By Charles Jay
It wasn’t a bad day for us in WagerWAR on Saturday. Our top plays covered – Louisville, Troy, Georgia, Texas. It could have been a little better, as a number of the smaller plays lost, and we missed out on $30,000 in parlays. But in the competition, we are somewhere in the neighborhood of $280,000 ahead. That’s a nice neighborhood.
So now it’s time for the NFL. And I’ll give you my take on two games that effectively encompass the entirety of the NFC South division, which is basically a two-team race.
By the way, if you want reduced juice (odds better than -110) on these games, or the chance to place live wagers during the games, check out BetAnySports.
NEW ORLEANS at TAMPA BAY
WagerWAR Line: Saints -5.5
Total: 50 points
The Saints are obviously looking to bounce back from that horrible loss to Atlanta, where Drew Brees was dropped six times, which would seem something of an anomaly. There is nothing on the Tampa Bay defense that can deal with Michael Thomas, who has 86 catches and will be going against a VERY thin Bucs’ secondary. In fact, in a player prop, we placed a nice-sized play on the “over” at 108.5 (-120). Looking at the other side, it is interesting that the Buccaneers have split this season series against the Saints four years running. And they haven’t exactly done that by stopping New Orleans cold. This looks like an OVER to me. But in addition to this, and responding to the surprising news that the Saints have recorded only 25 first quarter points all season, we also made a small play that the Bucs would score first, at the price of +120.
ATLANTA at CAROLINA
WagerWAR Line: Panthers -4
Total: 49 points
In a sense, it’s hard to tell how good the Falcons are. We know they were better than their 1-7 record going into last week’s game against the Saints. But we didn’t expect a 26-9 route of a team that got a lot of passing yards out of Drew Brees. They put a lot of pressure on Brees, almost doubling their previous season total of sacks. And there is, of course, Matt Ryan, who is able to put up pretty decent numbers no matter what the situation is. The absence of tight end is a loss, but there is Julio Jones. There is Calvin Ridley. If they can get somebody to carry the ball, they can exploit the Carolina defense, which has allowed 5.2 yards per carry and isn’t very effective once ball-carriers get beyond the line of scrimmage. And the Panthers have been awful in the red zone, permitting touchdowns at a higher rate than any other NFL team. They will just have to get a lot of pressure on Ryan. With 36 sacks, they might. But one plus for the Falcons is that, having gotten a reprieve from owner Arthur Blank, coach Dan Quinn has turned defensive play-calling duties over to somebody else. We would lean toward the FALCONS here.
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