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.
New York Giants at Cleveland Browns: The Giants are the most mediocre 7-3 team I’ve seen in a while, yet they’re about to move to 8-3. Despite being in middle of the pack in almost every statistical category, the Giants are more talented, more consistent, and have more to play for than this Cleveland Browns team that could literally go 0-16. Forget the stats, I’ll take Eli Manning, a defense with dominant potential, and the winning culture of New York over Josh Mccown and a bunch of nobody’s.
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears: The Titans are right in the thick of things in the AFC South, and they’re sneaky good. Marcus Mariota, one of the league’s best young quarterbacks, has 19 TDs to 3 INTs in his last 7 games, and DeMarco Murray is 2nd in the league in rushing yards. The problem for the Titans has been their defense, giving up 25 points per game on the season. That defense, though, won’t be a problem this week, as Matt Barkley is slated to start for Chicago on Sunday. The last time Barkley played, (in week 7) he threw for a total of 81 yards with 2 INTs and 0 TDs. Yikes. Put it in your parlay, folks.
Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Against top 10 defenses this season, Jameis Winston has thrown 6 TDs to 8 INTs. This week, he’ll go against the Seahawks, who are 9th in total defense, and 1st in scoring defense. That spells trouble. On the other hand, Seattle has averaged 29 points a game over their last 3, and they’ll be going up against the league’s 26th ranked total defense in Tampa Bay. I just don’t see a chance for the Bucs this week. I’ll take Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll, and that ferocious defense over Jameis Winston, Dirk Koetter, and that sad defense in Tampa Bay. So should you.
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 Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons: Despite their record, this Arizona Cardinals team is still loaded with talent. They’re the best total defense in the league, and the 9th ranked scoring defense. That being said, they’ll face a tough match up this week against the league’s top ranked scoring offense at home. I don’t think Arizona wins this game, but here’s why they’ll lose by less than 6 points: 1. When Atlanta can’t beat teams through the air, they tend to spiral. We saw that in week 10 against the Eagles. Arizona ranks 1st in the league against the pass, and Patrick Peterson will trail Julio Jones all day. 2. Atlanta, on the other hand, has the league’s 28th ranked total defense. This Arizona team has the potential to be explosive, and they shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball on Sunday. 3. Bruce Arians has the respect of his players, and with his recent health troubles, his team has something extra to play for. Sometimes those intangibles can make all the difference in the NFL.
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 Green Bay Packers.
New England Patriots at New York Jets: The Patriots have dominated our low risk moneyline bets this year. They’ve done well for us, with a perfect record on the season. I fully expect them to keep it perfect this week against a Jets team who’s season is all but over. It’s as simple as this: Tom Brady, or Ryan Fitzpatrick? Bill Belichick, or Todd Bowles? 8-2, or 3-7? Everyone’s calling for the Jets to upset the Patriots, and I get it, you want people to read your article, but I’m here to give you the truth. The Patriots have a continuous chip on their shoulder, Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league, and Tom Brady is still the best quarterback in the league. Want me to blow your mind? Even if Jimmy Garoppolo needs to play, New England wins by 10.
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles: There’s a reason Philly is favored by 4 points in this game. That defense is for real, and they play their best football at home. Carson Wentz? He ain’t bad either; he’s got 5 TDs to 2 INTs in 4 home games this year. He’ll be passing against that dreadful Green Bay secondary. But the Eagles are a rushing team, and stopping the run is just about the only thing Green Bay’s defense does well. I know the Packers are trending down right now, but you can’t overreact when you’re betting football. Listen, the Packers are the more desperate team, they have the better coach/quarterback duo, and they score more points per game. NFL teams with a quarterback as talented as Aaron Rodgers simply do not lose 5 straight. Put some money on it.