Rico Bosco’s “Bosco Bets”




CFB Playoff  kicks off Monday night, NFL Wildcard Weekend, as well as another college basketball MONSTER Saturday with a slew of conference games. Let’s get right to the trends/odds via OddsShark.com



Team Specific Wildcard Trends:

wc trends fixed
Matchup Trends :
wc trends
CFB National Championship


Here is a look at how the 12 Playoff Teams odds have progressed throughout the season.

superbowl odds snapshot

One thing I always wonder is what were the highest and lowest odds for a team during the season. Ie- the best and worst value. Luckily OddsShark.com has the resources to provide that information. As seen in the chart below, front runners like New England, Arizona, and Carolina actually have their best value of the season right now. New England makes sense given the injuries. Especially now with Brady’s ankle being a concern. Pittsburgh potentially down the road, as well as KC’s surprising 10 game surge, and losing home field also contributed to the rise of value. Arizona gets bumped up because of a deceptive loss to The Seahawks last Sunday. Yes it was 30 point blowout, but it seemed fairly certain Carolina would get that #1 seed, so I thought Arizona just played to not get hurt and went through the motions. Also, the Seahawks were extra motivated knowing if they won and Green Bay won, they’d be the 5 seed instead of the 6 seed. Carolina here is the one that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I see Seattle as a potential Divisional matchup and I know that’s tough, but the #1 seed in the NFC and maybe the most consistent team all year has it’s highest odds of the season ? Interesting as to why Vegas would make them the same as Arizona and not a little lower ex +375 or even + 400.

I tend to usually take second tier teams here for the bigger value, but if you liked Carolina all season it seems taking them now is the best time to do it given the bump in value.

high- low odds


-Welcome Back to Bosco Bets presented by OddsShark.com.  Here’s some quick stuff :

-The College Football Bowl Season was maybe the most unwatchable one I can remember. Oddities like Baylor running for 600 yards without their three best players, LSU all of a sudden deciding to play fast tempo, an injury to FSU’s QB, and Bowling Green sucking were just some of the unexpected things that took place. The overall stack of units took a hit (-11 units) from end of regular season to now, but overall I felt it was a pretty good season (+31.15 units). Just for the record, chronic Barstool shtick copycat Clay Travis was +23.60 in the same time on his documented picks via his column. Proving once again anything Clay can do, Barstool does it better. Looking forward to that first fall Saturday already.

– My 5 unit Steelers +1800 Super Bowl future  got brought back from the dead as the Jets did typical Jets things and choked away a win in Buffalo. For those of you on board asking about hedging , the Cincy Money Line doesn’t hold a huge value (+130) so I personally am putting 2.5 units on Cincy ML to win (3.25 units). The rationale is that with such a large number on the table (90 units), it makes sense to cut some of the risk (ie- if Cincy wins the losses are now only 1.75 units total), while still having a big payout on the table to continue hedging with if Pittsburgh wins (82.25 units after initial 5 unit wager and 2.75 Cincy hedge loss.) Think of it as Deal or No Deal. If you grabbed The Steelers with me on December 11th, you hold a briefcase with 90 units in it. The banker (ie. Vegas) is only willing to give out half of that (45 units = +900 current odds * 5 unit bet) to the rest of the world right now, and as they advance the less he’s willing to pay. However, the more they advance- the more you can make that briefcase profitable by hedging. It may not be the whole 90 units, but it will be profitable…and after all isn’t that the point of this whole thing, being profitable ?

-One last hedging note. A Rico Rider asked ” I wagered $181 on an Alabama future to win the CFB playoff. The payout is $500. Currently Clemson is +240 Money Line. Thinking of putting $200 on Clemson, if Bama wins I win $300 ($500 payout – $200 Clemson hedge), and if Clemson wins I win $299 ($480 payout – $181 initial Bama wager).  What do you think ? ”

While his suggestion is clearly the best way to have the same payout regardless of the outcome, I advised against it. That idea would make way more sense if the game was more of a pick em/ toss up according to experts. However, Vegas still sees Bama as a 2.5-1 favorite, so you should factor that in as they are the most likely to win the game. I advised wagering $100 on Clemson to payout $240 and winning $59 which is one-third of his initial bet, while still holding Bama at +400 ($500 payout – $100 hedge). Either way it’s profitable , and the decision is always going to change depending on who holds the ticket as some guys are riskier than others. Nonetheless, I figured it was worth it to give my opinion on the situation should anyone have a future question down the road.

-This time of year is great for one of my favorite past times … POOLS. I’ve run a Scripps Spelling Bee pool, is currently in the Barstool Bachelor League, has been in NFL survivor pools since the 6th grade, and attend a Calcutta (auction style) NCAA pool every year so to say I like pools is an understatement. This year, I’m in two NFL Playoff pools . The first is your standard box pool with numbers out of a hat, but the second is a fantasy player pool over the course of the playoffs. KFC mentioned a similar pool earlier this week if your interested.  The rules for mine are below.

Rules :

-Pick 1 QB, 2 RB’S, 2 WR’S and a TE  as your roster for the course of the playoffs

-One player max from each team (ie- CANNOT have Cam Newton and Greg Olsen on your team)

-QB’s get 4 pts per TD pass, 1 point for every 5 completions, and 1 point for ever 25 passing yards, -2 for INT, -2 for a fumble lost , 0.1 point per rushing yard

-RB’s/WR’s/TE’s  get 6 points per rushing/receiving TD, 1 point per catch, 0.1 point per rushing or receiving yard, -2 for fumble lost

The big twist here is that it’s essentially a survivor pool because you want to target players who will stick around the longest to earn the most points. To give you all the best input if you find yourself in one of these pools.. I have recruited Barstool resident Fantasy expert blogger Smitty , and Big Cat, along with myself to give their fantasy teams for this pool.

Smitty’s Team

QB: Kirk Cousins     Reason : ” Last three games (of which he’s only played 2.5) he has 860 yards, 11 TD and 0 picks.

RB’s : Adrian Peterson and Gio Benard     Reason : “With AP at home he gets 25 touches minimum. They will use Hill and Benard a lot with Dalton down with  If they get down it could be dump off city to Gio.”

WR’s : Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins    Reason : “Studs…”

TE : Travis Kelce     Reason : “If Reid is smart when it matters (spoiler : he isn’t) he’ll give Kelce double digit looks. Love the upside, roll the dice.”

Big Cat’s Team

QB: Aaron Rodgers

RB’s : Adrian Peterson and Charcandrick West

WR’s : Antonio Brown and AJ Green

TE : Jordan Reed

Overall Reasoning : ” Rodgers should get me two games even though I hate him. AP and West are workhorses. Brown and Green are big playmakers and Reed has huge upside. I also spread my team out equally between AFC and NFC guys to try and help my chances.”

Rico Bosco’s Team

QB: Ben Roethlisberger     Reason : ” Cam was almost my pick, but that Seattle D scares me. Said I loved the chances for the Steelers to win the whole thing so I’m riding that. I want to get 2-3 games out of my QB in this pool and the only one I felt over confident in at least getting two given the matchups was Big Ben.”

RB’s : David Johnson and Eddie Lacy    Reason: ” Hate taking a RB who shares carries but D.Johnson is the best bet here. Has a nose for the end zone. Like Arizona’s chances to advance into the NFC Title game. Green Bay OC Josh Sitton is calling for 30 carrier in his backfield. The Redskins D doesn’t impress me and I hated every other RB I looked at.”

WR’s : Doug Baldwin and Emmanuel Sanders     Reason : ” Baldwin’s 104 targets on the year stood out alongside his 14 TD’s. Like his playmaking ability if Minnesota stifles the run game. Sanders rises to the occasion- hope Denver airs it out.”

TE :  Gronk     Reason: ” Best in the league at his position on a team that needs him more than ever. Yo soy fiesta baby ! ”

We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the Playoffs move on…

Weekend Picks :

-On the college hardwood tonight I like Valparaiso -2.5 on the road vs Oakland. Oakland got some attention for that thrilling overtime loss  to vs Michigan State, but Valpo has the second best defensive efficiency in the country. Reags referenced them earlier this week in his column, and I couldn’t agree more after watching them not only this year, but their core of players who gave Maryland fits in the opening round last year. The big thing for me tonight is the tempo at which they play. Oakland wants to run as indicated by the 8th fastest tempo (KenPom rating) in the country, while  Valpo slows the game down with a KenPom tempo of 247th in the country. Oakland has lost six games on the year, all but one (Youngstown State-69th) was a tempo rating outside the top 100, including 3 outside the Top 250. Virginia (351st ), Mich St (284th), Georgia (268th), Southern Illinois (104th), and Colorado State (143rd) all came away with wins. Give me Valpo, the team running a Space Jam promotional night later this month, to pull it out with a few key stops.

-One more that jumps out is Detroit vs UIC. The game line favors Detroit -17. I would lay that as well, but the clear pick here is Detroit 1st half -9.5 . In their 5 road games this year UIC trails by an average of 12.6 points at the half. Detroit’s offense is way better than UIC’s putrid offense overall, but Paris Bass has been a man on a mission since returning from suspension. In just 6 games, he’s pouring in 18.2 ppg, grabbing 6.5 boards, while dishing out 3.2 assists per game. The supporting cast averages 15.6, 13.2, 11.7, 9.8 and 8.4 points per game. Detroit is 8-0 at home and Ray McCallum is a good coach. Like Detroit here to get going really early. Grab it asap before it goes up.

– Gun to head give me Under 50.5 in the Bama-Clemson CFB Title Game. 4 of Bama’s 7 wins versus ranked teams at the time were under 50 points, with one other coming in at 52. Clemson’s games against ranked opponents have gone 2-2 when comparing it against a total of 50 points. One that went over was a 52 point total win versus Oklahoma in the playoff. I could see how it could go Over as the teams are loaded with talent, but I say Under is the play. Additionally, teasing Bama to -1, and Under 56.5 seems like a smart play also if you are into that sort of thing.

Lock of the Week

Being that this week is a huge week for the NFL, and to change things up a bit. I brought in The Spread Investor  to make this week’s pick. If you are unfamiliar with his work. He’s 9-4 the last 3 weeks (4-1 in Week 17) for +20.9 units, and +32.3 units YTD. While examining his work years back he tended to break down games the same way I did, and has been my NFL guy ever since.

One of his most impressive plays in my memory was Wild Card Weekend 2014. The world was on The Bengals, and he made a his biggest play ever on The Chargers +7 saying, “The Chargers are 7 point underdogs at Cincinnati but Andy Dalton and the Bengals have been awful in their first 2 playoff games together. The Bengals are 8-0 at home this year but I don’t care – the Chargers just went to Denver a few weeks ago and beat Peyton Manning so they’re not backing down to the Bengals. The Chargers are going to cover and win the game straight-up.”  San Diego won 27-10.

Here’s his take on a game this weekend :

” There is a trend that is 12-1 on NFL Wild Card Weekend. Teams in the playoffs who have improved their win total by 4 or more wins from the previous year are 1-12 Straight Up & Against The Spread. The Redskins are in that situation this weekend (4 wins last season, 9 this year).


Some books even list Green Bay at +1.5 . Even better. The trend works because :

-Teams in this situation haven’t been in the spotlight before, and a playoff atmosphere is a whole new ballgame.

- The public loves the flavor of the week, The Skins, who have been hot down the stretch which alters the spread towards that team.

The Packers certainly haven’t played to their full potential, and I’m not overlooking Kirk Cousins (having taken him twice in December vs Philly & Buffalo), but successful sports betting rewuires keeping up with the betting market and knowing when to bet on a team, and against a team.

The Skins may be hot but they’ve faced 8 non-playoff teams in their last 10 games (7-1 record) with a combined record of 44-68.

The Packers may be struggling but they’ve played 5 playoff teams in that same stretch who boast a 62-18 record.

Washington’s defense is prone to give up big plays, and Aaron Rodgers is still a guy I’m confident in making them. Cheese heads for everyone.. Packers advance. “

He didn’t have to tell me twice !

For all his picks this weekend follow/tweet or DM @SpreadInvestor  and mention you are a Rico Rider.


Congrats to Peter Chernin for making a smart move investing in the best, funniest, most unique yet most copied pirate ship roaming the internet seas. You won’t regret it. Well wishes to my friend Handsome Hank on his relocation to my hometown. Enjoy the games ! Have a great weekend. #riderico

Last Week : 1-2 on Bowl Picks, and 0-1 on the hardwood. Total Record of featured “Bosco Bets” picks : 6-6 YTD

CFB YTD: +31.15 units College Football 2015-2016 Season, 15-9 YTD College Basketball via Twitter . For all stats and trends check out OddsShark.com & follow @Rico_Bosco on twitter for all my other picks, Bachelor analysis, and overall entertainment.