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 results 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?


AFC Conference Championship Betting: Derrick Henry, +7½ may be too much…

Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:21 EST

Welcome to the 2020 AFC Championship Game, an NFL bettor’s nightmare thanks to the surprise presence of Tennessee Titans and Derrick Henry, the scariest unstoppable force at RB since Bo Jackson was stomping dudes. Using numbers alone, the visitors should be getting even more points in the line…

Tennessee Titans +7½ at Kansas City Chiefs, over/under 53½ points

I mean, we’re talking the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs here, right? The Chiefs are on a 7-0 SU (6-0-1 ATS) run Including the insanity that was the Chiefs’ 51-31 win over the Texans in the divisional which incidentally has Kansas City on a 51-7 run going into this week.

Characterizing the Chiefs defense as the team’s weak point is well-mentioned enough to have become cliché, but isn’t quite100% accurate. True that in the regular season, the K.C. D surrendered 32.5 points points per game against playoff teams – including the 35-32 loss to the Titans in week 10 – but so what? The Chiefs went 4-2 SU/ATS in those games. A look at Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric should be enough to scare most NFL bettors away from taking the Chiefs minus the points: 14th overall, 6th against the pass and … 29th against the run.

And here comes Derrick “Bad” Henry.

All Bad Henry did in that week 10 matchup in Nashville was go for 2 TDs on 23 carries for 188 yards: about *8.2 yards per carry*. Remove his 68-yard breakaway and Henry was still good for 5.5 ypg against a flummoxed Chiefs front. Geez, the Baltimore Ravens were stacking the box with eight and he still tore ’em up for 195 yards on 30 totes. Henry’s performance in this game is the X-factor, the Y-factor and the rest of the alphabet-factor.

And that’s where the numbers break down. The Titans are rolling on intangibles, willpower and a QB who’s somehow 6-0 SU/ATS when he throws for less than 200 yards in the game – including, yes, the week 10 game. Further, Ryan Tannenhill and Tennessee went for less than 90 total passing yards in playoff wins against the defending champion New England Patriots and no. 1 seed 14-2 Ravens. For the entirety of 2019-20, starting QBs with 90 or fewer passing yards were 4-12 SU (though 7-9 ATS) – and one of those wins was by the Ravens in a week 17 throwaway; the other was by the Arizona Cardinals against the New York Jets. So, yeah.

The truth is, we may have to go off numbers on this one. Rarely has NFLbets enjoyed losing bets on a game as much this season as when watching the Titans handle the Ravens last week. (Whoa, was the Texans-Chiefs game brutal for those crazy enough to cover Houston in any capacity…) Mike Vrabel designed quite frankly kickass game plans and hopefully did not literally have to perform any sort of phallic mutilation to do so. The Titans OL ranks no. 4 in run blocking DVOA, and they’re certain to push around their Kansas City counterparts for Henry again.

Finally, NFLbets could just write off Henry’s recent unprecedented run – in the last three games, 32 carries for 196.0 yards per plus four touchdowns – as an outlier on borrowed time. But frankly, we’re scared of the man. We’re going to take the Tennessee Titans +7½ at Kansas City. And with the weather expected to be in the 20s but no precipitation, we’ll say take the over on an O/U of 53½ points.

(For those of you into betting longshots, NFLbets will likely throw a few moneys at the Titans ML at a nice +255, but we won’t call that a proper “Best Bet.”)

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 0-6.
NFLbets this season, all recommended bets: 65-50-1.

–written by Os Davis

Only two more chances to bet NFL football this season – so to get an exclusive match bonus in time for the Super Bowl through NFLbets when signing up at MyBookie.com; enter promo code NFLBETS when depositing to get up to $1,000 in free bets!

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NFC Conference Championship betting: How good are the 49ers? How magic is Rodgers?

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 14:37 EST

Well, guess that had to happen. After enjoying a sweet 7-0 wildcard round, NFLbets’ so-called Best Bets for the Divisionals went a solid 0-6 – we’re still +30 Moneys, though! And it says here that, in NFL betting (especially NFL playoffs betting), winning money is better than losing money.

So damn straight, NFLbets is getting back on the horse. What are we supposed to do, *not* bet? For betting on the 2020 NFC Conference Championship games, we’re going with:

Green Bay Packers +7½ at San Francisco 49ers, over 45½ points

Last week’s NFC divisional round games showed us more of the same from the winning sides: The San Francisco 49ers looked good in all areas of the game despite the requisite Jimmy Garoppolo giveaway early on, while the Green Bay Packers deployed that smoke and mirrors (smokes and mirrors?) to eke out another one. Based on the football alone, you’d have to be thinking 49ers -7½, so we’re looking for chinks in the armor here…

The other bet that hurriedly looks good ‘n’ lucrative is the under-45½. The Packers averaged 20.0 points per game in the eight games after the win over Matt Moore’s Kansas City Chiefs; the 28-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks in which Green Bay nearly choked away a 21-3 lead brought up the team’s 9-game average to exactly 21.0.

Meanwhile, the 49ers defense, which was beginning to give up points a bit too generously after clamping down on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in week 13, went off on the Minnesota Vikings. Say what you will about a short week and, you know, Kirk Cousins at quarterback, 7 first downs allowed and no TDs scored in the game’s final 50 minutes is pretty impressive – and Kyle Shanahan will certainly be just fine if all Aaron Rodgers manages to produce in this game is a single 41-yard TD strike.

On the other hand, with Dee Ford and the injury-bugged Kentavious Street both listed as “questionable”, the Niners’ pass rush will definitely lose an edge (so to speak).

In terms of history, we can make no generalizations about rookie head coach Matt LaFleur or LaFluer & Rodgers but at 11-5-1, the insurance boy himself is pretty impressive ATS. In addition, Rodgers’s Packers are on a 6-1 ATS run despite a 4-3 SU mark in those games. Shanahan Junior and Jimmy G are likewise inexperienced, unless you want to count Jimmy G.’s mojo in going 7-1 SU (6-2 ATS) while on the bench for the New England Patriots in the playoffs.

So how much longer can the Rodgers magic last, particularly since this 49ers defense is outstanding. Aaron Jones, who had been eating teams alive in the second half of the season, indeed scored his two TDs against the Seahawks, but beyond a 23-yard breakaway, managed just 39 yards on 20 carries. Recall, too, that Jones was held to just 38 yards on 13 carries in San Francisco’s 37-8 thumping in week 12 in Santa Clara.

Jones’s performance in that game was no fluke, and only slightly flukier was Rodgers’s sub-100 yard, 5-sack showing: The 49ers enter this game with the league’s no. 2 overall defense and no.. 2 pass defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. Interpret Rodgers’s lifetime marks however you like – Just to make it trickier, consider that since winning the Super Bowl, Rodgers and his Packers have been a subpar 6-6 SU and just 2-4 as visitors – these 49ers just look really fucking good.

Take the San Francisco 49ers -7½ vs Green Bay. And since the over is still just 2-6 in the playoffs thus far, we’re also saying take the over on an O/U of 45½ points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 0-6.
NFLbets this season, all recommended bets: 65-50-1.

–written by Os Davis

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Read the XBET Preview on this game: here

 


Picks of the Week: Considering two underdogs in Sunday’s divisional playoffs

Thursday, 09 January 2020 11:11 EST

Whoops, they did it again! As noted yesterday here at NFLbets, since 2010, favorites of 9½ or more points in the NFL playoffs are 5-1 SU/ATS – with the sole win coming back in 2011 as Rex Ryan’s New York Jets won their Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in the divisional round. The line in Sunday’s AFC divisional round game has gone from Texans +9 at opening to Texans +9½, thereby increasing the level of difficulty in betting that game.

Also note that NFLbets caught Saturday’s AFC divisional at Baltimore Ravens -9 versus Tennessee, but that line is now up to Ravens -9½ as well. We’re feeling some regression to the mean is impending, but where…? Perhaps we’ll find hope in analyzing the bets for…

Houston Texans +9½ at Kansas City Chiefs, over/under 51 points

Not to be dogmatic, but since the preseason kicked off, NFLbets has figured the Kansas City Chiefs would make the playoffs and that the subsequent run would be all about Andy Reid. We still believe this is the case, what with the strangely unpredictable yet somehow utterly predictable Houston Texans coming to town.

Reid’s CV reads in part as follows.

• Overall record, regular season: 207-128-1 SU (181-148-7 ATS)
• Overall record, regular season with Kansas City: 77-35 SU (63-46-3 ATS)
• Overall record, playoffs: 12-14 SU (13-13 ATS)
• Overall record, playoffs with Kansas City: 2-5 SU/ATS
• Overall record, playoffs divisional round with bye: 4-1 SU (3-2 ATS)
• Overall record, all games after bye week with Kansas City: 6-2 SU/ATS

The numbers with smaller sample size are naturally simultaneously the most compelling and completely contradictory. Maybe precedent should be thrown away here; after all, the Patrick Mahomes-fueled Kanasas City Chiefs are like no other team, and back-to-back 31-point showings in last year’s playoffs are certainly nothing to scoff at. This is a top-10 offense in essentially all major statistical categories.

And by the way, has anyone noticed how Steve Spagnuolo completely created a defense from dregs? Last year, this unit was no. 31 or 32 in virtually every defensive sphere. This year, the Chiefs are best in the league in – no, really, NFLbets didn’t believe it, either – passing yards and rushing yards allowed. A weak-ish schedule got the KC D ranking just 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric but still 6th against the pass, where the bulk of a Texans attack would occur.

When the Texans handed the Chiefs a 31-24 loss in week 6, the Texans offense ran up 472 yards on the Chiefs, the most this defense surrendered in a game all season. In fact, in the four other games in which opponents ran up 400 yards or more on Kansas City, the Chiefs went 4-0 SU – and they’re 8-2 SU (7-3 ATS) since the Houston loss.

Assuming that some classic clock mismanagement from Reid doesn’t hand Deshaun Watson a plum opportunity late in the game, the Texans simply must find a way to move the ball against this solid defense – and they’re probably catching the Chiefs at a bad time. In the past eight games, the Houston offense has been held to 301 yards or fewer four times.

This week, Watson will be playing with his full contingent of receivers, with Will Fuller and Kenny Stills expected to join DeAndre Hopkins on the filed this week. Watson & Co. managed to pull out the W without the field-stretching Fuller out there. The Texans are now 3-3 SU/ATS with Fuller out of the lineup on the season, but certainly they’d rather have him playing, as they’ve gone 8-3 with Fuller in the lineup and 6-1 when he has five or more receptions.

And while the talking heads will be playing up the J.J. Watt vs Mahomes angle, we’re thinking the bets are all about DeShaun and the Texans offense. The question remains: Can Houston essentially play their best offensive game all season just to keep pace? We say they can, especially if snow falls for game time. (Currently snow is expected for Saturday but is just 20% likely for Sunday.) Holding off on an over/under bet until that precipitation report comes in, NFLbets says take the Houston Texans +9½ at Kansas City – seriously, that’s way too high a line, isn’t it?

Seattle Seahawks +4 at Green Bay Packers, over/under 47 points

Right, NFLbets is just coming right out with it: Take the Seattle Seahawks ML of +155 at Green Bay. The truth is we haven’t trusted the Packers all season, and we’re not sure why: They went a solid enough 10-6 ATS and a decent 3-2 SU/ATS against playoff teams (though two wins came against the Minnesota Vikings and the third against Mahomes-less Kansas City).

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have been gritting it out all year. Russell Wilson’s propensity to spin away and survive endless pass rushes coming through an inferior OL makes a metaphor for the entire Seahawks team which is 10-2 SU (though just 6-5-1 ATS) in games decided by 8 points or fewer. The DVOA metric ranks the ’Hawks offense at no. 5 – this despite facing the league’s 3rd-toughest schedule.

What makes betting this game especially maddening, however, is the insanity surrounding homefield advantage in 2019 and Pete Carroll’s entire freaking playoff history. This year home teams went 109-132-1 SU and 104-137-9 ATS. Most typical of this trend was Seattle, who went 7-1 SU (5-2-1 ATS) in away games and 4-4 SU (2-6 ATS) at home. Even more ridiculous is Carroll’s playoff record. Not including the two Super Bowls, the Seahawks coach has gone an impressive 9-5 SU (8-6 ATS) – but he’s 6-0 SU (4-2 ATS) in home playoff games!

Clearly these sorts of numbers are twisting bookmakers’ heads, too, and thus a line which essentially gives Green Bay the traditional homefield edge plus a token ½-point to draw in Seahawks backers. We ain’t buying it. And with all the credit Belichick & Brady and Payton & Brees got for Playoff Experience in the lines last week, we’re wondering why the league’s proven second-best combo of Carroll & Wilson doesn’t get more respect – particularly against a rookie head coach in his first playoff game. Come on, now. Take the Seattle Seahawks +4 at Green Bay as a hedge to the money line bet.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 7-0.
NFLbets this season, all recommended bets: 65-44-1.

–written by Os Davis

If you’re betting NFL playoff football, be sure to get an exclusive match bonus through NFLbets when signing up at MyBookie.com; enter promo code NFLBETS when depositing to get up to $1,000 in free bets!

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Picks of the week: Very revealing stats for Saturday’s divisional round playoff games

Wednesday, 08 January 2020 13:42 EST

All right, now this is NFL playoffs betting – four games, do or die, all or nothing, time to leave everything – including all the clichés you can muster – on the field! Of course, winning bets will perk up anyone’s interest in the NFL playoffs but for the football bettor, this is pure holiday season.

And o wow, did NFLbets turn up some killer interesting stats to help us make this year’s divisional round nicely lucrative. First off are some outlier numbers from last week’s results, including:

• All four unders hit, and the NFC no. 6 seeded Minnesota Vikings were the highest-scoring team with 26 points. With dudes like Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo taking the field this weekend, one hardly needs more incentive to bet lotsa overs this week,

• Away teams were 3-1 SU/ATS – and the only loss was by the Buffalo Bills (ATS by ½-point), who were not only the vogue pick to upset in this year’s wildcard round but also managed to run up a 16-0 lead on the perpetually postseason-underperforming Houston Texans. This shouldn’t be too surprising, NFLbets supposes, as home teams went 109-132-1 SU and 104-137-9 ATS in 2019.

• Russell Wilson was the only quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards, and the Tennessee Titans won despite Ryan Tannehill’s 72 passing yards.

• Oddest of all (so to speak) may be NFLbets’ perfect 4-0 record in pointspread betting and 7-0 in all bets last weekend. Yes!

Relevant stats for this weekend’s games include:

• Since 2010, home teams are 30-10 SU – but an even 20-20 ATS – in divisional round games.

• In these 40 games, taking the over has been good for a 25-15 mark. Unders do best at the extreme ends of the scale: In games with a line of under-43 or over-51, the under is 10-6.

• Teams favored by 9½ points or more are 6-1 SU/ATS, with the sole win by Rex Ryan’s New York Jets over the New England Patriots in 2011.

• The big difference-maker for the visiting side? It’s all about the day. In divisional round games on Saturday, the home team is an almost unbelievable 18-2 SU (15-5 ATS) – and a visitor hasn’t won on a divisional Saturday since 2013. This means on Sunday, the chalk may be tossed out the window with home teams just 12-8 SU and an incredible 5-15 ATS over the decade.

Normally NFLbets would look for rather extreme trends like the Saturday advantage or the Sunday ATS disadvantage for home teams – again, especially following the 2019 season in which home field became irrelevant, apparently – but some of these stats are just too compelling.

The Saturday advantage can be figured as a product of higher seeded team’s bye week as well as the short week one team has gotten since the Saturday/Sunday format was implemented; this time around, the Vikings got shortchanged a day. These factors may also explain that 6-1 record SU/ATS by 9½-point favorites as with the inherent advantages, qualitative differences between teams can be magnified.

The reverse is also true: When a playoff team gets back on the 7-day schedule, games get tighter – markedly tighter than bettors would like. Note that the Titans got an *extra* day thanks to the Saturday wildcard game.

So this week, NFLbets is using some reverse logic: For which teams will trends hold? We start the betting chronologically with…

Minnesota Vikings +7 at San Francisco 49ers, over/under 44 points

The Vikings can take pride in a great SU win, though NFLbets was certainly not the only one who reckoned last week’s line of New Orleans Saints -8½ was reasonable. (Sooooooo, Minnesota’s getting fewer points against a better team…? Come on.) New Orleans is a team in decline in the short term. The San Francisco 49ers, by contrast, are not.

On the other hand, the 49ers defense probably isn’t as good as you think and Dalvin Cook may be well-suited to break San Francisco. As it turns out, the Niners opened the season going 8-0 SU (5-3 ATS) and ultimately went 10-1 SU (5-5-1 ATS) against non-playoff teams. In six of their last nine games, the defense allowed 25 points or more, and opponents ran up 100 or more yards on the ground 12 times in 2019. And the San Francisco D’s worst number is in the yards per carry statistic, where they’re bottom-10.

Now can the Vikings score enough points, even if Cook burns, to keep up with the NFL’s no. 2 scoring offense? Since the Great Rejuvenation of Kirk Cousins in week 5, the Vikes are averaging 27.0 points per game but in the last five have managed just 20, 39 (including one TD scored by the defense), 10, 19 and 26 (20 in regular time). We daresay that won’t be enough. Take the San Francisco 49ers -7 vs Minnesota and take the over on an O/U of 44 points.

Tennessee Titans +9 at Baltimore Ravens, over/under 46½ points

The hot take: Damn, this line is too high. After all, the Titans are one of the hottest teams still playing, on a 7-3 SU (6-3-1 ATS) clip since Ryan Tannehill took over as starter. And Derrick Henry has been an absolute beast with 168.4 ypg in the past seven games to go with 11 TDs.

But these Ravens haven’t lost SU since September and are on a 9-1 ATS run in which their *average* result is a 10.4-point win; this run includes West Coast games, late games, games against playoff contenders, AFC teams and NFC teams. Consider playoff experience and whatnot all you wish, but the truth is that the 2019 Baltimore Ravens have been beating everyone worth playing, and sometimes you just have to bet football. Take the Baltimore Ravens -9 vs Tennessee and, yep, take the over on an O/U of 46½ points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 7-0.
NFLbets this season, all recommended bets: 65-44-1.

–written by Os Davis

If you’re betting NFL playoff football, be sure to get an exclusive match bonus through NFLbets when signing up at MyBookie.com; enter promo code NFLBETS when depositing to get up to $1,000 in free bets!

Or get a 100% Signup Deposit Bonus for up to $300 in free betting money at XBET.ag – Use our exclusive promo code XBBETS when you sign up.


Picks of the Week: NFC Wildcard Games

Thursday, 02 January 2020 14:23 EST

In yesterday’s NFL Playoffs edition of Picks of the Week, NFLbets laid out some good lucrative opportunities for betting AFC wildcard games and … wait a minute, can we really be liking this many visiting teams? Well, why not? This is 2019, after all, the home team went just 106-139-8 ATS (not including the international games) for the year – well below the 50/50 ratio the bookmakers aim for weekly – as such a disadvantage slowly disappears.

Additionally, thanks to seeding, the weaker of two teams can easily get the home date, e.g. the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Seattle Seahawks, who not infrequently this season have played like the NFC’s second-best side. And any advantage the Eagles might have been believed to get from the West-to-East travel has also evaporated into the past. Hell, the Seahawks in the past three seasons are 6-2-1 ATS in games played in the Eastern time zone.

So while at first glance, the first four NFL playoff games don’t look like much, NFLbets is expecting the formerly topsy-turvy now normalized ways of parity will generate lots of on-field excitement – and hopefully in-sportsbook lucrativeness. Let’s get to betting NFC wildcard games, starting with…

Minnesota Vikings +8½ at New Orleans Saints, over/under 49½ points

Full disclosure: NFLbets admits that have no idea how to account for the conclusions to the past two New Orleans seasons. Two years ago in Minnesota, the Saints overcame a 17-point first half deficit in unflappable, champion-like fashion to take the lead late in the fourth and give Case Keenum just one play to win the ballgame. The Vikings won the ballgame.

Last season, perhaps the most famous non-call in NFL history deprived the Saints of a red zone opportunity and send the game into overtime. The Los Angeles Rams won that ballgame.

You know how certain reality-denying Democratic Party types like to claim that America has already elected a woman president, because Hillary Clinton actually won more popular votes in Election 2016? That’s the way bettors might choose to look at 2019 New Orleans Saints on this playoff run, i.e. what are the odds that a team can advance to the Super Bowl three years in a row? As essentially the past two Saints’ runs were decided by massive outliers, we can guess that the Saints won’t get bounced on a fluke for a third time but some skepticism on this team going far must be applied.

So … are the Vikings the team to beat Peyton, Brees & Co. this time? Since the Super Bowl run following the 2009, the Saints are a mediocre 4-5 SU/ATS; as favorites in that span, they’re just 3-3 SU and an incredible 1-5 ATS. Finally, note that just one of those nine postseason games were decided by more than 8 points. Now at Minnesota +8½, this is one tricky line – particularly with the Vikings backing into the playoffs.

Two weeks ago, the Vikes were even in contention for a bye week in the playoffs but rolled over the Green Bay Packers and sat starters against the Chicago Bears in week 17. Prior to the Packers loss, Minnesota had enjoyed an 8-2 SU (6-4 ATS) run. The Vikings are also a poor 1-4 SU/ATS against playoff teams, but with excepting the 13-point loss to Green Bay, all other games were within a touchdown.

Now NFLbets realizes that betting on Kirk Cousins is hardly an inspiring prospect, but more important for the Vikings has got to be Dalvin Cook’s health. Cook has been practicing in full this week and will play – absolutely necessary for a dude who’s produced nearly 28% of the Vikings’ total yards this year. Cook’s presence for this one plus Payton’s apparent conservatism come playoff time is enough for us to advise NFL bettors take the Minnesota Vikings +8½ at New Orleans, and at -430 on the money line, we’re thinking about the Saints in a parlay and/or teaser.

Seattle Seahawks -2½ at Philadelphia Eagles, over/under 45½ points

This line is something of a puzzler, though the sportsbooks are probably looking at the ignominious ending to the Seahwaks’ season – thriller against the San Francisco 49ers or no – in which they limed to a 1-3 SU (0-3-1 ATS) finish. But as the talking heads like to remind, experience can be crucial in the postseason – and the Carroll-and-Wilson Seahawks have plenty. In wildcard round games alone, these Seahawks are 3-1 SU/ATS, with the sole SU loss a 2-point upset by the Dallas Cowboys last season and the sole ATS loss in a 1-point SU win over the Vikings in 2016.

And while Seahawks fandom and presumably the locker room alike are geeked by the return of Marshawn Lynch – just in time to face a defense that’s no. 11 in yards per rush attempt – the Eagles’ active roster boasts little more than walking wounded. One may marvel at Philadelphia’s tenacity in winning four straight and swiping the NFC East title from the Cowboys, until one realizes that all four games were against the weakass teams of that NFC East.

Among those “skill players” not actually on the disabled list, WR Nelson Agholor and RB Miles Sanders have sat out practices this week; TE Zach Ertz will play hurt. Boston Scott and the practice squad: This is what Carson Wentz is working with in his first NFL playoff game against the poor man’s Belichick-and-Brady? Come on! Take the Seattle Seahawks -2½ at Philadelphia.

Further, we’re figuring that Lynch’s 12 touches and one goal line plunge were a precursor to this week, when Carroll is likely to have his guys grind it out in cold Philly weather. (Current forecasts call for temperatures in the 30s and a 20% chance of some Seattle-style rain.) The Seahawks OL will likely be without G Mike Iupati and possibly C Joey Hunt, who stepped into the starting role in week 8; already Seattle ranks a lowly 24th in pass protection, but a reasonable 15th in run blocking and 10th in power run blocking even before Beast Mode reupped. So we’re also saying take the under on an O/U of 45½ points as well: Note that in all Carroll-and-Wilson Seahawks NFC playoff games, the under is 5-6 but is 3-1 in the wildcard round.

–written by Os Davis

Go into beast mode in time for NFL playoffs betting: Get an exclusive match bonus through NFLbets when signing up at MyBookie.com; enter promo code NFLBETS when depositing to get up to $1,000 in free bets!

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Best bet for week 17: Capping the wild ride that was the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Friday, 27 December 2019 19:49 EST

From purely a football’s fans perspective, the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been right up there with the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers as the NFL’s most exciting teams: No other team is top-3 in points scored and points allowed. From the NFL bettor’s perspective, the Bucs have been unpredictable as their ultra-mercurial QB Jameis Winston himself – but that 15-game tendency might just prove lucrative in week 17 betting.

NFLbets’ Best Bet for week 17, then, involves:

Atlanta Falcons “pick ‘em” at Tampa Bay

That points scored/points allowed stat cited above is just scratching the surface of insane outlier trends surrounding this team in ’19. How about a ranking of dead last in pass attempts allowed and second in pass attempts? And sure, you probably guessed that gunslinging Winston leads the NFL in interceptions, but he’s also tops in passing yardage, no. 3 in passing TDs and no. 6 in yards per attempt. And between the turnovers and well below average special teams play, Tampa Bay gives opponents the second-best average drive-starting spot.

Even more fun, both teams, long since virtually eliminated from playoff contention, are finally heating up. Tampa Bay is on a 4-1 SU (3-0-2 ATS) run, while Atlanta are on a 5-2 SU/ATS run, with three consecutive SU/ATS wins after a 1-point ATS loss to New Orleans in week 14.

Like scoring? The over is an incredible 11-1 in Tampa Bay games; though Atlanta’s scores aren’t quite as impressive, the over is 3-2 in the last five Falcons games and they’re averaging over 27 points per game in the second half of the season. That 11-1 is way too much of an outlier for NFLbets to back the over again – we don’t care how scoreboard-spinning these two teams are.

No, we’re banking instead against another trend even more insane than Tampa Bay’s over/under marks. Namely: The Buccaneers are *winless ATS for the season*. Despite a 3-4 SU mark in Tampa Bay, the Bucs are a wacky 0-5-2 ATS. On this basis alone, we’re ready to recommend that NFL bettors take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta, but placing money on the homers will make an already exciting game even more engaging. Thanks for the (gambling) memories, Buccaneers!

NFLbets’ Best Bets last week: 0-1.
NFLbets’ Best Bets this season: 17-14.

–written by Os Davis

Make this pick like a cornerback against Jameis Winston and get an exclusive match bonus through NFLbets when signing up at MyBookie.com; enter promo code NFLBETS when depositing to get up to $1,000 in free bets!

Or get a 100% Sign-up Deposit Bonus for up to $300 in free betting money at XBET.ag – Use our exclusive promo code XBBETS when you sign up.


NFL betting, week 17: Looking for outliers, pitying the Eagles

Friday, 27 December 2019 12:38 EST

The only week of the NFL season worse for lucratively picking winning bets than week 17 is week 1. On opening day, every team is literally untested, every team full of unknowns, every preseason futures proposition bet impossible to win.

But by week 17, the proper NFL bettor has a pretty good hold on things, with both the playoff picture and the immediate postseason head coach firings are reasonably clear. Unfortunately, any such expertise run up during the regular season is thrown out the window for the seasons’ final week.

In 2019, we’re looking at a week 17 schedule in which five of the 16 games are completely irrelevant, except for a few potential job openings here and there. Another nine pit one playoff-bound team against an already eliminated side and these lines, i.e. Miami Dolphins -15 at New England Patriots, are the real trappers for the NFL bettor. We know the Jacksonville Jaguars are collectively already gone on vacation, but how loose will a non-contender such as Miami or Detroit play just to backdoor cover on a double-digit point spread when the playoff side benches starters in the second half?

Nevertheless, in leaning on some outliers, NFLbets found some viable options for NFL bettors in week 17 – because why wouldn’t you wager? We’ve got to beef up the bankroll in time for the playoffs and Super Bowl! For picks of the week for betting NFL week 17, then, we’ll start with…

Philadelphia Eagles -4 at New York Giants, under 45 points

Ah, yes – one more week to gaze upon the pitiable NFC East. Remember way back at season’s beginning when the sportsbooks were figuring on a dogfight for the division title between the seemingly well-armed Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, just one season removed from their Super Bowl upset of the New England Patriots? Well, we got a fight between (beat)dogs, at least…

After the Cowboys’ pathetic display of last week replete with numerous dropped catches, Ezekiel Elliott coming off the field for 3rd downs and the allowing of 10 points in the first quarter despite a turnover on downs and a missed FG, the Eagles are now “in control of their own destiny”, as the cliché masters like to say. Or are they…?

The truth is that the Eagles are just 1-4 SU against teams with winning records, and the sole W came in week 4 against the Green Bay Packers. Philly appears to be capable of taking care of business in the NFC East at 4-1 SU, but their 2-3 ATS record against those teams should give NFL bettors pause – particularly since the ATS wins have come the last two weeks.

As if this isn’t enough to destroy one’s faith in betting the Eagles, consider that they’re coming into this game with, likesay, no wide receivers to speak of. Between the IR and the DNPs figured for this game, the Eagles are leaving nearly 2,000 receiving yards on the bench, over 51% of the team’s total. Philadelphia’s leading active receivers are TE Dallas Goebert at 542 yards and RB Miles Sanders at 510 – this when they’re facing the NFL’s second worst passing defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

In short, NFL bettors will have to be serious spendthrifts to wager on a winner here plus or minus points. That’s why we’re recommending bettors take the under on an O/U of 45 points. The Eagles defense has kept (mostly bad) opposing offenses to 17 or fewer points in six of the past eight games, including the overtime game against these Giants in week 14. Plus, New York has averaged just over 16 points per game against playoff or still-contending teams.

Sure, the Eagles might win and even cover the spread. But NFLbets feels a lot better just knowing all we need is for two low-watt teams to do their (lack of) stuff one more time in 2019…

Oakland Raiders +3 at Denver Broncos, over/under 40½ points

Don’t get NFLbets wrong here: The Broncos’ achievements this season have been extraordinary, considering they essentially ran the offense without a quarterback for the first 11 games and have subsequently turned to rookie Andrew Luck Andrew Lock Drew Lock. Though just 6-9 SU, Denver is 9-5-1 ATS (or 9-6, depending on where you caught the week 4 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars), better than all but four teams.

But while Lock appears a fine young QB and Broncos fans would certainly appreciate a shift to younger blood after the Elway Era “highlighted” by big-name/low-production dudes like Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco. However, the fact that Denver is calling for 79 pass plays in the past two games points to a still-imbalanced offense. Homefield advantage may help Lock, where he’s 2-0 SU/ATS, but let’s just say more on this below.

(Note: Current weather reports have temperatures in the 30s for Sunday with a 0% chance of snow or rain. Adjust bets accordingly.)

Coming into cold ‘n’ sunny Denver are the Oakland Raiders in their last game before morphing into the Las Vegas Raiders. At 7-8 SU/ATS, Chucky’s guys have generally exceeded expectations in what might have been yet another money-saving tank year. And in 2019, this Raiders team has demonstrably been the NFL’s streakiest: After winning SU/ATS on opening day versus Denver, they took two SU/ATS losses followed by a 5-2 SU/ATS run, followed by an 0-4 SU/ATS losing streak and finally winning both ways in Los Angeles last weekend.

Entering the game as one of the few remaining bubble teams, the Raiders’ season in hindsight makes the team appear exactly that: Against sub-.500 teams, the Raiders went 7-2 SU (6-3 ATS) and 2-1 SU/ATS in games outside of Oakland. (Look, there’s no way NFLbets is calling last week’s game against the Chargers in Los Angeles an away game.)

In terms of intangibles and specifically the will to win, the Raiders hold all the cards. Jon Gruden has done a surprising job creating what should be a competitive team next season out of draft picks, castoffs and low-budget options. Though Derek Carr looks more physically limited than ever, i.e. can he throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield, Gruden is seriously living up to his “quarterback whisperer” reputation.

And despite some glaring shortcomings such as a bottom-10 red-zone scoring offense and a bottom-5 standing in points allowed and turnovers generated, reality says that the Raiders will a) be playing this game with a spot in the playoffs in the mix and b) be reaching deep into the playbook in an “anything goes” situation.

But here’s the big one – and we did promise outliers. Reputation says that Denver enjoys one of the NFL’s biggest homefield advantages. The truth, though, is that the Denver Broncos have the second-worst record ATS at home over the past 20 seasons. This year? They’re 5-1-1 with the sole loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. Ugly beatdown at the hands of the New York Jets notwithstanding, the Raiders have been beating these kinds of odds all season. Take the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders +4 at Denver.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 3-1-1.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 41-27-1.

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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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Picks of the Week, NFL week 16: Focusing on Baltimore, the South

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 21:57 EST

NFLbets has been eschewing betting on AFC South and NFC South intradivisional games for most of this season, but AFC South vs NFC South? Now those games might be worth betting, and this one certainly looks like a lucrative one…

Houston Texans -3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In terms of ATS records, things are nicely even – The Texans are 7-7 ATS and 5-4 ATS again against non-AFC South teams; Tampa Bay is 6-7-1 ATS overall and 4-4-1 against non-NFC South teams. The only oddity with either of these two overall is the Buccaneers’ strange trip to just about .500: After starting the season 2-2 ATS/SU, the Bucs suffered a 1-5 SU (0-6 ATS) jag and chased that with the 4-0 SU (3-0-1 ATS) run they’re currently on. However, note that all four wins came against non-playoff teams.

Additionally, Tampa Bay has been a poster child for home field disadvantage in 2019, and the Buccaneers are the NFL’s only winless team ATS at 0-5-1. But overall, the home team is 93-123-5, a winning percentage of just .443. So all things considered, NFLbets is throwing away the ATS numbers for this one and instead we’re just betting the football.

To wit: Take the Houston Texans -3 at Tampa Bay.

The Tampa Bay offensive line is once again without OT Donovan Smith – not great news, considering the OL has given up 26 sacks on top of Jameis Winston’s 19 interceptions in the past nine games – as well as Winston’s favorite target, WR Mike Evans. Currently bottom-10 in most passing categories, the Houston pass defense isn’t scaring anyone since J.J. Watt’s latest early-season exit, but Winston’s generosity has been almost unprecedented. (Even the Detroit Lions got one last week, and they’re dead last in interceptions…)

On the other side, the Tampa Bay defense’s passing stats look pitiable indeed, but the Bucs’ ranks of 32nd and 30th in passing attempts and yardage, respectively, may be put on the propensity for Tampa Bay to engage in shootouts. Nine times have Buccaneers games gone over 50 points scoring this season, and we’re thinking that’s exactly the sort of game Deshaun Watson and his Texans want going into the playoffs. So we’ll also take the over on an O/U of 49½ points.

Baltimore Ravens -10½ at Cleveland Browns

NFLbets doesn’t like to lean on off-field material in formulating bets, but with these two teams in 2019, avoiding factoring in the intangibles is impossible. The post-Sunday news in the NFL this week includes stories on Browns players taunting the Arizona Cardinals sideline – in a game they’d go on to lose by two touchdowns to a 3-win (now 4-win) team.

And while the Myles Garrett helmet swing demonstrated to a new generation how the Browns can lose even when the actual game score is in their favor, Freddie Kitchens & Co. have done little good for NFL bettors. At a league second-worst 4-9-1 ATS, NFLbets would normally be tempted to bet on regression to the mean. But with these guys publicly imploding, how could you bet on them at this point?

Particularly against the Ravens powered by Lamar Jackson, who is clearly on a mission to destroy even team in the league who passed on him in the first round of the 2017 draft (so, then, every team in the league). Baltimore’s own intangible: These guys don’t let up against anybody. Since the bye in week 8, the Raven’s average result has been a 22½-point win. In those seven games, just two came down to a touchdown or less.

The Browns don’t stand a chance. Take the Baltimore Ravens -10½ at Cleveland.

Jacksonville Jaguars +7½ at Atlanta Falcons

Here’s another one NFLbets just doesn’t get. Sure, it’s tough to give more than a TD on a team that’s 5-9 SU (6-8 ATS) and playing for nothing, but playing for nothing seems to be the Falcons’ bag since *that* Super Bowl. In 2017, they got off to a 4-4 SU start before going on a 6-2 tear. In 2018, a 4-4 SU start was chased by a five-game losing streak and mathematical elimination from the postseason; then they went 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS including a ½-point loss in week 17). And this year? Their opening 1-7 SU has been followed by a 4-2 SU/ATS run, including 3-2 against their division mates and the big win at San Francisco last week.

During said six-game run, Matt Ryan and the offense appears to have normalized, with Ryan good for 9 TDs against just 4 interceptions thrown – hardly mind-blowing numbers for a former MVP candidate but respectable at least.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars are heading in a familiar downward direction. The last-minute SU win at the Oakland Raiders last week – it’s almost as though Chucky forgets his guys are supposed to be tanking this season – snapped a 0-5 SU/ATS run in which the Jags lost by an average score of 35-11. And the defense is regressing as well, having surrendered at least 236 yards passing in each of the last four games while also allowing 195 or more rushing yards in four of the last six. Finally, just three times in 2019 have the Jaguars outgained their opponent on offense.

For Jaguars fans – all 14 of them – it’s unfortunate their team couldn’t have caught the Falcons in the first half of the season; NFLbets just can’t envision even an ATS upset here; the Jaguars’ score may be in single digits. Take the Atlanta Falcons -7½ vs Jacksonville, and take the under on an O/U of 46½ points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 1-2.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 38-26.

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Best bet, NFL week 15: Vikings -3 at Los Angeles Chargers home game; WTF?

Thursday, 12 December 2019 08:19 EST

Just as with last week’s Tennessee Titans-Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders line, NFLbets just doesn’t get

Minnesota Vikings -3 at “Los Angeles” Chargers

So what gives? Is it the East-to-West-Coast thing? The numbers may say that historically the Pacific Time-based home team is an excellent pick, but firstly that advantage always increases with lateness of game in question and secondly Eastern Time teams appear to finally be lessening the advantage. In 18 games played in the Pacific time zone with a 4pm ET, the home team is 6-10-2 ATS while the favorites are – you guessed it – 8-8-2 ATS.

This line can’t be reflective of any homefield advantage on the Chargers’ part, can it? Since moving into the Carson City soccer stadium, they’re a mind-bogglingly bad 3-10-1. Though NFLbets is continually looking for regression to equilibrium, the only thing that can stop NFL bettors from piling it on against the Chargers in L.A. is a hangover.

Is this an indication that the sportsbooks still holding onto the delusion that the Chargers are still working with a well-armed All Pro QB in Phillip Rivers? The sole real quality win this team has enjoyed this season came in week 9 as Green Bay put in their worst effort this season. And Rivers’s stats, like career lows in TD-to-interception ratio and net yards per attempt, just confirm what the eye-test shows.

Is it that would-be bettors were blinded by last week’s 45-point performance into thinking that the Chargers somehow have a viable offense? Hell, that 45 made just the third game this season these guys managed more than 26 points – the other two instances were in week 1 and at Miami in week 4. Recall, too, that last week’s opposition was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are demoralized to levels last seen when Blake Bortles was quarterbacking.

Despite all the numbers and trends, though, the most inexplicable of all about this Vikings -3 is simply, likesay, football. The Vikings are a solid playoff team, earmarked for postseason play since the midway point. And since week 5, Minnesota is 7-2 SU (5-4 ATS) with the only losses at Kansas City and at Seattle; geez, if Kirk Cousins’s receivers had verbally kicked their QB’s butt a little sooner in the season, the Vikings might be leading the NFC North right now…

The truth is that Minnesota has just one team in the NFL to worry about before the playoffs, the team who can truly call L.A. home: The Rams. Take the Minnesota Vikings -3 at Los Angeles.

NFLbets’ Best Bets last week: 1-0.
NFLbets’ Best Bets this season (ATS): 16-13.

–written by Os Davis

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