Saturday, May 14, 2016

Week 7 Predictions (and Caleb's favorite betting lines)

Week six was yet another profitable week for our NASL Best Bets of the week (six in six, for those counting at home). I don't doubt moments of famine are coming eventually, but let's continue to enjoy the feast while it lasts.

Be sure to check out this week's preview podcast for a more detailed look at each game:

Each betting line is assigned a star (★) rating. For the purposes of ROI calculation, each star corresponds to a single unit.

Week 6 Results: 4-2-0 (26-12-2 OVR / +36.16% ROI / +22.15 units)

Favorite Lines:

Indy Eleven +.25 (-120, ★★): For anyone unfamiliar with mixed Asian Handicap lines, this is sometimes denoted as "Pick, +.5" -- meaning half of your bet is placed on the "Pick" AH line (same as Draw No Bet), and half is placed on the +.5 AH line (same as Win/Draw Double Chance). In other words: If Indy wins, you get a full payout at -120 odds. If the match ends in a draw, it's a half-win, half-push. A Fort Lauderdale victory would result in a total loss.

Despite my tremendous early success with these picks through six weeks, soccer can be an utterly unpredictable sport at times -- and the NASL is no exception. While I never thought there was enough value in Carolina last week to warrant a play (thus their exclusion from this post a week ago), I never would have even considered taking Fort Lauderdale to win straight up. Had you told me they would be up 3-0 in the first 38 minutes, I wouldn't have hesitated to laugh in your face.

It can be dangerous to bet against a resurgent home team coming off of their first big victory of the season. Fort Lauderdale is a team that has always had talent and experience on their roster. Add much-needed confidence to that mixture, and they have the potential to beat anyone in the league.

But here's where I choose not to overreact from a single performance. The Strikers have yet to prove any sort of consistency, and Indy has repeatedly proven they are unbeaten for a reason. The Strikers will have a much tougher time finding the net against an Indy Eleven side tied for the second-best defensive record in the NASL, and who are the only team yet to concede multiple goals in a single game in 2016. The Strikers, meanwhile, have not kept a single clean sheet to date.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out James's deeper look into this matchup. It's also worth mentioning that Indy will be missing defensive midfielder Brad Ring.

Minnesota United to win the first half (+100, ★): As mentioned in the pod, Minnesota is excellent at getting off to a fast start. They've been the first team to score in all five of their games this season, and have scored in the first half in four of those five.

Jacksonville's defense, to their credit, hasn't been terrible (although they have not yet kept a clean sheet on the season), but the loss of Richie Ryan won't help. 

Miami FC +1.25 (-105, ): Miami FC has been a disaster in their debut season: Two points from six games, -7 goal differential, and have been outscored 5-0 in their last two matches alone. This resulted in the panic button being smashed with vengeance this week, bringing in Richie Ryan on a $750,000 transfer.

The Railhawks, however, are coming off of back-to-back losses, and only one of their four wins on the season was by more than a single goal. A Railhawks win wouldn't surprise me, but a 2+ goal win would. Too much value here to pass up.

FC Edmonton vs New York Cosmos Under 2.5 (TBD, ★): Due to the Sunday kickoff, this line has not yet been released. It wouldn't surprise me for the total to be set at 2.25 or an even 2, but I would still like the under regardless. As I mentioned in the pod, FC Edmonton has the lowest combined goal average in the league (1.33), while the Cosmos have conceded the fewest goals in the NASL (3) and boast the most clean sheets (4). I would be absolutely shocked if this match finished with more than two goals.


We are tracking these predictions in a points-based system throughout the season: 3 points for correct game result, 1 point for each correct score (by team), and 1 additional point for a perfect game. 

James: 61 points
Seth: 64 points
Caleb: 61 points

Have any questions about any of the numbers or terminology found in this post? Reach out to @CalebRamp on Twitter.

Remember: All gambling and betting line discussion is for entertainment purposes only. If you do choose to gamble, be sure to do so legally and responsibly.

Join Caleb Ramp each week during the season for the Bloody Shambles Preview ShowDon't forget to follow Bloody Shambles on Twitter, and like us on Facebook

James and Seth (@SoccerBits) can also be found on Twitter.

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