WINFOFeb. 3 - 9, 2017
Our NFL Playoff Picks Are 9-1 ATS
IN THE ISSUE
IN THE ISSUE
3 The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
4-5 Greg Dempson
6-7 5 Minutes With....
8-9 Wine and Whining
10-11 NFL Analysis
12 Sponsored Content
13 Mister Quinn Bets
14-15 Totally Covered
16-17 NHL Analysis and Picks
18 Futures Foray
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
WINFOFeb. 3 - 9, 2017
Our NFL Playoff Picks Are 9-1 ATS
SITTING AT THE
THE BEER WAS COLD, THE ROOM LOUD AND THE COMPANY
SUBLIME...IT WAS LAS VEGAS CIRCA EARLY 2000S,
DURING THE DARK WEEK BEFORE SUPER BOWL SUNDAY.
Sitting at the table in a funky
lounge at the old Imperial Palace
Herr Hockeymeister, the late Bobby
Bryde, being...well...he was being
himself, which means a bit of an agitator
(the word “prick” was tossed toward
Bobby more than once, always
with a smile). If you knew Bobby, you
would know what I mean.
Rich Baccilieri, the head sportsbook
guy at Caesars Palace, looking
suave, laughing, teasing and giving
out nuggets of info from a “behind the
Bobby Baccilieri, Rich’s brother and
a former Vegas sportsbook manager.
He was a big guy with a big heart and
Bobby and Rich were East Coast
guys. They had that east coast
attitude – ball busters, but really good
guys, tough but genuinely supportive
We also had two professional Vegas-based
sports bettors at the table.
One who was well-known to most and
one who was a real “under the radar”
gent. Both wagered for a living and
had been doing so for a number of
years. They had an endless stream of
anecdotes and harrowing tales about
the world of sports betting through the
eyes of a professional.
Art Manteris stopped by for a quick
hello (Superbookie as he was tagged
back then, based on his book of the
same name). Art was running the
place over at the Las Vegas Hilton,
along with Chuck Esposito.
The Las Vegas-based write Buzz
Daly, who also wrote for Winner’s
Edge (until a little disagreement on
content, which we’ll maybe write
about another time) did a fly-by to say
hi, grab a slice of marinara pizza and
talk Super Bowl.
If my memory serves, Howard
Schwartz, from Gambler’s Book Club
was at the table for a while as well. At
the time Howard wrote a weekly column
for Winner’s Edge. He was a great guy,
with no end of stories of his own.
Wine, beer and stories flowed well
into the night. It was pretty cool having
a seat at that table, listening to this
crew talk everything betting, from both
sides of the window.
Someone suggested heading up
to the Stardust to meet up with Joe
Lupo...and one of those classically
great nights continued.
Let’s start the Good section off this
week not with a nod to a record from
last week, but with a welcome to a
couple of new contributors. We’ve
been fans of Mike Quinn’s for a while.
His podcast is a great listen and he’s a
knowledgeable handicapper who goes
about his business the way we like. He
puts in the work and genuinely wants to
give valuable information to help you win.
You can check Mike out on Page 11.
We also chatted with Jeff Sherman
from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
to talk Super Bowl betting
action. Jeff is a highly respected oddsmaker
who doles out some Super
Enjoy the Super Bowl, remember to
play it cool when it comes to betting
(it’s still only one-game - don’t overdo
it!). Best of luck!
SUPER BOWL PICKS:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
VS. ATLANTA FALCONS
The most money wagered on
an individual game in North
America is this contest, the
Super Bowl. There isn’t much that
can be said about this game that I’m
guessing the majority of you who
are reading this article don’t already
Some years I have made substantial
wagers on the big game and other
times it has been a recreational
wager, it varies from year to year
but what doesn’t seem to vary much
from year to year is the appearance
of the New England Patriots as the
This time around the Patriots are a
firm 3 point favorite across the board
with the “Vig” ranging from –3 at
–115 to –3 +104 at one of the more
popular books. If you want to buy the
line down off that key number of –3
your juice climbs to the –135 range.
Compare that to taking New England
on the money line, (if you are
so inclined.) The point I am making
is would you rather be in at – 135
laying 2.5 points or just having to
win the game straight up at –150?
I offer that observation up as “food
for thought” just as there will be a
lot of nachos, pizzas, finger foods,
brewskis and cocktails consumed.
My interest in this game isn’t on food
consumption or alcohol but on making
a successful first half wager as
well as seeking live betting opportunities
and perhaps wagering on the
New England is presently a 1-point
favorite in the first half….or if you
prefer, the money line has them
listed at –135 and –130.
THE PATRIOTS HAVE ALSO FARED WELL IN THEIR THREE POST
SEASON CONTESTS IN THE FIRST HALF WINNING BY AN
AVERAGE SCORE OF 18.0 TO 9.7.
After covering against the spread by
or more combined points in their last
three games, play ON non conference
favorites in the first half. This system is
91–48 = 65.5% ATS
the past decade as well as
25–11 = 69% ATS
the past three seasons.
After covering ATS by
or more combined points in their
last five games, play AGAINST non
conference underdogs in the first half.
This system is
77–40 = 66% ATS
Tom Brady and Josh
McDaniel have consistently
been able to outscore
opponents in the first half
• In New England’s five games
played on a natural surface this
season they outscored their opponents
by an average score of 16.0
to 7.4 in the first half.
• The Patriots have also fared well
in their three post season contests
in the first half winning by an average
score of 18.0 to 9.7.
• Atlanta is a scoring machine, but
when I review the red zone efficiency
of each team, the edge goes to
the Patriots. I anticipate that New
England will be able to prevail in
the first half vs. the high flying Falcons
and limit their scoring capabilities
when inside the 20 yard line.
First Half Systems
• After covering against the spread
by 21 or more combined points in
their last three games, play ON
non conference favorites in the
first half. This system is 91–48 =
65.5% ATS the past decade as
well as 25–11 = 69% ATS the past
• After covering ATS by 35 or more
combined points in their last five
games, play AGAINST non conference
underdogs in the first half.
This system is 77–40 = 66% ATS
My Winfo Record
My Winfo record is 7–6 ATS with the
regular season and playoffs.
This Week’s Selection
My Winfo Super Bowl selection is on
New England at –130 on the money
line in the first half.
5 MINUTES WITH...
5 MINUTES WITH... JEFF SHERMAN,
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
Heading into Super Bowl Sunday, we connected
with Jeff Sherman of the Westgate
Las Vegas SuperBook to talk about the
wagering action on the big game. From what
the early action looked like, to prop betting, Jeff
gives us a View from Vegas.
Winfo: After you posted the lines, what did the
early action look like and what are you seeing
now as the game gets closer?
Jeff: Early action was predominantly Patriots
and over support from the general public...
since then, sharp players have been keeping
the line in check by supporting the Falcons
and the under...we can get the desired action
keeping the game on 3 and moving the price at
this point, and I would expect that to continue
Winfo: The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
is known for their massive prop sheet and this
year’s has more than 400 offerings. Since
you’ve been in the industry, how has the prop
side of the Super Bowl changed?
Jeff: The props have grown exponentially,
where we have reached around 400 this year...
we add variations to traditional props, such as
the popular safety wagering option...this year
we added whether there will be a safety in the
1st half, and whether there will be a safety in
the 2nd half.
5 MINUTES WITH...
KORDELL CAME IN
HE TOOK THE SNAP
IN THE SHOTGUN
ROLLED OUT OF THE
POCKET. THE WHOLE
ROOM JUST ERUPTS,
‘THROW IT! THROW
IT! THROW IT!’
Needless to say, if a safety occurs
we will be on the hook for 2.5 times
the liability versus previous years...
this is a very popular option with the
general public...the cross sport props
have also grown...included this year
are two Vegas Golden Knights props
that will give the bettor action into
their inaugural NHL season.
Winfo: Jeff, what’s the difference
between the early betting action you
see when the props first go live and
the action you’ll take this weekend?
Jeff: When we open the props, it
is 99% sharp players betting their
perceived value...they support mostly
the “no” and “under” options of the
props...when the public arrives
Thursday through Sunday of Super
Bowl week, they predominantly
support the opposite sides of the
sharps...we will generally see “yes”
and “over” support rebound to the
point where the book will ultimately
need the sharp side.
Winfo: What have been the most
popular props so far? Anything stand
out as an unusual betting pattern or
unique plays this year that you haven’t
seen for recent games?
Jeff: So far, the safety props have
been has been popular with the general
public, and the sharps have been
heavily supporting Tom Brady’s pass
attempts, they’ve gone from 36.5 to
39.5. Tevin Coleman’s rushing yards
has gone from 47.5 to 36.5, but
nothing overly unusual or unique at
Winfo: Looking back over the years,
are there any prop results, whether
good for the book or bad, that have
been particularly memorable?
Jeff: The most memorable prop we
dealt was SUPER BOWL XXX, Steelers-Cowboys,
Jan. 28, 1996.
“We had one, ‘Will Kordell Stewart
catch a pass, have a rushing
attempt and throw a pass?’ During
the course of the year, he did it
twice. And this line went from ‘no’
minus-250 to ‘yes’ minus-300. We
had so much money on it.
As the game went on he was a receiver
and caught a pass and he also
had a rushing attempt. The only thing
he needed to do was throw a pass.
Sometime in the third quarter, Kordell
came in at quarterback. He took the
snap in the shotgun formation and
rolled out of the pocket. The whole
room just erupts, ‘Throw it! Throw it!
It was so funny. It just felt like everybody
in that room had that proposition.
And he cocked his arm to throw,
then he just tucked it in and ran. The
crowd in the room went nuts...and he
never had another chance to throw
That was one we won. It was just an
Check out the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook if you’re heading to Vegas and be sure to stop by Jeff’s Twitter feed at
twitter.com/golfodds (yeah, by the way, Jeff is also recognized as the world’s authority on golf odds).
WINE AND WHINING
by Neil Alexander
When it comes to gambling I’m agnostic with respect to
team favorites. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to
various team allegiances since my youth, and as much
I as try to ignore them in my handicapping, subconsciously
they may play a role. Occasionally a deep
understanding of a team can lend itself to making a confident bet, but
it often leads to stay aways for me. Hold that thought as I delve into
my Super Bowl pick.
Immediately following the conference games last weekend, I fell under
the Falcons spell as they handily dismantled the Packers from the
kickoff and didn’t let up until the final whistle. How can you not? An
MVP-esque campaign from Matt Ryan, a stud WR in Julio Jones, and
OCCASIONALLY A DEEP
UNDERSTANDING OF A
TEAM CAN LEND ITSELF TO
MAKING A CONFIDENT BET,
BUT IT OFTEN LEADS TO
STAY AWAYS FOR ME.
WINE AND WHINING
sound #2 and #3 receivers in Sanu and
Gabriel. Throw in not one, but two RBs
who can both catch and run it out of the
backfield, and sprinkle in an offensive coordinator
in Kyle Shanahan who drew it all up
in the laboratory.
Of course, the counter argument to this
narrative is that they were playing the
depleted Packers in the familiar confines
of their home turf. The Pack was down to
third string corners, no true RB, severely
banged up WRs and a QB who was fighting
flu symptoms. In retrospect, the gaudy
final result was perhaps due just as much
to Green Bay’s inadequacies as it was to
Atlanta’s explosive firepower.
However, the media and public are eating it
all up. Although the Patriots are three- point
favorites, many are wondering how will
their defense possibly stop the Falcons?
Let me know if this sounds at all familiar.
We have a high-scoring team from the
NFC South, who are garnering much of the
public love. They are led by their soonto-be
league MVP QB and are facing a
team in New England with a veteran QB,
who’s been here before (many times), with
a better defense and coach in Belichick.
Remember Super Bowl L? Anyone?
Back to my opening . . . I grew up a stone’s
throw from the former Rich Stadium, now
New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.
The early 90s were unbelievable with Jim
Kelly, Thurmon Thomas, Andre Reed,
Bruce Smith and many others plying their
wares. No, they never won a Super Bowl,
but how amazing it was to cheer for a team
that had a legitimate shot at winning every
game for about a 5-year span. The reason
I bring this up is that I think my fondness
for the Bills and a consequent dislike of the
Patriots clouded my judgment last week in
the Conference Final. Suffice to say, I will
not make the same mistake twice.
Yes, Atlanta has impressive weapons but
also significant deficiencies on defense.
Give me the coach and QB that have
already won four Super Bowls. In fact, I’d
take Belichick with two weeks to prepare
against anyone. I think three points is a
small margin to lay and we the media hype
and public love of the Falcons to thank.
Yes people, I’m a Bills fan and even I’m
backing the Pats at -3!
Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2014
It was brought to my attention that the
wine reviews have been predominately red
focused. I’m going to rectify this somewhat
with a nice Aussie Chardonnay this week.
This beauty has aromas of peach, nuts,
melon, and toasty oak. On the palate you
are immersed in the full-bodied flavors
of apple pie, hazelnut, tropical fruit and
minerals, which is balanced with zippy
acidity and appropriate alcohol. The finish
is long and creamy. This wine is perfectly
balanced and a great complement to many
food pairings. Serious value here!
This wine comes
from the high-altitude
NFL ANALYSIS AND PICKS
SUPER BOWL PICK AND PROPS
It’s the last game of the NFL
season – there’s no need to bet it
like it, if you know what we mean.
Don’t load up and go overboard. Our
advice, as it always has been for the
Super Bowl, is to enjoy the game, play
a few props for fun, don’t step up your
wagering just because it is the last
game of the season.
For us here at Winfo, it’s been a nice
run with the NFL. We started publishing
a few weeks after the season
kicked off, but we’re happy with how
it’s turned out.
We highlighted 12 Best Bets this season,
going 10-2 against the spread.
With our Game-By-Game weekly NFL
plays, we finished up with a 70-53-4
The playoff record is currently sitting
at 9-1 ATS with one game to go.
We’ll continue on each week, expanding
our coverage to more NHL, NBA,
College Basketball, golf, European
Premier League and more. Join us
here each week.
And now here is the write-up and pick
on that final game – good luck!
Atlanta Falcons vs.
New England Patriots
Line: Patriots -3
Set-Up: Nothing but the utmost
respect for Coach Belichick and we
give him a clear edge in the coaching
department in this one. That needs to
be acknowledged up front. And yes,
when Belichick is given a couple of
weeks to prepare for an opponent it
can result in a tough day for that foe.
That said, it is worth noting that the
Patriots have lost the last three times
they’ve been to the Super Bowl (I
know right now many of you are either
scratching your head or yelling at
OFFENSE CAN CREATE
OF THEIR OWN.
REALLY STRESS A
DEFENSE, EVEN A
us “what are you talking about, the
Patriots won their last time herel!).
Yes, we know the scoreboard says
the Pats won Super Bowl XLIX vs. the
Seahawks, but....Seattle beat them,
they just didn’t beat them. The Pats
were one Marshawn Lynch carry
away from being officially 0-3 in those
last three trips to the big one.
That’s not taking anything away from
how good Belichick is at designing
game plans, but it does provide some
Atlanta offense will give
their cheerleaders a lot of
opportunity to get moving
Looking at the actual matchup, New
England boasts a defense with impressive
numbers, but we keep coming
back to who that defense faced
to pile up those stats - and juxtapose
that to what will be expected of them
vs. this Falcon offense.
Yes, Belichick and co. will have a
plan. A good one. And they’ll create
some confusion that Kyle Shanahan
and Matt Ryan need to sort through,
but the thing is, this Atlanta offense
can create mismatches of their
own. Mismatches that really stress
a defense, even a decent one. So
while Belichick is a master at keeping
opponents off-balance and chasing
adjustments, this offense is built to
turn the tables and is very capable
of keeping the Pats’ coaching staff
off-balance and trying to find solutions
on the fly.
Julio Jones will garner a lot of attention,
but with the extra help needed to
try and take him away, it opens room
for the running game and other receivers
to win their one-on-one battles.
Add in that New England are not a
NFL ANALYSIS AND PICKS
great pass rushing unit - if they blitz to
get pressure, going single coverage in
the secondary, Ryan and his support
staff will exploit that.
When Brady has the ball, this young
Atlanta defense is a concern, as they
will have trouble getting off the field.
And don’t get us started on the Red
Zone edge New England enjoys on
both sides of the ball. This defense
starts four rookies, which is pretty
much unheard of for a team that has
gone this deep in the playoffs. They
have been getting better, but it’s not
a great matchup. Luckily they do not
need to face the Patriots second best
player, tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Edelman and Hogan are elusive, and
Brady’s a surgeon, but we like the
fact the Falcons can score points with
long, clock-chewing drives, or quick
strikes. They’re going to score, which
helps take pressure off the D.
Blowouts have not been part of the Patriots’
Super Bowl narrative. They either
win close ones or lose close ones. This
sets up to be another one of those.
We’ll take the three points with an underdog
we feel can win the game.
Super Bowl Play: We’re taking the
Playoff Record: 9-1 ATS
Best Bets: 10-2 ATS
Overall Season Game-by-Game
Record: 70-53-4 ATS
Super Bowl Prop
1. TOM BRADY RUSHING
Okay, so Brady isn’t nimble or fleet
of foot...and his total rushing yards in
his past Super Bowl appearances is
actually a negative number (-5), but
with this Falcon defense spread out
and an O-line that gives Brady room
to step up, we think there’ll be at least
a couple of opportunities for him to
lumber up the middle and keep the
Brady Over 2.5 Yards (-110)
2. WHAT WILL BE THE RESULT
OF THE FIRST COACH’S CHAL-
LENGE IN THE GAME?
We had it in our minds that these two
haven’t been keen to toss the red flag,
but even we were surprised when we
did a little research and found out that
they’re REALLY reluctant to reach
for the flag. Coach Quinn challenged
three plays all season (winning two)
and Belichick was even stingier, taking
the refs to task a single time this
year – which was a win.
We like the odds that if one of them
does ask for a challenge, they’ll win it
(if there isn’t a challenge your wager
will be refunded).
The play will be Overturned at -115
coach win their
We think so and
booked a prop
3. TOTAL RECEPTIONS BY MO-
Belichick has always had a lot of success
taking away an opponent’s best
weapon, forcing them to go elsewhere
for plays. We expect Julio Jones to
be getting a lot of extra attention,
which should result in extra looks for
other weapons, including Mohammed
Sanu. Matt Ryan trusts him and he
is the first read on a good number
of plays, including in the Red Zone.
And if the Falcons do get down by a
couple of scores, they’ll dial up the
passing game. We like Sanu to grab
five catches or more.
We’ll take the Over 4.5 receptions
Doubling Julio Jones will
create stress for the Pats’
defense in other areas
4. WILL ANY PLAYER OTHER
THAN BRADY OR RYAN AT-
TEMPT A PASS?
I’m not cheering for an injury to either
QB at all (however if one does happen
this cashes), but we have a shot here
if there’s a gadget play called. Think
Julian Edelman, Mohammed Sanu or
a fake punt. With a line of +250 on the
“Yes” side, we’ll put a small play on this
and hope one of these coaching staffs
are ready to pull out all the stops.
5 TIPS FOR BETTER MEETINGS
Meetings can be a drag – but they
don’t have to be.
For a lot of us, meetings are a part of
everyday life. The Improv for Business division
at Vancouver TheatreSports have
been helping organizations of all sizes to
transform meetings into super-charged
brainstorming sessions, increasing the
return on the time invested.
They do so through their unique improv-based
approach – an approach
they’ve pioneered and perfected over
the two decades they’ve been working
with organizations across Canada.
Here are 5 quick tips from Ken Lawson,
the lead facilitator for the Improv
for Business Division at Vancouver
TheatreSports, that you can apply to
jump-start creativity and collaboration
in your next meeting.
Tip #1 “Yes, And”
The foundation for a creative and
collaborative meeting is trust; each
attendee should know that they
can contribute ideas freely, without
judgment or obstacles being placed
in their way by colleagues. As a team,
committing to the principle of “Yes,
And”, the core tenet that improvisation
is based on, produces an environment
where all ideas are accepted, supported
and given a chance.
Tip #2 Active Listening
Try this at the start of your next strategy
meeting. It’s an activity we call “Listen
Better, Listen Worse”, highlighting
the importance of being engaged
when listening to other speak.
To facilitate the exercise, start by
having one person speak to the
group on a tic their passionate about
(the Canucks, running, travel, etc.).
Instruct the group who are listening to
really engage, listening intently. After
a minute or so, instruct the group to
“listen worse,” or disengage. They
can change to more passive body
language, start checking their phones,
looking around the room, shuffling
their feet or walking away. Ask the
speaker how they felt when the group
was engaged, and how they felt when
the group disengaged.
The listeners then learn active listening
techniques, such as appropriate eye
contact and using affirmatives and
nodding, which encourages speakers
to continue and forces listeners to be
fully present in the conversation.
Tip #3 Get Rid of the Gadgets
Pretty straight forward. The Improv
Mindset is all about being fully present.
A group of meeting attendees all checking
their phones at various times blocks
that. Leave the phones at your desk.
Tip #4 Take a Breather
Effective two-way communication during
a meeting requires moments of silence.
Pause for a second before you reply to
a question. It allows you to absorb what
was said (active listening) and to organize
your thoughts, resulting in clearer and
more confident responses.
Tip #5 It’s About The Team
Great improv is about teamwork and
making your fellow cast mates look
good. Meetings can be so much more
effective when attendees aren’t overly
protective of their own ideas. The
Improv Mindset is about being open
to change and allowing your ideas to
evolve based on the contributions of
others. Clinging to your own contribution
prevents you from recognizing
other ideas from the group that might
better solve the problem.
If everyone focuses on the “glory of
the group”, understanding it’s not
about having the best idea, but about
collaborating to discover the best idea
Learn more about The Improv Mindset
and how Vancouver TheatreSports
can help your organization with our
Improv for Business workshops.
If you’re interested in receiving an
information pack please email Jeff at
MISTER QUINN BETS
PROVEN WINNER VS. NEWCOMER:
WHO’LL RAISE THE LOMBARDI TROPHY?
by Mike Quinn
The Patriots enjoy
a clear edge in
the Head Coach
matchup in this one.
The draft is over, OTAs are long
gone, training camp is a distant
memory, the regular season has
concluded and Super Bowl week is
finally upon us! The only question left
to answer is who’ll raise the Lombardi
Trophy this Sunday night…the proven
winner or the newcomer?
The spread is set at a field goal for
this year’s clash between the Atlanta
Falcons and the New England Patriots
with Belichick and Co. as the favorites.
When examining the game from an
ATS perspective, there are a lot of
angles to consider. Let’s dive deep!
My approach to the Super Bowl is
different than during any other part of
the NFL season. By this point, both
teams are “public” and there is a ton
of readily available information for
all to digest. What bettors need to
consider are the variables that aren’t
factored into the number.
First, let’s examine the coaching
matchup. There is a vast chasm
that is causing a major mismatch in
coaching this week. Bill Belichick
has an enormous experience advantage
over Dan Quinn, not to mention a
much higher football IQ. I simply can’t
see Dan Quinn beating Bill Belichick
in a Super Bowl. Sometimes analysis
is quick and simple and doesn’t need
advanced metrics or multi-layered
examinations. That is what we have
here when investigating the coaching
matchup for Sunday’s big game.
Next, let’s talk about Tom Brady.
Very simply…this is a man on a
mission. He wants to stick it to the
league over what happened with
Spygate and Deflategate and put all
the naysayers to rest one final time.
He wants that fifth title to put him over
Montana and Bradshaw. An overlooked
piece of Brady’s season is the
fact that he “rested” for those first four
games; his aging body is much fresher
than ever before by this juncture.
The identity of this Falcons team is
scoring early and often. Belichick has
made a Hall of Fame career on slowing
down and stopping high-powered
offenses that most thought couldn’t
be stopped. If the Falcons struggle to
move the ball early on in this game, it
could spell trouble; as the hallmark of
a Belichick Super Bowl defense is that
they get stronger as the game wears
on. Not to mention that this might be
the strongest all-around defense the
Belichick/Brady era has seen.
For most of the season, Atlanta was
not pressuring quarterbacks at a very
high rate. The scheme seemed to
change a bit against the Packers. If
they have any chance in this one, they
will need to do more of that against
the Patriot offense.
The fact of the matter is that New
England owns the edge in a lot of the
intangibles in this one, in addition to a
stronger “trench” game between the
offensive and defensive lines.
Super Bowl Play: There is a lot of
value with New England -2.5 -125;
which is my wager.
Remember, it is only one game, don’t
go crazy because it’s the Super Bowl.
Be disciplined and exercise money
management. The size of your wager
should be dictated by the size of the
edge you believe you have. Good
luck and keep cashin’!
Mike has been developing his approach to handicapping sports for over a decade. He has been featured across many
platforms in the industry, including appearances on SBNation. Mike hosts his own weekly podcast during the football season
with various distinguished guests. Mike emphasizes a disciplined approach to sports investing with money management
as the cornerstone. You can find all his content at misterquinnbets.com and on Twitter @misterquinnbets.
Julio Jones and the Falcon
offense might start slow (hence
that Q1 prop bet), but look for
some fireworks in the big game
SUPER BOWL 51
by Jarvis Simes
After two weeks of handicapping and
Super Bowl hype, it’s finally time to
see which of these two teams are
ready to grab hold of their own Lombardi
Trophy and make history.
Some are calling it the most important
game in either franchise’s existence
but most of those writers work for a
local paper in either Boston or Atlanta.
Either way, the prep team in Houston
has done a great job building up the
event and delivering the package in
an informative, entertaining fashion.
And right about now, who can’t use
a brief distraction from the reality of
The benefit of all this time between
the Conference Finals and Super
Bowl is the opportunity to check off
all your boxes. The risk is an over
investment in what is still just a single
game. Money management is certainly
an important aspect of successful
sports betting and while I would never
suggest throwing it out the window
completely, I think it’s okay to treat this
weekend like a Vegas getaway. Set a
budget, have some fun and try to do
the majority of your wagering BE-
FORE the Jack and Cokes or tequila
My plays to finish the season here are
a flat bet on the total, a first quarter
prop and a bailout bonus prop with
odds too good to refuse.
NEW ENGLAND vs. ATLANTA
Over/Under Odds: 58
Let’s be honest. You could build a
case for either one of these teams to
win this game. Atlanta’s defense has
started to gel and the past six Super
Bowl dogs that held at least five of
their past six opponents to 21 points
or less are 5-1 ATS, averaging 26
points per game.
New England led the league in
defensive scoring, they’ve held two
playoff foes to 16/17 points and only
one team in their past nine games has
scored more than 17 points against
them. A few of their opponents were
twinkles (Rams, Jets twice, Niners),
but they went on the road to Denver
and held them to three, went into
Miami and shut them down and then
kept Pittsburgh in check. Yeah, RB
Bell was out but we can go on making
an excuse for why New England won
almost every single game they played
this season. At some point, you have
to accept they are a 16-2 SU team
that is outscoring opponents 28-16.
Any playoff team that has held more
than six of its past nine opponents to
17 points or less is a 66-percent bet to
go over the total. All eight games beyond
the Wild Card Round since 2010
went over the total by an average of
more than seven points. The “live”
team outscored its opponent 32-21
and the three games with a total of 47
or more finished with final scores of
51, 52 and 53 points.
In all games from Round 3 or 4, the
“Over” is 16-4 and it’s worth noting
that New England was involved in
all four of the Unders from 2001-07.
Two Super Bowls (2001 and 2004),
and two January home wins over
California based teams including the
infamous Tuck Rule game against
Oakland. Since 2008, the record in
this angle is 8 Overs and 0 Unders.
17-3-1 O/U with games averaging
around 54.5 points, clearing by 6.5
points per game.
SUPER BOWL PREDICTION +
FIRST QUARTER PROP
While Atlanta has made huge strides
this season, the Patriots are playing a
similar style we have come to expect
from them over the years. Their turnover
margin was +12 but that’s only five
better than in 2015 and Super Bowl
teams in this profile are 6-1 ATS with
four of seven games finishing in the
50’s for total points.
None of the first quarters finished with
more than 10 points so while I expect
an eventual shootout, I’m seeing value
on this first quarter total to stay under.
Note that my flat bet on the total is for
roughly four times the amount of this
first quarter prop.
**TC Super Bowl Pick: Patriots and
**First Quarter Prop: Take the Under
One of my books offered a special
prop paying back at odds of 21 to 1
if the game’s final scored landed on
exactly 51 points. Considering that
51 is a key number, seven more than
44 and three more than 48, not to
mention exactly seven less than the
common posted total of 58, I did some
Since 2002, exactly 134 regular season
games have finished with 51 total
points scored. The most common final
below that mark is 41 points, with 160
games. Above 51, no other number
even comes close, the next most
frequent being ’52’ at 83 hits.
In playoff games since 2002, only seven
have landed on 51 and although
that doesn’t sound like much, we have
to keep things in perspective. We are
only dealing with 165 games in that
time span and no number greater than
51 has hit more than six times.
Below 51, the seven most common
numbers are as follows:
37 = 14 times
38 = 8 times
41 = 7 times
31, 34, 43 and 8 = Four-way tie at 6
A $50 bet on this prop pays $1,050
and a $5 pays $105. Given the possibilities,
this prop was worth a shot
Our overall record this season was
7-5 and hopefully we can finish on a
high note. Drop by my site on Saturday
for updates or additional props.
Good luck and enjoy the game!
Atlanta only has 11 turnovers this
year (1st) and New England 14
(3rd). When you have two offenses
with such good ball security in the
playoffs, there is a good chance we
see some fireworks, especially once
the Wild Card riffraff are weeded
out. The “Over” is 77-percent overall
and riding a streak of 9 Overs and 1
Under since 2014.
13 of the 23 Overs cleared their mark
by double-digits and 10 of those 13
were in closely matched games with
faves laying -5 points or less. Overall,
the lower lined games went 13-4-1
O/U. In games played on turf, the
total for all faves and small dogs is
Totally Covered is written by Jarvis Simes, lead handicapper at Pick Sixty
Sports. Jarvis spent years working with Winner’s Edge, focusing on NHL and
pro football. A hardcore number cruncher, Jarvis is a certified SDQL Master and
shares information @PickSixtySports as well as www.picksixtysports.com.
Going to need at least one
field goal to hit my “exact
score” prop and cash a nice
NHL GAME PICKS AND ANALYSIS
STARS GIVE HAWKS RUDE WELCOME
Saturday, February 4th
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas
The Hawks have had the Stars
number so far this year, sporting a
3-0 mark in their previous meetings
(two in Chicago and one in Dallas).
They’ve all been close, but that
doesn’t make you feel any better if
you’re the team with the goose egg.
But this could be a good spot for the
home side to break the losing streak.
Chicago has been muddling along,
losing games on a regular basis and
finding it difficult to create a good
number of quality scoring chances.
Coach Quenneville has been juggling
lines in an effort to get things going,
yet to find something that clicks. In
the Stars favor is the fact Chicago
isn’t dominating the puck possession
game right now – in fact they’re
spending a substantial amount of
time without the puck, chasing and
Dallas has been playing better hockey
the last stretch as they make a run for
a playoff spot. Yes, they slipped up on
home ice Thursday night vs. the Jets
(while Chicago beat the lowly Coyotes),
but that actually helps this play.
We should get an attractive line on the
home side in a good spot.
Take the Stars
Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay
It’s hard to really get behind this Lightning
team right now, but we’ll take a
shot with them in this spot. They just
dropped their last home start, a not-so
pretty 5-2 result vs. the Senators.
Hopefully they arrive at the rink ready
to play here. This is still a lineup that
can compete with the better teams in
either conference, but they’re struggling
with consistency and have been
all year. Tonight they face a good
Western Conference team that is
playing the second game of a fivegame
Eastern swing (the Ducks were
in Florida yesterday). We should get
a very attractive number on a home
team that hasn’t looked good, but one
that can bite. We like the set-up.
Take the Bolts
Minnesota Wild at Vancouver
The Canucks have been a good home
team all season and we expect that to
show through in a solid bounce-back
game from them after that Thursday
loss to the Sharks. Obviously this is
a difficult ask – for them to beat one
the hottest teams in the league, but
Vancouver have been up to big challenges
in front of the hometown fans,
where they’re 7-1-1 in their last eight.
They should have Jannik Hansen
back in the lineup, which will give the
third line a boost (at least we expect
he’ll land with Sutter and Granlund,
but who knows, maybe he takes
Burrows spot on Horvat’s line). But
with Hansen slotted back in, the top
three lines start to round out nicely vs.
a Wild roster. They do give up a little
along the top line and the Wild boast
one of the best second lines in the
league, but Vancouver can get their
matchups with last change on home
ice and should be able to limit Minnesota’s
This is the last home game before
they head out on the road for six
games. Look for them to come away
with a win. We’ll back the home team
at a good price.
Take the Canucks
Tuesday, February 7th
Anaheim Ducks at NY Rangers
The Rangers goaltending has been
an issue this year, or more accurately
King Henrik has been struggling in a
lot of his starts. That said, we watched
most of the last four games he’s
played (and have seen many over the
course of the season) and something
that jumps out at you when watching
this New York team play – man they
give up a lot of top quality scoring
chances. Defensively they can be
as leaky as it gets. From the tops of
the circles down guys are getting a
surprising number of open looks and
it seems like every time down the ice
there is no end of time and space
when playing the Rangers. That
doesn’t bode well for them vs. a good
We’ll go with the underdog Ducks.
Last Week’s Record: +3.04 Units
Season Record: +7.45 Units
THIS IS A DIFFICULT ASK – FOR THEM TO BEAT
ONE THE HOTTEST TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE, BUT
VANCOUVER HAVE BEEN UP TO BIG CHALLENGES
IN FRONT OF THE HOMETOWN FANS
NHL GAME PICKS AND ANALYSIS
The Ducks should
get some attractive
chances at Madison
Square Garden on
Will the Stars’ fans get
to stick it to the Hawks
Oscar stands 13½
inches tall and
weighs 8½ lbs.
And the Oscar goes to . . .
The 89th Academy Awards is set for
February 26 and we’ve got some be tting
strategies that you can use to heig hten
the fun and excitement of the big night.
Conventional wisdom suggests that
there are few surprises on Oscar night.
Typically the favorites in early February
are the winners at the big show. So if
you see a non-favorite price increase,
it’s for a reason and you should stay
away. That said, it is crucial to keep
abreast of Oscars buzz during the next
few weeks. There is often some value
to be had while nominees lose or gain
Not all awards pre-cursor shows are
created equally. That is to say that the
results of some award shows are poor
predictors of Oscar night winners. Step
right up Golden Globes and BAFTA
Awards. Stick with the various guild
awards and you will have a clearer
vision of the respective winners. We
speak of the Directors Guild (DGA),
Producers Guild (PGA) and Screen
Actors Guild (SAG) respectively.
Finally, shop around. There is considerable
variation among numerous online
books. Here’s how we view the main
Best Picture – La La Land
Best Director – La La Land
When a film receives as many nominations
as La La Land (14), historically
they capture the double, i.e. Best Picture
and Director awards. See Titanic
and All About Eve.
Best Actress – Emma Stone; she won
the SAG and will win the Oscar.
Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis;
paying $1.02 - $1.09. How is that
for a lock?
Best Supporting Actor – Ali is pretty
much a lock paying between $1.04
- $1.16, however, some on staff are
having a go with Michael Shannon. His
prices are wildly variable paying out
between $8.50 - $31.00.
Best actor – Casey Affleck is the favorite
paying anywhere between $1.50
to $1.83 (see, it pays to shop around)
but Denzel is coming on strong. A week
ago Mr. Washington was paying 4 or 5
to 1. That ship has sailed however after
he won the SAG award last week. Now
he is priced between $1.83 and $2.50.
Good luck and enjoy the show!