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2024 College Football National Championship Futures Odds with Expert Betting Predictions

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2024

Even though the dust hasn't even begun to settle on Michigan's National Championship win, oddsmakers are looking forward to next season's college football season. This was the final season of the four-team playoff. And while it was an improvement over the original BCS format, this system was still quite flawed, as Florida State can attest to.Unfortunately for the Seminoles and their fans, the expansion is coming one year too late. The 2024 season will be the debut of the 12-team playoff format. The criteria for selecting teams is still being ironed out, but what is expected is to have five conference champions and then seven at-large bids. With the virtual disintegration of the Pac-12, the guaranteed bids for conference champions are being reduced from six to five teams. Which conferences are selected will be determined by ranking the conferences with a system devised by the playoff committee.The other monumental change will be the radical additions to two Power 5 conferences. The Big Ten adds four teams from the former Pac-12: Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington. Those who want a rematch from last night's National Championship Game only have to wait until October 5 when the Wolverines travel to Seattle to play the Huskies. The SEC has been raiding the Big 12 of teams for years, and they finally got the two crown jewels of Oklahoma and Texas to join. As the saying goes, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer."While it looks as though the possibility of winning a college football National Championship is wider open, what is happening, in reality, is the season and playoffs are between the two mega conferences. For example, of the 12 teams with the lowest odds to win the CFP, only three teams, Clemson, Florida State, and Notre Dame, reside outside the Megas.This doesn't mean that a surprise Miami or Arizona can't sneak in and create havoc, but the teams outside the Megas already have the deck stacked against them. Never mind about the SMUs and James Madisons of the world.I'll admit, after watching the NCAA fumble college sports for decades, I'm slightly prejudiced against them. For the record, I greatly anticipate the expanded playoffs, but I have little faith in the NCAA running it correctly.Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.Georgia +450: Surprisingly, one of the teams that will benefit from the playoff expansion is the Bulldogs. The two-time defending National Champions were on a 29-game win streak and stumbled against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game by a field goal. The voters deemed that horrible and put two one-loss teams in the playoffs instead of Georgia. The Bulldogs return QB Carson Beck, a veteran offensive line, the #1 recruiting class in the nation, and immediate impact transfers from the portal. They have a demanding schedule and may not be undefeated come playoff time, but I expect them to be playing for all the marbles come next January.Alabama +600: Bama head coach Nick Saban said, "We're not enjoying life after getting beat." Translation: His players are most definitely not enjoying this off-season. After a rocky start, the Crimson Tide righted the ship and were a 4th-and-goal away from playing for their 16th National Championship. They shouldn't have those waves on offense with QB Jalen Milroe entrenched as the starter and two explosive running backs who look to break the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time since Brian Robinson's 1,343 yards in 2021.Ohio State +800: It's unusual to find a coach on the hot seat whose team has the third-best odds to win the CFP, but that's precisely where Buckeye head coach Ryan Day is. With Michigan's victory on Monday night, that seat got even hotter. While the Buckeyes lost their starting QB in the portal, they replaced him with Kansas State's signal caller Will Howard. They also made another huge splash with the recent signing of Ole Miss's running back Quinshon Judkins. This gives them a helluva 1-2 punch in the backfield if TreVeyon Henderson returns for another year.Texas +900: Texas moves to the SEC in 2024, which could be either a blessing or a curse. Their schedule gets much more demanding, but they proved this season they could still overcome a weaker slate to make the playoffs. With QB Quinn Ewers expected back, and a dominating offensive line, the Longhorns shouldn't have to sweat Selection Sunday like they did this season.Michigan +1000: If I were a gambling man (and I am), I would bet Michigan gets stripped of its recent triumph. They have a great foundation, but too many questions need to be answered: Who will be the head coach? Does QB JJ McCarthy return? How many players will enter the draft now that they have a college ring?Ole Miss +1600: Even though the Rebels are losing their star running back, Quinshon Judkins, head coach Lane Kiffin has one of the nation's most experienced QBs in Jaxson Dart and a talented cadre of receivers. Ole Miss is retooling its defense almost exclusively from the portal, nabbing two high-impact players from its fellow SEC brothers. With the playoffs expanding, the Rebels will be a tough out for whomever they play.Here are some other teams who have a realistic chance of making the playoffs:Oregon +1100LSU +1400Florida State +1800Clemson +2000Penn State +2000Notre Dame +2500

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2020 Heisman Predictions

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020

To say this season of college football has been a weird and wacky one would be a massive understatement. The COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on the entire college football season, with teams playing anywhere from four to 12 games on the season. To understand that to the fullest, you must look no further than the AP Top-25 list as both Alabama and Notre Dame have 10 games under their belts and will be featured in their conference championship. Third-ranked Ohio State will have played just five games this season – pending a conference title game (still TBD) and still has a shot at making the College Football Playoff. I won’t be getting into that debate in this piece, but what I will be doing is praising the players for overcoming this weird, unprecedented season and providing us with entertainment for nearly four months. There are a handful of players that deserve a little more attention than others, and we start in Tuscaloosa with a pair of Alabama teammates that have been torturing opposing defenses all year long. Quarterback Mac Jones and his go-to receiver, DeVonta Smith, are one-two in the Heisman race, with Florida’s Kyle Trask right behind them.  The FavoriteMac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama Crimson TideOdds: -275 It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that an Alabama player is currently the front-runner for the Heisman. Alabama has been nothing but a juggernaut over the last decade, churning out NFL player after NFL player en route to winning National Championship after National Championship. This year, Jones was given the keys to the Ferrari, and he has not disappointed. Jones has his Crimson Tide sitting pretty at 10-0, en-route to a conference title and a spot in the CFP. Jones has thrown for 3,321 yards this season to go with 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions, for what is the third-highest scoring program in the nation. Jones has been relatively hot over the last little while, tossing nine touchdowns over his last 3 games and 15 over his last five.  Jones has plenty of offensive weapons to help his case, and we don’t see how he relinquishes the Heisman lead this late in the season.  The Contender: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama Crimson TideOdds: +250 As for Smith, it’s going to take something crazy for him to overtake his teammate, especially considering the Heisman is typically a quarterback award. Smith is going to need to go off for 200+ yards and a bunch of scores in his remaining games in order to have a sniff at the award. It’s possible if you look at Smith’s recent stat lines. He’s topped 200 yards twice over the last five games and topped more than 144 yards in four of the last five. He’s also notched a total of 15 touchdowns this season, with 11 of those coming in his last five contests. If the Heisman is really an MVP award, Smith should get serious consideration as he stepped up for his team in a big way after the team lost Jaylen Waddle early in the year.   The DarkhorseKyle Trask, Quarterback, Florida GatorsOdds: +350 Another player that’s been the most valuable player to his team is Kyle Trask. Trask has shot to the spotlight this season after putting together a very impressive regular season. Trask leads the nation with 40 passing touchdowns – which is 10 more than second place – and has tossed just five interceptions all season long. He’s also thrown for just five interceptions and has the most passing yards in the country with 3,717. He tends to do his great work in bunches as he has thrown at least four touchdowns in all seven of his team’s 10 games this season. That’s an impressive resume. And if it weren’t for the Alabama duo above him, Trask would be an overwhelming favorite at this stage in the game. So, what’s been his undoing? Well, Trask simply couldn’t beat the teams he should have beaten. A loss to Texas A&M is excusable, but a loss to LSU is not. He did his part in both games. However, in a sport where the season is extremely short and wins are of the utmost importance, Trask’s slip down the Heisman board is justified based on results.    Honorable Mention:  Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, ClemsonOdds: +1100 It’s hard to put into words what Trevor Lawrence has done during his time at Clemson. He has just one college loss to his name and has led the Tigers to two National Championship games, winning it as a true freshman and falling last year to LSU. In a normal year, Lawrence would have been atop this board, or close to the top. Instead, COVID struck and knocked Lawrence out for two games. If history is any indication, the only player to win the Heisman while missing games was Charlie Ward in 1993 (missed one) and Charles White in 1979 (missed two). It’s unfortunate that we’ll see the likely No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft end his college career on a wonky note thanks to a global pandemic. However, Lawrence’s value to the Clemson Tigers is unmatched, and we should appreciate all that he’s done for the ACC and college football in general. 

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Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020

There are just three games left in the 2020-21 NFL regular season, and to say the MVP race has sorted itself out would be uncalled for. This year’s MVP race is a two-horse race with Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers battling it out for the prestigious award. Should Mahomes win, it would be his second MVP in three seasons, while Rodgers would be winning the award for the third time in his career and first since 2014.  Both quarterbacks have their teams primed for a deep playoff run and have gotten to this point in the season in a different fashion. Rodgers has been lights out all season long, while Mahomes, only recently (six games or so), has ascended to the top of the MVP odds boards. With three games left, Mahomes is the favorite, but I wouldn’t rule out Rodgers overtaking him if a few things break the right way. Beyond them, you’ll notice that six of the top seven favorites are quarterbacks, with Derrick Henry being the only other offensive player listed (+10000). Pittsburgh’s TJ Watt (+12500) and Los Angeles’, Aaron Donald (+15000) are the only defensive players to crack the top 12 at this late point in the season.  The FavoritePatrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City ChiefsOdds: -275 It’s really not all that hard to believe that Mahomes has ascended to the top of the MVP race and is the odds-on favorite to capture his second MVP award in three years. Mahomes has the Chiefs in first place in the AFC and they look poised to make a deep playoff run and defend their Lombardy Trophy. Mahomes ranks first in passing yards by some 500 yards over second place (Deshaun Watson) and by 600 yards over the third-place guy (Aaron Rodgers – who we will talk about later on). Mahomes currently sits third in touchdown passes with 33 and second in QBR at 84.7. To say he’s been on fire lately would be a massive understatement. Over his last six games, Mahomes has tossed 17 touchdown passes. His team has gone 6-0 in that span, and it’s going to take a massive collapse by the Chiefs over the final three games against the Saints, Falcons and Chargers, for Mahomes to fall out of the MVP lead. However, if the guy below can put up even more gaudy numbers than he’s already done, it could be a closer final vote than we might think.  The Contender:  Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay PackersOdds: +200 I said it back in April after the draft, I said it again when I did my division previews and I’ll say it again for those of you who didn’t hear. Aaron Rodgers took the Packers’ decision to draft quarterback, Jordan Love as a sign of disrespect. I understand that the NFL is a business and it’s important to have an heir apparent at the quarterback position and that Love could learn plenty from a guy as gifted as Rodgers. However, Rodgers wanted reinforcements on the offensive side of the ball and never got it. I said that to begin the year, and Rodgers’s season has played out exactly how I thought it would. Through 13 games Rodgers has thrown just four interceptions this season and has 3,685 passing yards under his belt. He ranks first in touchdown passes with 39 and leads the NFL in QBR at 84.8. He’s essentially on an “EFF YOU” tour and has obliterated every defense he’s come up against to date; the Packers are averaging 273 passing yards per game and 31.5 points per game. The Packers are also in prime position to capture their division title and possibly finish with the best record in the NFC. The only possible knock on Rodgers’ MVP train is the fact that he comes up against some good defenses over the final three games in the Panthers, Titans and Bears.   The Darkhorse Josh Allen, Quarterback, Buffalo Bills Odds: +2500 As far as Josh Allen goes, it may be too little too late for the product out of Wyoming. Allen had a blistering start to the year before fading in the middle quarter of the season, only to come on strong over his last five games. During that span, Allen has posted 12 touchdown passes and added three rushing touchdowns while leading his team to a 4-1 record. Allen has the Bills in prime position to capture their first division title since 1995 when the team won the wild-card round but lost in the division game to the Steelers. When you look at the individual statistics that Allen has put up, he doesn’t exactly jump off the page at you. Allen ranks sixth in passing yards (3,641), T-6 in passing touchdowns with 28, and sixth in QBR at 75.9. He’s also tossed nine interceptions which has him T19. Nonetheless, if you take Allen off the Bills, you have a Bills squad that is well below .500 regardless of who replaces Allen (Barkley, Webb, Fromm). You could argue that with the lack of explosive weapons the Bills have in comparison to the Packers and Chiefs, Allen is the MVP of the league. Unfortunately, I think it’s too little too late for the Bills pivot, but I’m sure he’d much rather take a deep playoff run than garner individual accolades.   

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Big Ten Betting Report

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020

We are four games into the Big Ten conference schedule, and the standings are looking exactly like we thought they would at this time of the season… or not. Because of the COVID Pandemic, things have been shuffled around more than usual and teams have suffered either canceled games and or games where they didn’t have key players in the lineup for COVID issues. And then you have some teams, not naming any names yet, who just flat out stink.  To say the Big Ten has been anything short of entertaining football through a month of action would be selling the conference short. We’ve seen plenty of upsets, some games that were extremely hard to watch, and some games that featured little to no defense. However, here we are, with four games left in the shortened season, and some big-name programs have a lot of work left to do if they are to get to where they want to go.  Before I break down the upcoming week, let’s take a look at the standings first.  In the Big Ten East, Indiana leads the division with a perfect 4-0 record. Behind them is Ohio State at 3-0 and Maryland at 2-1. As for the state of Michigan, you know it’s been a rough season for both the Wolverines and Spartans when they are tied with Rutgers in the standings at 1-3. Below them, having an even worse go of it is Penn State, who checks in at 0-4.  In the Big Ten West, the only surprise would be Northwestern leading the division with a perfect 4-0 record. Wisconsin is right behind them but has played only two games (and won both). Below them is where you’ll find Purdue (1-2), Iowa (2-2), Nebraska (1-2), Illinois (1-3) and Minnesota (1-3).  Key Games of the Week No. 9 Indiana at No. 3 Ohio State. (-20) This game at Ohio Stadium will likely go a long way in determining who will finish atop the East Division. Indiana’s remaining schedule after Ohio State is extremely manageable for this team, with Maryland, Wisconsin and Purdue on deck to finish out the season. If the Hoosiers can play a perfect 60 minutes of road football and upset the No. 3-ranked Buckeyes, not only will it provide another wrinkle in the College Football Playoff picture, but it will give them a two-game lead with just three games left to play. The Hoosiers are winning games in large part due to their offense, as they’ve scored 36,37,38, and 24 points in their four wins. The defense has also played well over the last three weeks, not giving up more than 21 points, including pitching a shutout last week against Michigan State. They are getting great QB play from Michael Penix, who has thrown for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns to just three interceptions. They’ve also gotten good production out of running back Stevie Scott. Scott has rushed for 317 yards and five scores in four contests. If the Hoosiers are going to pull off the upset, they are going to need both guys to go above and beyond their current production in order to keep up with the high-powered Buckeyes’ offense.  Ohio State comes into this game off a mini bye week as their game last Saturday against Maryland was canceled due to COVID concerns at College Park. Ohio State has been as advertised this year, posting a 3-0 record having outscored their opponents 139-69. They are getting tremendous production out of the quarterback position by potential top-three draft pick Justin Fields. Fields has thrown for 908 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s also rushed for 57 yards and added two scores on the ground. He’s got enough talent to give opposing defenses fits with both his arm and legs. And with the production he’s getting around him, the Buckeyes are going to be hard to stop. His go-to receiver is Garrett Wilson. Wilson has caught 24 balls for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Ohio State has everything to play for in this one as an upset loss would likely push them out of the CFP top four, whereas a win would allow them to move up a spot based on what happens elsewhere.  No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 19 Northwestern (+7.5) The other key game of the week takes place at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois, when the 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers take on the No. 19-ranked Northwestern Wildcats. Similar to the above game, this game will likely determine the Big Ten West champion as Wisconsin and Northwestern have been the two best teams in the conference so far this season. It’s not going out on a limb to say we expected the Badgers to be highly ranked and own a perfect record, but with two games played (compared to four by most of the league), the Badgers have some catching up to do. They dominated Michigan last week as they put up 49 points in a 49-11 win. Many thought the three-week layoff would affect them and they would come out rusty, but they put that notion to bed really quick. The offense was efficient under Graham Mertz, and the defense was its usual smothering self. Now they take on a Northwestern team that has played tremendous football through four weeks of play. The Wildcats have ridden a dominant defense to four wins, as they’ve given up just 56 points, for an average of 14 points per game. The offense is doing just enough to win football games. And if I were a betting man, which I am, I’d say this game is going to be a defense battle – which is why the total is set 45.5. 

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Teasers 101: What They Are and How to Maximize Their Value

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020

When you hear someone referring to the term “teaser,” they are referring to a different betting option that’s available to everyone but one that most people don’t know how to utilize. A teaser is similar to a parlay in that it involves two or more selections, and each selection of the bet must win in order to cash your ticket. Teasers are available in any sport that uses a point spread, but are most common in basketball and football, both at the professional and collegiate levels.  Depending on who you ask, some say teasers are sucker bets, while others swear by them if the situation calls for it. I say, a winning bet is a winning bet regardless of what kind of bet it is. Remember, we are at the mercy of the sportsbooks and whatever lines and prices they put out, so we must find a way to beat them and get the best return on our investment. Sportsbooks are usually ruthless and leave bettors with little to no advantage. However, there is one specific betting option that allows us to sweeten the pot and give ourselves a better chance to successfully win bets. Are Teasers Worth Playing? Teasers are worth playing only if you find the right situation and know how to place them correctly. Since we already know that teasers offer a lower payout than straight parlays, we must find a way to maximize our value and win this selection. It’s also important to remember that a winning bet is a winning bet no matter what kind of bet it is.  Football Teasers – NCAAF and NFL Football teasers are the most popular teasers in the betting industry and offer bettors a slew of options. Sportsbooks usually offer teasers that allow you to shift the original line by six points, six and a half points, seven points, or sometimes even 10 points. A 10-point teaser is typically referred to as a sweetheart teaser. As always, an example will make things easier to understand. Let’s say that on a typical NFL Sunday, you are interested in three teams – the Giants -7, the Bills -2.5 and the Dolphins +4.5. If you were to bet these teams in a three-team, six-point teaser, you would be getting each team at very different odds. A six-point teaser would result in the Giants being -1, the Bills being +3.5 and the Dolphins +10.5. On paper, each of these teams should have an easier time covering the adjusted spread. However, as we already know, the game isn’t played on paper. By adjusting the spreads, you have changed the potential payout. If you were to do a three-team parlay with these three teams, you would be getting close to 6/1 odds. Instead, most sportsbooks offer 2.5/1 odds on a three-team, six-point teaser. The risk is much lower, but so is the reward.  However, it should be noted that the above teaser is something I DO NOT recommend doing. Much like any other betting option available to bettors, teasers are only worth playing if they are done correctly and the situation calls for it. We already know that “teasers” offer a much lower payout than straight parlays, but that’s okay because there is one situation where a “teaser” is the best option. Since football has key numbers of three, four and seven, the ability to manipulate the lines in order to beat these numbers is crucial. Instead of laying a ton of money on a -400 favorite to win outright, or -110 to cover a big -7.5-spread, a six-point teaser allows you to bring that favorite through each of the key numbers and make them a -1.5-point favorite. Since a one or two-point margin of victory is very uncommon in the NFL, the odds of the favorite winning by at least a field goal is extremely high. The same rule applies for the underdog. A +1.5-point favorite or higher can be teased up through each of the aforementioned key numbers, thus making it a potentially easier spread to cover. The biggest mistake a bettor can make when playing a “teaser” is teasing a team across zero. In reference to a six-point teaser, making a -3 favorite a +3 dog is frowned up as you are paying for six points but in reality, zero doesn’t count as a number since teams very rarely tie.  If I was looking to play a teaser, I would try and find favorites of -7.5 to -8.5 or and tease them down through seven, four and three. Or you can find underdogs priced at +1.5 to +2.5 and tease them up through those key numbers and get them at over a touchdown.   Basketball Teasers – NCAAB and NBA If you are into basketball, then you may be interested in basketball teasers. They essentially work the same way as the above football example except sportsbooks offer different lines. The majority of sportsbooks will allow you to play a four-point, four-and-a-half-point teaser and a five-point teaser. You can play this option on both the point spread and total of each game. Let’s use a totals example to give you a better idea of how this works. If you like three NBA games and their totals are 202, 189 and 194.5 respectively, you could tease them to either the “over” or “under.” Here is where it gets a little tricky. A four-point teaser to the “over” would reduce the total by four points, thus making the total potentially easier to reach. If you like the “under” a four-point teaser would add four points to the total so that you now have totals of 206, 193 and 198.5, respectively. 

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NFL MVP Futures Wager

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

To say the NFL is a quarterback’s league would be a massive understatement. The quarterback is the single most important position on the team. And if you go back through the years and look at Super Bowl-winning teams, you’ll notice that about 95 percent of the winning teams have a quarterback that is either elite or really good. With the exception of Nick Foles in 2017, the list of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks is as follows: Mahomes, Brady, Manning, Wilson, Flacco (he was good back then), the other Manning, Brees, Roethlisberger, Warner, Elway, Favre, Aikman and Young. The only two guys that stand out as not elite are Trent Dilfer in 2000 and Brad Johnson in 2002. What’s my point? Well, quarterbacks are extremely important. And in terms of the MVP Award, they get shown the most love as they are the vital cog to their team’s success. For those of you interested in getting a futures bet or two down on the NFL’s MVP, there are a few things you should know before doing so. For starters, quarterbacks are far and away the most important position on the field and as such have been rewarded with top honors plenty of times. Since 1980, when the NFL MVP was changed from an AFC/NFC recipient to a “league-wide” winner, signal callers have won the award 29 times. Leading the way with MVP awards is Peyton Manning with five, while Tom Brady and Brett Favre have three apiece. Wide receivers get very little love, with Jerry Rice the only receiver to win the award in 1987 and 1990. Running backs have seven awards, with the last one coming in 2012 by way of Adrian Peterson. This year, we have a group of quarterbacks that are above any competition from any other position on the field. To be exact, 12 of the top 13 odds belong to the QBs, with Derrick Henry checking in at 13th (+8000). I’ll break down each of the top candidates and give you my thoughts on if they are worthy of laying down a bet on. The Favorite: Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks Odds: +100 If the Seattle Seahawks had any other quarterback under center, they would likely be a borderline .500 team, if not well below. Russell Wilson must have heard the offseason talk about how he hasn’t received a single MVP vote in his career despite being the face of the franchise and leading his team to two Super Bowls and coming within a single yard of winning another one. Through five games, Wilson has been the team’s best player and has led them to a 5-0 record and top spot in the NFC West. On an individual basis, Wilson ranks second in passing yards (1,502) but first in touchdowns by six (19) over a few guys we’ll talk about later on in this piece. It’s not only the stats that Wilson is putting up, it’s mostly about the “it” factor that he brings to each and every game. Wilson has manufactured game-winning drives in two of the last three games. And if you saw the Monday night game against the Vikings, I would say that only one or two other quarterbacks would be able to drive the team 94 yards, in the rain, with under two minutes left and one time out. At his current price, I would jump on it as after his bye week in Week 6, he faces the Cardinals, Niners, Bills, Rams and Cardinals again. If he can continue to cook and win his team at least three of those games, he’ll be a decent-sized favorite for the latter part of the season. The Contender: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay PackersOdds: +300 Aaron Rodgers took the Packers’ decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love as a sign of disrespect. I understand that the NFL is a business and it’s important to have an heir apparent at the quarterback position and that Love could learn plenty from a guy as gifted as Rodgers. However, Rodgers wanted reinforcements on the offensive side of the ball and never got it. So, what has he done through five games this year? Well, he has yet to throw an interception this season and has 1,214 passing yards under his belt. He ranks tied for second in touchdown passes with 13 and leads the NFL in QBR at 92.6. He’s essentially on an “EFF YOU” tour and has obliterated every defense he’s come up against to date; the Packers are averaging 286 passing yards per game and 38 points per game. With the upcoming schedule (potential shootouts) and the likelihood of the Packers winning the division over the Bears, I could see Aaron Rodgers grabbing his third MVP title at the end of the season. The Darkhorses:Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City ChiefsOdds: +550 It’s hard to believe that I mentioned two quarterbacks before I even got the $500-million man and defending Super Bowl champion, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has taken the league by storm over the last two seasons, and he’s off to a solid start this year. He ranks third in passing yards with 1,474, second in touchdown passes with 13, second in interceptions with just one, and third in QBR at 86.1. So why is he so far down this list? We’ll because we have been treated to outstanding play after outstanding play over the last two years and he’s only had one or two of those plays through five games this year. We’ve grown accustomed to it and we expect it, but unfortunately, winning games is all that matters to Mahomes and he has his Chiefs sitting at 4-1 and he’s distributing the ball amongst his receivers. He is the team’s MVP, but he’s not done enough (yet) to be on the Wilson/Rodgers’ level this season.Josh Allen, Quarterback, Buffalo BillsOdds: +1600 This paragraph was supposed to be extremely positive and talk about all the things Josh Allen has done well through five games of the season. After last night’s performance, the odds of Allen winning the MVP have plummeted (down from +700), and we don’t see him making up any ground on the guys above. Prior to last night’s debacle, Allen sat T-2 in Interceptions thrown with just one but went on to throw two to push him back to T-9. He did take over second place on his own in touchdown passes with 13 and moved into second in yards thrown with 1,589. It’s not right to blame Allen for the Bills’ performance yesterday given the fact they had to wait around for Tennessee to sort out their COVID issues. But in a league driven by QB play, he certainly got outplayed by Ryan Tannehill, and that’s something that can’t happen when you’re trying to assert yourself as an elite level QB.

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Key Numbers in NFL Betting: Expert Handicapping Tips

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

We are at the stage of the sports betting calendar where you constantly hear the phrase “good teamswin, but great teams cover”. For those of you new to sports betting -- and in particular betting onfootball -- that phrase may seem like an oxymoron, but it holds truer than ever. If you ask anyhandicapper who attempts to be successful while betting on the National Football League, you willquickly learn that it’s simply not the team that they believe will get them in the money; it’s the number(spread) they bet into. If you’re asking yourself why or how that’s even possible, you must firstunderstand the concept of key numbers in sports, specifically NFL spreads.Since the NFL scoring format is different than every other sport (two points, three points and six points +an extra point), the final results are bound to have some sort of relevant patter to them. Which brings inthe importance of “key numbers”. The most important key number in the NFL is three. What this meansis that the final result is a difference of three more often than any other number; whether it be 50-47,31-28, 17-14 or 24-21, etc. So many football games end on a game-winning field goal, which makesthree the most important number. The next “key” number in the NFL is seven, since that is thedifference in games decided by a touchdown and extra point. How Often Do Key Numbers Hit?Because the NFL is among the most popular betting sports in the world, the data available for it datesback quite some time, and thankfully there are people out there who have tracked the most commonmargin of victories in the NFL. Here is a quick look at the Top 10 NFL key numbers:3 points: 15.81 %7 points: 8.80 % 10 points: 6.06 % 4 points: 5.41 % 6 points: 5.41 % 14 points: 4.77 % 1 point: 3.93 % 17 points: 3.85 % 2 points: 3.58 % 5 points: 3.15 %As you can see, after the first trio of key numbers (three, seven, and 10), there is a huge drop off inoccurrence. However, that doesn’t mean that you should throw those numbers out the windowaltogether. You should be wary about these numbers and understand how line movement can affect –both positively and negatively – the line you are trying to wager on.Why It’s Important to Bet Key NumbersNothing in this life is free. That’s especially true when talking about sports betting as there are no “locks,guarantees or sure things”. If there was, we’d all be rich, and Vegas wouldn’t be the place it is today.Sportsbooks are 100% in the business of making money and putting out key numbers for you to bet onvery rarely (if ever) happens – without a price. In order to get off a key number, sportsbooks will chargeyou a premium for it.For starters, most sportsbooks offer their point spread lines at -110 each way. If you are in the market tobuy points and turn that -3 favorite into -2.5 or the underdog to +3.5, you’re going to have to payupwards of 20 cents just to turn a would-be push into a possible win. If you know even the slightest bitof bankroll management, it’s imperative that you understand the extra 10 cents here, or the extra 20cents there, will add up over time and a losing sport bettor (which 97 percent are) will burn theirbankroll quicker than ever. So, what does this mean? Well, for starters, it means you should be shoppingaround for lines and finding the best possible line to bet into. Some books will offer key numbers ofthree or seven without the option of buying points. Remember, the main goal of the sportsbook is tocreate equal action on both sides so that they mitigate their risk. With that said, it’s sometimes best topass on a game and save your bankroll if you are thinking about paying a premium for a point spreadthat may or may not even factor into the equation at the end of the game.

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2020 NFL Division Best Bets

Friday, Aug 07, 2020

Football is back, baby - or at least sort of. With the division odds released and a bunch of other props available including MVP, season win totals, to make the playoffs, and everything in between, there finally feels like some normalcy is back in the world. However, it doesn’t help that the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers is cancelled and that the preseason is still up in the air in terms of when it will be played, if at all. But I like to live in the positive. Football will be played this season, and if you want best bets to win the divisions, you’ve come to the right place. Below are my best division bets for the 2020 NFL season. AFC East Best Bet – Buffalo Bills (+125) – The Buffalo Bills were an incompetent coaching decision and a miraculous sack-avoidance away from beating the Houston Texans in last year’s wild-card game. They come into this season with all the same pieces on offense with the inclusion of a deep threat in Stefon Diggs. The defense remains intact and should be able to dominate and lead the league once again. Their opponents – the Jets (a joke) and the Dolphins (a bigger joke) have no shot at winning the division, so that leaves those guys up in Foxboro. Did you know they lost Tom Brady in the offseason but signed Cam Newton to lead the way? Are we sure Newton is healthy? Are we sure Newton fits the Bill Belichick mold? Are we sure that the Patriots are going to have another winning season? Until I’m proven wrong, I’m taking the Bills to grab the division title.  AFC North Best Bet – Baltimore Ravens (-250) – This division bet is a no-brainer. You have the Ravens coming into the season with arguably the second most unstoppable offense in the league, and they have a chip on their shoulder because of how last season ended. Lamar Jackson is a year older and a year wiser, and the offense returns all the same parts which will only help expand the playbook and terrorize defenses. The Bengals and Browns are still going to be the laughing stalks of the AFC, and only the Steelers have a shot at dethroning the reigning AFC North Champs. However, the Steelers have issues. They are solid defensively, but if Big Ben goes down with injury again or plays like the old QB he is, the offense will once again sputter under Mason Rudolph. AFC South Best Bet – Tennessee Titans (+162) – I really believe what the Tennessee Titans did last year to end the season will continue again this year. They believe in Ryan Tannehill, and they have an offense that can work in all environments thanks to Derrick Henry running the ball from the backfield. The defense is returning. And with teams like the Texans and Colts set to take a step back, the Titans could be the beneficiary of a weak division. Let’s not forget the Jaguars, who since their loss in the AFC Championship Game, have looked like a complete dumpster fire. This is a great price we are getting on the Titans, and we believe they can get back to the playoffs again this season. AFC West Best Bet – Kansas City Chiefs (-450) – Is the Super Bowl hangover real? Well, we’ll see this upcoming season as the Chiefs look to defend their World Championship against 31 hungry teams. The Chiefs should run away with the division seeing as how nobody in the AFC West got better, and that includes the Chargers getting worse with the departure of Philip Rivers. The Chiefs return essentially their entire roster from last year’s Super Bowl-winning team. And with Patrick Mahomes another year stronger and wiser, there is no telling how great of a season he could have and in turn lead the Chiefs to more postseason glory. I know it doesn’t take much to tout a -450-division favorite, but sometimes it’s the only option. NFC East Best Bet – Philadelphia Eagles (+135) – This bet would be more of a fade on the Cowboys than a trusting of the Eagles and their offense. The Eagles will finally (knock on wood) have another healthy season from Carson Wentz, and that should up their game dramatically from what we saw last season. The Eagles essentially only have to worry about the Cowboys in the division, with the Giants and Redskins going through another year of the rebuilding process. The Cowboys seemingly have a dozen or so distractions at all times of the year, and we just are not convinced they are as good a team as everyone makes them out to be. The Eagles defense can be just as good as anyone when they are playing well, and with Wentz under center the Eagles have arguably the best quarterback in the division wearing their colors. Take the Eagles. NFC North Best Bet – Green Bay Packers (+162) – This season is going to go one of two ways for the Packers, and I don’t see any in-between. The Packers are either going to be 7-9 or 8-8, and Aaron Rodgers Is going to give up on his team and pave the way for Jordan Love. Or Rodgers is going to have an “eff-you” season and put up MVP like numbers and show the Packers brass why drafting his “replacement” so soon was a gigantic mistake. Rodgers is a prima donna, yes, but he’s got too many weapons around him and the talent required to make this a dominating season. Furthermore, The Vikings just lost one of their best receivers to Buffalo, and the defense is going to take a step back this year. And we all know how mediocre the Bears and Lions are. This is a great number we are getting on the Packers to win the division. NFC South Best Bet – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+140) - I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I think Tom Brady is going to have a great season and he’s going to lead the Bucs to the postseason. The Bucs offense may just be the best in the division, and that’s saying something with the Saints and Falcons also in the league. The Bucs are explosive at every skill position. And with a quarterback that finally has the experience and a winning mentality (sorry, Jameis), the Bucs are prime to take the next step. As for the Saints and Falcons – the other two division threats, the Saints pose a bigger threat with Drew Brees leading the way, but the defense is suspect. Atlanta consistently underachieves, so at +140, we think there is great value on the Bucs. NFC West Best Bet – San Francisco 49ers (-110) – The NFC West may be the best division in football once again this year. The Niners lead the way after their crushing Super Bowl loss, and we expect them to make some noise once again this season. The Seahawks are going to contend but have fallen short time and time again thanks to having no real offensive line. And the Rams should bounce back after a down year last year, but we still believe the 49ers are the cream of the crop. It’ll be tight, but I’m taking Jimmy G and that scary defense to grab the NFC West.

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