Ballin' on a Budget Wild Card Weekend Results, Super Bowl Value Picks

Ballin' on a Budget Week 6 Picks

Welcome back for another stress-filled week of NFL betting. There are a lot of lines to love this week, so let’s get right to it. We’re going to invest the right amount of money on each game this time, since our biggest problem this year has been putting big money on the wrong games even while picking at a 58 percent clip. Let’s get to it.

Panthers over Redskins (EVEN)

I get it. This is a trap game. Carolina is coming off a last-second win thanks to a 63-yard Graham Gano field goal and the Redskins are coming off a thumping on the road against the Saints on Monday Night Football. It’s in Washington. Trust me, I understand that all signs are pointing toward not betting on Carolina this week. Simply, I don’t care.

The Panthers are just the better football team and when you can get value like this, you take it. Carolina is a one-point road underdog, making them even money to win straight up. There are plenty of reasons not to like this, such as Washington being desperate and at home, but again, Cam Newton and Co. are starting to click and that makes this really good value. The bet: $3 for total payout of $6.

Seahawks -3 vs. Raiders (EVEN)

Here’s another good even money value. This game is being played in London, so it is likely to be a little quirky. Oakland hasn’t been able to muster a pass rush this year (Hmm, I wonder why), so Russell Wilson will have plenty of time to throw. Has the Seattle defense been as good as usual? No, but they’re good enough to contain an inconsistent Derek Carr for 60 minutes.

I’ve liked Seattle most weeks this year and they covered at home against the Rams last week. I think they keep rolling and grab a much-needed win against an inferior team, even if the game is being played across the pond. The bet: $3 for total payout of $6.

Ravens -3 at Titans (-110)

It feels as though I get screwed every time I pick against the Titans this season. They’re just a weird team. The defense is for real, but the offense can’t get out of its own way. Coming off a 13-12 loss to the Bills, they’re going to be hungry at home. Baltimore is going to be hungry too, coming off an overtime loss to the Browns.

To keep pace in the competitive AFC North, this is one Baltimore has to have and with the spread only being a three points, it provides us that much-needed cushion of getting a push if they win by a field goal. This feels like an over correction from odds makers in response to Baltimore’s loss to Cleveland last Sunday and it seems wise to hop on them the week after such a disappointing loss. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.70.

Patriots -3 vs. Chiefs (-120)

I absolutely love this pick. Kansas City traditionally starts out very strong and then tapers off toward the middle of the season. Especially with a rookie quarterback, even one as talented as Patrick Mahomes, they’re prone to that happening again. For the first time all season, the defense showed up against the Jaguars, so that’s reason to think K.C. may be more complete than originally thought, but it’s just tough to march into Foxborough and march out with a win.

Bill Belichick doesn’t have a stellar defense, but you better believe they’ll have some schemes in place to limit Mahomes’ effectiveness. This should be a close game. When big games are close in Foxborough, the Patriots are rarely on the losing side. Take this one to the bank. The bet: $10 for total of $18.33.

Jaguars-Cowboys OVER 40.5 points (-110)

This over/under is so low, it’s really hard not to take it. I’m relying on the Jaguars to continue their trend of having a good offensive showing every other week. Dallas has shown no signs of life on offense and against a tough Jaguars defense, they could be in for a long day. The biggest thing we’re relying on here is a big day from Jacksonville.

A score like 30-17 sounds about right and that would get us over by a touchdown. It could easily backfire and turn into the disaster that our OVER pick of the Browns’ 12-9 win over the Ravens became last week, but this is one worth taking our chances on. The bet: $2 for total payout of $3.80.

The parlay option: As usual, let’s dream about what we’ll make if all five games hit. This week, with a few EVEN money games being thrown into the mix, it would be a doozy. To be exact, we’d be betting $20 to win $534.40. Fingers crossed for us all. Happy Week 6, the week we shoot into the green.

‘Cover City’: NFL Week 4 Picks, Preview With GambLou

The post ‘Cover City’: NFL Week 4 Picks, Preview With GambLou appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports Handle is pleased to present Cover City: A Pro and College Football Betting Podcast, hosted by Eric Rosenthal (@ericcports). Rosenthal is a professional sports bettor who focuses on NFL and college football. He’s wagered more than $25 million in the last nine years, getting banned from many sportsbooks along the way.

For this episode Rosenthal brings in a special guest, veteran handicapper @GambLou.  It’s a tougher NFL slate this week with “pretty accurate lines” per Rosenthal, but there are definitely sides and potential teasers to like. 

Time codes for the episode follow below. Listen and subscribe on Spotify here.

2:49: Miami Dolphins +7 at New England Patriots: History says Patriots crush after two straight losses but… have the real 2018 Patriots already stood up?

12:20: Cincinnati Bengals +4 at Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons defense is a mess. Live dog alert here.

16:01: Buffalo Bills +9.5/10 at Green Bay Packers: Coming off an outright win in Minnesota as a 16.5-point dog. Lookahead line here was Packers -14.5. Mixed opinions from Eric and Lou.

23:16: Detroit Lions +3 at Dallas Cowboys: A couple middling teams separated pretty reasonably separated by a field goal. Detroit off a big win.

24:33: Tampa Bay Bucs +3 at Chicago Bears: Potential mismatch in the trenches.

28:45: Cleveland Browns +2.5/3 at Oakland Raiders: Some recency bias in favor of the Browns? Oakland will be preparing for Baker Mayfield.

33:00: Houston Texans +1 at Indianapolis Colts: Do the Texans finally get off the schneid? The Colts are pretty well dinged up in a desperation situation for Houston.

37:39: New York Jets +7.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jets are embarking on a pretty difficult stretch after the Jaguars just dropped an egg.

39:11: San Francisco 49ers +10.5 at Los Angeles Chargers: Here comes “Checkdown Charlie” Beathard . Another pass.

40:35: New Orleans Saints -3 at New York Giants: Saints playing outdoors for the first time this year and Flowers has been planted on the bench. Can you hear some barking?

43:15: Baltimore Ravens +3 at Pittsburgh Steelers: As always, a three-point spread between Steelers and Ravens. But how about that total of  51 that’s moved from 48.5 to 51?

44:35: Kansas City Chiefs -4.5 at Denver Broncos: Taking the points at Mile High, at the right time.

47:37: Eric’s 5 SuperContest picks!

Come back on Monday for the NFL Week 4 recap and a look ahead to Week 4. Follow Eric on Twitter at @ericsports and Sports Handle @sports_handle.

Bonus! Check out this week’s episode of  The Pro Football Handle featuring Robert Walker And Matt Perrault:

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Listen to more episodes of ‘Cover City’: NFL Week 4 Picks, Preview With GambLou on SportsHandle.

22 Go Perfect In SuperContest Week 1 As Consensus Picks Roll

The post 22 Go Perfect In SuperContest Week 1 As Consensus Picks Roll appeared first on SportsHandle.

While you may have been sleeping on the East Coast, the Los Angeles Rams let the Oakland Raiders hang around a while before racking up 23 second half points in a 33-13 beatdown. Favored by 4 based on the static SuperContest lines (the line closed around 6), the Rams easily covered after falling behind 13-10 at halftime.

The Rams win gave roughly one-third of the pool a W, according to stats compiled by FantasySuperContest, in a Week 1 in which 22 of the record field of 3,123 Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest entries finished a perfect 5-0 and players picked up a average 2.43 points.

Here’s the against-the-spread record (and other records) for the NFL’s Week 1 (referencing non-static lines as in the SuperContest). Then we’ll get to the SuperContest selections and look closer at the results:

  • Favorites vs Underdogs (ATS): 7-8-1
  • Home vs Away (ATS): 9-6-1
  • Over/Under record: 9-7
  • Straight up underdog wins: 4

Read the remainder of the post 22 Go Perfect In SuperContest Week 1 As Consensus Picks Roll on SportsHandle.

Introducing ‘The NFL Handle’: An NFL Betting Podcast Featuring Robert Walker And Matt Perrault

The post Introducing ‘The NFL Handle’: An NFL Betting Podcast Featuring Robert Walker And Matt Perrault appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports Handle is pleased to present the debut episode of The NFL Handle. This NFL betting podcast pairs together Las Vegas-based sports talk voice Matt Perrault with veteran bookmaker Robert Walker, now of USBookmaking, formerly of Resorts World, MGM Mirage and “numerous other books that were glad to see me go,” he says on Twitter. Perrault is also host of Pushing The Odds on SB Nation Radio.

On the The NFL Handle, Perrault and Walker will dive into select NFL games, line movements and bookmaker liabilities, plus greater sports betting topics and stories that may have nothing to do with football. Walker has seen it all behind the counter and Perrault the same from behind the microphone, so they’ll have you prepared for anything.

Your comments are welcome at @sports_handle. (Link coming for iTunes listeners). Time codes for the episode follow below.

0:30: Introducing Walker and to a lesser extent, Perrault. Thoughts on a new era of sports betting in the U.S., potential federal involvement, and a welcome to the NFL season.

19:50: The NFL slate, beginning with Falcons +1 at Eagles (line has now moved to ATL -1 in some shops). On Nick Foles and the challenge of repeating as champion.

28:10: Jimmy G and the 49ers +6.5 at Vikings in Kirk Cousins’ debut in Minnesota.

32:57: Pittsburgh Steelers -4 at the Cleveland Browns of Hard Knocks.

40:30: New York Jets +6.5 at Detroit Lions (and a total that’s ticked down).

42:40: Los Angeles Rams -4 at Oakland Raiders.

49:10: Some final thoughts: Are certain games more attractive situationally? Not all home dogs are created equal.

Have a profitable Week 1, folks. Thanks for listening and see you back next week, tell a friend, sign up for our newsletter and also check out the Cover City Podcast, featuring sports bettor Eric Rosenthal.


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The post Introducing ‘The NFL Handle’: An NFL Betting Podcast Featuring Robert Walker And Matt Perrault appeared first on SportsHandle.

Can the Raiders take down the Chargers this Sunday?

In Week 7 of the NFL season, the Oakland Raiders travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers in the latest installment of this AFC West battle. In terms of record, little separates the two squads in 2015. In terms of expectations though, there seems to be a rather large gulf building between Oakland and San Diego.
The Chargers have been an AFC playoff contender for years now. Over the past decade, they have finished above .500 a remarkable eight times, never finishing with a record worse than 7-9. Not since the Drew Brees era in 2003 have the Chargers won fewer than seven games in a season. That run has brought with it six playoff berths, a trip to the conference title and six major award winners, the most important being LaDainian Tomlinson’s 2006 NFL MVP.
Over that same time span, the Raiders have finished above .500 zero times, made the playoffs zero times and won a major award zero times. Not since a Super Bowl loss way back in 2002 have the Raiders found any type of success on the field. The team is also just 1-6 in its last seven matchups against the Chargers, with the lone win coming at home in Week 5 of the 2013 season with Terrelle Pryor playing quarterback.
This dichotomy within the AFC West brought with it obvious expectations for each squad. San Diego is expected to be pretty good every year while Oakland has nothing much expected of it at all. That’s what makes the 2015 matchup so intriguing. The tides appear to be shifting in Oakland’s favor.
With two wins apiece, both squads trail first-place Denver by a considerable margin not even halfway through the 2015 season. But one team’s 2-3 record (Oakland) looks much better than the other’s 2-4 record (San Diego). Gambling win total over-unders don’t capture the entire picture of a team’s outlook preseason, but they give a pretty good representation of how the public feels about each team. Prior to the year, these two teams’ over-unders were placed at 5.5 games (Raiders) and 8.0 games (Chargers) respectively. Now it becomes clearer why two similar records mean different things.
Digging deeper, Oakland has had the better defense and has the superior point differential heading into Week 7. San Diego has yet to play a divisional game but is winless on the road and has the fourth-worst differential in the conference. The former also seems to have bright young talents on the way up while the latter is treading water (or drowning, as it were) with older players on the outs.
The folks over at Football Outsiders have a number of great stats that boil down rankings into easily digestible bits. In the quarterback matchup, one would assume San Diego has the gigantic advantage with Philip Rivers behind center. Rivers does rank highly in both DYAR and DVOA, two Football Outsiders metrics that measure value in the aggregate and value per play respectively. Rivers comes in fourth in the NFL in the aggregate and seventh on a per-play basis. But not far behind is Oakland’s Derek Carr. Don’t let his poor quarterback rating fool you. Carr ranks a very solid eighth in both DYAR and DVOA. Few would tab him as a top-10 quarterback in just his second pro season, but here we are.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders have cut the difference and actually surpassed what the Chargers offer. Neither club has been great, but Oakland has had the decided advantage on defense thus far in 2015. Outside rusher Khalil Mack actually ranks as Pro Football Focus’ number-one overall edge defender this season, helping to prop up the entire defense at large.
And of course special teams, the unit folks often forget to consider because it’s harder to quantify, shows the Raiders as the much better team. F.O.’s special-teams DVOA takes into account five aspects: kicks, kickoffs, punts, kick returns and punt returns. After crunching the numbers, the Raiders have the 8th-best special teams unit while the Chargers wallow all the way down at 29th thanks to poor groups in four out of the five categories.
Of course, it isn’t all doom and gloom for San Diego these days. Antonio Gates is still working himself back into game shape after being suspended for the first four weeks of the season. Third-year wide receiver Keenan Allen is having a stupendous season after a sophomore slump blinded people to his special first season. He is currently on pace to smash his rookie numbers across the board.
Statistics can’t tell the whole story, which is why the numbers get updated as teams play more games and we find out more information. Just because Oakland ranks out higher doesn’t mean it will surely win on the field. This Week 7 game will go a long way towards determining who actually holds the upper hand in the rivalry… at least until the Week 16 rematch later this year.

What Can We Expect From Derek Carr in 2015?

Much has been said about Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr after his 2015 rookie campaign, both good and bad.
There were certainly things that Carr could have done a lot better, but also things that he did very well. In reality, he sat somewhere between Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater given the statistics he produced.
One thing Carr did do well, especially for a rookie quarterback, was taking care of the football, giving up only 12 interceptions in 16 games and 599 passing attempts. Rookie quarterbacks on bad teams (and the Raiders were certainly that in 2014) often go down in flames, but Carr didn’t. He held it together, provided some leadership, and won the respect of his teammates. The lack of even a moderately talented supporting cast will hamper any quarterback, and Carr had little to work with in 2014
How bad was the Raiders offense? They were historically bad, finishing dead last overall, last in rushing, and 27th against the pass. Already without a running game, Carr had to cope without a number one receiver, as well as no on the roster who could qualify as a reasonable number two guy (especially after Rod Streater went down in week three).  Despite a useful contribution from Mychal Rivera, there was also no genuine starting tight end on the roster.
Given that, Carr had poor accuracy on his deep passes (23.9 as per PFF) compared to higher level players (Matt Ryan 56.5% PFF) and struggled to find receivers when under pressure, where his completion percentage dropped to 54.2% (PFF). He was considerably more accurate (63.2% PFF) when he could get the ball out of his hands quickly (under 2.6 seconds), no doubt reflecting the type of college offense he ran at Fresno State.
From the very start of the offseason though, one thing was clear, Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders have gone all in on Derek Carr, and their free agent and draft strategy was geared almost solely to providing him with the tools he needs to develop.
Their biggest free agent signing was center Rodney Hudson to upgrade the offensive line, and they selected wide receiver Amari Cooper with the fourth overall pick of the draft, despite some excellent defensive players being available at need positions. Oakland went offense with three of their first four picks, selecting Miami players Clive Walford (TE), and John Feliciano (OG) in the third and fourth rounds respectively. They also signed Michael Crabtree to further upgrade the receiving corps, and added a blocking tight end in Lee Smith.
The Raiders offense has undergone a major overhaul in terms of personnel, and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was brought in from Philadelphia, where he had worked in Chip Kelly’s high octane offense. So Oakland has clearly decided Carr is their guy, being happy not only with the talent he displayed on the field, but also with his work habits and character off it.
If the Raiders offense can field a viable running game, that will be a huge help to Derek Carr. Even given his troubles last year and the Raiders awful running game, he was considerably better off the play action than in the other areas of his play.
Carr’s quarterback rating jumped from 78.09 To 93.3, and he threw for eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
The worrying thing statistically, is that his average gain of 5.46 yards was the lowest in the League for starting quarterbacks and also reflects his inaccuracy on deep balls.
Going forward, you would have to expect a significant increase in Carr’s performance, especially in terms of completion percentage (58.1 in 2014), & average gain. All this while continuing to take care of the football as he did as a rookie.
This would reflect both the significant increase in talent surrounding Carr, and also his own development as a quarterback. An increase in deep ball accuracy (he doesn’t lack arm strength) and performance under pressure would be evidence of his development as well.
The talk coming out of camp already is that this Raiders coaching staff is ‘the best since Gruden’, and that better things are expected of the team this year. If Oakland is to achieve those things, it starts with Derek Carr. But If Carr fails to produce and make a noticeable step forward in his play (given the many factors acting in his favor), then his detractors will have a far stronger argument for their criticism.
David Wilson is a graduate of National Football Post’s Introduction to Scouting course and a writer for Raider Nation Times. Follow him on Twitter @linebacker41

Raiders sign safety Jeremy Deering

<p> The Oakland Raiders have signed rookie safety Jeremy Deering.</p> <p> He's an undrafted free agent from Rutgers.</p> <p> The 6-foot-1, 209-pounder played wide receiver and free safety at Rutgers and also returned kickoffs.</p> <p> Deering was previously with the New England Patriots.</p> <p> Veteran safety Usama Young is on the Raiders' physically unable to perform list with a quadriceps injury.</p> <p> Follow me on Twitter: <a href="">@RavensInsider</a></p> <p> Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun</p>

Raiders cut Kevin Burnett

<p> The Oakland Raiders made it official, announcing a long-rumored transaction today.</p> <p> They cut linebacker Kevin Burnett with a failed physical designation.</p> <p> Burnett was expected to start for the Raiders, but wasn't able to get to training camp due to an ankle problem.</p> <p> He started every game at linebacker last season and recorded 129 tackles and an interception. Burnett had a $4.14 million salary-cap figure and was due $3.5 million.</p> <p> The Raiders drafted Khalil Mack with the fifth overall pick.</p> <p> “Where we’re at at the linebacker position, with some young talented players, Miles Burris and Sio Moore, Kaluka Maiava being a main guy, I think we feel good with that position,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said, “and we’re going to move on from Kevin Burnett.”</p> <p> Follow me on Twitter: <a href="">@RavensInsider</a></p> <p> Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun</p>

Raiders' D.J. Hayden has foot surgery

<p> Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden underwent foot surgery due to a stress fracture.</p> <p> He's out four to eight weeks.</p> <p> He's on the physically unable to perform list.</p> <p> Hayden was drafted in the first round last year.</p> <p> “It’s a big setback,” cornerback Charles Woodson said. “As I’ve said many times, the most important thing in this game is being out on the field. There’s only so much being in the film room and studying plays can do for you. It can only take you so far. You need to be out there.</p> <p> “Hopefully it’s not anything that’s going to hold him out the whole camp. He’s a guy we feel can help us out around here. It has the potential to be a setback. Hopefully it’s not.”</p> <p> Follow me on Twitter: <a href="">@RavensInsider</a></p> <p> Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun</p>