NFC North Showdown

November 12, 2011

On Monday Night Football next week (11/14) the NFC North’s best will host the NFC North’s worst. The Minnesota Vikings will be going into Green Bay to play the undefeated Packers. Lots of people have already crowned the Packers to be NFC champs again this season, but it is a little too early to do that. I don’t think the Packers will buy into all the hype that everyone is giving them; they will stay focused and pay great attention to each team each week.

The Vikings might be the worst team in the NFC North, but that can sometimes be the most dangerous team to be playing because the team has nothing to lose. Minnesota has shown promise as of late with their rookie QB Christian Ponder, and not to mention they have one of the most explosive running backs in the game in Adrian Peterson.

Prediction: The spread is 13.5 in favor of Green Bay and the over/under 51.5. Ultimately the Packers at home in Lambeau Field will be too much for the Vikings, but I don’t think it will be the route that everyone is expecting. I’m expecting to see a close game throughout with the Packers eventually pulling away by the middle of the 3rd quarter. The Packers will cover the spread but not by much. The over/under is a little too high for my liking; 52 points will be tough to come by in the cold Wisconsin climate. Green Bay Packers 27, Minnesota Vikings 10.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


Biased Betting

November 11, 2011

This is probably a post that I should have written well before now, but better late than never. Biased betting is not smart. Frankly many people are blinded by their pride and respect for their favorite team that sometimes they don’t realize it is not the way to go. I totally understand what being a fan entails, and that a fan has faith in their team no matter what, but if your team sucks they will lose you money … bottom line.

The only reason I, or anyone for that matter, makes a wager is to win money. When a bettor is making decisions and analyzing games they must have an objective mindset. This means that all bias must be set aside and the bettor must look at the facts. When you start betting with your heart instead of your head you need to stop and re-evaluate your situation.

I have a friend, who has given me permission to use this example, that recently lost a big chunk of change on the Chargers, Raiders game last night. First of all I’d like to make it clear that if he had read my previous post this never would’ve happened because the Raiders won, therefore covered, but that’s neither here nor there. As you probably guessed my friend is a Chargers fan and he bet on them. This was a terrible move because he was blinded by his adoration for his team and he could not make the smart decision to take the other team, or simply stay away from betting that game. When you have a bias towards a particular team, good or bad, my advice is to not even mess with the game. If you are able to take emotion out of the situation you will give yourself a much better chance at winning.

I’m not saying it is bad to bet on your favorite team; just make sure it is the smart pick. And if your team is terrible, be smart and take whoever they’re playing. It won’t hurt as bad when your team loses, and you can be happy with them because they won you money.


Thursday Night Games

November 10, 2011

Tonight marks the start of the NFL Thursday night game. College football has had a Thursday night game scheduled for quite some time now. Most of the time they feature teams that get left out of the spotlight during the weekend, but recently the games on Thursday night have been very intriguing and meaningful. Tonight’s college games feature Ohio @ Central Michigan, Houston @ Tulane, Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech, and the NFL game is Oakland @ San Diego.

Breakdown:

Ohio Bobcats @ Central Michigan Chippewas: This Mid-American Conference (MAC) battle should be a high scoring affair tonight. Both teams are averaging over 20 points per game and have struggling defenses. The bookies have taken a closer look at this game as it is going to receive more action tonight because people have fewer games to bet on. The over/under of 59 I think will be spot on. I like the Bobcats to cover the spread of 6.5. Prediction: Ohio 35 Central Michigan 24.

#11 Houston Cougars @ Tulane Green Wave: This Conference USA (C-USA) match-up will be a route by the Cougars. I usually don’t like to mess with games that have a spread over 30 but Houston has proven that they can put up points. They like to start off slow, but look for them to get in a groove by halftime. Look for Houston to cover the spread of 34. Prediction: Houston 59 Tulane 14.

#10 Virginia Tech Hokies @ #21 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: This Atlantic Coast Conference match-up will be a hard game to pick. These teams have shown up and not shown up to play all year (I’m speaking in terms of covering spreads). According to the sportsbooks, this is a pick’em game (no spread). I like Georgia Tech to win at home. Prediction: Virginia Tech 21 Georgia Tech 24.

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers:  This game will surely be interesting to watch; both teams will be trying to take an outright lead in the AFC West Division. I give the edge to the Chargers at home tonight, but to cover the spread is another story. They are -6.5 and I think the game will be decided by a field goal. Prediction: Oakland 17 San Diego 20.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


NFL Progressive Picks

November 5, 2011

Each week along with all the other parlay cards that come out, there is a ticket for strictly NFL games. The ticket involves anywhere from 13 to 16 possible games or picks that the bettor can choose from. The purpose of this ticket is to pick the winners of the games (or over/unders), there are no spreads involved. The kicker is that the bettor has to choose all of the games (bets) on the ticket. They are called progressive tickets because each week if no one gets one hundred percent of the picks correct the money that is wagered is added into the pot for next weekend’s games. The cost of the ticket is $5, and you fill out the card just like any other parlay card ticket.

This Sunday all of the games are on the ticket, no over/unders, just strictly pick the winners. So far this season the pot is up to $33,000. I’d say betting 5 to win 33K isn’t that bad. This will be the first week of the NFL season that I am filling one out because I usually like to get an idea about how teams are playing, against who, and where. If you have some extra cash from your winnings on college football today, head down to the sportsbook and take a shot at 33 grand.

The picks:

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • New Orleans Saints
  • New York Jets
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Houston Texans
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Denver Broncos
  • New England Patriots
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Philadelphia Eagles

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.

 


Money Lines: To Bet or Not To Bet?

November 4, 2011

Review: the Money Line (denoted on the board as ML) means the bettor is strictly betting on who will win the game, match, fight, etc. Betting on the Money Line does not include a spread (a spread is the amount of points the sportsbook has decided to add/subtract from a team depending on whether they are favored to win or not; also known as a line). Think of it as making a bet with your friend; whoever wins the game wins.

There are positives and negatives to betting on money lines. They are generally easier to win than a bet with a spread involved, but the payout is not as good; sometimes the payout is so bad it is not even worth your money to bet on it. For example Boise State is playing UNLV this weekend. Boise State’s money line odds are -30,000 (so you have to bet $30,000 to win $100). This is completely ridiculous.

So maybe you’re thinking what if I parlay the money line bets? This is a great idea and usually gives the bettor a better chance at winning some substantial money. However there is a strategic way to do this as well. First of all most sportsbooks only let you take a maximum of 8 teams/picks off the board on 1 ticket. I usually like to pick all of the teams I think will win outright that week and then I analyze what each team’s money line odds are. When parlaying it is OK to have teams with outrageous odds, but when they get into the thousands or ten-thousands the teams are actually hurting your possible payout by being on the ticket. For example, this morning I went into the sportsbook and wanted to bet an 8-team money line parlay ticket (college football) that looked like this:

Team

M/L Odds

Houston -5000
San Diego State -20000
Boise State -30000
Tennessee -1300
Georgia -16000
Michigan State -6000
Wisconsin -4000
Ohio State -6000

 A $20 wager on a ticket like this would win me $3.60. It seems kind of ridiculous to pick 8 winners correctly and only win 3 bucks. By all means if you’re OK with winning $3 that’s fine; winning is winning and you would still walk away with $3 more than you had earlier, and chances are this will be a winning ticket with all these favorites. For those of you looking to win more money, if you stay between the -250 to -900 ranges as far as odds go you will at least win double of whatever you wager on an 8-team money line parlay.

So remember smart betting also means deciding when it is or isn’t worth it to even put money down; always analyze what you’re betting.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


Bet On’em Until They Give You a Reason Not To

November 3, 2011

STANFORD CARDINAL. I was on the Stanford train at the beginning of the season, and going into week 10 of the college football season, I’m a believer now more than ever. Stanford is 8 and 0 this season and even more impressive, in my eyes, is the fact that they are 8 and 0 ATS (Against The Spread). No other team on the board in college football this week is undefeated ATS (the next best team is Oklahoma State at 7 and 1 ATS).

By no means is their game against Oregon St. this weekend a sure thing. The Beavers are at home playing with nothing to lose, and Stanford is coming off of a mentally, physically, and emotionally draining triple overtime game against USC. Oregon St. sits at a 2 and 6 record overall, and is 3 and 5 ATS this season.

Breakdown: This week’s spread fancies Stanford as a 20.5 point favorite (-20.5). With talks about Stanford still having a shot at playing for the national championship, they cannot afford to overlook this game against Oregon St. I don’t think they will; they are too smart a football team to dismiss Oregon St. and their little scare against USC last week should have woken them up a bit. Stanford should have no problem beating Oregon St. by three touchdowns (hopefully their kicker keeps nailing those extra points) to cover the spread. I say it will be a victory for the Cardinal 45 to 10.

 

Stanford’s average margin of victory this season: 32.5 points

Oregon St. average margin of defeat this season: 14.67 points

Week 1

57-3 (win)

29-28 OT (loss)

Week 2

44-14 (win)

35-0 (loss)

Week 3

37-10 (win)

Bye

Week 4

Bye

27-19 (loss)

Week 5

45-19 (win)

35-20 (loss)

Week 6

48-7 (win)

37-27 (win)

Week 7

44-14 (win)

38-28 (loss)

Week 8

65-21 (win)

44-21 (win)

Week 9

56-48 3OT (win)

27-8 (loss)

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


Battle of the Rookies

October 29, 2011

On Sunday October 30th the Minnesota Vikings visit the Carolina Panthers. Leading the Panthers offense will be Cam Newton and leading the Vikings offense will be Christian Ponder. The battle of these two talented rookies will surely produce an exciting game.

Cam Newton (who I am now referring to as the LeBron James of football) has been the Panthers starter since game 1 of the 2011 season. He has put up very impressive stats so far for a rookie quarterback:

  • Week 1: 24-37, 422 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 2: 28-46, 432 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
  • Week 3: 18-34, 158 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
  • Week 4: 27-46, 374 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 5: 16-31, 224 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 6: 21-35, 237 yds, 0 TD, 3 INT
  • Week 7: 18-23, 256 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

However stats do not translate into wins; as the Panthers currently sit at a record of 2 and 5. The Panthers have to be excited about the potential that Cam Newton is showing though. He will definitely give the Vikings all they can handle this Sunday.

Christian Ponder on the other hand did not get his first start until week 6 when he replaced Donovan McNabb. His stats have not been as glamorous as Newton’s but the Vikings are sticking with him to see what he can do for them now and the future.

  • Week 6: 9-17, 99 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
  • Week 7: 13-32, 219 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT

The battle with these two first-round picks will be an interesting look at the future stars of the league.