College Playoff Props; Where Will Manziel Go ?; Bet Good Teams as Underdogs

college football playoff14

College Playoff Props

By Brian Edwards


The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has finally come to a close as the college football championship. Replacing the BCS is the College Football Playoff, which will feature a four-team playoff system.   This format will start this season with two semifinal games:

Playoff Semifinal – 1  Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California (Jan. 1, 2015)

Playoff Semifinal – 2  Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, Louisiana (Jan. 1, 2015)

The winners will then meet 10 days later in the championship:   College Football Championship Game  AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas (Jan. 12, 2015)

Even though we’re far removed from August, our friends at have already started getting ready for the new format. The major offshore outfit has offered up College Football Playoff Props on five schools that are widely considered contenders.   My early predictions and prop thoughts on each team are listed below.

College Football Playoff Props (Odds provided by

Florida State  

Florida State makes 4 team playoff -350 (Bet $350 to win $100)

Not selected for 4 team playoff +250 (Bet $100 to win $250)

2014 Schedule and Projections

8/30 vs. Oklahoma State (from Arlington, Texas) – WIN


9/20 vs. CLEMSON – WIN

9/27 at North Carolina State – WIN

10/4 vs. WAKE FOREST  – WIN

10/11 at Syracuse  – WIN

10/18 vs. NOTRE DAME – WIN

10/30 at Louisville (Thursday) – WIN

11/8 vs. VIRGINIA – WIN

11/15 at Miami, Fl. – LOSS


11/29 vs. FLORIDA – WIN

Betting Notes: For this prop, I believe the 5/2 odds are generous. I believe Florida State will go 11-1 and play in the ACC Championship. However, I feel that the one loss will come late in the season at Miami and it will drop the Seminoles in the rankings. Even if they win the ACC, I believe the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC and an at-large team would beat them out for one of the four spots. Will Jameis Winston stay healthy? If he doesn’t, then all of a sudden several games marked as wins could go differently. The last time FSU went to Louisville on a Thursday night, it came home with a loss. Even home games against Florida and Clemson would be interesting if Winston isn’t 100-percent healthy. No for a 5/2 return is the way to go.


Alabama makes 4 team playoff -135 (Bet $135 to win $100)

Not selected for 4 team playoff -105 (Bet $105 to win $100)

2014 Schedule and Projections

8/30 vs. West Virginia (from Atlanta, Georgia) – WIN



9/20 vs. FLORIDA – WIN

10/4 at Ole Miss – LOSS

10/11 at Arkansas – WIN

10/18 vs. TEXAS A&M – WIN

10/25 at Tennessee – WIN

11/8 at Louisiana State – LOSS



11/29 vs. AUBURN – WIN

Betting Notes: Without A.J. McCarron, Alabama will be breaking in an extremely inexperienced quarterback. That’s not a good thing when the first true road game is in Oxford against a rising Ole Miss program that’s played ‘Bama tough in each of the last two meetings (both were in Tuscaloosa). The Crimson Tide probably doesn’t make the SEC Championship Game with a 10-2 record and if it does, will it prevail at the Ga. Dome? And remember, we’ve marked wins next to tough games against Florida and Auburn. We did so because both matchups will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium but if Alabama isn’t getting quality quarterback play, who knows how those games might go? The play is for ‘Bama NOT to make it at a -105 price.


Oregon makes 4 team playoff +125 (Bet $100 to win $125)

Not selected for 4 team playoff -165 (Bet $165 to win $100)

2014 Schedule and Projections



9/13 vs. WYOMING – WIN

9/20 at Washington State – WIN

10/2 vs. ARIZONA (Thursday) – WIN

10/11 at UCLA – LOSS

10/18 vs. WASHINGTON – WIN

10/24 at California (from Santa Clara) (Friday) – WIN

11/1 vs. STANFORD – WIN

11/8 at Utah – WIN

11/22 vs. COLORADO – WIN

11/29 at Oregon State – WIN

Betting Notes: Oregon is fortunate to get Stanford, Washington and Michigan St. at home. The Ducks always seem to lose a late-season game they shouldn’t, and that possibility certainly exists in road games at Utah and at Oregon St. The fact that the trip to Utah comes after a huge game against Stanford will help the Utes. Even if Oregon clears those obstacles, what sort of shape will it be in for the UCLA rematch a week after battling the Beavers in the Civil War? I’m going to say no to the Ducks, but I won’t say it with the sort of confidence I need to lay a -165 price. Therefore, my recommendation is to pass.

Ohio State

Ohio State makes 4 team playoff +140 (Bet $100 to win $140)

Not selected for 4 team playoff -180 (Bet $180 to win $100)

2014 Schedule and Projections

8/30 at Navy (from Baltimore, Maryland) – WIN

9/6 vs. VIRGINIA TECH – WIN  9/13 vs. KENT STATE – WIN


10/4 at Maryland – WIN

10/18 vs. RUTGERS – WIN

10/25 at Penn State – WIN

11/1 vs. ILLINOIS – WIN

11/8 at Michigan State – LOSS

11/15 at Minnesota – WIN

11/22 vs. INDIANA – WIN

11/29 vs. MICHIGAN – WIN

Betting Notes: With an entire off-season to lament a two-game losing streak, the thinking here is that Urban Meyer and his staff will have the Buckeyes geared up and ready for the 2014 campaign. Yet again, the schedule isn’t overly daunting. Not playing Wisconsin certainly helps Ohio St.’s cause, as does getting Michigan at home. If the Spartans win their division, I think the rematch would favor the Buckeyes in revenge mode. Don’t expect to see Ohio St. in the top five of my Power Rankings in August, but I have to go ‘yes’ to make the playoffs for a decent +140 payout.


Oklahoma makes 4 team playoff +150 (Bet $100 to win $150)

Not selected for 4 team playoff -190 (Bet $190 to win $100)

2014 Schedule and Projections


9/6 at Tulsa – WIN

9/13 vs. TENNESSEE – WIN

9/20 at West Virginia – WIN

10/4 at TCU – WIN

10/11 vs. Texas (from Dallas, Texas) – WIN

10/18 vs. KANSAS STATE – WIN

11/1 at Iowa State – WIN

11/8 vs. BAYLOR – WIN

11/15 at Texas Tech – WIN

11/22 vs. KANSAS – WIN


Betting Notes: Of the props broken down in this piece, Oklahoma to make the playoffs for a +150 return is undoubtedly my favorite. The Sooners put their young talent on display at the Sugar Bowl and the result was a dominant win over a veteran Alabama squad that had won the two previous national titles. And there was nothing fluky about it and it can’t be compared to Utah’s win over ‘Bama at the same venue early in Nick Saban’s tenure. McCarron had his team ready to play, but it just got soundly beaten fair and square. Bob Stoops brings back a wealth of talent and knows that he has finally found his QB of the present and future. You will see OU in the top-five of my Power Rankings in August, and it might occupy the No. 1 slot.


johnny football14

Johnny Football Props

By VI News    

The 2014 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday May 8 at Radio Music City Hall from New York City.   This year’s event is gaining buzz and most of the attention is attributed to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner declared himself eligible for the draft earlier this year and he’s been analyzed by every NFL pundit in the business.   The unanswered question everybody wants to know – who will draft Johnny Manziel?   Thanks to our friends at, bettors can predict where Manziel will be drafted.

Based on the latest odds, the top betting choice for Manziel is 1st overall pick at 7/2 (Bet $100 to win $350) odds. The Houston Texans own this selection.

If you believe that Manziel will drop and he won’t be drafted in the 1st round, you can receive generous odds at 7/1 (Bet $100 to win $700).

Listed below are Manziel’s draft odds and the order of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Where will Johnny Manziel be drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft (5/8/14)

Number 1 – 7/2 (Bet $100 to win $350)

Number 2 – 15/2 (Bet $100 to win $750)

Number 3 – 9/2 (Bet $100 to win $450)

Number 4 – 4/1

Number 5 – 13/2

Number 6 – 12/1

Number 7 – 10/1

Number 8 – 10/1

Number 9 – 20/1

Number 10 – 25/1

Number 11 – 30/1

Number 12 – 35/1

Number 13 – 40/1

Number 14 – 50/1

Number 15 – 50/1

Number 16 – 60/1

Number 17 – 60/1

Number 18 – 75/1

Number 19 – 75/1

Number 20 or Later – 7/1

2014 NFL Draft Order –

Round 1

1) Houston Texans  2) St. Louis Rams  3) Jacksonville Jaguars  4) Cleveland Browns  5) Oakland Raiders  6) Atlanta Falcons  7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers  8) Minnesota Vikings  9) Buffalo Bills  10) Detroit Lions  11) Tennessee Titans  12) New York Giants  13) St. Louis Rams  14) Chicago Bears  15) Pittsburgh Steelers  16) Dallas Cowboys  17) Baltimore Ravens  18) New York Jets  19) Miami Dolphins  20) Arizona Cardinals  21) Green Bay Packers  22) Philadelphia Eagles  23) Kansas City Chiefs  24) Cincinnati Bengals  25) San Diego Chargers  26) Cleveland Browns  27) New Orleans Saints  28) Carolina Panthers  29) New England Patriots  30) San Francisco 49ers  31) Denver Broncos  32) Seattle Seahawks



blue jays

Betting Underdogs


Value in MLB Underdogs

As I’m sure you’ve read and heard before, many solid baseball handicappers believe that taking underdogs is the way to make a nice profit in baseball.    We agree with that.    However, blindly betting underdogs doesn’t necessarily do the trick.  You must be selective and try to find value in the underdogs you are selecting.  A closer look reveals an interesting, but somewhat obvious in hindsight, phenomenon.

The better teams had more positive results as money-line underdogs. Take good teams as underdogs and we’ll make money in the long run.  This is easier said than done.    The key is to try and predict which teams will be good (above .500) and take advantage of them. This can obviously be tough to do at times as teams that are expected to do well sometimes under perform. However, once the season gets into swing, most solid handicappers can sift through and determine who the better teams should be at the end of the season.

By mid-season, you should definitely have a great grasp on this. So far this year just eight of 30 teams have a positive return on investment as underdogs.    Milwaukee +132.0  Atlanta +131.0  St. Louis +111.7  San Francisco +18.8  New York Mets +14.2  Minnesota +7.7  Toronto +5.0  Los Angeles Dodgers +2.5

This simply says that, for example, if you happened to bet on the Milwaukee Brewers every time they were an underdog this season, you would have made 132% on the money you invested (the amount you wagered).

How do you figure this out? If you wagered $100 on Milwaukee every time it was an underdog this season (5 times), you would be up $660. Since the amount invested was $500, you divide $660 by $500 and you see the return listed above.

Not a bad investment.

You’ll also notice that only one of the eight teams (Minnesota) listed has an overall losing record. Once again, the general conclusion is to find spots where good teams are underdogs and you’ll up your chance of making money.

Even bad teams win games as underdogs (and favorites for that matter), but in the long run, they are usually not a money making proposition.  You can obviously find spots to play on bad teams and do OK.  However, finding good teams, in good spots as an underdog is the way to go.

One team that we’ll be keeping an eye on this year as an underdog is Toronto.    The Blue Jays were expected to be a World Series contender last season with some big free agent moves, injuries and a poor start to the season led to a very disappointing season at 74-88. Toronto was only -44 in run differential last season though and they were one of the top power hitting teams in baseball. Home run threats throughout the lineup can keep Toronto in games even against top end pitching. This season, they are tied for sixth in HRs (4th in MLB in HRs last season). For being a team with great home run power the Jays don’t strike out that often either.    After a quiet offseason, the expectations are much lower for 2014 but Toronto has averaged over 80 wins per season the last nine seasons with 73 being the low water mark as they have been relatively consistent, though without a breakthrough playoff season.

The AL East features prominent teams and some big name pitchers so the Jays are going to be an underdog in many matchups, even sometimes at home where they have a strong historical track record. Jays have already been dogged in half of their games this season and a home set with Houston is already out of the way (three games where the Jays had some of the highest favorite lines they will have all season).

Boston has struggled early, New York looks down this season, and the Rays are battling early season injuries as the division as a whole may not be as strong this season.    With veteran innings-eaters Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey the Blue Jays should be able to avoid burning through the bullpen early in the season and Brandon Morrow remains a starter with a high ceiling despite inconsistency while young starter Drew Hutchison has been promising in early season action.    Toronto starters won’t be overvalued like some of the big name pitchers around the AL East and while Dickey and Buehrle are proven veterans many see them as past their prime though both could have bounce-back seasons. The bullpen has also had solid early results with no blown saves and a 3.35 ERA.



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