Let It Ride: Josh Boeke’s Week 16 Gambling Picks

So I wasn’t exactly spectacular on my picks last week, but at least you would have made some money.  I went 2-2 on the actual picks with the Broncos and Bengals easily covering while the Colts were in position for about 58 minutes before Houston kicked a field goal up 9 to cover the spread (spread was 9.5).  As for Detroit, well I honestly don’t know what the heck happened in that one.  Losing 38-10 to the Cardinals surprised just about everyone, but I’ll admit I got that one wrong by a mile.  On the over/unders I was 2-1, I missed Bengals-Eagles, Cincinnati scored rather prolifically aided by a couple defensive TDs. 

If you weren’t with us last week, I will be picking three games (usually I’d do four, but not a lot of value plays this week) that I personally believe have good value against the spread.  I will also be picking some over/unders just to mix things up.  Just for fun I will also be giving you guys one upset money line pick, it will probably be a relatively low percentage play but with decent upside.

Just as a reminder, here are the rules of sports betting as I will be defining them, if you are already familiar (or read last week’s article) you can skip right ahead to the picks:

The Spread – You probably hear this term a lot but maybe wonder what exactly people are talking about (I know I did for a long time).  Well the spread is simply a mechanism created by bookmakers in the 1940’s to entice betting on both sides of a binary wager (such as a win-lose proposition in a football game) when the outcome might otherwise not be equally weighted.  Obviously if Arizona is playing New England everybody is betting on New England, well, if you give Arizona 14 points (or a 14 point spread) then people might be enticed to bet on Arizona, not to win, but to lose by fewer than 14 points.  The spread is generally written in a + or – fashion.  In the scenario above, Arizona would be +14 because they are being “given” 14 points, and New England would be -14 as they are having 14 points “taken away.”  Makes sense right?

Money Line – The money line is a different type of betting and I won’t generally use it here though I may make reference to it.  In a money line wager you are betting that the team wins “straight up” or with no point spread.  The money line is set based on probability of an outcome, so in the scenario above New England might be -500, which means you would need to bet $500 to win $100 (the money line is always written in terms of 100).  The money line isn’t always the same for both teams (in fact it usually isn’t), so Arizona might be +800 (bet $100 to win $800) and New England might be -500 in the same game.

Over/Under – Over/under betting in NFL terms is simply trying to guess how many combined points will be scored in a particular game.  So if the over is 40.5 then you would either bet over, meaning you think the teams will combine for 41+, or under, meaning you predict 40 or fewer.  This is a very popular form of betting (though deceptively difficult to predict) because people tend to believe they can guess how many points will be scored generally, even if they don’t feel comfortable guessing which team will be doing the scoring. 



I wanted to do 4 games again this week but I couldn’t find any others that I felt particularly confident about.  I really considered the Colts as my 4th pick, the Chiefs are being spotted a TD basically (+6.5), but with the news that Satele is out and Shipley and Justice haven’t been practicing, that offensive line is just too terrifying for me to even consider picking them to beat anyone on the road (they should pass the Cardinals this week for the lowest graded pass blocking unit in the NFL, 31st right now), even the Chiefs (can you imagine a starting unit that includes Reitz, McGlynn, Olsen, and Linkenbach? That’s truly horrifying and might be the worst starting offensive line in the history of the NFL, no joke).  I hope I’m wrong, but it will likely be another long day for Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense.  I’m really hoping they win this game and wrap up the 5 seed so they can rest some people week 17, it’s getting desperate. 

So in lieu of a 4th value pick this week I am going to give you a straight up money line upset pick.  The odds are certainly against it but that’s why they have a money line, you don’t have to risk much.

Upset pick: This is going to sound crazy, and I don’t have a particularly rational explanation for it, but I’m taking the Eagles to upset the Redskins.  RGIII is coming back from an injury that could limit his mobility and the Eagles have Mike Vick emulating his speed in practice (or so I’ve heard).  The Eagles are playing at home and after 13 seasons this could possibly be the last home game for Andy Reid as their coach.  I realize the Eagles have barely been competitive this season and that the Redskins are fighting to win their division on the back of a hot November and December, but I just have a feeling that the Eagles will come out and play for their old field general.  With a money line of +228 you’re getting better than 2:1 odds on your money.  It’s worth a look at least.

If you get a bit bored until the big game an alternative to conventional NFL betting is to have a few spins on the NFL based ‘5 million Dollar Touchdown’ slots game that you will find at an online casino like Lucky Nugget . There are many exciting features in this game including some exciting bonus spins. The single top payline prise is 15,000 coins, but by betting the maximum on every line, a total of $200; you can win up to $5 million. Check it out, it is good fun.

Well that will do it for me this week; hopefully we will all come out ahead and you can each buy me a beer with your winnings.

As always, thank you for reading.  Leave feedback in the comments and follow me on Twitter if you so desire