NFL Playoffs: Betting, odds in football postseason


Playoff time is when NFL betting gets trickier, offerings become more expansive and things in general get well more interesting. We’ve seen certain outcomes 1,000 times before: The favored team gets ultra-conservative, a minor mistake in the fourth quarter leads to disaster, the plucky underdog with loads of youngsters goes further than anyone expected (and the sportsbooks rake in the losing bets) – chaos ensues so often … except when the New England Patriots are steamrolling the AFC again.

But can these random elements of chance be overcome? Are there trends in NFL playoffs betting lines that bettors may exploit? NFLbets answers a few FAQs directly below…

What can you bet on in the NFL playoffs?
The great news about betting during the playoffs is that so many more offerings per game are made available. With just two or four games played for week, even the most minimal of online sportsbooks expands its NFL playoffs betting line to include plentiful player props and interesting NFL playoffs odds.

What’s the point spread for the NFL playoff games?
In any given game in the NFL playoffs, odds are the point spread will fall between 1 and 4: This was the spread in 86 of the 190 playoff games played following the 2000-2018 seasons, or about 45.25% of the time. In 190 playoff games, the highest spread was 16 points, but just 17 of the 190 games (or a bit over 8.9%) went off with spreads of 10 points or more, however. The most common point spread seen in NFL playoffs lines during the span was – wouldn’t you know it? – 3 points. This was the case in 34 of the 190, happening about 17.9% of the time. Interestingly enough, no NFL playoffs betting line has included a “pick ‘em” spread.

What teams are in the NFL playoffs?
Several measures may be used here, but we’ll use that old chestnut: 61% of teams which start the season 2-0 make the playoffs, and about the same number who start 0-2 miss the playoffs. Just one team has ever made the NFL playoffs after starting 0-4: The 1992 San Diego Chargers. And in the playoffs following the 2010-2018 seasons, an average of about 5.55 teams drop out/enter the playoffs from season to season.

Is homefield advantage bigger in the playoffs?
Yes – but not necessarily for betting purposes. In fact, while homefield advantage increases throughout the playoffs, the underdog plus the points in the average NFL playoffs betting line is still right around a 50/50 bet. The breakdown looks like this for the aforementioned 190 playoff games:

Overall: 122-68 SU, 92-86-2 ATS
Wild card: 44-32 SU, 38-37-1 ATS
Divisional: 53-23 SU, 35-40-1 ATS
Championship: 25-13 SU, 18-20 ATS

I know, right? This is just another reason why NFL playoff betting lines are so challenging…

What are the odds of a wild card going to the Super Bowl?
Since the installation in 2002 of the divisions and postseason we still use today, just three wild card teams have made the Super Bowl: the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2007 New York Giants, and 2010 Green Bay Packers; that’s a tiny 4.44% success rate. And we know that this is a tiny sample size, but note that these three all killed the NFL playoffs betting lines, each going 4-0 SU/ATS.

Can I bet on the NFL playoffs online?
Absolutely! Just check the pages of NFLbets.com for quality online sportsbooks with all the NFL playoffs spreads, over/under bets, futures, odds, player props and lots more. All NFLbets-partnered websites have been quality-tested for fairness and customer service, and all are accepting bettors from the U.S.


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

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!

Read the Mybookie Preview on this game: here

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Read the XBET Preview on this game: here

 


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!

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Odds to win 2019-20 Super Bowl LIV | SuperBowl 54 | SuperBowl 2020

Monday, 06 January 2020 20:04 EST

Odds to win 2019-20 Super Bowl LIV

Super Bowl 54: Odds to win

Team                           Odds - updated as of Jan. 17th, 2020

San Francisco 49ers     2.2/1

Kansas City Chiefs        2.5/1

Green Bay Packers        7/1

Tennessee Titans         7.5/1

 

Super Bowl 54 Date: (2/2/20)

Team                           Odds - updated as of Jan. 6th, 2020

Baltimore Ravens         2/1 

San Francisco 49ers     7/2

Kansas City Chiefs        7/2

Green Bay Packers        7/1

Seattle Seahawks         12/1

Minnesota Vikings       18/1

Houston Texans           30/1

Tennessee Titans         30/1

Why Bet on NFL Futures?

One of the most popular and often asked questions by anybody and everybody is; "Who you like to win the Superbowl?" 

As an American having a team never changes, but who and where you'll put your money on changes “Any Given Sunday”.

The Futures market for the NFL is always open. The opening market is set by oddsmakers after the following season has ended in February, sometimes even while the current season hasn’t been completed yet in late January. For the most part, the initial betting lines are mirrored based on what the current perception of the team is after the latest season and that’s where the value can be had. Like all markets if you know when to by low with a higher expected value you should jump on it. Maybe you need to bet on 10 teams at higher odds but the return can greatly out reward if you bet on the favorite early only to see them bust out in the first round. IE. betting on the New England Patriots would have brought tears to your eyes if you bought last week or even last summer as they were favorites all along and went out in the opening round to the Tennesee Titans while at home.

The Pat's certainly did not dissapoint during the regular season going 12-5. Fortunate for other teams to have the Pats exit early and hopefully we crown a new Champ this season maybe one with 30-1 odds. 

                         

SuperBowl futures action can be found at MyBookie.com enter promo code NFLBETS:

NFL Playoff Preview - Odds to win 2019-20 Super Bowl LIV AKA (54)

Odds (Payout Per $100 Bet.)

Team                                 Odds - updated as of Dec.23rd, 2019

New England Patriots       +$300 (3 to 1)

Baltimore Ravens               +$500 (5 to 1)

San Francisco 49ers           +$700 (7 to 1)

Kansas City Chiefs              +$1,000 (10 to 1)

Green Bay Packers              +$1,200 (12 to 1)

Minnesota Vikings             +$1,600 (16 to 1)

Seattle Seahawks               +$1,600 (16 to 1)

Houston Texans                 +$4,500 (45 to 1)

Philadelphia Eagles           +$5,000 (50 to 1)

Buffalo Bills                         +$7,500 (75 to 1)

The Patriots before and after look after this year's playoffs:

 


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 –


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.


Browns land Odell Beckham Jr.; let's not get nuts betting them to win Super Bowl LIV just yet

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 12:47 EST

On February 10, the odds on the Cleveland Browns in the proposition bet “To Win Super Bowl LIV” were at 20/1. Two days later, the team more-than-somewhat controversially signed disgraced and waived RB Kareem Hunt; this budged the lines on the Browns little. But ink Odell Beckham Jr., one of the league’s most explosive, dynamic and beloved wide receivers? That’s shorten those odds.

Within an hour of the Cleveland-New York Giants trade announcement, the Browns’ odds to win the Super Bowl and the AFC Championship were experiencing more shrinkage than George Costanza in the pool, dropping to 14/1 in a hurry. As of this writing approximately 16 hours after the news broke, the odds on Cleveland have stabilized there but have dropped to an incredible 7/1 in the “To Win Conference” prop.

But as awesome as OBJ is, does his mere addition to a team with a looooooooooooooooooong history of mediocrity automatically better the Browns’ chances by 33%? Are the Browns really getting the *third-shortest odds* to win the AFC after the Kansas City Chiefs (now at 10/3, down from 3/1) and *freaking NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS?!?!??!???!?*

Welllllll, yes, actually. Why not? Even without Hunt – and, if this splashy trade is factored into the NFL’s consideration to return the halfback to active, Hunt and Cleveland will be united later, if ever, rather than sooner – the Browns have one serious-looking offense, with QB Baker Mayfield, RB Nick Chubb, WR Jarvis Landry and TE David Njoku awaiting OBJ’s plugging-in. The offensive line is middling at bets, but free agency and the draft have yet to go down; plenty of time to improve this area.

Despite the departure of Jabril Peppers in the OBJ trade, teh Browns defense should be just as good as last season’s top-10 passing D with the addition of Pro Bowl LB Olivier Vernon joining the likes of CB Denzel Ward, LB Jamie Collins and DE Myles Garrett (who looks scarier every game, it seems).

33 days ago, NFLbets noted: “The 2019 Cleveland Browns going over on wins? NFLbets’ll make that wager. To win the AFC North? Quite probably. To win the AFC? You miiiiiiiiight convince us. But to take the Lombardi Trophy? Come on now.

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

As for those odds to win the AFC, 7/1 may be too short. The NFL may be in a period of revolution, with younger talent (and teams) taking over for the old guard, but it’s tough to depend on a team like Cleveland with so much youth at key positons plus two mercurial WRs – if anything, we’re even more bearish on the Browns in the “To Win Conference” and “To Win Super Bowl LIV” post-Beckham trade. We’d stay away from these two props.

Now, covering the Browns in a “To Win Super Bowl LV” proposition bet? *That* would be worth serious consideration.


Here’s the official NFLbets Pick of the Week for Super Bowl LIII

Thursday, 31 January 2019 17:43 EST

NFLbets will say (write?) this from the go: Our Pick of the Week for the Super Bowl and most subsequent recommendations on the game are the result of backward logic. The premise is simple: The betting opportunities on the New England Patriots just aren’t that interesting or lucrative.

Without further ado, here’s NFLbets’ Pick of the Week for Super Bowl LIII: Take the Los Angeles Rams +2½/+3/+3½ vs the Patriots.

We’re also advising NFLbettors to take the Rams money line (ML), currently fetching from +115 to +130 and only going up before kickoff. Here’s why: Since ballooning from Rams -1 to Rams +2 on January 21, the point spread hasn’t moved since Rams +2½ in most Vegas sportsbooks as of Thursday evening before the game, and only now is Rams +3 beginning to show its face at the bigger online sportsbooks. Some 75% to 80% of the money continues to come in on the Patriots, which to NFLbets implies that the bookmakers still consider this more or less a pick ‘em, anyway.

In short, if you’re covering the Rams at +2½ or less for a -110 payout, you may as well cover that ML and put the odds on your side. (See what we meant by the lucrative and interesting bets on the Rams’ side? And by backward logic?)

So what needs to happen for the Rams to pull off the upset in Super Bowl LIII and bring things full circle back to 2002?

The Rams defensive line needs to dominate the Patriots offensive line. Tom Brady has been tormented in Super Bowls before – recall how the line on the 18-0 New England side gave up five sacks (and, essentially, the game) against the Giants in XLII – and we daresay the Patriots haven’t faced a front like that of Donald-Suh-Brockers in years, certainly not in 2018-19.

The Patriots OL has been middling this season, allowing an OK 21 sacks, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Ndamukong Suh, who loves blowing up New England lines: In eight career games against Belichick-and-Brady, Suhs destroyed the middle for nine QB hits. And Aaron Donald is Aaron Donald, the best player in this Super Bowl right now.

C.J. Anderson must continue producing – but more importantly, wearing down the middle. Recall that the Patriots have faced just one A-list running back in 2018-19: Kareem Hunt in week 6, who torched them for 185 total yards and a TD. Anderson’s unimpressive-looking 44 yards in New Orleans did not indicate the punishment he doled out on his 16 carries, mostly in the second and third quarters, that softened that Saints D enough to allow Jared Goff three lead-changing scoring drives late.

And just imagine if the Rams running game looks more like that of the divisional round game. Against the Dallas Cowboys, the combination of Todd Gurley and Anderson went for 38 carries for 238 yards and 3 TDs against a run defense that was statistically and reputedly better than the Saints’. This is the kind of attack that is indefensible, even if the opposition head coach somehow knows what’s coming.

Of course, the question of whether the Rams can win without a big day from Anderson may soon be moot; if Gurley isn’t playing or clearly can’t go, Los Angeles absolutely positively *needs* a *monster* game out of one of the great NFL late-season pickups in quite some time.

Three words for the defense: Bend, don’t break. A Belichick staple! At their best, e.g. in most of the Saints game, the Rams defense can stop anyone inside or just outside the red zone. A dude like Corey Littleton (a safety disguised as a linebacker) has the correct skills to flourish in a short field and has done so lately, and the shortcomings of Marcus Peters are greatly reduced.

Plus, just in the simplest terms, i.e. our kicker and punter are better than yours, Sean McVay would kill to turn this game into a punty-punty field position battle determined by a late long-ass field goal. We believe the longer the Rams keep a Patriots touchdown off the board, the likelier their chances to win.

And NFLbets really likes their chances: The Rams will win Super Bowl LIII.


Super Bowl LIII MVP prop betting: Seven intriguing bets and Tom Brady

Monday, 28 January 2019 12:38 EST

Of the Super Bowl bets traditionally offered, NFLbets’ favorite has got to be the MVP proposition bets. Covering a Von Miller or a Deion Branch has saved our bacon on Super Bowl Sunday in the past (we’re still not talking about Santonio Holmes or Nick Foles, however), and a solid winning wager on this prop can wipe out a lot of losing.

NFLbets will post our formal Best Bets recommendations for these later in the week, but right now, we’re deciding how to divvy up our cash stash on the following eight players. Since the longshots are getting wildly variable odds, each candidate has two possible payouts listed; the first represents the odds given at a leading online sportsbook, while the second are the numbers given at the Belaggio sportsbook in Las Vegas.

• Tom Brady – 9/10, 2/1. Brady is the clear default pick and should swallow up the majority o betting money in this prop from those NFL bettors looking to hedge on essentially any other player. The prevailing thinking goes that, if the Patriots win, Brady is hands down the choice, as has been the case in four of five New England Super Bowl Ws (including in XXXVI, when either Ty Law or Adam Vinatieri would have been a better choice). It’s a solid starting point, considering the lack of (statistical) firepower on the Pats’ side.

• Julian Edelman – 40/1, 25/1. Edelman seems like the (best bet) literally among Patriots not named Tom Brady. In the sole instance of a Patriots win without a Brady MVP nod, the trophy went to Branch, a WR. Had the Patriots won last year, Brady’s favored target Rob Gronkowski (9 receptions, 114 yards, 2 TDs) might’ve bagged it. Add in the Rams’ ability to better stop the run than the pass, and you must like Edelman at these odds if you’re betting the Patriots.

• Jared Goff – 2/1, 3/1. In a true year of the quarterback, a Rams upset will likely translate into a Goff MVP award. And though the talking heads will love the narrative of Goff’s early career arc (without mentioning how much success Jeff Fisher’s former Rams QBs are enjoying since his departure from the league for some reason…), we’re thinking that a Goff MVP selection will likely be an uninspired choice – a bit like how Brady took his first with a line of 16-for-27 for 145 yards and 1 TD.

• C.J. Anderson – 16/1, 25/1. Seriously, isn’t Anderson’s narrative potentially even greater than Goff’s? Dude gets cut by two teams, signs with a flailing contender whose play-action game has disappeared despite their franchise HB, and goes for an average of 115.5 yards and 1 TD per game in the clutch. And while Anderson didn’t look unstoppable against the Saints in the NFC Championship, New Orleans entered that game with the NFL’s no. 3 defense against the run; the Patriots rank just 16th. Additionally, New England has faced just one A-list running back this season: Kareem Hunt in week 6, who torched them for 185 total yards and a TD.

• Aaron Donald – 16/1, 10/1. What is NFLbets missing here? Sure, defensive players have only taken the MVP award in eight of the 52 Super Bowls thus far (as opposed to 29 quarterbacks), but it’s happened in two of the past five, and in both instances did the MVP (Malcolm Smith for the Seahawks, Miller for the Broncos) play for an all-star defense. If Donald gets, likesay, a sack or two and/or a forced fumble in a low-scoring game with two Brady turnovers, voters could very well consider rewarding the prospective two-time NFL DMVP another trophy for the mantelpiece.

• Aqib Talib – 66/1, 65/1. Now, NFLbets admits we’re deep into longshot territory here. Hell, to bet on Talib at the Belaggio, you’ll have to take “any another Ram” at 66/1! No cornerback has ever taken the Super Bowl MVP (though, again, Ty Law certainly had a case), but if any Rams player is going to jump a route to snag a pick off Brady, it should be the former Patriot. Yes, Belichick will certainly want Brady to stay away from Talib – particularly given how beatable Marcus Peters has been this season – so we’re counting on Sean McVay’s second-half adjustments here.

• Andrew Whitworth – available upon request, 65/1. We don’t actually prescribe making this bet, as this is merely NFLbets’ fantasy, although since our online sportsbook lists Austin Proehl as the longest shot in this prop at 750/1, a tiny throw at those odds won’t hurt too much. In the meantime, NFLbets continues to hope that, some year in a low-watt Super Bowl, an offensive lineman gets his due and takes home a Rozelle Trophy. Someday, this bet will come in. Maybe even in our lifetime.

• Johnny Hekker – 500/1, 65/1. Admittedly, a bet on Hekker is wacky-unto-insanity, particularly since Belichick is certain to be on red alert in any potential fake-punt situation, but note: If betting in Vegas (and thus Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey or New Mexico), a wager on “Any Other Ram” will cover Hekker, Talib and the entire OL. I like those odds…

• Greg Zeuerlein – 125/1, 100/1. Did you hear the way Joe Buck and Troy Aikman during the NFC Championship Game broadcast, plus just about every talking head on FOX, CBS and ESPN thereafter (when the subject under discussion wasn’t the no-call, that is) has been taking up “Greg the Leg.” If we didn’t know better, we’d be thinking building conspiracy here. On the other hand, if they didn’t give it to Vinatieri in 2002…


If you believe in conspiracies and/or game-fixing, you’re betting on the Rams in Super Bowl LIII

Friday, 25 January 2019 09:15 EST

NFL betting conspiraciesAll but the most rational of NFL fans and bettors have wondered just how much in-game tampering has been ordered by league higherups in a game here or there, i.e. “The fix is in!”

NFLbets would say that at least 29 of the league’s 32 teams – we figure the Texans’, Lions’ and Browns’ woes are utterly self-inflicted – can point to specific instances when an entire game was stolen in order to present one narrative or another. The New Orleans Saints can now join the ranks of the screwed, “thanks” to the infamous no-call in the waning minutes of the 2019 NFC Championship Game.

Said no-call was certainly damn egregious, maybe even the worst non-call of all time and all that, but suspiciously bad calls have tuned games to the benefit of the league. Patriots haters and Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders fans can cite the Tuck Rule Game (and ignore the phantom “roughing the quarterback” penalty of the 1976 AFC Divisional). The Seattle Seahawks have Super Bowl XL as an exemplar of league favoritism toward the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Deflate-gate Game presents an interesting example in which both sides could argue victimization by conspiracy.

So if you believe that game-fixing – or, likesay, game result-influencing – exists in the NFL, you’ve gotta love the narrative building around the Los Angeles Rams just in time for Super Bowl LIII.

Start with the pass interference call itself. From the perspective of the NFL bettor, the last quarter perhaps even more of a rollercoaster ride than for fans. As the Saints drove the ball for their last chance at the endzone in regulation time, the score was 20-20; not only would a New Orleans touchdown have flipped every ticket reading “Rams +3½” and “Saints -3½”, but bets on under-56½ would become extinct with a subsequent Rams TD. Instead, we get the no-call, an overtime, and just 9 more points scored.

Why is this relevant? Because you can bet (so to speak) that the majority of the money at the sportsbook was on the Saints; the 3-point spread for the AFC game didn't budge, so the balance of bets was certainly not radically far from 50/50.. As for the Super Bowl, the line of Rams -1 shifted to Patriots -2 wihtin about six hours of its release; guess where most money is on this game, and how much the bookmakers stand to gain from a 3-point Rams SU win...

We can also consider the current situation of the Rams franchise. The Generation X-aged fans of Southern California returned to Rams fandom immediately upon the team’s return to Los Angeles, but the Rams reamin at very best a second-favorite to the Raiders in L.A. and southward. Meanwhile, franchise owner Sam Kroenke is footing the bill for construction of a reported $1 billion dollar stadium facility, and he certainly wants assistance for saving a money-losing NFL franchise. The team’s appearance on Hard Knocks garnered some interest locally, as has the performance of boy wonder head coach Sean McVay.

But this is Los Angeles, man! The world’s largest entertainment factory and second-largest football market, as we were reminded constantly in the years leading up the Rams and Chargers relocations. This team needs more mass media coverage than a freakin’ Chunky Soup commercial with Todd Gurley in it; they need Nick Foles and Aaron Donald and Johnny Hecker to be trading witticisms with Jimmy Kimmel and his ilk. Lemme tell ya, as a resident of South California, a single appearance on the Tonight Show might go further than an NFC Championship Game win with these far-weather fans.

And the opponent for this team, franchise and city to vanquish on the path to glory? Who better than that force of EEEEevil themselves, the New England Patriots?

NFLbets will be detailing later what we believe to be the Rams’ roadmap to victory over the Patriots , but we’ve been saying since the matchup was set that every neutral without a betting stake in the Patriots will be backing the Rams in Atlanta. For the first time this season, the Rams will play before something resembling a home crowd.

And if you think the NFL digs on narratives, how utterly karmically perfect would a Los Angeles Rams victory over the very same coach-and-QB combo that went from plucky underdogs to merciless dominators be? Indescribably so – that’s how much.

And how about the stealth commissioner himself? After getting put in embarrassing and over-complicated positions by the New England franchise since that very first Super Bowl win and Spygate, how much do you think Roger Goodell wants the Patriots to win this game? (Answer: What’s less than zero?)

Finally, consider this. The term “franchise fatigue,” typically applied to another sort of franchise such as Star Wars or Star Trek, has entered fandom’s vernacular in 2018 in reference to those New England Patriots. If such a thing even exists – NFLbets isn’t entirely sure it does in any real sense –

It all seems to add up to a pretty convenient narrative now, doesn’t it? The conspiracy is all in favor of the Los Angeles Rams.