The best pieces of advice I can give you are: #1 Don’t bet what you can’t afford #2 If it feels too good to be true, it probably is. And #3 If it feels ugly when you place it, good. Other than that, let’s have some fun and hopefully have some success along the way.
YTD record: 23-11 against the spread (13-5 in last 18)
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings 11/4 - 12:00pm CT
Line: Vikings -5
Betting Percentages Split: 76% of the tickets on the VIkings
The play: Lions +5
The last two weeks were two of the best weeks in recent memory for public players betting NFL games. Last weekend was the first losing Sunday/Monday of the year for Vegas. Call me crazy, but this trend will not continue. I love this week to be a spot that swings back in the contrarian direction and rewards players who hold their nose to make these picks. So, why not start with a game that makes absolutely 0 sense. Lions +5 on the road in the Minnesota. In fact, this line actually opened at +6 in many places but has since moved to +5 despite HEAVY public action on the Vikings. What does that tell you? Pros are betting the Lions heavy. People tend to overreact to single player acquisitions in the NFL and they rarely influence the outcome of single games. The trading of Golden Tate was not because the Lions are tanking, but instead because they weren’t going to re-sign him and wanted to get some value in return. Fade the public and take the Lions.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns 11/4 - 12:00pm CT
Line: Chiefs -9
Betting Percentages Split: 85% of tickets on Chiefs
The play: Browns +9
Remember what I said about holding your nose? Well, here we go. We are betting the Browns, and honestly, I love this spot. The Chiefs are due for some regression and I love the Browns with Gregg Williams at the helm to be one of the first teams to slow down this high-powered Chiefs offense. From everything coming out of Cleveland, players are fired up about Hue Jackson being ousted and I think Williams will give the Browns the spark they need to keep this game close. The Browns have played nearly every opponent close this year and I bet they do the same again this week. Call me crazy, sprinkle the money line too.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens 11/4 - 12:00pm CT
Line: Ravens -2.5
Betting Percentages Split: 78% of tickets on the Steelers
The play: Ravens -2.5
Buy low, sell high time people. Just a few weeks ago, the Ravens were a trendy Super Bowl sleeper pick. Fast forward after two losses and everyone seems to forget that not too long ago they were the consensus best defense in the NFL. Conversely, everyone seems to have forgotten about the problems the Steelers had at the beginning of the year and have penciled them in to be in the AFC championship hunt once again. Not so fast my friends, I love this spot for some regression to the mean for two teams that at the end of the day are probably fairly even. In a divisional game, I’ll take the contrarian home team with a short line. Take the Ravens laying 2.5.
Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos 11/4 - 3:20pm CT
Line: Broncos -1
Betting Percentages Split: 72% of tickets on the Texans
The play: Broncos -1
This is my favorite game of the week, by a pretty wide margin. It has every single one the indicators I look for when handicapping an NFL game. First, it’s a perfect sell high spot for the Texans who are now right in the midst of the playoff hunt. Secondly, it’s a great buy low spot for the Broncos, who are better team than their record indicates (they’ve had the misfortune of already playing the Chiefs twice). Thirdly, we have a public overreaction to the trading of Demariyus Thomas, a move that has nothing to do with this Broncos team, they simply were not going to resign him and wanted to extract some value (stop me if you’ve heard that before). And lastly, we have HEAVY public action on a small road dog, public dogs have fleas ladies and gentlemen and I’ll take the Broncos giving 1 at Mile High all day.
Bonus College Game: Missouri vs. Florida 11/3 - 3:00pm CT
Line: Florida -6
Betting Percentages Split: 80% of tickets on Florida
The play: Missouri +6
Missouri is the best 4-4 team in the country. Period. They should not have lost to Kentucky last week, they understandably lost to Alabama and they actually outgained Georgia in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated (Missouri was plagued by a few costly turnovers and still covered). I loved them last week at Kentucky and they let me down after a late kick off return for a touchdown by the Wildcats and I am going back to the well here. Florida’s defensive strength in their run stopping ability, not on their back end, and I love this to be a breakout spot for Drew Lock to put up some big numbers and Missouri finally get the big win they deserve this year.