Written By @Hookslide23
Well, well, well, that’s a little more like it! After several consecutive weeks of watching moneyline underdogs take an unusual amount of beatings on the field, Week 13 of NFL saw several big ‘dogs eat.
The Vikings, 49ers, Dolphins, Jets, Seahawks, and Cowboys were among the big winners (I mean a 3 point dog winning outright lately is MAJOR, MAJOR NEWS), and some —
[takes a flying hit from behind from Rob Gronkowski]
HEY! WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?! Let’s go with what the sportscaster said; “Savage.”
You be the judge:
As I was saying, some of those underdog winners featured payouts of +150 or better at BetOnline.AG.
Fortunately for me, three of my four underdog picks cashed, which netted me nearly four betting positions. Just like that, I’m right back in the hunt with a few weeks left and NFL profitability is in sight.
Speaking of there only being a few weeks left, I’m starting to get several questions about th–
[takes another hit from behind by Gronkowski]
OK, SERIOUSLY GRONKOWSKI, NOT RIGHT NOW! I’M BUSY! AND I CAN’T WRITE WITH A CONCUSSION
Where was I? Ah, yes, here we are. We’re only a few weeks out from the end of the regular season, so people are starting to ask about betting the playoffs. Here’s a handy FAQ to get you started.
Who should I bet on for the Super Bowl?
Really? We’re just going to dive straight into Super Bowl talk? You’re not even going to buy me dinner?
Ok, ok, how is betting the NFL playoffs different from regular season betting?
It isn’t, in terms of strategy, but public perception has an even larger impact on the numbers. I still want to figure out the true odds of each team winning, and bet underdogs wherever the true odds are higher than the implied odds. If you haven’t read my previous column on calculating your edge I would encourage you to do so.
Where it is different is that these games are being bet on by a lot more people, which means the moneyline can really get skewed fast, and that’s good news for us.
What do you mean by the moneyline getting skewed?
If the underodg opens +120, but everybody and their brother’s uncle bets the favorite, the underdog price will get better as sportsbooks entice more action on that side. For those of us hunting for value in moneyline pups, every few extra cents we can pick up increases our edge. However, playing moneyline favorites during the postseason can also lend itself to saving a few precious percentage points as well but don’t worry, we’ll get there.
So I should bet the underdog?
No, remember, my constant and enduring advice is “don’t bet.” My second bit of advice is don’t bet the underdog unless you can see them winning (logical right?). But my THIRD bit of advice is that if you’re going to bet the valued underdogs in the playoffs, watch the moneylines daily, because they will be on the move.
Remember the lesson of the 2016 Super Bowl. The Broncos had decent true odds of beating the Panthers, but the public bet the Panthers sooooo heavily that the moneyline on the Broncos in the final few days jumped in the range of +250. I got them at +235, they won, and I made out like a bandit.
Shouldn’t I be betting the favorites?
Only if you’re getting value (no different from the dogs). Often times recreational players pass on taking the points with underdogs looking for a bigger score on the moneyline (naturally, I can relate). When this happens a favorite of -3 can be priced at -145, a good .10-.20 cents shorter than it should be, yielding what we call positive expected value. I’m not saying bet every favorite where the number is “off”, but moneyline wagers on the favorite can offer opportunity, as well.
So who should I bet in the Super Bowl?
I mean seriously, if I knew the answer to that question would I really be writing columns? After listening to Bet The Board podcast I’m becoming a believer in the Minnesota Vikings offense (we already know how good Zimmer’s defense is). The Vikings are 6th in offensive efficiency and 1st in passing success rate. That’s right, the Case Keenum lead Vikings are successful on 53% of their passes. If the playoffs were to start today, Minnesota would be the #1 seed in the NFC with home field advantage throughout — and we know where Super Bowl 52 is being played. Now, future market hold percentages are exorbitant, so almost always your edge will be significantly greater executing a moneyline rollover with shorter priced Super Bowl favorites (like the Patriots and Steelers). If the Vikings don’t win Super Bowl 52 it’s obvious doctors made a mistake clearing me from the concussion protocol so soon.