Archives for August 2008

3 College Football Teams You Must Bet This Season

3 College Football Teams You Must Bet in ’08!

Duke? It’s about making money, not popularity.

Another college football season is upon us, and this season looks to be just as exciting and unpredictable as we’ve come to expect in recent years.  This is also the perfect time of year to look for the perfect college teams to bet on.  Those of us who didn’t believe in Notre Dame last season made a lot of money before the odd makers caught up with just how bad the Irish were.  So who are some of the teams to look out for this season?

Iowa Hawkeyes: No, I’m not following the blind masses who are saying for the fourth year running that the Hawks are a dark horse team (actual results: 7-5, 6-7, 6-6, with some very dubious officiating going their way all three years).  As someone who used to live in the state of Iowa and doesn’t have blinders I’ll offer two reasons to bet against the Hawkeyes: 1) Iowa fans always have blinders on and inflate their team’s ability 2) Iowa fans are disturbingly quiet after the spring game.

This was a 6-6 team and their offense was horrific most the year, ranking around the #110 area.  They lose their starting LT to injury, their only offensive weapon TE Tony Moeki is injured, and QB Jake Christensen looks terrible again, and without RB Young and RB Sims, two RBs who were both top 20 all time at Iowa.  The reports from scrimmage suggest this team will have a lot of problems scoring 17 points against most teams this season.

An elite defense that sent several players to the NFL helped the Hawks win tons of ugly games last year, but they lose both starting DE, two starting LB, and both starting CBs.  Iowa couldn’t defend the spread last year, and this defense will be good, but asking them to keep everyone at 10 points a game is too much.

Iowa will fall, and far hard.  Bet big with the under 7 ½ wins for Iowa this season (there’s no way in hell they’re hitting 8 wins), bet on the under total for Iowa games where the total points requires Iowa to score a lot, and definitely bet against Iowa when they play rival Iowa State, who has won 7 of the last 10 despite being favored once, and beat the spread 9 out of 10 times (often by double digits).  The spread is 14 points – more than the Hawkeyes will score in most games.  Betting against Iowa early is a great play this season.

ISU Cyclones: This team is loaded with young talent, and with a second year under head Coach Gene Chizik, there is a lot of excitement with this team.  They almost upset Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma last season, and pulled over late season wins over Kansas State and Colorado.  They also beat Iowa early.  The Cyclones by the end of the season were a bowl level team.  Both the offensive and defensive lines look better, there are a lot of young players that have experience now, and the culture of “what bad thing is going to happen now” seems gone forever.

The Cyclones are going to surprise a lot of teams this season, and while this shouldn’t be a big surprise, most odds makers have them going backwards from a 3 win season.  Really?  ISU showed huge improvement from two years ago to last year, and even more should be expected this season.

The smart bettor will bet huge on the “over” for 3 wins on the season for ISU, as well as on the over for the early games.  ISU is inexplicably a 14 to 14.5 point underdog to a bad looking Iowa team.  ISU has won 7 of the last 10, and beat the spread 9 of the last 10 times.  Don’t complain about the line the bookies always miss: just shut up and smile when you cash in.

Duke Blue Devils: This is a team with an excellent quarterback, some decent recruiting classes from the last few years, and Head Coach David Cutcliffe is a great hire who will make some immediate noise in the very mediocre ACC.  Duke was only about 10 points short of 4 wins last year, and this year should be a 5 win team.  Early in the year Duke is a great team to bet on, as they should still be underdogs until they prove themselves, meaning there might be some big point spreads against them going into this season.  This is a great opportunity to cash in early!

Honorable Mention: Betting against Virginia, who has serious problems.

These are three teams that you need to bet with or against early this college football season.  If you do, you’re not going to be disappointed.

3 Surprise Teams for the NFL Season

Football Odds

3 Surprise Teams for ’08?

3 NFL Teams to Watch: Good or Bad

Every year there are teams that unexpectedly do well in the NFL, moving from the basement into the play-offs, while other teams take unexpected falls.  Coming up in this article are the three teams that I think are going to shift the most.  Apologies ahead of time for those of you sick of Brett Favre/Green Bay Packers, but if you want two teams who are going to finish way different from last season, you can’t get away from that story.

$100 Match Bonus for your NFL Preseason Betting

Team #1: Green Bay Packers.  First of all, with the harder AFC opponents, the Pack would have been hard pressed to go 11-5.  Then you have the whole Favre mess that wasn’t handled well by anyone, you give away your HOF QB for a back up who has had a season ending injury as Favre’s back up three straight years and trade away your best DT.

Some harsh truths: Green Bay’s defense is overrated.  Without Williams, that DL will not get a major pass rush and will be weak against the run up the middle.  A.J. Hawk hasn’t looked much better than average, and by the end of last season Al Harris did not look good at all.  They still don’t have solid defensive backs for the nickel and dime defense.

Second, if you’ve watched QB Aaron Rodgers without being biased you see a quarterback who can not sense a pass rush at all, will get sacked 4-6 times a game, and can’t throw more than thirty yards.  The offensive line wasn’t that good, but Favre’s quick release made them look a lot better, and the first two pre season games should be throwing red flags, especially considering the dropped pick and several throws against Cincy that should have been.

Look for 8-8 to be the ceiling, and it could be a lot worse.  I could see this team being as low as 4-12 if Aaron Rodgers is injured (Brohm isn’t ready), and even 5-11 if he’s healthy.  This team will fall faster than any other in the NFL.

Team #2: Oakland Raiders.  It’s a circus, but Lane Kiffin has the respect of his players and there is just enough talent here to make a run to .500.  RB Darren McFadden will be special off the bat and WR Javon Walker improves the receiving corps.  CB DeAngelo Williams adds to an already talented defense, and there is just enough talent here for Lane Kiffin to steady the ship to 8-8, at which point Al Davis will get out of the padded room and mess things up again, but going 4 wins to 8 is a great one season improvement, and Coach Kiffin is the man to do it.

Team #3: New York Jets.  This isn’t just “Favre mania.”  The Jets have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, facing a lot of dreg teams.  They also brought in NT Kris Jenkins, OG Alan Faneca, OLB Calvin Pace, FB Tony Richardson, OL Damien Woody, RB Jesse Chatman, and TE Bubba Franks.  That’s a lot of work to get better, not to mention a solid draft this year, and a lot of great draft picks from last year who will be even better in their second year of play.

Also consider reports from Jets camp: receivers being surprised they caught a 30 yard pass because passes that deep were always just decoys with Chad Pennington.  Favre opens this offense up, and the Jets want power running and defense, and the pieces are in play to the point where a 10-6 or 11-5 season with that easy schedule are not out of the question.  Barring massive injuries, Jets make the playoffs, Packers don’t