Don’t listen to your mom. Gambling is healthy and wholesome. Here at OTL, we advocate putting your hard earned money straight into a sports book. We’ll even give you the lowdown on who to bet, and how.
By Matthew Jarecki
Moneyline – Who will win the game outright.
Spread – How many points a team will lose or win by. -3 means a team is favored by 3 points, while +3 means a team is favored to lose by three. When betting the spread, you are betting on a team to win or lose by more or less than Vegas says.
Parlay – Combining 2 or more bets to increase the total payout. Parlay’s are risky, because all bets must win in order to win the parlay.
As always, we’re starting out with our 3 team, low risk, moneyline parlay. We combined 3 sure-fire moneyline bets, which would individually give you less than a 1 to 1 return, to instead give you a little more than a 1 to 1 return. As a result, you can count on doubling your money by the end of the week Here’s why we chose these games to bet. Winners are in bold.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns: I’ve been telling you guys all year, and I’ll tell you again, teams basically have a free ticket to a win if the Browns are on their schedule. The Steelers are one of the 5 most talented offenses in the league, they’re officially desperate, and with Big Ben leading the charge, you can pretty much count on 25+ points. Cody Kessler and the youngest team in the league just will not be able to keep up.
Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders: There’s no home field advantage in this game (played in Mexico City), so it’s really all about the match ups — Oakland has the clear cut advantage. The Raiders have averaged 27 points per game in their last 5, while the Texans have averaged just 18 points over that stretch. Houston’s defense just isn’t good enough to contain the league’s 5th ranked scoring offense that’s coming out of a bye week. The key factor? The famously average Brock Osweiler will be playing from behind, and this Oakland team already has 15 takeaways on the year. Put it in your parlay.
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks: I love betting against teams coming off their biggest victory of the year, especially when they’re on the road the next week. After that emotional victory against Atlanta, Philly will be resting on their laurels. Listen, the Eagles do some good things, and Carson Wentz looks like he’ll be a good quarterback going forward, but this Eagles team is running straight into a top 3 team that’s gaining confidence. Just consider the match ups: Russel Wilson, or Carson Wentz? Pete Carrol, or Doug Pederson? Seattle’s defense at home, or Philadelphia’s defense away? Seattle has the advantage across the board, but if you’re still hesitant, listen to this: Seattle hasn’t lost a game at home this year, and Philadelphia’s 1-4 on the road. The Seahawks will make your pockets heavier this week.
Betting the spread is not about who will win the game, it’s about who will cover. This week, we only felt that one team had a good enough probability of covering their respective spread to bet them: the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys: People, this might be the best point spread Vegas will give you all year. They’re begging you Cowboys fans to put your money on Dak and Zeke this week. Seven and a half points, are you kidding me? The Cowboys deserve to be the favorites in this game, they’ve earned that, but they will not win by more than a touchdown, and here’s why. The Ravens have the top ranked rushing defense, the 5th ranked passing defense, and they’re tied for 3rd in scoring defense. Simply put, this will be the best defense the Cowboys face all year. I’ll take the Ravens to stifle Ezekiel Elliot, turn Dak Prescott over at least once, and have very little trouble moving the ball on that mediocre Dallas defense. Baltimore might just win this game outright. Don’t believe me? Name 3 other teams that have a top 5 defense and a Super Bowl winning quarterback. That’s what the Ravens have, and that’s why they’ll win you money this week.
High-Risk, Low-Risk Moneylines:
We like to put a large portion of our money into a low-risk moneyline bet (which will not payout much), and a small portion of our money into a high-risk moneyline bet (which will payout well). This week we’re investing a lot in the New England Patriots, and a little in the Buffalo Bills.
New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers: There’s a reason New England winds up being our low risk moneyline bet every other week: they’re really, really good. It hardly needs explanation, but here’s why I’ll put a lot of money on the Patriots this week. 1. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and New England’s defense are all better than their counterparts in San Francisco. 2. New England has the league’s 6th ranked scoring offense, and San Francisco has the league’s worst scoring defense. Total mismatch. 3. Belichick is officially mad at his defense, and you can bet they’ll be ready to “do their job” this week against Colin Kaepernick.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals: This is the most confident I’ve been about a high-risk moneyline bet all season. I was very surprised to see that the Bills were 3 point underdogs, but lord knows I ain’t smarter than Vegas. Listen, I know the Bengals are at home, but that’s about the only thing I do know about the Bengals. They have no identity. It used to be that the Bengals presented a strong defense and rushing attack, but neither of those things are true thus far. This season, the Bengals rank 26th against the run and 17th against the pass. That ain’t good enough for a team quarterbacked by Dalton, and it ain’t gonna be good enough against a Bills team that leads the league with 5.3 yards per rush. I expect Buffalo to suffocate the Bengals with a dominating ground attack, which has led them to score 6 more points per game than the Bengals on average this season.