Sure, at its most basic, football is its own reward. But perhaps you’re like me and looking for a way to make even the most uninteresting games have a little bit of excitement and put some skin in the game for you. Enter the glorious world of sports wagering.
Admittedly, sports wagering is not for everyone and there’s more reasons to not do it than to do it, but if you have disposable income and live near a place where this is an option, then combining making some dollar bills with watching some football isn’t a bad way to spend your time. You haven’t truly lived until you have been on pins and needles for a mid-week SunBelt game where a final drive is going to determine whether it’s a backdoor cover or a perfect weekend.
Each week this season, we’ll give you a little gambling lesson and your Mid-American Conference odds, all for entertainment purposes, of course.
Last week we talked about the basics, against the spreads and the money line, along with parlays. This week let’s chat a little about points. When it comes to wagering there are two ways points figure in. You learned last week about the point spread and how to wager accordingly. This week we’ll talk about total points.
Most spreads will show you a "Total" figure under the line. For Kansas/Ohio this weekend, that figure is 59.5. The line makers are setting the total points scored between the teams at 59.5. You can bet the over or the under, with the same 10% "juice" we talked about last week, meaning that a $110 bet will win you $100 for a $210 return. If you take the over and Ohio and Kansas score 60 combined points, you’re a winner. If they have a 17-10 defensive slugfest, you’ve just lost your $110.
We’ll talk next week on how the things we’ve learned so far for full games apply down to smaller stretches of time with some opportunities to capitalize on trends and teams you may know better than Vegas.
Week 1 Results
Georgia State (-4)... LOSS
Toledo (Moneyline +165)... WIN
Iowa (-28)... LOSS
Bowling Green (+28)... LOSS
Kent State (+21)... WIN
Ohio (-19)... LOSS
Western Michigan (Moneyline +195)... WIN
Northern Illinois (-11)... LOSS
So if we assume a $100 bet on the moneyline wagers with a $110 wager against the spreads, we saw a total wager of $860. The wins total $770, for an opening weekend loss of $90. Not great, and in fact, one of my worst opening weekends of my life. Thank God for moneyline payoffs.
SEASON ATS: 1-5
SEASON MONEYLINES: 2-0
SEASON LEDGER: -$90
Week 2 MACtion Lines
This week, we see a whole host of road games for our MAC members, all as underdogs, though not all started out that way. Movement from the opening of the lines to now was most significant in the Ohio/Kansas game, which saw an open of Ohio as a 9-point favorite. They now sit as a 3-point underdog. 12 point swings from the open are almost unheard of. Keep that in mind. NIU also saw movement going from an 11-point underdog to now 15 against South Florida. Home underdogs are usually a good idea, road underdogs are a crap shoot. Plan ahead.
Central Michigan @ Oklahoma State (-21)
Ohio @ Kansas (-3)
Akron @ Wisconsin (-24)
Ball State @ Indiana (-18)
Northern Illinois @ South Florida (-15)
Eastern Michigan @ Missouri (-25)
Fearless Leader’s Hustle Belt Week 2 Bet-kakke picks:
Oklahoma State (-21)
Northern Illinois (+15)
Eastern Michigan (+25)
I hate myself for picking the Hoosiers over the Fighting Football Cardinals, but admittedly, that’s hedging my personal feelings about Ball State. I feel good about most of the above. Think we bounce back in a big way this weekend. Enjoy your week 2, and as always, always be cashing.