Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Arizona +9½ -102 over Baltimore
4:25 PM EST. Since the NFL is incredibly popular and because sports betting is exploding across North America, the vast majority of bettors are not experts. Most bettors are just lining up with their buddies at a local bar, filling a bucket of brewskies and praying for the results they want to happen – not exactly a pro’s perspective. That’s why it’s really important that you pay attention to public perception. Right now is a great time to observe inflating perceptions across the league. This week, along with Philadelphia, it is the Baltimore Ravens that are the other flavor of the week after San Francisco, Miami and Buffalo all lost and after the Ravens whacked the upstart Lions.
We keep trying to emphasize that predicting games is not possible. There are probably close to 50 variances that alter the outcome in each game (missed tackles, dropped passes, subjective calls like pass interference or holding for example, turnovers, missed or made FG’s), which makes it impossible to predict the outcome. The against-the-spread results of individual games are extremely luck-driven, which is why we must continue to emphasize playing value. Since Baltimore’s stock is so high after they destroyed Detroit, it is now time to try to take advantage of public perception along with this inflated line and sell high on Baltimore. Yeah, if you bet Baltimore this week, of course you can win but you would be buying them a week too late or even better, four weeks too late. Baltimore has covered in two straight weeks and has also covered in three of its last four games. If you bet on Detroit last week to beat Baltimore, and there was a boatload of folks that did, it would be very difficult to bet against Baltimore this week. Not for us.
Not only is Baltimore’s stock through the roof but it is a difficult scheduling spot for the visitor. You see, Baltimore is coming off four highly focused games in a row when they played in order, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Detroit. Detroit would normally not be included in high profile games but the Lions stock was very high coming in. Now the Ravens get to take a breather and play in Arizona in a game in which they are close to a double digit favorite and supposed to win going away. It is situations like this that inspire a team’s “C” game instead of its “A” game. After four “A” games in a row, expect Baltimore’s “C” game. Trust us when we suggest that you don’t want to get caught spotting inflated points with a team bringing its “C” game. After this matchup, the Ravens return home for a three-game stretch of home games against the Seahawks, Browns and Bengals.
Shall we discuss the Cardinals? Sure, why not but nobody gives a rats ass, not even the people in Arizona, as their beloved D-Backs will be playing for the World Series. The Cardinals season is already over, so rushing back Kyler Murray doesn't really matter. He’s missing the first year of HC Jonathan Gannon and OC Drew Petzing, so he would benefit from getting comfortable with the offense for next season. James Conner is on injured reserve until Week 10 at the earliest, and the backfield duties appear to be distributed using rock-paper-scissors with the current batch of backs. The season has been as disappointing as expected and worse is the main offensive players not being able to learn the system together and form any chemistry. Need we go on? The Cardinals stock is low, just like it was in Weeks 1, 2 and 3 when they covered against Washington, the Giants and the Cowboys respectively (nobody remembers that). Subsequently, Arizona’s stock was high after those three covers and now it’s very low again. Meanwhile Lamar Jackson’ stock is through the roof after his best game ever and Baltimore’s stock is soaring along right with it. The Cardinals check just about every box we look for when mining for value.
Arizona +9½ -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)