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What in the world happens every Friday afternoon or evening when many sports betting fans have made their picks for the Sunday games? Everybody goes to sleep that night after a bunch of Happy Hour beers thinking that they will go 5-0, 4-2, or 10-4 that Sunday and win a bunch of Money! Then comes Monday morning and most of us are all hung over from way too many Beers or Shots the day before asking ourselves, “What in the Hell happened?”.

The NFL is Frickin’ Crazy! Last weekend was a testament to how nutty this league can be and how devastating it can be on our pocketbooks. From the Lions scoring an NFL record 34 points in the 4th quarter to that insane circus run by Tony Romo and everything in between, last week was just ridiculous. A screenwriter would get escorted off the Lot at Warner Bros. for pitching these stories and yet they happen most every week in the NFL. It is a major reason why we all love the game so much and also why we Wager on the Game so much. Why take the time and money to go to Vegas when you can have more thrills on a Sunday afternoon from the comfort of your own house.

I mention all of this to get us thinking about How we Pick our games. There really is no conventional way to think about the NFL, especially in terms of bettting. One week a team is looking great on offense and their defense is suffocating. The next week that team can’t stop a junior high squad and they fumble twice inside the 20 yard line. The public jumps on some team’s bandwagon and the spread gets a little rich and sure enough the other team, thought to be terrible, plays them tough and ruins many bettors day.

Take for instance this past weekend. You had the Raiders +4 at Miami. Many people were tooting the horn that the Raiders were just trying to get through a couple more months until their Number 1 Draft Pick, Jamarcus Russell, came to the rescue. They had failed to cover in the 1st game of the season at -3 vs the Lions and had lost a heartbreaker 2 weeks before against the Broncos. Miami was at home, looking for it’s first Win of the season and seemed to be getting on track with a strong showing in the 2nd half against the Jets the week before.

What happened was the Raiders went out and blew the Dolphins off the line of scrimmage and Won going away. A quick glance at their ATS record and you find the Raiders, despite being completely written off at the beginning of the season, are 2-2 ATS. That is the same ATS record as the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Colts! The Cleveland Browns were talked about as a glorified High School team after Week 1 and the San Diego Chargers were going back to the AFC Title game at the beginning of Training Camp yet they have completely opposite ATS Records. The Browns are 3-1 ATS and the Chargers are a disappointing 1-3 ATS.

In my opinion this kind of lunacy calls for a similar kind of lunacy in your picks. We all start with some handicapping basics like: Good Quarterback, good Coach, good Defense, historically a winning organization, etc. When you get all of this boiled down you are left with mostly the status quo of who should win and lose. What I think gets left out much too often in the handicapping process are things like: How many frickin’ points can you get, does the Team Need a Win to Salvage their Season, Is the Favorite probably thinking they can cruise a little bit in the upcoming match-up, and finally, Does it Just Sound Crazy Enough to Take this Underdog and the points because, well, the NFL is Crazy.

There is not much argument that the sports betting public wagers more money on the Favorites than they do on the Underdogs. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a bettor and one I myself still battle with on certain Sundays, last week being a prime example. Now I usually bet the underdogs twice as much as I do favorites, but last week I bet on 4 favorites compared with 2 underdogs. I went 2-4 ATS in one of my worst weeks I’ve had in the past 2 years. The only Favorite that covered was of course the Patriots! The other Win came on the Raiders +4. One of the underdogs I lost on is what you would call a ‘Crazy Pick’. I took the Rams +14 precisely because that’s just too many points in most NFL games these days and everything was going too smoothly for the Cowboys up to that point. If it wasn’t for that Nutty play by Tony Romo, on 3rd and long, right before the half, I really believe the Rams go into half time tied 7-7 and they have enough heart to stick around for another quarter and keep that game close enough to pull off a cover. Instead they were demoralized by that play, went into halftime down 7-14 and never recovered losing 7-35. Despite losing that game last week I would bet a lot of money that if played another 10 times I would cover that +14 points at least 6-7 times.

The one thing that seems to be a given in the NFL is that if you play the Underdogs consistently you will Win anywhere from 55-60% of the time. Of course this, as with everything else in sports betting, is no sure thing, but last year the underdogs Won roughly 58% of the games. By my account, if you had been playing nothing but underdogs the past 3 weeks in the NFL you would have a record of 26-15 with 5 pushes. That’s a winning percentage of roughly 64%!

I know it’s Crazy to take the Browns, Cardinals, Bucs, Chiefs, and Texans but so far they are a combined 14-3-2 ATS. Now I’m not saying they will keep that up. The Vegas Boys will be catching up to their ‘Perceived Underdog Value’ with regards to their lines and you probably won’t be getting quite the points you once did, at least on these specific teams, but the point just keeps ringing true…

TAKE THE FRICKIN’ POINTS AND GET CRAZY WITH THE DAWGS!

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What’s up sports betting freaks? It’s Alikat here with a little post about why you shouldn’t trust ESPN with your money when you’re looking to wager on the Sunday Games. ESPN has become The Roman Empire of our sporting world. The sun does not set anywhere on some ESPN reporter, digging up a story, that you’ll see at 4am when you have a bad case of insomnia. When the apocalypse happens ESPN will rise from the ashes with a story on some walk-on linebacker from Central Florida who saved a small village from extinction by gathering them into his private work out garage underneath the city. ESPN has wonderful reporters, sources worldwide, and the money to deliver it to the public instantly. What they don’t have is reliable sports betting picks when it comes to the NFL.

There are several reasons for this beginning with the fact that the analysts on ESPN make picks based on what Team will Win the game, not Cover the Spread. As all of you are watching the pre-game shows you’ll notice a comment, “The Colts are 7 point favorites at home today against the Texans”, however, when they pick the Colts to Win the Game they’re not saying ‘The Colts will Win the Game and Cover the Spread’. All of the picks made by the various analysts are just Straight Up winners or losers and their respective records as the season goes on are based upon this. So as you go through the season and watch all of the ESPN shows just keep in mind they are making these picks based on who will Win or Lose the game not Cover the Spread.

The games that ESPN will breakdown and cover extensively lean towards the marque match-ups. When the Colts, Patriots, Cowboys, Packers, Giants, and of course whatever teams are playing on that Monday Night square off they receive more analysis and hype than the Browns vs Chiefs at 1pm on a random Sunday do. ESPN does this obviously because more people tune into the marque games and pre-game shows that precede them. The sports betting fan gets Jacked Up and starts to develop a feeling for who is going to Win the game.

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The fans then take this Jacked Up feeling to their online sportsbook and place a bet, usually on the Favorite and/or most hyped team. The game in question usually has more action on it than lesser known games and therefore the Line is inflated anywhere from 1/2 to 1 point. The NFL being the competitive game it is 1 point or 1 play makes the difference in deciding what team covers and whether sports betting fans put money into their pockets or the sportsbooks take home the cash! With the underdogs winning roughly 58% of the time last year you can see where this could be a losing proposition for the sports bettor who tends to bet on the favorites and relies solely on ESPN for their sports betting information.

In one of the Best Sports Movies of all time, Bull Durham, ‘Crash Davis’ played by Kevin Costner and ‘Nuke LaLoosh’, a terrific Tim Robbins, were at the mound for a talk when Nuke was having trouble throwing strikes. Crash asked what the problem was and Nuke proceeded to tell him his Father was in the stands, therefore increasing his anxiety, thus affecting his ability to throw strikes. Crash said to him, “He’s just your Old Man and he’s as Full of Shit as Anybody”! The ESPN analysts, despite many of them being former football players themselves and having exclusive access to all of the information most sports betting fans don’t are as Full of Shit as Anybody. Just this past Sunday you had Merrill Hoge and Sean Salisbury both going 5-9 SU along with Mike Golic going 4-10 SU. All three are former NFL players. All three are on ESPN every day as ‘Experts’ in the world of the NFL.

When it comes to your sports betting the rest of the season, here’s a tip: Take the information about the teams that ESPN does such a great job of delivering, and do your own research. Also, stopping by Hot Chicks Hot Picks for all your up-to-the-minute coverage wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Bet Ya–

ALIKAT

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Well it’s finally here!  The 2007 NFL Season starts off tonight with what should be a ton of fireworks on the field!  All you sports betting guys and gals get ready to ride the roller coaster of big plays and tremendous athleticism in the RCA Dome this evening.

The line on this game has been wavering between Colts -5 1/2 to -6.  Most sportsbooks are carrying the game at Colts -6.

The key match-ups in this game will be:

1. Can LT Tony Ugoh, in his first start, keep the pressure off of Manning’s blind side?

My feeling is he is going to have a tough time with the Saints DE’s Charles Grant and Will Smith.  The Saints will be using all sorts of stunts and blitzes to mess the kid up.

2. Can the Saints stop the Colts passing attack?

No, at least not enough to really take these guys out.  The Colts are going to score their usual 24-31 points in this game if Manning doesn’t get too much pressure from his blind side.  He has too many weapons and the Saints corners are not the best.  Although they did pick up CB Jason David from the Colts in the off-season, which may help give them some inside knowledge, I still see the Colts getting some big plays from their receivers.

3. Can the Colts stop the Saints offense?

No, again not enough to blow the Saints out.  The combination of Deuce and Reggie will have a field day against an over matched Colts defensive line.  The Saints have a huge O-Line and they will wear down the Colts as the game goes on providing big gains in the 4th quarter for Bush and McAllister.  The Colts lost both their starting CB’s from last year due to free agency.  The two newbies back there, Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden, are going to have a difficult time containing the passing attack of Drew Brees and Co.

4.  Who will get that Key Stop in the Red Zone?

This to me is where the outcome of the game will hinge. Whomever can come up with a big play or two inside the 25 yard line will win this game. Although the Saints Defense isn’t the greatest overall they have more big play starters back there than the Colts do.

5. So who wins?

I’m looking for a very close game with the outcome being determined by 3-4 points.  If the Saints control the clock with the running game and get pressure on Manning they will win Straight Up.  If the Colts exploit the flaws of the Saints secondary and get a big play from Safety Bob Sanders inside the 20 yard line they will take this game by a field goal.

Here’s the deal:

The Saints were 6-2 ATS on the Road last year.

Drew Brees beat the Colts at the RCA Dome a couple years back when he was with the Chargers.

The Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings with the Colts. The Colts had 11 games last year decided by 6 or fewer points.

Head Coach Sean Payton is 5-0 ATS as a Dog vs opponents with above .500 winning percentages.

So:

TAKE THE SAINTS AND THE 6 POINTS OVER THE COLTS!

It’s about frickin’ time for some football!

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It is one of my golden rules of sports betting that to win consistently, you must have very good coaches on your side. I know that the players make the game and coaches have to have talent to win, but you gotta know what to do with those big brawny men out there in tight pants. Often times, a coach does make a difference, for better or worse (see Tom Coughlin).

So, if you’re stuck on who to put your money on this season, use this list of the top 5 NFL Coaches Against the Spread (ATS) to help make your sports betting decisions lead to money week in and week out.

Brian Billick, 8 yrs. Head Coach, Ravens: Here’s the coach who you think should be running a Fortune 500 company rather than a football team. He loves to hear himself talk, can get a little arrogant from time to time, and for such an offensive genius, has had a hard time putting points on the board, but there is no mistaking it, he gets the job done. Here are his stats:

Home 39-24
Away 36-31
Fav 46-31
Dog 29-23
Off Win 42-34
*Off Loss 31-16

Best ATS Role: 10-2 vs opp off a straight up (SU) dog win

John Fox, 5 yrs. Head Coach, Panthers: Sure, some of his numbers aren’t that good but look at the stats when his team is on the road and/or underdogs. The Panthers come to play under Fox and you can make some money off of them in the right situations.

Home 17-23
*Away 29-15
Fav 19-27
*Dog 27-10
Off a Win 29-16
Off a Loss 17-18

Best ATS Role: 8-1 Dog off a SU favorite loss

belichick_bill5.jpgBill Belichick, 7 yrs. Head Coach, Patriots: This should come as no surprise to anyone. The Pats just win and win some more. I’ve been making money on the Pats and Brainy Bill ever since their first Super Bowl victory when they were 4-1 underdogs against the Rams. It’s no secret that Belichick prepares better than anyone in the league and has tremendous killer instinct, or what I like to call “alley guts” (I have a whole series of “alley” nouns - they usually have to do with scary people or things). Doesn’t hurt having Tom Brady either.

Home 35-24-3
Away 37-23-1
Fav 42-32-3
*Dog 29-16-1
Off a Win 48-32-3
Off a Loss 23-13

Best ATS Role: 14-3 Dog off a SU loss

andy-reid.jpgAndy Reid, 8 yrs. Head Coach, Eagles: I’d like to get some odds on when the next DUI or gun charge is going to be served to either of his two sons. Do you think they haven’t gotten enough attention from daddy over the past decade? Hmm…of course not! Daddy Reid has been too busy making money for the Eagles and us smart sports betting fans instead. Family is important but you gotta have your priorities.

Home 38-32
Away 43-25
Fav 46-37
*Dog 36-20
Off a Win 49-37
*Off a Loss 29-17

Best ATS Role: 12-1-1 dog off back-to-back (BB) SUATS wins

Jeff Fisher, 12 yrs. Head Coach, Titans: Fisher has had to ride out some tough times over the past several years but his Titans are at the beginning of a very good era again. Last year, they were an NFL leading 11-5 ATS and I think they’ll be close to that again this year. When you have a winner at quarterback like Vince Young (he did take down the mighty Trojans, remember) and the ability to connect with players like he does, good things happen and the money follows. Fisher isn’t too hot in a few categories but look for a couple that jump off the page and bet accordingly.

Home 51-48
Away 57-43
Fav 45-51
*Dog 60-36
Off a Win 56-47
Off a Loss 45-39
*Non Division opponents 61-44

Best ATS Role: 17-4 Road Dogs vs opp off SU loss

So there you have it boys and girls. These coaches all have consistency and the ability to keep winning over the long haul.

Some young coaches I am keeping an eye on this year are:

Mike Tomlin: He knows how to motivate and has that killer intensity (there goes those alley guts again).

Eric Mangini: Going into last season, he was known as the Mangina but at the end of the season, sharing the best ATS record of 11-5 with the Titans, he should be known as the Mangenius.

Mike Nolan: One of the sharpest minds and dressers of the NFL. He’s in his 3rd year and that’s when things get rolling for organizations.

Jack Del Rio: His teams play very well at home especially in the early part of the year.

Home 19-12
Dog 20-13
Best Role: 7-0 Home off BB SU losses

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If your money is on the line, always, always bet on Tom Brady.  I know - all you sports betting know-it-alls in the Midwest are screaming, “What the hell are you talking about?  Peyton Manning is the best.”

Not so fast there all you two minute pump chumps.  While Peyton finally did get his little doggy treat of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy last year, it still doesn’t erase the fact that it was his first and only big win at any level in his entire career.  I personally think last year’s playoffs for the Colts took on the look of their towel boy dropping acid in their opponents Gatorade!  I mean come on, the Ravens just don’t look like that at home and the Patriots don’t EVER BLOW LEADS like they did in the RCA Dome.

That all being said, I’m here to dismiss the idea that he’s the greatest quarterback of his generation, at least where sports betting is concerned (see, I haven’t entirely lost my mind). 

brady sensitiveIf you want to win money consistently, you will bet on Tom Brady much more often than Peyton Manning.  Brady’s middle name should be “I win money for sports betting fans.”  Big games, little games, division games, non-conference games it doesn’t matter.  His overall against the spread (ATS) record is as follows:

Home 32-18-3
Away 33-18-1
Favorite 42-27-3
Dog 22-11-1
Off a Win 46-29-3
Off a Loss 18-7
Best Role: Home Dog 6-1
Worst Role: Road Dog 15-10-1

manningNow compare those money making stats with Mr. Manning, the quarterback-cum-comedian’s, ATS record:

Home 26-27
Away 27-24-2
Favorite 44-38-1
Dog 9-11-1
Off a Win 38-32-1
Off a Loss 12-18
Best Role: Road favorite 17-11-1
Worst Role: Road Dog 9-11-1

While Peyton and the Colts may be fun to watch go up and down the field, when it comes to making money for you, the sports bettor, they just don’t give you enough of an edge to make consistent profits.  Part of this is due to the fact that since they are so beloved, their lines get inflated 1 to 3 points most weekends.  Also, that defense that magically showed up out of nowhere last year in the playoffs, usually can’t stop anything over the course of the regular season.

If you can get the Colts on the road and favored at -6 or less, feel free to take a few shots on them but other than that, stay away.  Bet on Mr. Tom Brady instead.  As you can see, even in his worst role (and I don’t mean his attempt at SNL acting) he’s winning at a 66% clip.  Peyton maybe the much better actor of the two, but Brady brings home the bacon every week!

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In part one of this series, I talked about the first three of the ten sports betting tips you needs to know before placing a bet on a football game.

Today we are going to talk about the next three:

  1. Getting the line you want
  2. Getting dirt on the two teams involved
  3. Choosing a team based on your head, not your heartstrings

GETTING THE LINE YOU WANT

This is a very important issue and for most sports betting fans, it is one that is often overlooked. This is why I suggest having several accounts with a few different online sportsbooks or if you are lucky enough to live in the Las Vegas area, shop around at the various sportsbooks on the strip to get the best line you can. One sportsbook may have the Colts at -3 1/2 while another has them at only -3.

Obviously if you’re betting on the Colts to win you go with the sportsbook that has them at -3. Shop around and remember to only bet on the line you like and think is going to win you your money!

GETTING DIRT ON THE TWO TEAMS INVOLVED

Resarch, research, research! You can find out only so much by going to ESPN.com or NFL.com. Some of the best sportwriters are the ones covering their local team for the local newspaper and thank to the internet, you can get this type of content very easily. The info in the local papers provide really great information that can make the difference for a smart sports betting fan!
In these local papers, you will get a feel for the psyche of a particular team (which by the way is a huge barometer for me). You will also get a better feel for who is injured and truly won’t play and who is just shaken up a little from the previous week and is truly good to go.

You also find out more details of how confident the team feels for this match-up and whether there are any rivalries going on (the whole locker room “He said/He said” stuff that goes on). ESPN, the NFL Network, FOX, and CBS all do their job extremely well but to find out those extra nuggets of information you need to go to the local papers and then of course here at HotChicksHotpicks.com!

CHOOSING A TEAM BASED ON YOUR HEAD NOT YOUR HEART

Here is where so many sports betting beginngers get into trouble. How many times have you thought that YOUR TEAM was definitely going to upset the reigning Super Bowl Champions only to get blown away 30-7 or worse yet that YOUR TEAM was going to smoke some little underdog by 14 points only to get beat on a last second field goal?

Fact is this stuff happens every week in the NFL and you need to think accordingly. Most games in the NFL come down to a 3-4 point differential. The talent level is so high and it doesn’t drop off all that much between a starter and second string guy. These guys have jobs that are on the line every week so to expect teams to constantly cover five, six, seven and higher point spreads is ridiculous.

Always look for the smart play vs “Oh, hell yeah the Colts are going to win”. The Colts may well win, but will they cover the 8 points they are laying to the Texans? In using your head look for lines of -3 or less when betting on the favorite and +4 or as many as you can get when betting on the underdog.

Do Your Research: Does this team “really needs this game”? Are they good on the road? Do they play lousy after a big win?

Finally, if you think they may win the game but the point spread is too high for you, DON’T PLAY THE GAME. Move onto another match-up. It’s not like there aren’t enough games per week.

It’s a lot like dating actually. Choosing with your heart may give you a great ride for a while but in the end, you’re at the side of the road beaten and bruised with one helluva hangover.

Choose mostly with your HEAD with just a touch of heart and you’re sittin’ on that porch swing when you’re 50 and filthy rich looking into the eyes of your man or woman and thinking, “Man, I’m a smart little thing.”

Stay tuned for the last installment of Sports Betting 101: Ten Things You NEED to know.

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