As Michael Douglas pointed out in the movie, Wall Street, "Information is the most valuable commodity I know."
Of course, Douglas’ character, Gordon Gecko, was an unscrupulous inside trader, but the analogy holds true for picking football winners: Information is the most important thing we have, but it must be deciphered in a correct way in order to be useful.
Here’s an example. A very religious woman gets home after church and notices someone burglarizing her house. She stands there and yells, "Mark 2:38, save your life."
The guy somehow freezes and doesn’t move a muscle. The woman calls 911 and the police come and arrest the guy. The cop then asks him why he just stood there. The guy tells the cop, "She had two 38s and a knife!"
When it comes to betting on football, everything we do is based on the info we get and how we decipher it, especially if we want to pick winners.
Even though this week marks just the start of the NFL preseason, future bets to win the Super Bowl have already been posted, and a few courageous sports books have posted totals for teams’ number of season victories.
I was recently asked why more casinos don’t post over/under wins in the NFL. And the casinos that did put them up have very low betting limits.
My experience in sports book management tells me that season win totals is not a winning proposition for the house.
Basically, the house cannot make enough money on the small "square" or everyday bets to overcome the "wiseguy" money that controls the action.
The fellows betting the big money on this prop may not have more information than the bookie, but he probably deciphers it a little better.
So, if you do your homework, you will probably be able to identify a few good bets. But, if you would rather not tie up your money for the entire NFL season, pass and look for more immediate action.
Speaking of action, we have some in the NFL this week! Here’s a look at the first two NFL preseason games that will kick off a long season, beginning this weekend.
Saturday, Aug. 2 (ESPN, 2 AM PT)
AMERICAN BOWL, Tokyo, Japan
Jets vs Bucs: I myself will be sound asleep, but as Gordon Gecko once remarked, "Money never sleeps." Coach Edwards is 7-1 ATS the last two years in preseason. It looks like the Jets are improved on defense, which started coming on late last season. I see the Jets prevailing in a low scoring game. For you insomniacs, go with the JETS +3, UNDER 33.
Monday, Aug. 4 (ABC, 5 PM PT)
HALL OF FAME GAME, Canton, Ohio
Packers vs Chiefs: I really don’t like picking a side in this ho-hummer. Vermeil is usually low key in preseason but was 4-0 ATS last year. Both teams must come back in five days and do it all over again. We will probably bet the UNDER 35.