There are few things that provide a bigger rush than watching an athletic contest that you have money riding on. Whether it is the Super Bowl, The Kentucky Derby, or Spring Valley High vs. Mountain Ridge Prep in an epic girl’s field hockey battle; it is always exhilarating when you have money on one of the teams. However, that is all hypothetical because betting on sports is technically illegal in the United States, except for in the glorious city of Las Vegas.
Yesterday was a wild day of football starting with SMU rolling over the Pittsburgh Panthers who mailed it in like a bunch of postal workers, the Texans working over the Red Rifle and the Bengals, and the day ended with a shootout in the Bayou between the Saints and Lions. We tweeted yesterday that if gambling were legal, we would have taken SMU +3.5, Texans -4, and the Saints -10.5. We had suggested a 6.5 teaser (we will explain teasters in a bit) with the Saints and the Under last night, but luckily we stayed away from that and stuck with the Saints -10.5, capping our day with a 3-0 record and a pocket full of cash, err, I mean a pocket full of positivity and confidence in our sports knowledge. Screw it. Everybody bets on sports. It’s time to stop beating around the bush.
We are going to try and keep the momentum rolling and make our picks for today, so hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and call your bookie because it’s time to win some money!
(home team in CAPS)
falcons (+3) vs. GIANTS 1 PM on FOX
The Giants are favored by 3 points at home, which is Vegas’s way of saying these two teams are essentially even so the home team gets the 3 point edge based solely on home field advantage. Well that monstrosity known as the New Meadowlands has not provided the Giants with much of a home field advantage as they went 4-4 there this season. Quick Sidebar: I love how the Giants and Jets built this eyesore and expected it to be revered and glorified. Sorry, guys it’s still stuck in the swamps of Jersey. Even if you put a bow on turd, it’s still a turd. But back to the bets….
The Falcons were 4-4 on the road this season, so based on home and road records this season this game is fairly even. The Falcons absolutely rolled over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week 45-24 and were able to give many of their starters much needed rest. The Giants handled the Cowboys (much to the delight of the DMV)
31-14, but they had to play all of their starters to the final whistle.
The Giants give up a lot of yards through the air, and the Falcons explosive offense is poised to air it out. Matt Ryan has never won a playoff game, but this year he is rolling with the weapons of Julio Jones, Roddy White, and everyone’s favorite raunchy sexual act, the Harry Douglas. The Falcons offense is at its best when they utilize the steady running of Michael Turner. The running of Turner coupled with the Falcons’aerial attack should keep the Giants defense off balance. However, the Falcons’ offensive line will have its hand full with the Giants stout defensive line led by “Dark Chocolate” Jason Pierre Paul. JPP has emerged as a star in the league and a player we Redskins fans will unfortunately get to know all too well over the next few seasons.
The Giants are one of the more talented teams in the playoffs, and even though we mock Eli Manning for his expressionless facial expressions, you cannot knock how clutch this guy is. The Giants are capable of putting up points so this game could end up with a good amount of points scored (the over is at 47.5. Hello!). However, the Giants have been inconsistent all season and we expect those inconsistencies to continue today.
OUR PICK: Falcons 27 Giants 24. Take the Falcons +3 and with these two offenses why not take the over, 47.5.
Steelers vs. BRONCOS (+9) 4:30 PM CBS
Well folks, the Denver FIghtin’ Tebows backed into the playoffs with a loss at home to the Kyle Orton led Kansas City Chiefs. Forget this whole Tebow thing, we think ESPN should make a 30 for 30 about Kyle Orton’s 2011 odyssey!
However, there is no ignoring how poorly the Broncos have played the past few weeks offensively. Throughout the season Tebow and the offense got all the credit and the attention, but it was the defense that was the real catalyst for this squad all year, but they too have been struggling lately. Likely defensive rookie of the year Von Miller was benched last week due to poor play. He is a player the Broncos simply cannot have struggling, he needs to be at his very best today.
The Steelers come in at a very impressive 12-4, but Big Ben has a banged up ankle, which was injured in the 49ers game, but many believe it was really a
re-aggravation of a previous injury stemming from kicking in a bathroom stall in the women’s room in the offseason. This combined with the news that running Rashard Mendenhall has a torn ACL could hurt the Steelers. The offensive line has been patched together all year, and their ineffectiveness has been masked by Big Ben’s improvisational skills. Big Ben’s injured ankle has exposed this offensive line as of late, which should keep this game close. With all of that said, The Steelers are a very resilient team. Their defense never quits and will harass Tebow all day.
We will be honest; this game could end up as a blowout. The Steelers D is stout and Tebow has really struggled lately, and there are reports that Tebow and Brady Quinn split 1st team reps this week. Gross. All of the rational reasons and statistics point towards a Steelers 24-6 thrashing, but we refuse to think rationally when it comes to Tim Tebow! Plus that Mile High Crowd will be rabid and could give this Broncos squad an emotional boost that could fuel them throughout the game. It is going to be a hard hitting, no quitting kind of game.
Our Pick: Steelers 20 Broncos 13. Take the Broncos (+9)
The over/under is 33.5 but we suggest staying away from that like you need to stay away from the fat chick eyeing you up from the corner of the bar at 1:47 AM.
BLUE BALL BETS aka The Teasers
Teasers are not those heartless girls who specialize in bringing you to the brink and then leave your balls bluer than the Giants helmets. Teasers in the betting world are where you manipulate the spreads and over/unders. Common teasers are of 6, 6.5, 7, and 10 point variety. So essentially if you bet a “6 point teaser” you are betting on a minimum of 2 games and the spreads will move 6 points in the direction you chose. So for example:
Today a tempting teaser would be The Broncos and the Falcons in a 6 point teaser.
The Broncos would go from +9 to +15 and the Falcons would go from +3 to +9. However, in order for you to win, both Broncos and the Falcons would have to cover. If the Falcons lose 23-20 (covering the +9), but the Broncos lose 24-6 (not covering +15) you will still lose because even though the Falcons covered, the Broncos did not. You follow?
Teasers always look good, but they are a great way to lose money because you are relying on two results in order to win. They can be fun to bet on and root for though, so these are our suggested teasers for the day:
6.5 Point Teaser: Steelers with the Falcons…
7 Point Teaser: Falcons with the Over
Over (41 points)
DEGENERATE BETS aka Prop Bets
This section is for the degenerates who much like Pac Man Jones at a strip club, just can’t help themselves. Prop bets deal with outcomes and results that do not directly impact the outcome of the game. They are generally on certain players, team statistical totals, which team will score first, or how many pro bowlers Kim Kardashian has banged.
Prop Bets have differing payouts based on the probability of the outcomes. For instance, the total points scored by the Falcons is set at 22.5 points. We would generally jump at this line, except the odds for the over at set at -130 and the under is set at “even money.” Translation: If you bet $5 on the over you would receive $3.85. If you bet $5 on the under you would receive $5. So when it comes to prop bets, you are looking for value or positive odds (+115, +150, etc.)
The Super Bowl is truly the best time to bet on Prop Bets because you can bet on everything including what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach. However, we will treat these Wild Card Games as our tune up for the Super Bowl. So here are a few to wager on if you really like losing money:
Will There be a Defensive or Special Teams Touchdown in the Falcons Giants game?
Eli Manning is playing in this game folks. He is a solid playoff performer, but he has the tendency to throw interceptions. All it takes is for the opportunistic Falcons defensive backs to jump one route and make a house call. The value is here! The juice is certainly worth the squeeze.
Michael Turner Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT
Over 3.5 yards (even)
Even money is not always suggested when it comes to prop bets, but can you imagine how fun it would be to be on the edge of your seat for Turner’s first carry of the game?!? Turner is a power runner and he averaged 4.5 yards per carry this year.
Will Roddy White score a Touchdown?
Will Tony Gonzalez score a Touchdown?
When Matt Ryan gets in the red zone he only looks for these two players. Tony G had 7 touchdowns this year, 6 of which came in the Red Zone.
Roddy White had 8 touchdowns, 7 of which came in the Red Zone. We are not saying both will definitely happen, but you have got to like the chances of at least one of these two players scoring when the Falcons are in the Red Zone.
And a few fun ones…
Tim Tebow will walk on water
Eli Manning will look confused during the game.
Over 4.5 times (+125)
Number of girls Big Ben will “chat with” if the Steelers win
Under 1.5 (+220)
Number of girls Big Ben will “chat with” if the Steelers lose
Over 1.5 (-400) Those are terrible odds, but he is likely to go on quite the bender if the Steelers lose.
We hope you find our ramblings useful, but keep in mind sports-gambling is as easy to predict as writing up the Orioles batting lineup right now.
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY BETTING!
Yesterday’s Record 3-0
Season Record 3-0