Now that the bulk of the offseason has really wrapped up, and we have a better feeling as of who’ll be where, Vegas has released a host of gambling lines on the 2013 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are projected to be a middle of the road team by all accounts, but if you are like me and think they’ll be a contender, we have a chance to make some money. I’m here to show you how.
(Editor’s note: Please gamble responsibly, and follow any applicable laws that affect gambling in your area. The advice in this article is not guaranteed to make you any money, as good as Ken may be!)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently set at 7.5 wins. But there is a slight caveat to that number as the over pays -140 and the under pays +120.
For those of you who aren’t everyday sports gamblers, that means you would have to bet $140 to win $100 on the over, and only have to bet $100 to win $120 on the under. In other words, the line is set at 7.5 but the house has a feeling it’s more likely to be a little bit higher.
My initial thought when the schedule came out was to say 8 to 9 was the likely range. Based on the rest of the offseason since the schedule release (namely the Revis trade), my conviction toward 9 became a little bitter stronger.
I’d place some money (and I’m going to) on the over. 8 wins would kind of be a disaster the way I see it right now. 8-8 is simply not good enough and heads would likely roll if this were the outcome. And that still qualifies as over for this betting line. Anything less, I don’t even want to think about.
Let’s move on to the division. The Buccaneers are set at 5/1 to win the division ranking them third behind the Falcons (Even money) and the Saints (2/1), just ahead of Carolina (11/2). My gut tells me the Saints are the pick here, as much as I want to throw up all over my keyboard writing that. But I wouldn’t bet them at 2/1. All four teams have a great shot at winning this division, and the way the South usually goes, it’s almost always a surprise.
I’m gonna lay some money down on both the Bucs and the Panthers. $10 pays me $50 on Tampa Bay and pays me $55 on Carolina. That’s a net winnings of at least $40, and I get half the division. Maybe it’s just me, but I have the South as an incredibly tough division, and all four teams face difficult out of division schedules. Wouldn’t say I truly believe Carolina or Tampa Bay will finish atop the division, just saying it’s the right bet.
How bout bigger and better things? Our Bucs are currently sitting at 20/1 to win the NFC Championship. I hate this bet, and I’ll tell you why. It has nothing to do with the Buccaneers actual chances to win the conference, because I think they are better than 20/1. But why bet 20/1 to win the NFC Championship, when you can get 40/1 for the Bucs to hoist the Lombardi Trophy? 20 extra dollars on every dollar I bet to win just 1 more game? Sign me up.
So here’s how you play it, or at least how I would. Put $10 down on the Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers. That way, if it happens, you are taking $400 to the local bank. But now let’s take a little risk out of it. Let’s say the Bucs squeak in as a 6 seed, they’ll probably be underdogs by a couple of points in the opening round. Put $10 on the Bucs losing, and you’ll probably collect about $5-7 profit. Bucs lose, you bet $3-5 to win $400 (because you got back some of your original outlay). Bucs win, we’re still in the mix here. Divisional round, drop $20 against your dearly beloved. Bucs lose, you recoup the $10 we lost last round, and cut into our initial investment, but if the Bucs win, we’re just two away from those big 4 bills.
Now we’re into the NFC Championship. You’re out $30 from hedging your bets to get us this far. At this point, you gotta keep pressing it. Put another $40 down against Tampa Bay. Now, if the heartbreak of 1999 comes back again, you’re up overall thanks to betting against the Bucs. If not, we’re headed to New York and you’ve got $330 ($400-40-20-10) riding on the big game. Finally the day is here, now’s the best time, put $100 on the Broncos, Texans, Patriots, or whoever the opponent may be. Bucs win, you get your $400, plus your original $10 back and you lost $10, $20, $40, and $100, putting you at a net total of $260 winnings. Plenty to buy some Super Bowl XLVII gear. But if disaster strikes and the Buccaneers fall in the ultimate game, you’ve still broken out even or better (+$100 on Super Bowl, -$40 NFC Ship, -$20 Div Round, -$10 Wild Card, -$10 Bucs to win XLVII).
So there you have it. It’s as sure-fire of a betting scenario you can make, provided the Buccaneers make the playoffs. Why doesn’t everyone do this? I’m sure I’ll be here to explain it come February. But as of right now, if you’re eager for some football and have some money to spend, go ahead and show some faith in your Buccaneers and drop some money on them to win it all.