Learning how to place wagers according the system I use takes some time and mental adjustment if you’re not used to thinking this way. The ordinary bettor will play the 50/50 coin-flip spread betting game at -110 and slowly bleed out a once healthy bankroll, having winning streaks and losing streaks, winning enough to keep placing a few bets, but never really building up a nest egg of profit.
To do that you have to think like an investor, not a gambler, and sometimes that means making bets that most people would not make. Most people are betting for the here-and-now, focused on this single game, hyper-concentrated on who they like to win that match. An investor-gambler is betting for the long term, and each game is just one in a string of hundreds of games.
In that world, wagers are made based on the financial edge (or lack thereof), and no one ever bets a point spread at -110. Occasionally, strange wagers show up, and this week’s NFL action is full of such opportunities.
Yes, there are a few favorites that are providing positive expected value this week: the Eagles are valued up to -133, and currently sit at -130, just inside the profit boundary; the Broncos are good up to -185, currently at -140; and depending on what’s going on with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers should be valuable up to -120, currently at -110.
Obligatory parlay content: If the Eagles and Broncos stay valuable inside those lines, put them together for a parlay at those moneylines that’s worth +203 with a 2-in-5 chance of cashing. These are the “profitable risks” we have to take when we focus on the financial edge.
But what about the rest of the Week 16 slate? Dogs, dogs, dogs, everywhere, and you can’t even avoid it.
Let’s start with the Redskins vs. the Titans. Who’s winning that game? I’ll tell you in a second, but first, you need to know that the Redskins should be set around +235, and they’re currently +420. That’s value so fat you’d be a fool not to take it.
But they’re going to lose that game! No way do they win that!
Remember three weeks ago when the Cowboys were supposed to get shredded top-to-bottom by the 7-point favorited Saints, and the total was supposed to go well into the 50s, except what really happened was that the Cowboys won outright and the game total was 23 points?
This is sports, and weird stuff happens all the time. An MGM bettor lost over half-a-million dollars this past weekend betting on the 5.5-point favorited Seahawks, who lost the match straight-up in overtime. I like to say that we can have a pretty good idea about what will happen in these weekend games, and we can be sure of what should happen, but we have zero idea about what is actually going to happen.
If the books want to offer twice the amount of money on the Redskins, that’s a gift.
Similarly, the Giants should be priced at around +300, but they’re at +350. The Buccaneers are at +285 instead of +240, the Bengals are at a whopping +322 instead of +180, and the Lions are at over +200 instead of under +125.
Yes, those are all long-shot bets, but underdogs win in games like these all the time. Someone has to win that underdog money, and we protect ourselves from excessive risk by only taking these kinds of bets when the payout is enough to cover the risk of loss.
The Cardinals should be priced at +340, not +550. As 10-point underdogs, they stand to win about 24 of every 100 games in this scenario, and lose the other 76 games. At $100 per bet, that’s $7,600 lost, but at +550, it’s a total of $13,200 in wins — well more than enough to cover the $7,600 lost. That’s what I mean when I say only bet the games that pay you enough to cover the risk.
So what’s your pleasure this weekend, as the football season winds to a close? A couple of favorites and maybe a safe parlay? Or are we going profit-hunting and taking the dogs along with us?
As always, good luck this week, and be sure to check out my other sports analysis and +EV filters on Twitter at @HooksPicks and on Patreon at patreon.com/hookspicks!