Category Archives: Uncategorized

Early Look at NFL Week 7 Lines & Week 6 Recap

If you’re interested in my two cents throughout the week, tweet me @The_Tonian.

Two changes to announce to the tens of you (bots included!) who read this column. First, I will no longer review every game. While I enjoy writing comments (snarky or otherwise) on the games I’m not betting, it’s a waste of your time, cherished reader, as well as mine. Also, we’ve reached the point in the season where there’s less value on the board.

The second change is that I’m not playing any totals this week. Despite consistently getting very good numbers, I’ve struggled the last few weeks. This is a temporary hiatus, however. I don’t want to force any bets if I’m not seeing it well. I’ve done better with sides and will focus on that this week.

I felt there were several good spots to hit this week. As always, these numbers may already be gone and are subject to move before and after the column posts.

1. Patriots at Jets: It’s tempting to back the Jets here. The Patriots are coming off an emotional, last-second win. Jerod Mayo was placed on IR. Plus, in Week 2, the Jets only lost by 3 in New England. However, that was a Thursday Night game with a grossly inflated number. You can get -3 at -125 and it’s possible it may not be as juiced by kickoff. Pick: Patriots -3

2. Chargers at Jaguars: Justin Blackmon’s return has helped the Jaguars passing offense. The Chargers are coming off a flying cross-country for an early game. I’ll take the points here. Pick: Jaguars +7.5

3. Bears at Redskins: The Bears run defense is a sieve and the Redskins played better than what the final score indicated against the Cowboys. Pick: Redskins pk

4. Bucs at Falcons: Considering all their injuries to key players, I don’t think the Falcons should be laying 7+ points against anyone other than maybe the Jaguars right now. Pick: Bucs +7.5

5. Browns at Packers: This is probably a big secret to the general public but the Packers offense has been mediocre the last few weeks. I don’t see that trend ending this week either, especially with the Packers playing without Randall Cobb. Pick: Browns +10.5

6. Vikings at Giants: This is an awful spot for the Vikings with a home game against the Packers on deck. Pick: Giants -3

3-team parlay of the week: Patriots -3, Jaguars +7.5, Giants -3 (Season Record: 1-3)

Week 5 Sides: 4-3; Week 5 Totals: 2-3
Season Sides: 13-11-1; Season Totals: 6-9
Combined Overall Record: 19-20-1

Joel’s Early Look at Week 6 NFL Lines (And His Week 5 Recap)

This was going to be a picture of De Niro from Casino as Sam Rothstein, but Howard got skittish about using an image from a movie and we're going with a cat photo instead. Ironic that its one of the site's gentiles getting all litigious.

This was going to be a picture of De Niro from Casino as Sam Rothstein, which has everything to do with Week 6 NFL lines, but Howard got skittish about using an image from a movie and we’re going with a cat photo instead. Ironic that its one of the site’s gentiles getting all litigious.



For more talk of Week 6 NFL lines, tweet me @The_Tonian.

Overreaction can be a gambler’s best friend. When a team gets upset or plays at an unexpected level it can lead to lines the following week that present great value. The average bettor often fails to see this, as they simply focus on betting teams. Meanwhile, sharps react accordingly by not caring about teams and only betting numbers with value.

Looking at the lines for Week 6, I see several numbers that are inflated due to recent perception. Here’s my breakdown of plays. As always, these numbers may already be gone and are subject to move before and after the column posts: This is why it’s an early look at Week 6 NFL lines.

1. Giants at Bears: After two consecutive weeks of backing the Giants and losing, I’m hesitant to do it three weeks in a row. Despite this, I’m tempted to grab +7.5, especially since injuries have plagued the Bears defense. The over is also tempting but I think 47 is a good number and there’s no edge here.
No plays.

2. Packers at Ravens: Some books have this one at 2.5, others at 3 with juice. I’m debating on making a play on Packers -2.5 with the hope that I can get Ravens +3.5 and hope the final score lands on a three point differential. I’m not fully buying the Ravens coming off a road win as an underdog but I don’t like betting against them at home.
No plays.

3. Eagles at Bucs: This is a horrible spot for the Eagles with a home game looming versus the Cowboys. The Bucs are a dumpster fire but they’re a dumpster fire coming off a bye. I believe in the Bucs defense and I have them winning outright. I expect this will hit 3 by kickoff but for the purposes of this column I’ll use the best current number (it’s lower at most books).
Picks: Bucs +2 and Under 45.5.

4. Steelers at Jets: The Jets upset of the Falcons last week made this a great spot to take the Steelers. This opened at a pick’em and got bet up to 2.5. It’s an awful spot for the Jets with a huge game looming versus the Patriots. They’ll overlook the Steelers who are coming off a bye.
Pick: Steelers +2.5.

5. Panthers at Vikings: As I mentioned last week, the Panthers are hard to back when they’re on the road. Lean Vikings but passing.
No plays.

6. Raiders at Chiefs: Opened at 10.5 and I wish I had taken the Raiders at that number. The line is currently 8, depending on the book. This will be an ugly, low scoring game.
Pick: Under 42.

7. Rams at Texans: Lean Rams +7.5 but I can’t play them on the road.
No plays.

8. Bengals at Bills: I wanted to bet the Bills this week but EJ Manuel got hurt. I have no idea what to expect from Thad Lewis, who was signed off the practice squad. The total was already bet down so there’s no strong edge there, although I do lean under at 42.
No plays.

9. Lions at Browns: Just like the Bills, I wanted to bet the Browns but Brian Hoyer tore his ACL.
No plays.

10. Titans at Seahawks: Expect the Titans defense to keep this game close and ugly up this game.
Picks: Titans +14 and Under 41.

11. Jaguars at Broncos: The only reason to bet this game is so you can say you made a bet on a NFL game with the highest point spread in history.
No plays.

12. Saints at Patriots: I was wrong about the Saints being “free money” for squares last week. However, the Patriots get back Gronkowski which will open up the running and passing game.
Picks: Patriots -2.5 and Under 51.

13. Cardinals at 49ers: Similar to the Titans, this is another “hold your nose” play. The Cardinals defense is for real and I expect this to be a close game.
Picks: Cardinals +11 and Under 42.5.

14. Redskins at Cowboys: The Cowboys near upset of the Broncos has pushed the spread to 6. This is way too high, even with the Redskins struggles.
Pick: Redskins +6.

15. Colts at Chargers: At -1.5, this looks like free money on the Colts. However, it’s an awful spot with the Broncos on deck in Week 8. I’m targeting the Chargers +3 but I’ll use the current line for the column. Pick: Chargers +1.5.

3-team parlay of the week: Steelers +2.5, Cardinals +11, Redskins +6 (Season Record: 1-2)
.

Week 5 Sides: 3-5; Week 5 Totals: 0-2
Season Sides: 9-8-1; Season Totals: 4-6
Combined Overall Record: 13-14-1

Joel’s Early Look at NFL Lines–Week 5

Early Look at NFL Week 5 Lines and Week 4 Recap

If you’re interested in my two cents throughout the week, tweet me @The_Tonian.

I often look to bet the under on Thursday Night Football. The 49ers-Rams game last week was a boring, sloppy game as many Thursday Night Football games are. Entering the 4th quarter, the 49ers led 21-3. The Rams offense was struggling to move the football and the 49ers were in clock killing mode. With 11:44 left in the game, I started to mentally chalk up my Under 43 bet as a win. Then the following happened:

• Rams fumble; 49ers drive 3 yards for a TD. 10:15 left in the game.
• 49ers fumble; Rams drive 24 yards for a TD (and 2 point conversion). 5:44 left in the game.
• Rams fail onside kick; 49ers drive 42 yards for a TD. Final score is 35-11. I looked something like this…

Unless a bet has already covered or the game is over, it’s never a good idea to mentally count money until you get to the window. Bad beats and unpredictable things happen all the time. While my bet did not win, I can take a little solace in that I made a good bet and got unlucky. The goal is to consistently take good numbers and good sides. There will be lucky breaks as well as bad ones throughout the season.

It’s a little difficult for me to select plays for Week 5. Each week I review the look-ahead lines for games the following week. I’ll sometimes find value in a few spots and fire, hoping to get a better number than what it will be after Sunday. In an unusual circumstance, I loved the Week 5 look-ahead lines and made 12 plays already. The numbers I got are mostly much different than what is currently posted (or where they opened). Anyways, here’s my breakdown. As always, these numbers may already be gone and are subject to move before/after posting.

1. Bills at Browns: No reason to back EJ Manuel on the road, especially with Spiller and Jackson playing hurt. The Browns defense is underrated and Joe Haden will shut down Stevie Johnson. Picks: Browns -4 and Under 41
2. Patriots at Bengals: Losing Vince Wilfork for the season will have an enormous impact on the Patriots defense, particularly against the run. I expect the Bengals to be able to move the ball on the ground much better than they did against the Browns. AJ Green will bounce back after being shut down by Joe Haden. Pick: Bengals -1
3. Lions at Packers: Packers are coming off a bye week and historically perform well ATS at home versus the Lions. However, I’m hesitant to lay 7 points against a Lions offense that can score with the Packers. Love teasing the Packers down to -0.5, though. No plays.
4. Seahawks at Colts: That sound you heard at around 4:30 pm EST last Sunday was everyone holding a Texans +2.5 ticket (or lower) screaming and ripping their tickets. The Seahawks haven’t been dominant on the road but they’ve covered six in a row. Pick: Seahawks -2.5
5. Ravens at Dolphins: If this hits 3.5, I’ll take the Ravens at +3.5. Not sure that’s going to happen though. No plays.
6. Saints at Bears: “The Saints are a pick’em? FREE MONEY!” –what every mush will be thinking. Pick: Bears pk
7. Eagles at Giants: It’s a battle of dumpster fires! Backing the Giants last week was my worst play last week. But I do believe they’re going to rally around Coughlin and take care of business at home. Pick: Giants -2/2.5 (have -2.5)
8. Chiefs at Titans: SMITH! FITZPATRICK! WHO WILL OUT-CHECKDOWN THE OTHER? Pick: Chiefs -2.5
9. Jaguars at Rams: I can’t buy into the idea that the Rams are more than 10 points better than even the lowly Jaguars. Pick: Jaguars +11.5
10. Panthers at Cardinals: Don’t trust the Panthers on the road. Barely trust the Cardinals anywhere. Lean Cardinals but passing for now. No plays.
11. Broncos at Cowboys: One book has it at 8.5; most show 7 or a juiced 7.5. This line is inflated as hell. I got a look-ahead line of Broncos -3. While I’m tempted to take +7.5 or higher, I’m going to pass. I recommend staying away from this one. No plays.
12. Texans at 49ers: Another inflated line. I took an unfortunate look-ahead line of +4.5 and it’s sitting at +6.5 right now. I’d still take this number and really like it at 7. Pick: Texans +6.5
13. Chargers at Raiders: Who wants to watch this game beginning at 10:30 pm EST? Anyone? I can see how it’s tempting to back the home dog here but the Raiders are still garbage. Getting Pryor back helps of course but I’m passing. No plays.
14. Jets at Falcons: This opened at 7.5 and has been bet up to 10. I’m sure there’s something better to do with your life on Monday night than watch this poo-flinging fest. Pick: Under 43.5

3-team parlay of the week: Browns -4, Bengals -1, Bears pk (Season Record: 1-1)

Week 4 Sides: 3-2; Week 4 Totals: 2-2
Season Sides: 6-3-1; Season Totals: 4-4
Combined Overall Record: 10-7-1

Joel’s Early Look at NFL Lines–Week 4

NOTE: If you’re interested in my two cents on NFL lines throughout the week, tweet me @The_Tonian.

From a casual fan’s perspective, Monday Night Football’s Week 3 Raiders/Broncos matchup was a bore. Peyton Manning lit up the hopeless Raiders secondary and the game was never in doubt. What was in doubt, however, was just how much the Broncos would win by. The Broncos opened as a -14.5 point favorite, went as low as -14, and were bet up to -16.5 (-17 at some books) by kickoff. In the 4th quarter, the Broncos were “clinging” to a 23 point lead. Unless you had money on the game or fantasy football interests, you had zero reason to watch anymore.

For gamblers, however, there was still plenty of reason to watch. The Raiders turned the ball over on downs after multiple shots to score a “meaningless” touchdown from inside the Broncos red zone. Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense went into clock killing mode. From the looks of it, Broncos bettors and 2nd half under bettors were going to hold on. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), Montee Ball fumbled the ball back to the Raiders. The Raiders went on to score another touchdown. Bettors who had Raiders +16.5 or +17 got to celebrate. Those who backed the Broncos at -14 to -15.5 were still holding winning tickets. I personally got to celebrate getting lucky on my 2nd half Over 23.5 bet (there were 24 points scored in the 2nd half thanks to that late Raiders touchdown).

This poor schlub, not so much.

For what it’s worth, sportsbooks were not celebrating that Raiders touchdown, either.

Half the battle in sports betting is getting the best number. Sometimes it’s the opening number when it’s released. Other times it’s in the middle of the week after it’s moved some. Occasionally it’s best to wait until just before kickoff if you’re waiting on a number. It’s critical to learn how to read the market and know when to bet. This is a skill that takes time to master. Even professional gamblers can misread the sports betting market. However, they have enough experience and savvy to either not force a bet or to find a live betting opportunity should one present itself.

Recreational bettors often lack these skills. Many bettors only bet on the day of the games and end up with stale numbers or heavily juiced ones. Sometimes you can get away with getting a bad number. My early play on the Saints -7.5 last week was a prime example of this as I could have easily gotten -6.5 or -7. I misjudged the betting market as I didn’t think I would have an opportunity to get the Saints lower than -7.5.

In my opinion, the card for Week 4 presents less opportunity for early plays in comparison to Week 3. There are a few sides and totals I will keep an eye on. Here’s my breakdown. As always, these numbers may already be gone and are subject to move after posting.

1. 49ers at Rams: I remember my initial feeling of excitement when Thursday Night Football became an every week occurrence. Instead, we as fans are subject to a crappy product with players who are (understandably) still physically exhausted from their previous game. Like that awful Raiders/Broncos game, gambling and fantasy football is my only motivation to watch.
Pick: Under 43.

2. Steelers at Vikings: Oh, the game is in LONDON? YOU DON’T SAY! I still don’t give a shit. Anyways, the total went from 39 to 42 within minutes after it opened. The Steelers are now small favorites after opening as a small underdog. I’m curious to see if the public mushes the Steelers after their 2nd half “rally” and seeing the Vikings lose at home to the Browns. I see nothing to like here right now.
No plays.

3. Seahawks at Texans: I follow a number of sharp sports bettors on Twitter and they LOVE the Texans catching 3 points. While I see where they’re coming from, I’m still debating on whether to back the Texans who may be missing Andre Johnson.
No plays.

4. Giants at Chiefs: I grabbed a look ahead line of Giants +4 but this opened at 6 and got pounded down to 4. After staying away last week, I’m going to join the suckers who think that the Giants can’t be this bad. Pick: Giants +4

5. The Bills secondary is still depleted and the Ravens aren’t quite the same team away from home. Bills win this outright.
Picks: Bills +3.5 and Over 43.5.

6. Bengals at Browns: I’m on board the Brian Hoyer bandwagon. I got +5 early but would take it at +4 or better.
Pick: Browns +5.

7. Cardinals at Bucs: The Bucs outplayed the Patriots for most of the first half and still couldn’t score. Josh Freeman is close to being benched. The Cardinals are still awful. I don’t trust either with a 3 point spread.
No plays.

8. Bears at Lions: After beating the Steelers on Sunday Night Football, I imagine the public will be on the Bears. If they’re getting 3, I don’t blame them. The line (at most books) is at 2.5 right now but I’m not sure it will hit 3 (without being juiced). I lean Lions if giving 2 or less. This will be a shootout.
Pick: Over 47.5.

9. Colts at Jaguars: Huge letdown spot for the Colts. I’m eyeing the Jaguars and the under (currently at 43) but will hold off for now.
No plays.

10. Jets at Titans: While I buy the Jets defense, I don’t buy their offense on the road. This opened at 5 and has been bet down to 3.5. I lean Titans if you can get -3 and I’m eyeing the under (currently at 39).
No plays.

11. Cowboys at Chargers: I’m kicking myself for not backing the Cowboys last week in what was a bad spot for the Rams (game before huge matchup versus the 49ers). I prefer to back the Cowboys as underdogs, although I did have them in Week 1 as a home favorite. But I have no faith in the Cowboys as a road favorite. Additionally, I lack faith in the Chargers. However, they’ve performed very well in the first half. At the time of this post, the 1H spreads haven’t been released but I’ll take a stab at what I anticipate will be Chargers pk or possible +0.5.
Pick: Chargers 1H.

12. Redskins at Raiders: Last week the Redskins resembled something similar to a NFL team for the first time all season. But I’m not laying 3 points here.
No plays.

13. Eagles at Broncos: I lean Eagles at +10.5 but I’m sure there will be a live spot available to get a better number. I have no interest in touching the total which is at 57 already.
No plays.

14. Patriots at Falcons: Interesting line movement on this game already. It opened at pick’em, moved to Falcons -1, flipped to Patriots -1.5, and is now currently Falcons -1.5. Several Twitter sharps I follow like the Falcons. However, I’m low on them. The Falcons defense is beat up, Roddy White is a shell of himself with a high ankle sprain, and the Falcons offensive line is a sieve. The Patriots have some injury problems of their own but they may be getting Rob Gronkowski back, which is huge for both their running game and passing game. I have no idea where this spread will end up. While I like the Patriots, I think this is another game where I can wait to bet it live.
No plays.

15. Dolphins at Saints: At some point the Saints are going to be huge favorites when they play at home. The books only have this one at 6, partially due to Miami’s 3-0 start. Going to ride with the squares on this one.
Picks: Saints -6 and Over 47.

3-team parlay of the week: Giants +4, Browns +5, Saints -6

Week 3 Sides: 3-1-1; Week 3 Totals: 2-2

Season Overall Record: 5-3-1

Joel’s Early Look at NFL Gambling Lines For Week 3

Joel is a longtime friend who’s previously been on Papa’s Basement a bunch, where his every appearance would wind up with him talking NFL gambling lines. So we decided a better home for him would be the Papa’s Football Podcast site, where he could do exactly that in peace. Enjoy.

It’s only a gambling problem if you’re losing.

Before I review Week 2 and dive into Week 3 lines, I suppose I should briefly introduce myself. If you’re one of the many tens of people reading this, you’re probably just like me – a recreational degenerate. Working a 9 to 5 combined with life’s obligations prevents me from spending as much time as I’d like on capping games. Not that it’s going to stop me from betting each week.

Everyone has their own betting style and beliefs. Some gamblers are spot bettors, only betting a few select games where they feel they have a huge edge. Others are volume bettors who make a lot of plays. Personally, I don’t label myself as either. Some weeks I see a lot of value on the board, others I see little to none. I tend to make more plays early in the NFL season before lines get too tight. I also selectively live bet games whenever I have a solid opportunity to profit. The bottom line is that if I see an opportunity to profit, I bet.

For the purposes of this article, I’m only going to post pregame sides and totals. I’ll keep track of my win/loss record each week. I’m not a flat bettor which means I raise/lower my bets based on my confidence. This means I can have losing weeks with a winning record or winning weeks with a losing record. Also, lines change constantly so the spread, total, or juice may be different by the time I write this. If you’re interested in my two cents throughout the week, tweet me @The_Tonian.

In terms of sides and totals, Week 2 was a very even week. Dogs went 9-7 ATS with 4 outright wins. Over/unders went 8-8 for the second consecutive week. A few teams have performed above expectations early, notably the Dolphins who have won outright on the road two weeks in a row as an underdog. On the flip side, bettors who have taken the Patriots as double digit favorites have been burned two weeks in a row. As for this week’s card, I may potentially add a play or two before Sunday but that will depend on whether the lines move and present an opportunity. Here’s my breakdown:

1. Chiefs at Eagles: I’m high on the Chiefs this year. However, coming off a short week, I’m not sure the Chiefs will be prepared physically for the breakneck speed of the Eagles offense. I normally look to bet Thursday night unders but I can’t do it against the Eagles just yet.

Pick: Eagles -3; avoid at -3.5.

2. Cardinals at Saints: You’ll have to pay extra to get -7 right now but I still like the Saints -7.5 at home. I’m low on the Cardinals already and Larry Fitzgerald may play hurt? I’m going to join the squares on this one.

Pick: Saints -7.5.

3. Giants at Panthers: I figure the mushes will be all over the Giants as a small underdog. There’s no way the Giants will start 0-3, right? RIGHT? I’m tempted to fade the public but I haven’t been impressed with the Panthers new offense. The Panthers secondary is severely banged up too. The only play I see here is the over.

Pick: Over 45.5.

4. Rams at Cowboys: There’s value in the Rams at +4 but not enough for me to fire. I think this game could be a track meet. The Rams weakness is their secondary while their strength is their passing game.

Pick: Over 47.

5. Lions at Redskins: I lean Redskins -1.5 but there’s no way I can pull the trigger here. This line may move to the other side, making it tempting to grab Lions +1.5 and seeing where the Redskins end up as a dog. No play for me on the total either.

6. Browns at Vikings: The gambling world is breathlessly waiting to find out whether Brandon Weeden will play. No play for me on the spread or total.

7. Bucs at Patriots: Lean Bucs at +7.5 or higher. If Gronkowski plays, this may go up (ditto the total). Even if he doesn’t, the mushes love the Patriots almost every week. Both offenses have been out of sync but the opening number of 46.5 is down to 44/44.5 already.

Pick: Under 46.5.

8. Texans at Ravens: The Texans are lucky to be 2-0. The Ravens are undervalued due to the last two underwhelming performances.

Pick: Ravens +2.5.

9. Chargers at Titans: The Chargers lost arguably their best receiver, Malcom Floyd, to a concussion. I’m a believer in the Titans defense.

Pick: Titans -3.

10. Packers at Bengals: Green Bay was a small underdog in look-ahead lines, now they’re a 2.5 point favorite. Lean under but I’m going to wait and see if this gets bet up. No play for now.

11. Falcons at Dolphins: I grabbed over 43 early due to the Falcons beat up defense. Steven Jackson’s out and that will make the Falcons air it out as well. I’m buying the Dolphins hot start as well.

Picks: Dolphins -1.5/2 and over 43.

12. Bills at Jets: No plays or leans on this sh*tshow matchup.

13. Colts at 49ers: No plays of leans.

14. Jaguars at Seahawks: If you’re stupid enough to bet a 20 point favorite, quit gambling. Now.

15. Bears at Steelers: This could be a 3 point spread. I’m not touching the Steelers even at +3. No plays.

16. Raiders at Broncos: How in the hell did the Raiders get a single primetime game?

3-team parlay of the week: Titans -3, Ravens +2.5, Dolphins -1.5