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Posts Tagged ‘Gambling’

Sunday Blitz

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 18, 2011

I’m with The Wife and The Daughter visiting family this weekend, so please forgive me for a very abbreviated NFL picks column. We’ll give it a better effort next week. For now:

Picks in ALL CAPS

NEW ORLEANS (-6.5) v. Chicago
NY JETS (-9.5) v. Jacksonville
PITTSBURGH (-14.5) v. Seattle
OAKLAND (+4.5) at Buffalo
DETROIT (-8) v. Kansas City
WASHINGTON (-3.5) v. Arizona
TENNESSEE (+6) v. Baltimore
CAROLINA (+10.5) v. Green Bay
MINNESOTA (-3) v. Tampa Bay
CLEVELAND (-2) at Indianapolis
SAN FRANCISCO (+3) v. Dallas
HOUSTON (-3) at Miami
San Diego (+7) at New England
DENVER (-3.5) v. Cincinnati
PHILADELPHIA (-2) at Atlanta
ST. LOUIS (+6) at NY Giants

Last Week: 10-4-1
Season: 10-4-1


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Free Money – Week 3

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 15, 2011

Two winning weeks in a row means everyone should tread lightly this weekend.  Everyone but us, of course.  Adam and I both maxed out all 8 plays, our parlay, and our teaser options for Week 3.  I don’t see a lot of games I love, but I see a lot I’d sleep with.  This is a fun NFL week because we’ll begin to see which teams are real and which are really lucky (or really bad).  It makes the NFL a bit more difficult to handicap this week, but I see several winners on the board.

Once again, here is a quick recap of the rules:

  • Maximum of 8 single plays during the week
  • One option teaser and one optional parlay also allowed
  • Minimum of $50 wager
  • Players must include at least one CFB and at least one NFL game in the picks
  • Both started the season with a $1,000 bankroll but can buy back into the game if they go bust

For the first time this season, Adam and I are butting heads.  The funning thing is, we’re butting heads on a dog game that we neither one should probably be playing.  Kentucky has looked mediocre at best this season, stumbling to a 2-0 start.  Louisville has been even worse, losing at home to Florida International.  I think I’ll just check for that score on the Internet rather than actually watch the game.


Free Money!

Brett ($1,093)

  • Kentucky (-5) v. Louisville, $55 to win $50
  • Oklahoma St. (-13.5) at Tulsa, $55 to win $50
  • Arkansas (-22.5) v. Troy, $77 to win $70
  • Arkansas St. (+24.5) at Virginia Tech, $55 to win $50
  • Detroit (-9) v. Kansas City, $66 to win $60
  • NY Jets (-9) v. Jacksonville, $66 to win $60
  • New Orleans (-6.5) v. Chicago, $66 to win $60
  • Washington (-3.5) v. Arizona, $66 to win $60
  • Parlay: NY Jets (-9), New Orleans (-6.5), and Washington (-3.5), $50 to win $250
  • Teaser:  Navy (+23) v. South Carolina, New Orleans (-0.5)


  • Total Wagers:  $616
  • Max Win: $760


Adam ($1,210)

  • UNDER 50 – LSU/Mississippi State, $55 to win $50
  • Louisville (+5) at Kentucky, $55 to win $50
  • Wisconsin (-17) at Northern Illinois, $55 to win $50
  • Tennessee (+9.5) at Florida, $55 to win $50
  • Navy (+17) at South Carolina, $55 to win $50
  • Ohio St. (+2.5) at Miami (FL), $55 to win $50
  • Green Bay (-10) at Carolina, $55 to win $50
  • Dallas (-3) at San Francisco, $55 to win $50
  • Parlay:  Ohio St. (+2.5) & Arkansas (-22.5), $50 to win $125
  • Teaser:  Green Bay (-4) & Navy (+23), $60 to win $50


  • Total Wagers: $550
  • Max Win: $575


Wager accordingly. As usual, is not responsible for missed mortgage payments or repossessed vehicles.



Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free Money…but Not Much

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 13, 2011

Better Than Losing

It was a grinder of a week for the Free Money this week.  Both Adam and I won more than we lost, but the payouts were hardly worth noting.  Two consecutive profitable weeks, though, is worth noting.  My NFL picks turned out pretty well, but I didn’t have enough of those winners in my Free Money picks this week.  Hopefully that can change starting this week.

Adam picked up winners on Saturday with TCU (-1) and Arkansas (-36) but suffered losses with Purdue (-1) losing at Rice and Memphis (+15) taking it on the chin against Arkansas State.  Memphis really tripped up AB this week, as their loss ruined his all-Arkansas teaser with the Hogs.  He bounced back on Sunday and Monday, most notably with a New England cover for $100.  The extra wager covered Adam’s losses this week, proving that it’s not how many games you win but how well  you wager.  Adam was smart to double up on New England.

I had a better Saturday than Sunday, a feat that is unlikely to duplicate itself too often.  I managed three wins with Wisconsin (-20.5), Florida (-23.5), and Army (+9) while losing my Penn State wager.  On Sunday I managed to push on two games (Tennessee +2, Carolina +7) and dropped the Tampa play.  My weekly teaser did hit, though, with Minnesota and Philadelphia each covering easily.

The net result?  I picked up $28 while Adam profited $20 on his plays.  To date we are both in the black.  My cash on hand stands at $1,093 – a $93 profit on the season after two weeks.  Adam is still slightly ahead with cash on hand of $1,210 – a $210 profit so far.

The third week of the college season and second week of the NFL promise better games and tighter lines.  That’s usually how it works.  By the middle of October you’ll see Vegas putting out ridiculously accurate lines, increasing the degree of difficulty for degenerate gamblers like us.

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Sunday Starter

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 11, 2011

Love Ya Blue

Fantasy Football.  Eliminator Pools.  Gambling.  The NFL means something different to everyone.  To me, it means all those things in addition to the flood of memories of childhood watching my Houston Oilers every Sunday afternoon.  The Oilers are gone, and the Texans have taken their place.  It will be a fun year watching Houston try to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.  I also look forward to winning both fantasy leagues, my eliminator pool, and – most importantly – lots of money.

You can check our Free Money column from this week to see the NFL plays I made early in the week.  On Sundays I’ll give you my picks for all the games of the week in addition to my Pick 5 parlay.  The Pick 5 are the games I’m tracking each Sunday in hopes of taking other people’s money.  I’ll note those games with an asterisk (*) in my overall picks for the weekend.

The Picks:

*CINCINNATI (+6.5) at Cleveland – One of the critical rules for wagering is this: Avoid the Obvious Game.  Vegas is begging you to take Cleveland.  Cincy is terrible, Cleveland is on the way up, and this is going to be played on the shores of Lake Erie.  The Bengals have a solid-enough running game and defense, though, to hang around in this rivalry game.  I’ll take the points. Brown 20, Bengals 14

*Detroit at TAMPA BAY (-1.5) – Almost every commentator says “Watch out for the Lions in 2011,” while simultaneously predicted a Tampa regression.  Both of those statements are true, but this smells like another Obvious Game.  Tamps is traditionally hard to beat at home, and Detroit is hardly Green Bay.  Give me the home team, please.  Buccaneers 21, Lions 17

*CAROLINA (+7.5) at Arizona – Let me be very clear:  I will not be rooting for Cam Newton.  I will be rooting for him to make me some money today, though.  The Panthers will probably be a tad better than most believe if for no other reason than a roster that has stayed largely intact.  Arizona is the better team and will probably win, but let’s not overstate their relative greatness.  It’s still Arizona.  Cardinals 31, Panthers 27

*MINNESOTA (+9.5) at San Diego – It’s like Vegas forgot three things when setting this line:  1) Norv Turner is still the head coach in San Diego, 2) The Chargers are notoriously slow starters, and 3) Adrian Peterson rushed for almost 300 yards the last time these two teams played.  Upset special: Vikings 41, Chargers 27

*Oakland at DENVER (-3.5) – Does anyone else feel like Denver is horribly undervalued this year?  I get the feeling Josh McDaniels may have been a worse coach than Mike Singletary.  Enter John Fox who took Carolina to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme as his quarterback.  Fox is a very good coach, and Denver is a tough place to play.  Also, Jason Campbell is the Oakland starting QB.  Hard to put my money there. Broncos 28, Raiders 20

Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE (-1) – I’ve heard so much about how great the Steelers will be in 2011 and how weak the Ravens will be (relative to 2010), I’m a bit nervous.  But this is a rivalry dominated by the home teams, and I’m sticking with my Ravens Super Bowl pick.  A loss this week all but guarantees the Ravens will play as a Wild Card team on the opening weekend of the playoffs.  Amazing statement for Week 1, but it’s probably true.  Ravens 27, Steelers 24

ATLANTA (-1) at Chicago – I struggled with this one, but ultimately it came down to Matt Ryan v. Jay Cuttler.  When faced with that choice, it became much easier.  Both teams benefited from great luck in 2010, but the Falcons are a superior team.  I’m looking forward to watching that offense. Falcons 31, Bears 23

Buffalo at KANSAS CITY (-5) – What an awful game.  It’s like the NFL actively hates Kansas City and Buffalo.  How can either franchise or fan base get excited about this game, even on opening weekend?  I’ll take the slightly less awful team.  (I do this knowing that I have guaranteed this to be the most exciting game of the day.) Chiefs 50, Bills 43

Indianapolis at HOUSTON (-9) – Without Payton Manning in the lineup, it is impossible to know exactly how the Colts will react.  What we do know is that Houston has a dynamic offense and an significantly upgraded defense.  It’s at home, and Houston is treating it like a playoff game.  I like it.  Texans 38, Colts 21

PHILADELPHIA (-3.5) at St. Louis – This line opened at Philly -5.5 and has moved two whole points.  That’s a remarkable shift.  I know NFL home dogs are usually free money, but let’s not overvalue an improved Rams team.  I like St. Louis and definitely give them a chance to win their weak division.  But Philadelphia is an excellent team.  If I were in Vegas today, I’d be sitting at the betting window right up to kickoff waiting to see if I could get a more favorable spread and moneyline.  Free money.  Eagles 35, Rams 17

TENNESSEE (+2) at Jacksonville – I have no faith in either team over the course of the season, but I do like the Tennessee running attack.  The Jags signaled that they are a team in transition this year with the release of their starting quarterback, David Garrard, just days before the season started.  Titans 17, Jaguars 14

NY Giants at WASHINGTON (+2.5) – I’m kicking myself for not putting this game into my Pick 5 or Free Money picks this week.  I know Washington is a team that will struggle, but the Giants have serious problems.  They lost FIVE players in preseason camp that were penciled in as starters or key backups, including their top draft choice (cornerback Prince Amukamara) and defensive anchor (end Osi Umenyiora).  The Skins may be ugly to watch, but they’re healthy.  Redskins 24, Giants 14

Seattle at SAN FRANCISCO (-5.5) – Both of these teams will struggle this year, but I like where San Francisco is headed.  Jim Harbaugh is going to be a very successful coach.  I’m worried about wagering on a team with Alex Smith as its quarterback; I’m less worried given that the opposing team is led by Tarvaris Jackson.  49ers 20, Seahawks 14

DALLAS (+6) at NY Jets – I was leaning Jets until I saw this line move two points in the past three days.  The Jets get overvalued because they play in New York and have dynamic personalities.  They have an amazing football team – and I love Rex Ryan – but Dallas has team that really impresses me this year.  Most impressive? You haven’t had many headlines coming out of north Texas this preseason.  Cowboys 27, Jets 20

NEW ENGLAND (-7) at Miami – The Patriots have struggled in early season Miami games historically, but the NFL did the Patriots a solid this season with the schedule.  It’s a night game.  The heat will be tempered some, which always helps a cold climate team in the early season.  I want to take Miami, but it seems like the Pats are the smart play.  Patriots 32, Dolphins 17

Late Fantasy Injury News:  Arian Foster is likely to sit this week against the Colts.  If you have Ben Tate, get him in your lineups this morning.

Late Fantasy Warning:  Marshawn Lynch (RB, Seattle) is owned in 100% of fantasy leagues.  He has never scored a TD against San Francisco, their opponent today.

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Free Money – Week 2

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 8, 2011

Week Two of our Free Money series introduces the NFL to the game.  Like most degenerate gamblers, we always appreciate more games than less.  With a full slate of NFL action beginning tonight, there is plenty to love this weekend.  Both Adam and I are coming off winning weeks, and we fully expect to keep that momentum going into Week Two.

Over the course of the season, a 55% winning clip is what we’re shooting to hit.  If we approach 60% it may be time to relocate to Las Vegas.  No one hits 80% or better on a week-in and week-out basis.  Don’t believe the touts you find on the Internet or late night television.  If it were easy, Vegas wouldn’t look so awesome.

A quick refresher on the rules:

  • Maximum of 8 single plays during the week
  • One option teaser and one optional parlay also allowed
  • Minimum of $50 wager
  • Players must include at least one CFB and at least one NFL game in the picks
  • Both started the season with a $1,000 bankroll but can buy back into the game if they go bust

I am making a total of 7 straight plays this week in addition to taking advantage of both the parlay and teaser options.  Adam will make all 8 straight plays and a teaser but will stay away from the parlay.  I am slightly less leveraged than Adam this week , who really likes New England to cover a TD at Miami on Monday night.  I think I’m going to regret not taking that one, too.  Predictably the NFL lines are pretty tight this week.  I considered Kansas City (-6.5) against Buffalo, but there’s no way I can force myself to watch two craptastic games on opening weekend.  And, yes, Chiefs fans.  Your team is going to be bad again this year.  Go ahead and get your minds right.

Free Money!

Brett ($1,065)

  • Wisconsin (-20.5) v. Oregon St, $66 to win $60
  • Penn St (+10) v. Alabama, $55 to win $50
  • Florida (-23.5) v. UAB, $55 to win $50
  • Army (+9.5) v. San Diego St., $55 to win $50
  • Carolina (+7) at Arizona, $55 to win $50
  • Tennessee (+2) at Jacksonville, $55 to win $50
  • Tampa Bay (-1.5) v. Detroit, $55 to win $50
  • Parlay: Over 36 – Pitt/Bal & Miss St (-6.5) at Auburn, $50 to win $125
  • Teaser: Minnesota (+14.5) and Philly (+2), $60 to win $50
  • Total Wagers:  $528
  • Max Win: $555


Adam ($1,190)

  • TCU (-1) at Air Force, $55 to win $50
  • Purdue (-1) at Rice, $55 to win $50
  • Arkansas (-36) v. New Mexico, $55 to win $50
  • Memphis (+15) at Arkansas State, $55 to win $50
  • Over 44 – Philadelphia/St. Louis, $55 to win $50
  • Cleveland (-6.5) v. Cincinnati, $55 to win $50
  • New England (-7) v. Miami, $110 to win $100
  • Over 40.5 – Dallas/NY Jets, $55 to win $50
  • Teaser: Arkansas (-30) v. New Mexico, Memphis (+21) at Arkansas State, $60 to win $50
  • Total Wagers: $555
  • Max Win: $500

Wager accordingly. As usual, is not responsible for broken bones or busted kneecaps from Vinny.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Free Money, Week 1 Results

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 7, 2011

If you played with last week, you won money.  If you played Adam’s picks, you won considerably more money.

Adam went 6-2 against the number, netting a total profit of $190 for the weekend.  I managed a respectable 3-3 including a 2-game parlay win last Thursday night.  We get to add NFL to the mix this week, which will certainly affect the wagering considerably.  I see a handful of winners out there I can’t wait to jump.

Adam picked up wins with Oklahoma (-24.5), Alabama (-38), Ohio St. (-34), Michigan (-13.5), Texas (-24), and Boise (-3).  His only losses came from the islands, as his Colorado (+7) play and Over 55 play both failed to hit in the Buffs game against Hawai’i.  I jumped out Thursday with an Over 50 play in the Mississippi State at Memphis game.  I also hit my parlay that night, hooking the Over with Mississippi State (-29.5) at the Liberty Bowl.  My losses came with Wake Forest (+6.5), a moneyline +210 wager on Wake, and Georgia (+3).

Wagering is not for the faint of heart.  Adam won his Texas wager by a half point, and I lost both of my Wake Forest plays late against Syracuse.  In the end, though, it generally comes out in the wash.  Keep playing, and you’ll balance the great escapes and the bad beats.



Adam: $1,190

Brett:  $1,065

Both players started with a bankroll of $1,000 and must make between 4-8 plays each week with a minimum $50 wager.  Each player is also allowed one parlay and one tease but not required to play either.  This is fake money.  No need to call the law.

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Free Money – Week 1

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 1, 2011

Adam and I have decided to go Next Level on our pick ’em game this year. Picking every game against the spread has its place, but for us it became tired and boring. Putting money on the table adds a new element to the drama. You, the reader, will benefit from our trial and error and see trends that could potentially help you along the way. If history tells us anything, you may be wise to avoid our picks altogether.

Another tweak this year is the addition of the NFL to the mix. Obviously we won’t see any NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE picks this week, but once pro football gets into full swing those games will be eligible for wagering. Helloooooooo Saints & the Over

Here are the ground rules:

  • Minimum of 4 and maximum of 8 straight picks each week in any combination of college and pro football
  • One parlay (optional)
  • One tease (optional)
  • $50 minimum bet
  • $1,000 bankroll to start

It’s that simple. We can’t sit on our money, but we aren’t forced to play a ton of games we don’t like.

Here are our plays for Week 1:


  • Wake Forest (+6.5), $55 to win $50
  • Wake Forest (+210), $50 to win $105
  • Miss State/Memphis (Over 50), $55 to win $50
  • Georgia (+3), $55 to win $50
  • Oklahoma (-24.5), $55 to win $50
  • Parlay: Mississippi State (-29.5), MSU/Memphis (Over 50), $50 to win $125

Total Wager: $320

Max Potential Win: $430


  • Oklahoma (-24.5), $55 to win $50
  • Alabama (-38), $55 to win $50
  • Ohio St. (-34), $55 to win $50
  • Michigan (-13.5), $55 to win $50
  • Texas (-24), $55 to win $50
  • Boise St. (-3), $55 to win $50
  • Colorado (+7), $55 to win $50
  • Colorado/Hawai’i (Over 55), $55 to win $50

Total Wager: $440

Max Potential Win: $400

Wager accordingly. As usual, is not responsible for your wife kicking you out of your home.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Today’s Money Tip

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 19, 2011

With the stock market going insane on us, sports gambling may be the most secure financial investment in 2011.  If you know what you’re doing, that is.  (And only in legal gambling zones, people.  We’re not encouraging illegal behavior, here.)  Our friends over at had yet another winning idea, and now have a writer living in Las Vegas for the coming year.  His name is Bill Barnwell, and he has a background in advanced statistical metrics.  He came to Grantland after a stint at Football Outsiders, one of the many SABR sites out there.

His goal is to 1) survive living in Las Vegas for a year and 2) write about everything that happens in Sin City.  He’s 27-years-old, single, and gets to live in and write about the one place in America where people are encouraged to lose their minds and throw out the rulebook to their own lives.  Simply put, he has the best job in the world.

Back to gambling…

Barnwell dissected the early NFL prop bets today, focusing on team over/under win totals.  For long-term investors, this is right up your alley.  The over/under prop is the gambling equivalent of a medium-risk bond, where as Sunday betting is like day trading for most gamblers.  There is less exposure, you aren’t exposed to fluke swings at the same rate as you are in a single game, and you can occasionally guarantee a payout if you hawk the odd movements each day.  You aren’t likely to hit a big score on one of these bets, but you could make sure to get some of your money back after the season’s over – after you lost your entire bankroll on Sundays during the season.

Today, Barnwell looks at the odds for the season win total over/under prop bets after Week 1 of the NFL preseason.  As you can see, the money is already shifting quite a bit.  Given all of their activity in the offseason, the Eagles are of course a team getting a lot of action.  My guess is after last night’s lackluster performance on national television, the numbers have shifted again this morning.


Philadelphia Eagles
OPENING LINE: 10 wins, Over -120, Under EVEN
NOW: 10.5 wins, Over -135, Under +115

This is one the whole family can figure out. As a reminder, the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Harris, Ronnie Brown, and traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. As you might suspect, this boosted their odds while harshing the market for their NFC East rivals. The under on the Giants line of 9.5 wins started at -115 and has fallen to -140, while the Redskins went from being at even money to finish under 6.5 wins to -130 to finish under six wins.

Note that both the Eagles’ and Redskins’ lines have shifted by a half-win. That might not seem like a huge difference, but it can be enormous in a season that holds just 16 games. Before, a 10-win season for the Eagles would have been a push, returning the bettor his/her investment without any profit or loss. Now it’s a loss. Since the last strike season, in 1987, only 21.5 percent of teams have won 11 games or more. 11.4 percent of teams, more than half that total, have won exactly 10 games. A lot of things have to go right for a team — even as one as good as the Eagles — to win 11 or more games in a season. Having the ability to push on a 10-win total is an enormous advantage for the bettor. While the Eagles certainly look like world-beaters right now, this is a perfect example of the market falling in love with a series of moves. This is still a team with holes on defense and a weak offensive line, and there’s probably some value in betting against the consensus here. On the other hand, occasionally you try doing this and end up betting the under on the 2007 Patriots.


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