Football is the king for attracting bettors and it is my humble opinion, the roughest sport to handicap. Pete Rozelle, the fabulous commissioner who probably is responsible for the success of this game, put it simply, “Parity is flagrant in our league!” He was right. Add to that the line that Benny the Book establishes for each contest and we are hard-pressed to get a handle on a winning play.
I adhere to the “power vs. dog theory” as the basis for my play. When I look over a schedule, the first thing I look at is the spread between the elite teams and the underdog. This year Denver, San Francisco, Minnesota, Atlanta, and the Jets are riding high. We’ll say Denver is favored by 4 over the Giants on the road. I like that. Denver is powerful and the Giants are about a .500 team. Denver gets the nod. If they were playing in Denver, the line would probably be Giants getting 10. That’s too steep a lay in the NFL.
Since I’ll bet a dog only if I believe it can win outright, I’ll pass on taking the wood. That game becomes a pass, no bet! If I pass on the side, I’ll slide over to the over/under and zero in on the under. I prefer the under play in the NFL to the over, because the books know that people love to bet the over and add a point or two to the totals.
Teasers Don’t Work With College Football
The same theory I have about betting on college basketball holds true for college football:
- You can lay big numbers on both college baskets and college football
- Home field is big in college football
- Inter-conference games tend to be tight, so look to take the dog in big rivalries such as Michigan/Michigan State, Florida/Florida State, Duke/North Carolina, USC/UCLA, etc.
The use of teasers doesn’t work as well with college football as it does with the NFL. This is especially true with the totals. Next football season with the pros, watch how many games fall between the totals of 33 and 47.
An Excellent Way to Hedge Off
Using the teaser on Monday night football tied up with a Thursday night college or pro game and adding a Saturday or Sunday game gives you an excellent way to hedge off. Some houses in your area and most of them in Vegas post the afternoon college and pro games on a Monday afternoon. This allows you to really exploit time-zone betting by having many open teasers, Roundy’s, and parlays open for the next weekend.
There are some weeks where I have about six or eight parlays open for the Sunday game. Then I take the opposite in two-team parlays for an amount that guarantees a profit, regardless of who wins. Let’s say you have two $100 three-team parlays open with victories in the Monday, Thursday, and/or Saturday games. The payoff for a three-team parlay is 6-1, so you have $600 riding on two separate games, with the first two parts of each parlay already locked up. Here’s what is open for each of these plays:
- Miami +6 at San Francisco
- Seattle +5 at Buffalo
You can sit and see if you can pick up some wins with Miami and Seattle. I wouldn’t wait, but would opt to put in a two-team $200 parlay on San Fran -6 to win and Buffalo -5 to win. Here’s what could happen:
- If Miami and Seattle both win, you get $1,200 minus $200 for a $1,000 profit
- If Miami and Buffalo win, you get $600 minus $300 for a $300 profit
- If Seattle and San Fran win, you get $600 minus $300 for a profit of $300
- If the hedge parlay of San Fran and Buffalo win, you get $520 for your backdoor parlay, minus $200 from your original bets for a profit of $320.