American Football Archives

Jan
2016
16

Spot on the All Night Appetite with Scott

on SEN 1116 AM Melbourne, Australia

I start discussing the big NFL playoff weekend and pick all 4 games. I discuss the 49ers hiring of Chip Kelly as head coach. I recap last night’s action in the NBA and pick a few of tonight’s game. Lastly I lament the fact that the Australian Open is about to start and there no American men who are contenders.

Starts at the 45:00 mark!

Jan
2016
16

Picks for NFL Divisional Saturday

I have no idea on the first game and I’m just guessing. I do have a bit stronger conviction on the night game.

New England Patriots -4.5 over the Kansas City Chiefs I think this is the hardest game to handicap of the weekend and I could go either way with it. The wagering market is providing no information whatsoever. This spread opened up at 4.5 and has been between 4 and 5 all week and is currently unchanged. The bets are split with 53% of straight line bets on the Pats, but 52% of moneyline and 56% of parlay and teaser bets on the Chiefs. Kansas City is the hotter team having won 11 straight games (8-3 against the spread). New England struggled with injuries down the stretch losing 4 of their last 6 outright and 2-5-1 in last 8 games ATS. They are a much healthier team off the bye getting back some key defensive players, an offensive lineman and their number one wide receiver. Julian Edelman returning to the lineup is huge for the Pats and Tom Brady and I think his play will key the offense. The Chiefs number one wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is a game-time decision, but word is it isn’t looking good for him to play. I lot of people who are backing the Chiefs are looking back to that 41-14 throttling of the Patriots early last season. That game was in KC in primetime and I would expect a very different result today. The over/under has had lots of movement as it opened up 45.5 collapsed down to 41.5 and is now back up to 43.5. This total is more volatile than the US stock market. I think these moves had a lot to do with weather. It was expected to be windy and rainy for game time, but it looks like that nasty weather has already passed and that is why the uptick. Another reason is that 68% of the bets are on the over and late public money is helping push it back up. I think that first move was probably right and involved smart money and I would lean towards the under. The weather shouldn’t be a factor, but the Maclin injury does as I would expect a very conservative game plan from Kansas City.

Green Bay Packers +7.5 over the Arizona Cardinals This spread is really between 7 and 7.5 and which is right where it opened and where it has been all week. The bets are coming in very normally and what I would consider right around par. 61% of spread bets are on the favorite, moneyline bets are split and 68% of multi bets are the Cardinals. The Cards and Broncos are a very popular combo in two-team teaser tickets. There is nothing in the market to work with, but I am taking the Packers for the same reason I like the Minnesota Vikings last week against the Seattle Seahawks. I think it is very hard to beat a team after just blowing them out a few weeks prior. We have seen this occur often very recently where teams bounce back with a big effort after just getting embarrassed by a team. The Packers offensive line is much healthier than they were when Aaron Rodgers was sacked 8 times by the Cards D just a few weeks ago. Green Bay got their offense rolling last week and I think they pick up where they left off. How veteran Carson Palmer will play is mystery. He has played in the equivalent of 10 full regular seasons (160 games), but has only played in two playoff games both with Cincinnati Bengals and both losses. His first start in 2005 he threw only one pass before he blew his knee out. The second was a pretty terrible performance going 16-32 for 146 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT for 58.3 QB rating and a 25.3 QBR (out of 100). That game was at home against the New York Jets and Mark Sanchez. I will happily take Aaron Rodgers and his Super Bowl MVP. As for the total it is 49.5 points just where it opened and has been in a tight 49-50 range. 73% of the bets are on the over, which is above par and would have me leaning towards the under here as well.

Jan
2016
16

Picks for NFL Divisional Saturday

New England Patriots -4.5 over the Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers +7.5 over the Arizona Cardinals

Jan
2016
13

State of the Thechiefsports.com

As you can probably tell I am at a crossroads with this website and correspondingly life in general. Starting at the beginning of this NFL season I made this blog my full-time job. I wrote almost every day but Sunday and covered the NFL gambling market as closely as anything else I could find on the Internet. I added in the weekly US Presidential updates and then the month of October there was an overload. The poor design of the thechiefsports.com made it hard to even read all of what I was writing during that month as I was fully entrenched and enthralled in the Major League Baseball Playoffs and the New York Mets run to the World Series and the heartbreaking loss to the worthy Kansas City Royals. November continued to be highly fruitful as I added in a little fantasy football advice to the mix. Then December rolled around and I started having some fun at night and getting very lazy during the day. The quality of play in the NFL and the very frustrating results added to the lack of interest in writing. Then during the holidays and around New Year there was a complete shutdown. I have been so unexcited about the NFL, but really more so about handicapping it as it seems like so many games the results are random. I didn’t make a pick in the College Football National Championship game as I had no conviction. I would have taken Clemson +6.5 (lucky win) and the under 51 which was way wrong. There were 85 points scored (40 in the 4th quarter alone). I haven’t updated the market for the White House as that has been equally as discouraging and now downright scary. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the two populist candidates that I used to compare very closely have both made huge advances. These are the two candidates that frighten me the most! Ultimately I was very wrong there as well as I didn’t think either of them would be this strong a contenders a couple of weeks into 2016.

It usually takes everyone one a couple of weeks for the New Year to start and mine has started today. I don’t have any answers yet so for the time being I will continue with the NFL picks and the Presidential updates. I also will continue to use bold print as I do think that is one of the better self-improvements I have made. I can be a gasbag so I do feel I have a “Reader’s Digest” version if you just want to read the bold print. I will also be entering my 7th year as a regular guest on the All Night Appetite on SEN 1116 Melbourne’s Home of Sport in about a week’s time and I hope that will continue as the Aussie sports invasion into America continues. Donald Trump better not think about deporting Ben Simmons!

Jan
2016
10

Picks for NFL Wild Card Sunday

Minnesota Vikings +4.5 over the Seattle Seahawks
Washington Redskins pick’em over the Green Bay Packers

Jan
2016
10

Picks for NFL Wild Card Sunday

I have had some bad/strange losses, but the Cincinnati Bengals +1.5 last night takes the cake. I am actually unemotional and numb to the result. I actually don’t feel so bad because I’m not Marvin Lewis or a Bengals fan. I am embarrassed to be a fan of the NFL as that was a shameful display.

Minnesota Vikings +4.5 over the Seattle Seahawks The public is heavy on the super hot Seahawks with 71% of spread, 60% of moneyline and 73% of parlay and teaser bets on the road favorite. This spread has come in from 5 to 4.5, but that move is due to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch’s surprise scratching. The Seahawks dominated the Vikings just over a month ago in a 38-7 win in Minnesota that actually wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Minny was outgained 433-125 and their only score was a kickoff returned for a touchdown. I think it is very hard for a team to repeat a performance like that, especially against a strong team like the Vikings. Minnesota was 13-2 against the spread in their other 15 games this season and 7-1 ATS in games against winning teams not named the Seahawks. The Vikings are a much healthier group than they were a month ago and have bright coaches that should come up with a much better game plan. The total has dropped from 42.5 to 39.5 with the bets split. Weather is the big factor as it will be extremely cold tomorrow in Minneapolis. The temperature is expected to be below zero Fahrenheit with “feels like” temps just under -20F (-29C). The winds will only be between 5-10 MPH, but at that temperature it will be very painful. I don’t have any opinion on the over/under, but the fact it has dropped 3 points I think is a good sign for taking the points with the Vikings.

Washington Redskins pick’em over the Green Bay Packers I really have no idea what to expect from this game and considering I took the home team in the first three games, I figure I will stick with it. This line opened up a pick and both teams have been favored by a single point at some time during the week. The bets are nearly split with slightly more bets on Green Bay. 52%/66%/52% of spread/moneyline/combo bets are on the Packers. This is an extremely efficient market. Nothing much in terms of trends, but the Packers have struggled on grass going 2-7 ATS in last 9 games on the natural stuff. Their offensive line has been a disaster and QB Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been good because of it. The Washington offense is on fire having scored 34, 38 and 35 points in their last 3 games respectively. Right now Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is playing better than Rodgers. The over/under is equally has hard to handicap as it has jumped from 46 to 47with 3/4ers of the bets on the over. That seems like a fairly efficient market. There are over trends for the Skins and under trends for the Pack. It is going to be about 65 degrees warmer at kickoff in Landover, Maryland than it will be in Minneapolis, but wind could be a big factor with gusts expected in the low 20’s in MPH. The wind would have me leaning towards the under.

Jan
2016
09

Picks for NFL Wild Card Saturday

Houston Texans +3 over the Kansas City Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals +1.5 over the Pittsburgh Steelers

Jan
2016
09

Picks for NFL Wild Card Saturday

This is an extremely tough pair of games to pick, especially the opener.

Houston Texans +3 over the Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs are on fire having won 10 straight games, but when looking at against the spread records the Texans might be even hotter. Houston has won 3 straight ATS and 7 of their last 9, while the Chiefs are just 1-3 ATS in their last 4 games. The public is on KC with 70% of spread, 58% of moneyline and 71% of parlay and teaser bets on the road favorite. This spread opened up at 3 and was moving towards 3.5 before it turned back towards 3. These teams opened the season against each other in Houston, a game the Chiefs won 27-20. I am going with Houston because of the public fade and the fact they have been the slightly better team of late, albeit against their weak division foes. I would expect Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to have a strong game. As for the total, it opened up at 40.5 and is down to 39.5 with 52% of the bets on the over. Nothing to work with there and I have no opinion whatsoever.

Cincinnati Bengals +1.5 over the Pittsburgh Steelers This line has just come in from 2.5/3 to 1.5 and it doesn’t seem to be injury news. 59% of spread and 61% of combination bets are on the Steelers so this seems like a smart money move. There are a couple of huge injuries with the Steelers missing their de facto starting running back DeAngelo Williams and the Bengals with backup quarterback A.J. McCarron forced to start. I actually like the fact that McCarron will be starting over injured Andy Dalton who is 0-4 in his career in the playoffs. Now in his 13th season as head coach of Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis is a career 0-6 in postseason. I think that it will be McCarron to finally break the seal for Lewis. The second year QB, with just 3 NFL starts under his belt, led the University of Alabama to back to back BCS National Championships in 2012 and 2013. I don’t think that the playoff pressure will get to him. The Steelers just beat the Bengals in Cincinnati just 4 weeks ago 33-20. In that game Andy Dalton was injured early. McCarron played ok in that game. I would expect a better result today with preparation and 3 NFL games under his belt. The total has dropped from 46 to 44.5 with 2/3rds of the bets on the over. That would having me leaning towards the under. I liked the under a lot in that first matchup and got burned a late garbage time TD. The weather shouldn’t be that bad with very light winds and warm temperatures, but it almost certainly will rain.

Jan
2016
02

Picks for NFL Week 17

Dallas Cowboys -4 over the Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals -6.5 over the Seattle Seahawks
Atlanta Falcons -5.5 over the New Orleans Saints
Green Bay Packers -3.5 over the Minnesota Vikings
Denver Broncos -9.5 over the San Diego Chargers

Jan
2016
02

Picks for NFL Week 17

This is always a very difficult week to handicap as there are so many unknowns going into the final regular season game. My picks this week are very odd as my five official selections all favorites, but my pool picks are almost exclusively underdogs. Those suggestions will be broken up with just 3 “clear cut” and the other 8 “coin toss”. I am working almost solely on market movement in trying to determine what certain teams intend to do with their starting players. I have two best bets this week.

It was an up and down season emotionally for me with this sport. I unfortunately think the NFL peaked about 5 years ago and we will see a slow, but steady decline. These Sunday’s are still fun even when wrought with frustration. With 10 games at 1pm ET and 5 at 4:25pm ET and the one primetime game it is a full buffet of professional American tackle football. Enjoy the feast as it will be 9 months until another one of these Sundays.

Official Selections (In order of opinion strength):

Dallas Cowboys -4 over the Washington Redskins I know this is a very unlikely best bet, but this line has moved from a pick’em to Cowboys by 4. This is with 71% of spread, 81% of moneyline and 87% of parlay and teaser bets on the Redskins. That divergence is about as significant as you will ever see. The Redskins are locked into the 4 seed in the NFC and have nothing to play for and indicate that they will rest players. Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback, but I wouldn’t expect him to finish. I would expect a strong effort by the Cowboys. There are awful trends here as the Cowboys are 3-9-1 against the spread in their last 13 games overall and are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 home games. Washington is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in Dallas and the underdog is 26-9 ATS in the last 35 games in this series. I hate going against these, but they are widely known a big reason for the lopsided wagering. The over/under has dropped from 40 to 39 with 57% of the bets on the over. It is a hard bet, but I would take the under as I would think both teams will try to shorten this game and it will have a pre-game feel in the 2nd half.

Arizona Cardinals -6.5 over the Seattle Seahawks Big line move as this spread opened up 4 and is out to 6.5 with spread and parlay and teaser bets split. The combination bets split is odd for a spread of this level, but makes sense with 77% of moneyline bets on the underdog Seahawks. That seems like a smart money move. I’m not fully sure why as both teams are playing for seeding. Still this market movement is good enough to make the Cards a best bet this week. Seattle is slightly more banged up and are likely to be cautious with starters. The Seahawks have struggled with good teams going 2-5-1 against the spread in their last 8 games against teams with a winning record. The Cardinals are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 conference games. The total is down from 48 to 47 with bets split. There is nothing to gleam from that market.

Atlanta Falcons -5.5 over the New Orleans Saints This is another major divergence with this line jumping from 3.5 to 5.5 with just 52% of spread bets on the Falcons. 68% of moneyline and 52% of combo bets are on the Saints. The Falcons started the season 4-0 against the spread, then lost 9 straight, but have won the last 2. I think they finish the season strong as they are the healthier team. The Saints are 3-1 ATS in their last 4 games. The home team is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings. The over/under is 52.5 up from 52 with 62% of the bets on the over. I have no opinion whatsoever, but I think it probably should be around the number making this a key game to stack players in daily fantasy.

Green Bay Packers -3.5 over the Minnesota Vikings This line is between 3 and 3.5 after opening up 3, but I think by morning it will be 3.5. Both straight line and moneyline bets are split right down the middle with 62% of multi bets on the Packers. Green Bay dominated the first game in Minnesota and I think will have another big effort at home in primetime with the NFC North title on the line. The home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games in this series. The over/under has tanked from its 48.5 opener to 45.5 with 2/3rds of the bets on the under. I’m not sure why it opened that high, it seems like a sensible market reaction. The weather will be very cold with some wind, but not crazy for January in Green Bay. I wouldn’t get involved in the total.

Denver Broncos -9.5 over the San Diego Chargers This feels so uncomfortable taking these huge favorites, but this market is strongly suggesting the Broncos are the bet. This line opened up 8 and is out with favorite unpopular and receiving only 47% of spread bets. Shocking to see nearly a 10-point favorite not get the majority of the spread bets. 61% of moneyline and 63% of parlay and teaser bets are on Denver. There are conflicts here as I hate going with the team that won on the previous Monday night especially in overtime like the Broncos did. This is compounded with the fact they are playing a team that is coming off a mini-bye. Denver is playing for a first round bye and will be giving it their best effort. They should put a ton of pressure on Chargers QB Philip Rivers and I think he might get pulled early as the San Diego offensive line is loaded with injuries and just a shell at this point. The total is unchanged at 41.5 with 69% of the bets on the over. I would stay away as I think the Broncos defense could score some points, but I would have a hard time believing the Chargers will do much offensively. The weather will be very nice with temps in the low-40’s and no wind or rain.

Clear Cut Pool Picks (In order of opinion strength):

New York Giants -5.5 over the Philadelphia Eagles I’ll go with one more favorite that just misses the cut here because there is just too much public support to join. This spread opened up 3 and is out to 5.5 with 70%/58%/75% of spread bets on the Giants. I hate being on board with that large a group, but this line move is hard to ignore. Philly fired head coach Chip Kelly this week and even though the players seemingly hated playing for him I think they will have a hard time running their system without him. The Giants had an embarrassing loss last week and I would expect they show some pride at home to finish the season. I also will be looking for New York’s superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will have a monster game after being suspended last week. The over/under is down from 52 to 51 with 71% of the bets on the over. That suggests the under and with some wind in the forecast that is probably a good play.

Miami Dolphins +10 over the New England Patriots The first underdog I take and it is a really ugly one. This line is unchanged with 75%/60%/83% of spread/moneyline/combination bets on the always popular Patriots. New England will be playing to win, but their injury report is astounding. The Pats are going to be without so many key players. It is hard going with the Dolphins as they seem like a team that has quit, but I will take 10 points against these Pats. New England is 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games on grass. Every other trend does favor the Patriots. It will be hot and humid which will not be comfortable for the shorthanded Pats. The total is down from 47.5 to 46.5 with 58% of the bets on the under. That is an efficient market and one I wouldn’t mess with.

Jacksonville Jaguars +6.5 over the Houston Texans This is a decent public fade as Houston is receiving 72% of spread and 80% combo bets. 55% of moneyline bets are on the underdog. This line is out from 6 to 6.5, but that is not all that significant. The Texans get in the playoffs with a win, but they are almost certainly to get in anyway and when reports hit the sideline they have clinched you could see Houston pull starters. Houston’s QB Brian Hoyer has been dealing with a concussion and Brandon Weeden is the backup. The road team is 7-1-1 ATS in the last 9 matchups. The total is 45.5 and unchanged with 2/3rds of the bets on the over. Another perfect market and no indication provided.

Coin Toss Pool Pick (In rotation order):

Buffalo Bills +3 over the New York Jets As a New York Giants fan many people think I am rooting against the Jets here. I might otherwise be, but the fact that loudmouth Rex Ryan is coaching Buffalo and has a chance to knock the Jets out the playoffs has me hoping the other New York team shuts him up. I do have to go with Buffalo here as 73% of spread, 64% of moneyline and 75% of combination bets are on the Jets. This is by far the most bet game of the week, but it being positioned first in the rotation accounts for some of that. The line has moved out from pick’em to Jets by 3, but some of that has to do with Bills injuries most notably running back LeSean McCoy. The Jets have injuries to the running back position with starter Chris Ivory probable and receiving back Bilal Powell doubtful. The Bills have won and covered the last 4 games in this series. Rex Ryan will be focused as he will want to knock his former team out of their playoff position. The over/under is down from 44 to 41.5 and 60% of the bets are on the over. That is a strong under indication and suggestion. There is high wind and a potential for snow in the forecast. It is going to feel cold and be a nasty day. Taking the points and the under makes sense with these conditions expected.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +10 over the Carolina Panthers Not much to work with in the market as this line is in from 11 to 10/10.5 with 61% of spread and 72% of combo bets on the Panthers. 52% of moneyline bets are on the Bucs. Carolina does need to win to get the number one seed in the NFC, but I think the Bucs can keep this game close. Tampa Bay has lost their last 3 games outright and with the handicap, but were within one score which would be good enough here. The Panthers offense will be lacking without number one wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and running back Jonathan Stewart. The over/under is down from 47 to 46/46.5 with bets 50/50. There is nothing of interest there and the weather won’t factor.

Baltimore Ravens +9.5 over the Cincinnati Bengals The line is unchanged as is the total. The bets breakdown just as you would expect for a game with a line just under double digits. 63% of spread and 72% of parlay and teaser bets are on the favorite and the moneyline bets are split. 56% of the bets are on the over. These two familiar teams will have unfamiliar faces at quarterback. The trends favor Cincy, but my coin defaults to the underdog in this case. I was impressed with the Ravens pride last week. I would expect a similar effort with Ryan Mallett again under center. As I mentioned the total market is useless too. Weather will be a bit cold, but fine. This is a game to stay away from.

Cleveland Browns +11 over the Pittsburgh Steelers This is a massive public fade, but I don’t have the courage to make this any higher than a weak suggestion. 79%/70%/87% of Sprd/ML/Prly bets are on the Steelers. This line is out just a half-point. I do have a feeling it will go out further. The reason why I am so reluctant is that Austin Davis is starting for the Browns at QB and his other start this season was particularly ugly. It was a 37-3 loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals. With the Steelers needing to win to have any chance of the playoffs I would expect a big effort, but you would have expected on last week as well. The home team is 6-2 ATS in these teams last 8 meetings. The over/under is down a point from 47.5 to 46.5 with 61% of the bets on the over. That would indicate the slightest under lean. There will be some decent winds (in the mid-teens in MPH) another reason to take the points.

Oakland Raiders +7 over the Kansas City Chiefs This line is between 7 and 7.5 which is where it opened and has been most of the week. There is nothing in this market as straight bets are split either with the line or outright. 78% of parlay and teaser bets are on the favored Chiefs. Trends are mixed and there are no injuries of note. I will take the points. The total is down from 45 to 43.5 with 70% of the bets on the over. That is a solid under indicator which is another reason to take points. The weather shouldn’t be a factor.

Tennessee Titans no line over the Indianapolis Colts There is no line yet in this game as the Colts have yet to name a quarterback. Many pools have them favored by 5.5-6.5 points, but that was assuming that Matt Hasselbeck would be starting at QB. It won’t be Hasselbeck or Andrew Luck or Charlie Whitehurst. Josh Freeman, Ryan Lindley and Stephen Morris are in the running. None of them have ever taken a snap for the Colts. I think this line will be Colts by 3 and a total of 38, though that may be high. This could be interestingly ugly with Zach Mettenberger going for the Titans at QB. Obviously trends favor the Colts here, but Ryan Lindley will cancel all of that out.

Detroit Lions -1 over the Chicago Bears This line has moved from Bears by 1.5 to Lions slight favorites. The bets have helped push with 68% of spread and 67% of combo bets on the Lions. 59% of moneyline bets are on the Bears. The Lions have won their last two games solidly and are 5-2 ATS in last 7 games. I think they finish the season strong. There is nothing to work with here and I just prefer Detroit and Matthew Stafford to Chicago and Jay Cutler. The total is down from 46.5 to 45/45.5 with 62% of the bets on the over. That would produce a tiny under lean. The weather won’t be so bad in the “Windy City” with temps in the low-30’s F and winds in the low-teens in MPH.

St. Louis Rams -3.5 over the San Francisco 49ers This is a really tough one as I’m going with the public and 64%/59%/83% of spread/moneyline/combo bets on the Rams. I especially hate going along with that last number, but this line is out a key half-point from 3 to 3.5. The Rams have won and covered 3 straight and with a win can get to 8-8 on the season after a 4-8 start. The Niners have lost 3 straight by 15, 10 and 14 points respectively. Neither team has much in the way of running backs as the Rams will be without star rookie Todd Gurley. I still would expect them to do enough to win this game. St. Louis dominated the first game they played this season 27-6. The extra half-point is tricky and that is why it is such a weak suggestion. The over/under is up to 38 from 37, one of the lowest we have seen in the NFL in awhile. 69% of the bets are on the over. This market seems to be at equilibrium. Weather should be a big factor, but won’t be perfect. I would avoid both the side and the total.