Monday night


NFL results Against the Spread (ATS): What NFLbets learned in week 3

Tuesday, 29 September 2020 11:55 EST

What NFLbets learned in week 4: Miami and Carolina aren’t quite that bad, Denver and the Chargers are.

  • Cincinnati’s on the upswing, Philadelphia’s on the downswing and hastily accelerating.
  • The Packers are the over/under breakers in 2020 and the lines will begin to reflect this.
  • Also Seattle.
  • Buffalo is for real. At least until the (extended!) playoffs begin, though we can’t imagine Belichick not pulling out all stops to prevent the Bills from winning the AFC East.
  • Arizona’s final SU win-loss record will be worse than most of us thought – a team can’t take an L to Detroit while trying to stay in the 2020 NFC West race.
  • And finally, we may never bet a Titans game for the rest of the season … or at least until next Sunday.

The following are the results for the week 3 games of the 2020 NFL season, adjusted for the point spread. Game results listed in italics are those for which the SU and ATS result differed.

Miami Dolphins 31 at Jacksonville Jaguars 10½. Have both of these teams been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet? On the other hand, NFLbets supposes that the 2020 Miami Dolphins aren’t *that* bad – figure the Fins to go 5-11 SU/6-10 ATS…

Chicago Bears 30 at Atlanta Falcons 23½. What the bloody hell is going on with the post-Super Bowl LI Falcons? NFL bets has postulated several theories:

  1. Dan Quinn is trying to pull some bizarre meta-goof on the Atlanta Falcons franchise and quite possibly the entire NFL and its fandom.
  2. Dan Quinn has been bought off by large-scale gambling concerns and thus deliberately throws these games.
  3. Dan Quinn literally has PTSD caused by the panic-inducing onslaught of Bill Belichick and his EEEeevil New England Patriots.
  4. Dan Quinn just isn’t a very good head coach right now.
  5. His players have completely lost confidence and/or given up on Dan Quinn.

Obviously, the best move for the Falcons to make is to keep him coaching for at least two more weeks. Obviously. But how can he top the collapses of the past two weeks?

Cincinnati Bengals 23 at Philadelphia Eagles 17½. Looking back, the SU tie makes a lot of sense: Joe Burrow and the Bengals are at that stage in their ascension to competitiveness where they’re tying games; Carson Wentz and the Eagles are meanwhile at the parallel stage in their decline.

Carolina Panthers 21 at “Los Angeles” Chargers 10. We may have to begin taking the Panthers seriously. Okay, semi-seriously.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22 at Denver Broncos 10
San Francisco 49ers 33 at New York Giants 9
Indianapolis Colts 23½, New York Jets 7
. “Which New York football team (FT?) is worse, ask a zillion talking heads, podcasters and online writers, with varying levels of jokiness. Well, for NFLbets’ purposes next week, we’re saying the Giants. Why? They’re getting nearly two TDs at the Los Angeles Rams and they’re not even gonna cover that. The Jets in week 4 are +3½ at home against the Denver Broncos, who are just about as likely to go 1-15 as the New Yorkers.

Detroit Lions 26 at Arizona Cardinals 18½. So much for that Kyler Murray-for-MVP talk…

Cleveland Browns 26½, Washington Football Team 20. Since management in Washington appears deadest on the “Washington Football Team” name, can we Europeanize that for the sake of coolness? You know, like F(ootball) C(lub) Barcelona – They could be Washington FT. They should be Washington FT. NFLbets is calling them Washington FT.

Seattle Seahawks 32½, Dallas Cowboys 31. Yeeeah, that preseason bet NFLbets has on the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl is looking pretty useless right about now…

Buffalo Bills 33½, Los Angeles Rams 32. How can Aaron Donald turn in such a dominant performance, but the defense still gives up 35 points and the team loses? How does a team score 28 unanswered points in the second half and lose? Worst of all, how does an ostensible Super Bowl contender with a ridiculous force of nature like Aaron Donald be covering the spread with 30 seconds left and then blow our bet? How, I ask you, HOW?!?!?!?!?? Not that we’re bitter or anything…

Minnesota Vikings 30, Tennessee Titans 28. No, NFLbets cannot explain the Titans’ maddening 3-0 SU/0-3 ATS record thus far. The bad news is that Tennessee is up to +2 versus Pittsburgh in week 4; this makes the logical bet of taking Titans plus the points along with the Steelers money line a bit of a tricky proposition – so to speak.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24½, Houston Texans 21. And this result sets up the match between the 3-0 SU Steelers and 3-0 SU Titans – but also the 0-3 SU Vikings and 0-3 SU Texans. And if you think we’re even considering betting that Texans-Vikings game … wait a minute, Texans -3½? Hmmm…

Green Bay Packers 37 at New Orleans Saints 26½. Geez, Green Bay probably doesn’t have to be quite this good to win the NFC North, but it should make betting the over in Packers games easy for a while.

New England Patriots 29, Las Vegas Raiders 20. If any team can solve the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs, it’s these Patriots, who are running the ball at will on offense and are tops in the league in turnovers on defense…

Kansas City Chiefs 34, Baltimore Ravens 16½. …ah, who are we kidding? This Chiefs offense appears unstoppable – or at least as infallible as the 1999 St. Louis Rams. In week 4, the Patriots (or at least those betting on the Patriots) might consider covering the spread (New England +7) and/or keeping the score under 54 total points a moral victory. Damn, these Chiefs are good.

–written by Os Davis

 

 


NFL week 2 ATS results: Normalcy returns as visitors and underdogs dominate ATS

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 15:50 EST

All right, now *this* is the kind of NFL betting that NFLbets expects! In week 2 of the 2020 season, things returned to about as normal as they can get in the time of coronavirus – and that means point spreads were too high and homefield advantage is nearly as nonexistent as it was in ’19, when home teams went 106-140-10 ATS for a winning percentage of .434.

In week 2, home teams were 9-7 ATS and a whopping seven SU losers won ATS. While only two underdogs – the Los Angeles Rams (who should have been the favorites) and the Las Vegas Raiders –won outright in week 2, 9 ’dogs covered and New England missed earning a push by a single point. Now this is some normalcy. Sort of.

The following are the results for week 2 of the 2020 NFL season, adjusted for the point spread. Game results listed in italics are those for which the SU and ATS result differed.

Cincinnati Bengals 30 at Cleveland Browns 29. Awesomeness of Joe Burrow aside – Dude, he threw like 61 passes without an interception, dude! – NFLbets is just happy for the man’s perseverance in the fourth quarter to put together a 75-yeard drive and score the 2020 season’s best garbage-time spread-covering TD so far.

Los Angeles Rams 35½ at Philadelphia Eagles 19. NFLbets is still baffled by what happened with the fluctuating point spread on this game. History will forever record the Rams went into this game with a clearly playoff-missing Eagles team as a 1½- or 2-point favorite. History is weird.

San Francisco 49ers 24 at New York Jets 13. From the Winning The Battle Losing The War Department are the 49ers, who will definitely be without Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Reheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, and probably without Jimmy Garoppolo for week 3 based on injuries taken in this game. Meanwhile, not even the Dolphins, it seems, can save the Jets from 0-16 this year.

Atlanta Falcons 39 at Dallas Cowboys 37. In blowing a 16-point fourh-quarter lead and a 98% win probability, the Falcons looked like a Super Bowl team. Unfortunately, that team is the 2016 Atlanta Falcons…

Arizona Cardinals 22½, Washington Football Team 15. Daniel Snyder may have finally earned himself some karmic points for dropping his franchise’s racist moniker, but all the karma in this plane of existence clearly won’t be enough to stop what Kyler Murray has going on in Phoenix…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23½, Carolina Panthers 17. On the other hand, the Panthers in week 2 may have disproved the existence of karma. After the brand-new coaching staff agreed the goal was not to tank the season despite a roster replete with unknowns, the team’s sole bona fide superstar Christian McCaffrey is out for several games minimum.

New York Giants 13 at Chicago Bears 12½. Now combine the McCaffrey injury to the end of Saquon Barkley’s season, and you’ll understand why NFLbets doesn’t play that fantasy football shit.

Indianapolis Colts 24½, Minnesota Vikings 11. So … the Vikings are playing in 2020 for the sole purpose of making their opposition look good, right?

Baltimore Ravens 25½ at Houston Texans 11. At eight sacks allowed in the first two games, the Texans are again putting the “offensive” in offensive line. Houston is now on pace to give up 64 sacks for the season, hardly as outrageous a number as it appears at first glance: The Texans allowed 62 in 2018. As he’s already racked up an incredible 133 sacks in 40 games played, the Texans QB is worthy of the sobriquet “Poor DeShaun Watson” – except he’s getting paid quite well.

Green Bay Packers 35, Detroit Lions 21. NFL fans have complained for years that one reason the Patriots have stayed competitive for two decades plus is due to the perpetual weakness of their division mates. This year, it’s clear that the Packers are playing in an AFC East all their own…

Denver Broncos 21 at Pittsburgh Steelers 20. Poster child for Covid-19 wreaking havoc with the NFL? At 0-2 SU but 2-0 ATS, it’s gotta be the Denver Broncos…

Jacksonville Jaguars 30 at Tennessee Titans 26. …unless it’s the Tennessee Titans, now 2-0 SU and 0-2 ATS. As of this writing, they’re giving 2½ to the just terrible Vikings in Minnesota. A few more spreads like these, and NFLbets’ll have to swear off betting the Titans for the rest of 2020…

Miami Dolphins 31, Buffalo Bills 22½. So the Bills could well be a playoff team. They might even win the AFC East for the first time since 1995 – but these point spreads have got to come down a bit, eh…?

Seattle Seahwaks 31, New England Patriots 30. This was another dandy between the Seahawks and Patriots and, though seeming more probable every week, NFLbets is rooting against a Seattle-New England matchup in Super Bowl LV. Who wants to predict that outcome?

“Los Angeles” Chargers 20, Kansas City Chiefs 14½. NFLbets wishes we had significant insight into this game, but we’re still trying to parse just what the hell went on here. We can’t possibly be supposed to believe that the loss of Sammy Watkins destroys the explosiveness of the Chiefs offense, nor that the Chargers D is lights-out against the pass. We’d chalk it up to homefield advantage, but…

Las Vegas Raiders 34, New Orleans Saints 20. Fanlessness or no, Nevadans are certainly happier with Raiders Fever than the coronavirus. Chucky lives!

–written by Os Davis


Finally, NFL football in Vegas! Betting Saints -4½ at Raiders on MNF

Monday, 21 September 2020 17:44 EST

Sports fans in Las Vegas, rejoice! The majorest of all major sports leagues in North America, the National Football League, is coming to your city. Ironically, the Las Vegas (!) Raiders will probably less realistically contend than did your much-loved expansion Golden Knights, a.k.a. the greatest expansion franchise ever, but, hey – it’s football!

So tonight, stand up and cheer for the literal NFL Opening Day in Las Vegas – but you’ll have to do so from home, because that shiny new stadium will be without fans in attendance for Nevada’s debut on Monday Night Football. And as this could well be among the most-heavily wagered-upon NFL regular season games at Vegas sportsbooks ever, NFLbets figured we’d throw a few moneys at

New Orleans Saints -4½ at Las Vegas Raiders, over/under 49½ points

Betting Saints vs Raiders on MNF(See? Apparently heavy betting on the Raiders has shaved 2 points at some sportsbooks on this game as of noon Monday.)

First off, NFLbets believes that 2020 is a critical year for the Jon Gruden 2.0 Era in Oakland/Vegas. Since taking over the team in 2018, Chucky has attempted to transform the Raiders from Jack Del Rio’s 6-10 defense-first team featuring DMVP Khalil Mack into the sort of point-scoring machine that Gruden 1.0 ran in 2000 and 2001.

The results have been underwhelming. Fair enough, Gruden has lived up to the “quarterback whisperer” reputation with Derek Carr, who had his personal statistical best season in 2019. Beyond this, his reconstructed OL reduced QB sacks from 55 sacks in ’18 to 29 last season, ranking 6th overall and in pass protection as measured by Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. And scoring Josh Jacobs at no. 24 overall looks to go on as one of the great Raiders draft picks.

On the flip side, Gruden 2.0’s Raiders have gone 12-21 SU and 15-18 ATS in his two seasons as head coach. The defense ranks bottom-5 against the pass, in pass rush and in generating turnovers in 2018, and was second-to-last in DVOA. Yet somehow, despite the bad defense and higher-scoring offense, the over in 2019 Oakland Raiders games was just 7-9.

So what to make of this vis-à-vis the Saints? NFLbets admits to some vulturism regarding Drew Brees as his get shorter and shakier week by week but even if the creakiness is pure subjective viewpoint, playing without Michael Thomas is a big minus for the Saints offense: Thomas represented 30% of all targets last season and just under 39% of the team’s passing yards.

The injury bug hit the Raiders as well, RTs Trent Brown and Sam Young are both out, which will necessitate some switching of the line. The Saints defense doesn’t always bring a scary pass rush, but last week kept the pressure on the essentially immobile Tom Brady last week, racking up 3 sacks and generally having their way with ol’ TB after the Buccaneers’ opening drive. Figure on pressure in the game coming from the right side though Carr can move better than Brady, he’ll definitely be made to react early and often in this game.

But you know what? NFLbets chooses to have faith in the Quarterback Whisperer and his offense, believing that Carr et al can keep pace with an addled Saints passing game, at least through the first half. We’ll take the over on an O/U of 49½ points and we’ll lean on the East-to-West Coast for Prime Time factor to take the Las Vegas Raiders +4½ against New Orleans.

NFLbets’ current record in 2020: 2-1-1.

–written by Os Davis


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

Monday, 03 February 2020 14:58 EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–written by Os Davis

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Best bet, NFL week 16: Last MNF of the season, last call for bets!

Thursday, 19 December 2019 16:03 EST

Who else is thrilled to hear the last about the 50th season of Monday Night Football? As though anything more than five years past is ever seriously relevant to the NFL bettor! About the only good MNF has ever done NFLbets and our lot is to give an opportunity to recoup Sunday losses in what has become a more predictable match than the Sunday lineup. I

In fact, NFLbets will lay out the numbers which would appear to indicate that Monday night has ultimately become irrelevant as an X-factor in picking these games – or, rather, for right now, the last MNF game of the 2019 NFL season, namely…

Green Bay Packers +5 at Minnesota Vikings

Historically speaking – or at least as historical as we’re willing to get – the numbers on the 1717 Monday Night Football games since 2010 played to date show the following somewhat frustrating numbers.

• Overall, the home team on MNF is 86-80-5 ATS – though 100-71 SU;
• Home underdogs are 27-32-0; and
• Home favorites are 54-51-5 ATS.

The usual suspects stand out as outliers, of course: The New England Patriots during the 10s went 9-3 SU and 8-3-1 ATS. West Coast teams playing at home against non-West Coast teams are an impressive 12-6-2 ATS. We’ll leave it up to the individual NFL bettor as to whether these are large enough sample sizes, but we’d give these five teams the edge in a Monday night situation.

Sadly, we’ve got two NFC North teams here, and NFLbets is tending to favor the Vikings here against the trending numbers.

Why? We begin with the impetus, as in it’s all on Minnesota. Green Bay’s already clinched a playoff berth, and Packers enjoy the 1-game advantage thanks to the week 2 win over the Vikes – meaning the Vikings not only can clinch a playoff berth with a win on MNF, but they can still wrest away the NFC North lead and more: Having lost to the Seattle Seahawks in week 13, Minnesota probably can’t get the no. 1 overall seed, but a win here puts a bye week and a home game in play for the Purple & Gold.

Plus … do you realize that the Vikings could well be the second-hottest team in the NFL right now? After starting out 2-2 SU/ATS, they’ve since gone 8-2 SU (6-4 ATS) with the losses coming by 7 points or fewer at Kansas City and at Seattle. Minnesota’s also a perfect 6-0 SU at home (though 4-2 ATS) and certainly have got to feel good about closing out 2019 with two home games.

In the week 2 matchup, the Packers got out to a 21-0 first half lead based on a missed field goal, a fumble recovery and an interception. But since week 4 and Kirk Cousins regaining control of his faculties, the Vikings have surrendered just 10 turnovers – we’ll see what Green Bay can do if not gifted the ball four times.

Even better for the Vikings, the Packers run defense has, if anything, fallen off since the week 2 games. Despite ranking just 17th in rushing attempts against, Green Bay is bottom-10 in overall yardage, yards per attempt and rushing TDs against. NFLbets likes the possibilities for Dalvin Cook, who went for 191 total yards and a TD against the Pack last time out.

On top of everything else, we’re highly suspect of Green Bay this season regardless. To date, they’ve played just three games against teams which now have a sub-.500 record: The week 2 game against the Vikings and the limpid version of Cousins; a week 8 squeaker against the Matt Moore-led Chiefs; and the 37-8 beatdown they got in San Francisco in week 12. Seriously, does no one remember Matt LaFleur is a rookie head coach? That this time has managed scores of 10, 11 and 8 in road games this year? That the running game is still makeshift and the only viable option at TE is Jimmy Graham, who’s about 57 years old and has caught 8 catches on 15 targets in the past five games combined?

All in all, NFLbets has to wonder if the Packers are taking Satchel Paige’s life advice at this point in the season, i.e. if they look back, they’ll see the Vikings gaining on ‘em steadily. Green Bay does not want this game this Monday. Take the Minnesota Vikings -5 vs Green Bay.

NFLbets’ Best Bets last week: 1-0.
NFLbets’ Best Bets this season: 17-13.

–written by Os DavisAs Aaron Rodgers himself might say, “Don’t mess with this discount” – get an exclusive match bonus through NFLbets when you sign up at MyBookie.com; enter promo code NFLBETS when depositing to get up to $1,000 in free bets!

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NFL week 13 ATS results: Even the losers…

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 12:46 EST

You know what's great about NFL betting? (Well, one thing that's great about NFL betting.) That, as Tom Petty once crooned, even the losers get lucky sometimes. Judging NFL teams' performance Against The Spread (ATS) can be far more illustrative of their seasons.

For example, the Chicago Bears' Cinderella story of last season -- until the doink-doink, that is -- was reflected in the team's league-best 12-5 win-loss record ATS. To this point in the 2019 NFL season, the leader on the ATS standings board is the Buffalo Bills at 8-3-1; going into week 14, the Bills appear poised to be the lone truly surprising playoff team.

Rounding out the top 7 are the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams at 8-4 ATS, along with the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals each at 7-4-1 ATS. With the exception of the Rams, this half-dozen has also exceeded expectations to a measurable degree, i.e. wins against the spread.

(Incidentally, a further oddity within the 2019 Rams season is the team's insane 6-1 ATS in games outside of Los Angeles.)

Looking at the NFL through bettors’ eyes can even make the execrable NFC East look good -- well ... better, anyway. These four teams are a pathetic 10-26 SU (a .278 winning percentage) combined against the league's 28 other teams. Against the spread, though, they're 15-21 (.417)!

Okay, we tried.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 13 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Chicago Bears 24 at Detroit Lions 22
• Buffalo Bills 26 at Dallas Cowboys 8½
• New Orleans Saints 26 at Atlanta Falcons 25. Hope you killed it on Thanksgiving like NFLbets did, despite the anomaly of all three away teams winning ATS.

• Houston Texans 28, New England Patriots 18½.
• Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Cleveland Browns 12. Those of you already looking at playoff props take note: Pittsburgh is now looking at a four-game stretch which includes three games away, where they’re 2-3 SU (1-4 ATS). Meanwhile, the Patriots, as though desperately needing a break from the league, have three of four at home to close out the season.

• Tennessee Titans 30 at Indianapolis Colts 17. One more time: Don’t bet these AFC South games – unless you’re taking the under in a Jaguars game.

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25 at Jacksonville Jaguars 11. Like we said. Also, has anyone informed the Jacksonville front office and/or medical staff that the Jaguars have, likesay, zero chance at making a run at this thing and thus have no need to rush back Nick “Miracle Worker” Foles in 2019? Come on now…

• Cincinnati Bengals 22, New York Jets 3½. The Jets put together three consecutive 34-point games against bad or fading teams (the Giants, Washington, Oakland/Las Vegas) before managing a whopping 6 at home against the heretofore winless Bengals. Time to get off that bandwagon, NFL bettors.

• Green Bay Packers 27½ at New York Giants 13. Likewise, did anyone put good money down on the Giants in this one? Next time, just send it to Os Davis c/o this website, mmmkay?

• Los Angeles Rams 31½ at Arizona Cardinals 7. Insanely enough, as the Seahawks took the lead in the NFC West, they also helped keep the Rams in the race for the final playoff spot. What should make NFL bettors verrrrrrrrry hesitant to bet on the Rams the rest of the way – aside from Jared Goff, of course – is that 6-1 ATS record away from L.A.; two of the four games remaining are away, and NFLbets is expecting them to lose both ATS.

• San Francisco 49ers 17 at Baltimore Ravens 14. Here’s another great thing about NFL betting: Hilarity often ensues in the closing seconds of nearly any game with a score within a couple TDs’ worth of scoring differential.

If you bet on the 49ers +3½ or more, you spent over 59 minutes pulling for San Francisco … until Justin Tucker lined up for a FG to break the 17-17 tie. At that point, your allegiance suddenly shifted to the Ravens so that the game ends on a Ravens SU win but ATS loss.

Meanwhile, if you had the Ravens -3½ or more, your former backing of the Ravens was just as quickly blown away when Tucker trotted out. At 17-17, the only way your bet had a chance of hitting was for Tucker to botch the field goal attempt, have the game go into overtime and the Ravens win by a touchdown.

• Kansas City Chiefs 28½, Oakland Raiders 9. Don’t give up on the Raiders sneaking into the AFC playoffs just yet: They’re 6-1 SU against sub-.500 teams, and three of the last four (vs Jacksonville, at Chargers, at Denver) are also against losing teams. Hold up the crossout pen for just one more week – Chucky & Co. are at Tennessee for week 14.

• Miami Dolphins 37, Philadelphia Eagles 20½. Same goes for the Eagles: a 7-9 record is all that’s necessary to win. Thus, the division could be decided – no matter who wins – in the week 16 Dallas at Philadelphia and week 17 Washington at Dallas games.

• Washington 29 at Carolina Panthers 9½. That’s right, sports fans: Washington could still win this freakin’ thing with a 4-0 run. Considering they get the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys in the final four weeks … geez, this NFC East is absolutely brutal.

• Denver Broncos 23, San Diego Chargers 15½
• Seattle Seahawks 34, Minnesota Vikings 30. The teams with the biggest imagined home field advantages are ones for NFL bettors to watch coming down the stretch. The Broncos who, crazily enough, have posted the second-worst home record ATS over the past 15 years, are a big 5-1 ATS at home in 2019. Seattle, on the other hand, entered this season with the second-best home record, yet earned their first home win in this game. At this point in the year, NFLbets is definitely expecting these numbers to regress to the mean…

–written by Os Davis

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Best bets – or at least compelling longshots – for NFL week 13

Friday, 29 November 2019 14:00 EST

Probably Thanksgiving, which this year featured another quality episode of the Jason Garrett reality sitcom plus the Benny Hill-esque sequence of three consecutive successful onside kicks by the Atlanta Falcons that’s got NFLbets tempted into covering some longshots in week 13’s three marquee games. So let’s get the insanity started with…

New England Patriots -3½ at Houston Texans

Patriots backers have reasonable cause for optimism here: During the tyrannical reign of the Dark Lord In Bill Belichick’s time as New England head coach, the Patriots are 8-1 SU (6-3 ATS) against Texans teams of all stripes. In this era, the Pats are also 3-1 SU (2-2 ATS) at Houston, with the last meeting a 27-20 win over DeShaun Watson’s guys in week 1 of 2018.

But you know how NFLbets generally feels about history stretching back too far, i.e. such stats are fun to play with but mostly belong in halls of fame or museums. So we’ll learn back on our old favorite, regression to the mean.

The truth is that, going into the weekend, the Patriots are a nice 7-4 ATS, bettered only by the Buffalo Bills (8-4 ATS after the win at Dallas), New Orleans Saints (8-4 ATS after the win at Atlanta) and Arizona Cardinals (7-3-1 ATS). The Texans are a pedestrian 5-6 ATS, including a poor 1-4 ATS mark at home. These numbers all suggest to NFLbets that the pendulum is swinging away from New England and into the favor of Houston.

Now let’s talk that historically statistically incredible Patriots defense. Sure, numbers like “four passing TDs allowed in 11 games” are freakin’ bloody impressive, but just look at the schedule: The Pats have face one team – one! – currently at better than .500, and the was the playoff-bound Baltimore Ravens in week 9. In fact, the week 9 game represented the only week in which the Pats faced a top-10 offense and have enjoyed seven meetings with a bottom-12 offense. (OK, statistically the Cowboys are still a top-10 offense, but that 12-9 game in Foxborough may have represented the beginning of the statistical end for a side that might not even win the NFC East after all…)

Combine these numbers with the extremely poor performances the New England OL line has been turning in (they resemble the traditional Texans line more than anything) and the loooooooooooong list of injuries that Belichick is looking at, and we’ll back the healthier, more-driven Texans this week. Take the Houston Texans +3½ vs New England.

Minnesota Vikings +3 at Seattle Seahawks

This one is relatively simple. Firstly, NFLbets strongly believes that these Seahawks could well be playing in this season’s NFC Championship Game – even if it requires beating the San Francisco 49ers three times in a single season. Russell Wilson may actually be more valuable to his team than is Lamar Jackson to the Ravens, though his stat line isn’t nearly as gaudy.

Exactly why the Carroll-Wilson combo isn’t hyped on the level of Belichick-Brady or at least Payton-Brees is beyond us – these Seahawks have pulled one W after another out their proverbial butts this season with half the talent (of the Saints, at least). Seattle has eight wins of 8 points or fewer, four wins of 3 points or fewer, and two OT victories.

Most compelling of all, though, is the incredible fact that the NFL’s second-biggest home field advantage of the last 10 years has led Seattle to an 0-4 ATS mark at home thus far in 2019. This anomaly simply makes no sense and should be eradicated this week. Take the Seattle Seahawks -3 vs Minnesota.

San Francisco 49ers +6 at Baltimore Ravens

That’s right: We’re backing the West Coast going east and the still-evolving Jimmy Garoppolo over the football machine Lamar Jackson: Take the San Francisco 49ers +6 at Baltimore.

We won’t be offended if you don’t side with us on this one: Our sub-.500 mark in these “Best Bets” speaks for itself – but just hear us out.

Unlike, likesay, the Bills and Patriots, the Ravens haven’t necessarily benefitted from an easy schedule. In the past five games, the Ravens have averaged a 24-point win in the past five games at Seattle, vs New England, at Cincinnati, vs Houston and at the L.A. Rams. (Interestingly, this 5-game ATS win streak chased a 5-game ATS losing streak run up in weeks 2-6.) Such wins are likely what’s keeping the line so high against a 10-1 SU club.

On the field, Lamar Jackson has captured the collective imagination of sports media and fandom alike was his electrifying, mutant statistic-generating play – stuff like how Jackson and the Ravens are 31st in pass attempts but *number 1* in passing TDs. Like how four times in 2019 has Jackson run for more yards than the opposition’s “skill players” combined, highlighted by a 152-33 outrunning of Cincinnati in week 6.

Baltimore’s defense meanwhile is a tad overlooked by the hypesters, particularly in this game. This is a top-10 unit in most areas, though the rushing defense stats (tops in attempts against, no. 3 in yardage allowed) can be deceiving because opposing teams so often are forced to go to the pass early in blowouts.

The truth is that the Ravens D has yet to face anything like the trio of Tevin Coleman, Matt Breda and Raheem Mostert. These three have created an old-fashioned rushing attack in 21st-century by-committee fashion, giving the 49ers the NFL’s no. 1 rushing offense – not to mention the no. 2 offense in scoring. And as is well-known, San Francisco is no. 2 in overall defense and defensive DVOA, but what’s going undiscussed is the reality that Jackson et al have faced one defense of note in 2019: the Patriots, whose own numbers are slightly suspect for reasons detailed in the Patriots-Texans writeup above.

The point of all this analysis and/or rambling is that the game appears a lot tighter than the public consciousness and this point spread would have us believe – and should finish with less than a touchdown difference. NFLbets loves the 10-1 “underdog” San Francisco 49ers here…

NFLbets’ Best Bets last week: 2-0.
NFLbets’ Best Bets this season: 12-13.

–written by Os Davis

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NFL Week 12 ATS results: No more leaving bets to chance!

Thursday, 28 November 2019 11:05 EST

Finally, the last incomplete week of NFL football is over: Under the current scheduling system in the league, week 12 is the last one in which proper NFL bettors can blame themselves for not betting “upsets” and/or claiming too many unknowns are in play. Every team has played 11 games now and, though one or even two unexpected teams may rise to end the season on a surprise winning streak, we can fairly well glean where most will finish at regular season’s end.

We can expect to see more balance on the table as the sportsbooks tune the lines and odds even more finely as well. At an even 11 games played, just 12 of the league’s 32 teams are within one game of ½00 either way, as opposed to the 21 or so we should expect after 16 games.

So let’s put that last week of chance to rest with the NFLbets’ roundup of week 12 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Indianapolis Colts 17 at Houston Texans 16½. NFLbets has warned anyone who will listen or read to stay away from these AFC South interdivisional games, but you wouldn’t listen, would you…?

• Tennessee Titans 37½, Jacksonville Jaguars 20. …all right, this one was actually pretty easy.

• Carolina Panthers 31 at New Orleans Saints 24. Same goes for these interdivisional NFC South games. Wait, what’s that? New Orleans at Atlanta on Thanksgiving? Ah, well, there are exceptions to every rule – especially the rules that you make up yourself.

• Cleveland Browns 30, Miami Dolphins 24. This game featured the 2019 Cleveland Browns that we expected at the beginning of the season: TDs by Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt; over 300 yards passing from Baker Mayfield; four sacks and two picks from a defense playing without Myles “The Swinger” Garrett.

Good for Cleveland – and NFLbets fully expects the Browns to take their next two ATS – at Pittsburgh, vs Cincinnati – as well. But weeks 15 and 16 put Cleveland at Arizona and vs Baltimore, leading us to believe that this preseason vogue pick in the “To Win the 2019 AFC Cahmpioship” prop is destined for an 8-8 finish. Place your bets elsewhere after week 14…

• Washington 19, Detroit Lions 12½. Here NFLbets was, thinking the Lions were set to go on a mini-run of SU wins to end the season, get Matt Patricia an extension and fool everybody into betting on them through September 2020. But, ah, it just ain’t gonna happen.

• Cincinnati Bengals 10, Pittsburgh Steelers 9½
• New York Giants 14 at Chicago Bears 13. Here’s a good bet: You can pretty much take the under in any game involving any of these teams for the rest of the year.

• Dallas Cowboys 9 at New England Patriots 7½. The greatest mystery in the NFL is just how Jason Garrett manages to hold on to his job in Dallas. To say Jerry Jones rewards loyalty has become a parodic understatement.

• Buffalo Bills 16½, Denver Broncos 3. For more on the Bills (as well as the Cowboys and Garrett’s, likesay, inability), click here. Look, NFLbets just wants to see how these guys perform against, you know, a team with a winning record.

• San Francisco 49ers 34, Green Bay Packers 8
• Seattle Seahawks 17 at Philadelphia Eagles 8. NFLbets wasn’t surprised one whit by either of these results, but reckons that the next Seahawks-49ers should be one serious bitch to bet – and a potential NFC divisional game? Forget it. Hope it doesn’t happen.

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31½ at Atlanta Falcons 22. Can we all agree that a 2-0 SU/ATS run by the Falcons is no big deal? At 4-6-1, hey’re still bottom-10 ATS, and NFLbets figures they’ll be bottom-5 by the end of 2019…

• New York Jets 34, Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders 0• Baltimore Ravens 42½ at Los Angeles Rams 6. We’re sorry. We’re so so sorry...

–written by Os Davis

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NFL Week 11 ATS results: Bet early, save yourself the aggravation (and money)

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 18:59 EST

Ah, wasn’t the ending to the Cardinals-49ers game majestic? (We mean, for those holding the right tickets, of course.) With a line starting as high as Cardinals +12½, the game ultimately kicked off with a spread of Cardinals +9½ or +10 – a critical half-point difference, as it turns out. With the outcome of the game long settled and the 49ers winning by 4, a last-second fumble-six meant the Niners’d win by 10, causing lots of tickets to flip one way or the other.

It was the kind of backdoor cover that ignites chaos, which leads to mainstream media coverage of the story. It’s also an opportunity for NFLbets on every occasion to remind one of our principal tenets: If you see something good, bet it early. We were lucky enough to catch the Cardinals at +11 and thereby eke out the win.

Seeing as so apparently so many bet so much on various assortment of lines (how so many NFL bettors took bad beats, yet Vegas bookmakers simultaneously took lamentable losses is beyond us, but hey), NFLbets will call the game a tie in our adjusted results.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 11 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Cleveland Browns 18, Pittsburgh Steelers 7. NFLbets’ takeaway after the whole Myles Garrett helmet-swinging incident? Even when the Browns win an important game, they still fuck it up.

• Arizona Cardinals 36 at San Francisco 49ers 36. NFLbets can’t possibly have been the only one to take the Cardinals at +10½ or more, can we? Jeez, My Bookie and other sportsbooks opened this line at 13½; somebody must have been betting it down to get to Cardinals +9½ at kickoff…

• New England Patriots 12½ at Philadelphia Eagles 10
• Baltimore Ravens 36½, Houston Texans 7. The Patriots are done! Tom Brady is too old and doesn’t have enough weapons on offense! Head coach Harbaugh is an old hand and has won Super Bowls! Hedge against any of the 31 teams you already bet on in the “To Win Super Bowl LIV” prop! Just kidding – yes, Lamar Jackson looks fantastic unto-unstoppable, but weren’t we saying that about Patrick Mahomes last year? And DeShaun Watson the year before…? Right now, NFLbets would bet on at very least three NFC playoff contenders minus a TD against the Ravens…

• Denver Broncos 23 at Minnesota Vikings 20. You think Broncos fans are dumbfounded by the Vikings’ record-setting comeback? Imagine all those who bet on the Vikings, then decided to hedge in live-betting during the second half, only to get burned again. D’oh!

• Buffalo Bills 30 at Miami Dolphins 20. Hardly surprising that the Dolphins got smoked in this one ATS: Buffalo has been beating up on bad teams all year, and Miami could hardly be expected to maintain a 4-0 ATS winning streak. NFLbets is just loving the Bills piling up the wins exactly like this in hopes of a nice small point spread for their 30-point loss in a wild-card game against the AFC South winner.

• Atlanta Falcons 32½ at Carolina Panthers 3. Forget the Falcons’ over-hyped 2-game win streak; far more intriguing is the way the defense has allowed just 9 and 6 points in those games since the bye – which really increases the degree of difficulty for next week’s game versus Tampa Bay.

• Dallas Cowboys 27½ at Detroit Lions 27. Prediction: The Lions’ last SU (and quite possibly ATS) win comes on Thanksgiving Day – and Matt Patricia will probably have signed a contract extension by the following Monday.

• Los Angeles Rams 12, Chicago Bears 7. The under is 13-6 combined in Rams and Bears games this year, and with their respective situations at quarterback, who expects this to change? Sheesh, the Bears-Lions game in a couple weeks could well set the mark for lowest-scoring Thanksgiving Day game ever.

• New Orleans Saints 28½ at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17. And on the flip side, you’ve got the Buccaneers, whose awesome combination of porous defense, quick wide receivers and one of the all-time great interception throwers has helped them hit the over in eight of 10 games this season – this against lines of 45.5 to 51. Heck, in this one, Tampa Bay managed two TDs and the over still hit by a ½-point. Let’s hope Jameis doesn’t sit until week 17 minimum…

• Indianapolis Colts 30½, Jacksonville Jaguars 13. Again, just do not touch these AFC South interdivisional games – totally not worth it. Next time you’re tempted, just double-down on the Bears under or Bucs under.

Cincinnati Bengals 20½ at Oakland(/Las Vegas) Raiders 17. The best thing about the 2019 Cincinnati Bengals? While simultaneously tanking enough to land the no. 1 draft pick, the Bengals are playing craftily enough (or are getting taken well for granted enough) to cover double-digit spreads profitably enough from time to time: They’re a respectable 4-6 ATS.

• New York Jets 34 at Washington 16. ..and, SU win-loss record notwithstanding, are probably better than Washington.

• Kansas City Chiefs 18½, “Los Angeles” Chargers 17. After Phillip Rivers showed his age and gifted the Kansas City defense with five interceptions, NFLbets is ready for many to be suckered into believing that a very poor D has somehow turned the corner…


NFL week 10 ATS results: Hard realities for Chargers, Rams, Cowboys, Chiefs...

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 12:12 EST

Well, NFL week 10 sure established a few things, eh? Dirt may pretty much be shoveled onto the playoff chances of the “Los Angeles” Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. Chicago is now stuck with Mitch Trubisky for a few more weeks after the awesome Matt Patricia-coached defense allowed him to throw for three TDs. The Kansas City Chiefs are no longer even a top-3 contender to win the AFC. And the Dallas Cowboys are the Dallas Cowboys.

NFLbets’ roundup of week 8 results with scores adjusted for point spreads runs below; scores marked in bold indicate those games in which the SU and ATS result differed.

• Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders 26, “Los Angeles” Chargers 22½. Look, at least two things should have been made abundantly clear by this game: The Raiders are making the playoffs, the Chargers are not. NFLbets really can’t wait until the inevitable labelling of Chucky’s Guys as “The Greatest Team About To Leave Their Home City of All-Time.”

Minnesota Vikings 28 at Dallas Cowboys 20½. The proper NFL bettor does not assign attributes to teams and thus superstitiously avoid making good wagers, e.g. “I’m not betting the Panthers because I always lose money on them.” Having said (written?) that, these Cowboys…

• Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Los Angeles Rams 8½. Realistically speaking, the Rams been eliminated from playoff contention: At 1½ games behind current NFC no. 6 Minnesota and 2½ back of Seattle, L.A. may as well begin the tanking process in haste – except their first-round draft pick belongs to Jacksonville. Worse yet, the Rams have bigger, more expensive fish to fry: Aaron Donald, Andrew Whitworth, Dante Fowler Jr., Robert Woods, Todd Gurley are on contracts worth $42.78 million, plus Jared Goff stands to make $9.63 million on his unnecessarily restricted deal of this past offseason. Well, it looked good for about a year and a half there…

• New York Jets 34, New York Giants 24. Currently active high-level profession sports teams based in New York City include the Jets, Giants, Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Rangers. So … um … go Islanders?

• Miami Dolphins 16 at Indianapolis Colts 2. With the Dolphins’ fifth consecutive win ATS, the bandwagon filling, and the still criminally overrated Bills coming to Miami next week, this seems like a really solid opportunity to bet against the plucky Fins.

• Chicago Bears 17½, Detroit Lions 13
• Atlanta Falcons 40, New Orleans Saints 9. Oddities aplenty in these two previews of Thanksgiving Day games, including Atlanta notching the biggest ATS upset of 2019 thus far while topping the Bears’ and Lions’ scores combined. Let’s hope these games are a bit higher quality, because on Sunday these guys were messier than your toothless uncle eating creamed corn while discussing impeachment at the holiday table.

• Cleveland Browns 16, Buffalo Bills 16. The only way the result of this sad sack of an NFL game that would be more appropriate is an actual SU tie.

• Arizona Cardinals 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24½
• Green Bay Packers 19, Carolina Panthers 16. The Cardinals and Packers each currently stand at an impressive 7-3 ATS, which naturally makes NFLbets wants to throw big bucks against them both – but Green Bay’s on a bye, and Arizona is getting a way too high 10½ points at San Francisco, who’s on a short week. Make it tough, why don’tcha, sportsbooks?

• Baltimore Ravens 38½, Cincinnati Bengals 13. Since somehow giving up 40 points to Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens are 5-0 SU (3-2 ATS and on a 3-0 run) and have between their last three opponents by 14, 17 and 36. They’re just waiting to ruin bets in the next couple of weeks…

• Tennessee Titans 35 at Kansas City Chiefs 27. Is the polish off the apple yet (and we don’t mean the Chiefs red-decked Andy Reid)?

• Seattle Seahawks 27 at San Francisco 49ers 18. Here’s to thinking that, in a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl LIV, Pete Carroll’s gonna wish he had a Beast Mode to run straight down the middle...

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