Our second week of parlay picks performed little better than the first week. We chose five parlays at better than even money odds, and we only hit on one of them at +131. It was the Baltimore over Buffalo and Green Bay over Jacksonville parlay that won.
For the season, we have put $700 in imaginary bankroll up for money line parlay investment, and we have won just $131 while losing $600 for a net of $-469. Ugh, but at least we still have the same amount of real $$$, since this is just for fun.
Because, it is just for fun, we have another $500 in imaginary dough ready to put on the non-existent line this week. Once again, as we like to always play parlays with better than even money odds, all five picks will pay back more than the $100 investment if they win.
Before we get to this week’s picks, we have been asked by a handful of you where we get our odds. This is a multiple part response. First, we do not use just one sports book to find our odds. We shop for the best odds we can get on each parlay, so one parlay might be with one book, while another parlay might be with another one. All of our fake selections come from easily playable online sports books, plus Las Vegas. It appears that some of you from Vegas read our parlay selections every week, and we can only imagine how peeved you must be, even though we begged many times for readers here not to use these selections.
As for the actual odds, you can figure these out yourselves with an easy but time-consuming process, but why do this, when you can find parlay calculators online?
For those math geeks like us that must know how to do it, here goes:
Let’s look at a 3-team parlay of favorites at -150, -180, and -200. First we find the decimal divider for figuring the multiplier. So, we take each number (150, 180, and 200). You divide your total payout of winning by the amount risked. We are always risking $100 on every parlay, so this becomes easier. at -150, we win 100 for every 150 or 1 for every .667. The decimal multiplier would then be the reward (.667) + the risk (1), or 1.667
For -180, we win 100 for every 180 invested or one for every .556. The decimal multiplier would then be (.556 + 1) 1.556
For -200, we win 100 for every 200 invested or one for every .5. The decimal multiplier would then be (.5 + 1) 1.5
Now, multiply the three decimal multipliers (1.667, 1.556, and 1.5). The answer to this is 3.89.
Now, we subtract 1 for the risk invested and we get 2.89. If we wager $100 on this parlay, and it wins, we will be paid $289.
Let’s say you are feeling strong about two underdogs winning outright. The Money Lines are listed at +120 and +150. This is easier to calculate. If you play at +120 you are putting up 100 to win 120, and the multiplier decimal is 2.2 (1+1.2). The +150 multiplier decimal is 2.5 (1+1.5), and when you multiply 2.2 by 2.5, you get 5.5. Subtract the 1 for the risk, and you get 4.5. For every $100 you wager on this parlay, you would win $450 if the two underdogs won outright.
Once again, you can find a parlay calculator online that will do this for you.
Here are our parlays for this week
Parlay #1: +142
Rutgers over New Mexico
Texas over California
Nevada over Buffalo
We are playing some angles here. New Mexico lost to rival New Mexico State and now must go on the road to a so-so Big Ten team that lost at a ranked Washington team and won a cakewalk game last week.
We feel that Texas can play smash mouth football against Cal and wear their weak defense down. Even though the game is in Berkeley, Texas has more muscle and speed than San Diego State who beat the Golden Bears last week.
Buffalo has to travel over 2,00o miles to Reno after beginning the season with a loss to an FCS opponent. Nevada fared okay at Notre Dame last week, and the Wolfpack will have a bit of added confidence. Going up against a slower offense and defense will do for the Nevada what two bats being swung does for a batter in the on-deck circle.
Parlay #2 +130
Virginia Tech over Boston College
Western Kentucky over Miami (O)
Oklahoma St. over Pittsburgh
Boston College really struggles to score points. The Eagles’ defense is really good, but it will be on the field too much in Blacksburg. The Hokies may be a little hungover this week following the big game, but their defense is almost as good as BC’s, and almost as good facing BC’s offense and playing on home turf is enough for VT to win.
Western Kentucky did a better job against Alabama at Bryant Denny Stadium than USC did against the Tide at AT&T Stadium. Miami of Ohio is still a couple years of improvement away before the Red Hawks can think there is a chance to go to a bowl. The Hilltoppers should win this game by at least 17 points.
I would not want to be the Alabama or Ohio State and have to play Oklahoma State in Stillwater this week. The players are mad as hatters. The coach is madder. Add the obvious letdown by the Panthers after beating Penn State at home, and we would not be surprised if OSU wins by 20 or more points.
Parlay #3 +147
Utah St. over Arkansas St.
Central Michigan over UNLV
Texas Tech over Louisiana Tech
Alabama over Ole Miss
Arkansas State appears to be weaker than thought in the preseason, when the Sun Belt media gurus thought they would contend with Appy State for the conference crown. They are 0-2, but it is a sneaky 0-2. Losses to Auburn and Toledo doesn’t make ASU bad. Playing at Utah St. gives the Aggies a greater than normal home field advantage. USU never challenged USC last week, so this is a chance for the Aggies to rebound and bounce back.
Central Michigan must now be considered a contender for the NY6 Bowl bid. A road win over a top 20 team, even if mistakes were made by the referees, is worth more than Houston’s win at hometown NRG Stadium over Oklahoma. The Chippewas know they must win every week, and they have a tough conference schedule ahead with Western Michigan, Toledo, and Northern Illinois, plus the must-win game at Virginia next week. CMU might be looking ahead to the Cavaliers next week, and that worries us a bit, because UNLV is not chopped liver like they have been in recent seasons. The Rebels could end CMU’s quest for the Fiesta. Still, we are going with CMU to win, maybe just by not as comfortable a margin as we would hope.
How many points will be scored in Lubbock this week? How about 90 or more? Texas Tech and Arizona State played to a basketball score last week, and the Red Raiders return home to face a somewhat weaker opponent. It might be a nervous Nellie game, but we believe TTU wins 52-38.
Would you like to have a chance to beat Alabama three years in a row when the Tide was undefeated and ranked in the top 5? Alabama has been ranked #2 and #3 the last two years when Ole Miss defeated the Tide. The Tide will turn this week, and Alabama will get two years worth of revenge. Nick Saban and staff has parsed every play of Florida State’e second half against the Rebels, and it would shock us less if ‘Bama wins by 35 or more than Ole Miss winning a third time in a row.
Parlay #4 +132
Penn St. over Temple
Marshall over Akron
Stanford over USC
Utah over San Jose St.
Must we say what happens if Temple goes into Happy Valley and tops Penn State after the Nittany Lions lost to Pitt last week? The seat of James Franklin would become hot enough to make fried rice. Temple is weaker than last year, but apparently so is Penn State, or at best they are on par with last year. We believe the game could be ugly, but the big guys have to win, and they will.
Marshall looked fantastic as the Thundering Herd was the only FBS team to debut their season last week. Akron had a tough week at Wisconsin, and the Badgers’ muscle guys probably left the Zips bumped and bruised. We believe they won’t feel better after visiting Doc Holliday, as the Herd runs over the Zips.
Stanford had an extra week to prepare for USC, and teams tend to improve the most between game one and game two. The Cardinal offense should put up about 25-30 points while holding the Trojans under 20.
Utah visits San Jose a little later in the evening than the Stanford game up the road, but you cannot go to both games and see them in full. You might be able to see half of each one if you speed on down 280 or the Central Expressway. The Spartans are one of those teams you worry about, but Utah is a solid team that plays well every week–never spectacular, but much like Wisconsin. We’ll take the Utes.
Parlay #5 +120
Detroit Lions over Tennessee Titans
New England Patriots over Miami Dolphin
Carolina over San Francisco
Until Tennessee actually wins a game this year, we will select their opponents most weeks. The Titans look to us to be even weaker than Cleveland without RG3. Truth be told, if Josh McCown has anything left in his old legs, Cleveland may be a tad better. The Titans have great difficulty spreading the field vertically with a bunch of distance horses and no speed horses. Marcus Mariota is not good enough to make average receivers look like Peyton Manning made Dallas Clark. The running game would be terrific if the passing game was even average, and the defense does not scare many people. Matthew Stafford and company should have a fun Sunday.
New England is at home facing Miami. Jimmy Garappolo wasn’t Tom Brady the Second, but he was at least as good as Matt Cassel 2008. Miami’s defense may be considerably better than last year’s version, but can their offense keep up with the Patriots’ offense? We say no way.
Carolina has everything in their favor for the last game in this parlay. The Panthers played Thursday night, while the 49ers played four days later in a rivalry game that had been waiting for 22 years. San Francisco must travel from one coast to another across three time zones, and they will face hot and humid conditions on Sunday with a chance of storms. Unless Cam Newton suffers some ill effects from the illegal hits in the opener, we believe Carolina wins by double digits.
***** Warning *****
Remember, do not use these just for fun picks as real investment advice. We are out nothing for the unsatisfactory results so far. Don’t be a fool who is soon parted from his/her money.
Past results do not necessarily reflect future success. Even if we finished 2015 with a 40% ROI, there is no legitimate reason to expect we will ever get on the plus side of 0 this year.