NFLbets rants and opinionates on football

Opinions? You bet NFLbets’s got some opinions – strong enough opinions to be called rants, in fact. Because let’s face it: The NFL is fodder for quite a few rants, in terms of both on- and off the field.

For example, take the league’s so-called stand on domestic violence and related issues. To start off the 2018 season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback giggled his way out of public shaming on a sexual assault case of three years previously to get a three-game suspension; getting caught smoking marijuana on the first offense gets a six-game suspension. So what is the league saying? Big pharma is at least twice as important as the female half of the population?

How about all that stuff in the mid-2010s about three franchises – two of which claimed fans of above-average loyalty – whose management sought to relocate the teams, come hell or high water. By 2015, management of the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers had all announced intentions to ditch their former homes because on unfavorable stadium deals, i.e. local populations refused to pay extra taxes for a free romper room for incompetent sides. After a dumbshow of a process which the NFL insisted would be objective, all three franchises relocated anyway.

As for Deflategate, well, NFLbets is certainly not set to ally with the Trump-loving New England Patriots, but that little debacle showed just what sort of tomfoolery the NFL’s interests are capable of – even with no evidence, reason or truth behind it. (Bitter lefties might call the Patriots’ punishment karma, except that in the same season QB Tom Brady missed four games, the team won the damn Super Bowl.)

But hey, let’s not forget the on-the-field shenanigans. Most would agree the refereeing is at its all-time worst in the NFL, yet the league has no interest in making the zebras, likesay, actual full-time employees of the league. With instant replay and coach’s challenges now a part of the TV-enslaved game, NFL referees are getting into a nasty laissez-faire habit of letting the replay decide key plays. Except sometimes the ref must make the call – and it’s inevitably botched.

Or how about simultaneously celebrating the bone-crunching, brain-scrambling hits we see every Sunday, yet somehow trying to change the rules to eliminate them? Players are encouraged to destroy but then fined or penalized for doing so; all the better to get more commercial breaks into the telecast, we think.

Or how about the stupid rule which obliges a team which just won the game by scoring a touchdown with zero time remaining on the clock to kick (or at least set up) an utterly unnecessary extra point? At least this will probably change with the expansion of sports betting the US post-2018, but damn is that the stupidest rule ever – good only to screw those betting point spreads and over/unders with a ½-point on ’em.

So yeah, if you’re seeking rants and hot(tish) takes like these, this is the page of NFLbets for you.

To those complaining about Todd Gurley’s non-TD: Quit your bitching and stop playing DFS

Monday, 29 October 2018 11:55 EST

Morpheus donEven more predictable than the post-game hyperbole proclaiming the 2018 Los Angeles Rams to be The Greatest X of All-Time or the Greatest Team Since Y were the pitiable lamentations of fantasy football “team” “owners” over the missing pointage Todd Gurley cost them in the final minute.

What was different about this perceived slight was the insistence by mainstream media that Gurley’s brilliant time-expending play that gamblers would be outraged. Within 30 minutes of the final gun, those well-known sports betting experts at the Business Insider had posted an internationally-distributed piece entitled “Todd Gurley stops short of the end zone on final play to swing millions for sports bettors.”

Naturally, this story was devoid of concrete statistics and completely ignored the reality that the Green Bay Packers are consistently a top draw for NFL bettors and Wisconsin homers. NFLbets would guess with littler fear of contradiction that a lot more money was wagered on Green Bay +7½ than the favored L.A. minus the points. Equally as naturally, scads more like stories followed this one, and literally none have a firm grip on current U.S. gambling law.

But NFLbets isn’t here to criticize uninformed journalists. We’re here to rant. Specifically about those small-minded complainers. To those bitching about Todd Gurley for fantasy reasons, grow up and realize that you’re gambling. Quit stroking your ego about that week when you guessed correctly – that’s right: *guessed*, f^^#%^@ers – and realize that you sound like a slots player bragging about a system. Just for starters, we suppose you knew that James Connor would “outscore” Gurley or that Marvin Jones would have a “better” game than Antonio Brown or that the Rams’ top receiver would be Josh Reynolds. Yeah, surrrrrrrrrre.

That’s the thing, though, isn’t it? Any game in which a poor man’s LeVeon Beall is more highly rewarded than the league’s MVP who demonstrated football intelligence above and beyond is straight-up bunk. Any football-based game in which one may have to “play” without a quarterback due to some random injury is absurd. And football wherein the offensive line has absolutely zero impact on the final outcome is already called f^&@+&@ing flag football.

But we suppose if you didn’t again take note that some dude with an algorithm cruncher and perhaps a passing knowledge of football won your DFS contest again, you probably never will.

Incidentally, none of this is to say that daily fantasy or traditional fantasy football isn’t fun or even worth throwing a few bucks at. But the proper fantasy football player must realize that DFS is straight-up mostly-unskilled gambling. Blaming Todd Gurley, who’s surely saved thousands of players’ bacon every week this season, for your fantasy team’s loss sounds trivial at best and insulting to the intelligence at worst.

As for those who took the Rams -7½ points – a wager that NFLbets emphatically did not prescribe – and might today be whining about Gurley passing up the touchdown, you sound even weaker than the bellyaching DFS losers. First off, you should know that nobody likes “bad beat” stories anyway, and this one would rank pretty damn low on the list regardless.

Secondly, you presumedly took the Rams minus more than a touchdown against a plucky Packers side based at least in part on the game smarts that Sean McVeigh has instilled in his players, a hallmark of all great NFL teams. By taking the uncommonly clever option over the selfish stat-padding choice preferred by fantasy football players, Todd Gurley “screwed” you all for the exact reason you bet on his Rams.

Finally, imagine the alternative: Say Gurley runs in the touchdown and Greg Zuerlein connects on the extra point for a 9-point Rams lead with over one minute to play. At this point, who doesn’t believe that Aaron Rodgers can work the magic again and at least heave-ho for a touchdown? Bam, suddenly it’s a 2-point game again and you lose on Rams -7½ anyway. Plus then you get to hear all the stories from the DFS players about how even though they had Gurley, the team they were playing had Rodgers and/or Davante Adams.

Look, even if you’re purely an NFL bettor with no loyalties to anything but the win ATS, you simply have to appreciate what Gurley and the Rams are doing in 2018. If he cost you a bet at the sportsbook, sorry. If you finished out of the money in DFS, boo hoo. Or as the man himself put it, “Man, forget fantasy and forget Vegas.”

(And you know he wanted to use another f-word in there…)

NFL Kickoff Game: Recommendations if you really must bet (but realize you’re basically gambling)

Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:25 EST

Betting week 1 in the NFLThis is NFLbets’ NFL Betting Tip #3: Do not bet in week one. The principle goes double for the NFL Kickoff Game, on which way too many NFL bettors traditionally tend to believe that the current season will be very much like the previous (spoiler: It won’t be) and wager real money accordingly.

If you realize that there is a high (high!) element of luck involved in betting NFL Kickoff Games, fine – skip to the end of this column to consider NFLbets’ lukewarm recommendation. For everyone else, it’s ranting time…

The doublethink about preseason NFL football

A strange sort of doublethink take over the pervades the NFL bettor’s mind going into week 1. While he/she has spent the past month or two railing about he useless nature of preseason games, of watching games with never-weres that you’ll never see play again, of competition between 10 players for the 53rd spot on the roster. And even most viewers of Hard Knocks would admit that, by its very nature as “reality” tv, much of what makes the HBO-screened episodes is staged and/or exaggerated.

Yet … yet way too many will throw money based on “evidence” from the offseason. Preposterous! How can one believe that preseason games are useless but simultaneously believe real information has been gleaned? How can one freely admit that extremely little actual football comprises each episode of Hard Knocks but also insight they’ve gained insight worth squandering money on? Come on!

The X-factor in week 1 of the NFL: Only about 29 teams Think about it: How many teams will reveal far more in week 1 about the season ahead than at any point in the pre- or regular season? Answer: The great majority, if not all.

Just off the top of NFLbets’ head here … the ostensibly Super Bowl-contending Minnesota Vikings have switched quarterbacks, while the Indianapolis Colts welcome one back they haven’t seen in two years and the Houston Texans return a QB whose incredible rookie season was interrupted. How will these offenses work? How good is the revamped Cleveland Browns roster? How bad is the Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver corps? And how about those Rams? (Recall that most of L.A.’s blue-chippers played not a down in the offseason, yet they’re second-favorite at most sportsbooks to win the Lombardi in February.)

The answer to all these questions is pure conjecture – until the week 1 results are in

Vegas is much better at this than you are

Easy picks in the NFL Kickoff Game? Come on! Vegas is smarter than you are on opening night, and it’s not even close.

Sure, home teams are 12-2 SU in this game since the traditional Thursday night opener has featured the defending Super Bowl champions – but ATS, the home teams/defending Super Bowl Champions/favorites are a more realistic 7-4-4. Decreasing the sample size makes things for NFL bettors look even worse: Favorites are just 3-3-2 in the last eight and have lost the last two games ATS.

The point here: The sportsbooks probably do far better in opening week than their customers. If you insist on covering the Philadelphia Eagles minus the points tonight, they’d better be blowing out the Falcons by the end of the first, like 14-0, or you may as well throw your ticket away at halftime and enjoy the inevitable ensuing 1-point SU Eagles win.

Just don’t do it.

If you must bet, our pick

All signs in the immediate short term, likesay tonight, point in the Atlanta Falcons’ favor. WRs Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins are out due to injury; CB Deiondré Hall and LB Nigel Bradham will miss due to suspension. DE Michael Bennett as well as RBs Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement will play hurt. And of course in lieu of the still-recovering Carson Wentz is Nick Foles, who likely turned back into a pumpkin a short while after the Super Bowl limelight faded.

So NFLbets is thinking about taking the Falcons, particularly with so much action coming in on the Eagles to move this line from as high as Falcons -5½ to as low as -1 – essentially a pick ‘em – on game day, but one tiny fact remains in our collective face: WE REALLY DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS TEAM YET. On top of this, NFLets is verrrrrrrry suspicious about all the hype being thrown this Falcons offense supposedly ready to recapture the stat-bending 2016 season.

Except Steve Sarkasian is still the offensive coordinator and, despite shaving an average of over 12 points per game from this offense’s output, should still be expected to provide competence at best, but this team ain’t spinning any scoreboards – particularly against stingy pass defenses like the Eagles’ (appears to be).

So while NFLbets is kinda thinking the Falcons SU and/or -1 might be worth a flutter, we’re thinking the better bet, with one offense hurting and the other Sarkasianed, is to take the under on an O/U of 44½ points – but you really shouldn’t be betting in week 1 at all.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Hard Knocks episode 3 review

Friday, 24 August 2018 12:46 EST

Hard Knocks with Cleveland BrownsA rant about Hard Knocks.

Y’know what NFLbets really hates? F^%#@^&ing reality tv! Seriously, has anything in human history ever been so unaptly named! Folks, it’s *teevee* and therefore unreal, surreal perhaps, but most definitely unreal!

Reality tv is to live television as spam is to pork: a composition of cheaper product slapped together with no nutritive value for greater culture and even individual betterment! Shows ranging from Survivor to Chopped are passed off as substance when in effect nearly every second the viewer sees is staged! It’s written for the “reality star”, re-shot and/or re-cut if necessary! There’s a reason these things aren’t done live, after all…

And yet, viewers of Chopped and Octomom and Jersey Shore and Fear Factor and whatever other mundane BS comes down the tube cheerfully believe in the promise of “reality” on “reality” tv! “Wow, it’s amazing how those bakers can make 1,000 cupcakes in one hour!” the amazed tv zombie says, or “Wow, how could the Bachelor have become such a snake?” as the lie sucks him/her in again!

And Hard Knocks is particularly egregious in the “fake news” respect! Not to mention dangerous for overly gullible NFL bettors! Already a certain sector of fandom gives waaaaaaaaaaaay too much credence to preseason outcomes! Worse yet, too many are throwing good money away betting on football while “armed” with this “information”!

In fact, sources tell NFLbets that the largest fraction of bets on the “over/under wins” futures bet are being plunked down on the Browns right now! Higher or lower! And you can’t tell me that the most forgotten team in the NFL is suddenly seeing Patriots-level action due to anything other than the massive exposure of an HBO production!

This NFL bettor, Os Davis, has seen one full season of Hard Knocks (the one starring the Los Angeles Rams 2.0) and at least one episode of most other seasons! Woof, is this show brutal, even by reality tv standards! Every season, NFLbets tries to avoid this damn program, but something keeps dragging us back!!!

In short, NFLbets can positively assert that season 13, episode 3 of Hard Knocks does the Cleveland Browns coaching staff no favors at all! Hue Jackson looks as lost in space as any NFL head coach since Art Shell, and we get another how many episodes of this?! Offensive Line coach Bob Wylie has a philosophy straight out the 1940s! His training regimen would never include stretching because soldiers in World War I and World War II didn’t stretch before hitting the beaches! It begs the question: “Wouldn’t football be an easier game with machine guns and artillery?! It would also take care of a lot of the CTE issues, too!

But worst of all is defensive coordinator Gregg Williams! If you want any proof that everything on Hard Knocks is at very least exaggerated, observe the meeting between Williams and washed-up country singer Brad Paisley! Williams doesn’t even know who the f**&#k the skinny little dude is, but nevertheless gives him a canned line! “If you're allegeric to the word ‘fuck’, you’d better get a prescription”! Ha ha!

(To be fair, that could be HBO’s slogan!)

And in the film room?!?!!! Come on! Williams comes off as a complete douche, condescending to his players! Wait until these guys see what he (and, by association, they) look like! If anything, this series is going to work against Mr. Bountygate in terms of play relations! Come to think of it, how does Williams even have a job in the NFL?!? On the other hand, Wylie’s around, and he hasn’t coached an NFL team with a winning record since 2001!

Then about halfway through this mess of a Browns brain trust, we get the denouement of staginess for this episode! It’s still-unsigned free agent Dez Bryant, wearing a T-shirt reading SPIRITUAL GANGSTER! Whatever the f*&#^&^k that means! Browns fans should be pretty depressed about this turn by Bryant, though! Why?! Because all that can be gleaned from this cameo appearance at Browns camp/on Hard Knocks was all about the photo opportunity! Dez is barely more “spiritually” committed to Cleveland than he was two weeks ago!

O yeah, and this whole thing is punctuated with snippets from one dude who won’t make the team and one dude who will make the team! Shocker! Plus Jarvis Landry continues to try and pump up these Browns! If only for more camera time!

It’s been said about the Cleveland Browns before, but NFLbets’ll say it again: What a mess!!!!! At least on camera! And you people are betting on this team one way or another?!? 

Before you bet, please consider: What evidence have you seen of either talent or coaching ability?!? What actual, tangible proof can you point to as evidence implying a winning or losing season ahead?!?

And hopefully prior to your wager, you’ll have realized that you’ve been bamboozled by lame “reality” tv again! Or, like all too many, you won’t!

Grrrrrr, f^#@*&k reality tv, f^#@*&k Hard Knocks and f^#@*&k betting on the Cleveland Browns right now!

That’s the rant.