Good morning everyone. I guess that it is officially football season when the Red Sox blow a 6-0 lead and go on to lose 14-13 in extra innings (see, I miss a prediction every once in a while)... My baseball team will need a minor miracle to reach the playoffs, and for that matter, the Orioles are still in the playoff race, so let's talk about... FOOTBALL! ;)
I moved back to the desert so that I could do a little sports betting (namely football) and play a little poker. Well, we are now six days from the start of the college football season on Thursday, August 30th. The NFL starts playing for real in twelve days on Wednesday, September 5th. I have a half dozen refrigerator magnets that are already proudly displaying my first bets of the year (this makes it possible for me to look at all of my bets at once, and I am interested to know whether or not anyone else does this)... Anyway, last weekend I put together about thirty-five dollars worth of parlay tickets on bets that I liked before any possible line-movement occurred. When my beloved two-dollar parlay cards appear sometime early next week, I only plan on adding about another 20 bucks to the 35 already bet, keeping my wagering to a very minimal amount for the first week since no one has played for real yet. The bets already posted on my frig were very sensible in that none of them consist of anything larger than a four-team parlay. The 35 bucks that I have already bet could result in me getting 320 dollars back at the most. The two-dollar parlay cards will all consist of collections of 5 to 10 bets. I will do a 10-team parlay card every week in case I do have that week where all 10 of my top picks hit because the payout is 800-to-1, meaning a 1,600-dollar win for getting all 10 bets right.
There were three college and pro bets (each) that I wanted to jump on early before the lines moved. An example of a line moving already (even since I did my betting last weekend) occurred on a game that I liked. When I first hit town at the end of July, the Texans were seven-point favorites over the Dolphins. Last weekend, Houston was listed as a 7 1/2 point favorite, and was one of the bets that I circled, but I didn't know how I felt about giving up the extra half-point over a touchdown. Well now, the Texans are 8 1/2 point favorites on opening day. I'm thinking that the Dolphins appearance on HBO's 'Hard Knocks' might be influencing people, but that is only my humble opinion... :) In the last week, Miami named rookie Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback for the regular season, and I'm sure that had some influence on the line movement during the week.
The three college bets that I have parlayed all have something in common: they all involve powerhouse programs who are heavy home favorites in week one. I took USC (-39) against Hawaii; Oregon (-35 1/2) against Arkansas State; and Ohio State (-22 1/2) against Miami (Ohio). In my mind I pictured sellout crowds and a blood-hungry atmosphere in each stadium where these dominant teams will be looking to make me money next week... :) The games that I am currently looking to include for two-dollar action this week are these: Michigan State (-7) over Boise State; Georgia (-37 1/2) over Buffalo; Texas (-29) over Wyoming; and Arizona (- 10 1/2) over Toledo, with all 4 of those favorites playing at home. I think that I will cave and include Texas State (+37) @ Houston on at least one ticket just because the Bobcats are my team - go alma mater!!! ;)
The NFL bets that I have already acted on are: Giants (- 3 1/2) over Cowboys; Patriots (-6 1/2) over Titans; and Ravens (-6) over Bengals. The Patriots are the only road team in those three bets. As with the Ravens game, I also included Steelers/Broncos (under 44) on a few tickets as a "hedge game" (a game that if I choose to, I can bet the other side of if my previous bets on the ticket have all won, ensuring that I will make some money no matter what the outcome of the hedge game is)... I like the Giants because Dallas has injury issues with their receivers and their offensive line (which I didn't like anyway) right now. Being more than a week away and a primetime game, I personally wouldn't be suprised if the Giants get bet up to (-6) favorites by the time this one kicks off (and that would be a BIG line movement, but...). New York was a three-point favorite at the end of July. The Titans have named Jake Locker as their starter at quarterback over Matt Hasselback, and I would be playing Hasselback in a second if I was trying to win. The Patriots have so much offensive firepower that I can easily see them getting a lead substantial enough to take Chris Johnson out of the game (because teams that are trailing tend to throw). In the Ravens/Bengals game, the Ravens should have been playing in the Super Bowl last year if not for a dropped pass, and the Bengals no longer have all of their offensive weapons. Where I think the Bengals are really hurting is at running back, where Cedric Benson is gone and his replacement, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, is currently injured.
As the college games get closer and closer to kickoff next week, we'll see if I can stick to 55 bucks in wagers for week one (which started at 50). As the money I've already bet includes action on a number of NFL games, which won't be played for another week, I'll probably give myself some leeway if I like some other wagers. That being said, I'd really like to keep my action centered on my favorite bets during this second time around in Las Vegas.
To all of my visitors who are coming here from Yahoo! Answers, please bookmark my site or add it to your favorites if you intend to continue following my picks throughout the season. I will not be at the Yahoo! Answers site to notify people about my predictions as much as I was last year because I will be at the sportsbooks in the casinos watching all of the action on my bets and scouting the other games. You can also follow me on the twitter link at the top of the page - I always tweet when I make a new blog entry. I do appreciate you stopping by to read my predictions, regardless of whether you're here looking for good, solid, informative insight, or even if you're just here to laugh uncontrollably at my selections... :)
I hope that all of you have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!