Sports Bet Preview (NFL Week 1, 2020)

This week really sneaked up on me. Without preseason we’ve been thrust directly into prime betting season with regular season NFL football. The beginning of the year is the most exciting, before Vegas really gets attuned to the lines, and there’s softness (or at least my perception of softness) to take advantage of. I have some strong preseason stances that I’m looking to cash in on here until the linesmakers catch up.

Note the below features a retrospective of the Thursday night game, and a preview of the Sunday slate.

  1. HOU @ KC -9 (-110)
    Kansas City did nothing in the off season to indicate that they wouldn’t be contending for a back to back Super Bowl, meanwhile, the Texans lost their most valuable offensive weapon and didn’t seem to make any substantial changes that would allow them to stand up to the Chiefs offense. In recent years the Super Bowl Champion has covered the spread in their first game back, and this match up seemed especially assured.
  2. HOU @ KC Over 54.5 (-110)
    Between sloppy defense with poor tackling from a short off season, and at least one offensively elite team I figured that any over would be fairly safe. As it often goes, the first half missed field goal from the Texans was a very poor omen. Further, a missed two point conversion and CEH’s failure to hit pay dirt on the Chief’s final offensive drive (rather settling for a field goal) secured this bet’s fate. Unfortunately, getting in on a bad line (with the total of this game closing at 53.5) makes this one sting even more.
  3. GB +2.5 @ MIN (-110)
    The Vikings were hit particularly hard with opt-outs this season. I also believe this division in general to be incredibly murky, with no expectation of who will take the division crown. That being said, I’ll take the free points and the Packers (led by the Aaron Rodgers revenge tour) in what will be a very close match up in Minnesota.
  4. DET -2.5 @ CHI (-110)
    Matthew Stafford is fully healthy and ready to pickup where he left off last season where he was having a career year. Kenny Golladay’s injury is a hit, but I think the Lion still have sufficient firepower to outpace the Turbisky-led Bears offense by 3 points to secure this win.
  5. TB +3.5 @ NO (-115)
    In Tom Brady’s first game for the Buccaneers I expect there to be fireworks. The Saints typically start seasons slower than other, and the off season has been abuzz with inadvisable impromptu Buccaneer practices. The absence of (or at least a significantly limited) Mike Evans would typically give me pause, but the Buccaneers have so many weapons that Evans as a decoy should be enough to cover this bet.
  6. TB @ NO Over 49.5 (-110)
    Similar to the above, I think the game will be a close win or loss regardless of outcome. To get to this outcome I imagine both teams trading blows for the entirety of the game. This line has fallen to 47.5 since I’ve taken this wager, and I may put even more down at this point.

Sports Bet Review (NFL Conference Championship Round, 2019)

1) Patrick Mahomes Over 30.5 Rushing Yards (+200)The Chiefs always design a couple rush plays for Mahomes given his athleticism and his background in baseball (giving more confidence in his ability to slide). A long rushing TD sealed this bet, but beyond that, there were several other opportunities for additional rushing yards. I like Mahomes for rushing yards in the Super Bowl as it seems like a consistent plus play for the Chiefs that they often pull out in a pinch. The 49ers also struggle against mobile QBs.

2) Ryan Tannehill Longest Pass Completion Over 39.5 Yards (+110)The game script was perfect for this bet for much of the game. The Chiefs came out of the gates slowly, but showed their offensive consistency after a shaky first 12 minutes. Tannehill had to play catchup through the air, but failed to consistently sustain drives. A wasted third quarter could’ve been saved by the desperation drive at the end of the fourth, but the Chiefs defense was able to hold the Titans inexperienced wide receivers in check. This bet still feels good, it’s a shame Tannehill was unable to capitalize on the seemingly-solid opportunity.

3) Ryan Tannehill Over 30.5 Rushing Yards (+200)This game got out of hand quickly for the Titans after a quick start. The Chiefs run defense was more disciplined than expected, and opportunities for running in general were few and far between given the game script that occurred here. The good news is that I only sprinkled a little down on this bet (I should start marking units), so it doesn’t sting too badly.

4) SF vs. GB No Team to Score 3 Consecutive Scores (+160)What seemed like a good idea during an early morning conversation turned sour after the 49ers completely dominated the first half. The Packers only drive into 49er’s territory ended with a turnover, and the 49ers rushed to far too much success. I don’t think I’ll take this kind of bet again moving forward.

5) SF vs. GB Over 5.5 Total QB Sacks (+110)The game ended with 4 overall sacks. The 49ers generated a lot of pressure, especially in the first quarter, but it mostly stayed as pressure. The Packers failed to generate much of anything on defense, but also had very few opportunities for sacks with Garoppolo only dropping back 8 times. Only a light bet on this one, so not a significant loss.

6) George Kittle to Score a TD (+120)Kittle came into the game more limited than I expected. While he was still able to make a major impact in the run game, his involvement in the pass game was nearly nonexistent. A large part of this was game script, with the 49ers going up big early, and Garoppolo not needing to attempt 10 passes until the 4th quarter. After only one catch (and target) this has taught me to take injury reports a bit more seriously. Akin to the previous bet, not a lot wagered on this one.

7) KC -1 vs. TEN, SF -1.5 vs. GB (-110)This was the main course of the weekend, with a double wager placed on this teaser. The Chiefs slow start made this one to sweat out, but ultimately the game was securely in their control for the second half.

As for the 49ers game, Mostert rushed 29 times for 220 yards and 4 TDS. Garoppolo was basically a handoff machine, and the Packers failed to stifle the 49ers rushing offense. The second half of the game felt like a formality after the Niners shutout the Packers 27-0 in the first.

A Chiefs/49ers Super Bowl was probably the ideal outcome for this weekend, giving us the best offense vs. the best defense. The over will likely be a good bet for the big game.

Overall, I end the week very slightly up, with a high odds bet, as well as my main teaser hitting.

Sports Bet Preview (NFL Conference Championship Round, 2019)

1) KC -1 vs. TEN, SF -1.5 vs. GB (-110)

With only 2 games on the board this week, I’m not reinventing the wheel with this teaser. The Chiefs looked to knock the rust off last week. With a fully loaded offense, and the return of Jones on Defense to help fight off Derrick Henry, the Titans will need Ryan Tannehill to throw much more than 80 yards if they want to win this game. Further, this will mark the 4th consecutive road game for the Titans. I don’t see the Titans keeping up with the Chiefs, and with this line teased down to one, I feel good about this leg. It would take a historic performance for the Titans to steal this game.

The narrative is one of revenge for the Packers, both for the earlier shellacking handed to them in Week 12, and for the Niners not drafting Aaron Rodgers in 2005 (I can’t believe this is still a talking point). While revenge is on the mind, the Niners handily won the past matchup without Dee Ford or Kwon Alexander, both of whom have returned and are massive impact players on defense. This time around, the Niners are the team with extra rest (albeit only a day vs. the week bye the Packers had previously), which just gives Shannahan another day to scheme against a top-heavy Packers Defense.

As much as the NFL is clamoring for a rematch of SB1 for this 100th season, I just don’t see that working out.

Sports Bet Review (NFL Divisional Round, 2019)

1) Jimmy Garoppolo Over 1.5 TD Passes (-130)Garoppolo scored on a passing TD early on. However, never quite had the right situation in future drives down the field. Deebo Samuel came up 1 yard short on one good opportunity, and the next best try came on a pair of George Kittle targets that came up a bit short. Rushing became the best game script for the 49ers to run, and they did so to a 47-19 run/rush ratio. For most of the second half, San Francisco drained the clock, and Garoppolo had little reason to pass.

2) Dalvin Cook to Score a TD (+105)The logic behind this bet was that I believed the Vikings would find themselves in a few scoring opportunities via chunk plays from Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. I believed that in these situations Cook would have several opportunities to score. Unfortunately, these opportunities never realized, with Cook only rushing for 18 yards (2 YPC). I’ll be weary of any RB prop to score moving forward.

3) SF -.5 vs. MIN, BAL -3.5 vs. TEN (-110)The Niners took care of business, shutting the Vikings out in the 2nd half. The defense was fully healthy, and it showed (also, the realization of Mosley as the starting CB over Witherspoon was also valuable).

The Titans came out of the gates with what appeared to be a lot more determination than the Ravens. Lamar Jackson rushed for over 100 yards, but Derrick Henry rushed for nearly 200, and the Ravens were mostly locked out of this game. The Titans are getting hot at the most important time, and will have an extra day of rest going into next week. Depending on how many points the Titans will be given, the Titans and the under may be good targets for next week.

4) Lamar Jackson to Score a TD (+100)Lamar Jackson racked up the rushing yardage, however the offense struggled in the red zone against the Titans Defense. Ultimately, the lack of touchdown production led to the Ravens losing the game.

5) Ryan Tannehill Longest Pass Completion Over 39.5 Yards (+100)This bet seemed reliable given Ryan Tannehill’s stable of receivers. I figured with Henry attracting so much defensive attention, Tannehill would have a few good opportunities for a deep shot. This turned out to be the case, and this bet hit fairly early on with a 45 yard TD pass.

6) TEN SU @ BAL (+115)I made this bet during halftime to hedge when it really felt to me like the Titans were in control of the game. The field goal prior to the half was even more of a flag that the Ravens were going to be unable to mount a comeback. Saturday was a rough day in terms of bets for me, only hitting 2/6, without this bet, the day would’ve been even more bleak.

7) Deshuan Watson Longest Pass Completion Over 40.5 Yards (+100)A quick 54 yard pass at the start of the first quarter squared this bet away very early on. I thought that the Texans would be playing comeback, and that the Chiefs Secondary is fairly suspect. While at this point the score was still 0-0, the Texans were able to quickly take advantage of a blown coverage.

8) Patrick Mahomes Over 14.5 Rushing Yards (-120)Mahomes ended as the Chiefs leading rusher. Similar to last week, I played it a bit safe and didn’t take the over 30.5 rushing yards at higher odds, but I only expected a couple blown play scrambles vs. a few planned QB runs from the Chiefs.

9) SF vs. MIN Over 39, KC -3.5 vs. HOU (-110)The Vikings failing to score in the second half of this game sunk the bet, as things were looking good at the end of the first half. Even with the missed FG, the total was still at 24. Rather than coming out adjusted and reinvigorated, the Vikings came out flatter than the first half.

The Chiefs made this bet a bit nerve wrecking at first, but after taking the lead, they never looked back. It’s unfortunate the first leg of this bet failed.

10) Aaron Rodgers Longest Pass Completion Over 40.5 Yards (+100)A 40 yard TD pass felt just a little bad, as it was a perfect pass, just not for the purposes of this bet. Unfortunately for most of the second half the Packers were in ‘run the clock out’ mode and they didn’t need to attempt many long passes.

11) Devante Adams Over 6.5 Completions (-125)The Seahawks poor secondary was covered up by the Eagles worse passing attack last week. Adams quickly racked up yardage and scores as the focal point of the Green Bay offense. I only wish I also took Adams to score a touchdown (or more) as well. Overall, the Packers Offense appears to be back.

12) Russell Wilson Longest Pass Completion Over 40.5 Yards (+100)The Packers Secondary performed very well against the Seahawks, and Wilson wasn’t able to land a deep shot. If they were able to, they could still be in contention for the championship. However, the Packers will be moving on, due in some part to the Seahawks inability to sustain drives/score.

13) Russell Wilson Over 29.5 Rushing Yards (-120)The efficiency of the Seahawks RBs was similar to last week. As such, Wilson took the lead from a rushing standpoint, and prolonged some drives with his legs as he does in the playoffs. The playoffs are the time to go all out, and this includes surprise scrambles from any remotely mobile QB. Wilson is beyond that, and this will always be a bet that feels good.

Overall: 6/13