Mistakes were made. Money was lost. Andy Reid coached teams were underrated. That is all over, though. Football season is back! NFL Gambling is back! It’s better than ever, as well. We have been blessed with a team that is full-on tanking (Miami Dolphins), several teams that just plain won’t be good (Cardinals, Washington, Buccaneers), and a couple teams that are caught in NFL purgatory with aging quarterbacks (Giants, Broncos).
That means that there are six teams with legitimate opportunities to do a 17 week tank bet against them. The idea is that you simply bet on all six NFL teams to lose every week. They will cross paths and play each other over the course of the season. Just take the home team and don’t overthink it. Or bet on a tie. It’s your money. There are eight games this season where these teams will cross paths. Out of 96 total games these teams will play this season, there are 88 possible bets to make against them. Let’s say each team wins six games this year. Six is a solid baseline number because there is always the chance that a couple teams could jump up, and a couple can underachieve. That means that the total combined wins for these teams would be 36, leaving you with 52 gambling wins, or 59 percent success rate. 60 percent is a great place to be in terms of gambling wins, even if you are going to be taking tougher odds as the season goes on and these teams expose themselves.
Let’s say you have the financial ability to expand it out to eight teams, and include two likely after thoughts in the Bills and Lions. Taking into account bad teams playing each other, meaning you can only bet one team, that will still give you 27 more betting opportunities. Based on the six win criteria, this would bring the winning NFL bet percentage up to 63 percent!
As always, I preface this article the same way I preface every article: Never gamble more than you can afford to lose. You should go into every betting situation with the hopes of winning, but the knowledge that might not happen. Never over-extend yourself. It is, under absolutely no circumstance, worth going into debt over a bet, regardless of whether or not you believe it’s a sure thing. Gambling can be fun and enjoyable. It can also lose you your home, your car, and your loved ones. All information I give you herein should be taken at face value. All I can do is give you what I believe is the best chance. I’m not made of magic. I do not know if these bets will work in advance. I can only take the information given to me and make my best guess. If you think you are having gambling problems, please seek counseling.
Now Let’s get into some football!
Game: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
Line: Cardinals +2.5 (even odds)
Lions To win: -140
Cardinals To Win: +120
I generally thought there was a consensus in the NFL that the Arizona Cardinals were going to bad. Their roster looks bad. Kyler Murray has looked bad in the preseason. Kliff Kingsbury looks downright lost at times on the sidelines. You look up, though, and there seems to be a genuine feeling that this team could jump and shock some people.
I’m not one of those people. This Cardinals roster is bereft of talent and seems very dedicated to the concept that 2019 David Johnson is going to just turn back into 2016 David Johnson. Teams are just going to load up seven and eight man fronts all day and dare rookie QB Kyler Murray to make a play.
On the other side of the ball is a much more talented team, being run by the biggest doofus off of the Bill Belichick coaching tree: Matt Patricia. Patricia can’t handle managing an overnight shift at 7/11, let alone an entire football team. We are about a year away from the Lions getting busted for trying to secretly record other team’s practices when Patricia shows up to a Packers practice wearing a fake mustache and an oversized cowboy hat with a giant camera in it, Simpsons style.
If you absolutely have to bet on this game, Lions at -2.5 feels like a solid bet. The Cardinals haven’t distinguished themselves in the preseason and are going to need time to properly implement Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Both teams have bad written all over them.
Game: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Line: Raiders +1 (-110)
Broncos To win: -120
Raiders To Win: Even Odds
ESPN wouldn’t have it any other way, getting the final game of the first week of the football season and having quarterback whisperer and visor enthusiast Jon Gruden manning the sidelines. As I’ve noted before, the Raiders are getting the “Hard Knocks” bump, where people watch the show and immediately think any team on it is going to be three-four wins better than they actually are because HBO is really good at slicing down hundreds of hours of footage and creating a few shows from it.
The Raiders are slight home dogs against the Broncos, under new coach Vic Fangio. The Broncos are led by quarterback Joe Flacco, and your feelings on him are going to heavily predetermine how you feel about this team. If Flacco can average around 275 passing yards per game and minimize his mistakes, then the defense is good enough to keep them in games. If Flacco is toast as a starting QB in the NFL, as he showed last year, then this team is going to face plant badly.
I’m leaning towards a face plant, but I still believe that this team can go into Oakland and win week one of the season. So I’m taking the Broncos -1 this week and making my money betting against the Broncos further down the line this season.
Game: San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As of Tuesday night, there is no line for this game, which is fine with me, because I really don’t feel like writing about either one of these teams. The 49ers are probably the better team, but are a mess at most of their skill positions. The Buccaneers are getting sleeper love for reasons that are absolutely beyond me. I know I said I don’t feel like talking about these teams, but allow me to go on a rant here…
When are we going to, as a football viewing collective, stop acting like Jameis Winston is going to magically turn it around as a quarterback? He puts up some fantasy numbers every year, and every year people who think they are ahead of the curve go running out thinking that this is the year and now the Bucs will be good. Oh cool, he got a new coach? He has had 3 coaches. Lovie Smith was too defensive minded. Dirk Koetter was behind the times of modern offense. Bruce Arians is gonna get it right!
Hear me out…no, Bruce Arians probably isn’t the answer. Arians was run out of Arizona with a pitchfork. Beyond that, this is the same damn quarterback who doesn’t win anything. He was benched twice last year by a coach who was trying to keep his job. Jameis Winston’s career record as a starter is 21-33. That’s a .389 winning percentage. He has a career TD to INT percentage of less than 2 to 1. He had an int % of nearly four percent last year.
Maybe at some point we are allowed to just decide that Jameis Winston is a creepy, entitled Jay Cutler.
Game: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Line: Jets -3 (-110)
Bills To win: +140
Jets To Win: -160
I could probably be talked into both of these teams finishing in second place in the AFC East, but I believe in the Jets much more. The Bills are going to be a fun team this year, and I am a believer in Josh Allen as a “He’s not going to win a ton, but he will keep his team in games by making at least one inexplicable throw every week” guy.
The Jets are the more complete team. That said, they are coached by one of the biggest dullards in the NFL: Adam Gase. Nothing about Gase screams “successful coach” but he continues to fail upward. I can’t wait for him to get fired from four other jobs before becoming commissioner of the league in a decade.
Gase does get a six week grace period before he completely sabotages this team, and the addition of Leveon Bell to Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson makes this offense potent enough to be wild card contenders this year.
Week one, I’ll snag the Jets -3, and probably try to sneak a parlay in there with them.
Game: Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles
Line: Eagles -10 (-105)
Washington To win: +315
Eagles To Win: -430
First double digit underdog of the season! It’s a known fact that Washington will be pure trash this year. Case Keenum will be starting the year at quarterback, which evokes confidence in exactly nobody. Head Coach Jay Gruden came out and said that Derrius Guice would be the main running back this year and that the offense would go through him, which is a strange thing to say about a guy who was a 2nd round draft pick last year, then missed the season with a torn ACL. Then it came out that ownership overruled Gruden when he wanted to cut Adrian Peterson because Peterson is an unbelievable pain in the ass and was going to be a problem to deal with if he wasn’t starting. So Gruden made the public statement about Guice.
I don’t know if you really want to bet on a line this big in the first week of the NFL season, but betting on Jay Gruden being the first coach fired this year seems like a safe bet.
Game: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
Line: Dolphins +7 (-105)
Ravens To win: -320
Dolphins To Win: +265
The Dolphins are in the process of starting the most shameless tank in NFL history. They are getting rid of anyone of any talent level. They are probably pissed that they even have to field a 45 man gameday roster.
The Ravens are coming off a trip to the playoffs last year. They brought in Mark Ingram to bolster the running game.
So why do I think that the Dolphins are going to find a way to not only cover the spread, but win the game? It happens at least once a year in week one that a major dog plays far over their heads and pulls an outright victory. The weather is going to suck in Miami, as it usually does around this time of year. If the Dolphins are able to get a 10 point lead and force the Ravens to pass the ball, there is a very good chance they can control and win the game.
I’m not sure why I feel this hunch, but I’m probably going to lay a bet with the Dolphins to win straight up at +265. I take no joy in having to watch the Ravens, anyway.
Game: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Line: Cowboys -7 (-115)
Giants To win: +260
Cowboys To Win: -320
Ezekiel Elliott is officially back and it sounds like he will be playing in this game, meaning that the line very well could move off the numbers I have listed before gameday. If the line gets pushed into the nine point range, then the Giants feel like a good pick here. Their record doesn’t indicate it, but they played in a lot of close games last year, with 7 of their losses coming by less than a touchdown. They knew how to play close games last year, now it’s time to see they can get over the hump and win.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, are looking to make a statement by kicking a hole into the Giants chest and running straight through it. Elliott probably won’t be a focal point of the offense during week one, but he probably won’t need to be. The Cowboys have the best offensive line in football and should be able to push around the defense of the Giants well enough that anybody, including you and me, could run for 100 yards and a touchdown.
If the Giants get up to +9, then they might be worth taking a flier on, but below that, don’t overthink it, and take the better team.
Game: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings
Line: Vikings -4 (-110)
Falcons To win: +165
Vikings To Win: -190
I was genuinely confused by this line. I understand the three point automatic bump for the Vikings being the home team, but do they really deserve another point against a team with an offense like the Falcons? The Falcons defense isn’t great, but the Vikings aren’t exactly equipped to take advantage of it. The Vikings have a major kicking problem, meaning they are going to be forced to go for it or punt in no mans land, playing into Atlanta’s hands by giving them the opportunity to play a short field. Julio Jones can beat you on a short field. Julio Jones can beat you on a long field. Julio Jones can beat you in a dome. Julio Jones can beat you at home.
If you really want to chase better odds, as I do, take a shot at the Falcons straight up. I do believe they are going to roll out just enough offense in Week 1 to keep the Vikings on their toes and their backs pinned up against their own end zone. I genuinely don’t see the Vikings scoring more than 24 points in any game this season, and I definitely do believe that the Falcons can beat that.
Game: Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks
Line: Seahawks -9.5 (-110)
Bengals To win: +310
Seahawks To Win: -420
Oh, Bengals. Sad, poor Bengals. The Bengals find themselves in the same quarterbacking hell that the Lions do. They have a quarterback that isn’t good enough to be a franchise QB, but isn’t bad enough for them to simply get rid of and start over. A play-action purgatory, if you will. Andy Dalton is not going to be the guy who wins a big game for your football team. I also don’t think Andy Dalton is the QB that is going to be able to go to the west coast and beat the Seahawks in a home opener.
Outside of the Bengals defensive line, there isn’t much that they can do to stop the Seahawks, either. To make a very dated reference, the Bengals are Bruce Willis in “The Sixth Sense.” They are dead, they just don’t know it, yet. The rest of the division has passed them up and all that’s left for them to do is tear it all down to the studs and start over. Also, somehow this team is going to give Joe Mixon a bigger contract than Ezekiel Elliott got the moment Mixon asks for it. This is not a well-run franchise.
On the other hand, the Seahawks are well run, and Jadaveon Clowney is going to fit in well with that defense. This is one of the cases this week of a favorite steamrolling their opponent with little to no resistance. I’m taking the Seahawks -9.5 and parlaying them to get some extra value.
Game: Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
Line: Browns -6 (-110)
Titans To win: +210
Browns To Win: -250
There is a growing backlash to the Browns seemingly-uncontrollable hype train. People are coming out of the woodwork to remind everyone that these are still the Browns and they are going to Browns all over the place, and they aren’t as good as the hype leads you to believe and so on and so forth.
I’m gonna go ahead and just throw gasoline back onto the Browns hype flame. The fact is, this team is very good at multiple positions. Everyone seems to just be casually forgetting that Myles Garrett exists. He is as unheralded as a number one pick can get, especially one that is really damn good at his job. Next to him on the line is Olivier Vernon, who people are forgetting was good before he got caught in that sadness vortex in New York. Next to him is Sheldon Richardson, who should be motivated to be playing on a team with real playoff aspirations this year. Behind them is tackling machine Christian Kirksey. Behind him is ballhawk and playmaker Denzel Ward. That’s just the defense.
Also, the Titans are going to be bad this year. I don’t like that team, I don’t like anything about them. I’ taking the Browns -6 because there is no chance that the Titans can put up enough offense to stay close.
Game: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints
Line: Saints -7 (-115)
Texans To win: +250
Saints To Win: -300
Drew Brees in a dome. Sometimes you don’t need to say much more than that. I’ll give it a shot, though. There is something to be said for getting to bet on the Texans at the beginning of the season, before their team starts falling apart from injuries. No, I don’t count Lamar Miller as a falling apart moment because I don’t think Lamar Miller was all that good to begin win.
I think the Saints can win this game, but you only have to look back to last year when the Saints started up against the Buccaneers at home and got their doors blown off by Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m not sure the Texans are going to be able to win, but I definitely like any scenario where a healthy Texans team is GETTING 7 points. I’m taking the Texans +7 this week.
Game: LA Rams at Carolina Panthers
Line: Panthers +3 (-120)
Rams To win: -145
Panthers To Win: +125
Carolina as a three point dog at home is intriguing, especially since Christian McCaffrey showed up to camp looking like Hulk Hogan circa 1985. Of course, Cam Newton is hurt and there isn’t a wide receiving corps to speak of on this team. Just different versions of old wide receivers that haven’t worked out. Cam Newton has an MVP under his belt so he is insulated from some of the criticism of this. Plus, the people running the team have proven themselves to be a collective horse’s ass over the years. That said, Aaron Rodgers made stars of Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. Tom Brady made stars of Julian Edelman and Troy Brown. Peyton Manning turned slow white guys like Austin Collie into game changers. Great quarterbacks make their wide receivers better. There is something to be said for Newton’s complete inability to create star wide receivers.
Anyway, the Rams show up with the obvious ‘Super Bowl Hangover’ weighing on them. They lost some players in free agency and Todd Gurley’s arthritic knee looms over the entire situation. But this doesn’t feel like the game where the Rams come out looking unprepared and disorganized. Their biggest weaknesses, like pass protection, are something that Cam Newton, who is injured, can’t really take advantage of, anyway. This should end up being a fairly low scoring game with both defenses trying to win the field position battle. The Panthers might even have a fourth quarter lead. That said, I think the Rams will shake off the rust when necessary, Jared Goff (who just got paaaaaiiiiid) will throw late touchdown passes to Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds, and the Rams will cruise to a 10 point victory, covering the spread. Rams -3
Game: Indianapolis Colts at Carson City (you aren’t fooling anyone by saying you are in LA) Chargers
Line: Chargers -7 (even odds)
Colts To win: +230
Chargers To Win: -280
Sometimes, you just need to know when you don’t know something. I don’t know how this game will play out. I don’t know how the Colts season will go. I don’t know how the Chargers season will go. A month ago, when I started putting together a skeleton for the season, both teams were obviously going to make the playoffs and potentially deep runs in the AFC.
On September 4th, I’m not convinced either team makes the playoffs. There are so many question marks surrounding each team that I can’t make any definitive statements on either one until they’ve played a few games. I’m gonna go ahead and avoid making any plays on this game, but I will be watching, because we are going to find out a lot about what both of these teams are made of.
And if you absolutely have to gamble, then why not take the Colts to win +230.
Game: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
Line: Patriots -6 (-115)
Steelers To win: +210
Patriots To Win: -250
I’ve flip-flopped on a number of teams since the start of training camp, but I’ve been pretty steadfast on one concept: The Steelers won’t be very good this season. They are a legacy team. They have been good for so long that they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Over the past 12 months, they have lost two of the best players at their respective positions. They haven’t necessarily reloaded the defense like this team is known to do. Something just feels off about this season for the Steelers. I don’t believe last season was an outlier and that they will rebound. I’m more of the belief that it was the sign of the whole thing falling apart. You can’t outrun age.
Unless you are the Patriots. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will bury us all. I have no doubt about that fact. Nobody ever overstays their welcome in New England. They are always banished to NFL hell somewhere else to play out the end of their careers. They are perpetually one step ahead of the league and will be until they decide they aren’t. I’ve given up on rooting against this team, because that path only leads to madness. Take the Patriots -6 and call it a day.
Game: Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars
Line: Jaguars +4 (-105)
Chiefs To win: -210
Jaguars To Win: +175
This line is…interesting. The Jaguars come into the season predicted to be the yo-yo team of the year, on the come up towards their 2017 season from the bottoming out of 2018. Blake Bortles is gone, replaced by a competent (hopefully) quarterback in Nick Foles. It’s worth remembering that Foles wasn’t particularly good for any team other than the Eagles over his career. A lot of Vegas money has been placed on the Jaguars coming back to form, and there is a lot of optimism.
With that being said, the Kansas City Chiefs are returning one of the most prolific offenses in the history of the NFL, with an improved defense this year. Patrick Mahomes is an ‘across the board’ MVP and Offensive Player of the Year favorite. That they are only getting 4 points against a suspect Jaguars offense which feels like the opposite of what is happening to the Browns. The Jaguars are a hype train that hasn’t caught any crack back yet. This line is two points too low, and definitely worth taking advantage of. Chiefs -4 and don’t give it a second thought.
Game: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Line: Bears -3 (-120)
Bears To win: -160
Packers To Win: +140
Never bet with your heart, and never bet with your balls. Just kick back and enjoy the beginning the NFL season and 4 months of beautiful Sundays!
Screw it, Bears -3.
For more Brandon Andreasen, check him out on Twitter @TheBman
Brandon is also the founder of Fancy Boys Club
And in case you missed it, check out Brandon’s preview of all 32 NFL teams’ unders/overs and Super Bowl odds by Clicking Here
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