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what if football picks
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п»їHow to Read Football Point Spreads: What the Odds and Lines Mean.
If you've never set foot in an actual sportsbook before or logged into an online sportsbook, the chances of you getting overwhelmed when you actually do is very high. In an actual Las Vegas sportsbook, there is typically a lot of commotion and the odds and lines are displayed on a massive digital board for everyone to see. When a novice sports bettor looks at the massive digital signage, they will see a bunch of numbers, both positive and negative, some two digits, some three digits. They also won't have a clue what any of it means. The same can be said for the online sportsbooks. It looks like a massive spreadsheet with negative and positive numbers beside each teams' name.
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The easiest way for me to describe what all these numbers mean to you is to define it as point spread betting. Point spread betting is the most popular way to bet on the NFL and NBA, and it is a way for a sportsbook to generate betting interest on both sides.
Linemakers who work for the sportsbooks must put out lines that will entice the "favorite" bettors to lay the points and take the favorite or entice the underdog bettors to take the points with the underdog.
As an example, let's say you are looking to place your very first wager on the Super Bowl. You look at the matchup either online or at a Las Vegas sportsbook and this is what you see:
How Do Point Spread Bets Work?
Based on the line above and which team you decide to bet on, the Panthers must win by five or more points in order for those with a Panthers (-4.5) ticket to be declared a winner. As long as the Panthers win by five or more points, the final score itself does not matter. A 10-0 win is just as much a winner as a 56-50 win.
What is the -110 Line?
The standard price to pay when betting on point spreads is (-110). This is the sportsbooks way of ensuring a profit no matter which side covers the spread. The extra 10 cents is also known as the "juice" or "vig" . Paying the extra 10 cents is like paying a tax or commission to the sportsbook for brokering the bet.
The -110 line means that in order for you to profit $100 you must wager $110. Some sportsbook offer something called "reduced juice" , which means that you can still profit $100 but the risk is a few dollars less.
For example, if you see reduced lines such as -7.5 (-105) that means that you must risk $105 dollars in order to profit $100. If you see -7.5 (-102) then you must bet $102 in order to profit $100. It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but saving a few bucks each time over the course of the season can really help your bankroll.
Which brings me to my next point. If you are serious about getting into sports betting, it is vital to have more than one sportsbook to make a wager at. Shopping around for the best lines will help your bankroll and you will be able to turn a bigger profit. If you see a pair of sneakers for $110 at one store, and the exact same pair is $102.99 at another store - which store are you buying them from?
What is a Push?
When betting the point spread, there is almost always a winner and a loser. However, in some instances sportsbook decide to put out a whole number such as -3 for bettors to bet on. If the final score ends with a differential of three points - no matter who wins - the bet is considered a "push" and all money is refunded to both sides since neither team covered the spread.
What does Pick'em or PK Mean?
When two teams are evenly matched, and the sportsbook can't decide which team should be the favorite, they will release PK lines which means neither team is favorite. The team you wager on must simply win the game by any score in order for your ticket to be graded as a winner.
What Happens When the Point Spread Changes?
This is a very common occurrence throughout the sports betting industry. Sportsbooks have the right to shift the spread or odds for any given match prior to it starting. Many factors play a huge role in this decision, and they include injuries, weather, the volume of bets on one side, and anything in between. Depending on the time you place your wager, the bettor may also have an advantage or disadvantage based on which way the spread has shifted.
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NFL Spread Betting.
Easily the most popular type of betting for NFL football is “spread” betting or more commonly known as betting against the spread . Bettors who are new to NFL betting or betting in general may be a little confused with NFL spread betting, but it is pretty easy to understand once it is explained to you. We will explain what betting against the spread means below.
What is Betting Against The Spread?
For each NFL game the oddsmakers set a number of points in which the favored team is favored by. Bettors can then either choose for the favored team to win by more than the number of points set, or bet on the underdogs to lose by less than the number of points they are underdogs by or win the game straight up. For example, the spread could be set on the favored team at 6.5 points. This would mean in order for a bet on the favored team on the spread to win they would need to win by more than 6.5 points (7 or more) in order to win the bet. It also means that a bet on the underdog team would win if the underdogs lost by less than 6.5 points (6 or less) or won the game outright.
Example of NFL Spread Bet.
Below is an example of what NFL spread betting would look like:
Here is another example with a screenshot taken from during Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season:
Now if the Cowboys were to win by 4 points, lets say 31-27, the Cowboys have covered the spread and anyone who wagered on Dallas would win their bets.
Other NFL Spread Betting Information.
You may often notice that the spread is sometimes set at an even number such as 3, 6 , 10, etc. In this case if the favored team won by the exact amount set for the spread the bet would be pushed, and all bets would be returned. For example, if the Patriots were 3 point favorites and they won by a FG (3 points) than this would results in a push, meaning no matter which side you bet on you would get your money returned to you.
The most common NFL spreads are usually set between about 2.5-10.5 points, but you will also almost always have games each week with spreads lower than 2.5 and higher than 10.5. In the event that the oddsmakers feel the game doesn’t need a spread, it would be set at 0 or what some call a pick’em (both teams are given even odds to win for this type of bet).
The odds given on the spread are usually -110 unless otherwise noted. It is not uncommon to see one side of the spread being -105, with the other side being -115. If you don’t see any odds listed for each side of NFL spreads you are supposed to assume the odds are -110 on each. Not sure how to read NFL betting odds? Check out our Sports Betting Odds guide.
Now that you know the basics of NFL spread betting you’ll want to check out our Sports Betting Strategy guide which has some great NFL strategy articles written by a professional bettor.

Staff picks: College football 'what if' scenarios that would have altered history.
There are a lot of 'what if?' moments in college football, so our staff took a look at four big ones.
The 2020 college football season will undoubtedly be filled with plenty of "what if?" questions. The sheer uncertainty in the schedules and whether football can safely be played at all practically guarantees it. What if USC had played Alabama -- and won? What if we had a full slate of games for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee to peruse? What if that affects the playoff field? What if there is no playoff? What if hot-seat coaches get a pass? The list goes on and on.
With a potentially history-altering season on the line, our college football team fleshed out their biggest "what if?" moments from the past. From coaching carousel fallouts to massive upsets, we look at pivotal moments through a different lens.
David Cobb: What if Nick Saban said no to the NFL?
You might expect this "what if" scenario to venture off into a hypothetical about Saban building a dynasty at LSU instead of Alabama. But that's been done before. The overlooked angle in this revised version of history is the fate of Les Miles, who took the LSU job when Saban left for the Miami Dolphins after the 2004 season.
Miles is something of a college football legend now as he enters his second season at Kansas following an 11-and-a-half year run at LSU in which he tallied a 114-34 record and won the 2007 national title. But when he landed the LSU gig, his record as a head coach was just 28-21 after four seasons at Oklahoma State. He was doing a great job in Stillwater, to be sure, but if the LSU job hadn't opened, Miles might have stayed at Oklahoma State longer and his next move might have been to Michigan as opposed to the SEC. He famously had to shoot down rumors that he was leaving for Michigan after Lloyd Carr's retirement in 2007. Miles has since claimed he was never offered the job.
If Saban had never left LSU, though, maybe Miles would have still been at Oklahoma State in 2007, and perhaps he and the Wolverines would have had an easier time reaching an agreement. After all, Miles played at Michigan, and it would have been a more attractive opening for him if he'd still been at Oklahoma State and not competing for national titles at LSU. Things worked out fine for Miles, who had a great tenure in Baton Rouge. But Michigan struggled through seven years of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, and is still trying reach its first College Football Playoff under Jim Harbaugh. Maybe if Saban hadn't left for the Dolphins, the Miles and Michigan marriage would have actually happened, and the Mad Hatter would have a title ring with his alma mater.
Tom Fornelli: What if USC hired Ed Orgeron?
I'm sure this is something that many USC fans have thought about in recent years, and even more so on a Monday night in mid-January when Ed Orgeron hoisted the College Football Playoff Trophy with LSU. It wasn't that long ago that Orgeron, as he did for Les Miles at LSU, took over the USC program in 2013 after Lane Kiffin was left on a tarmac. The Trojans were 3-2 at the time, and Orgeron went 6-2 in his eight games, picking up a win over a top-five Stanford team along the way.
There were plenty of people who felt USC should retain Orgeron due to the energy he infused into the program and how his players felt about him. USC AD Pat Haden felt differently, however, as he decided to bring in another former USC assistant in Steve Sarkisian -- a decision that would see Sarkisian stepping down due to personal problems in the middle of the 2015 season. Meanwhile, Orgeron went on to LSU, took over for Miles, completely reinvigorated the program (kind of like he seemed to be doing at USC) and won a national title.
USC did well enough in its first two seasons under Clay Helton, going 21-6 and winning a Rose Bowl, but has seemingly stagnated since. Helton enters the 2020 season on the hot seat with many USC fans ready to move on and find the next coach to return the program to its place as a national title contender.
If they'd have kept Ed Orgeron in 2013, might they already be there? Everything he's done at LSU, he could do at USC. At LSU, he has surrounded himself with good coaches while amassing an impressive array of talent, all of which would have been possible at USC. You can even argue that he'd have had a much easier path to the CFP at USC than he has in the SEC West. Maybe USC wouldn't have won a national title under Orgeron yet, but it's not crazy to believe they'd have made a playoff appearance or two.
Barrett Sallee: What if Clemson hired . Will Muschamp?
Ex-wide receivers coach and interim head coach Dabo Swinney got the job at Clemson on a full-time basis prior to the 2009 season. Do you remember who was one of the top targets during that search? Then-Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Muschamp got the Florida job two years later, instituted an archaic offense and was let go after going 28-21 overall and 17-15 in the SEC from 2011-14.
Had he been hired at Clemson, would the reputation of Clemson's program -- inexplicably losing to lesser opponents (then known as "Clemsoning") -- lingered into the next decade? There's no doubt about it. Let's play some dominoes. Muschamp at Clemson would likely mean that Dan Mullen would have taken over for Urban Meyer at Florida and likely kept the ship going in the right direction. As a result, Mississippi State wouldn't have reached the golden age of its program, which was ranked No. 1 in the first-ever College Football Playoff rankings.
Ben Kercheval: What if West Virginia beat Pitt in 2007?
While my colleagues have focused on coaching what ifs, I'll go in a more game-central direction. What if No. 2 West Virginia hadn't dropped a 13-9 stinker to Pitt in the last regular season game of the bonkers year that was 2007? Of all the upsets that season produced, that was among the more mind-boggling. There are so many aspects of it: What if quarterback Pat White doesn't get hurt? What if kicker Pat McAfee doesn't miss a pair of field goals? What if running back Steve Slaton isn't rendered completely ineffective?
Most importantly: What if West Virginia had won?
It would have played Ohio State for the BCS National Championship, and in my hottest sports take ever, I firmly believe the Mountaineers would have won (I also believe coach Rich Rodriguez would not have bolted for Michigan with a chance to win a national title on the line. Would he have left eventually? Very likely, but that's a whole other discussion). White never lost a bowl game in his four years as a starter, and that '07 team was stacked offensively with the type of players that could have given the Buckeyes' defense fits. Instead, West Virginia took its frustration out on Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl to the tune of 48-28.
In the modern era, you need elite athletes and top-ranked recruiting classes to sniff a national championship. Only the chaos of something like 2007 would have been the exception. West Virginia had a chance to be that exception.

What if football picks.
In NFL Draft, what positions provide best value in top 15 picks?
If the Patriots intend to chart a return path to a Super Bowl level, they’ve got to make solid use of a rare opportunity to draft in the top half of the first round.
They’ve got needs aplenty, some of which will be filled in free agency, but it’s important to consider an element that stretches beyond satisfying a positional vacancy. As it relates to maximizing the No. 15 pick in the draft, there are actually positions that are more conducive than others to championship football.
For example, the Patriots desperately need an upgrade at wide receiver, but it’s been 20 years since a wideout who was selected with a top-19 pick won a Super Bowl with his original team. And that was Travis Taylor, the No. 10 selection in 2000, who was merely along for the ride. Mike Evans could shorten that drought if the Buccaneers knock off the Chiefs this week.
That fact shouldn’t prevent the Patriots from jumping on Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle if.

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