Sports

NFL Week 4 Picks and The Year of Minority

By September 25, 2014 No Comments
nfl-week-4-picks-small

nfl-week-4-picksThrough three weeks of the NFL season Bobby Vegas is rolling snake eyes to the tune of picking a 65% winning clip, including going 12-4 last week. G-Hunt isn’t far behind picking 58% winners and also going 12-4 last week. To have a winning season in gambling (monetarily with the juice figured in) you need to hit just under 53% for the year, so we are on our way to counting those Benjamins.

Up to this point I can attribute the success I’ve had to being uncomfortable. Gambling can be a ton of fun, and for someone like me it’s more about the action than it is winning cash. That being said, it’s always more fun to win. What is often fun to root for, betting the over or the favorite, often leads to missing value in the less desirable bet. Who wants to watch a game and hope neither team scores? Not me.

So far this year I’ve preached the 80/20 Rule where I’ve been betting the 20%, the less fun to root for teams/bets. This often included games where I actually felt gross when taking the team with the points. Case in point, the Bills over the Bears in Week 1, the Browns over the Saints in Week 2, and Raiders over the Patriots last week. All three of those bets had “hold your breath and hope it doesn’t turn out like last Thursday’s Falcons/Buccaneers train wreck” written all over them (from a perception standpoint), yet all three covered. Was it fun for me leading up to the week and knowing that I held those tickets? Nope. Was it fun when each of the heavy underdogs defied the odds and covered, sending the majority moaning and the minority cashing winning tickets? Yep.

This year is The Year of Minority. I’m going to make more bets that put me in the minority of bettors this year than I ever have before. I’m just looking for that slight edge and contrarian way of thinking that over time helps lead to a winning season. Remember, if the majority always won we’d all be driving Lambos right now.

I’d be remiss not to give a shout out to Chad Millman’s Behind the Bets Podcast, aka The Scooch Pod.  More often than not the sharps have been taking the more contrarian view/team and that’s what I’ve been riding all year. Those guys know more than I do about this stuff so I try and take their thoughts into consideration as much as possible. Plus it’s helping me not think like a noob, even though I’m a noob.

Now for our NFL Week 4 Picks:

Giants @ Redskins -3.5

Greg: Redskins -3.5
Rob: Giants +3.5

I like what Kirk Cousin is doing at QB but what’s up with that defense. The Giants won last week but perception of them is still low. They are still figuring out a new offense and I think that they are a team that will get better as the season goes on.

Packers -1.5 @ Bears

Greg: Bears +1.5
Rob: Bears +1.5

The public often thinks the Packers, Saints, Broncos, and Patriots are automatic wins every week because they’ll score 100 points. I know this Packers team is better than they’ve played and there are plenty of things that can improve (Eddie Lacy’s production) but this is not a good spot for them to be a road favorite. The Bears are who we thought they were in the preseason a little more so than we all felt after their Week 1 loss to the Bills. They’ve now won two straight on the road and Jay Cutler has an 8-2 TD/INT ratio. Da Bears.

Titans @ Colts – 7.5

Greg: Colts -7.5
Rob: Colts -7.5

This game is only likely to have action on the Colts. No way I’d back the Titans as I have no clue what I’m getting out of them. The Colts have been rolling and that’s enough for me. If the Titans somehow cover then oh well. “Jake Locker leads the team to the victory” isn’t something that’s been said very often in his NFL career.

Dolphins -4 @ Raiders

Greg: Dolphins -4
Rob: Raiders +4

I don’t believe in the Dolphins at all and the rumblings about if Ryan Tannehill is their QB can’t be good for the team. Betting on the Raiders is never enjoyable but so far they are 2-1 against the spread this year. They are also 12th in total defense, so at least that’s something slightly positive (and not negative).

Lions -1.5 @ Jets

Greg: Lions +1.5
Rob: Jets +1.5

The Lions are the NFC version of the Chargers. They’ll beat the Packers and then Matthew Stafford will go and throw 3 INT’s on the road and they lose 21-20 in the following game. Their track record says not to trust them and I’m not likely to drink the kool-aid yet. By no means is this an endorsement for the Jets or Geno Smith.

Buccaneers @ Steelers -7.5

Greg: Steelers -7.5
Rob: Steelers -7.5

There are people in Pittsburgh who are taking out second mortgages to bet on the Steelers in this game. The Steelers are coming off a game in which very few people thought they’d win on the road (especially coming off getting smoked by the Ravens and barely hanging on to beat the Browns), so all of a sudden perception of the Steelers is that they are a Super Bowl team again. As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast my friend.” As a Steelers fan this team has terribly disappointing over the last three seasons, losing games they had no business losing.

This Bucs team couldn’t have started the season off worse and their offensive coordinator is no longer with the team. Nothing is pointing in their direction other than the fact that the Steelers defense is very dinged up (lost three key players last week) and they are anything but a guarantee. Just be careful, gambling is never like going to an ATM. Weird stuff happens all the time (though I don’t believe anything weird will happen here, just pointing out caution).

Panthers @ Ravens -3

Greg: Panthers +3
Rob: Ravens -3

This is going to be a season to forget for the Panthers. Regardless of how many games Cam Newton plays, he’s already injured in multiple places and doesn’t look right. This team is going to be inconsistent all year. I am, however, excited to watch Kelvin Bejamin. I had no clue the dude was built like Megatron.

Bills @ Texans -3

Greg: Bills +3
Rob: Bills +3

Remember, no Ryan Fitzpatrick lead team has won more games while he started than they lost. I called last weeks interception filled dumpster fire from last week and think there’s more of that to come this season. I’m not buying the Texans as a legit threat with him at QB. I watched the entire Bills game last week and liked nothing I saw about EJ Manuel. This is probably a game you should just check in on at the end.

Jaguars @ Chargers -13.5

Greg: Chargers -13.5
Rob: Jaguars +13.5

The Jags are 0-3 ATS this season but I don’t care. I’m almost always going to be taking that many points.

Falcons -3 @ Vikings

Greg: Falcons -3
Rob: Vikings +3

80/20 Rule here. Perception of the Falcons is ultra high right now, perception of the Vikings is super low. The Falcons aren’t the same team on the road as they are at home. By the way, if you want to check out the betting percentages on each game you can do it here. I can’t endorse that site other than it was one of the first ones I found when looking for betting percentages, so that’s a good indicator.

Eagles @ 49ers -5

Greg: 49ers -5
Rob: 49ers -5

This coming back from 10 down thing the Eagles are doing is ridiculous. I’m not sold on the 49ers but think they are good enough to take care of business at home.

Saints -3 @ Cowboys

Greg: Cowboys +3
Rob: Cowboys +3

I don’t buy into the Cowboys this year but something doesn’t seem right with the Saints. Things just aren’t coming as easy for them as many hoped. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get behind a Tony Romo late 4th quarter comeback for the cover?

Patriots -3.5 @ Chiefs

Greg: Patriots -3.5
Rob: Chiefs +3.5

Perception of the Chiefs is much better now than it was to start the season. Like the Saints, something doesn’t seem right with the Patriots. Not covering versus the Raiders at home ain’t a good thing.

Head-to-Head weekly victories and season record:
G-Hunt (0-2-1): 27-19-1
Rob (2-0-1): 30-16-1

Rob Cressy

Rob Cressy

Sports loving free throw specialist and yinzer living in Chicago who is awesome most of the time, has run with the bulls in Spain, and is a graduate of Second City's Improv program.