Last Updated: 2017-11-11
This week, we begin by making money.
If you’ve been following along the whole way with me, we’re going to make some money right now. Ready?
The Ravens were -155 NOT to make the playoffs in my “questions entering Week 6” column a month ago. The AFC playoff picture has now deteriorated at the bottom into a state of relative unpredictability. Baltimore, once thought of (by me) to have no chance, has by far the easiest schedule when measured against Buffalo, Miami, Oakland and even a team like the Chargers. I think it’s time to balance this position and guarantee some profit. Ravens are +190 to make the playoffs right now. Grab it, and enjoy a few bucks. If you have the money to burn for a couple months, you could do the same with the “don’t” side of Miami at -1050 vs the +1200 YES bet from that same column above.
You’re welcome for the money, by the way. That’s what a lot of the futures market is all about. Small wins without needing the nail-biting finish at the end. Enjoy.
How about we address some other futures topics while we’re at it?
Are the Ravens really going to get the 6 seed? No…really?
All I can tell you is, 9-7 actually might get you a seat at the playoff table this year in the AFC. It probably won’t. But it might. And that alone tells you what you need to know about the mixture of underachievers and bad teams fighting for that final place.
After you remove Baltimore’s game at Pittsburgh from the schedule, here are the other remaining contests: at Brett Hundley, home vs Tom Savage, vs Lions, at Browns, vs Colts, vs Bengals. I’m not sure there’s a loss there. If they win those, and lose to Pittsburgh, that’s 10-6. Miami and Buffalo still have their pair of games against each other, and the Bills (currently controlling their own destiny for a playoff berth) still have to face New England twice, play at Kansas City, and play at the Chargers (not a picnic). Hence why we are grabbing this price now above with Baltimore.
Does the turmoil for the 6-seed create any opportunity?
It opens up another avenue to make money as of now: the Titans. They are -245 to make the playoffs, and I think that number is way too low when compared with the Jags (-750) or even a team like Kansas City (-2000). You can complete a similar exercise with Tennessee’s schedule, removing a game at Pittsburgh as well. You are left with: vs Bengals, at Colts, vs Texans, at Cardinals, at 49ers, vs Rams, vs Jags. Tougher, no doubt, but still a lot of winnable games there, and the Titans are also already 5-3 (and we just talked about the struggles of the teams vying for the 6 seed). I think Tennessee’s price never gets lower than it is right now.
Have the last 10 days really changed anything on the NFC side?
The one takeaway that I think is really compelling is that Washington basically saved their season by beating Seattle in Seattle. By having BOTH games against the Giants remaining, as well as home games vs Arizona and Denver, the Redskins have a little life. The Ezekiel Elliott suspension and ensuing drama also doesn’t hurt, because Dallas is one of the handful teams Washington needs to find a way past. At 38/1 to win the NFC right now, I think they are a “buy,” and they really don’t have to win that much more for immediate hedging opportunities to open up. A win over Minnesota this Sunday is obviously paramount.
If you’re looking for another good price in the NFC, as much as this may seem ridiculous, I think Atlanta at +1500 still has life too. Consider this: the Falcons (4-4), who are not generally known as, shall we say, an “outdoorsy” team, just finished playing at New England, at the Jets, and at Carolina, in consecutive weeks. That was the toughest part of their schedule from a travel standpoint, despite the fact those are all East Coast games. Now you look at the remaining games: 5 home, 3 away, including 2 games against the Bucs, who are now in Ryan Fitzpatrick, seem-close-to-packing-it-in mode. They also play Dallas, New Orleans, and Carolina, all teams they’d have to leapfrog to get in anyway. This price is riskier, and I wish it was a little higher to take a risk on, but if the Falcons are going to make their push, it starts this week against the Cowboys, so buy now, if you’re ever going to buy at all.