NFL betting: News, information, odds shifts


NFLbets is all about how the action in America’s professional football league relates to betting and though the opportunity to get real insider information is more limited all the time, the NFL bettor must keep up-to-date on the latest news – particularly injuries. NFLbets will be focusing on news stories which involve immediate relevance to the games ahead.

We’ve all seen what result when a team loses a starting left tackle, free safety or “skill player” to injury or suspension. In addition, NFL football of the 21st century increasingly runs into another issue taking away players, namely suspensions for drug-related and/or violent activity. Again, though the window of opportunity to leverage injury and suspension information is quite brief indeed, knowing ahead of time always beats ignorance.

NFLbets also seeks to cater to fans of one of the NFL’s 32 teams, and our news stories are compiled for each NFL market within our “team pages” so that fans may follow the progress of their favorites – not to mention check our track record, win or lose. And hopefully we’ll demonstrate throughout that our only bias is toward making money. We’re cheering for the bettors against the house here, and week to week we care only that our picks come through – for the readers and us.

Finally, NFLbets pledges to keep all speculation and opinion to the “Rants” section. In this area, we’ll try to keep things purely informational (no mean feat in a “post-fact” world) – just the facts and no “fake news” here.

NFLbets wishes all bettors the best of luck; let’s all make some money out there, okay?


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

Sunday, 15 September 2019 11:20 EST

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

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

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

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

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

But.

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

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

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

NFL betting, week 2: Best Bets

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

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

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

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

NFL betting, week 2: Pick of the week

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

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

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

Now.

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

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

NFL betting, week 2: Outlier of the week

First, consider the facts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Week 1 ATS results: We learned so much (or so we hope)!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 17:07 EST

With the first week of the NFL season in the books, NFLbets editor Os Davis offers a final rundown of week 1 results, presented in the form most relevant to the NFL bettor, namely adjusted for the point spread; as always, games with SU results differing from ATS results are in bold.

NFL opening week is by several multitudes more important to bettor and fan than any other week in the season. The great majority of everything will we learn about these 32 teams was shown to us this week. Though NFLbets doesn’t believe the Ravens are good for 50+ every week (though the Dolphins could certainly give up that many – 1000 points surrendered or bust!) nor that the Cowboys can maintain start-to-finish control regularly, but questions were answered.

Specifically, teams which were essentially one massive question mark for bettors were unmasked as viable or unviable options going forward. We’re thinking specifically about the Cleveland Browns, New York Jtes, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and those Cowboys – most ending up on the wrong side of the bettor’s options.

Now if only we can remember to hold the bankroll until week 2 next year. Or write week 1 off to gambling losses. We’ve got 51 weeks to forget – and we certainly will, if history is any indicator. The scores ATS for week 1, then!

• Green Bay Packers 10 at Chicago Bears 0. For the fans awaiting pro football since the 13-3 Super Bowl, the NFL Kickoff Game was rough. For bettors foolish enough to wager on a week 1 game, it was rougher – at least the under was as easy a bet as always on TNF. The ‘’book had the Bears favored by 2 in this game and has them projected for 9½ wins this year. The lesson, as always, bookies know more about this stuff than you do … even in week 1.

• Los Angeles Rams 28 at Carolina Panthers 27
• New England Patriots 27½, Pittsburgh Steelers 3. And speaking of Super Bowl LIII, the Rams and Patriots each defended their conference title, the former in solid fashion, the latter badass enough for to figure that 16-0 SU is in play for the Patriots. Until further notice, we’ll be rolling over money line (ML) bets on the Pats weekly.

• Buffalo Bills 17 at New York Jets 14. And these are the primary competition for New England in the AFC East. And even at 33/1 to win the AFC, the Jets were a total buzzkill in this game despite LeVeon Bell’s true awesomeness.

• Tennessee Titans 43 at Cleveland Browns 7½. The hot take: Whoa, short Golden Age in Cleveland, eh? The longer-term takeaway: The Titans should certainly be getting a lot more credit over the next couple of weeks, so be ready to cover the opposition minus all the points...

• Dallas Cowboys 28, New York Giants 17. The 2019 Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl contender. A scary thought for fans of NFC teams, but NFL bettors should be looking favorably for the next few weeks on what is currently a top-3 team in the conference.

• Arizona Cardinals 27 at Detroit Lions 24½. The Lions got a home game against a stripped-down Cardinals team with Kyler Murray learning the ropes and could only manage a tie SU after running up a 17-0 lead? Dude.

• Baltimore Ravens 52, Miami Dolphins 10. Note for fantasy players: you’ll be wanting to fill that DST spot with whoever’s playing the Dolphins for the rest of 2019, and you should probably count all games against QBs facing Miami as Ls right now. Note for NFL bettors: The opening line for Arizona at Baltimore in week 2 opened at 13-13½; that’s way too high.

• San Francisco 49ers 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16. The over/under on this game was 51 points and of the 47 points scored, just 12 came from the two offenses combined. Feels like NFLbets will be looking at unders in 49ers and Buccaneers games for some time to come. Also, what are the odds that Jimmy Garoppolo eventually ends up on the Bears, is proclaimed the savior, and ends up “leading” a defense-first team a 12-4 record and first-round playoff flameout? Whatever the line, we’ll take it.

• Kansas City chiefs 36½, Jacksonville Jaguars 26. So, ah, the Chiefs went and ran up 40 points against at least a decent Jacksonville defense. Going forward, this means HOLY SHIT THE PATRIOTS SIGNED ANTONIO BROWN WHAT ARE THEIR ODDS NOW LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!11!

Cincinnati Bengals 20, Seattle Seahawks 11½
Houston Texans 28 at New Orleans Saints 22½
. The Seahawks are running with a (should-have-been two-time) Super Bowl winning QB and head coach who continuously devise interesting game plans which exploit their own strengths; the Texans still boast a nice defense, bolstered their OL by signing All-Pro LT Laremy Tunsil and boast probably the best QB-WR battery in the league. So why are neither taken very seriously as prospective Super Bowl LIV contenders? It’s the offensive line!

Seriously, if you want to educate a noob on the importance of line play in football, have them watch a few plays from either the Seahawks or Texans offense. Let them marvel at the mastery of a dazzling, athletic QB and the meticulous route-running of their receivers; have them notice how either rhythmically mixes up the passes with runs on the march downfield; and then let them groan when the OL crumbles yet again on a 3rd down.

Last year, DeShaun Watson and Russell Wilson took 62 and 51 sacks, respectively; despite this, each played *every single offensive snap* for their teams and got them into the playoffs. In week 1, Watson took six sacks and two trips to the medical tent; Wilson took four sacks, including two which essentially denied the Seahawks scoring opportunities, and let a very bad Bengals team stick around on the scoreboard. It may be just one game, but the conclusion on these OLs is fairly obvious.

• Minnesota Vikings 24½, Atlanta Falcons 12. Apparently, we have our answer as to which ancient QBs will see a downturn in 2019: Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan. What’s that? Ryan is only 34? Sure, in human years, maybe…

• Washington 27 at Philadelphia Eagles 21½. Could every single NFL bettor who wagered on this game have lost? While Eagles fans sure are thanking Washington for blowing a 17-0 start and a 20-7 halftime lead, wagerers sure ain’t appreciative of the Eagles shaking off the rust far too late to cover the ’spread. Philly should be an easy pick next week, if they come out ready to play.

• Los Angeles Chargers 24 at Indianapolis Colts 24. Naturally, the first push of 2019 goes to the “Los Angeles” Chargers, the most anomalous team of 2018. This SU win represents just the fifth win for the Chargers in the Carson City indoor soccer stadium in which they’re playing “home” games – and the first against a team without a losing record. Meanwhile, since opening day ’18, the Chargers have gone 10-1 SU (9-2 ATS) and 9-0 SU (8-1 ATS) in the regular season in games played outside of L.A.; next week, they’re giving a ridiculously low *3 points* at Detroit. Welp, that’ll make NFLbets’ “Best Bets” column next week a no-brainer…

• Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders 24, Denver Broncos 13. According to last season’s SU records, the Raiders and Broncos have the toughest schedules in football. Whoever lost this game was to start 2019 on the wrong foot, but either of these two will be good to bet against for some time yet…


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

Sunday, 08 September 2019 10:26 EST

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

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

Los Angeles Rams -2 at Carolina Panthers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thursday, 05 September 2019 18:44 EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


AFC East over/under win totals, proposition bets

Saturday, 31 August 2019 08:36 EST

NFLbets again takes on over/under win totals and proposition betting on another division's worth of teams for the 2019 season. This time out, we're prognosticated with an eye to betting on the AFC East. All odds posted here are based in NFLbets-partnering sportsbooks. Click on the link for these offerings and much more, plus get an exclusive NFL sports betting promo codes for up to $1000 in bonuses on your first deposit.

Once again, contemplating the opportunities for betting in the AFC East next to drudgery. One of the downsides of the 21st-century New England Patriots dynasty is the sheer predictability of this division – though to be fair much of the gut-wrenching incompetence from the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills emanates directly from the front office and sidelines.

For the record, the last time the Dolphins won AFC East was the year Bill Parcells joined teh front office there (he only lasted one more season) and Tom Brady helpfully had his ACL torn in week 1 in 2008. The last time the Patriots were eliminated in the playoffs by a division mate was by the Rex Ryan-coached New York Jets in 2010. Other than this, these franchises off the field have been revolving doors at best, shitshows at worst.

For example. Brian Flores is the new head coach in Miami; he’s the team’s sixth HC since 2010 and résumé showing 15 seasons of mostly assistant and position coach jobs in New England. (Red alert!) In Buffalo, Sean McDermott got to keep his job for a third season despite following a weird backing into the playoffs with a 6-10 mark – good thing, too, because he’s the sixth Bills HC since ’10. Finally, the Jets welcomed in Adam Gase (except ousted Mike Maccagnan, one supposes), who comes over from the Dolphins, where he followed up a 10-6 rookie season by going 13-19 over the next two seasons.

If ever there is a need to strip away history and forget the names of these teams, it’s the AFC East. The table of basic prop bets is listed below.

AFC East O/U wins to win division to win Super Bowl (current)
New England Patriots -500 +650
New York Jets 6/1 65/1
Buffalo Bills 19/2 to 10/1 80/1
Miami Dolphins 5/1 200/1

Easy part first: The Miami Dolphins will be bad

NFLbets joins the consensus in acknowledging that the most likely way for the Dolphins, 7-9 at just 5.2 Pythagorean Expectancy wins in 2018, is down. This may just be part of the downward spiral that was last season in Miami, going from 3-0 SU to 4-4 to 6-6 to 7-9.

Last year’s Dolphins couldn’t wait to flee the burning tank, with 17 of 18 potential free agents opting not to re-sign deals; gone are name players (e.g. Danny Amendola, the apparently immortal Frank Gore) , team leaders (Cameron Wake) and major contributors (Ja'Wuan James). Gone is Ryan Tennehill (42-46 in six seasons as a Miami starter), in are Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Poor Rosen is out of the Arizona pan and into the Miami fire, while Fitzpatrick has been inexplicably surviving in the NFL for years on brains and borrowed time – and both of last year’s OTs left in free agency.

So yes, the Dolphins will be bad, but four wins or fewer bad? Sue, go ahead and take the Dolphins to go under 4½ wins, particularly since we like the chances of…

The New York Jets: Surely good enough for a winning record

NFLbets admits it: We’re bullish on the Jets this season; we even marked ‘em down for a Super Bowl longshot. Despite Gase and loads of unknowns, chiefly that of Sam Darnold making The Leap, which may even be limited as the dude continues to resemble Vinny “Vinterception” Testaverde 2.0. Questions remain about the viability of LeVeon Bell (though we’d strongly hedge with the philosophy that Bell’ll rip shit up for the Jets in 2019) and the effect of losing Avery Williamson from last year’s 29th-“best” defense. Geez, these guys went 4-12 in ’18.

But the truth is this roster has a serious amount of talent. In addition, the Jets was one of five teams which managed to land the league’s second-easiest schedule – and that includes two games against the Dolphins at 7-9. Take the New York Jets to go over 7½ wins.

The Buffalo Bills: Nope, sorrry, can’t do it.

Nah, no way. Can’t bet on Buffalo, over or under. We know McDermott ain’t great and could be the first head coach fired. Or they could back into the playoffs at 8-8 again. NFLbets would just rather not pay attention to the Bills in 2018.

And the elephant in the room

New England Patriots – defending champions. Again. Belichick and Brady ready for another run. Again. With an reassembled receiving corps (including even the re-resurrected Josh Gordon) and a revamped defense led by a big-name free-agent acquisition (in this case, Michael Bennett). Again.

On top of this, reports from Patriots land on draft picks RB N’Keal Harry and DE Chase Winovich are little short of gushingly delirious. Insane.

So what’s the most likely scenario for this edition of the New England Patriots? The obvious choice is that they’ll top that 11½-win mark, Brady will experience a Brees-like slowdown in the second half of the season, but they’ll regardlessly have more than enough talent, experience and guile to advance through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl, where they’ll probably squeak by the, likesay, Los Angeles Rams.

Again.

On the other hand, we’re not going to see the ending of Brady’s glory days coming. And this particular edition of the Patriots, even with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, could easily have enough to still have a winning season without Touchdown Tom altogether – but NFLbets believes that the belief in Brady as a transcendent football leader could well be enough to sink the team after a Brady injury.

In the latter scenario, too many unquantifiables are involved for the proper NFL bettor to take a chance, while with the former, well, life just doesn’t have guarantees. Even for the New England Patriots. We’re staying away from all bets regarding the Patriots and, as the man says, take these games one at a time.

Play AFC East proposition bets and enjoy week to week NFL betting at an NFLbets-partnered sportsbook –


AFC South over/under win totals and prop bets

Thursday, 29 August 2019 18:07 EST

Well, that didn’t exactly help NFLbets get off to a great start to the 2019 NFL season – maybe three days after we stated we’d be covering the Indianapolis Colts as a longshot to win Super Bowl LIV and/or at least the AFC, Andrew Luck had to go and consider the state of his personal health. One surprise retirement later, the Colts offense has gone from a top-10 QB at the controls to a triad of whodats.

Said no-namers include prospective starter Jacoby Brissett, 5-12 SU lifetime and taker of an NFL-“leading” 52 sacks in 2017; Phillip Walker, a 5’10” dude who’s been on the Indianapolis practice roster for nearly 2½ years; and Chad Kelly, who has taken exactly one snap in the NFL – a kneeldown for the Broncos last season.

Sure, NFLbets has heard of Kurt Warner and the 1999 St. Louis Rams – but we also recall the case of Matt Cassel and the 2008 New England Patriots. And let’s just say the 2019 Colts were never going to be the ’99 Rams and aren’t exactly the defending AFC champions coming off an 18-1 year. There’s a reason the over/under on Colts wins went from 10½ to 6½ in minutes, leaving the table for the NFC South looking thusly:

AFC South O/U wins to win division to win Super Bowl (current)
Houston Texans +110 18/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 8 5/2 25/1
Tennessee Titans 8 7/2 50/1
Indianapolis Colts 6½-7½ 5/1 50/1

Again is NFLbets reminded that essentially we ended up getting 18/1 odds on a 50/1 longshot in covering the Colts to win Super Bowl LIV. And here’s actual footage of Os Davis contemplating his sure-t0-lose ticket after Luck’s retirement.

But hey, let’s be optimistic and believe moneys may be made here.

Houston Texans: Once again we’re on the bandwagon
Another year, another too-low line on over/under wins for the Texans. And once again, NFLbets is on a surprisingly spacious bandwagon going into a season; for 2018, we covered the Texans to win the AFC South (at +100 payout) as well as over 8½ (!) wins.

NFLbets thought those were no-brainers then, leaving us to wonder what has changed for 2019, and where to seek this evidence is obvious: The offensive line remains a serious woe for the Texans – not to mention DeShaun Watson. Watson somehow played every snap as quarterback for Houston in ’18 despite taking 62 sacks for a sack-ratio of an absolutely insane 10.9%. Yet somehow, Watson still managed a 68.3% completion rate to go with 26 touchdowns against just 9 interceptions, while Demaryius Thomas exited the scene early and DeAndre Hopkins caught exactly one-third of all passes for the season.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but the 2019 Houston Texans boasted a statistically top-10 rushing offense, a defense that was top-5 against scoring and rushing, and the top special-teams units in the league. In normal circumstances, this is damn near a complete résumé for a conference champion if not a serious Super Bowl contender…

But that line ranked 27th overall in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and – total shocker here – dead last in pass protection.

So have things improved for 2019? Wellllllllllllllll…

Lamar Miller has already been lost for the season and will be replaced by Cleveland Browns tradeaway Duke Johnson. And any improvement on the offense is likely to depend on two guys who spent the entirety of 2018 on IR: WR Will Fuller and LT Matt Kalil, the latter of whom was picked up by Houston after getting waived by the Carolina Panthers. As of today (Wednesday, August 28), the rumor mill has the Texans shipping JaDeveon Clowney to Miami, only the Dolphins won’t give up starting LT Laremy Tunsil. Why angle for another LT when you’ve already signed a veteran player? That question kinda answers itself.

And speaking of losing Clowney, a few holes are appearing in that badass Texans D of 2018: FS Tyrann Mathieu and CB Kareem Jackson were wooed away on a combined $75 million worth of contracts. The Houston front office is clearly hoping the relative bargains in FS Tashaun Gipson ($22.5 mil for 3 yards) and CB Bradley Roby (1 year at $10 mil) can fill these gaps, but are probably secretly considering these moves a bit of a comedown.

At this point, 11 wins seems something of a stretch for the Texans, but a fortuitous draw of AFC West and NFC South teams means a good six wins to pencil in for Houston already: vs Carolina, vs Atlanta, vs Oakland, vs Denver and at Tampa Bay. Going just 3-3 against the division – in 2018, they were 4-2 against the AFC South but this year play the Jaguars in London; usually a tough play for the visitors – gets Houston to nine wins and shazam, there’s your over. So yeah, NFLbets says take the Texans over 8½ wins in 2019.

Jaguars, Titans, Colts: Too many quarterback questions for confident betting
With the lines set at My Bookie sportsbook the way they are above, the oddsmakers are essentially reckoning all four AFC South teams to be .500 clubs. On that basis, it’s verrrrrrrrrry tempting to cover the under for Jacksonville, Tennessee and Indianapolis win totals (especially if you can get under 7½ on the Colts). To NFLbets, that seems like a decent enough bet, as two of these three feel incredibly likely to go under 8-8 in the AFC’s weakest division.

Thanks to Luck’s decision, betting on the Colts for a few weeks must be considered an absolute no-no. Before doing anything other than betting under 7½ wins, get some data, i.e. watch games, on these guys and their Luck-less offense.

As for the Jaguars, well, remember when they were went 10-6, set a franchise record for points in a season (417, or 26.1 per game) and played the Patriots in the AFC championship game? That was two seasons ago and apparently a division-winner’s schedule was enough to bring the Jags back down to Earth for 2018, bringing them back to their losing ways.

This offseason, Jacksonville management went and picked up savior-for-hire Nick Foles. Now maybe Foles will work his magic in Florida/the UK, but will adding RB Alfred Blue and WR Chris Conley really be enough to juice up an offense that managed just 22 offensive TDs all last year? They’ll be replacing WR Donte Moncrief, RB T.J. Yeldon and RB Carlos Hyde, incidentally, a trio “good” for a combined eight TDs in ’18.

Finally, the Tennessee Titans have been enigmatic, seemingly perpetually hanging near .500, sometimes making the playoffs at 8-8, sometimes not, never quite meeting expectations…

NFLbets believes no reason exists to believe in success for the Titans in 2019 beyond that even-steven mark once again – no dummies, the bookmakers setting this over/under win line at exactly 8. Joining an already top-10 defense is DE Cameron Wake, who might have something in the tank left at 37 and coming off his statistically worst season since his rookie year; speaking (writing?) of rookies, fourth-round pick S/CB Amani Hooker has been getting good buzz, but it’s damn difficult to quantify rookies for betting’s sake.

OG Roger Saffold and WR Adam Humphries also cashed in with the Titans during free agency for probably well above their worth – come on, $11 million this year for Saffold on the basis of essentially one above-average season? – but NFLbets sure isn’t sure these adds are enough to help a seriously low-watt offense that placed bottom-5 in passing TDs and yards while finishing no. 22 overall in offensive scoring. If any AFC South team’s stats alone lead us to believe a sub-.500 record is in store, it’s the Titans’.

In the final analysis, then, we’re running with our original contention: Take the under on wins props for the Jaguars, Colts and Titans – we’re telling ya, two of three’ll come in.


Super Bowl LIV winner proposition bet odds

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 13:15 EST

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

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

Odds to win Super Bowl LIV

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

Onto the takes – and tips!

Kansas City Chiefs: Best hedge on the board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seahawks and Jets: A longshot and a really longshot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NFLbets tanks – sorry, *thanks* – Jon Gruden after NFL Draft round one

Friday, 26 April 2019 14:04 EST

NFLbets thanks Jon Gruden for embracing the tanking, firing his scouting staff before Draft Day, going completely off the grid for the no. 4 overall pick, and allowing us to cash in on our “Josh Allen Draft Position” prop.

To briefly recap – so as to unabashedly glory in winning one of the few gimmes the sportsbooks had posted yesterday – sanity prevailed for the earliest picks: The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers chose Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa, respectively, and while the New York Jets did not go with their expected choice of Ed Oliver, instead went with Quinnen Williams, a 21-year-old who NFLbets thinks will be one bad dude in the big league.

And then the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders were on the clock. Chucky predictably/unpredictably got wacky at no. 4, going with Clem Ferrell, who’d been projected as a late first-rounder.

So this is what Gruden meant when he warned his guy not to screw it up. The Raiders easily could’ve waited on Ferrell until pick no. 24, depending on how the Carolina Panthers brain trust really felt about Brian Burns – but we’re not complaining; we won!

Onto pick no. 24, received from the Chicago Bears in the Khalil Mack trade, did the Raiders fumble (so to speak), taking Josh Jacobs. Raider Nation is trying mightily to sell themselves on the former ‘Bama back as a substitute for the retired Marshawn Lynch – at 5’10” and 220 pounds, Jacobs gives up an inch to Lynch, but outweighs him by five pounds.

Fair enough, except Lynch was never a huge part of the Raiders’ offense. In his last two seasons, Lynch played in 21 games, earning 1,277 yards and 10 TDs on 297 carries. His average line during a career peak with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011-14: 1,364 yards and 12 TDS on 295 carries. Jacobs can probably duplicate the stats of half a halfback, but was that honestly worth a first-round pick? Those outside Raider fandom ain’t necessarily buying it.

Pick no. 28, that acquired from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for Amari Cooper, soon rolled around and Chucky reached yet one more time, taking Jonathan Abram of Mississippi State. Now Abram was first-team All-SEC (media version), but after the announcement was made, Raider Nation simultaneously exhaled more who’s than a parliament of owls at feeding time.

And if you think the new voice of the Former Raider Fan had turned off the telecast of the draft in disgust after relinquishing his fandom, guess again. This guy definitely had some opinions on Raider pick #3.

Those believing that the signing of Antonio Brown was a signal that Chucky & Co. wouldn’t be tanking in 2019 are surely not thinking so today. Gruden’s performance has definitely got to be making fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and (if any) the Los Angeles Chargers extremely confident going into round 2 – not to mention next season. If you’re considering covering the Chiefs or Chargers in the “To Win Super Bowl LIV” prop, you might want to get on that sooner rather than later because their odds will only be getting shorter after this weekend.


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

Thursday, 25 April 2019 13:49 EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TV review: Showtime’s Action is four episodes of half-baked ideas about sports betting

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 11:45 EST

Do we really need yet another bit of TV to remind us that any production which attempts to appeal to everyone will end up appealing to no one? Apparently the producers of Showtime’s four-part documentary series “Action” sure thought so and got this series about professional gamblers/gambling in America greenlighted.

Episode 1 begins with, and screen time is ultimately dominated by, four gamblers at various levels of professionalism: full-timer Bill “Krack” Krackomberger, aspiring entertainment personality Kelly “@KellyInVegas” Stewart, hardcore hobbyist Todd Wishnev, and insufferable tipster David “Vegas Dave” Oancea. Later episodes add David Halpern, the self-described top NFL bettor in Las Vegas, and “The Illegal Bookie” are added to the mix.

NFLbets’ll get into just what an unseemly mess said mix is momentarily but, since the Action team saw fit to give so much screen time to Oancea, we’ll definitely devote some words to the obnoxious jackass. As a presentation of at semi-socially acceptable adults gambling responsibly (if on a high budget), Kelly and Krack are veritable plusses on the gambling world’s side. Halpern comes off as a hard partier, but we accept that he socializes in rarified air; and while Wishnev isn’t exactly aggrandizing the image of the high-level gambler, in the end he’s mostly harmless.

But “Vegas Dave”? This dude lives with his parents because the series makes clear that no one else can stand him, literally nearly dug his own grave several times on the way to running up $700,000 in debts, tried to scam his way into ripping off sportsbooks and spends most of his screen time endlessly bragging. In short, guys like Oancea have been selling trash TV since at least Barbara Walters’s heyday: Both the highly talented and highly flawed can make great TV; the combination is golden, producing the right alchemy of awe and schadenfreude.

Perhaps the presence of Vegas Dave helps keep Action as a production of any value to either the gambling industry, sports betting enthusiasts or even the general viewer, many other elements are at play. In an effort to follow the unquestionable “reality TV” format, time aplenty is devoted to the personal lives of the bettors. For example, the imminently watchable Kelly does little more in episode 2 than getting electrolysis for epilation; we see Wishnev working in his small Vegas apartment but have no idea what his job actually is.

Meanwhile, as part of the continued Sisyphean efforts to be all things to all viewers, Action also makes asides explaining the very fundamentals of betting; you know, like “Parlay” and “over/under.” Fair enough, NFLbets supposes, but the producers are still introducing stuff like this in episode 4? We’d argue that none of this should appear in this series at any time after about 15 minutes into episode 1. Unless this show *isn’t* actually about gambling.

But then … the changing shape of legalized sports betting in the US gets so much time that the bettors themselves are kept off the screen for quarter-hours at a time (in the case of Oancea, so much the better). A few high-powered cameos – human bowling ball Chris Christie, Cousin Sal and Jimmy Vaccaro among them – appear to indicate that Action will dish on the current state of gambling law in the US or maybe the history of sports betting.

Instead, we’re bogged down in stories of woe from Atlantic City, an increasingly irrelevant spot on the American sports betting/gambling map, with nary a mention of the biggest grower of and destroyer of that city’s casino industry, one Donald J. Trump. Several times are we told that states like Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Mississippi have legalized sports betting, but no insight whatsoever is given into these operations, and NFLbets would be willing to bet that certain states are raking in well more in tax revenues for the state than the pathetic sportsbook operations in Atlantic City. (It can’t be that a tv program doesn’t want to show successful Native American-run businesses, can it…?)

Most egregious of all, however, was the insistence by sometime on the production team and/or Showtime to show “both sides of the issue.”

While aggrandizing full-time sports betting, the Action team felt it necessary to throw in the usual melodramatic stories about “people ruin their lives gambling” while aggrandizing a schmuck like Oancea victimizing those exact same addicts. We’re soberly told very early in episode 1 – and the point is frequently reiterated – that maybe 1% can make a living at full-time gambling, that breaking even is above average in sports betting, that every bettor bottoms out, that everyone loses far more often than he/she wins, yet almost everything we see is winning, at least until the Super Bowl. And even then most of this series’ protagonists land on their feet.

So in the end, who is the target audience for Action? Certainly neither the seasoned sports bettor nor the novice. “Reality” tv fans may appreciate the personal bits centering on these literal and figurative characters, but the newsy angles thrown in just wrecks all the glorious pretense of traditional “reality” shows. Simply put, the reaction to Action from many is certain to be apathy; this series represents at best a failed opportunity to present a meaningful deep-dive into the sports bettor’s lifestyle.

Odds this series ever gets a sequel: 50/1.