Column: The Home Dawgs - A sports betting extravaganza
By Brandon Hurley
Ah, doesn’t it feel nice to legally bet on sports?
No more sketchy, underground bookies hounding you for money. Long gone are the concerns of whether or not an off-shore website will actually pay up.
We can all lose our money now in the open, completely free of any legal ramifications.
It’s the American way.
With Draftkings and Jefferson’s Wild Rose Casino officially opening a sportsbook Oct. 3, I’ve decided to embark on a weekly sports gambling column. We’ll mostly touch on the big boys, i.e. football, basketball and baseball, but at times, I may dabble in some key spots where I see some value.
I’ll start out with five picks in this initial week, with a mix of college and NFL football, picking betting lines and over/unders.
So let’s all let it ride together, shall we?
Last week, I was a cool 4-0 over the weekend, taking a couple underdogs and a pair of unders. Let’s see how it continues this time around.
As it’s well-stated throughout the world, “Always bet the home ‘dogs, and bet the underdogs when you can.”
THE HOME DAWGS’ PICKS OF THE WEEK
** All betting lines courtesy of Draftkings Sportsbook as of Oct. 2
- Winners marked in bold
B-Hurl’s Season Record: 4-0
1. TCU at Iowa State (-3.5)
Essentially, the oddsmakers have this one set as a pick ‘em. The home team usually gets three points, and in this case, Jack Trice is giving the Clones the edge. I’m going with that as well. ISU, coming off losses in two of their last three games, has to get a win here. Brock Purdy and company are ready.
With a true freshman QB coming to Ames and their best win against a bad Purdue team, I see ISU covering.
2. Iowa (+3.5) at Michigan
This is a tough one. I feel like Iowa is the better team, but this line started at -7 in Michigan’s favor and is now down to -3.5. I would’ve taken Iowa in a heartbeat at the opening line and the public saw the value. Now, -3.5 makes it trickier. The Big House is rowdy and Michigan is angry. But being an Iowa grad, I have to go with Iowa to cover the +3.5.
3. B-Hurl’s spicy mustard hot dog lock of the week:
Illinois (+14) at Minnesota
I love this line. Minnesota is lucky to be 4-0. All four of their wins have been by single digits, and their victory over a bad Georgia Southern team, at home, came down to the final drive. The Illini, though just 2-2 with no significant wins, may not come out on top, but they certainly cover.
4. Minnesota Vikings at N.Y. Giants (+5.5)
Ugh, I truly despise these NFL lines entering week five.
So, of course, I’m taking the only favorable home dog of the week. The Daniel Jones rookie magic continues to take the league by storm. According to Covers, the Vikings are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last six road games. Kirk Cousins is bad. DJ = good.
5. Oakland Raiders (+5) vs. Chicago Bears
This one is in London and, though the Bears beat the Vikings easily a week ago, back up QB Chase Daniel is expected to start. A career backup making the trip across the pond? I’ll take the veteran gun-slinger Derek Carr instead.
Grab this one before it’s off the board. The public is leaning Bears, so snag the Raiders, who got a big victory on the road last week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders win outright, so quickly pick up that +190 moneyline if your heart desires.
THE MOST UNDERWHELMING BET OF THE WEEK
* Each week, I’ll find an under that I really like and let it ride.
* Utah State at LSU = 73.5
This is a huge over/under for a Utah State team that isn’t as bad as the oddsmakers believe. It may be tight late, but I’m taking the under on this gigantic number.