: 14/1
• South Korea president Moon Jae-In: 18/1
• U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren: 33/1
• Russia president Vladimir Putin: 33/1
Bill Gates: 33/1
• European Central Bank president Christine LaGarde: 33/1
• International Monetary Fund chair Kristlalina Georgieva: 35/1
• UK prime minister Boris Johnson: 35/1
• France president Emmanuel Macron: 35/1
• Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky: 35/1
• China president Xi Jinping: 50/1
Michelle Obama: 55/1
• North Korea “supreme leader” Kim Jong-Un: 60/1

Seriously, with a lack of faith in traditional institutions so prevalent worldwide, what would make anyone believe that *any* world leader, politician or money-dispensing type will win a Nobel in 2020? So don’t even think about backing any president, prime minister or the absolutely insipid choice of the European Union. (For what? Cutting Britain loose?)

At the top of the table, too, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern makes for a shaky bet. Ardern received worldwide coverage and admiration for her response to a mass shooting in a Christchurch mosque that left an unthinkable 50 dead; her hands-on empathy for the victims as well as fast-racking new laws banning semiautomatics in the country were applauded in all corners of the globe.

In fact, Ardern is still an OK-to-decent hedge bet in this prop, although March 2019 probably seems like forever ago even to the Nobel voters. Likewise, going with the UNHCR or Reporters Without Borders might also make solid calls: The former checks the box marked “crisis issue”, while the latter has been a frequent nominee for the big prize and could also be seen as a way to support other long-list nominees like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

But this is 2020 and humanity’s priorities have at least temporarily shifted. What might have been a race of Greta Thunberg vs The Field is now leaving prospective bettors looking for the option of covering The Field.

A quick explanation of how any Nobel Prize is voted upon. All nominees must be submitted to the committee by January 31 – which explains why Elizabeth Warren makes the list, as her nominator clearly believed ol’ Lizzie would win the US presidency in the days before the Iowa primary vote. The first massive list of nominees (this year’s longlist included 318 names, about one-third of which were organizations and two-thirds individuals) is whittled down to a shortlist of 20-30 nominees.

Committee members then get to voting and may submit their ballots between March 1 and August 31. Prizes are officially awarded in October, and the presentation of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner will be held on October 9.

So here’s the thing: You can certainly figure that many, many of the Nobel voters have yet to vote at all. And since nominations were in before COVID-19 hit, the intellectual electorate may be searching for medical types among the shortlist. Sadly, the shortlist is not released to the public by the Nobel committee – thus My Bookie’s more bizarre inclusions – and so we’d have to make a logical guess at who made the cut in the pre-coronavirus world.

NFLbets would certainly like odds, for example, on the 1999 winner Doctors Without Borders. Only once has any nominee twice won a Nobel Peace Prize: The UNHCR. On its part, DWB has been stretching its resources to the limit in assisting the heavily-hit and heavily-sanctioned Iran. If this group is on the committee’s shortlist, you can bet (so to speak) that they’re garnering some support right now.

On the other hand, the alternative is that no individual or organization relevant to the fight against the pandemic is on the shortlist at all, in which case, the betting is simple: You’re covering Greta heavily this year and for the 2021 award, you’ll be thinking about DWB; the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, a team of medical professionals from Cuba who have assisted with ebola outbreaks in Africa and who have now been deployed in Italy; and, quite probably, Xi Jinping, who will be looking to take credit for dealing with China’s outbreak of coronavirus quickly and efficiently plus dispatching medical assistance to Italy, the UK, France, Iran and Iraq.

So go ahead and take Greta Thundberg at -130 and consider Jacinda Ardern at +170 and Xi Jinping at a nice 50/1 as possible hedges.

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

Tom Brady goes to Tampa Bay, shakes up Super Bowl LV odds table a bit

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 13:59 EST

Finally, officially, after two decades, the reign of terror in over: Belichick ‘n’ Brady’s New England Patriots are dead, and the Golden Boy has moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For NFL bettors, the consequences of the move will have both immediate and short-term effects.

In the short-term, NFL bettors no longer necessarily have to adjust for the hyper-dynastic Patriots’ outlier performances over the 20 seasons since a fifth-round draft pick out of Michigan came into the game for an injured Drew Bledsoe. The presence of the Patriots has distorted both Super Bowl history and win-less records ATS, but bettors need no longer affix the asterisks to such historical marks, as the Patriots may now be considered a historical artifact.

For the 2020 NFL season, of course, the big acquisition has already wreaked havoc with the odds tables in the “To Win Super Bowl LV” proposition bets. Below run the top teams on both tables; odds listed reflect those posted by Bovada and Las Vegas sportsbook odds aggregators, respectively.

To Win Super Bowl LV
•  Kansas City Chiefs: +650, +450
•  Baltimore Ravens: 8/1, 5/1
•  San Francisco 49ers: 11/1, 10/1
•  New Orleans Saints: 16/1, 14/1
•  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 20/1, 14/1
•  Dallas Cowboys: 25/1, 14/1
•  Seattle Seahawks: 25/1, 20/1
•  Philadelphia Eagles: 25/1, 20/1
•  New England Patriots: 25/1, 30/1
•  Green Bay Packers: 33/1, 20/1
•  Indianapolis Colts: 33/1, 20/1

NFLbets has already commented on the early odds table to win Super Bowl LV – and those odds on the Baltimore Ravens still look pretty good to us, by the way – so here we’ll consider the effects of the Brady move on his new Buccaneers and departed Patriots.

The jump seen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seems fair enough; though they’re drawing shorter odds than two teams already getting well shorter odds than can be excused away only as marketability and volume betting. (Look, pragmatically speaking, the 49ers will not repeat as NFC champions and the Saints’ window of opportunity has closed.) In a what-the-hell spirit, throwing some moneys at the 2020 Buccaneers is hardly the worst bet; heck, NFLbets has Dallas penciled in as NFC champ.

But remember that those odds on Tampa Bay are based purely on potential. Bruce Arians-led teams are just 22-25-1 SU over the past three seasons – and before anyone snarkily points out he was coaching the Arizona Cardinals and the Buccaneers in those years, the Pythagorean Expectation (PE) statistic shows that those teams actually unperformed by more than 3½ wins combined.

Additionally, Tampa Bay sports quite the impressive cadre of WRs in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rashad Perriman and O.J. Howard, this last of which requires a bit of a flier, as this guy just hasn’t yet lived up to his potential in the NFL. Of course, these three guys have done little in the postseason and last year were graced with Jameis “The Coronary Inducer” Winston at QB; the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers thus oddly led the NFL in passing yardage, were no. 3 in passing TDs and were dead last in turnovers.

The defense, meanwhile, was subpar against the pass in 2019. To address this thus far, Tampa Bay reupped Jason Pierra-Paul, franchise-tagged Shaquil Barrett ... and that's about it. With the $27 million/two-year deal handed Pierre-Paul plus Brady's haul will certainly suck up a lot of cap space and eliminate certain opportunities to improve on this side of the ball.

So the Bucs are dealing with quite a fair number of unknowns going into 2020, including how much the GOAT QB has left in the tank. But, hey, NFL bettors could do a lot worse than covering Tampa Bay in a seemingly wide open NFC.

Then there’s the 2020 New England Patriots, first Pats team since 2001 expecting to start a quarterback other than Brady. Remember how, once upon a time, Bill Belichick was known as a defensive mastermind, the guy that stopped the daunting and revolutionary hurry-up offense developed by Marv Levy’s Buffalo Bills for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl? Or as the defense-first HC that stopped the Greatest Show on Turf 10 years later? Well, after all this time with a hyped-up GOAT, Belichick looks poised to turn New England into a defensive juggernaut designed to stop the high-flying offenses in Kansas City and Baltimore.

In the first half of last season, the Patriots defense was on a historically great pace: Through eight games, New England didn’t surrendered more than 14 points in a single game and allowed an average of just about 7½ ppg to that point. The defense may have been publicly perceived as the Patriots’ problem in 2019, beginning with the 37-20 week 9 loss to Baltimore, but the truth is they still finished no. 1 in overall defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

We can therefore expect the post-Brady Patriots to lead with the defense, at least in the immediate future – but the offense may need a thorough overhaul to stay competitive. Touchdown Tommy’s main weapon in 2019 was of course Julian Edelman, but what does anyone expect from a Brady-less Edelman? James White had a decent season with 908 total yards, but fellow RB Sony Michel mainly demonstrated his limited ability as a pass-catcher, getting just 20 targets and making a poor 12 catches. Is Rex Burkhead really the answer? And of course there’s still that Gronkowski-sized hole at TE…

On the plus side, the offensive line is still solid, having ranked no. 9 overall in DVOA and no. 5 in pass blocking. Guard Joe Thuney was the only possible starter headed for free agency and the Patriots franchise-tagged him to insure a return.

In the final analysis, then, we’ll take a wait-and-see on the 2020 Patriots making the Super Bowl. The Chiefs and Ravens still loom large and given the combination of moves made by Houston and Tennessee, NFLbets is actually quite liking the Titans’ chances as well, but 25/1 to 30/1 represents outstanding value for what could be the NFL’s best defense in 2020 – not to mention the GOAT head coach of all-time…

–written by Os Davis

Odds on nightmare Biden-Clinton Democratic Party presidential ticket: 20/1

Monday, 16 March 2020 15:41 EST

Geez, when was the last time the promise of a former vice president on the campaign trail shifted betting markets? During Sunday night’s mano e mano debate, Joe Biden made easy headlines by promising to take on a woman as VP when should he get the party’s nomination for POTUS in the 2020 general election. And so today’s odds table in the “US Presidential Election 2020 – Democratic VP Nominee” proposition bet shows significant changes over that going into the weekend.

The table lots like so.

US Presidential Election 2020 – Democratic VP Nominee

Kamala Harris: +225 (+200)
Amy Klobuchar: +300 (+300)
Stacey Abrams: +350 (+800)
Elizabeth Warren: 12/1 (12/1)
Michelle Obama: 16/1 (30/1)
Gretchen Whitmer: 18/1 (25/1)
Hillary Clinton: 20/1 (16/1)

All male possibilities are going off at the 22/1 odds posted by some oddsmakers for Julian Castro or longer. No matter: Biden’s well-honed political propensity for over-promising aside, we’ll assume these seven names represent Joe’s must likely pairings. All in all, this odds table is one interesting list of good value bets and sucker bets.

The truth is that three names on this list have been considerable viable Veep choices since the race’s beginning, regardless of candidate heading up the ticket: Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams and Gretchen Whitmer. Three of the remaining four may be eliminated on pragmatic grounds: The like-minded Klobuchar brings nothing to Biden’s chances except Minnesota, which the Dems win regardless. Elizabeth Warren likewise demonstrated limited appeal and she represents a state that consistently goes Democratic. Michelle Obama? Come on. She’ll be stumping for the Democratic nominee regardless.

From among those which we consider the best bets, Harris may be the safe choice. Sure, some may remember her as “that girl” who was a victim of Biden’s backward thinking on bussing and integration, but the Democratic Party’s tendency to sink itself sees no bounds. Parlaying Kamala with a Trump victory in the general election sounds pretty good if you can get it…

On the off-chance the Democratic brain trust goes through a bout of sanity but still wants a tough-on-crime former prosecutor, Gretchen Whitmer at 18/1 is a great pick. She took the Michigan governorship in 2018 after eight years of GOP rule and following several terms in the state senate; she’s known as a savvy politician who’s big on diversity issues. Unfortunately, name recognition is against her – and not just with Biden, who never seems able to remember…

Stacey Abrams, who famously lost the race for Georgia’s governorship by dint of election-roll purging and other voter suppression techniques, certainly should have been drawing shorter lines from last winter. Indeed, Biden’s declaration cut Abrams’s odds by more than half. The smart money is probably here – even as a hedge against betting on Harris – and this line won’t be getting much shorter.

Then there’s Hillary Clinton. Now you’d think that losing to Barack Obama, losing to Bernie Sanders and losing to Donald Trump would be enough to convince the Democrats that party leaders have greatly overestimated Hillz’s electability or straight-up likeability. The number of supposedly “electable” candidates from both sides who have either been utterly smoked (Dukakis in 1988, McCain in 2008) or “upset” in easily winnable elections (Gore in 2000 and of course Hillary in 2016).

And that’s the heart of the matter, isn’t it? The inevitability of Biden’s nomination only confirms the suspicion that Democratic Party leadership hasn’t learned a thing since the hacks were trying to circumvent Jimmy Carter’s campaign in 1976. Clintonians still hold much sway in the party – evidenced by the recent ascension of Hillary acolyte Tom Parez to the party chairman position following the 2016 debacle – and Hillary is just the sort of power addict that would subvert the ticket’s chance for a win for one more futile shot at the golden ring of ego.

Clinton as the Democratic Party’s VP pick might be a nightmare to Trumpophobes and progressives, but for the bettors is a potentially seriously lucrative opportunity at 20/1. Sometimes you’ve got to search for that silver lining…

– 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

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

Friday, 13 March 2020 15:46 EST

With days to go until the free agency period opens, it’s certainly waaaaaayyyy to early to be considering betting on NFL over/under win totals for 2020 – but with the coronavirus scare, there are no freakin’ sports on! At least Xbet, My Bookie and the online sportsbooks are still open. The early table for over/under win totals are as follows (numbers in parentheses indicate potential payout on an over or under bet)…

Arizona Cardinals: 6½ (-130, +100)
Atlanta Falcons: 8 (-115, -115)
Carolina Panthers: 6½ (+100, -130)
Chicago Bears: 8 (-130, +100)
Dallas Cowboys: 9½ (-130, +100)
Detroit Lions: 6½ (-150, +120)
Green Bay Packers: 9½ (+100, -130)
Los Angeles Rams: 8½ (-140, +110)
Minnesota Vikings: 9½ (+100, -130)
New Orleans Saints: 10 (-130, +100)
New York Giants: 6½ (+100, -130)
Philadelphia Eagles: 10 (-115, -115)
San Francisco 49ers: 10½ (-130, +100)
Seattle Seahawks: 9 (-105, -125)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7½ (-115, -115)
Washington: 5½ (-150, +120)

Again, seriously too early to tell, but NFLbets definitely has eyes to see what six of these teams do on Draft Day and in free agency. These are…

• We know it’s the Arizona Cardinals, but we’re leaning toward seeing a ½-game improvement from second-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and second-year franchise QB Kyler Murray; note, too, that the bookmakers’ -130 is an indicator of where the sharp types are leaning. After all, the Cards’ main problem in 2019 was defending the pass, with the team D dead last in total yards allowed and bottom-5 in most passing stats. Plus, Arizona will enjoy a last-place schedule plus games against the AFC East and NFC East, which we could imagine producing six teams under .500.

• We’re also counting on a continued downturn from the Los Angeles Rams. Since the neo-Cinderella run of 2017, the Rams have steadily degenerated into a team that consistently performs at a lower standard than the names on the roster would indicate. From 2017 to ’19, the Rams have gone from no. 1 to no. 11 in scoring and a +149 point differential to a +30, and L.A. went 4-4 SU in the second half of the season, including a 1-4 mark against sub-.500 teams. And on top of everything else are these garbage logos? Take the under at +110 all day.

Dallas Cowboys. For one reason or another – mostly “Why not?” – NFLbets is bullish on the Cowboys early in 2020. One would think that there’s enough talent here plus division mates who even more consistently underperform than the Rams, rebuilding or whatever the hell Washington does to get the ’Pokes to at least 9-7, though we’ll probably wait to see if/how Jerry Jones & Co. address the secondary in the offseason.

• Speaking of the NFC East, covering an under of 5½ wins is typically decidedly risky – but this is the Washington football team we’re discussing. In short, is any free gent willing to sign with what has been, since the 1980s, a shitshow? After disposing of Jay Gruden, the Washington brain trust went with Bill Callahan, who got the team a whopping 3-8 SU record under his leadership; is Washington really set to double its win output of 2019? If so, based on what?

• Finally, another couple of sacred cows to slaughter for the good of profit, namely the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints. The 2019 season represented the fourth year of the last five the Eagles “hit” the under in this prop and nothing shows that the Eagles are ready to “rebound” from, let’s face it, a smoke-and-mirrors run through the playoffs three seasons ago.

Meanwhile, anyone betting on New Orleans is apparently somehow hoping against hope that Drew Brees somehow magically morphs back into his 2017 self, but pragmatic thinkers should realize that’s not going to happen. Yes, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara were beastly again in 2019, and the offensive line was tops in the NFL by Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, but will, for example, Thomas go for *149* receptions again in 2020?

So is it NFLbets or are the Saints living on borrowed time? Has or has not Sean Payton been more or less living on his Super Bowl win since 2007? Just by the sheer numbers, we can’t honestly expect a fourth straight season of 11 wins or more? Here’s more if you need it: On the three occasions when Payton’s Saints were schedule against AFC West teams, New Orleans went 7-9, 7-9 and 8-8.

So shed the dogma of the past and cover unders on the Saints and Eagles in 2020. Probably. But after the draft, likesay…

– written by Os Davis

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Easiest fake prop bet all offseason: Does the Los Angeles Rams’ new logo suck?

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 13:32 EST

Y’know, NFLbets was working on breaking down the over/under win/loss totals for NFL teams for post, but this post-psychedelic blue-and-green nightmare is eating through my brain to the point of profound distraction.

Seriously, just look at that. Gaze upon the over-designed nightmare, the screwing-with of one of the NFL’s all-time classic logos. The yellow version on the right would apparently be the primary logo; this one has been useful in drawing some good snarky comparisons on Twitter – a low bar, we realize – to pasta, Aquaman’s hair, a large latter C; and hundred unto thousands to Chargers logo(s).

So here’s a proposition bet dedicated to the Los Angeles Rams “brain” trust that came up with this fantastic (not) idea:

When Officially Adopted, Will the Rams New Logo be the Worst* in the League
Yes: -10000
No: +55000

(The asterisk here refers to any logo based on racist elements; after all, no sportsbook is about to debate the definition of “tribute” and/or “homage” to fans of the Washington football team.)

On Draft Day in April, the actual new logo will be revealed – many have speculated that this “leak” may be a bit of guerilla test-marketing or was a rejected idea that was “leaded” in order to deflect criticism from the actual real rebranded logo.

Whatever the Rams new logo turns out to be, NFL fans with any taste at all certainly have reason to fear. Chief operating officer Kevin Demoff has described the new design as having “elements [that] tie to our deep roots in Los Angeles while also providing a sleek, modern look that fits with our new, world-class home.”

And there’s the secret. Of course Rams management realizes that there’s absolutely no need to correct a logo that has, a color change or two notwithstanding, pretty well stayed the same since 1947. But the truth is that the estimated cost for construction of owner Stan Kroenke’s Pleasure Palace and Football Stadium have risen from $2.4 billion at groundbreaking to a current project price tag of just nearly $6 billion – and it’s still not done.

Now that’s a lot of overage, even for world-class cheap-labor employers like Kroenke and WalMart, which means that money beyond the standard ticket-price gouging. And *that* means lots of paraphernalia to move through America’s favorite crummy crap store. Thus that preposterous green version, which NFLbets supposes is the new “alternate logo.” Yeesh.

NFLbets would definitely advise any NFL bettor to immediately get a $10,000 (minimum loan) and just plunk it all down on YES before the NFL Draft; it’ll be the easiest $1 you ever made at the sportsbook…

–written by Os Davis

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