This is the first installment of Stadium Rant’s exclusive Gritty Gambler Guide, where I will give some weekly tips, tricks, and plays to get the better of the odds makers. The intention is to create a weekly winning card, a reasonable parlay, and an NFL Teaser Parlay for every game in future installments.
Some weeks will be heavy NFL others could be big in NBA, but as long as the sport is in the season, there will be at least one play for it here on the Gritty. The time of house always wins mantra is over, and the Gritty is always in the green chance is here.
Some Initial Tips & Tricks
There are some things I have grown to understand about being a gambler in 2022. First, never accept gifts from a guy named Randy & please avoid the Falcons. Of course, I’m only joking about one of these statements above.
Make sure you know the key numbers for your respective sport; for-point spreads in the NFL, it’s three, seven, and ten since these are the most frequent outcomes. 15% of games played in the NFL have ended within three points, while seven percent of games end by a margin of seven. Ten is essential because it’s the two most common scoring plays added together.
For totals in the NFL, the key numbers are 41, 43, 37, 44, 51, 33, 47. For example, the Patriots play the Cardinals on Monday night with a total of 44. I like the under and would take it down to 41 (one of the more probable outcomes) if the lines move. I find a lot of value in that number currently.
Basketball key numbers are less of a factor, but they are still helpful in examining the market. Typically when the number is seven odds, makers believe the game will be a three-possession game. In most contests, a three-possession game with under a minute left typically leads to the favorite covering. Five is the other number to focus on, seeing as that is a two-possession tilt which is a toss-up in late-game situations.
Key numbers don’t factor into Baseball, Hockey, or Soccer as much because a score is one point.
This is something that I never hear enough of in the gambling media world. Don’t settle with what the books are giving you. These lines aren’t set for you to make money! Vegas is always looking out for the home office, trap games & juicy moneyline plays raking in the money from all of us little guys. Don’t play by their rules. Buy a few points on parlay legs. It’s better to hit a smaller parlay than to lose the bet entirely.
For all the straight bettors, it’s pretty costly, so shop around to all the places you can if you are in the mainstream states to try and get the most valuable line.
Trust No One Intake Everything
Sometimes I’ve been sitting on my couch on a Sunday night, steaming at my friend because I went with his gut rather than my own and lost out on colossal parlay cash. I let him talk me into his play instead of just taking his point of view and deciding I valued my gut more. Seek out all the knowledge that you can, including but not limited to the Gritty Gamblers Guide.
I want you to make your own bets based on all the information you can. I’ll do my best to give you a solid amount of it in these pieces but basing your conclusions based on one set of thinking is never the sharp way to play.
NFL Week 14 Plays
The Gritty Gambler’s Guide starts true to its name by fading a massive public favorite.
Cleveland Browns (+6) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Call me crazy, but the Browns have a potent offense. Their issues have been mainly on the defensive side of the ball. Even with Jacoby Brissett as a filler, they have managed to be tenth in the NFL in points per game at 24.2. Their defense ranks 27th in the league, which is horrible. Yes, but the point is they are giving up 25 points per game.
Deshaun Watson is certainly rusty, but I don’t think it takes him all that long to shake it off. He has shown that his talent is a difference maker, especially in tight games like the Browns seem to find themselves in, as demonstrated by their .8 point per game differential.
Joe Burrow very well could be Patrick Mahomes’ kryptonite, but the Browns are his, seeing as he is winless in four games against them. Although the Bengals are scoring less than two & giving up four fewer points per game than the Browns, the total yards for and against are quite similar.
The Bengals win by a late field goal 30-27, but the Browns cover the spread.
New York Jets Vs Buffalo Bills (Over 43.5)
I understand both the Bills & Jets have top-ten scoring defenses, but I know Josh Allen is taking that first loss personally, and I think he converts a few of those turnovers to touchdowns; there isn’t anything else to be said about how the Bills can score we see it every week.
The Jets, on the other hand, when someone other than Zach Wilson is starting the average over 50 passing attempts (with Wilson, it is closer to 30) with a dynamic group of pass catchers and a Buffalo defense that is still missing some pieces this could be a more high scoring game, then people think. Garrett Wilson is proving to be a game-breaker when given the opportunity.
The way I have this game playing out is the Jets hang tough for three and a half quarters, then the Bills pull away by two scores and win 30-20
Minnesota Vikings (+110) @ Detriot Lions
I know the kneecap-biting, fighting Dan Campbells are a scrappy, tough bunch of SOBs, but why are they favored this week against a team whose only losses are to the Eagles & Cowboys? Also, Ford field shouldn’t give the Lions a 5.5 cushion against an outstanding road team in the Vikings (4-1 OTR).
These games are always tight and should come down to the last possession so a safer play would be taking the points with the Vikings, but this is the Gritty Guide, so we are going with the plus money. This feels like it should be a trap game, but I can’t play anything else (I don’t hate the over 52.5). This is too valuable a number for a team that wins close games.
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) @ Denver Broncos
Typically I wouldn’t lay the points, but the Chiefs are one of the best in the NFL, coming off another loss to the Bengals. The Broncos have a solid defense that has kept them in games when Russ burns the offense. Denver is last in the league in points scored with 13.8, it’s historically bad & the Chiefs are sitting pretty with the highest number at 29.2.
Regardless of the numbers, the eye test alone is enough to separate these two teams. I know it’s a divisional game, but Mahomes has dominated the Broncos since entering the league, and the margin of victory for the two games combined has increased by two every year since.
Mahomes and company are in for a get-right game here. I think they could get Hackett fired by dismantling them 40-17. I am also gifting Denver three points in that prediction, especially since Courtland Sutton is now doubtful to play.
World Cup Parlay
Soccer isn’t my go-to sport to bet on, but since it is the World Cup and everyone has the fever, I can give it my best-educated shot.
Brazil has shown that they are consistently the class of the cup this year, scoring multiple times in five of their eight World Cup matches. Croatia just took 120 minutes to beat Japan to move on; they are playing on tired legs. Well, Brazil is fresh and ready to go with one of the more efficient attacking units in the world. That said, the juice on their side is too high, but over 2.5 goals feel like a solid play at -120
Argentina squares up against the dutch in a matchup that feels incredibly tight; when something is this tight, I look at who has the best difference maker, and that is Lionel Messi; I think he will be too much for the clinical dutchmen that’s why I like them on the moneyline +145.
Lastly, in a similar situation as above, I am going to back Mbappe over Harry Kane and the English, who may have a better squad overall, but the best player on the pitch at the highest moments of suspense is the difference again to me. France +140
I will parlay these all together for +890 odds with a ten-dollar bet. So the Over 2.5 (Brazil Vs. Croatia), France, and Argentina are on the moneyline.
UFC 282 One Off
Since I had to do a more extended intro for the first installment of the Gritty, I will only look at one fight in this piece and follow it up with a more up-to-date look on Saturday. But the one match that could move the most is Mitchell v Topuria. Topuria is undefeated in his UFC appearances, but this is a dangerously tight match-up, and Mitchell has a striking advantage and is close enough in skill at grappling, which should make this a -110 fight for both sides, which is why I value Mitchell on +120.
Well, there it is folks, the first-ever edition of the Gritty Gamblers Guide! I hope this can help some of you win money to stuff those bankrolls. This is getting kicked off a bit later in the year, but now that it is up and out, the Gritty will hopefully take over, similar to how it did in the NFL.