Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Football Picks: Arizona Wildcats vs Oklahoma State Cowboys Free NFL Picks

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Arizona Wildcats Football Picks: The Arizona Wildcats, out of the PAC-12 travel to Boone Pickens Stadium this Thursday night to tangle with the Big 12’s Oklahoma State Cowboys in this non-conference matchup. Kick-off is slated for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Arizona used a 27-0 run in the second half to pull away from the pesky Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 41-10 in the season opener for both teams. The Wildcats covered as 27-point home favorites and the total went well over the 47.5-point line.

Nick Foles looked extremely sharp for Arizona against a porous Lumberjack secondary with 412 passing yards and five touchdowns. He completed 34-of 42 attempts to eight different players and threw a scoring strike to five different Wildcats.  Wide receiver Juron Criner led all receivers with six catches for 151 yards and one score.

Oklahoma State had a fairly easy time of it in its home opener last Saturday as well. The Cowboys rolled over Louisiana-Lafayette 61-34, but failed to cover as a 38-point home favorite. They almost took the game ‘over’ the 62-point line on their own in a game that was never close. Oklahoma State opened-up a 24-point lead at the half and coasted from there.

Brandon Weedon had the hot hand for the Cowboys; completing 24-of-39 attempts for 388 yards, but looked sloppy at times with three interceptions. Wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Tracy Moore combined for 15 receptions for 256 yards and one TD, while running back Joseph Randle added 129 yards on the ground on 22 carries. He also found the end zone twice on two four-yard runs.

These two teams are familiar with one another after meeting in last December’s Valero Alamo Bowl. The Cowboys routed Arizona 36-10 as a 4.5-point favorite with the total staying well ‘under’ the 68.5-point line. Weedon threw for 240 yards and Blackmon had a huge game with nine receptions for 117 yards and two scores. This duo appears primed to have another big night come Thursday against a Wildcat secondary that looked a bit suspect in its opener.

Arizona is 3-8 against the spread in its last 11 games overall and the total has gone ‘over’ in six of its last eight games.

Oklahoma State is 7-2 SU in its last nine games at home and the total has gone ‘over’ in eight of these nine games.

The Cowboys win this one comfortably but some junk points down the stretch allow the Wildcats to cover the 14.5-point spread.

The Pick: Oklahoma State 48

Arizona 35

If you’re looking For Great Free NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

Free NFL Picks Open 2011 With a Thursday Over/Under

After a successful 60% season for our Free NFL Picks in 2010, we figure there's only one way to open the 2011 season: by doing something completely different.

We rarely bet over/unders in football and generally have a better grasp of the point spreads, but Thursday night we're making an exception.

Packers/Saints UNDER 47

Two explosive offenses pitted against each other? Has to be a high-scoring game, right? Not so fast, we say. Historically, the Thursday opener doesn't always bring out the firepower, as the teams come out of the gate a little sluggish.

In fact, the Saints have twice opened the season on Thursday, once as the champ and another as the visitor, and have scored a combined 24 points in their previous two season opening efforts (including a 14-9 win over the Vikings last season).

Besides, the last time these two teams met, they combined to score only... uh... 80 points.

Still, we think this game will end up closer to 20-17 as the Super Bowl champs open with the last team to hold that title.

After a 5-1 (83%) start to our Free NCAA Football Picks, we're glad to be back to football. We'll have a full slate of college games Saturday and, finally, a full schedule of NFL action as well. At the low, low price of free to you, reader of this random blog.

NCAA Football Picks: Miami Hurricanes vs Maryland Terrapins Free NFL Picks

Maryland Terrapins vs Miami Hurricanes Football Picks: The Miami Hurricanes have had themselves one heck of an offseason. They hope to put all of that aside when they take to the field for the first time on Labor Day night against the Maryland Terrapins.

Regardless of what ends up coming from this whole situation with boosters giving improper benefits to players on the team, it is clear that Head Coach Al Golden has his work cut out for him here at “The U.” Miami has never been known as a squeaky clean program, and this is just the latest problem.

Whether it ends up being QB Jacory Harris or QB Stephen Morris under center on Monday night, the Hurricanes are still going to be in some trouble. Neither one played well last season, and both definitely have their points of contention this year.

Instead, the pressure is going to shift onto the Miami defense, which vows to make a return to the defenses of old from “The U,” which featured stars like Vince Wilfork, Ed Reed, Phillip Buchanon, Jonathan Vilma, DJ Williams, and the likes.

This unit did rank No. 3 in the land in pass defense last season at 150.5 yards per game allowed, but this is largely thanks to the relatively weak ACC passing games and a paper thin out of conference schedule, save for the trip to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The potential is there, but the off the field problems could be too much for this team to overcome.

Many tend to forget that this is a new look for the Terps as well coming into this one. Head Coach Randy Edsall called it a “dream come true” to be coaching in College Park, a move which many thought was a fairly lateral one from the Connecticut Huskies in the offseason. Still, the Terrapins definitely have some talent out there on the field, and a lot of it has a ton of experience.

QB Danny O’Brien might not have WR Torrey Smith to throw the ball to anymore, but there is no doubt that his experience from last year could pay off in a big way. He had 22 TDs against just eight picks, and he threw for 2,438 yards while splitting time with QB Jamarr Robinson. If O’Brien can find a receiver to pick up the slack from Smith’s departure to the pros, Maryland could once again be a dangerous team this year.

Most don’t remember that this was a team that was right there on the verge of playing for the ACC Championship last season, and there was no shame whatsoever in its 9-4 mark, including a bowl victory over the East Carolina Pirates.

Miami Hurricanes @ Maryland Terrapins Free Picks: Is the wrong team favored in this one? Miami definitely has some decent returning talent, but all of these problems off the field just seem to be making this team like a circus. It’s going to be a madhouse in Maryland for sure on Monday night for a standalone, nationally televised game. We fully expect to see the hosts come out on top.

Free NCAA Football Pick: Maryland Terrapins +5.5.

If you’re looking For Great Free NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Free NFL Picks - 2011 NFL Power Rankings

2011 NFL Power Rankings and Free NFL Picks: NFL power rankings are some of the strongest you will find anywhere and we encourage you to come back each week and see how the NFL Power Rankings have changed. NFL Power Rankings will be updated by Thursday every week.

1: Green Bay Packers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – It’s hard to really see the Packers falling too far this year, knowing that they are returning the majority of their team. DC Dom Capers is one of the most underappreciated minds in the game, and he has the pieces of the puzzle to make QB Aaron Rodgers and his offense look even better than they already are.

2: New England Patriots (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Pats are no joke this year, but they are going to need to become a tougher team mentally to make the Super Bowl again. Cutting S Brandon Merriweather made no sense whatsoever, but we aren’t ones to question Head Coach Bill Belichick and his genius mind. QB Tom Brady is ready to have another great season this year.

3: Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – What’s there to not like about the Steelers? QB Ben Roethlisberger is definitely a Super Bowl caliber QB, and he has the running game and the weapons in the passing game to make them all stand up. Even better is that defense, which is always one of the best in the league. S Troy Polamalu looks healthy as could be, and that’s bad news for the rest of the offenses in the AFC North.

4: Philadelphia Eagles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Are the Eagles overhyped this season? Not if QB Michael Vick stays upright they aren’t! This defense was really lacking a second corner to complement DB Asante Samuel, and it picked up two of the best in the league with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. This team has the ability to score 500 points this year, and if that’s the case, the ‘D’ will make that mark stand up.

5: Atlanta Falcons (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Is this the Greatest Show on Turf take two? QB Matt Ryan thinks so, and for good reason. Between himself, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, TE Tony Gonzalez, and WR Julio Jones, there might not be enough corners on a team to cover all these guys. The defense has its questions, but there is no doubt that playing this team at the Georgia Dome isn’t going to be fun at all, all season long.

6: Baltimore Ravens (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Ravens seemingly fall just short of the Steelers every single season, and this year might not be an exception. You’d hate to say that a Week 1 game is a must-win, but to win the AFC North, beating Pittsburgh in Baltimore might be a necessity. Picking up FB Vonta Leach was one of the most signings you probably didn’t hear much about in the offseason. RB Ray Rice could amass well over 2,000 all purpose yards this year.

7: New Orleans Saints (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – New Orleans was good enough to win the Super Bowl again last season, but it really overlooked the Seahawks and just never had a chance of scoring enough points to keep up with what the defense gave up. There weren’t many changes this year for Head Coach Sean Payton and company, but adding RB Mark Ingram in the first round of the NFL Draft was a coup, even if RB Reggie Bush’s years as a bust in the Bayou are now over with.

8: Dallas Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – This might be a tad high for a team that didn’t make the playoffs last season, but we know that having QB Tony Romo in the fold is significantly better than not having him there. Romo should have a field day getting the ball to WRs Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, and TE Jason Witten is 100 catches waiting to happen. Is the defense there yet? Maybe not quite, but the offense is good enough to pull off some magic in “Big D.”

9: New York Jets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Jets have played in back to back AFC Championship Games, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good enough to make it three in a row. QB Mark Sanchez lost three of his best receivers in the offseason, and the team seemed to miss on basically every big free agent out there. Head Coach Rex Ryan has his work cut out for him just to make the playoffs this year.

10: Houston Texans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – And this team might be why. Houston might finally be on its way to the playoffs this year, and we have it checking in as the best team in the AFC South to start the season. Adding DB Danieal Manning and DB Johnathan Joseph was incredibly important for a secondary that resembled Swiss cheese a season ago, and new DC Wade Phillips won’t let this unit rank in the bottom third of the league like it has ever since Head Coach Gary Kubiak took over.

11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Bucs took some tremendous leaps in the right direction this past season, nearly getting into the playoffs. This year, there are still those two given wins against the Panthers, but the rest of the schedule is tough as could be. Still, we like the chances for QB Josh Freeman and company to at least challenge for a postseason bid once again, though we think they’ll fall just short.

12: Indianapolis Colts (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Have the Colts had it? QB Peyton Manning is dealing with a neck injury, and it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll play in Week 1 or not. This offense could still be lethal with him in there, but the rest of this team is just not good at all. Indy will be lucky to make the playoffs this year, just like the…

13: San Diego Chargers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – … Bolts… Sorry, San Diego fans. You’re just not that good this year. QB Philip Rivers is great, and he’s got a great receiver in Vincent Jackson and a tight end in Antonio Gates, but just like Manning, that’s about all that he has to bring to the table. The defense for the Bolts was lackluster at times, especially down the stretch in games, and a similar performance this year will once again keep this team home from the playoffs. It’s the best team in the AFC West, but we’ve been saying that for years…

14: New York Giants (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The G-Men won 10 games last year and missed out on the playoffs, but they are awfully thin in the secondary now that first round draft choice, DB Prince Amukamara broke his ankle. QB Eli Manning might have one of these bizarre seasons in which he throws at least 30 TDs and at least 20 picks, but it might not be enough to save Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s job.

15: Chicago Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Picking up a pair of Dallas rejects in WR Roy Williams and RB Marion Barber isn’t going to help this team out all that much. QB Jay Cutler’s little crying act on the sidelines in the NFC Championship Game won’t do anything to endear him to the Chicago media. Don’t be shocked if the Bears take a huge step backwards this year and barely even challenge the .500 mark.

16: Kansas City Chiefs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – We’re just not really believers in the Chiefs this year. QB Matt Cassel was incredibly efficient a year ago, but the man tutoring him, OC Charlie Weis is now with the Florida Gators. If the defense for Head Coach Todd Haley can hold teams down to 326 points again this year, this will be the division winner. If not, it’ll be a long season.

17: Detroit Lions (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – On paper, Detroit is a playoff team this year. However, on paper, QB Matt Stafford plays a 16 game season and DT Ndamukong Suh doesn’t get cut block by an angry offensive lineman who just had his quarterback sandwiched into the turf. This team has a great mean streak about it, and it’ll get there eventually. Detroit is still one year away, though.

If you’re looking For Great NFL Picks and Latest NFL Power Rankings Here.....

18: St. Louis Rams (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The NFC West finally makes a cameo appearance at No. 18 in our poll this year. QB Sam Bradford could be poised to take that jump to the elite status of NFL quarterbacks, especially with Josh McDaniels running the show now. The defense isn’t there yet, but it’s getting there. The rest of the NFC West doesn’t have much direction, but at least St. Louis is headed the right way.

19: Oakland Raiders (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Does anyone realize that the Raiders finished .500 last season? QB Jason Campbell is back for a second year, and for a change, he should be running the same offense. Head Coach Hue Jackson knows that his team has a problem replacing the departed DB Nnamdi Asomugha, but things could be worse in the Black Hole.

20: Cleveland Browns (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Browns are another one of these teams that is definitely moving in the right direction. QB Colt McCoy will be significantly better in Year 2 than he was as a rookie, and his West Coast offense might turn out some more wins than people think. It’s just too bad that this team already has at least three, and probably four losses coming between the Ravens and Steelers.

21: Minnesota Vikings (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Things can’t possibly get any worse this year for the Vikes than they were a year ago. QB Donovan McNabb probably isn’t throwing 19 picks like QB Brett Favre did, and the Metrodome probably isn’t collapsing under the weight of a bunch of snow. One thing is for sure, and that’s that RB Adrian Peterson is surely going to be in for another monster year.

22: Seattle Seahawks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Head Coach Pete Carroll got the Hawks in the playoffs last year, but finishing .500 would be a reasonable goal again. QB Tarvaris Jackson and WR Sidney Rice both came over from the Vikes, and there are high expectations for both men for an offense that needed a lot of work from last year.

23: Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Jags reached a ton to get QB Blaine Gabbert in this year’s NFL Draft, and we just aren’t so sure why they did it. QB David Garrard was at least competent under center, and there are just so many more needs for this team than that. This was a .500 team, but Jacksonville will be lucky to even come close to saying that this year.

24: Denver Broncos (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Call us crazy, but we think that the Broncos could possibly be the real deal this year. Head Coach John Fox is pushing some of the right buttons, and drafting LB Von Miller will help out dramatically. This team shouldn’t have been 4-12 bad last season, but Head Coach Josh McDaniels had lost the squad. Fox won’t lose control and should right the ship. 8-8 is an attainable goal.

25: Arizona Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – This team is a huge wild card this year. The Cards might have a quarterback this year with QB Kevin Kolb, and that might make this offense awfully frightening. Still, the rest of the team just looks pretty darn bad, especially since the ‘D’ gave up its best player in DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. We do love drafting DB Patrick Peterson, but it doesn’t make up for the losses just to get Kolb.

26: Miami Dolphins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Miami thinks that it is a playoff team this year. We don’t. The Fins, in fact, will be competitors for that No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and the right to draft QB Andrew Luck. QB Chad Henne and Head Coach Tony Sparano have seen the end of their time in South Beach, as a 4-12 or 5-11 season just won’t be good enough to keep either one around in 2012.

27: San Francisco 49ers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – Every year is supposed to be the year that the Niners return to respectability, but it just isn’t happening any time soon. QB Colin Kaepernick will take this team over eventually, as QB Alex Smith isn’t one of the best 35 quarterbacks in the league. The defense has been vastly overrated for years. Struggling to score 300 points again won’t cut it. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh probably will wish that he stayed at Stanford like QB Andrew Luck did.

28: Carolina Panthers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Panthers aren’t going to be as brutal as they were last year, even though we don’t think the QB Cam Newton experience is ready to take off quite yet. If nothing else, RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are healthy, and both could be 1,000+ yard backs.

29: Tennessee Titans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – You reach that far to take QB Jake Locker, you get what you’ve got coming to you. Tennessee is going the wrong direction and is in a lot of trouble. About the only bright spot is that RB Chris Johnson’s holdout didn’t cost him any games. Goodness knows what type of ill will it caused in the locker room, though.

30: Washington Redskins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – All this team needs is a quarterback, a running back, and a few wide receivers, and it’ll have a strong offense! Neither side of the ball is all that great for Head Coach Mike Shanahan and company, and there is no doubt in our minds that his team is going to end up finishing as one of the worst in the NFC. QB John Beck and QB Rex Grossman don’t cut it.

31: Buffalo Bills (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – We agree with the Bills that they shouldn’t have drafted a quarterback this year in the NFL Draft to give QB Ryan Fitzpatrick a chance, but we also know that it probably only made for a longer season in 2011. This team will be able to snare QB Andrew Luck next year though, and it’ll all work out in the end.

32: Cincinnati Bengals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) – The Bengals are bad… really, really bad. QB Carson Palmer retired on them because he was tired of playing for such a dilapidated franchise, and we can’t blame him. QB Andy Dalton has now gotten thrown into the mix at quarterback, and he’s just not ready for this. This team is just too young right now and cannot be trusted, and we just don’t see where more than maybe three wins are coming from.

If you’re looking For Great Free NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

2011 Free NCAA Football PIcks Begin Season At 5-1 (83%)

As we warned you, our Free NCAA Football Picks usually start slow. We apologize for the loss in our 5-1 Week 1 Picks.

After a crazy cover Thursday night, our Saturday slate consisted of four games featuring the double-digit spread we usually try to avoid, along with one underdog. And we won four of the five.

As we said after Thursday's game, if this start is any indication (last year we started with 5-4-1 week, or 55.5%, and finished the year at 55%), we're in for a good season. Like 83% good.

Stay with us next week as we roll out the first of our Free NFL Picks (60% in 2010) on Thursday and continue our 83% college football picks. We hope.

Friday, September 2, 2011

College Football Saturday is Upon Us

Week 1 of the NCAA Football slate officially kicked off on Thursday (as did our now 1-0 2011 Free NCAA Football Picks), but the real deal begins today, with a full schedule of action on Saturday. And it's about time.

Our Free NCAA Football Picks got off to a frantic but successful start on Thursday, and we're looking to improve upon last season's 55% mark.

We're off to a good start, winning 10 of our last 11 going back to the 2010-11 bowl games, and we're looking to continue that run with the following plays on this busy day:

Florida State -29 1/2 over Louisiana-Monroe

Oklahoma -25 over Tulsa

Northwestern +3 1/2 over Boston College

Texas -24 1/2 over Rice

Purdue -16 1/2 over Middle Tennessee State

We could add a pick or two on Saturday morning, just watching some last minute line movements. Otherwise, including Thursday's pick, it looks like just a six-play card for week 1 of the college football season (had 10 picks to open last year).

There are certainly a few more huge favorites than we would like, but such is life in the opening week of college ball. Best of luck throughout the season (not that you'll need it if you follow us! muahaha!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

NCAA Football Picks: TCU Horned Frogs vs Baylor Bears

Baylor Bears vs TCU Horned Frogs NCAA Football Picks: The TCU Horned Frogs had a storybook season last year. TCU went 13-0 and finished second in the final AP college football standings. The team would have obviously liked to get a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game, but a hard fought win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl was huge for the program.

Art Briles has done an impressive job turning around the program at Baylor, and they would like nothing more than to stop TCU’s winning streak at 13 games. TCU dominated Baylor 45-10 last year, but the circumstances are a little different this season. This game will be nationally televised by ESPN on Friday night.

TCU’s team will look a whole lot different this season. Only eight starters return from a year ago, and the team lost 26 lettermen from last year’s undefeated team. Andy Dalton was the offensive leader for TCU, but he’s now the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals. Casey Pachall appears to be the guy who will be the starter, but he attempted just nine passes in his freshman season last year.

The Horned Frogs lost three of their top four receivers, which will make life even more difficult for Pachall. On the positive side, TCU returns three terrific running backs. Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker, and Waymon James should have another great year in the backfield. The strength of this TCU team will need to be the defense.

Tank Carder and Tanner Brock are both great linebackers, but the defensive front must replace four out of five starters from last year. TCU has plenty of talent on its roster, but they also have quite a bit of inexperience.

Baylor was destroyed by Illinois in their bowl game at the end of last year, but the team still had a very successful 7-6 season. This was a program that was a perennial doormat just a few short years ago. Art Briles has come along and made this team pretty competitive. Robert Griffin III is the team’s leader, and he is one the best quarterbacks in the country.

Griffin is a dual-threat quarterback who makes solid decisions with the football. He completed 67% of his passes last year, and he also ran for 635 yards. Griffin’s top five receivers from a year ago will be back, but the team will definitely miss star running back Jay Finley’s presence in the backfield. As good as the Baylor offense was last year, the defense was that terrible. Baylor’s defense allowed 30.5 points per game last season, and they lost some of their best talents on the defensive side of the football.

These teams know this is a great chance to show what they are made of on national television. I really like Griffin and the Bears offense, but Baylor’s defense is a real problem. TCU should still be able to run the football at will. I like the Horned Frogs to cover in this one.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Baylor Bears NFL Picks from BTB

NCAA Football Betting Favorite: TCU -5

Over/Under: 56

If you’re looking For Great Free NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

NCAA Football Picks: TCU Horned Frogs vs Baylor Bears NFL Picks

Baylor Bears vs TCU Horned Frogs NCAA Football Picks: The TCU Horned Frogs had a storybook season last year. TCU went 13-0 and finished second in the final AP college football standings. The team would have obviously liked to get a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game, but a hard fought win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl was huge for the program.

Art Briles has done an impressive job turning around the program at Baylor, and they would like nothing more than to stop TCU’s winning streak at 13 games. TCU dominated Baylor 45-10 last year, but the circumstances are a little different this season. This game will be nationally televised by ESPN on Friday night.

TCU’s team will look a whole lot different this season. Only eight starters return from a year ago, and the team lost 26 lettermen from last year’s undefeated team. Andy Dalton was the offensive leader for TCU, but he’s now the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals. Casey Pachall appears to be the guy who will be the starter, but he attempted just nine passes in his freshman season last year.

The Horned Frogs lost three of their top four receivers, which will make life even more difficult for Pachall. On the positive side, TCU returns three terrific running backs. Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker, and Waymon James should have another great year in the backfield. The strength of this TCU team will need to be the defense.

Tank Carder and Tanner Brock are both great linebackers, but the defensive front must replace four out of five starters from last year. TCU has plenty of talent on its roster, but they also have quite a bit of inexperience.

Baylor was destroyed by Illinois in their bowl game at the end of last year, but the team still had a very successful 7-6 season. This was a program that was a perennial doormat just a few short years ago. Art Briles has come along and made this team pretty competitive. Robert Griffin III is the team’s leader, and he is one the best quarterbacks in the country.

Griffin is a dual-threat quarterback who makes solid decisions with the football. He completed 67% of his passes last year, and he also ran for 635 yards. Griffin’s top five receivers from a year ago will be back, but the team will definitely miss star running back Jay Finley’s presence in the backfield. As good as the Baylor offense was last year, the defense was that terrible. Baylor’s defense allowed 30.5 points per game last season, and they lost some of their best talents on the defensive side of the football.

These teams know this is a great chance to show what they are made of on national television. I really like Griffin and the Bears offense, but Baylor’s defense is a real problem. TCU should still be able to run the football at will. I like the Horned Frogs to cover in this one.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Baylor Bears NFL Picks from BTB

NCAA Football Betting Favorite: TCU -5

Over/Under: 56

If you’re looking For Great Free NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

Syracuse Comeback Gives 2011 Free NCAA Football Picks a 1-0 Start

If tonight's pick of Syracuse at -6 1/2 over Wake Forest to open the 2011 college football season was any indication, we are in for a wild ride with our 2011 Free NCAA Football Picks.

'Cuse looked like one of the worst teams in the history of college football in the first half (and one of the worst bets in Stock Lemon history) before mounting a comeback and winning by seven in overtime.

And with that, our Free NCAA Football Picks have followed a 55% season with a 100% start in 2011. After a 9-1 2010-11 bowl season, we've now won 10 of our last 11 college football bets.

We likely will not have a play on either game tomorrow night, but should post our Saturday picks shortly thereafter. We usually have quite a few picks to open things up, though we are scared off by some of the bigger spreads (anyone who caught a bad beat on the backdoor UNLV cover tonight knows why).

Stay tuned for more of our %100 accurate Free NCAA Football Picks throughout the season! (Hey, we'll tout it while we can).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome Back to College Football (55% in 2010)

The 2011 football season is finally upon us, beginning with a healthy slate of Thursday games in college football, which of course means the return of our Free NCAA Football Picks.

We have, so far, just one pick for Thursday night's opening action, and we assure you, this is not a basketball pick, despite the teams involved.

Syracuse -6 1/2 over Wake Forest

We could potentially add to that for Thursday and even Friday, but most assuredly, there will be several picks for the opening Saturday of the college football season. Stay with us all year for our absolute, 100% Free NCAA Football Picks every week.

Last year, our Free NCAA Football Picks finished at 55%, supported by a very strong 90% bowl season. In the beginning, though, there were plenty of ups and downs, as we endured three consecutive losing weeks early in the season.

We often struggle to start the college schedule, due to some of the wild double-digit spreads caused by unbalanced non-conference games. Conversely, our Free NFL Picks usually start off much better in the beginning of the season and then go about .500 the rest of the way.

We'll try to change both of those blemishes, of course, but consider this a disclaimer if you are tailing our picks (like you need any more of a disclaimer while following free picks from a sketchy blogspot site). All that said, our Free Picks have been pretty successful, with a 55% college season accompanying a 60% year in the NFL. Last year's results are below, for posterity's sake.

2010Free NCAA Football Picks

Week 1: 5-4-1

Week 2: 8-4

Week 3: 3-6

Week 4: 4-7

Week 5: 3-6

Week 6: 5-2

Week 7: 5-3

Week 8: 5-3

Week 9: 5-0

Week 10: 3-3

Week 11: 1-7

Week 12: 2-2

Week 13: 4-3

Week 14: 2-2

Bowls: 9-1

Overall: 64-53-1... 55%

Free NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Jets Nets NFL Picks

New York Jets Nets vs Philadelphia Eagles Free NFL Picks: The New York Jets are just hours removed from playing their Week 3 preseason clash with the New York Giants. Now, Head Coach Rex Ryan and company have to get ready for the Philadelphia Eagles, who fly into town on Thursday night for the preseason finale.

Don’t expect to see a whole heck of a lot out of the starters for the Eagles this week, as they really have played well in the preseason and look prepped for the games that count starting next week. QB Michael Vick led his offense to a 24-0 lead last week against the Cleveland Browns before the backups conceded some late scores, but the team was still more than good enough to cover a hefty seven point spread.

Instead, expect to see a ton of work for QB Mike Kafka. Kafka only was in the game to hand off the ball and to take knees last week at the end of the game, but this week, you can be sure that Head Coach Andy Reid is going to let him fire away at the New York defense.

He has completed over 70 percent of his passes over the course of the preseason, and he has been one of the most efficient passers in exhibitions over the last two preseasons. Don’t be shocked if the former Northwestern Wildcat is in for a great game against a typically stout defense.

The Jets definitely have their share of problems right now. There is no way whatsoever that they are going to be using the starters at all in this preseason finale, especially after playing a half of ball against the Giants on just Monday night.

However, the real question is how the starters in this one, who were likely the backups on Monday, are going to be able to play on just a three day turnaround. It’s really an inhumane thing to do to these players, and though they aren’t starters, they are going to be important cogs to the puzzle for the Jets this year.

Head Coach Rex Ryan isn’t an idiot. He knows that to avoid unnecessary injuries in this one, he needs to use a bunch of players that are either fringe guys, practice squad guys, or guys that he knows that he is going to cut as soon as the game is over.

That being said, a large portion of this game is probably going to be quarterbacked by QB Drew Willy, which really can’t put any confidence into those making their Free NFL picks on the Jets.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets Free Picks: Sorry, New York. There will be better opportunities for you than this one. The Eagles, for what it’s worth, have gone 5-0 in this series in the regular season dating all the way back to 1987. Don’t be surprised if this one gets brutally ugly in a hurry causing the boo birds to come out in the Big Apple.

NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles OTB

If you’re looking For Great NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dallas Cowboys Free NFL Picks: 2011 Dallas Cowboys NFL Picks

2011 Dallas Cowboys Free NFL Picks: Things did not go according to script for the Cowboys in 2010. In what was supposed to be a championship run that ended up with a victory in Super Bowl XLV in their home stadium, ended up as a total nightmare with a 1-6 start, a season-ending injury to quarterback Tony Romo, and a mid-season change at head coach.

Team owner Jerry Jones remains confident that everything is back in place for a return to the level of play his team put forth in the 2009 season when Dallas won the NFC East.

Former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was promoted to the permanent head coaching position after salvaging a 6-10 record from such a dreadful start. The 2011 version of the Cowboys is already guaranteed to be better with the return of Romo to the starting lineup.

He was coming off is best season as a pro in 2009 and completing close to 70 percent of his passes last year before going down in Week 6 with a broken collar bone. Also back is WR Dez Bryant, who broke his ankle returning a kickoff in early December.

They will be joined by a crowded backfield that includes veteran RB’s Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, along with third-round pick DeMarco Murray. Romo will quickly look to reconnect with his two favorite receivers, Miles Austin and TE Jason Witten, while working rookie WR Dwayne Harris into the mix.

Even with backup Jon Kitna at the helm, Dallas finished the 2010 season ranked seventh in both yards and points per game, so with Romo back at the helm, the Cowboys have the potential to be one of the top offenses in the league.

The real fun could be on the defensive side of the ball with addition of Rob Ryan as Dallas’s new coordinator. He has already tried to stir things up in the division by calling Philadelphia the “all-hype team”.

In the same vein as his father Buddy and brother Rex, he looks to motivate his own players by antagonizing the competition. He has to hope that there is enough talent on this squad to back these words up, especially given the fact that Dallas finished last season ranked 23rd in the league overall and 31st in points allowed.

The addition of LB Bruce Carter in the second round of the draft along with DE Kenyon Coleman and DB Abram Elam through free agency will help to add some depth, but the Cowboys will be going with basically the same players as last year.

There is still a wealth of talent up and down Dallas’s roster, but the trick for guys like Garrett and Ryan is to get them to play to their potential on a consistent basis, which is something that previous head coach Wade Phillips could never seem to accomplish.

The good news for Cowboy fans is that Garrett has already seemed to win this team over with his performance as the interim coach last season and Ryan is the perfect guy to light a fire under a defense that tended to just smolder under Phillips’ direction. Overall, it will be a tall task to keep up with the Giants and the Eagles in the East, but this year’s Cowboys will be much more competitive than last year’s squad.

2011 NFL Prediction: 9-7 and third in the NFC East.

2011 NFL Team Betting Previews- Dallas Cowboys Odds by Free NFL Picks

NFL Picks to win the NFC East +300

NFL Picks to win the NFC +1200

NFL Picks to win the Super Bowl +2000

Win Total 9

If you’re looking For Great NFL Picks, Check out the NFL Forums at Bang the Book!

Friday, August 26, 2011

So... Who Wants to Bet on the Lingerie Football League?

It's back to football alright, just maybe not exactly what you had in mind.

The Lingerie Football League, which is surprisingly well organized and put together, kicks off today, and wouldn't you know it, you can actually bet on the thing.

Here are the odds to win Lingerie Bowl IX in Las Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5, 2012:

Los Angeles Temptation... 6/5

Philadelphia Passion... 3/2

Chicago Bliss... 4/1

Orlando Fantasy... 6/1

Tampa Bay Breeze... 8/1

Seattle Mist... 10/1

Baltimore Charm... 12/1

Green Bay Chill... 18/1

Minnesota Valkyrie... 20/1

Cleveland Crush... 20/1

Las Vegas Sin... 30/1

Toronto Triumph... 30/1

What's that you say? Can't wait until February to get a payoff on your Lingerie Football League bet? Don't worry, you can bet on all the games leading up to the infamous Lingerie Bowl, beginning with tonight's contest between the Green Bay Chill and Minnesota Valkyrie. We like the Chill at -2 1/2.

We'll check back in on these odds as we near Super Bowl XLVI (46), and of course, Lingerie Bowl IX (9). That is, if we don't get hooked and start betting on Lingerie Football every week.

With less than two weeks until the NFL kickoff and less than a week until the college football slate is underway, we'll try to save our football betting bankroll for just a little while longer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends (and Defenses and Kickers)

We've given you our 2011 fantasy football rankings for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, and if you haven't done so already, take a look at those before you proceed.

Go ahead, we'll wait.

OK, now that you've studied up on our previous rankings, your priorities are in order. We're of the opinion that you want to load up on the running backs and wide receivers throughout your draft, and that you should make sure to grab a top-tier quarterback and be done with that.

The latter is how we also feel about tight ends. Get a good one early, and don't even bother with a backup. The waiver wire will eventually offer plenty of pieces for you to plug in.

As for kickers and defenses, don't even bother worrying about either until the last two rounds. The big rallying cry from top fantasy football experts is to never draft a kicker before the last round, and we feel the same about defenses. We feel like the second-to-last-round is a perfect spot for your kicker. This way, you get one of your top-rated kickers before everybody else in the last round follows the advice of the so-called experts.

Defenses, meanwhile, are an equal crapshoot. Just pick one up in the last round and watch the waiver wire during the season, where a top 10 defense is sure to reside at some point early on.

The only rankings we'll provide here are our tight ends:

Tier 1
1. Antonio Gates
2. Jason Witten
3. Dallas Clark
4. Jermichael Finley
5. Vernon Davis

That's all we'll even bother to show you. Pick up one of these guys in the fourth or fifth round and be done with it. Kickers and defenses we'll trust you to figure out on your own.

Not a fan of fantasy football? (What's wrong with you?) Don't worry, we'll be back to betting on games as soon as they matter--starting with a pick in the Packers-Saints game season-opener on Sept. 8.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers

The upcoming weekend is a big one in the world of fantasy football, coinciding with the third and most telling week of preseason action. We've knocked out our Quarterback and Running back rankings, and we're going to help you get ready for the weekend with our third installment of fantasy football position rankings, this time focusing on the wide receivers.

Tier 1

1. Andre Johnson

2. Roddy White

3. Calvin Johnson

4. Hakeem Nicks

5. Larry Fitzgerald

6. Greg Jennings

7. Reggie Wayne

8. Mike Wallace

Tier 2

9. Vincent Jackson

10. DeSean Jackson

11. Dwayne Bowe

12. Dez Bryant

13. Kenny Britt

14. Miles Austin

15. Santonio Holmes

16. Marques Colston

17. Brandon Marshall

18. Brandon Lloyd

19. Steve Johnson

Tier 3

20. Percy Harvin

21. Anquan Boldin

22. Wes Welker

23. Mike Williams (TB)

24. Jeremy Maclin

25. Mario Manningham
26. Chad Ochocinco
27. Sidney Rice

Tier 4
28. Santana Moss
29. Pierre Garcon
30. Austin Collie
31. Mike Sims-Walker
32. Mike Thomas
33. Steve Smith (CAR)
34. A.J. Green
35. Michael Crabtree
36. Robert Meachem
37. Julio Jones
38. Braylon Edwards

Tier 5
39. Malcolm Floyd
40. Roy Williams
41. Johnny Knox
42. Lee Evans
43. Jordy Nelson
44. James Jones
45. Jerome Simpson
46. Jacoby Ford
47. Plaxico Burress
48. Hines Ward
49. Davone Bess
50. Danny Amendola
51. Deion Branch
52. Derrick Mason
53. Donald Driver
54. Lance Moore
55. Steve Breaston
56. Emmanuel Sanders
57. Kevin Walter
58. Nate Burleson
59. Steve Smith (PHI)
60. Mike Williams (SEA)
61. Andre Roberts
62. Arrelious Benn
63. Jason Hill
64. Eddie Royal

For the wide receiver group, our tiers are expanded as there is only a slight difference between many of the players in the talent pool. The lesson here, as always, is get at least one guy in the top tier. If you are yourself with a top tier quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end in the first four or five rounds, you'll be in good shape no matter how the rest of the draft shakes out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs

Ahhh running backs. The lifeblood of fantasy football. Or at least, they used to be, back when all 32 teams had a feature running back to take all the carries and rack up a ton of points. Not so anymore, which is where we come in to sort through them all and make sure you get the right ones.

Continuing our 2011 Fantasy Football series after unveiling our Quarterback Rankings last week, it's time to take a look at the top running backs in the the NFL--for fantasy purposes, anyway.

Tier 1

1. Adrian Peterson

2. Chris Johnson

3. Jamaal Charles

4. Arian Foster

5. Ray Rice

Tier 2

6. LeSean McCoy

7. Maurice Jones-Drew

8. Rashard Mendenhall

9. Darren McFadden

10. Frank Gore

Tier 3

11. Matt Forte

12. Steven Jackson

13. Michael Turner

14. Ahmad Bradshaw

15. Peyton Hillis

Tier 4

16. LeGarrette Blount

17. Knowshon Moreno

18. Jahvid Best

19. Shonn Greene

Tier 5

20. Mark Ingram

21. Daniel Thomas

22. Ryan Mathews

23. Felix Jones

24. DeAngelo Williams

25. Cedric Benson

26. Ryan Grant

27. Marshawn Lynch

28. Fred Jackson

29. BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Tier 6

30. Jonathan Stewart

31. Tim Hightower

32. Beanie Wells

33. Ryan Williams

34. Mike Tolbert

35. Michael Bush

36. Pierre Thomas

37. Joseph Addai

39. C.J. Spiller

40. James Starks

Tier 7

41. Brandon Jacobs

42. Reggie Bush

43. Danny Woodhead

44. Ryan Torain

45. Roy Helu

46. Darren Sproles

47. Rashad Jennings

Tier 8

48. LaDainian Tomlinson

49. Ronnie Brown

50. Willis McGahee

51. Thomas Jones

52. Ricky Williams

Tier 9

53. Montario Hardesty

54. Jerome Harrison

55. Javon Ringer

56. Bernard Scott

58. DeMarco Murray

59. Jason Snelling

60. Ben Tate

61. Marion Barber

62. Brandon Jackson

63. Delone Carter

64. Shane Vereen

65. Justin Forsett

66. Donald Brown

67. Toby Gerhart

68. Anthony Dixon

69. Cadillac Williams

The Running Back position, as you can see, has turned into one big clusterfudge in the fantasy football world. Just as we advised that you pick up a Tier 1 quarterback, that would be ideal with running backs as well, but definitely have at least one of the top 15 guys or you really don't know what you're getting.

The shortage of quality backs means, quite simply, just pick as many of them as you can. That 20-40 group can almost be flipped around without anybody putting up too much of a fight, which is quite the predicament for fantasy players looking to get a stud No. 2 back. So our advice is to stockpile the position and hope that your Tim Hightowers separate from your Ryan Torains.

At the top, there are more enticing options than Adrian Peterson, but old reliable gets our No. 1 nod for his consistency. Chris Johnson's holdout is a little fearful, as is Arian Foster without bruising fullback Vonta Leach, so we'd stick with Peterson as the first overall pick.

With QBs and RBs behind us, it's time to take a look at another seemingly convoluted position--wide receivers. Check back later this week for our WR rankings.

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks

We are finally back to football after last night's NFL action (albeit preseason) and we are celebrating by rolling out the first installment of our 2011 Fantasy Football rankings. In our first position ratings, we are naturally taking a look at quarterbacks.

While the position is often referred to as the most important position in football, it may just be the most important in fantasy football as well. Running backs and wide receivers will still rule the early rounds, but it's important to get a good QB early (we recommend making sure to get a guy in the first tier).

Without further ado, our 2011 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings:

Tier 1

1. Michael Vick

2. Aaron Rodgers

3. Drew Brees

4. Phillip Rivers

5. Tom Brady

6. Peyton Manning

7. Tony Romo

Tier 2

8. Matt Schaub

9. Matt Ryan

10. Ben Roethlisberger

11. Eli Manning

12. Joe Flacco

Tier 3

13. Matt Stafford

14. Josh Freeman

15. Sam Bradford

16. Jay Cutler

17. Kevin Kolb

18. Kyle Orton

19. Ryan Fitzpatrick

20. Donovan McNabb

21. Mark Sanchez

22. Matt Cassell

Tier 4

23. Colt McCoy

24. Cam Newton

As you see, we've broken the quarterbacks into convenient tiers. As we mentioned above, if you see some of the top quarterbacks flying off the board early, make sure to get one of the top seven (Romo is a controversial pick for the top tier that some might not feel comfortable with, so in that case, grab one of the top six).

Fantasy Football players are just starting to truly realize the importance of a consistent, reliable quarterback. Get one early and don't worry about it for the rest of the year.

After that, Tier 2 is mostly dependable starters who we feel will maintain their current production with no dropoff. There is a little more potential in Tier 3, along with a few players who we do, in fact, think have a dropoff coming (Josh Freeman, namely).

Finally, our last tier is just two deep: McCoy and Newton. If you're drafting a quarterback this late into the talent pool, go for the boom or bust guys who could break out rather than the consistently mediocre options such as Matt Hasselbeck or David Garrard.

Now that you have your signal-caller picked out, we'll continue with our series of 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings to help you fill out the rest of your fictional squad. Next up: Running backs.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stock Lemon's Advice on Betting the NFL Preseason:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Tiger Woods Major Tournament Betting Strategy

The last of the 2011 golf majors takes place this weekend, and for betters feeling nostalgic about Tiger's seemingly long-gone dominance in the golf world, here's a strategy to consider.

With a mediocre performance over the weekend (and the last two years), Tiger's odds are dwindling with every tournament. You'd be hard-pressed to find him at odds of 10/1 or better at a major until he wins another one, a far cry from the days when you could actually bet on him versus the field--and get better odds on the field!

So here's a strategy: Knowing that 10/1 is the worst of the odds you'll have to lay (he's double that at 20/1 at the PGA Championship this weekend), you could feasibly bet on Tiger at the next 10 majors (covering 2 1/2 years of golf), needing only to win in the last tournament of those 10 to break even. Which means, should he win next year's PGA, you would have unsuccessfully bet on four tournaments, say for $100 each, but in the fifth tournament, assuming at worst 10/1 odds, you would profit $1,000. Our math tells us that you made yourself a $600 profit, at which point you scrap the system.

Now, maybe our logic is flawed. Maybe Tiger will show promise at a tournament and get everybody jacked up about his game again, thus boosting the odds to unfavorable amounts (and given the public's betting affection for Tiger, this is not unlikely). Maybe injuries and mental fatigue have ruined the once immortal Tiger for good. But hey, that's gambling. There are no guarantees, just opportunities.

In the end, the risk may prove greater than the reward. But vise versa is possible, too, particularly if he keeps getting 20/1 odds.

Essentially, under this strategy you are betting on Tiger Woods, perhaps the greatest golfer of all-time, to win just one major in the next 2 1/2 years. Would you take that bet?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Stock Lemon's 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings Coming Soon

Thankfully, it's football season yet again, where all your fantasies become realities.

For those of you who have been fantasizing about our 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, wipe that drool from your lip and check back soon for our position-by-position ranks of the best of the NFL.

And since there will likely be very few Raiders in our rankings, fantasize about the picture above for as long as you can.

Check back soon for our rankings!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tiger Tempting Bridgestone Bettors

The big golf news of the week (year) is that Tiger Woods will finally return from his physical and mental injuries and take part in the Bridgestone Invitational which begins tomorrow.

This is an event that Tiger has won seven times, and other golfers have won just five, so yeah, a lot of people are betting on Tiger Woods in his first tourney back.

We like Tiger as much as the next obscure sports betting/stocks website, but let's hold on just a minute. Bookmakers are enticing betters with great odds on Tiger, especially at an event he has historically dominated like none other. But keep in mind, this is his first event back, and with a new caddy at that. Let's give him a tourney to work out the kinks. Our prediction is that he does just that--and then goes on to win the PGA next weekend. But we think this is just a tune-up to prepare for next week.

Keep in mind that Tiger's list of goals looks like this: 1) majors; 2) everything else. Obviously, he would like to win the tournament, but he has his eye on an even bigger prize next week. Though it is extremely tempting to bet Tiger at a tournament he has won nearly 60 percent of the time at such favorable odds (currently 12/1 on Bodog after opening upwards of 20/1!), this is the only Bridgestone tourney in history in which we advise taking the field.

Now don't get us wrong, despite what his arbitrary ranking might tell you, we still think Tiger is the best golfer in the world. We just don't think he will be this weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Odds to Win the 2011-12 NCAA Football BCS National Championship

We took a look at the early odds for Super Bowl XLI (46), and considering the college football season actually begins prior to the NFL, we thought we would take a look at the odds to win the 2011-12 BCS National Championship.

Oklahoma... 9/2
Alabama... 11/2
Florida State... 10/1
Oregon... 12/1
Boise State... 14/1
LSU... 14/1
Florida... 16/1
Stanford... 16/1
Wisconsin... 20/1
Nebraska... 25/1
Ohio State... 25/1
Texas... 25/1
West Virginia... 25/1
Notre Dame... 28/1
South Carolina... 28/1
Arkansas... 30/1
Oklahoma State... 30/1
Penn State... 30/1
TCU... 30/1
Virginia Tech... 35/1
Texas A&M... 40/1
Georgia... 50/1
Michigan State... 50/1
Miami ... 60/1
Mississippi State... 60/1
Iowa... 65/1
Arizona State... 75/1
Michigan... 75/1
Mississippi... 75/1
Missouri... 80/1
North Carolina... 80/1
Tennessee... 80/1
Auburn... 100/1
California... 100/1
Cincinnati... 100/1
Clemson... 100/1
Kansas State... 125/1
Oregon State... 125/1
Arizona... 150/1
BYU... 150/1
Georgia Tech... 150/1
Pittsburgh... 150/1
South Florida... 150/1
Texas Tech... 150/1
UCLA... 150/1
Utah... 150/1
Washington... 150/1
Boston College... 175/1

Our thoughts: While we like Oklahoma (9/2) and Alabama (11/2) as much as anyone, the return on investment just isn't all that enticing for those two powerhouses. You're better off re-distributing that money in other bets for the Sooners or Tide throughout the year rather than having to sit on it all season, if you truly believe one of the favorites will come out on top in 2012.

We think, however, a wild card will emerge to win this year's National Championship. Our favorite odds on the board in terms of value are Stanford (16/1), Wisconsin (20/1), South Carolina (28/1), and if you really want a darkhorse, Texas A&M (40/1).

Either way, here are the odds, but as a public service announcement we are not huge on betting on these futures to win it all. It's hard enough for most folks to pick winners week-in and week-out, but it really is a crapshoot to pick the champion before the season begins--and if you bet a heavy favorite it rarely is even worth it if it pans out.

You might even say, it takes a lot of Luck. See if you geniuses can decipher our 2012 championship pick based on the previous sentence (and the above picture; and the fact that we already listed them above; Ok, we'll tell you, it's Andrew Luck and Stanford).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Will Brett Favre Come Out of Retirement in 2011?

Now that the NFL lockout has finally been lifted, we can get back to betting on the game of football. Once again, we spent the entire summer desperately trying to maintain some sort of return web traffic by conjuring up Free Picks in baseball, tennis, golf, arena football and soccer. And, by all accounts, all picks (as well as attempts at more traffic) failed miserably.

But now, the NFL lockout has been lifted, and we can get back to our bread and butter. In 2011, we finished the season with an even 60% success rate on our Free NFL Picks. While we would like to improve on that number, 60% is generally a very good percentage if you want to make a living betting on football games--which of course, every human being to ever live would love to do.

And so, we present our first bet on the 2011 NFL season, fittingly enough involving the same Brett Favre prop bet that pops up this time of year, lockout or not.

Will Brett Favre return to the NFL in 2011?
Yes +275
No -350

Our wager is an emphatic no. While we've been burned by Favre on this very prop before, this year, for certain, he is retired. Some have wondered if a team like the Eagles--soon to be in need of a quality backup--or the Panthers or Seahawks--teams in need of a quality starter--will come calling to No. 4, especially considering the short time frame caused by the lockout in which rookie quarterbacks (like Carolina's Cam Newton) have to prepare for the upcoming season.

Rest assured, though, that the only way Favre benefited from the lockout is in the boost to retirement pensions. Favre is retired, and though the juice is horrible, this isn't a bad bet to lay down a crisp Benjamin and collect some easy money.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) Prop Bet Results

With our recent posting about the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) odds, we found ourselves all pumped up for football again for the first time all summer (excluding our brief Arena Football excursions). Unfortunately, we might have jumped the gun, as it now looks like the players are not as pleased as we hoped with the CBA agreement that would end the lockout.

Nevertheless, in our excitement for the upcoming Super Bowl, we looked back at the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) matchup that saw the Packers defeat the Steelers. We realized that, regrettably, we never posted the official results to our myriad of Super Bowl XLV prop bets. To incorrectly use an analogy, the Super Bowl is our Super Bowl of blogging. It's the time of year when we produce our best, most consistent, and most entertaining content, by a wide margin. We are known as the unofficial home for Super Bowl prop betting (self-proclaimed, anyway).

However, we remember something coming up which caused us to miss making the post, which led to a week or two passing and us making the decision that it was no longer relevant. We took some heat from a few of you that relied on our extensive research for the results, to which we could only reply by directing you to our source of research.

Now that we're all excited and jacked for football, we'll end your wait right here and now. The results from Super Bowl XLV (45) are as follows:

The Coin Toss
Our Picks: Well, OK, we copped out here. We didn't actually make a pick, but rather informed you on the history of the results and the recent trends. Not that it meant anything--it's a freaking coin flip. So we didn't bet heads or tails, but we picked the Packers to win the toss, riding a 13-game NFC coin toss win-streak. Thus, we picked the player calling the flip--the visiting Steelers--to be incorrect.

Result: 14-in-a-row for the NFC! The remarkable streak continues as the Steelers called tails and lost the flip as the coin landed on heads. Also remarkable about the result, it means that heads and tails are back to an even split in the Super Bow, 23-23. Obviously, statistically that should be no surprise given that the odds are 50% either way. But still, it doesn't often work out quite like that. The Packers also deferred (which meant they kicked first), if anyone bet that other popular coin toss prop.

Our record: 2-0

The National Anthem
Our Picks: We were pretty proud of ourselves on this one, hedging at two different books to find a nice middle, giving us the over on 1 minute 50 seconds and the under on 1 minute 56 seconds and a chance to make a serious profit if it landed in between. We also took her to hold the last note, "brave," for under 6 seconds.

Result: Though this bet should have been thrown out completely given that she botched it beyond recognition, we still won some nice cash on it. She clocked in at 1 minute 45 seconds, right in the middle of our buffer zone. So yes, we correctly bet both the over and under on the anthem. Unfortunately, in order to get to that middle, we had to be terribly wrong on the time she would hold her last note--which we were. She held brave for an astonishing 11 seconds, then made some weird whimpering noise for an extra second after that.

Our Record: 4-1 (2-1 on this prop)

The Gatorade Shower
Our Pick: This is one of our favorite Super Bowl props, though it was the one that caused us the most frustration this year. After very nearly betting on the field at +500 odds due solely to the fact that the 2010 color, orange, was included in that bunch, we pussed out and went with the more common clear at +200. Should have followed our collective guts. We need to grow a pair of lemons.

Result: As you can tell by the picture accompanying this post, the liquid was very much orange in color. This means that after nine straight Super Bowls without making an appearance (2001-09), orange is now on a two-year win streak after being doused onto Mike McCarthy, as Sean Peyton took an orange bath last year. Trend alert!

Our Record: 4-2 (0-1)

Our Pick: Another cop out on our part; we told you to either take Aaron Rodgers (7/4) or Ben Roethlisberger (7/2), depending on which team you thought would win. Our reasoning was simply that the two quarterbacks are among the league's best, and the Super Bowl MVP is given to the QB almost by default.

Result: Well, we were right. If you liked the Packers, you should have bet Aaron Rodgers, who was named the Super Bowl XLV MVP. But since we didn't outright pick A-Rodge, and we know how much people like to call us out for any and all mistakes we make, we will refrain from including this prop in our running record total.

Our Record: 4-2 (N/A)... can't count that one

The Pittsburgh Steelers
Our Picks: We made a total of five player props for the Steelers, narrowed down from a list of about a thousand. We tried to find the best value, which led us to taking Rashard Mendenhall to run for more than 77 1/2 yards, Hines Ward to tally less than 42 1/2 receiving yards, Emmanuel Sanders to take advantage of Hines' lack of production to notch over 35 1/2 yards and over 2 1/2 receptions, and James Harrison to record under 1/2 sacks.

Results: Things got ugly here. Mendenhall had a good game (you know, aside from coughing up a game-changing fumble), but only amassed 63 yards on 14 carries. We didn't count on the Steelers digging such an early hole and being forced to throw all game. It was only until the drive that Mendenhall ended up fumbling that the Steelers really started to gain some control and run consistently. Our receiver guesses... er... well-researched bets did not go well. Hines had 78 yards, leaving just 17 yards on two catches for Sanders and leaving us blanked on three Pittsburgh wideout bets. To cap it off, James harrison even got a sack--his only tackle of the game. We'd just as soon not bet on the Steelers any time soon, even five months removed from the Super Bowl.

Our Record: 4-7 (0-5)

The Green Bay Packers
Our Picks: As bad as our Steelers props were, we made up for it by nailing the eventual champion Packers path to the Lombardi trophy. Of our five bets, only one came with negative juice, giving us nice paydays on the others. We rode the MVP Aaron Rodgers to throw over two touchdowns and under 1/2 interceptions, at +105 and +135, respectively. Then, we used the same strategy as with the Steelers WRs (old wideout struggles, young one steps up), taking Donald Driver to be held under 45 1/2 yards and Jordy Nelson to grab over 3 1/2 receptions. Lastly, at a whopping +175, we predicted Clay Matthews would record under 1/2 sacks.

Results: Yeah... things went better here. The MVP threw for three touchdowns with no picks en route to his honor, with nine completions going to Jordy Nelson (as well as about 10 drops). Driver left the field with an injury after just 28 yards receiving. Lastly, Claymaker made one of the biggest plays in the game (the aforementioned Mendenhall fumble), but did not record a sack, as we predicted. We swept the board with the Packers, making us 5-5 in total player props. Quite a strange way to go about doing so.

Our Record: 9-7 (5-0)

The Blake Griffin Point Total
Our Pick: A little background, this cross-sport prop asked who will score more points on Super Bowl Sunday: Blake Griffin or the Green Bay Packers. We immediately liked this one because everybody was riding Griffin's nuts at the time so we knew his total was going to be overvalued. Based solely on the fact that the Packers team over/under total was set at 24 and Blake Griffin's scoring average was around 23, we already liked the Packers. Factor in that we expected their total to be high, and for the Clippers to get pounded by the Heat that particular night of February 6th, and we picked the Packers to score more points than the NBA's Rookie of the Year.

Result: Our reasoning proved valid, as the Packers scored 31 to Griffin's 21 and the Clippers indeed were destroyed by the Heat. Griffin also grabbed 16 rebounds and had a pretty good game, but hey, that wasn't the prop.

Our Record: 10-7 (1-0)

The Halftime Show
Our Pick: There were a number of random things to bet on during this crazy halftime show, so we took a stab at a few Black Eyed Peas prop. Or rather, a prop pertaining to Fergie's outfit. After some debate over whether she won adorn a skirt or pants, we went with the pants option, figuring some tight leather jeans were in order.

Result: The winner? Weird spacesuit. Needless to say, our pants guess was incorrect. Technically, they scored her outfit as a skirt/dress, as the prop dealt only with her bottoms and not the sparkly shoulder pad number she wore on top.

Our Record: 10-8 (0-1)

The Jerry Jones TV Shots
Our Pick: We LOVE these props. In the hype of Super Bowl week(s), there are so many storylines about stupid garbage that people talk about just to fill time. Obviously Jerry Jones is the Cowboys owner, and the Super Bowl was played at his enormous new stadium, so that was a relatively decent talking point and didn't qualify as stupid garbage like many other stories did. Still, by comparison to the actual game, who gives a crap about Jerry Jones? Bookies get people to bite on these all the time. Look out for these props: How many times will they show/talk about (fill in celebrity here) at the Super Bowl? And always take the under. That's what we did, and in this case the under was 2 1/2.

Result: Easy win. They showed Jones once, and that was that. There was a game to play. You know, that Super Bowl thing.

Our Record: 11-8 (1-0)

The Favre Bombs
Our Pick: This is of the same mold as the Jerry Jones prop, so we think you know where we stand. How many times will they mention Brett Favre during the Super Bowl? Not the pre-game, not the post-game, during the actual game. We're telling you, which we'll reiterate in time for Super Bowl XLVI, always bet under on these. This one was at 2 1/2 again AND we got it at EVEN money because so many casual fans were hitting the over hard.

Result: You betcha, not one single in-game F-bomb. More easy money. Just because it is a huge storyline pregame, that doesn't mean it will come up at all during the game, especially with an experienced crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on FOX. These guys announced every single Packers playoff game, and even the last few of the regular season, so they no doubt had plenty of time to re-hash the Favre saga--and they rightfully rarely did so. Great job by this crew to focus on the game, which most experience broadcasters (and you have to have a little experience to announce the Super Bowl) would do.

Our Record: 12-8 (2-0)

The Thank You
Our Pick: The MVP is interviewed after the game, and they are usually quite thankful to everybody they've ever met, which is the reasoning behind this prop--who will they thank first? As with the actual MVP prop, we predicted what Rodgers and Roethlisberger might say and gave you answers accordingly based on who you thought would win the game. For the Packers, our answer was teammates, assuming Aaron Rodgers would thank them first. For the Steelers, we felt--based on past history--Roethlisberger would thank God and try to get back some image points (as he'd done in previous interviews this year).

Result: With Rodgers winning the MVP, he kind of thanked his teammates... but not really. He stated that "you gotta give credit to our defense," which is a way of showing gratitude, but is not an outright thank you. As such, the official result is the "does not thank anyone" option. As we stated when we originally posted this prop, you are leaving a lot to the discretion of your bookie on this, which is never comfortable.

Our Record: 12-8 (N/A) because we gave out two answers again and were generally noncommittal

The Scoreboard
Our Pick: We didn't have a pick on this one, but made a point to tell you as much. There was no option for no in the prop that asked if a punt would hit the giant scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium, and the Yes option yielded an enticing +1000 odds. As a public service announcement, we simply wanted to make sure nobody bet on this.

Result: Of course, nobody hit the scoreboard, something that only happened once in preseason when a punter did so on purpose to prove a point.

Final Super Bowl XLV (45) Prop Bet Record: 12-8 (60%)

Obviously, in terms of web traffic, relevancy, and a whole slew of other practical reasons, this post is very much out of place. But again, with football on the horizon, we thought we'd tie up one last loose end from 2010 before prepping for a new season.

For 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46), we promise to post the prop bets result within five months instead of waiting until the cusp of the upcoming season. That is, if Super Bowl XLVI is played.

Blog Archive