I know MIA is taking the world by storm right now, and rightfully so. Tua has been the second highest rated QB this season, and the duo of Waddle + Hill is impossible to contain. But, for some reason, Vegas has set the line more than a FG favorite toward CIN, so they know something that I don’t! Could be a hangover week for MIA.
Reflection: All the concern should be on Tua after this game, he never deserved to be in that spot. CIN covered and looked like the more rested, put together team but it was hard to celebrate this one.
BAL +3.5 (-110)
BAL has the highest rated QB this season in Lamar Jackson, leading an offense that he’s always been capable of scoring 30+ points with per game. BUF seems like the team to beat in the AFC, despite their loss down in MIA without all their secondary starters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see crazy good QB numbers in this game, but the fact again here is the line is set more in BAL favor than I would have anticipated, so I am leaning on them having a good outing against a great AFC contender.
ATL ML (+110)
CLE has shown to be a decent football team despite playing with their backup QB. Truth be told (look at the linked QB rankings), J. Brissett has played better than most other QB’s in the league! ATL is one of those ‘fun, but young and bad’ teams, which I think gives them a chance to put a few plays together that are enough to change the outcome of this one. Too close of a line when I think CLE clearly has the better roster/coach/scheme combination.
JAX ML (+220)
Eh, PHI could be the best team in the entire NFL (not enough conclusive evidence yet), but JAX has really turned some heads the past two weeks with incredible performances on both sides of the ball. Maybe there’s something to be said about D. Pederson coaching against PHI, where he won a super bowl. Or, maybe this is one of those games that the decision making and playmaking ability of T. Lawrence & J. Hurts will determine the outcome. I like juiced up underdogs like this, but never thought it would be JAX against a team as hot and loaded as PHI. Here goes nothing!
CAR ML (-120)
This is mostly a fade ARI play, because K. Murray is somewhat ineffective without playmaking WR’s (Hopkins/Kirk) and pass-catching RB’s (Edmonds). I don’t like betting to favor CAR, but I think this is another instance where I would have set the line probably -2.5 ARI, so it’s off enough for me to realize I’m not totally analyzing it correctly and someone with lots of information thinks CAR has an advantage.
BUF has steamrolled the competition in their last 16 wins, all of them coming by double digits or more. However, I think there’s something to be said about divisional opponents on the road, especially when MIA has the two fastest WR’s in the league. BUF just lost M. Hyde, a great safety that will surely cause some steps backward in their secondary. There was enough juice here to pull the trigger.
Reflection: Quite the game battled in the heat of Miami, but in the end this value paid off big time! The loss of starters on defense may have cost BUF just a few extra big plays that allowed MIA to take the lead and hold off the offense for just a few drives. MIA remains undefeated.
CAR ML (+116)
Carolina is a really bad football team with really bad coaches, but I can’t shake the feeling that NO should be favored by more in this game, with the better roster nearly top to bottom. That always tells me that Vegas knows something! And again, this is a road divisional opponent…
Reflection: CAR took control from the start and really never lost it. NO and Jameis look like they’re going down a road of many losses and questionable outcomes. CAR didn’t look too good either, and as a CMC fantasy owner, I’d love for him to catch some more passes.
MIN -6 (-110)
DET has been one of the surprising teams this year, especially offensively. This is a game that I feel like the spread should be closer to 3.5 rather than 6, so I see Vegas’ anticipating something happening and want to get on board with that. DET can run the ball against anyone, I just question if they’ll have any answer to MIN offense.
Reflection: Despite winning by more than a field goal, MIN failed to cover the points laid to them this week. DET controlled the first half of this game, J. Goff looked like Brady and MIN was stalling on offense for about an hour. Per usual though, DET defense broke down and the offense didn’t have the dynamic ability to get into a shootout on command. They kept it close until one of the last plays and looked like a good team for a good portion of this game.
CIN -6 (-110)
With a rough start to the year, CIN is not looking to lose to NYJ like they did last season. Burrow is going to be under pressure a lot this year as we have seen, however I don’t think NYJ has the defensive scheme/talent to capitalize as much as teams like PIT and DAL did. I expect them to respond positively in this game and win convincingly.
Reflection: CIN pounced all over NYJ, as I predicted here. The WR trio of Higgins, Chase and Boyd is the best in the league, and the NYJ offense has always been a mess as long as I can remember. CIN capitalized on costly penalties but also were dominant in making plays on the ball and attacking strengths/weaknesses in a strategic way.
CHI vs. HOU under 39.5 (-114)
These two teams will be near the bottom offensively when it’s all said and done, so I have no problem taking an under, especially when it’s set this low. CHI style of offense will drain the clock without putting too many points on the board, and hopefully their defense has a better matchup than against GB last week.
Reflection: Both offenses looked like they can run the ball decently, however they got off to a relatively fast scoring start and cruised past this total. I still think the under in most CHI games are a good play, along with PIT and DEN.
T. Hill and J. Waddle are a perfect compliment to a great running scheme. BAL is susceptible to the run, and might not have the manpower to go one on one with MIA top guys. Phins keep it close to the ugly birds.
Reflection: An offensive performance I doubt anyone predicted, Tua and MIA won outright against BAL thanks to his 5 TD passes and an incredible comeback. Lamar was nearly perfect but the BAL defense really stunk it up to hand MIA a comeback win.
NYG -2.5 (-110)
Offensively, NYG looks like they have the talent to put up some crooked numbers, especially on the ground. Given the problems CAR just had against the run, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that continue. Saquon can burst at any time!!
Reflection: A game as boring as it looked on paper, managed to play out exactly how Vegas wanted it to. NYG and CAR kept the game close the entire time and a massive FG won it late. Defenses played well, particularly CAR, who just couldn’t manage to win the time of possession due to turnovers.
NYJ ML (+210)
CLE has a good rushing attack, just like BAL did before the Jets played great against that area. This game could come down to a field goal at the last second.
Reflection: I’m going to continue betting moneyline underdogs when I think they got a chance! CLE played well but really just let NYJ back in the game, and they just kept feeding their two-headed RB monster as well as the young stud G. Wilson. A. Cooper was a force for CLE, even without a star QB, and Chubb/Hunt duo did what they will likely do every week.
TB ML (-155)
Gotta be a trap, because Tom Brady can have an offense comfortably control a game despite not playing well. NO have dominated him though, so don’t be surprised if they figure out a way to slow him down or keep him off the field (even better).
Reflection: Tom Brady is the best person to bet on ever, I’m pretty sure that would be a correct statistic but that’s also my personal experience. I am 5-0 when betting on TB12.
SEA +10 (-110)
Geno Smith is 10-0 against the spread in his last 10 games, I gotta ride that! Anyways, the 49ers somehow let a lead slip away against a pretty young and questionable athletes on CHI roster, making me think perhaps their young and questionable athlete is not ready to lead an NFL team. Backdoor cover at the least.
Reflection: A game that included the unfortunate loss of young QB T. Lance, who was lined up to be the next young generational QB. SF dominated the game regardless, winning by 20. However, J. Garrapollo did everything that he does in order to win football games (rating over 100).
CIN -7.5 (-110)
I’m doubtful that any defense will replicate the game against CIN that PIT did last week, and they’ll be hungry to assert their dominance. Why not roll with a good team after a loss?
Reflection: Super Bowl hangover? Losing to M. Trubisky and C. Rush are not great talking points at practice or team meetings. CIN offensive line was the problem when J. Burrow got injured two years ago, it was the problem during the Super Bowl last year, and the offensive line proved again in this game that they are still a liability, giving up six sacks and less than four yards per carry.
TEN +10 (-110)
Let’s not forget that sometimes D. Henry just totally takes over a game. I’m thinking that TEN is going to be a below average team this year, however I think for a game like this they will be prepared for. Feed the machine.
Reflection: BUF is insanely good, they’ve won 16 straight games by 10+ points. TEN didn’t stand a chance with their limited roster talent.
PHI -2 (-110)
If J. Hurts can make good throwing decisions and keep using his mobility for first downs and scores, this PHI team is good enough to go a long way this season. I am going to imagine a quick pass to D. Smith early in the game to get him involved after getting no action last week.
Reflection: The addition of A. Brown seems to be a good fit for J. Hurts, who used him to get comfortable and start finding other guys like Watkins and Smith throughout the game. Hurts also ran the ball as well as any QB, and he looks to be big and strong enough to take the hits and punish defensive backs for going low.
One of the most wonderful times of the year; march madness in college basketball. As a fan of many sports, I can confidently say there’s not much like the first weekend’s onslaught of games seemingly non stop.
So, to give myself extra rooting interest in every game that I watch, I decided to pick every single game of the first round against the spread. This idea has been done before so I am no pioneer, but it makes for fun engagement and as previously mentioned it gives me a little bit of rooting interest.
Here is the disclaimer though; I am not placing actual wagers on these matchups, and a strategy of betting every game in a sport usually doesn’t work well. My goal is to get either 50% of these picks correct or break even on my bankroll.
On the brink of the most disrupting pandemic ever, the winter of 2019 and 2020 brought a long-awaited expansion of the major sports betting markets.
In the state of Michigan, I was able to sign up for five different sports books all within a couple weeks of each other (with significantly good bonuses at the time). So from my experience I will be speaking on the following companies:
From user interface to connected casino/sportsbook/fantasy account balances, FanDuel has been the best sports betting experience for me so far.
The goal for many sports bettors is to make a profit, so it’s nice to know what your accounts net winnings are. FanDuel’s account balance section makes it more than easy to scroll down and have the total amount laid and total amount won back displayed in an instant.
As for the mobile app, it seems to be a much more clean and flowing interface that makes things easier to find. Which leads into the next advantage of FanDuel; it offers EVERYTHING. From same game parlays to boosted odds to can’t lose promos to daily fantasy, the coverage FanDuel offers is second to none.
Each sportsbook has to offer varying odds of some sort for competitive advantage, however time and time again when I do my line shopping I find myself declaring FanDuel as the best odds pretty frequently. With revenue of nearly $900 million in 2020, FanDuel had been the top money maker during the early stages of legalized sports betting expansion, earning the business of many sports bettors alike.
In a market as crowded as the sports betting market right now, being the ‘second best’ sports book is a very big compliment. For a company like Caesars, they got their start in a much more traditional form of betting – casinos.
While the casino business doesn’t directly affect our sports betting experiences, the resources and foundation it provided Caesars to develop a cutting-edge mobile app and memorable marketing materials like this can’t go unmentioned:
My favorite part of the Caesars experience are the occasional super boosts that occur for popular events. At times they will release a Super Boost that has boosted +100 odds for something that almost always happens (like a QB throwing for over 150 yards).
It’s not necessarily a given that all mobile apps feel refreshing to use when searching for bets, but the first two names on my list go above and beyond in their design and interface.
Although FanDuel had dominated the early stages of the industry expansion, DraftKings has been quick to make up the ground. With an estimated $1.8 billion in 2021 revenue, their projections fall evenly with their rivals’ for the year.
In terms of ‘gateway’, DraftKings is a likely first destination for people entering the market due to the massive coverage they possess on national media and partnerships. Becoming a fan favorite sports book was important, so DraftKings developed the ability to host countless promos, bonuses and special boosts.
Without a doubt my favorite moments on DraftKings come when they release ‘Hammer the Over’ specials that lower with each x amount of users placing a bet. The wager amount is limited, but there’s nothing like telling all your friends and family about guaranteed money.
The public sides with DraftKings; on my personal Instagram story, 16 users voted for DraftKings compared to 13 for FanDuel, 9 for Barstool and 7 for Caesars.
The best sign up bonus I ever received was from PointsBet. Using a friends referral code, him and I both received $200 in free bets. Not only that, but unlike many books like MGM, the free bets could be used in any increments – not just $100 per bet or anything else restricting.
Needless to say, I enjoyed becoming a user of PointsBet. I will also say that the best looking dark-mode interface belongs to PointsBet and not DraftKings like many others might think. Maybe it could be that I think the colors red and black are better suited for a sports book than green and black for whatever reason.
PointsBet takes a slightly different approach, they like to offer different odds for alternative lines on games, hence the name of ‘Points Bet’. It’s nice to see the different options available to bettors, and they do a great job of balancing that new atmosphere.
Last and, in my opinion least, is BetMGM. This might be hard to believe if you looked at my investing portfolio, as I do own shares of MGM. However, the betting experience I’ve had while using the BetMGM app is not hard to beat.
To get one thing out of the way; I was not a fan of the helmet icons MGM used during college football season last year. Instead of using just school logos or opting to go no visual at all, they decided on cheesy looking helmet graphics for each college. Despite the creativity involved, the end result was not better than a clean image of a school’s logo.
For a company that trails only FanDuel in market capitalization, I expected more when using their sports book. As PointsBet allowed me to do as I wished with my sign-up bonus free bets, BetMGM locked them as $100 individual free bets, and the payout on the bets didn’t include the free $100 bet!
Since it’s always time to win, the best way to win is by placing the right bets on books with the highest odds. MGM rarely if ever offers a few cents more on a payout compared to the other books mentioned in this article. That reason above all is why they’re ranked last, because it’s not enough to just offer the games – you have to offer a competitive advantage.
All in all, each sports book has its pros and cons just like every other market with options in the world. Don’t forget to sign up for as many books as you can, so the next time you’re looking to place even just one bet, you’re able to ‘shop’ the books for the best price.
Enjoy these short paragraphs for my reasoning on betting these teams this weekend:
NE ML (+170)
I’ll put my money on Bill Belichick in the playoffs against a divisional team he just lost to a few weeks ago. BUF might have the advantage on offense and even overall defensive unit, but NE can scheme up defenses that makes QB’s see ghosts. If J. Allen makes big throws like he did in their last matchup, BUF has a much greater chance at winning. I expect NE to control the game and keep BUF uncomfortable.
Reflection: Well, Josh Allen and the Bills played a literal perfect game. No punts, field goals, or turnovers. All touchdowns. Every time they wanted to score a TD, they did. Take my money.
SF ML (+150)
I always enjoy placing money on good offenses. SF leads the NFL in yards per play at 6.1, followed third by DAL at 6.0. Needless to say the offenses in this matchup are efficient. However, DAL is the worst team in the NFL at committing penalties (on both sides of the ball) and we all know how pivotal a pass interference or holding can be to a game. SF has the kicking advantage which could be a deciding factor in a closely rated matchup such as this one.
Reflection: This one felt a little too mainstream by the time the game rolled around, and SF did exactly what they needed to in order to win; establish the run, limit DAL offense and get creative. Almost gave up a crucial comeback attempt, but prevailed nonetheless.
ARI ML (+155)
We know this ‘upset’ is possible because it has already been done earlier in the year. I know it was early and these teams are at much different places now, however it’s still a divisional game in the playoffs that makes me think it will be closely matched. Would Kingsbury be on the hot seat if they lose this one?
If you’re a fan of college football, or even if you just pay attention to the big games and big schools, it was no doubt that the two best teams in the sport are the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs.
During this national championship, I am excited to see how a few things play out including Bama’s offensive firepower without Metchie III, as well as if Bama’s defense can continue the hot streak they have been playing with. Here are my picks:
Alabama Money Line +125
This could end up being a trap, one that I have fallen victim to before. The line at Georgia -2.5 feels wrong. Based on everything that has unfolded recently, Bama should be the favorite in this game by about a FG.
Since they’re not, I’ll definitely take them at plus-money odds to win outright on the money line. This game is truly a toss up for me, and I probably would take Georgia if their money line price was plus money too.
QB Bryce Young torched the Georgia defense last time out, and it seems like the Alabama offense can operate while supporting the pass AND the run game as the primary force. I expect both teams to take their punches and I’m rooting for an ending like the last time these two teams played in a championship:
Three bets this week, feeling good about all of them. It’s the last week to shake up the draft order, which will cause a new, more accurate edition of my 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
PHI has been a good team throughout this season, able to control most games with their league leading rushing attack (in terms of yards and rush TD’s), and could potentially be a team to upset someone in the playoffs. With that being said, they have yet to beat a team that’s currently above .500, and DAL is the best team in the league at covering the spread (meaning they can typically handle less talented teams).
Additionally, in today’s NFL I believe the team with a better passing offense has a better chance at winning games for a variety of reasons, and DAL has the better passing QB and WR’s in this matchup.
SEA vs. ARI o47.5 (-110)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Russ and co. are going to want to cook one last time before a potential off-season departure for the franchise QB. A game like this could turn into a shootout and both teams have the playmakers and QB’s to make it happen.
ARI offense has hit a wall lately, but they are still one of the most efficient teams in the NFL, and SEA will have a hard time forcing turnovers against them. It also makes an over easer to bet on when SEA is dead last in offensive turnover percentage, meaning their offense production is more ‘readable’ and ‘predictive’.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
I know all about the dominance of SF over LAR in their past six matchups, however I think this spread is an overreaction to recent games as well as over compensating for previous head to head trends.
As many games do, the difference in this spread covering or not could come down to turnovers. Both teams commit turnovers around the same rate, however LAR defense forces turnovers at a top ten percentage (12.9%), compared to SF who is 26th (8.7%).
I’m taking another FG favorite, and this time the biggest mismatch will be the CAR defense against the NYG offense. CAR ranks near the top in categories such as yards per play (5.2), scoring percentage (29.3%) and points per drive (1.68). Meanwhile, the NYG offense has 5.6 yards per play, 35.4% scoring and 1.74 points per drive. If it wasn’t for a OT win against NO, NYG would be winless on the season, and they’ll be without Saquon Barkley in this game who scored twice against NO in that upset.
Reflection: Sam Darnold is not a good NFL quarterback, and the CAR defense was massively inflated due to their easy schedule to start the season. NYG still aren’t a good football team, but I have bet on CAR twice this season and both times they have looked terrible.
CIN +6.5 (-110)
I am betting against a BAL team that outscored CIN a combined 65-6 in the two games last year, but the beginning of this season shows a much improved CIN defense that is able to give the offense enough opportunities to hit their home runs. The BAL offense is among the most dominant in the league, but there can be weaknesses in their pass rush and secondary on the other side of the ball. The only common opponent among the two this year is winless DET, and CIN handled them with much more ease than BAL did. I think the divisional underdog keeps it within a field goal, perhaps something like a 30-27 loss.
Reflection: Probably not a final score many saw coming, but CIN looks to be the real deal. The offense is fully capable of scoring with the best of them and the defense has been among the leagues most surprising this season. BAL didn’t put up much of a fight and now the AFC North looks open for potentially every team.
WSH vs. GB o48.5 (-110)
So far these two teams average out to surpass this total in their games’ combined scores this season. WSH does have enough of an offensive attack to put points on the board, but it has been their poor defense that has caused such high game totals. Their opponents average well over 30 points per game in their last five, and this GB team still has Rodgers and Adams at home where they continue to take care of the football and convert drives into points. Not quite a shootout, but a reasonable score could be 31-20 and we’ll take that.
Reflection: GB did their part, they scored when they had the chance thanks to Aaron Rodgers and company, but WSH was not able to do anything on offense despite GB being without four defensive starters. The WSH defense has not lived up to the hype coming into the season and perhaps their offense is feeling the weight of having a backup take all the snaps under center.
PHI vs. LV u49.0 (-110)
PHI has a very inconsistent offense, scoring on a relatively low 33.8% of their drives. On defense though, PHI has shined more than I expected. Against some of the best offenses (KC, TB, DAL) they broke down, but they have four straight games with a turnover and have not allowed 300+ yards passing in any game yet this year. LV will be looking to throw the ball more often than run, as they have only ran for 100+ yards once this year. I predict a teeter totter game ending somewhere along the lines of 27-20.
Reflection: I was right about the PHI offense, it is extremely inconsistent and they were out of this game before they even got their footing. LV has dealt with plenty of distractions in recent weeks but they showed up against a decent PHI defense and put up 33 points. A garbage time TD prevented this from going under and that has been PHI motto all year.
DET vs. LAR u50.5 (-110)
Forget about Jared Goff’s “revenge game”, DET hasn’t cracked 20 points in five straight games. We all know what the LAR offense is capable of; they own the first rated passing attack in the league at 8.6 NY/A. Couple that with going against the worst pass defense in the league in DET and this could become a very lopsided game, leading to a lot of bleeding clock and unmotivated drives. This game shouldn’t be close, no matter how you stack the pieces. Final score around the likes of 30-17.
Reflection: DET still hasn’t scored 20+ points in any of their last six games, despite showing some trick plays to get a head start early in this game. LAR are as good as any team in the league when they’re firing on all cylinders, and it was nice to see that their offense didn’t have a huge field day in terms of scoring points against a troublesome DET defense.
A very exciting matchup between two of the best young QBs is going to result in Justin Herbert throwing well over 300 yards. In games against above average offenses, BAL has allowed an average of 381 passing yards per game while not showing any signs of having a typical dominant BAL defense. Meanwhile, the LAC have better showings against common opponents in LV and KC.
DAL -3.5 (-112)
This DAL offense should have frequent opportunities to score points given how they average 6.5 yards per play despite the NE defense being among the stingiest this year (5.1 yards per play). I don’t like the NE track record of rookie/unproven QB’s and the one QB that Bill Belichick knows better than anyone else. DAL rolls this one and keeps their momentum.
BUF -5.5 (-110)
Am I the only one wondering why this line is not higher around 8 or 9? On the year, BUF’ margin of victory is 29 points! TEN defense has had issues at times throughout this season but has found a way to limit the points they’ve allowed. However, giving up 6.1 yards per play against Josh Allen and his squad that average 6.0 per play is a recipe for disaster, especially considering the insanely low yards per play (4.3) and points allowed per drive (1.0) by the BUF defense.
MIN vs. CAR u47.5 (-110)
CAR started the season with three straight games of 33 total points and has gone under 47.5 points in all but one game (DAL). MIN is on a three game streak of going under 47.5 points and that couples well with how their offense is not set up to be a super explosive one but rather a consistent and balanced approach averaging a moderate 5.7 yards per play. There may be holes in that CAR defense as evident against DAL, but when the offense is able to hold onto the football they generally take a good amount of time off the clock in doing so.
SEA vs. PIT u42.5 (-115)
This primetime matchup could be a whole lot of nothing. Replacing Russell Wilson will make it hard enough to score 20+ points, and the PIT defense should be getting a few starting bodies back to beef up their fifth best 28.6% pressure rate. The PIT offense got going (kinda) last week, but it’s still a bottom five offense in my NFL model, so with just a couple of wasted possessions they might be falling short of 20+ points as well.