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ProfessorMJ

NFL 2019/20

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Who will win the NFC East division during the 2019 NFL regular season?

This sports betting article explores whether you should bet the Eagles, the Cowboys, the Redskins or the Giants to win their division this year.

Which team has odds to win the division that offers value to savvy sports investors like you?

Below are the best odds on each team among Pinnacle, Sports Interaction, Bookmaker, BetOnline, Bet365 and William Hill (as of August 26th, 2019):

EAGLES +100 (Sports Interaction and Bet365)
COWBOYS +210 (BetOnline)
REDSKINS +1830 (Bookmaker)
GIANTS +1850 (Bookmaker)

First of all, let me point out an interesting fact:

If you bet the best possible odds for each of the four teams, you can make a guaranteed profit here!

This is what’s called “Arbitrage Betting” (I wrote a full article about this topic – click here for details).

Here is how you might want to structure your bets in order to net a surefire profit:

                     Best odds   Risking       Potential return
EAGLES      +100           $1,000.00     $2,000
COWBOYS  +210           $645.16        $2,000
REDSKINS   +1830        $103.63        $2,000
GIANTS        +1850        $102.56        $2,000

One of those teams is going to win the AFC East, right? That means you are guaranteed to cash one of those four $2,000 tickets.

How much did you risk overall? The answer: $1,000.00 + $645.16 + $103.63 + $102.56 = $1,851.35.

Conclusion: your 100% guaranteed profit reaches $2,000 - $1,851.35 = $148.65 !!!

This also means at least one of those teams represents a good bet. Which one(s)? Let me answer this vital question.

a) New York Giants outlook

I believe the Giants are as likely to win the division as I am to win the lottery. And I don’t buy lottery tickets. Ever.

This is basically a one-player show with Saquon Barkley. He is awesome and very exciting to watch!

However, Eli Manning is getting old and he looked like he couldn’t throw more than 10 yards down the field last season. He kept dumping short passes, which made the job easier for opposing defensive coordinators.

Add the fact that Odell Beckham was traded and Golden Tate is suspended for the first four games, and you can smell trouble in the Big Apple.

Their defense, which ranked 24th in total yards allowed last season, will field many new starters, which might take time to jell.

Overall, there is not much hope to win the division and I would certainly stay away from the Giants.

b) Washington Redskins outlook

WOW, did you see the difference between Bookmaker’s odds and the other sportsbooks? You can bet Washington to win the division at +1830 with Bookmaker, while the next-best odds are +900.

In other words, that’s as if Bookmaker claims the Skins have one chance out of 19 to win the NFC East, while the others believe it’s more like one chance out of 10. That’s a huge difference.

While I don’t necessarily believe the Redskins will win this division, I believe it could be a smart move to drop a bit of money on them at odds +1830 or higher.

To me, there is no reason to have the Giants and Redskins on the same level. Washington has a much better defense.

The quarterback battle involves three guys: Case Keenum, rookie Dwayne Haskins and Colt McCoy. The latter is hurt for a few weeks, and he just plain sucks.

Keenum is more conservative and has more experience. He should be the week 1 starter. He did pretty well with the Vikings a couple of years ago, but he was mediocre in his other seasons, including last year in Denver where he threw 18 TDs versus 15 interceptions. Haskins will probably get the nod at some point in the season.

One more potential problem: left tackle Trent Williams is still holding out and is telling people he’s prepared to sit out the entire season.

c) Dallas Cowboys outlook

I’m not completely sold on Dak Prescott, nor Amari Cooper. In my opinion, Cooper overachieved after he joined the Cowboys last year. He was spectacular and I don’t think he will replicate that success in 2019. He also has a mysterious foot injury that might impact his play.

And then there’s also the Ezekiel Elliott holdout situation that adds more uncertainty. He wasn’t pleased with some recent comments made by owner Jerry Jones. Even if he signs a deal tomorrow, missing all of training camp and all preseason games isn’t ideal. Timing is important in football and you get that from playing with your teammates.

I like the addition of Randall Cobb though (if he can stay healthy!).

Dallas’ defense finished 7th in terms of yards allowed last season, and it should be solid again.

The Cowboys won 9 games by one possession or less (i.e. 7 points or less). They might not win as many close games this year so I expect a dropoff, especially considering the Elliott issue and Cooper over delivering last year.

d) Philadelphia Eagles outlook

The Eagles posted a 9-7 record last season, but they finished very strong by winning 5 of their past 6 meetings to sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard team. They even won a playoff game at Chicago before being eliminated in New Orleans after grabbing a 14-0 lead. They were really hard to beat down the wire.

Also remember that Philadelphia posted a great 13-3 record the year before. Quarterback Carson Wentz was spectacular that year with a 33 TDs to 7 interceptions ratio. He had a bit of a down year in 2018, but I think there is a non-negligible chance that he goes back to his 2017 form. If he does, watch out! Keep in mind that he was coming back from a reconstructed knee; that probably caused his down year in 2018.

If Wentz stays healthy, this is definitely a top-5 unit. They have a lot of firepower. Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz are all back, and the Eagles added wide receiver DeSean Jackson to fill the big-play role and running back Jordan Howard who had three good seasons in Chicago. Jackson is the perfect complement to Jeffery, who is more of an underneath receiver.

Don’t sleep on rookie running back Miles Sanders. If you haven’t heard from him yet, you will this season. He has looked great in camp and could even grab the number one role.

The defense is very good, too. Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson are two beasts on the interior of the line.

Final Pick – 2019 NFC East champion

My favorite play here is Philadelphia at +100 odds (2.0 in decimal format). They have a solid and experienced team all-around. I also like their head coach’s aggressiveness. In today’s NFL, if you don’t take chances, you are doomed.

Just stay away from the Giants and the Cowboys. I don’t believe their lines provide any value.

However, taking a gamble on the Redskins at +1830 odds or higher could be a smart decision that might pay off big-time. One more interesting aspect of this bet is that it offers you some protection in case Carson Wentz gets injured and the Eagles come crashing down. If the Eagles don’t win this division, I would be thrilled to have taken a gamble on the Redskins at such astronomic odds!

Best of luck!

Professor MJ

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Which team is going to be crowned NFC North champions in 2019?

Should you bet the Bears, the Vikings, the Packers or the Lions to win their division this year?

Below are the best odds on each team among Pinnacle, Sports Interaction, Bookmaker, BetOnline, Bet365 and William Hill (as of August 26th, 2019):

Bears    +200 (BetOnline)
Vikings    +225 (William Hill)
Packers    +240 (Bookmaker)
Lions    +1556 (Bookmaker)

a) Chicago Bears outlook
 

Based on the linesmakers, the Bears are favored to repeat as NFC North champions for the second year in a row. I am not drinking the Chicago Kool-aid.
I see some similarities between the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 2018 Chicago Bears. Both had stout defenses that really dominated their opponents. The 2017 Jags allowed just 16.8 points per game, while the 2018 Bears gave up an average of 17.7 points/game.
Also, both teams had an “okay” quarterback. Bortles had a 21-to-13 TD-to-INT ratio in 2017 compared to 24-to-12 for Trubisky last year.
So what happened to Jacksonville following that superb and surprising 2017 season? They finished with a 5-11 record.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying the Bears will end 2019 with the same disappointing record. However, I do expect them to regress quite a bit.
Their defense played awesome last season; I just don’t see how they can be as good this year. They may not perform the same, or they could suffer injuries. Also, former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio left for Denver; the transition to a new coordinator may not be smooth. In other words, it’s much more likely they will regress than get even better.
As for Mitch Trubisky, he has not convinced me yet that he is a good quarterback. And their offense lost running back Jordan Howard who rushed for more than 900 yards in each of the past three seasons with the Bears. Tarik Cohen is a great change-of-pace runner, but I don’t believe he can play full-time, especially with his small frame. They will need either Mike Davis or rookie David Montgomery to step up.
The Bears also have issues at the kicker position. Eddy Pineiro is the lone kicker left, but he hasn’t locked the job yet.
Therefore, overall I feel like the Bears are being overrated by the betting public, and I would stay away from them as favorites to win the NFC North in 2019.


b) Minnesota Vikings outlook
 

Prior to the 2018 season, many experts picked them to go to the Super Bowl. Their defense was expected to dominate and the arrival of quarterback Kirk Cousins was good news.
Their defense did fairly well by finishing 9th in terms of points allowed and 4th in yards allowed. But to be honest, more was expected from them. They under delivered and, unlike the Bears defense, I believe there is room for improved play.
I also like their very balanced attack. Despite criticism, QB Kirk Cousins still finished 2018 with 30 touchdown passes versus 10 interceptions. He has possibly the best WR duo in the league with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is also back; he has been a steady guy by catching at least 49 passes in each of his past four seasons, while not missing a single game during that 4-year period! They have also added rookie TE Irv Smith out of Alabama as their second-round pick in the draft.
The guy that most people are overlooking is running back Dalvin Cook. I believe this will be his breakout season. He has shown great flashes in his first two seasons, but injuries have plagued him. He has carried the ball just two times in the first three preseason games. One of these two rushes ended up as an 85-yard touchdown run. He is explosive and can also catch the ball well out of the backfield.
I also like how Minnesota solidified its offensive line by drafting Garrett Bradbury in the first round. Still, the OL play is one of the few question marks regarding this team.
Overall, I do like their chances of winning this division.

c) Green Bay Packers outlook
 

The relationship between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy was not good at all. I read reports about how they basically never spoke to each other. Rodgers will probably be very motivated to show McCarthy was responsible for the disappointing 6-9-1 record last season.
However, I’m a bit wary of teams working with new coaches, new schemes, new game plans. Continuity is an important key to success in the NFL. Matt LaFleur may or may not turn out to be a good head coach, but it takes time to adapt to changes.
Also, Rodgers is not surrounded by as much talent as he used to be. Randall Cobb is gone, so Green Bay will need Valdes-Scantling to step up his game as the number two guy behind Davante Adams.
Tight end Jimmy Graham was a big disappointment last year with just two TD receptions. Now at age 32, can he really step up his game?
At least they have some continuity on the offensive line, with four returning starters. That’s good news for Aaron Rodgers.
I also like what I saw from running back Aaron Jones. He is a good back, but has missed time in each of his first two seasons in the NFL. He must stay healthy because the Packers are far from being loaded at this position…
The defense was average at best in 2018. They need to rush the passer more efficiently. They lost Clay Matthews, whose play was declining anyway, but signed linebackers Preston Smith from Washington and Za’Darius Smith from Baltimore.
I like the signing of safety Adrian Amos, who has been a consistent contributor with the Bears. 
Also remember that the Packers released Mike Daniels, who was a solid defensive lineman.
I did not like the Packers’ two first round selections, Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage, as I thought there were better alternatives available. Time will tell whether the Packers made good picks or not.
Overall, the talent level around Aaron Rodgers is below average, and there are question marks surrounding Green Bay’s defense. I would have considered betting them to win the division if their odds had been higher, but since they are close to Chicago’s and Minnesota’s, I am staying away from them. 

d) Detroit Lions outlook
 

Matthew Stafford is entering his 11th season with the Lions. He consistently gets decent stats, but he is not a game-changer and is not viewed as a winner.
The talent around him is okay, albeit not great. It will be interesting to see how stud rookie TE T.J. Hockenson does in his first season in the NFL; he has looked great in camp thus far. He and Jesse James should be a solid tight end duo.
The Lions signed defensive linemen Mike Daniels from Green Bay and Trey Flowers from New England. Detroit did a good job against the run last year, and it should continue to be the case in 2019. However, the pass defense is likely to be a liability. In today’s NFL where passing gets more importance, it will end up costing Detroit many wins.
In conclusion, the Lions don’t stand much of a chance to win this very tough division, where the other three teams are playoff contenders.

Final pick – 2019 NFC North champion
 

I am writing off the Lions right off the bat. They are an average team with not that much potential upside. Matthew Stafford won’t suddenly transform himself into Tom Brady. We know what to expect from him, which is decent but not spectacular play.
The remaining three teams have odds that are fairly similar, so it goes down to determining which team is the best in the group.
My pick goes to the Vikings at +225 odds (i.e. 3.25 in decimal format). They have a well-balanced attack and a defense that finished in the top 10 in terms of points allowed in each of the past four years.
Meanwhile, I expect the Bears to come back to reality and the Packers to go through some bumps after hiring a new coach and fielding a team with average talent on both sides of the ball.

Enjoy the season and good luck with your plays!
Professor MJ

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WEEK #1

Written Wednesday September 4th, 2019 at 2 PM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)

PICK: Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 vs Kansas City Chiefs (rated 3 stars)

Lots of people are in the Chiefs bandwagon. If you look at their roster, they are indeed very good. Patrick Mahomes is super exciting to watch. And so are their speedy receivers, namely Tyreek Hill. I’m also looking forward to seeing their new toy, rookie Mecole Hardman. I’ve heard good reports from camp about him.

Nobody is underestimating Kansas City. Everybody expects them to be great. But I believe many people are underestimating Jacksonville. The general public remembers their dreadful 2018 season where they finished 5-11. But don’t forget they went 10-6 the year before, thanks to a suffocating defense. They still have many players from that edition in their roster.

The QB situation has obviously improved with the arrival of Nick Foles, a very smart guy. Running back Leonard Fournette is also back after missing half the season, and battling through injuries when he was on the field. He says he is “100 percent better.”

Jacksonville will also be looking to avenge a 30-14 loss in Kansas City last season.

I subscribed to the weekly newsletter sent by the Sports Interaction sportsbook. In this week’s letter that I just received, they mention getting 90% of the action on the Chiefs versus just 10% on the Jags. As a contrarian, I love it!

LEAN: Detroit Lions -2.5 at Arizona Cardinals

The Kyler Murray era is about to begin in Arizona! The fans should be excited, but there might be some growing pains, especially early in the season. Give him some time to adjust to the NFL speed. On the other side, you’ve got an experience signal caller with Matthew Stafford, who is entering his 11th season in the league.

The betting public tends to focus too much on each team’s offensive weapons; they don’t take the defense and the offensive line into account enough, in my humble opinion. That being said, footballguys.com is a great website that has a lot of valuable information on the NFL. I trust them a lot, as I have used them many times when doing fantasy football. They are ranking Arizona’s defense 26th in the league, while their offensive line gets the 30th rank. Ouch.

Not only do the Cards have a new QB, but they also have a rookie head coach, Kliff Kingsbury. He will also need time to feel more comfortable with his new duties.

Finally, based on odds for the number of regular season wins, the Lions are expected to get about 6.5 victories this year compared to 5.0 for the Cards. And that’s despite Detroit playing in a tougher division.

Best of luck with your plays, fellows!

Professor MJ

Edited by ProfessorMJ
typo

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My opening salvo was to stick the tenner allowed on Hill's 4/1 for a 65+ yard field goal to be made this season. Would be a new record but seems a big enough price to me for a season long interest. Will have a look at a few other season long bets and post if any seem worthwhile. Beyond that, I'm more likely to have the occasional punt on TD scorers than anything else.

Any more for any more? Good luck with your bets.

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1 hour ago, harry_rag said:

My opening salvo was to stick the tenner allowed on Hill's 4/1 for a 65+ yard field goal to be made this season. Would be a new record but seems a big enough price to me for a season long interest.

Interesting. The odds are indeed a bit high. Thanks for pointing that out!

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Tennessee at Cleveland: Chubb TD at evens with Lads and the brace at 6/1 (boosted from 11/2) same firm.

Lads sufficiently out of line for an interest here. Them apart, he's universally regarded as an odds on shot to score at least 1 TD tonight and I'm inclined to agree.

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21 hours ago, harry_rag said:

NY Giants at Dallas: Buy Cooper's TD minutes at 16 with SX

SPIN go 18-21 so someone's got it wrong. Not suggesting there's a massive rick here but I think he's way too expensive at 21 but a little on the cheap side at 16.

Similar logic informs tonight's only bet for me, buy Cook at 11 with SX for New Orleans v Houston. 5 points higher elsewhere.

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After a lot of football betting the fun was gone and I now only focus on NFL. Mostly 1-2 bets a week. Trying to hit 80% rate. Last season it was 75%. Before that one it was +-65%. For Week 1 I had Chiefs -3.5 @2.05.

Looking for Week 2 spots now. Tempted by the Cowboys -4.5, Rams -2.5. Later this week I will finalize bet(s).

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WEEK #2

Written Wednesday September 11th, 2019 at 2 PM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)

PICK: Chicago Bears -2.5 at Denver Broncos (rated 4 stars)

The rest factor, which is critical in the NFL considering the physical nature of the game, is largely in favor of the Bears here. They are going to benefit from three additional days of rest after playing the Thursday Night game against the Packers last week, while the Broncos lose one day of preparation since they played last Monday. In other words, the Bears will have 4 more days than the Broncos to heal and to game plan for their upcoming meeting. That is huge!

Chicago is also coming off a very disappointing home opener where they were repeatedly booed by their home crowd. Playing on the road will relieve some stress; it might actually be a good thing.

Last week I told you about a website called FootballGuys.com that is a goldmine of information. Prior to last week, they were ranking Oakland’s defense 32nd (dead last!). The Broncos only managed to score 16 points against them, so how can they expect to generate some offense against the stout Bears defense? They are in for a long day.

Meanwhile, Chicago’s offense struggled big time against Green Bay. They probably won’t score a boatload of points, but I feel they are going to be more focused on details and will be able to do enough to win this game.

Which team has the best defense? Chicago. Which team has the best offense? Chicago. With a more rested team that I also expect to be very hungry, to me the pick is simple here: Chicago!

LEAN: Cincinnati Bengals -1.5 vs San Francisco 49ers

The Bengals lost a game they should have won in a very tough environment. Indeed, they racked up 429 totals yards versus just 233 for the Seahawks. They made 22 first downs compared to just 12 for Seattle. However, 3 lost fumbles cost them the game.

Running back Joe Mixon left the game with an ankle injury, but he should be back this week. Andy Dalton looked very sharp with over 400 passing yards despite missing his number one receiver, A.J. Green. John Ross was fantastic with 7 receptions for 158 yards and a couple of TDs.

Cincy’s defense was supposed to be bad in 2019, but they looked good last week. They pressured Russell Wilson pretty often. Was it just a flash in the pan? We’ll find out soon.

Meanwhile, the Niners won 31-17 in Tampa Bay even though the stats were pretty even. Obviously, the four takeaways helped secure the win.

Jimmy Garoppolo raised many question marks during preseason and he did not necessarily impress in Tampa. He missed several open receivers throughout the game.

San Francisco’s running game did okay, but wasn’t great either. They also lost one of their starters, Tevin Coleman. The former Falcon will be out several weeks with a high-ankle sprain.

Considering the game starts at 1 PM Eastern Time, it will feel like 10 AM to 49ers players since they come from the West Coast. That’s another obstacle for them. Also, playing on the road against a non-conference opponent makes it more difficult to find extra motivation (as opposed to the home team that necessarily has the motivation to do well in front of their home crowd, no matter the opposing team).

Have a great football weekend!

Professor MJ
 

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Finally for today, I've had a look at the "overnight" game, Philadelphia at Atlanta:

Julio Jones at 7/5 with 888

Buy Calvin Ridley TD minutes at 12 with SX

I agree with the rest of the market that Jones is closer to an even money shot (odds on with several firms) and think that Ridley is too expensive at 16 with SPIN but cheap at 12.

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Nice to have NFL back , gives me something to watch Sunday afternoons after the footy :D

Fired the old software up last week (2) to see if I can make a few bob out of if it .. :hope

Only threw up one selection & fortunately it won

image.png.38b1c0967f0cf1cd27d86179c943bca3.png

Just run the last of week 2 & week 3's games to see if it throws anything up for weekend as Unibet have them all priced up ,so thought I might as well put them up here as someone might make some use of them

image.png.b166de0042b56c05f5e3b176bda68594.png

Might run it through again before the weekends games ,as things do change (spreads/odds) but up to now those will be my selections for the weekend :hope

 

 

Edited by Valiant Thor

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