Dare we call it the Lucky 7, but it seems to fit. We are going to start writing about the 7 selections for the 2016 Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown. This contest is scheduled to start this weekend and last until week 10 in the NFL. After Week 10 is completed, the top 8 contestants will advance to the next stage. Technically, the top 7 contestants and the Wild Card winner will advance to the next stage. The Wild Card winner is the contestant with the best winning percentage during the final two weeks (Week 9 and 10) of the Showdown. The amount of games to select is increases during the Wild Card weeks up to 9 games.
Hopefully we can be competitive during the entire run of the Showdown. It will be more fun to have worthwhile selections the entire ten weeks of the contest. There are some top dogs that will be in the mix. They are seasoned veterans of the sports handicapping contest world. That is their strength. Like golf, our main competition is ourselves. We will be more than glad to land near 55%, but we’ll always aim higher.
At Vegas Sports, we prefer to adjust our selections throughout the season. Bad streaks and some full moons have been known to cramp our style. This results in times where we have had to walk away for a week or two. That can’t happen in the Showdown. On the positive, we like that the selections revolve around NFL and College sides and totals. The selection of games and options intrigues us while creating an opportunity to identify value.
Let the games begin.
21. ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS -9
Our first pick and our largest bet of the week (bet placed last Sunday at Wynn at -7.5 and -8). West Point was our 1st bet of the season too. Call us biased, but we always favor the academies. We look for reasons to bet on Army, Navy or Air Force (not against them). The Black Knights have some great advantages in this game. First of all, they beat Temple as 14 point underdogs last Friday. That was a huge win for the program and now those cadets are knocking on the best start to an Army team in quite a while. Everyone on campus and at plenty of bases across the world are talking Army football. This game is huge, make no mistake about it. The next home game at West Point isn’t scheduled until October 15th. The formula was successful against a talented Temple team on the road. We expect another terrific game plan from this coaching staff. Go Army.
93. Auburn Tigers -19
Clemson literally escaped Jordan-Hare with a 6 point win. Arkansas State won’t be as fortunate.
97. Air Force Falcons -20
Another team that we have cash on and picking in this contest. We like this one a lot and have plenty of reasons. More about this team later. It’s time to fly.
145. Iowa Hawkeyes -15
We bet this one a little too early at Wynn. Our ticket has the Hawkeyes -17. The perils of the early bet considering that we could get them for -15. The only positive thing is that there is no hook on this bet. Iowa should roll covering the 17 in this big Midwest recruiting battle between the Big 10 and Big 12.
165. New Mexico Lobos -12.5
This one could be tough giving 12.5 on the road in a rivalry game. It has the markings of a losing ticket. There is no bet here, only GN Showdown.
190. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3
Our only dog on the ticket. That is a scary thought, but the Bucs make a barking dog in match-up with The ATL. The Carolina loss in Denver positions this as an early huge game for both teams. We have a bet on the Bucs’ moneyline +140. The defense will be more aggressive this season, while the offense has matured a full year under Jaboo.
217. Houston Texans – 6
Part of a 2-team teaser with Arizona Cardinals. We might bet this one straight up later. Houston needs to win here to prove that Brock On was worth the big bucks. Defense is the calling card to this team… expect a dominating performance from the Texan’s D.
As always, good luck this week.