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.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions: The Lions seem to have gotten their act together this year. Jim Caldwell might be the most conservative coach in the league, but he’s brought stability to a Lions team that just can’t seem to surpass Aaron Rodgers and his Packers. The Bears, on the other hand, have been plagued by injuries to the quarterback position, but they’ve actually done some things well on their way to 3-9. Jordan Howard looks to be a big, powerful, 5th round steal, and Matt Barkley has real potential. Being that this is a divisional game, and John Fox’s defense is the bright spot of the Bears, I think this stays close going into the 4th quarter. Mathew Stafford’s talent will seal the deal down the stretch, as has been the case all season.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: Early on this season, the Browns were able to get by as an under-talented, lose-close type of team. They looked like they could steal a few wins. Now, the gap in talent between the Browns roster – from top to bottom – and most other rosters in the league, is starting to show in blowout losses. Is RG3 coming back this week? Yes. Do I think that makes a difference at all? Absolutely not. That offensive line isn’t good enough to give RG3 time to throw the deep ball – his only threat to defenses. Cincinnati has the better roster, quarterback, and coach in this AFC North match up.
Atlanta Falcons at LA Rams: This game scares me the most, but I don’t think the Rams can keep up with Atlanta. Listen, we’ve seen Atlanta be slowed, and beat, by the Eagles and Chiefs – two teams with a good pass rush. LA’s defensive line is their strength, so I can see Atlanta hitting some hiccups. However, I just can’t wrap my head around Atlanta scoring less than 20 points, and that’s a big problem for a Rams team averaging 11.5 points in their last 6 contests. Holy smokes that’s bad. Atlanta wins because their offense is simply too high powered for a Jeff Fisher coached team to match.
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 New England Patriots: The Ravens are officially back in form. Just erase last year from your memory. Joe Flacco’s 15 to 11 TD to INT ratio doesn’t scare me a bit, folks. In fact it reassures me that this season is vintage Joe Flacco. The guy has a knack for getting good right when it matters. Even with all of that being said, I don’t know if the Ravens will win this game against the most dominant NFL franchise of the last 15 years. I do, however, have a strong feeling they’ll cover this 7 point spread, and here’s why: First off, Flacco found his rhythm last week against Miami, throwing for 4 TDs and 381 yards. Second, this Ravens defense is capable of slowing the Patriots down enough for Flacco to keep up. They allow a 2nd ranked 17 points per game. Last, 4 of the last 6 match ups between the Flacco led Ravens, and Brady led Patriots have been decided by 4 points or less. Is it starting to smell like money in here?
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 Dallas Cowboys, and a little in the Green Bay Packers
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants: I’ve been on the record as a firm non-believer in this 8-4 Giants squad. But given that they have won 8 NFL games, I had to do some research to find out how exactly this team – which looks so mediocre as a television product – has accrued such an impressive record. The answer is their expensive, and talent rich defense. The Giants are 9th in scoring defense, 3rd in average rushing yards allowed per attempt, and have a 9th ranked 11 interceptions. So what’s holding this team back? Eli Manning is having another mediocre year, and Odell Beckham Jr has become bigger than the team. I just don’t think the rest of the team likes OBJ as much as he likes himself. OK, enough ranting about the Boys in Blue; lets get into this match up. Dallas’s quarterback and running back are fighting over who gets league MVP, their offensive line is historically good, and Sean Lee is finally staying healthy. That’s what the mediocre Giants are up against on Sunday night. I see this game staying tight until the third quarter, which is when I expect New York’s D-line to get tired. Dallas will follow the recipe they’ve followed all season: they’ll wear New York out with Elliot, and trust Dak to make critical 3rd down throws.
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers: God, I can’t believe I just picked this dismal Packers roster to upset the Seahawks, who have one of the top 5 rosters in the league. What can I say, though, Aaron Rodgers has what it takes to upset anybody. Speaking of Rodgers… the more the media blames him for the Packers woes, the more I root for the guy. There’s something about Rodgers taking (unwarranted) criticism, and turning it into 29 TDs and 7 INTs that is so American. I like the Packers to upset the Hawks based on Rodgers’ greatness, their home field advantage at Lambeau, and because Green Bay is a desperate team with an elite QB/head coach duo.