By Kenny Cash & Charlie Bankroll
Some people say we throw around the word “lock” too loosely… and those people are absolutely correct. The truth is, there are no locks in sports gambling. If there were we wouldn’t be “writing” a “column” for an audience that likely amounts to the Greer brothers and a few scattered acquaintances’ dogs.
Nonetheless, during the one season that matters (football), every so often there are games where we find a small edge, and out of the kindness of our hearts, we want to let you in.
Each week we are going to give you BANKROLL CASH, our best bets for the week in both the college and professional football ranks. For reference, we will be using the NFL schedule as our Calendar of Record (Week 1 runs from 9/7-9/13).
We aren’t pros (yet) but ride with us through the season and you’re guaranteed* to stack it up.
Two Bankroll Laws for 2017:
- Don’t bet against the Tide or the Patriots, no matter how much the books try to overcorrect for these two teams. It’s never enough.
- Don’t bet on Thursday Night Football. These games are garbage. The lack of rest and unpredictability make TNF a total stay-away.
NFL Week 1
Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 at Houston Texans
This is the lowest points total on the board this week, and it still isn’t low enough to keep us from playing the under. For the past half-decade, Houston Texans quarterbacks have been consistently lowering the bar on what defines “starting caliber.” Perhaps Tom Savage will play poorly enough that they rush new toy and 1st round pick Deshaun Watson onto the field before he’s ready, which would prove even further that “QB Whisperer” Bill O’Brien’s real goal is to torture an elite defensive unit with never-ending offensive incompetence. But the Houston defense, 7th in DVOA last season WITHOUT all-world DE/DT JJ Watt, is out for blood and could effectively end Jaguars QB Blake Bortles career. Jacksonville will not score more than 14 points this game.
Score Prediction: Houston 17, Jacksonville 14
Pick: Jaguars +5.5, Under 39.5 Total
Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 at Denver Broncos
Last year, the Chargers had the worst injury luck in the league. Philip Rivers was forced to turn he-was-on-your-fantasy-team-at-some-point Wide Receiver Tyrell Williams into a household name. One of Rivers’ favorite weapons, Keenan Allen, is back from injury and Melvin Gordon is one of the league’s top running back in his third year.
Denver Quarterback Trevor Siemian isn’t very good at football. Take the Chargers in this late Monday night game and end the week with an easy win.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles 28, Denver 17
Pick: Chargers +3.5
Oklahoma +7.5 at Ohio State
Ohio State may have the best defensive line in college football, but Oklahoma just might have the best offensive line. In this case, Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield will need to get the ball out quickly, consistently, to win this battle. Tracking Ohio State Quarterback JT Barrett’s paint-drying development over the past two years has shown that he has many things to improve, and won’t do so.
Ohio State won’t keep up with Oklahoma’s offense, so take the points and cruise with Boomer Sooner.
Pick: Oklahoma +7.5, Over 64.5 Total
Louisville -10 at North Carolina
Both these teams played sloppy football in their first games. We expect North Carolina to come out motivated after their embarrassing loss to Cal – this is too many points to give UNC at home.
Pick: North Carolina +10
Utah -2 at BYU
This is flat out a bet against BYU’s atrocious offense. Utah didn’t play a great game in their opener, but with a new quarterback coming in, that was to be expected. BYU’s been utterly inept in their two games so far, and we don’t see how they can get to 20 points against a historically tough Utah defense.
Pick: Utah -2, not even a sweat.
Cincinnati +35 at Michigan
This line is an overreaction to what we saw from Michigan’s first game against Florida. Florida is ranked highly, but that offense may be the worst offense for any team in a power 5 conference. Cincinnati will be able to put up 20 points on this team, and let’s hope Speight continues to make costly mistakes.
Pick: Cincinnati +35
Boise St. +10.5 at Washington State
Wazzu was a gambler’s dream last year, offering easy money to anyone willing to play on former pirate ship captain and Bigfoot truther Mike Leach. We expect more of the same this year. Take the Cougs and stack the potatoes high.
Pick: Washington State -10.5