Easy Money: Gambling With The NFL – By Cameron Heffernan

Football season is upon us, and we all know what that means. Gambling.

Caesars Palace
Bellagio Hotel and Casino

Gambling with basketball, hockey and baseball are fun. They’re like a college fling. You get in, you get out, they call you; you ignore them; vice versa, and we’re all left penniless and sad somewhere in Vegas. With football though, it’s like returning home from that spring break bender, to find that your girlfriend knows nothing of your philandering, and they just want to accept you in their open arms (well, your cash at least), and tell you everything is going to be okay.

Football gambling, regarded by most, as the best, is the best. With those other sports, there’s just too much going on during the season. You win in ebbs and flows; and most of the time that flow is a crap-filled ride through the poor house. Not with football though, with football you have 17 weeks to focus. It’s not everyday like the others. From Tuesday to Saturday, you have all the research time in the world. With baseball: you’ll need all the luck in the world to figure out if a pitcher is in shit-the-bed-mode. With basketball: It’s too predictable. We all know who the top teams are; and rarely are there ever “upsets” during the regular season – because they play 82 games, and can you really call the Wizards beating the Heat on the third night coming off a back-to-back? No, no you can’t.

With the pigskin though, you can pick from one of the 14-16 games a week, parlay a few, just bet on one, take some prop bets before the game, there in lies the beauty of football gambling. 17 weeks, with five days of research between, and you could be swimming in it by the end of the season. So, let me take you on a journey. One where you may lose or win a lot of money depending on how this all pans out.

Futures bets:

The Super Bowl, And By Association, The Obvious AFC and NFC Championship picks:

The Obvious Insurance Picks: The Broncos and Niners both at 6/1 odds to win the Super Bowl.

Is there really any need for explanation? One went to the Super Bowl last year. Coming within a play or two from victory. And the other, was a play away from the Super Bowl. But, were beaten on the single most miraculous catch in football history – maybe. Throw a $100 on each of them, and you’ll recoup your losses if at least one of them wins and the other don’t. Then again, these are just insurance, to the real ballsy picks coming up.

The Not So Obvious Picks (Well, maybe just a little): Seattle at 17/2. New England at 10/1. Atlanta and Green Bay at 12/1. Houston at 16/1, New Orleans at 18/1 and The New York Giants at 25/1.

Three of these teams have won a Super Bowl in the last five years. The Patriots have made two if you go back to 2007 – but I’m sure Pats fans would prefer not to.

Starting with the Saints case: They have Sean Payton back at the helm, a healthy Jimmy Graham, a healthier Mark Ingram, who could make waves as their every day back to pair with Darren Sproles, and they should be more than in F-U mode after last year.

With the Packers, Falcons and Patriots: They represent a model of consistency not seen with most other teams of the last decade. The Patriots, although, having no weapons at receiver, will more than likely rattle off 10-12 wins, make the playoffs and at least advance to the AFC Championship. The same can be said for the other two.

With the Falcons, they were a decent play call and running back away from sealing their second trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. But we all know how that played out. Michael Turner sucked, and now they’ve replaced him with a semi-competent, yet more than likely on his way out, body wise, Steven Jackson. Can he put them over the edge? They hope. Will he? Probably not. But, they still have an ever evolving Julio Jones, and two other models of consistency, Matt Ryan and Roddy White.

The Texans and Giants. Where to begin. The Giants have won two Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011. The Texans have won none, in the history of ever. The Texans have been said to be close. But their elimination in back to back divisional rounds proves otherwise. If they could play Cincinnati every time in the playoffs, they’d be golden (seeing as they’ve beaten Cincy in the last two years of the Wild Card round.). The Texans could genuinely make the leap this year. But then again Matt Schaub is still their quarterback….? *Still looking*, *finds depth chart for Houston*. Yup, he is. Sorry Texans, maybe next year.

And Now for the long shots: The Eagles at 50/1, Redskins at 33/1, Ravens (to repeat) at 28/1, Bengals at 25/1, and my one homer pick, the Buffalo Bills at 150/1.

The Eagles: Chip Kelly could finally bring the dream team together? No, he can’t. Want to know why? Because every player from that supposed, “Dream Team”, is now gone. Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, are all gone. The original master mind of it all, Andy Reid, is too gone from the annals of Eagles football. Now, it’s up to LeSean McCoy, Michael (I may still be made of glass) Vick and DeSean (I may have gotten paid way too much, but hey, maybe this year I pull through) Jackson, to, well, for lack of a better phrase, pull through. In the pre-season, the Eagles were running up to 30 plays in a quarter. This easily could run most NFL defenses into the ground, unleashing the greatest offensive threat we’ve ever seen. Or all their Faberge egg players end up breaking like the twigs they are and Kelly is left with Nick Foles or Matt Barkley at QB. Which at that point you might as well give up.

The Redskins and Ravens are both in the same boat to me, but with different reasons for being there. They both have championship caliber head coaches. Well, we know John Harbaugh is. Mike Shannahan hasn’t proved anything since John Elway left his side. They have the talent, they have the defense, now it all depends on – well in the Redskins case, staying healthy – their coaches ability to push them through and on to the next level.

The Bengals and Bills aren’t winning shit. But it’d be nice to think that all that talent and youth could come together for one magical season. Instead of all the force-fed shit seasons we’ve had to deal with over the years. Maybe not for Bengals fans, who’ve made the playoffs in the last 10-15 years. But us Bills fans are getting tired of the yearly shit sandwich we watch parade around our television sets on a week to week basis.

There you have it. My unbiased and totally uneducated educated predictions on the upcoming winners of this NFL season. And here’s a freebie, to go along with the others, and the future ones to come: Take the points with Denver tomorrow night. There’s no money to be made unless you’re betting the Ravens to outright win. And I don’t think that’s happening.

All lines and info we’re taken from Bovada.com and intertops.com.

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