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After the Craziest Few Weeks in NFL Off-Season History, Updated Division/Title Odds

| March 28th, 2022


I’m posting these to DBB because over the course of the season, I find myself constantly searching out data like this. Figure it’s easier to store right here on the site. 


NFC NORTH

Packers -175

Vikings +275

Bears +750

Lions +1200

Thought: Green Bay actually feels a bit undervalued at that number. Barring a Rodgers injury, they are winning the division.


NFC EAST

Cowboys -115

Eagles +350

Commanders +400

Giants +650

Thought: The Giants have near identical odds to win their division as the Raiders do to win theirs. Just shows you how awful this division looks to be on paper. If the Cowboys weren’t such a national entity, they’d have plus odds.


NFC SOUTH

Bucs -280

Saints +450

Falcons +1000

Panthers +1100

Thought: What is there to say? On paper, this is the greatest divisional mismatch in the sport. It is Tom Brady vs. three teams that struck out on Deshaun Watson.


NFC WEST

Rams +160

Niners +195

Cardinals +325

Seahawks +1300

Thought: San Francisco is the team I’m most wary of at this stage because Trey Lance absolutely disappeared in 2021. (They had packages for him early in the year.) Is he going to be ready to be the starting quarterback in 2022? Has the bridge been burned with Jimmy G? Too many questions for odds like that.


AFC NORTH

Browns +175

Bengals +200

Ravens +225

Steelers +850

Thought: Deshaun. Watson. 

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Divisional Round Gambling Guide!

| January 21st, 2022

Atlantic City at 40 (Original Photo)


Last week, the guide was actually about gambling (i.e., trying to make money) and my slips in Atlantic City proved that advice to be solid. This week, I’m going to try and nail all eight general bets. That’s every spread and every over/under. Will I achieve that? Of course not. But it’s a worthy endeavor.

As always, all lines from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Saturday

4:30 PM ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) – Over/Under 47

  • Has a number one seed ever received less attention than Tennessee? They’re the least sexy team remaining but they’re also one that hasn’t been at full strength in months. If Derrick Henry returns – and all signs are pointing to him doing so – I think they move on. But the involvement of the hook (that extra half point) makes me nervous. Still, I’m taking Titans -3.5.
  • Usually when I’m playing the number, I play guess the score. I keep settling in around 23-17. Maybe 24-20? 27-17? One of these teams needs a major offensive output to get over. Under 47.

 

8:15 PM ET

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-6) – Over/Under 47

  • Since I picked the Packers to go to the Super Bowl, I’m picking them to win this game. But I think six is a lot of points for a game with projected weather conditions around 0 degrees. Packers win, because it’s not the NFC title game yet, but it’s a close one. 49ers +6.
  • Kyle Shanahan is going to want this game slowed down to a crawl. Control the line of scrimmage. Keep it in the 20s. And I don’t think this Packers defense is good enough to prevent that, even with injury concerns at QB for San Francisco. Under 47.

Sunday

3:00 PM ET

Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – Over/Under 48.5

  • Do we overreact to the Rams victory over the Cardinals Monday night? Anybody paying attention over the last six weeks knows the Cardinals have been awful. Do we overreact to the Bucs embarrassment of the Eagles early Sunday? The Eagles have a quarterback who can’t throw and were ultimately 0-8 against playoff teams this season. Sunday is the biggest game of Matthew Stafford’s career. Stafford is the story. I’m taking Tom Brady. Bucs -3.
  • The first time these two played – in September – Brady threw for 432 yards. Stafford threw for 343 yards. That’s nearly 800 yards through the air, folks. This game is going Over 48.5.

 

6:30 PM ET

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) – Over/Under 54

  • When the line is below three points, I ignore it and just pick the winner. And I find it hard to pick against Josh Allen right now. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense thrives when he’s manufacturing pressure but if the Chiefs overcommit, Allen will eat them alive on the ground. The winner of this game feels destined for the Super Bowl. Bills +1.5.
  • How do these two offenses stay under the number? Buffalo’s defense is very good, but they’ve been diced up several times this season, especially by any team with a competent rush attack. And Kansas City’s discovery of Jerick McKinnon last week gives them an additional element with which Les Frazier’s unit must deal. Over 54. 

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Wildcard Weekend Gambling Guide!

| January 14th, 2022


All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook. 

Saturday

  • Money Line Parlay: Bengals over Raiders, Bills over Patriots (+112).
    • I’m a believer in Bisaccia magic, and I think the Raiders pass rush will give Joe Burrow trouble, but the Bengals just have too much firepower to lose at home in the first round. I wouldn’t feel confident laying the six points, so I’m hanging onto the money line.
    • The most overrated victory of the season was New England’s Monday night victory in Buffalo. It wasn’t a real game. It was a football chess match played in a typhoon and Belichick might be the sport’s only master. The Bills are the better team, with the better quarterback. That’s where my money goes in the postseason.

Sunday

  • Money Line Parlay: Bucs over Eagles, Cowboys over Niners (+113).
    • Philly is 0-7 against playoff teams this season and the way you exploit this Bucs defense is with an accurate quarterback. (The Eagles don’t have that.) Tom Brady isn’t losing to Jalen Hurts.
    • Cowboys vs. Niners profiles as the game of the week but I don’t think San Francisco’s secondary can hang with these Dallas weapons. How the hell are the Niners covering a receiving corps that goes 4-5 deep with talent? (They’re not.)
  • Same Game Parlay: Chiefs -12.5 over Steelers / Under 46.5 points (+264).
    • I think the Steelers score ten points in this game, which means the Chiefs need to score only 23 to cover the number. It also means they need to score 37 to hit the over, and in frigid conditions that seems unlikely. 30-10 hits both bets safely and that’s my final score prediction.

Monday

For me, Cardinals at Rams is a gambling stay away. I don’t particularly trust either team. But the guide needs to have some action.

  • Spread: Rams -4 over Cardinals.
    • Since beating the Bears on December 5th, the Cardinals are 1-4, only eking out a victory over the Cowboys. This is a team, and a head coach, that peak on Halloween every season. And last week, in a game they needed, they let Rashaad Penny run for 8.3 yards per carry. You need to be tough to win on the road in the playoffs. That’s not this team.
    • Why is it a stay away, then? Because Matthew Stafford has been sneaky terrible for over a month. Would anyone be surprised if he threw three picks and threw the Rams season away?

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Super Bowl 55 Game Preview, Part II: Five Thoughts & Prediction

| February 5th, 2021


This might be the most interesting Super Bowl in many-a-moon. A lotta star power. Two jolly, red-faced head coaches. The point spread hasn’t moved off three points, so the game is expected to be tight. The total has fluctuated between 56 and 56.5, so the game is expected to be high-scoring. And if those two things happen, we’re looking at an exciting Sunday evening.

Five Thoughts

  • Something about this game reminds me of those classic Patriots/Giants Super Bowls. A high-powered offense on one side and a big-game quarterback/pass rush on the other. If the Bucs are going to beat Reid and Mahomes, they will need the same Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul that terrorized Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game. With Eric Fisher out, the Chiefs are exploitable along the offensive line.
  • Early in the season, the Chiefs were not particularly threatening down the field. They dinked and dunked opponents to death. Don’t be surprised if they compensate for their issues upfront by taking a similar approach against the Bucs, especially early in the game. That could mean a lot of quick tosses to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Todd Bowles better have his boys in good tackling form.
  • Usually you can identify a special teams mismatch in these games but there isn’t one here. Both kickers are reliable. Both punters are effective but used sparingly. The Chiefs are narrowly better in the return games. When games are perceived to be this evenly-matched, it may not come down to which specials unit makes a play but instead which avoids the big mistake at a crucial moment.
  • Watch the weather forecast, especially if you’re planning to place any bets. There is predicted rain in Tampa Sunday but the belief now is that should be cleared out by the 6:30 PM ET kickoff. If it does rain, I tend to give an advantage to the quarterback who has seen everything and the steadier rush attack.
  • One can not underestimate the achievement of Mahomes winning his second title. Rodgers hasn’t gotten to a second title game. Brees never got to a second title game. Peyton Manning went along for the ride to get his second ring. Mahomes is four quarters away from football immortality. Will he recognize that?

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Championship Weekend Gambling Guide

| January 21st, 2021

4-0 last week.

Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Two more bets for Championship Sunday, as we try and go into the Super Bowl on a bona fide heater. (As always, betting odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook & Casino.)


Sunday 2:05 PM CT – Buccaneers @ Packers

Aaron Rodgers over 2.5 touchdown passes: +145

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Tampa Bay allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns in the sport this season, limiting their opponents to only ten over their first 17 games. So if you expect the Packers to score touchdowns – and I certainly do – you either need to pick his targets accurately or pick his total. The latter seems more appealing and the odds suggest that. (You really wanna lay +115 odds on Robert Tonyan? I don’t.)

Yes, it’s going to be cold but Rodgers has thrown more than two touchdowns in six of last eight games and this does not feel like a low-scoring affair.


Sunday 5:40 PM CT – Bills @ Chiefs

(Note: There are far fewer prop bets available for this contest due to Patrick Mahomes’ concussion/neck/foot issues. He’s going to play, but in what shape will he be?)

Josh Allen to score a touchdown: +135

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Allen looked shaky against Baltimore’s high-pressure approach last week and he should expect more of the same from Steve Spagnuolo’s unit this week. But Allen is a gamer and this feel like an evening where he’ll need to leave EVERYTHING on the field if the Bills are going to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since January 30, 1994. Brian Daboll doesn’t hesitate to call Allen’s number inside the red zone and it could be the perfect remedy to beat an ill-timed Spags blitz.

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Four Lessons From the Final Four, Volume II: Chiefs & Bucs

| January 20th, 2021


Chiefs

“Always Be Adding Weapons”

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No one has embraced the modern NFL more than Andy Reid. He’s never content with the offensive firepower on his roster.

Tyreek Hill was not on most teams’ draft boards. The heinous crimes he committed in college were considered a bridge too far. What did Reid do? He drafted Hill. He took the risk because he recognized Hill’s speed would be indefensible in the NFL. You can rightfully criticize this decision but do you think Reid cares now? Do Chiefs fans?

After winning the Super Bowl in 2019 on the back of his offense, did Reid concentrate his off-season efforts on the defense? Don’t be silly. He used the team’s first round pick on a running back and added Le’Veon Bell mid-season. Reid had spent the previous three seasons stockpiling speed on the outside. Now he’s doing the same in the backfield.

Is Patrick Mahomes going to play in the AFC Championship Game? It would be shocking if he doesn’t but concussion protocols in the NFL are draped in mystery. Yet nobody would rule the Chiefs out of that game without Mahomes. The reason is the roster of weapons assembled by Reid.


Buccaneers 

“Turnovers Leave a Bad Taste”

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Bruce Arians got as much production out of the quarterback position in 2019 as any other coach. Jameis Winston threw for over 5,000 yards. He threw 30 touchdown passes. But Arians did not even consider bringing him back to Tampa and no other team so much as floated the opportunity for Winston to compete for their starting job. Why? Because Winston added 30 interceptions to his tally and Tampa’s turnover differential in 2019 was -13. They missed the playoffs.

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