2020 was a rough gambling year. For some reason, nothing quite felt like it locked into place for me. I mostly hung around the break-even mark all season. I’d get up a little bit, but would roll cold for a while and fall back. There was never a sustained streak that allowed me to build a bankroll that I could use to really get a leg up. After the season, I took a break from all gambling because I couldn’t find the rhythm or get into any type of gambling groove. Then PJ Washington happened.
PJ Washington is a basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets. My brother mentioned that he had bet Washington, a player i was only vaguely familiar with, to get 5+ three-pointers in a game and he got six. I looked into his stats a little bit and found that he was trending really well in the right direction, but the drop in the gambling odds associated with it was lagging. So I started betting on him every game. And I started winning. A lot.
On games he wasn’t getting to five, he was still getting three or four, so I started betting that. I would bet him to get three, four, and five threes every game. For the rest of the season, I was able to go on a sustained winning streak and built up my bankroll. Unfortunately, basketball season ended, and my easy gambling victories went with it. With baseball, I’ve been rolling well enough, but haven’t broken the bank. I haven’t found my baseball PJ Washington, and now the season is ending.
I say all of that to tell you this: find something you want to bet on and stick with it. It doesn’t matter if you are getting -300 odds or +1500 odds. If it’s hitting, then bet it, and keep betting it. This year, I love a few bets like this, specifically passing yards. If you read this website or follow football, you know that the league is going away from running. The attrition rate is terrible for running backs. This is a passing league now, and you need to take advantage of it. Right now, Dak Prescott is going into the first game of the season, and his -/+ for passing yards in the game is 288.5. Before getting hurt last year, he was averaging 371 passing yards per game. The season before that, he averaged 306.4. He threw for 266 yards in week one last year, then averaged 474(!!!!) yards per game after that.
The Cowboys’ defense didn’t really get magically better this offseason. Hell, every year, the show Hard Knocks makes any team on it look like a Super Bowl contender. The Cowboys still looked like trash on the show. This is the kind of defense that is going to leak like a sieve all year, leaving Prescott to have to throw 45 times per game. He has the weapons to make it happen. Even if he doesn’t hit the bet in week one, I’m not going to get discouraged, and I will keep riding the bet.
Maybe that isn’t the bet you want to chase. Maybe you want to roll with Adam Jones rushing yards. Maybe the bet is to ride Justin Jefferson receiving yards all season. You could find a game each week and ride an “each team will score a touchdown in each half” bet. It doesn’t matter. Find a bet you want, and roll with it. Find your PJ Washington.
Five Preseason Under/Over bets I love
Green Bay Packers Regular Season Wins: 10.5
Hit the over, oh man oh man, hit the over. I don’t care that Aaron Rodgers hates playing on this team. As long as he doesn’t get scurvy, This team is going to get to 11 wins. They have six games this season against the Bears, Lions, and Vikings. That’s six wins. If we are being charitable to the trash NFC North, we will call it five wins. That means they have to go 6-5 for the rest of their schedule. They have two gimme wins against the Saints and Bengals. They have an additional two incredibly winnable games against the 49ers and Cardinals. If they take three of those games, that gets them to eight. If they can go 3-4 through the meat of their schedule, the bet hits. I’m taking the bet and resting easy tonight.
Denver Broncos Regular Season Wins: 8.5
Teddy Bridgewater isn’t winning anyone nine games. And Drew Lock isn’t winning those games, either. The running back by committee they are going to run isn’t saving this offense. Their wide receivers are great, but on this team, that is the equivalent on putting 10k rims on a $500 car. Bet the under.
Washington Football Team Regular Season Wins: 8.5
Somebody needs to win this sinkhole of a division. Washington has the best defense in the division and possibly the entire league. They have two stars on offense (Antonio Gibson, Terry Mclaurin) and their quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, usually has seven or eight good games before turning back into a pumpkin. While the NFC East was spectacularly bad last year, it tends not to repeat itself. In 2014, when the Panthers won the division with a sub .500 record, the next season, they won 15 games, the Falcons finished at .500, and the Saints had seven wins. In 2010, the Seahawks made the playoffs with a sub .500 team. What happened the next season? The 49ers won 13 games. The Cardinals finished .500, and the Seahawks won seven games.
Bet the come up on the division. If you think it’s the Cowboys, bet the Cowboys. If you think it’s the Eagles, bet the Eagles. If you think it’s the Giants, then you can just give me the money, because you apparently love giving away cash.
New England Patriots Regular Season Wins: 9.5
This number got all the way to 10.5 wins on some sites last week. It is kind of insane how much money has to come in on the under to drive the line down a point like that in such a short period of time. And you know what? I’m gonna take advantage of that free win. I think the Patriots get to ten wins. The whole reason I call this weekly post the “30 Team Parlay” in spite of there being 32 teams is because you never bet on the Raiders, and you never bet against the Patriots.
Kansas City Chiefs Regular Season Wins: 12.5
This number is a little bit silly. The Chiefs are hyper-talented, but open barn doors would provide more protection than this slapped together offensive line. I still think they win the division, but there is definitely money running in on the under because it has been pushed all the way to -140 to bet the under. Most lines sit somewhere between +110 and -120. Only a couple outliers like the Chiefs and the Jaguars under is getting a line like this.
Five Preseason Player Bets I Love
NFL MVP: Josh Allen (+1300)
If the Bills have the best record in football this year, and I believe they will, this is a shoo-in bet. You get slightly lower odds on the Bills winning the Super Bowl, which is crazy to me. I love this bet.
Most Regular Season Passing Touchdowns: Justin Herbert (+1200)
I don’t believe in that running game. I know Austin Ekeler puts up numbers when he is healthy, but he gets hurt, and they have nothing resembling a competent running back behind Ekeler. They are going to throw a ton this year, and Herbert’s stat line is going to benefit from it. The team might fall on its face, but the stat lines on offense will look good.
Most Regular Season Interceptions Thrown: Kirk Cousins (+3800)
His interception rate jumped from 1.4% to 2.5% last season. He was having on-field temper tantrums. His dead cap hit for the Vikings this year is 76 million dollars. That has nothing to do with throwing interceptions. I just find it amusing.
Aaron Rodgers 40+ Passing TDs; Devante Adams 1500 receiving yards (+600)
Maybe it’s the last ride for these two. Maybe it isn’t. My hesitance is on the 1500 receiving yards part, but in the end, you take a few chances. I’m willing to make this move and hope they go off in the sunset like rock stars.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Chase Young (+1100)
We are going to get to a point very soon where Young is talked about as taking the mantle from Aaron Donald as the best defensive player in the NFL. I’m betting that this season is going to be the thing that vaults him into the conversation.
Fives Games For This Week
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals
Week one of the NFL season is when people tend to be the most risk-averse to taking swings on underdogs. Week one is also the best time to make a move. There are teams every year that will come out swinging and outrun the odds. Last year in Week one, Washington used an upset against Philadelphia to back peddle into the playoffs. The Jaguars beat the Colts to start last season. The Colts went to the playoffs. The Jaguars didn’t win again.
I’m generally not a fan of the Vikings in the first place until they find a less atrocious quarterback. Last season, Minnesota went 6-10 against the spread, the second-worst mark in the league. While they have attempted to upgrade at a number of spots, their cornerbacks are suspect until proven otherwise. Joe Burrow might be still trying to play his way back into shape, and his offensive line is essentially five scarecrows in football jerseys, but I still believe in that offense being able to tack enough points on the board to beat Kirk Cousins.
The Bengals are +104 to cover the three-point spread, but I’m going to go for it and take the Bengals to win straight up, currently coming off at +152.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5) at Buffalo Bills
I’m betting the Bills to win the Super Bowl. I’m betting Josh Allen to win MVP. I’m betting the Bills and Packers to parlay their Championship game victories. I’m betting the Bills to be the first team to beat the Chiefs, in Week 5. So yes, I’ll be betting the Bills to cover a touchdown at home (-110) against the Steelers.
Arizona Cardinals (+3) at Tennessee Titans
There is a lot to be skeptical about for the Titans. Their defense has a chance to be one of the five worst in the league this year. They were only 7-10 against the spread last season. But the Cardinals were 21st against the run last season, and color me skeptical that JJ Watt is going to be the thing that turns it all around. And last time I checked, and my inability to get a high enough draft pick would indicate that many others are also aware of the fact that Derrick Henry still exists.
Henry is still an absolute workhorse back who is going to get 20-25 carries while Ryan Tannehill is able to spread out the offense. While they lost Jonnu Smith in free agency, they brought in Julio Jones to pair with budding star AJ Brown. In week one, I’m inclined to trust that this offense can put up enough points to stay out in front of the Cardinals and their 2015 All-Pros cast of stars. I’ll take the Titans (-3) at -102 odds.
Green Bay Packers (-4) at New Orleans Saints
No Drew Brees. No Michael Thomas. The Saints have the guys in place to be okay long-term, but this kind of falls to the point where it takes time for teams to find any sort of rhythm when there is so much of the team being shuffled in and out. Also, I don’t trust the quarterback situation or Sean Payton’s insistence on Taysom Hill being such a huge part of it.
The Packers, on the other hand, are priming up for one last (I hope) deep playoff run and bring back continuity on both sides of the ball.
Also, when in doubt, just bet on the better quarterback. I don’t love taking road favorites, especially this early in the season, but there is something reliable about betting Devante Adams scoring the first touchdown of the game and I’m actually going to jump an alternate line and take the Packers at -6.5, getting +120 odds.
Chicago Bears (+7.5) at Los Angeles Rams
Why is it that we sometimes have to hate the things we love so much? Bet the Rams and I’ll be over here praying that Justin Fields gets in the game to give me something to cheer for.