Four Win Total Picks worth Taking

A bet in horseracing is instant gratification, as the race is minutes long and the next race gives the bettor another opportunity. The NFL is similar when each Sunday’s role around as there are numerous games to bet on the winner, the total points, half time score and much more. However, if taking a futures bet then instant gratification is less and the payoff is long term.

Here are four sure fire bets, if those exist, of long-term winners that will take 18 weeks to determine and lots of yelling and screaming at the television through the fall and early winter. These bets can be made through any one of a number of online sites including Bovada, betonline, and topbet.

1. Baltimore Ravens – Over 8 ½ minus-125 – Often times Super Bowl winners come out of the gate with a hangover, nevertheless the Ravens will have in them a 9-7 season in what has become a mediocre at best AFC North division. The Ravens will be tough nosed on defense thanks to their hardnosed coach John Harbaugh. Joe Flacco will lead the team to enough offensive wins where the OVER 8 ½ is a sound bet.

The Ravens lost players on defense but were able to sign Elvis Dumervil a linebacker from Denver and that will make up for the lost of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.

2. The Dallas Cowboys – Over 8 ½, plus – 135 – After two straight 8-8 seasons, Dallas will move up at least one game this season. Last season the team was hit with numerous injuries and now with some additions to skills positions surrounding Tony Romo at quarterback, the Cowboys should top that 8 ½ figure in wins.

Monte Kiffin, the new defensive coordinator has installed a new 4-3 defense that should put their top defensive player, DeMarcus Ware in position to make more big plays. The rest of the NFC East is tough to figure out, but the Cowboys will win at least 9 if not 10 games this season.

3. Chicago Bears Over 8 ½ minus-120 – Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has much to prove this year, which could work in his favor or against him. However, he will get help from Marc Trestman’s offense and a new offensive line. Cutler also will be throwing to larger targets at wide receiver and have run support from the duo of Michael Bush and Matt Forte.

The Bears will be without Brian Urlacher, but the defense still has the likes of Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs. If Chicago plays well they could take the NFC North, as both Minnesota and Detroit are unknowns often times to inconsistent.

4. New Orleans – Over 9 minus 150 – Last season was strange for the New Orleans Saints. The season started bad in the offseason and got worse as the regular began. With their head coach suspended for the entire season and certain players missing games, it was not surprising the team played as poorly as they did.

With the Bounty Scandal now past them, this season should be a much different picture for the Saints. Drew Brees will benefit greatly from the return of his head coach. At least it will take some of the responsibility of the player’s shoulders and put it back on the coaches, where it belongs. Look for the Saints to win at least 10 and possibly as many as 12 games this season.

Remember to check out the latest futures lines on Bovada, betonline, topbet or

AFC East win totals favor Patriots

As the 2013 NFL regular season approaches odds makers are releasing their over/under totals for wins. The AFC East has been a tough division and this season should be no different.

With Bill Belichick on the sidelines and Tom Brady over center, the Patriots will always be a threat in each game they play. The Patriots have been given an over/under total of 11.5 by odds makers at Bovada with the Over on +115 and the Under -135.

Betting against New England to win 12 games is not a very profitable bet. They open with an easy three game schedule at Buffalo, and home to the New York Jets and Tampa Bay. Nevertheless, the loss of Wes Welker to free agency and Aaron Hernandez to a murder charge will make it difficult for Brady to win more than 11 games.

Pick: Under

The Miami Dolphins have been given a win total of 7.5 with the Over on -135 and the Under on +115. This is the same win total as last season even though Ryan Tannehill has completed a full season as the quarterback and has new additions including Danelle Ellerbe, Mike Wallace, Dion Jordan, Jamar Taylor and Phillip Wheeler. The season starts okay with Cleveland and Indy, but then they face Atlanta, New Orleans and the defending champion Baltimore Ravens all before their bye week.

Pick: Under

The Buffalo Bills have been given the win total of 6.5 with the Over sitting on +115 and the Under -135. Buffalo has a huge question mark stamped on each forehead of every player and coach. The biggest question starts at the quarterback position. Can EJ Manuel become the quarterback from day one and actually win games. There is talent at the wide outs with Stevie Johnson, TJ Graham and CJ Spiller. Add to that Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin and that means lots of speed at the all important skills positions. However, the quarterback problems and a leaky defense spells trouble.

Pick: Under

The New York Jets have also been give 6.5 wins for their total with the Over on -110 and the Under on -110. The total this season is two full games lower than that of last season and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to see why.

On defense, Darrelle Revis who is the best corner in the game is gone. On offense, they have a new rookie quarterback, but Mark Sanchez remains and will be needed before Geno Smith gets up to speed. The overall outlook is not a good one.

Pick: Under

College Football Opening Game Previews

Finally! The long-awaited college football season is upon us as the first games of the year will get underway today. Of course, as there always are early in the schedule, many of the games should be fairly lopsided contests, but here are two games you certainly won’t want to miss out on watching or betting for Thursday.

#9 South Carolina at Vanderbilt

Expectations are high for the Gamecocks in 2012, as they enter the opening game with their highest preseason ranking in school history at number nine. South Carolina had its best season ever a year ago as it finished 11-2 and with Marcus Lattimore, arguably the nation’s best tailback returning, there’s no reason to think that the Gamecocks can’t compete for an SEC title this year.

If Lattimore stays healthy, he will likely be among the best backs in the country again

However, there is concern regarding Lattimore’s health. He missed the final six games of last season due to a knee injury, which is the kind you don’t want as a running back. To dismiss this concern, head coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN that Lattimore will be ready to go and he intends to get him the ball 25-30 times in the opener.

Vandy is coming off a 6-7 season and will be at home against South Carolina. The Commodores will be hungry for an early season upset and they know it’s possible because they’ve done it before. Vanderbilt beat the Gamecocks in both 2007 and 2008. South Carolina was ranked 6th in the country at the time of the 2007 loss.

I can see Vanderbilt hanging tough in this one during the first half, but South Carolina should pull away late and cover the -7 point spread. If Lattimore is back to top form, like Spurrier claims, then expect him to wear down the Commodore defense on the way to a double-digit Gamecock road win.

Washington State at BYU

Jeff Tuel will lead the new Wasu offense


BYU, a team that won 10 games last year, at home against a team that went 4-8 in 2011 seems like a pretty easy call, but not so fast. Washington State has been a team with a lot of buzz this summer and is on many people’s lists as a potential surprise team in 2012. With a new head coach with a history of success in Mike Leach, the WSU Cougars are expected to come into the opener with a new offensive philosophy focused on the air attack, a similar offense he employed as the head coach at Texas Tech.

The concerns for Wasu are pass protection and defense. Washington State gave up 38 sacks last year, so if it wants that air-raid offensive to be effective, that’s something it will have to reduce. The defense is also a question mark, as the Coug defenders allowed over 30 points per game in 2011.

That will be the side of the ball BYU will look to exploit with returning quarterback Riley Nelson. Nelson has 19 career touchdowns to seven INTS in 12 games as the starter for Brigham Young University. BYU’s other strength is in pass coverage, as the team only allowed 13 passing touchdowns (one per game) last season. If BYU can hold Wasu to only one TD toss today, that will spell trouble for the visiting team.

This isn’t the highest profile game of the day or the weekend, but it’s one that makes for juicy betting action. The spread currently favors BYU by 12 points and although I like BYU to win this one in a shootout, I think Washington State will make things closer than that. Look for Washington State to at least cover the +12 spread and possibly even win outright against the moneyline.