Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday Night Football Recap: Chiefs @ Packers

Obligatory, because I heaped on praise yesterday and he absolutely killed it.
I went very heavy on the Packers yesterday, because they have been the class of the NFC for about as long as I can remember. And the Chiefs are led by Andy Reid and Alex Smith, who are generally bad.

Green Bay +7 (Win)
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Green Bay scored to go up 38-14. Game over, cover not in question, no worries. 

Then Alex Smith marched 89 yards down the field and scored to cut it to a 2 possession game with about ten minutes left. Then he did it again with a minute and a half left, but they missed the extra point to leave it at a ten point deficit. 

We've been crushed enough to know what was coming: onside kick, meaningless touchdown, Packers kneel the ball to win the game but not cover the spread. 

But nope, Green Bay went 3-and-out but took enough time off the clock to close it out. 

Total Points Over 49.5 (Win)
This over was a product of Smith doing what was expected and Rodgers exceeding expectations.  

It's also a product of Jamaal Charles rushing for three (!!) touchdowns, but still losing the game because his quarterback went for a QBR below 20.

Aaron Rodgers Rushing Yards Over 20.5 (Loss)
He finished the game with 2 rushes for 16 yards. Damn. This is my favorite kind of player prop to bet, because it only takes one long run to hit. This just wasn't the night for that to happen.

Alex Smith Rushing Yards Over 17.5 (Win)
Like I just said, it only takes one. Smith finished with 33 rushing yards, but 19 of them came on one attempt in an absolute garbage situation right before the first half ended. You couldn't ask for a dumber way to cover.

Jeremy Maclin Receiving Yards Over 60.5 (Win)
My logic on this bet was "his stats the first two games would lead me to think he's going under, and I can't understand why the line is this high." Well guys, Vegas knows best and J-Mac ended the night with 141 receiving yards (including one for 61 yards, so we had another #OverInOnePlay situation). Sometimes you have to set logic/reasoning aside and just read the line.

Last night: 4-1
Monday nights: 11-10
Thursday nights: 6-8-1

And I will repeat, fuck the NFC East.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Chiefs @ Packers

I was going to write something here about how Chiefs is disrespectful to Indian chiefs and how there are too many people that use "chief" as an alternative for "dude" or "bro". But then I took a hard left and started writing about how Green Bay's whole setup makes fun of people like Charlie Kelly and me who eat too much cheese and smell like farts all the time.

Glad we avoided that, welcome to the Monday Night preview.

Green Bay Packers -7 (-115)
What if I told you that Kansas City would play a game in which Alex Smith threw 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, the Chiefs won the turnover battle 2-1, and they still only managed to beat the Houston Texans by one possession? Well, it happened in week one.

KC followed that performance by losing to Denver (by 7) in a game where they out-rushed the Broncos 147 yards to 61. They lost because Peyton Manning threw 3 touchdowns and 1 interception while Alex Smith had a reality check and threw 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Denver has a top-tier defense. Houston, Kansas City, and Green Bay are all in the middle of the pack. The point here is Alex Smith will probably look more like Week One Alex than Week Two Alex.

The problem is the guy on the other sideline is going to look like Aaron Rodgers, who torched Seattle (top-tier defense) and Chicago (actually middle of the pack, at least on defense) for a combined 76.8% completion percentage, 438 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He's also rushed for 58 yards, which is 80 more yards than Big Time Expensive Free Agent DeMarco Murray.

Justin Houston and Eric Berry are not slouches. But Rodgers carved up the Seahawks for an 89.2 QBR.

Total Points Over 49.5 (-110)
Week One Alex Smith versus Any Week Aaron Rodgers should mean both teams get into the 20s. Plus, this is somewhat of a hedge to that first bet because there is a scenario where KC scores 40-50 points and Green Bay just can't hang.

Alex Smith Rushing Yards Over 17.5 (-115)
Smith ran for 15 yards in each of the first two games. Green Bay gave up 31 rushing yards to Jay Cutler and 78 yards to Russell Wilson. I don't think he's going to get quite as many as Russell, but I definitely like him over 17.5.

Aaron Rodgers Rushing Yards Over 20.5 (-125)
This one is a little harder to read, because KC has faced Peyton Manning, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Mallett. Those guys have combined for one rush attempt total through two games, and it was for 6 yards. Rodgers ran 8 times for 35 yards against Chicago and 6 times for 23 yards against Seattle. I'm addicted to betting quarterback rush overs, so hell yes I like him to go for 20+ tonight.

Jeremy Maclin Receiving Yards Over 60.5 (-125)
Maclin went for 52 yards against Houston and 57 yards against Denver. So why is his total for this game this high? I have no idea but I know that Vegas is smarter than me so I'm hopping on the Maclin train and we are full steam ahead away from Logic Station.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Thursday Night Recap: Redskins @ Giants

Guys, I'm sorry. I forgot the Redskins stink. I'll keep this recap short.

Redskins +4 (Loss) 
Redskins Moneyline (Loss)

The Giants pretty much dominated from start to finish, and even though they only won by 11 it was really never in doubt that the moneyline was a bust.

Alfred Morris Rushing Yards Over 61.5 (Loss)

Is 6 carries for 19 yards good? Christ, was this the Redskins or the Eagles?

Eli Manning To Throw An Interception (Loss)
Kirk Cousins To Throw An Interception (Win)

Kirk actually doubled up on INTs last night. Good for him, it's nice to see that kind of fire in a quarterback.

Jordan Reed Over 5 Receptions (Win)

Let's end on a high note. The lock of the night cleared his receptions number with ease (by one, he finished the game with 6 catches).

Fuck the NFC East.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Night Preview: Redskins @ Giants

I really enjoy when there is only one football game on at a time, the whole world is watching it, and we can pay really close attention to everything that is going on in the game.

Don't get me wrong, I love Saturdays and Sundays too, but there's something extra special for me about going super in-depth into stats and history and projections for one specific game. We went 3-7 in week one's Monday game because I like the Eagles too much, 4-4-1 in week two's Thursday game, and 4-2 in week two's Monday game. That adds up to (calculator) 11-13-2 so far for the season, which isn't that bad when you consider I've been listening to the guys on 97.5 talk about how fucking good the Birds were going to be this year for six months.

Tonight, that game is Redskins @ Giants. I almost don't even want to write the rest of this post. This might be the least-watched Thursday night game all season. Who else is worse than this? Maybe Colts-Texans in a few weeks, but even there Andrew Luck might turn it around and JJ Watt is always a huge douchebag big draw. Browns-Bengals is probably a contender, as are Titans-Jaguars, Bucs-Rams, and (gulp) Redskins-Eagles to close the TNF season.

Here's the crazy part about the NFL's influence in the good old US of A: I don't even like the sport of football that much, my team is looking like they won't contend, and I will probably still watch (or at least follow) all of those steaming piles of garbage that they put on TV on Thursday nights.

Plus, I have a mild gambling problem.

Bovada is down "for maintenance", so today's lines are from my side chick, Sportsbook.ag. [Update: I put the Bovada lines/odds in because Bovada is bae.]

Redskins summary: (Game 1) Lost at home to the Dolphins 17-10 but held Miami to 182 passing yards and 74 rushing yards. Kirk Cousins threw two interceptions, but the 'Skins ran for 161 yards as a team. (Game 2) Beat the Rams at home 24-10 and held St. Louis to 150 passing yards and 67 rushing yards. Another strong showing on the ground from Washington, who had Matt Jones and Alfred Morris combine for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

Giants summary: (Game 1) Lost on the road to the Cowboys 27-26 and only scored one offensive touchdown. Their other points came on a touchdown return on a Cole Beasley fumble and four field goals. New York's defense also picked off Tony Romo twice, but Romo outperformed Eli in QBR 85.9 to 45.4. (Game 2) Lost at home to the Falcons 24-20 and Eli was significantly outperformed by Matt Ryan, who beat him in QBR by a score of 90.8 to 50.5.

Redskins +3.5 (-110) and Redskins Moneyline (+160) [Skins +4 (-120) and +155]
Redskins Total Points Over 20.5 (-120) [Over 19.5 (-135)]

In both of their first two games, New York's opponent has rushed the ball fewer than 25 times for a total of no more than 80 yards. Washington has run the ball 37 times each game for 161 and 182 yards. Sportsbook has the line on Kirk Cousins' passing yards at 243.5. I am absolutely fucking not betting on Kirk Cousins, but it shows us that Vegas thinks Kirk is going to have success the same way Romo and Ryan did.

Alfred Morris Rushing Yards Over 61.5 (-115) [Over 57.5 (-125)]

We know Washington is going run the crap out of the ball with Morris and Matt Jones. The big question: does the split between those two look more like week one when Morris had 25 and Jones had 6, or week two when Morris had 18 and Jones had 19? I think it returns more to normal, and I think Vegas expects people to get too caught up in the "flash in the pan" just like we always do when someone has one good week.

Jordan Reed Over 5 Receptions (+100) [Over 5 (-115)]

He had 7 catches against Miami and 6 against St. Louis. Toss in that we can push if he gets to five, and the fact that New York allowed 4 receptions by Jacob Tamme (Atlanta), 8 by Jason Witten and 2 by Gavin Escobar (Dallas), and I feel very confident about this one.

Eli Manning To Throw An Interception (-140) [-140]
Kirk Cousins To Throw An Interception (-185) [-190]

Come on, it's Eli and Kirk Cousins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday Night Football Recap: Jets @ Colts

Jets Colts Football
I stole this from the AP website and I don't know if that's legal?

Gambling, a lot of times, makes you feel like a scumbag. If you are on a losing streak, the act of wagering any money at all really makes you question what you are doing with your life. 

But if you're in the zone (or even anywhere close to the zone), then gambling is the best goddamn activity in the whole world. Last night's ticket:

Jets +7 (-120) (Win)
Jets +3.5 (+120)
Jets Moneyline (+225)
I mentioned each of these at points in the blog last night and based my preference on whether or not T.Y. Hilton played. He did play, so I would have gone with Jets plus a touchdown. But Hilton only managed 4 catches for 45 yards (#RevisIsland) and obviously the moneyline would have been the play. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick Passing Yards Over 210.5 (Win)
Ryan Fitzpatrick Passing Touchdowns Over 1.5 (Win)
The Colts defense stinks. They got torched - or as torched as you can get by Johnny Manziel and one of the McCown brothers - last week against the Browns. This week they got lit up by Fitzpatrick, who threw Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker a combined 15 passes for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Chris Ivory Rushing Yards Over 74.5 (Loss)
Chris Ivory To Score A Touchdown (Loss)
I did not realize that the Jets were going to split their carries almost right down the middle between Ivory and Bilal Powell. 

*Lock Of The Night* 
Andrew Luck Rushing Yards Over 19.5 (Win)
On a night where one of the league's "elite" quarterbacks finished with a 56.7% completion rate for less than seven yards per attempt and three interceptions, you might have expected him to lose all of his player props. Not the lock of the night, though:

I'm going to be honest with you guys. I have no idea how ESPN is counting luck at 24 rushing yards. That ten yard rush to take it from 14 to 24 was called back because of a holding penalty. Andrew, do you know what happened here?

Yeah, neither do I, but I'll take it. 4-2 on the night. 

Bonus Comedic Eagles Reference

Chip Kelly was right for once!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Night Football Preview: Jets @ Colts

Because this worked out so well for us last time (haha), we dug through all 75 bets available on Bovada tonight so we can make some money off these two teams that are both going to miss the playoffs because they both stink. 

Point Spread: New York Jets +7 (-120)

The Jets beat the Browns 31-10 last week. The Colts lost 27-14 to the Bills. The Browns then beat the Titans in week two, while the Bills lost at home to the Patriots. Ipso facto, Jets are winning this game #outright (but I don't like that enough to bet it at +225).

The biggest different from week one to week two, at least as far as this spread is concerned, is the difference between the Jets' opponents. Last week they held Johnny Manziel to 13/24 attempts for 182 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Josh McCown did a little better (I guess), going 5/8 for 49 yards.

Andrew Luck is better than Manziel or McCown, and he throws it about twice as many times per game as the Browns. Last week, the Bills held him to 26/49 attempts for 243 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions. He rushed 4 times for 20 yards (nice), and the Jets gave up a total of 58 rushing yards to Manziel and McCown. I love betting on quarterback rushing props, and tonight is no different. My lock of the night:

Andrew Luck Rushing Yards Over 19.5 (-125)

Luck threw 28.5% of his attempts (and 26.9% of his completions) to T.Y. Hilton, who is either going to sit out tonight with a knee injury or get put on Revis Island. When he gets ruled out for the game, I might have the balls to take a more Jets-friendly spread.

New York Jets +3.5 (+120) or New York Jets Outright +225

On the other side of the ball, New York is going to have a few decent options for getting into the end zone. This is a Colts team that allowed Tyrod Taylor to complete almost 75% of his passes for a QBR of 88.2. Tyrod Taylor. What do you think #Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to do tonight? I'll tell you what he's going to do:

Ryan Fitzpatrick Passing Yards Over 210.5 (-130) and Touchdown Passes Over 1.5 (-125)

And the Jets aren't even really a passing team. I expect Chris Ivory to go OFF tonight, and Vegas tends to agree. They have his over/under for rushing yards at 74.5, which is only a hair lower than Last Year's League-Leading Rusher DeMarco Murray. Ivory to get into the endzone also pays out like somebody who Vegas expects to score but plays on a team that may end up scoring no touchdowns all night.

Chris Ivory Rushing Yards Over 74.5 (-125) and To Score A Touchdown (+120)

Six Flyers Line Combinations I Want To See This Preseason

The Eagles stink, the Phillies stink, and the Sixers are going to stink. It could be a rough year to be a sports fan in Philadelphia. But we have Flyers preseason hockey starting tonight and actual meaningful Flyers hockey in a couple weeks. By the time November rolls around I might want to drink a Wawa bleach iced tea, but for now I'm riddled with optimism. I'm excited to see how Dave Hakstol puts his team together, and there are a few combinations of forwards that I'd like to see this week.

Giroux - Voracek - Raffl
This is more about the first two names than the third. Because if you have G and Jake together, the logical third piece is Raffl, who complements them both nicely and creates an A+ first line.

A lot of the talk this summer was about breaking the two superstars up to "balance the team" and "have more than one line that can score." Fuck that! We know these three play as well together as (almost) any line in the NHL. Why would we pass that up to build two mediocre lines? This has to be the first line, and there is nothing anybody can do to change my mind on that.

VandeVelde - White - Bellemare
I really hope Hakstol's familiarity with CVV means he's centering the fourth line. I also hope the contract extensions for White and PEB mean they're going to be flanking him. This is, at times, the most fun Flyers line combination to watch. Leave Umberger or whoever else might be leftover on the bench and put together the fourth line that everyone wants to see. 

Obviously, my mind is made up for the first and fourth lines. Now, the second and third lines, on the other hand...

Couturier - Read - Schenn
Coots is centering the second line. He is getting paid like a second line center for a long time. If he plays with RJ Umberger or any of the "fourth liners" at ANY point this season, there is a disconnect between Hextall and Hakstol, and that is a BAD sign for a rookie head coach.

The big question about Coots is who to put around him. One possibility is the two guys he had success with at the end of last season. I expect Coots and Reader to stay together as the first penalty kill unit, because they've always had great chemistry. If we can somehow make Brayden look good enough to trade at the deadline along with his deadbeat brother warrant a long-term contract extension, then great. This is a homegrown line that we all know and love, so I'd be happy to see them together again and hope this is finally the breakout year.

Couturier - Gagner - Simmonds
Besides the Giroux/Voracek question, the next biggest topic of debate this offseason has been how to get Couturier more involved in the offense and actually achieve that "breakout year." One simple fix is stick him with two of the best non-Voracek wingers on the team. We know Simmonds brings an attacking mentality and loves to play around the net. The word on Gagner is he has a lot of offensive skill and would be a talented playmaker if he had any decent talent around him.

If bringing Coots to the next level is the goal, and we don't care about having a pretty fucking terrible third line, this is the combination I'd go with.

Lecavalier - Gagner - Simmonds
I want Coots to transcend to superstar status as much as anybody. However, there is a bigger prize to be gained from using Gagner/Simmonds as a pair of wingers. 

We need to get Vinny either (1) back to the player that resembles a future Hall-of-Famer or (2) the fuck out of town. The easiest way to be in a position to decide between those two is for him to be taking offensive zone faceoffs with these two guys who can create goals. We need either Mark Streit or MDZ on the ice with Vinny at all times so he looks as good as possible.

If the deadline rolls around and someone is looking for a relatively short commitment to a veteran center with a lot of skill who has his name scratched into the Stanley Cup, maybe we could dump him. But to do that, he's going to have to look like a completely different player than last year. 

That's an interesting subplot of this whole season: we kind of want to win, but if it's clear we can't do that then we have to do everything possible to move Vinny, Umberger, MacDonald, and maybe even Streit.

Lecavalier - Schenn - Umberger
Here's a dream scenario for you: Coots makes the leap to superstar with the help of Sammer and Simmer (you like those? I think I do). On the next line down the depth chart, Brayden Schenn also breaks out and becomes the superstar we all know he can be (and not just Dom Brown on ice skates). 

By turning himself into a playmaking goalscorer, Brayden also brings up the stock of Lecavalier and Umberger and makes their huge contracts tradeable for Hextall. We don't get much in return, but we are able to clear $9.1 million off the books for next year and $4.5 million for 2017-18. Brayden gets to put a big chunk of that money directly into his pocket, and everyone is happy. 

Parade down Broad Street in Spring 2018 - see you there, Ron? 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 3 College Football Preview

We stayed away from last night's game because (1) Clemson is a mystery to us (2) Louisville is a mystery to us (3) there was a good NFL matchup on and we wanted to eat 4 vigs and end up with nothing.

Now it's Friday afternoon and it's time to look to the weekend!

Florida State -8 @ Boston College, 12:00
I certainly understand the reasoning behind this close line, because BC has conceded 3 points and scored 100. But they've played Maine and Howard. And this is BC we're talking about. They weren't even on the board for national championship odds until this week, and now they're 500/1.

FSU has played a pretty cake schedule so far as well, but they're FSU. The have Golson and Cook in the backfield. That's it. It's that simple.

What worries me about taking FSU by more than a touchdown: Golson's QBR last week against USF was in the twenties. That's bad. And the last time Dalvin Cook rushed for less than 100 yards was last season... against BC. That's worse.

At the end of the day though, Bovada has FSU at 28/1 to win the title this year, and the Noles clearly cannot lose this game for that to happen. The FSU moneyline is -350, so this is prime material to throw into the #teasebag.

Georgia Tech -3 @ Notre Dame, 3:30
This is from Barstool Chief's blog about Notre Dame's undefeated season: "You’d think losing the starting nose tackle, the starting TE, the starting RB, and the starting QB would have me worried, but you’re wrong. You don’t become the foremost “ND is going undefeated” expert on the internet without being able to trick your own brain."

Allow me to use some rational thought here. Ga Tech is going to put up a lot of points, just like they always do. That alone means there's a good chance somebody wins by more than three. And now factor in ND is missing it's entire starting offense, and I'm in on GT -3. 

Auburn @ LSU, 3:30
I don't really like the line here (LSU -7 or Auburn +7) but I wanted to mention that I wrote a blog saying the SEC was good and the Big 12 and Pac 12 were bad. And then Auburn almost lost to Jacksonville State. 

South Carolina @ Georgia -16, 6:00
I like UGA, but I hate any SEC team by two touchdowns against another SEC team. Throw Georgia directly into the #teasebag, please and thank you. Chubb life. 

Stanford @ USC -9.5, 8:00
Stanford stinks and USC is good. Why is this line as close as it is? Bingo bango. 

Rutgers +9 @ Penn State, 8:00
I don't think there are two teams in all of sports that have fucked us more than Rutgers and PSU. My gut says this stays within a touchdown, and I like the under 46 too. Rutgers scored 63 against Norfolk State (who stink) and 34 against Washington State (high-scoring, high-paced offense). They won't be able to do that at PSU, who gave up 14 points to Buffalo and an abhorrent 27 to Temple. 

As for the Nits (apparently that's a thing that we call them now), they really struggled against Temple and only scored 10 points. They put up 27 against Buffalo - that's flirting with the over/under for tomorrow's game. 

Ole Miss @ Alabama, 9:15
The game of the weekend, without question. Bovada has the Tide favored by a touchdown and the over/under set at 53. Alabama got into the mid-thirties against Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee State, and Ole Miss has scored more than 70 against Hot Garbage University and Southern Dumpster Fire State. 

Am I crazy for taking the over here? Usually SEC games are brutal affairs where you have to grind for every touchdown, but these are two very good offenses. 

Also, I'm hoping Ole Miss wins and I'm nervous that they might lose by forty - and the over would still probably hit there. 

Thursday Night Football Recap

Unfortunately, I did not make it until the end of last night's game. I actually didn't even make it through the first half. When I went to sleep, it was 14-0 Chiefs and it looked like our KC -3 bet was all good.

And then I woke up this morning, checked the ESPN app, and it turns out that it turned into a pretty back-and-forth game:

So it would appear that the teams traded touchdowns all night, and Denver scored the last one. Damn, that's a tough way to lose a game. Let's look at that fourth quarter:

(Puts gun in mouth)

How'd we do on the props?

Alex Smith Passing Yards Over 220.5 (Loss)
Alex Smith Passing Touchdowns Over 1.5 (Loss)
Travis Kelce To Score A Touchdown (Loss)
Smith  finished under 200 yards, with two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Related, Kelce did not catch a touchdown (because there were none thrown by the red team).

Jamaal Charles Over 4 Receptions (Push)
At this point, I'm going to count the push as a moral win. 

Alex Smith To Throw An Interception (Win)
Hey, we got one!

Peyton Manning To Throw An Interception (Win)
Uh oh, the money train is heating up!

Total Sacks In The Game Over 5 (Win)
This one wasn't posted because we fired it off later in the afternoon. But DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller each had one sack, Justin Houston had two, and the rest of the guys on the field combined for three more. 

Emmanuel Sanders To Score A Touchdown (Win)
Sometimes, you have to bet with your heart instead of your head. On a team with a quarterback that seemed to be struggling, with other receiving options like Demarius Thomas and Owen Daniels available in the red zone, why would you bet on Sanders to score? Well I did because I'm the greatest football better there is. 

On the night: 4-4-1 (okay, maybe like eighth-greatest)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Night Preview: Broncos @ Chiefs

We started off REAL hot last week in the NFL section of our portfolio with Tom Brady sticking it to the haters and a perfect 6-0 ticket on Sunday. But then we took the Eagles and Sam Bradford, and life gave us the old Hermione newspaper wack.

We are not the chosen one. We actually stink a lot of the time. But KC -3 at home over an elderly-looking Peyton Manning on short rest was locked in before last weekend even ended. That's the primary bet tonight (and you should adopt that bet immediately), but there are a few decent player/team props out there also.

While looking up some stats for this blog, the biggest thing that jumps out at me is the fact that last week's Baltimore-Denver game was an absolute dumpster fire. The (supposedly elite) quarterbacks combined for 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. All of the running backs on both sides combined for 143 yards and less than 3 yards per carry. The only points besides kicks were interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.

Alex Smith Passing Yards Over 220.5 (-130) and Touchdown Passes Over 1.5 (-125)
The big question for tonight is whether or not Denver's defense can bring Alex Smith down to Peyton Manning's level and turn the game into a low-scoring slugfest. That's an absurd sentence to say, but I think Smith will be able to move the ball against Denver the same way he did against Houston, when he threw for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now, I do not think he's going for 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions again. Because Denver's secondary came out firing against Joe Flacco. Thus...

Alex Smith To Throw An Interception (-140)
It's Alex Smith, so you know he's due for one.

Travis Kelce To Score A Touchdown (+120)
He had 106 yards and 2 touchdowns last week do I don't understand how this payout starts with a plus sign. Easy money.

Peyton Manning To Throw An Interception (-155)
Imagine a world where Vegas thinks Peyton Manning is more likely to throw an interception than Alex Goddamn Smith. It's bananas. But I think KC's defense gets this done (and maybe more than once).

Jamaal Charles Over 4 Receptions (-130) 
Smith targeted him 8 times last week, and he caught 5 of them. As I type that out, I realize it makes no sense to bet on him to be utilized more in the passing game. BUT. Jeremy Maclin was questionable and is now probable, and he was targeted 9 times last week. Somehow, that means more catches for Charles.

Emmanuel Sanders To Score A Touchdown (+140)
I hate this bet because I cannot stand Sanders. I hate watching him because he carries himself like a throwback diva wide receiver, and the league has moved past that era. Every time he makes a catch he starts yapping at the defense, and I noticed that he was doing a LOT of catching and yapping last week. Peyton targeted him 12 times! I'm hoping to see something similar tonight, but this time I want a touchdown celebration. You don't have to be an asshole, Emmanuel. Just get in the end zone and do a little dance.

Just such an asshole face. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Well Last Night Was Pretty Shitty

Guys, we got sucked into it again. Twenty minutes of good preseason football against a Packers team without a bunch of its core and we thought the Birds were going 19-0. The Super Bowl was in our sights. Sam Bradford was going to be the MVP and the comeback player of the year.

And most importantly, we were going to get rich off of week one player props. To the scoreboard:

Eagles -3 (Loss) 
Eagles Team Total Over 28.5 (Loss)
Sam Bradford Over 2 Touchdowns Passes (Loss)
These three go hand in hand (in hand?), and there is quite a bit of blame to dish out. Most of it has to go to Chip, who spent like nine figures on running backs this summer and gave them a total of sixteen carries combined.

That said, the passing attack looks good in the box score if you just look at the receivers. There was a lot of yardage to go around and that piece of the puzzle largely looked solid in the second half. But Bradford just absolutely can NOT throw that second pick on the final drive. We were expecting him to be our savior, an elite quarterback rescued from a dumpster fire in the Midwest. But that last drive (and the whole first half, and the lone touchdown for the night) was decidedly not elite.

DeMarco Murray Rushing Yards Over 82.5 (Loss)
DeMarco finished with eight carries for nine yards. Nailed it!

Nelson Agholor To Score A Touchdown (Loss)
Nelson finished with one garbage time catch for five yards. Nailed that one too!

Either Team To Score A Special Teams Or Defensive TD (Loss)
The Eagles did not return a kick all night, and Sproles' longest punt return was just 15 yards. The Falcons averaged 20 yards on their kick returns and 9 yards on their punt returns. I defend the logic of this bet, because Chip has had success in the special teams game in the past. 

Bradford Over 275.5 Passing Yards (Win)
Matt Ryan To Throw An Interception (Win)
Falcons Team Total Under 27 (Win)
Hey, we got a few right!

Either Team To Score 3 Unanswered Times 
In my analysis, I wrote "If you look at the fourth quarter box score tomorrow, you will see why this was a Yes. Eagles 21-0 in the fourth quarter." Neither team scored 3 unanswered times, but the Eagles did win the fourth quarter (7-6). So we will call this one a win and end on a high note.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Eagles-Falcons MNF Betting Guide

We've already talked about how Eagles -3 tonight is the lock of the week. It's a disrespectful line and it looks like it was set by somebody who doesn't have a clue how good the Birds looked all preseason. We also talked about how Eagles -10.5 seems like it should be the regular spread, but somehow it pays out more than 2/1. More free money.

But when you get into the player props for tonight, there's so much free money laying around that it's almost laughable.

Eagles Team Total Over 28.5 (-135) - Easy over. They might clear that by halftime.

Falcons Team Total Under 27 (-115) - Frankly I'd be surprised if the Falcons scored more than two touchdowns.

Will Either Team Score 3 Unanswered Times? Yes (-200) - If you look at the fourth quarter box score tomorrow, you will see why this was a Yes. Eagles 21-0 in the fourth quarter.

Nelson Agholor to Score a Touchdown (+150) - Rookie of the year campaign has to start somewhere.

Sam Bradford Passing Yards Over 275.5 (-125) - I guess this would be a good time to mention that all of these predictions hinge on Bradford not getting put on the back of a golf cart with his legs bent in opposite directions.

Sam Bradford Touchdown Passes Over 2 (-140) - If he doesn't go over then I have no hope in FanDuel this week. If he doesn't at least push then I will eat my own shorts.

Matt Ryan To Throw an Interception (-180) - The payout is pretty shitty, but it's always a ton of fun to yell "THROW A PICK YOU PIECE OF SHIT" and really, truly mean it.

DeMarco Murray Rushing Yards Over 82.5 (-125) - There were three games last year when DeMarco didn't go over 82 yards. One of them was against Philly. And before you even think about saying something about the Cowboys' offensive line last year, they just beastmoded their rushing attack to 81 yards against a defense anchored by a guy with one arm.

(Quick note: the Falcons do not have a running back listed for "rushing props")

Either Team To Score a Special Teams of Defensive TD (+150) - I am including this to cap the ticket because it seems like too much value. In a game where the over/under is set to put each team in the 20-30 points range, it feels like at least some of that has to come from Darren Sproles returning a punt for a touchdown.

Week 2 College/Week 1 NFL Recap

Coming out of the weekend like:

We opened the weekend with Tom Brady going over his 2.5 touchdowns in the first half.

We hit on Miami on Friday night. We stayed away from FSU on Saturday morning. The Ole Miss/PSU/Georgia teaser hit. The Clemson/Georgia teaser hit (that was a game time decision, sorry). And the crown jewel of the football Saturday, our "The SEC is Good and the Big 12 is Bad" teaser hit as Alabama/Texas A&M/Tennessee all covered their adjusted spreads. Look for next week's teaser where we apply the same logic.

And then Sunday. Oh, Sunday. Green Bay, Kansas City, and Miami all covered early. Arizona, Cincy, and Denver all covered late. We were thinking about betting on Dallas late, but Bovada smiled down on us and wouldn't let us bet it. So we ended with a perfect 6-0 Sunday.

If you are wondering why I didn't post an NFL preview, it's because I wasn't in the cube on Saturday so I didn't need anything to kill time. Sorry. Venmo me money and I will start posting our picks on Saturdays.

To cap the weekend (when you think of the weekend as Thursday-Monday, life isn't so bad), we are on the Eagles -3 tonight. Greenbirds -10.5 pays +240 if you're looking for something more interesting.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week 2 College Football Preview

Week 1 did not go so well. Bovada wouldn't let us tease Georgia-Arkansas, so naturally both teams won by a hundred and we were left twiddling our thumbs. Bovada did let us tease Alabama-USC, so the weekend wasn't a total wash. Full disclosure: I was at the beach so I didn't really look too much into the games before the weekend started.

But I'm back! Let's preview some games:

Miami -17.5 @ Florida Atlantic, Friday, 8pm
If you look at preseason odds, Miami was picked to be a mid-tier ACC team. They are, without question, projected below the FSU-Clemson-Georgia Tech group at the top of the conference, but the 'Canes should be decent this year. They beat Bethune-Cookman last week by six and a half touchdowns.

Similarly, Florida Atlantic projects as a middle-of-the-pack Conference USA team. They probably won't win (especially since they already lost to Tulsa), but there are a few teams that are supposed to be substantially worse than the (searches for the FAU mascot) Owls. That Tulsa loss was 46-44, which is not a good sign when you have to face an offense like Miami's.

I see the U putting up a lot of points and covering. Pick: Miami -17.5 (and if it happens to move inside 17, jump on it)

Florida State -28 vs. South Florida, Saturday, 11:30am
I probably won't ever bet against FSU this season because their offense is just too goddamn explosive, but four touchdowns is a LOT to cover against a USF team that put up 51 points last week. Granted, that game was against Florida A&M (Amphetamines & Meth LOL), but even if the Bulls manage to hang 21 on FSU I would worry.

I think I'm staying away from a point spread and looking for the over when that line gets released. If that line gets set below 60, I'm in.

Saturday Early Afternoon Big Teaser: Ole Miss -20 vs. Fresno State, Penn State -11 vs. Buffalo, Georgia -11 @ Vanderbilt
That's a ten point tease to get Ole Miss down to three touchdowns and PSU/UGA down to two touchdowns. Ole Miss looked incredible last week, but #fourtouchdownsisalot. Penn State looked incredibly bad last week in their loss to Temple, but I think they might have some incentive to take that out on the Bulls in front of the home crowd, no? And Georgia is so much better than Vanderbilt that I almost want to take them outright but I like it as the third piece of this teaser.

Saturday Night "The SEC is Good and the Big 12 is Bad" Teaser: Alabama -25.5 vs. Middle Tennessee, Texas A&M -20 vs. Ball State, Tennessee +11.5 vs. Oklahoma
Because of those rules we discussed in the week one recap, I have 100% confidence that this teaser will blow up in the most agonizing way possible.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday Afternoon Euro Qualifying Preview

Guys, it's the worst day ever. Summer is over. You're sunburned. It's a million degrees outside. You're back in the cube from now until Christmas.

There is one bright spot to cheer up your weekday afternoons: European soccer starts at like 2pm here, because time zones. Between club and international futbol, there always seems to be something to occupy the post-lunch lull at work.

Today, we're going to load up on the Euro qualifiers. Most of these teams have played 7 matches so far, so we should have a pretty solid baseline to judge how things are going to end up. Let's jump right in:

Belarus (-290) v. Luxembourg (+750)
I can't figure out why Belarus is so heavily favored in this matchup. Bovada has them as pretty sizable favorite given how close they are in the table. In a classic "I'm going to regret this later because Vegas knows more than me about everything move", I think the play here is Luxembourg +1.5 (-130). It's a decent payout and it gives us a little room to breathe.

Macedonia (+1800) v. Spain (-700)
You aren't going to bet on Macedonia. And unless you're planning on parlaying Spain with at least one other game, you have to give up some goals to make it worth anything. Personally, I like Spain -1.5 (-185) as a bet with a decent payout and a really good chance of coming true. The Spaniards are averaging a little more than two goals per game, and they should be able to go clean sheet against this Macedonia team (that would pay -250, by the way).

Slovakia (+175) v. Ukraine (+180)
If you bet on this game, you have a problem.

Georgia (-2000) v. Gibraltar (+2500)
This game kicked off before this post went up, but I wanted to include it because MINUS FORTY-FOUR GOALS IN EIGHT GAMES.

England (-140) v. Switzerland (+400)
This is an easy England bet. They're riding high off their annual romp of San Marino, and their roster is just too stacked to lose to an inferior team (this early, give them until at least after qualifiers). 

Lithuania (-2000) v. San Marino (+5000)
Slovenia (-200) v. Estonia (+575)
If you bet these, call for help.

Liechtenstein (+1800) v. Russia (-750)
Similar to the Spain situation, you have to give up some goals to make a Russia bet worthwhile. And Russia just doesn't score enough to justify giving them 1.5 or 2.5 goals. I'm staying away from this one.

Sweden (+115) v. Austria (+240)
I can't really tell for sure, but I think the Swedish National Team site is telling us that Zlatan is starting. That's good enough for me, I'll take Sweden to win please and thank you.  

Moldova (+310) v. Montenegro (Even)
I don't feel confident putting money on a small team like Montenegro away from home (even though I think they will win). However, Bovada has the over/under at 2 goals here and the over pays -115. It would be surprising to see it stay under, and I like the ability to push if it happens to end 1-1 or 2-0. I'm going to cross my fingers, hope for 2-1 Montenegro, and run into traffic when it ends 1-0.

Week 1 College Football Recap

Early season college football is always tricky to bet. You don't really know a whole lot about any of the teams, and half of the teams you do know something about are playing against a community college team. There were a LOT of teams favored by a big number this past weekend, but there were also a few decent matchups mixed in. Let's go to the scoreboard:

Notable Big Favorites That Covered

  • #16 Georgia Tech -41 against Alcorn State. Ga Tech won 69-6
  • #17 Ole Miss -39 against UT Martin, Ole Miss won 76-3
  • #9 Georgia -35 against UL Monroe, UGA won 51-14
  • #12 Clemson -34 against Wofford, Clemson won 49-10
  • #13 UCLA -17.5 against Virginia, UCLA won 34-16
  • #18 Arkansas -32.5 against UTEP, Arkansas won 48-13
  • #25 Tennessee -21.5 against Bowling Green, Tenn won 59-30
  • NC State -26 against Troy, NC State won 49-21
  • #19 Oklahoma -31 against Akron, Oklahoma won 41-3
  • #10 Florida State -27.5 against Texas State, FSU won 59-16
  • #8 USC -27 against Arkansas State, USC won 55-6

Notable Big Favorites That Didn't Cover

  • #2 TCU -16.5 against Minnesota. TCU won 23-17
  • #22 Arizona -32.5 against UTSA, Arizona won 42-32
  • #5 Michigan State 16.5 against Western Michigan, MSU won 37-24
  • #4 Baylor -36 against SMU, Baylor won 56-21
  • Washington State -30 against Portland State, Portland State won 24-17 (woof)
  • Wyoming -18.5 against North Dakota, UND won 24-13 (woof)
  • Indiana -20.5 against Southern Illinois, Indiana won 48-47 (woof)
  • #24 Missouri -41 against SE Missouri, Mizzou won 34-3
  • #7 Oregon -35 against Eastern Washington, Oregon won 61-42
  • #26 Mississippi State -21 against Southern Mississippi, MSU won 34-16
Other Games, Like Maybe Some Featuring Two Decent Teams
  • Utah -5 against Michigan, Utah won 24-17
  • #23 Boise State -12 against Washington, BSU won 16-13 (but scored 0 second half points)
  • #21 Stanford -10 against Northwestern, NWU won 16-6
  • #6 Auburn -10.5 against Louisville, Auburn won 31-24
  • Nebraska -5 against BYU, BYU won 33-28 (on a last-second Hail Brigham)
  • Penn State -6 against Temple, Temple won 27-10 (PHIL-LY! PHIL-LY! PHIL-LY!)
  • Texas A&M -3 against #15 Arizona State, TXAM won 38-17
  • Notre Dame -8.5 against Texas, ND won 38-3
  • #3 Alabama -12 against #20 Wisconsin, Alabama won 35-17
  • #1 Ohio State -13.5 against Va Tech, OSU won 42-24
Let's break that down into some trends/rules for the coming weeks:

1. The SEC is the best conference in football.
Win the only game of the week between ranked teams. Five big favorites all take care of business by a combined 237 points. Blow out a top-15 team. Beat the fourth- or fifth-best team in the ACC. The only SEC loss of the weekend was Vanderbilt, and I'm not even sure they count as a real SEC team. Kentucky even managed to take care of business. If you are an SEC hater, you might want to keep it quiet this season. 

2. The Big XII and Pac 12 stink. 
Stanford lost to Northwestern. Arizona State lost to Texas A&M. Nobody expected much from Washington this year, but they lost to Boise State. And Arizona, Baylor, TCU, and Texas all didn't cover. Your scorching hot take of the day: this year's playoff will be Ohio State and three SEC teams. 

3. Betting a big number is a complete coin flip. 
Like I said, nobody knows anything going into the season. There are half a dozen teams that are going to drop significantly in this week's rankings, and at least that many that are going to shoot up. Betting on a "good" team to cover a huge spread can make sense, or it can blow up in your face. 

4. The Week 1 Recap Big Board:

*Note: LSU was off this week because their game was cancelled due to weather.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Night Football Preview

The most wonderful kind of lights. Also, a reminder that the only positions that matter in football are head coach, quarterback, and running back.

The first rule of betting on early season, "come play us so we can kick the shit out of you" matchups is NEVER bet on the shittier team. Even if you don't think Michigan State is going to cover 17.5 against Western Michigan, do you really want to be in the fourth quarter tonight rooting for a bunch of MAC scrubs to score against MSU's defense?

Another quick piece of information to keep in mind is NOBODY knows ANYTHING about any of these teams. Maybe the #2 team in the country will just barely squeak by a hockey school's football team. Who knows? Maybe the Big XII stinks and you shouldn't bet on them for at least the first month of the season?

With that in mind, here are the games tonight that feature teams that are worth watching:

#5 Michigan State -17.5 @ Western Michigan, 7pm, ESPNU

MSU is 18/1 to win the championship this year. I cannot find odds on Western Michigan to win.

#4 Baylor -37 @ SMU, 7pm, ESPN

I think ESPN might have messed up here by putting a five-score blowout on the main channel instead of something a little closer, but what do I know? Baylor's 12/1 to win the playoff, so maybe that's enough to make up for the fact that they are going to stomp the life out of SMU.

Washington @ #23 Boise State -13, 10:15pm, ESPN

Tonight's nightcap is interesting because Washington's coach spend 2006-2013 as Boise State's coach. It's also interesting because it's the first football game of the night where both teams have title odds listed on Bovada. Granted, Boise State at 100/1 and Washington at 500/1 doesn't really give either team too much of a chance, but they are both at least on the board.

The ticket tonight is another teaser (because teasers are the best in games like these*): Michigan State -11 and Boise State -6.5 for a payout of -120.

*Teasers are just the best in general.

Breaking News: TCU is OUT of the National Title Discussion

You knew it was only going to be a matter of time until we lost a teaser because of something stupid. I was hoping it would take longer than one damn night.

South Carolina covered their spread, and all we needed for a nice little teaser payday was the second best team in the country to win by double digits against a team that is going to end the season with at least half a dozen losses. 

Nope. Not meant to be. 

The two biggest reasons TCU was ranked so highly were their ferocious beatdown of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl and their quarterback, Heisman Favorite Trevone Boykin. Let's break down how it was stupid to think those two things were going to work out. 

Lots of yards. Lots of possession. Two turnovers against Minnesota is inexcusable. Kicking 3 field goals is also inexcusable. Those drives needed to be converted for 7 points. How do you think that would have gone against Baylor or Oklahoma? That's a loss for TCU, and it knocks them out of the playoff. 

Let's talk about Boykin for a minute. If you are rushing the ball, 5.9 yards per attempt is pretty damn good. If you are throwing the ball, that is fucking terrible! Credit to TCU for running so many offensive plays, but if you throw the ball 40+ times you should most certainly end up with more than 250 passing yards and one touchdown.

That is the face of the quarterback that kept Minnesota within one possession of TCU. Leider managed the game, didn't turn the ball over (except for when he got sacked and fumbled, but that could have happened to anybody), and did enough right that Minnesota probably would have beaten a non-OSU B1G team. Great for them! Bad for TCU. You heard it here first: the Horned Frogs are officially OUT of the college football title picture. 

*Editor's note: there is no significance to cutting that list off at 20. The screen just couldn't hold all 25 at once. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday Night Football Preview

It's almost mancave season, boys! (Quick side note, I called it mancave season for the first time in a text to my girlfriend and now I think I might be single.) Let's stock the fridge and sit on the couch for four hours every night and sixteen hours both days every weekend. Let's jump right in to the college football season:

South Carolina -3 @ North Carolina, 6pm
Steve Spurrier against the ACC. Boom. Easy. If you need some numbers to back up that reasoning, the over/under numbers for season wins are UNC 7.5 wins (over -140) and USC 6.5 wins (over -120).

"But Jay, that's telling us UNC is better!" No it's not, idiot. After SC, UNC plays five decent teams all year (Ga Tech, Pitt, Miami, Va Tech, NC State). South Carolina has to play Georgia, Mizzou, LSU, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, and Clemson.

Look at the title odds: South Carolina is 300/1 and North Carolina is 500/1. Neither team is beating the elite teams out for their playoff spots, but Vegas likes the Cocks significantly more than they like the Heels.

TCU -17 @ Minnesota, 9pm
Remember how I said a team in the 300/1 or 500/1 range isn't going to beat out an elite team for their playoff spot? I just said it one paragraph ago.

TCU is that elite team. At 6/1, they're second behind only Ohio State (between 2/1 and 3/1) to win the playoff. They have Heisman Favorite Trevone Boykin returning at quarterback, and they won their bowl game against an above-average SEC West school by almost 40 points.

Do we need to tease this for some wiggle room? Probably not. But we're teasing it with the early game to give us some extra juice just in case. Our ticket tonight is Cocks +3.5 and Frogs -10.5.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bullets Blog NFL Survivor Pool

As part of the best time of the year, we're hosting an NFL survivor pool. The rules are simple:

  • Pick one team each week that you think is going to win (straight up, no point spreads)
  • Your pick must be submitted before the game you are picking kicks off
  • If your team wins, you survive to the next week
  • If your team loses, you are done (Update: double elimination)
  • You can only pick each team once
  • Last man standing wins - if we have to carry it into the playoffs, we will

To enter each week you can either go to this link (http://goo.gl/forms/dLuxUpdRqV) or bookmark this post and fill in this form:

We will post a recap each week on Tuesday. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

David Backes Will Not Be A Flyer

The hot sizzle from the NHL rumor mill today is the Blues are done with David Backes and they're looking to move him for prospects to grow with Vladimir Tarasenko. (That's grow, literally, as in Tarasenko has gained like eighty pounds of torso weight this summer.)

But I read a scorching hot take that said two of the biggest suitors for Backes are Boston and Philly. Boston maybe? I guess? We're going to need someone who knows things about the Bruins to break down how that'd work.

Here's why Philly is not happening: we have our top two centers locked up for the better part of the next decade. On top of that, Backes is scheduled to make $4.75 million next season. The Flyguys have less than $1 million in cap space.

The only way that Backes-to-Philly works is if it's a pure cap-shedding move from Ron Hextall. If St. Louis takes back some combination of the horrendous contracts that are Vinny Lecavalier, Andrew MacDonald, or RJ Umberger, we get to wipe someone off the books a year or two early, and it doesn't matter that we are adding another center to a team that is already flush with them.

I am going to end this post by completely disagreeing with the title. I hope Backes comes to Philly in a move that continues this absurd run of Hextall being the best GM ever. Fingers crossed that we get an update this afternoon from someone who knows things telling us Ken Hitchcock really likes Andy Mac and is willing to take him and a draft pick for Backes.

Let's get that Crosby-loving bag of trash off the team and make some room for one of the youngsters.

College Football Season Preview

We're baaaaack! After a long summer of throwing money away trying to make baseball and soccer (and hot dog eating and....) interesting, it's finally time for the most wonderful time of the year to start up again. We get college football and pro football, then college basketball. So basically we have good sports to bet on from now until mid-April, and that is an absolutely beautiful thing.

Before we jump into game lines, I wanted to throw some thoughts out for the season as a whole.

FBS Championship Winner

Ohio State is the runaway favorite (+260). To put that in perspective, it's the exact same payout as Verona beating Torino in Serie A. I don't follow Italian soccer enough to know anything about either of those teams, but that kind of proves my point. It would be a mild upset if Verona won this weekend, and it would mildly surprising if OSU beat out every other college football team. They are -260 to win the B1G. They are an absolute lock. To keep the soccer parallel alive, that's in the same realm as the moneyline on Bayer Leverkusen (who you have heard of) to beat Darmstadt (who you have not).

That said, there is no value in betting OSU this year in any capacity except game lines. Alabama (+650), Auburn (+1200), and Michigan (+5000) are all better value plays because they have a reasonable shot to win it all and they haven't been bet down for six straight months.

In the end, I like Auburn at +1200. I like the ability to have Gus Malzahn and Will Muschamp running the show, because coaching matters. The last 11 champions have been led by Urban Meyer (thrice), Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban (thrice), Gene Chizik, Les Miles, Mack Brown, and Pete Carroll. Coaching matters. I like Malzahn and Muschamp.

Recruiting also matters. For the four recruiting years before this season, Auburn had the 7th (2015), 9th (2014), 8th (2013), and 10th (2012) best classes. Yup. +1200, please and thank you.

ACC Championship Winner

The two big teams in the ACC this season are Clemson and Florida State. They've kind of created the same issue as with Ohio State. You can get Clemson at +200 or FSU at +260, but everyone knows those are the two favorites and has known that since the winter.

I like Georgia Tech at +500 as a reasonable longshot. We know they're going to be solid offensively, primarily because they are returning their Second Team All-ACC quarterback who was the MVP of the Orange Bowl.

Big XII Champion

The play here is either TCU +150 or Baylor +250. Because it's kind of a toss-up, you're going to be tempted to bet Baylor.

That's wrong. TCU is the better team. They're hungry, as evidenced by their 42-3 beatdown of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. And they're returning their quarterback, who #ohbytheway is the preseason favorite to win the Heisman.

Pac 12 Championship Winner

Of the major conferences, the Pac 12 is the most wide open. There are four teams inside 4/1 - you have USC, Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA to choose from.

We narrowed it down to USC and Oregon. USC to go over 9 wins for the season pays -140, and to win the conference pays +200. Oregon to go over 9.5 wins pays -130, and to win the conference pays +240. That means Vegas thinks they're both in the 9-10 win range, has slightly more faith in Oregon to get to at least 9 wins, but thinks USC is ultimately more likely to win the title game. Initially I thought it might be because of the game's location, but it's at the Niner's stadium in Santa Clara so it's about halfway between. I think. I don't know western geography.

When you roll all of that into Dag and Jay's Gambling Machine, it spits out this sentence: even if your coach has a drug and alcohol problem, having a stud quarterback returning and a perennial top-15 recruiting class is a good sign.

#TrojLife +200, put it on the board.