by Joe Caputo
Welcome, everyone! Excuse my rust as I’m returning to the writing game for the first time in a WHILE, but with the lack of podcasts being produced by The Brunch lately (sorry about that), I need some way to get my thoughts out there. Football season is, in my eyes, the most exciting time to gamble, and is basically the only time I gamble in the sports world. However, most people that enter the NFL gambling game will initially struggle (see my buddy Chris’ first half of the 2013 season). The reason? People who gamble on NFL games using knowledge of players, schemes, and tactics generally are thinking too much. You need to change your thought process, which Chris did. He started picking games thinking like Vegas, and improved drastically in the second half. Does a line look too good to be true? Well then yea, it probably is. Think to yourself, why does Vegas want me to pick this team? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying take the opposite of who Vegas wants you to pick in every game, but there’s always a reason for the lines they place, so never, ever laugh at a line. Let’s put these thoughts into practice.
BALTIMORE (-2.5) v Pittsburgh
I’ll take Baltimore here……. Yea yea I know who won already. But I did pick the Ravens. Believe what you want.
CINCINNATI (-5.5) v Atlanta
Common Thought Process: Preposterous! Atlanta just beat many people’s NFC Super Bowl representative. They’re back. Give me the 6 points and I’ll take Matt Ryan over Andy Dalton any day of the week.
Gambler’s Thought Process: Cincinnati was 8-0 last year against the spread at home. Generally, a team coming off a big divisional home win tends to come out flat on the road the following week. Oh, and Atlanta has another divisional game coming up in Week 3.
My Pick: Bengals
BUFFALO (+1) v Miami
Common Thought Process: Did you see that second half Miami played last week!? Getting to Brady time after time, running the ball down New England’s throats. But wait, Buffalo played well too. Jay Cuter did hand them that game with a late INT though.
Gambler’s Thought Process: This one’s really close. What did I just say about a team getting a big divisional win and then going on the road? Buffalo also beat Miami in both meetings last year. Their pass rush also looked great in Chicago, and not sure Miami’s figured out their offensive line situation yet.
My Pick: Bills
CAROLINA (-2.5) v Detroit
Common Thought Process: Detroit looked unreal Monday night. Maybe the coaching change made the difference. Stafford didn’t turn the ball over, and they moved at will. Carolina also looked good, but the defense sort of fell apart in the 4th.
Gambler’s Thought Process: But it was against the Giants… Now Detroit has to go on the road, on grass, and get it done. Cam Newton didn’t even play for Carolina last week. Pick against the dome team outdoors on the road.
My Pick: I’ll go against the Gambler this time, and take the Lions
MINNESOTA (+3) v New England
Common Thought Process: Only 3?? The Vikings beat the Rams who played their third string QB. Big deal. The Pats had 1 bad game. They’ll bounce back and destroy Minnesota.
Gambler’s Thought Process: Will they though? Any time you’re offered points at home you MUST strongly consider. The Rams defense was arguably a top 5 ranked defense coming into the year and the Vikings picked it apart left and right. How do you beat the Pats? You run the ball and control clock. Think the Vikings might be equipped to do that?
My Pick: Vikings
CLEVELAND (+6.5) v New Orleans
Common Thought Process: LOL. The Browns? Big bounce back coming for the Saints. How are the Browns ever going to be able to stop Drew Brees?
Gambler’s Thought Process: Saints on the road? Eh. Drew Brees outdoors is never the same man. And that Browns D? Shut the Steelers down to just 3 points in the second half last week, in Pittsburgh. Home opener for the Browns, solid defense, I’ll take 6.5 points from road Drew Brees.
My Pick: Browns
Well that was just a little taste. Next week, I’ll change it up a bit, pick more games. But for now, try that new “gambler’s mentality.” See how it works for you, because if you keep betting like the common person, well, how exactly do you think Vegas makes its money?