A Look at the 2022 Chicago Bears Gambling Odds, in Early June

| June 1st, 2022

DraftKings Sportsbook has updated their odds for the coming season, and this is a good opportunity to see where they project the Chicago Bears and where value can be found.


The Value Bet

Regular Season Wins: o/u 6.5

Why: The Bears won six games last season, with one of the worst coaches in the sport and one of the hardest schedules. Why can’t they win one more this season, with a new staff in place and a significantly easier schedule? There have been some wild predictions on social media (11 wins?!?!?!?) but an 8-9 victory season does not feel like a long shot.


The Sucker Bet I’m Making

Buffalo Bills First Loss: at Chicago (+25000)

Why: The Bills are going to win a lot of games, as they’re likely the best team in the league. What if they fly through their schedule and lose to a hungry Bears team with a fired-up crowd on Christmas Eve? This is a bet that allows you to root for a truly likable Bills team all season, until they come to Chicago. So why not bet $5 on it and hope for the $1,255 payday?


The Optimistic Bet

Divisional Finish: Second (+400)

Why: Assuming Aaron Rodgers stays healthy, the Packers are going to waltz to a division title, even if there are some serious questions about their offensive roster. But are we really convinced the Kevin O’Connell/Kirk Cousins partnership is going to work? (I’m not.) Are we really convinced the Lions are going to be better in 2022, even with Jared Goff still playing quarterback? (I’m not.) Nine wins was second in half the divisions in the NFL last season. The Vikings were second in the NFC North with eight. This bet has a higher probability than many think.



Super Bowl Gambling Guide, Volume I: Silly Props

| February 1st, 2021

While this year won’t feature the large Super Bowl parties of pre-pandemic times (I hope), Super Bowls typically involve the interesting dynamic of football fans watching football with non-football fans. It’s not really a sporting event. It’s a television program, especially for neutral observers. I say embrace that element and bet accordingly. Give the non-football folks a chance to get in on the action.

Here are three props to do that. They all come from DraftKings Sportsbook.


“Doink Special”

Any Field Goal or Extra Point to Hit Upright/Crossbar.


Analysis: The over/under on this game is 56.5. The expectation is there will be points and that means lots of opportunities to doink a kick or two. At 4-1 odds, you’ll also have a good chance to make some money and the results/flow of the game will have zero impact on the likelihood of hitting. Neither of these teams has a “sit on the lead” mode.


Opening Kickoff to NOT Result in a Touchback.


Analysis: Two reasons I like this bet. (1) There is a lot of adrenaline stored up at the start of the Super Bowl and it’s easy to see Mickens OR Pringle OR Hardman deciding to take a shot on the opening kick. (2) It’s more fun than betting the coin flip, comes with better odds, and requires the same level of attention.


First Second-Half Offensive Play From Scrimmage: Run


Analysis: You’re getting a little drunk. You just sat through a 20-minute performance from someone called The Weekend. Your shirt looks like Jackson Pollock went to town on you with a combination of nacho cheese and buffalo sauce. The non-footballies are starting to lose interest.

First play, second half, all-in. Yes, you probably need to hope Tampa won the coin toss and deferred to the second half because I don’t see the Chiefs running the ball in this spot. But you’re getting positive odds so it’s worth the shot.

[Note: I went 5-1 on my bets over the Divisional and Championship rounds. But those were serious, thoughtful bets. These are not. These are the kinds of bets you make for entertainment purposes only. And believe me, you’ll enjoy them.]

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NFL Season Preview: Parlaying Every Division Winner, Volume I

| September 7th, 2020

There are plenty of ways to full-season gamble on the NFL. Fantasy football. Over/unders. Player props. (Somewhere I have a Trubisky 2019 MVP ticket from Borgata in Atlantic City.) But last year, some friends and I began experimenting with a new one: parlaying every division winner. A $5 parlay on all the favorites winning their respective divisions will pay north of $1500. If you start working in some underdogs you can be looking at a payout between $3500-4000. They’re not easy bets to hit but they’re fun bets to follow.

It’s also an interesting way to present a de facto NFL preview. (I just took screenshots of the odds from the DraftKings Sportsbook app, so there’s no rhyme or reason to the order which they’ll be presented.) Here’s part one.

  • I think the NFC West is a place to experiment because I think all four of those clubs could win that division, with Arizona the longest of the shots. How is Sean McVay going to respond to his first real dose of adversity in the league? How is Seattle going to perform as they’re set to lose their greatest strength, the league’s best home field advantage? The Niners better be successful on the ground because they have one of the more underwhelming collections of receivers in the league.
  • The Chiefs are the biggest divisional favorite in the league and they should be. Will one of my ten parlays maybe throw the Broncos into the mix? Maybe. But I don’t even think a significant injury to Mahomes would be enough to knock them out of the top spot. That’s not confidence in Chad Henne or Matt Moore but more confidence in Andy Reid to find a way.
  • Out of ten parlays, I’ll have the Niners in 4, Seahawks in 4 and Rams in 2.
  • Out of ten parlays, I’ll have the Chiefs in 9 and Broncos in 1.

Read More …

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Three Bears Futures Bets To Consider

| May 14th, 2020

Quick note: I know money is a major issue for many Americans right now as the unemployment numbers have exploded and entire industries have been destroyed. When I write columns like this, encouraging gambling, I hope those suffering know I am sensitive to their situation. But gambling odds provide a solid context to discuss sporting issues. So I’m going to keep writing about them for the time being.

Bet One: Nick Foles MVP (+15000)

Do I think Nick Foles is going to win MVP this season?


But that’s why he’s 150-1 to win the award. (Same odds as Mitch Trubisky actually.)

Here’s why the bet is worth $1: the value logic. What if Foles starts, executes the offense and the Bears start winning? What if he proves the 2019 season can be written off to the failures of the previous quarterback, as many believe the case to be? There will be an easily-made argument for his value to the franchise.

Also, when quarterbacks execute this offense, they produce statistically. Alex Smith, who most consider a game manager, put up 4,000 yards and 26 TDs in 2017 for Andy Reid. You combine him turning around the Bears offense with a large statistical output and he’ll be in the MVP conversation.

And Foles plays in Chicago. If he plays well, it’ll be visible and there will be a demonstrative campaign for him.

Bet Two: Bears To Make the Playoffs (+160)

If the 2020 rules existed in 2019, the Bears would have finished a single game out of the postseason. If they’re healthy I don’t see how they’re not a better team in 2020.

As a matter of fact, I believe the Bears are going to be a very good team and this number will be -400 by the middle of the season.

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