Each week, BetPrep Sharp and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses expected win totals, division odds, Super Bowl favorites, and potential award winners with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. It’s the official futures podcast of BetPrep, a free sports betting research site that empowers bettors with the same tools both the sharps and the sportsbooks use.
Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Futures Podcast.
With 13 weeks of NFL play in the books let’s start with one of the dregs of the leagues, the Houston Texans, who are so bad we can’t even tell if they’re tanking. You like the Under 3.5 wins, which means under two wins the rest of the season. And you’re laying juice here – minus-190.
Brad: They have Seattle at home this week and I know Seattle is not very good. But Seattle is still going to be over a 3-to-1 favorite in that game. They also should lose at Jacksonville, who they did beat in Week 1 decisively, I know. Then the Chargers at home, they’ll be a massive dog. At San Francisco, massive dog. Titans with some of the their players back at that point, massive dog. (Remember they are 7.5-point dogs to a 4-8 Seattle team IN HOUSTON.) I just have them much closer to one expected win than two and with these few games left, that’s a massive edge. This is another result of the casinos saying there will be no ties and having to land on a point-five. As for laying the 190, would you do that for say Steph Curry to make a free throw? Of course you would. I want to tell everyone who listens to the show that sometimes the most value you can get on any particular bet is by laying a big price. And a big part of that is because people hate laying big prices – that adds value by depressing the juice.
You like the red-hot Washington Football Team at Over 7.5. That means they have to go 2-3 and they play all remaining games in the NFC East.
Brad: Before the year, Washington was my pick to win the division. I liked their defense and I liked their QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick. And after a terrible start in both of these areas, I like their defense and their QB again. I thought their season really started turning around when they played Green Bay. Washington killed them on the stat sheet and on the field, just not on the scoreboard. Every conceivable break in the world went Green Bay’s way. They also lost a tough one at Denver. Then they really stuck it to Tampa Bay. (QB Taylor) Heinicke played incredible against Carolina. They outplayed Seattle and won a tough game against a solid Las Vegas team that’s certainly not a pushover. This team’s won four in a row. The defense is playing great. They play Philly twice. I think those teams are pretty much dead even. They play Dallas twice and I would not be surprised at all if they beat Dallas once. And then they play the Giants. I have this team closer to two and a half wins than I do to two. This is a very reasonable price for a team that’s won four in a row with a QB and defense playing this well.
My Jets, who I again don’t know whether to root to win or lose given the draft consequences, Under 4.5 wins, minus-185.
Brad: They play at home against the Saints and Bucs and at the Bills. Also at Miami. They get the Jaguars at home .I would be stunned if they won any of their three against the Bucs, Bills and Dolphins. (Miami is playing so well now.) They could beat the Saints at home and obviously the Jaguars at home. But I’m going to dare them to win them both to beat me here. I think they’re that bad. This is the one I would rank last among all the picks this week because the juice is high and I could see them beating the Saints and Jaguars. But I thought the 4.5 wins should be over 2-to-1 and it was less; so I bet it.
Two Colts bets: plus-100 to make the playoffs and 22-to-1 to win the AFC.
Brad: I know they may not make the playoffs. But if you asked me on a neutral field to pick one team next week in the AFC – so I could choose the Patriots, Chiefs, Chargers, Titans, Ravens, whoever – No BS, this is not hyperbole: I would choose Indianapolis. So I have to take the 22-to-1 to win the AFC. And that means I also like them to finish 3-1 and lock in the playoff spot even though they are currently the ninth seed (and out). So I am going to have a very large wager as a result on the Colts against the Patriots at home. I’m guessing they’ll be getting 2.5 points (both teams will be off byes when they face in Week 15) and I think they’re the better team, I really do. I think that they have that combination of balance on offense and a solid defense and Carson Wentz is certainly not bad – 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. I’m sure they’re happy with that first-round trade. Think of Carolina if they had Wentz. I think they would have the same record Indy has if not better, right? And (Jonathan) Taylor’s obviously been Superman. I think they’re worthy of way more than just a pizza bet at 22-to-1 to win the conference. But I get that they have to get in and that means they probably have to beat the Patriots or the Cardinals at Arizona. But they can beat anyone and remember, they have the tiebreaker over the Bills and everyone just assumes the Bills are in. They’re essentially only a half-game behind the Bills. If they make the playoffs, they have to win three road games to cash the 22-to-1. But against these teams in the AFC? Whoever those teams end up being? You want to tell me the Colts can’t win in New England or in KC? I’ll laugh in your face.
For more of Brad’s picks, including NBA team futures and NFL player futures, listen to the full Givin Futures podcast.