More Wealth-Gap Wagers

Last week we preached the doctrine of betting on talent-rich offenses (and elite QBs) to defeat poor or hobbled defenses. We selected Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers over the Eagles’ weak secondary and mistake-prone QB Mark Sanchez. We predicted Sanchez would turn the ball over at least twice, and he fulfilled our prophecy. We selected the Patriots and Tom Brady over the relatively impotent pass rush of the Colts and were rewarded.

Our only misstep was selecting Drew Brees and the Saints over usually klutzy Andy Dalton and a weak Bengals secondary.

In total we notched 6 winning units to offset the 2 units we lost by betting on the Saints. Best of all, though, the wealth gap in the NFL widened further but the betting line in a few key games did not.

Chiefs at Oakland
Official Line: Chiefs –7
LazyLine: Chiefs –14. Cardinals are a 2-unit bet.

Andy Reid’s great success as an NFL head coach stands upon a foundation of conservative play-calling. With the Chiefs this year, Reid stuck with his time-tested formula, wherein his offensive squad plays boring, mistake-free football while his defensive unit pressures opponents into turnovers and various other bad decisions.

Reid’s formula works best against weak teams or teams with inexperienced players at key positions. For instance, teams like the Oakland Raiders that field a rookie QB and rank near last by most major statistical measures. The talent gap between these two teams is huge. While Reid wields an embarrassment of riches, the Raiders struggle to simply shield themselves from embarrassment.

With KC defenders Houston, Hali and Poe breaking down the pocket of rookie QB Carr from both ends and the middle, the turnover total tips heavily in KC’s favor.  With Jamaal Charles powering KC’s run game, Oakland’s defense figures to be ground to dust by the 4th quarter. That translates to many points for KC and few for Oakland. Give the 7 to cash in on KC’s wealth gap.

Cardinals at Seahawks
Official Line: Seahawks –6.5
LazyLine: Cardinals –1. Chiefs are a 4-unit bet.

You’ll find no better bet than a game in which the wrong team is favored. Yes, Seattle’s home-field advantage is huge. The wealth gap, however, favors the Cardinals.

In the offseason the Seahawks said goodbye to three outstanding defensive linemen and a very good cornerback so that they could keep their two talented edge rushers and cornerback Richard Sherman. They also bid farewell to WR Golden Tate because of all the money invested in WR Percy Harvin. Later they dumped Harvin. Last week, center Max Unger got knocked out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Top tight end Zach Miller is also out.

The topnotch talent level you saw in Seattle last year is worn razor thin. A few true stars hold together a patchwork of replacements and overworked starters.

Enter the Cardinals, perhaps the most talent-laden roster in the NFL. Although they lost starting QB Carson Palmer, the Cardinals held an ace in the hole with backup Drew Stanton. The defense, which struggled a bit early in the year, got a few key starters back from injury. In their absence, the backups ratcheted up their abilities to first-team levels. The coaching staff, led by Bruce Arians, is superb.

As for likely on-field scenarios, you can bet on the Cardinals shutting down Marshawn Lynch. Considering the Seattle offense now consists of Lynch running, Lynch running and then Wilson scrambling on third down, not much remains in the Seattle arsenal once Arizona stops their rushing attack. And if you look at the matchup between the Seattle receivers and the AZ secondary in terms of just raw physical talent, the Arizona DBs might be faster than the Seattle WRs they have to cover.

We love the wealth gap, the matchups and the pointspread here. Give us 4 big, bold units on Arizona getting 6.5!

Lazy Line results for the year: 11 wins and 15 losses against the spread, with 21 winning units vs. 22 losing units. (Using $100 as a base betting unit, we have $2200 in wins and $2420 in losses, for a loss of $220. The profit zone is well within sight! )