Rather than creating a new post for each futures bet, I am just going to pin this post for the week and go in and add information and plays as they come in. As always, follow me on twitter @MikeyLoBets and subscribe to my Patreon to be notified as soon as I make any official plays.
Last Season Recap
Click on the link above for the complete documentation of every pick I made last season. You will also get full transparency and honest record keeping from me. Unfortunately you can’t say that about enough people in the sports betting game these days.
As you can see we had a great run and ended the regular season up around 75 units (before giving about 6 back during bowl season). Things really picked up starting in Week 7. We we’re positive every week from Week 7-Week 15 with some of those being monster week!. Keep this in mind in case we have the occasional negative week in September. Non-Conference play can be a little more unpredictable than conference play.
Our futures bets went 2-4, +14.00 Units last season, highlighted by hitting a +1700 on Utah to win the Pac 12.
Quick Housekeeping Items
MikeyLoBets is on Patreon. Patreon subscribers will get early access to my NCAA Football plays and writeups this year as well as my NFL Pass Attempt model projections & plays. In addition to that, I plan on having 1-2 patreon only live streams a month where we flash bet a college football game (only available on Draft Kings in certain states). I made a ton of money on that last year. Week 0 and Week 1 in College Football will be a little different since the lines get released early, but once we settle into our routine the weekly schedule will look like this:
Sunday-Monday: About 80% of my NCAA Football plays are put in for the next week. I will post them to Patreon as soon as I make them. I honestly sit at my computer on Sunday afternoon refreshing sportsbooks and jumping on lines. Those of you that followed me last year remember that we beat the line movement on almost every play (often by wide margins). This is a huge value!
If you take this stuff very seriously you need to be jumping on these lines early and having money in multiple books so that you can shop around and find the possible line for yourself. If you just like doing this as a hobby… that’s totally cool. But if your goal is to make some real money here, you need to give yourself every opportunity to be successful by getting the best possible line. The oddsmakers are really good at what they do… don’t give them any extra help.
There we’re about 2 or 3 games last year that my number won while lines that people got later in the week ended up losing or pushing. I remember Memphis -5.5 vs Arkansas State being one of them and the Under in Oklahoma State/Kansas being another. That’s about a 12-unit swing since my plays are typically 3 units. That’s huge.
Tuesday – Writeups for plays will be posted by then
Wednesday-Thursday – NFL Pass Attempt model will be up
Thursday-Friday – Plays & writeups released on Twitter and at www.MikeyLoBets.com to the general public. Lines likely will have moved by this point as this is around 4 days after I’ve put them in and notified Patreon. Any bets made from Thursday on (late bets, live bets, etc) will be announced on patreon and the general public at the same time.
Please note that I will most likely increase the monthly subscription price to $12 when football season starts. That’s about $3/week for every play I’m making + the Pass Attempt model + the flash bet live streams. It still seems like tremendous value to me and I hope you guys can understand and respect that. It’s a ton of work during football season (don’t get me wrong, I love it), but $12 still seems more than fair.
Most importantly, you would be supporting me. Please consider joining – your support would mean a lot to me! Join here: www.patreon.com/MikeyLoBets
MikeyLoBets is now on Instagram too! I’m going to try to get some more stuff up there during the season. Please follow @MikeyLoBets! Is Tik Tok next? Not likely….
Okay, that’s enough of all that. Let’s get to the writeups!
NCAA Football Futures Official Play Write-Ups
Texas A&M to Win the National Championship (+4000) (Fan Duel)
As you can see this one was tweeted out on January 12th, just after the 2021 season had ended and when the futures lines just got posted. I said that line wouldn’t last, and that was correct. As I type this on June 6th, I’m seeing Fan Duel +3000, Draft Kings +2800, and Barstool +2000. Honestly, I still would play anything +3000 or better for half a unit.
Obviously, this is a value play. It is much more likely that this bet loses than it wins, but at greater than 30 to 1 value it is a good play in my opinion. Texas A&M has been one game away from the playoffs in 2020 and in 2021 they beat Alabama with their backup QB. Their starting QB Haynes King, who was lost for the season in Week 2 last year is back. In addition to that, they added transfer QB Max Johnson from LSU. Whoever wins the job will be an upgrade from what they got from Calzada last season. I personally think Johnson is a great fit for Jimbo’s pro style offense, but I’ve heard good things about King as well.
In addition to the improvement at the QB position they’ve also been recruiting at a really high level. After putting together the #8 class in 2021 they put together a historic class in 2022. 247 Sports has it ranked as the best recruiting class of all time. They have tons of young talent on this roster ready to explode.
They beat Alabama last year and if they beat them again this year it’s hard to envision them not representing the SEC West in the conference championship game. Even if they lose to Alabama, but run the table in their other games they have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs even without a conference championship game appearance.
At 40 to 1 it was too much value for me to pass up on. They are one of the less than 10 teams that actually have a realistic chance of winning the whole thing this year.
Nevada Under 6 Wins (-134) (Barstool)
I posted this one on my Patreon last Thursday right when the Group of 5 season win totals starting popping up. It’s down to Under 5.5 -134 on Barstool and Under 5 +105 on Draft Kings (this is where it opened). It looks like the 6’s are gone. It pays to be early.
The reality of the situation is that Nevada got gutted this offseason. They lost their stud QB Carson Strong to the NFL and their HC Jay Norvell to conference rival Colorado State. Norvell wasn’t shy about taking plenty of players with him (Lincoln Riley style) and now the cupboard is pretty bare in Reno. Nevada ranks 31st (dead last) in Bill Connelly’s returning production at just 28%. As a point of comparison, if you look just 10 spots higher at #121 Duke is more than 20% higher at 49%. We’re still living in the covid era where players were granted an extra year of eligibility if they wanted it, so seeing 28% is quite low.
I think we saw a glimpse at how this team might struggle by their bowl game performance. Strong opted out, Norvell bailed, and they ended up giving up 52 points & 518 yards to a so-so Western Michigan opponent. Nate Cox, who figures to be the starting QB this year (and is a giant…fun fact), struggled against a meh MAC defense going only 12-for-23 for 121 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.
They replaced Norvell with Ken Wilson who is 57 years old and has never been a head coach before. Throughout his coaching career he has almost always been a position coach rather than a coordinator. Position coach to head coach is a huge jump to make and it seems like a lot to see a first year head coach (who has never even been a coordinator) win 7 games with a completely new roster.
The only thing I don’t love about this bet is the way the schedule breaks for us. Their 3 most winnable games are their 3 first games of the season: @ New Mexico State, vs Texas State, and vs Incarnate Word. Nevada absolutely has to get all 3 of these. Don’t freak out if they start out 3-0. I’m counting all 3 as wins and still see us winning this bet. That being said, I don’t think it’s a gimmie that they start out 3-0. I could see them dropping either of the first 2 games. After that the schedule gets really tough for them. @ Iowa, @ Air Force, vs CSU, vs San Diego State, @ SJSU, vs Boise, and vs Fresno State all seem like loses to me. That leaves only @ Hawaii and @ UNLV as potential conference wins (and those aren’t gimmies either). It’s just hard to see where 6 (or especially 7) wins come from here with this team.
Old Dominion Over 4.5 Wins (+100) (Draft Kings)
Old Dominion is a team that appears to be trending in the right direction. After putting together a really bad 2019 campaign, they hired a new coach for the 2020 season in Ricky Rahner and then proceeded to cancel that season due to Covid. Rahner finally got to make his ODU coaching debut in 2021 and the team started really slowly going 1-6. This stretch featured a couple really tough losses including a 35-34 loss to Buffalo in which they outgained the Bulls by 136 yards and a 20-13 OT loss to a good Marshall team.
Instead of throwing in the towel, the Monarchs dug deep and got things rolling rattling off 5 straight wins to close the regular season and earn a bowl bid. I look for them to carry this momentum into the 2021 season. During this winning streak, the offense averaged 36 ppg and this year’s team returns 10 of those offensive starters including QB Hayden Wolff and stud WR Ali Jennings III who went nuts in the second half of the 2021 season going for 855 yards on 46 catches in his last 7 games. This is a team that ranks #30 in Bill Connelly’s returning production rankings in 2022 at 75% overall production returning. It’s encouraging that they have so many guys coming back after things clicked for them in the second half of the season. In addition to Wolff, they also have DJ Mack in the QB room who has played a lot of football for them and also added ND transfer Brendon Clark. So there is lots of potential and experience in their QB room.
They are moving from Conference USA to the Sun Belt this year and while that figures to be a tougher conference for them on paper I also think the move will continue to generate excitement & enthusiasm within the program. They didn’t have any rivalry games in CUSA and this move makes more sense for them geographically and will reunite them with their rival James Madison.
Stylistically I think the Sun Belt is a solid fit for them as well. Their run defense was pretty solid last year, allowing only 134 rushing yards/game and having some really nice games against the run (@ Marshall 32-91-2.8, vs LA Tech 22-59-2.7, @ MTSU 33-101-3.1). In the Sun Belt, they will find themselves going up against lots of teams that want to run the ball between the tackles: Coastal Carolina, App State, Georgia Southern, etc. which could play into where they are more comfortable defending.
This is a team that I expect to continue to build off of the momentum they generated in 2022. The schedule isn’t the easiest, but we should be able to find 5 wins. In fact, I think 6 wins and bowl eligibility is a pretty realistic expectation for this team. I think that @ ECU, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, @ Georgia State, James Madison, and @ South Alabama are all winnable games and this team has the potential to surprise and beat a team that they aren’t expected to beat like a Marshall or a Liberty. They get both of those games at home which is a nice break in the schedule. I like that they play App State and Coastal Carolina on the road since they would likely lose those games at home too. Save the home games for more winnable opponents.
Illinois Over 4.5 Wins (-120) (Fan Duel)
I wrote about Illinois the other day when I was finishing up my Big Ten power rankings and through that process I really talked myself into the Illini this year. This was a team that won 5 games last year and really showed continued improvement throughout the season in Brett Bielema’s 1st season. They had impressive conference wins against Nebraska, Penn State & Minnesota.
I think they made one of the best under the radar coordinator hires of the offseason when they hired UTSA OC Barry Lunney. Illinois & RB Chase Brown had a ton of success on the ground last year. And they we’re able to have this success facing lots of stacked boxes because of poor QB play. Chase Brown had 71 carries last season when facing an 8 defenders in the box & averaged 5.96 yards per carry with 4.97 of those yards coming after contact (stat courtesy of Tom Fornelli on Twitter). I think the addition of transfer QB Tommy Devito & Lunney bringing in his “tempo” offense is going to improve the passing game and open things up even more for the running game in 2022. They did lose a fair amount on the offensive line, but I trust Bielema and his staff to coach up the OL and get it where it needs to be. He has a proven track record with this. I’m also expecting a big season from slot WR Isaiah Williams. He’s uber talented and I think Lunney will do a better job of getting him the ball in space.
I like the way that the schedule shapes up for them. A 3-1 start is a pretty likely scenario as they open up with Wyoming (likely win), @ IU (tossup), vs UVA (tossup-lean Illini) & vs Chattanooga (Illini win). Also I like that Illini will have a game under their belt when they play IU in Week one. Granted that is a short week for them and IU will have all offseason to prepare for them but Bielema plays these Week 0 games on purposes because he is a believer that teams make their biggest jumps between their first and second games of the season. If he’s right about that, they should have an advantage against Indiana.
By playing a Week 0 game they also are one of the few teams that get two bye weeks. I think that is a nice advantage for them to get healthy and make necessary changes to their schemes throughout the season. After their first 4 games, they have a number of toss-up type games: vs Iowa, vs Minnesota, @ Nebraska, vs Michigan State, vs Purdue & @ Northwestern. With a 3-1 start they only need to go 2-6 in those 8 games to give us the over. That seems pretty likely to me. If they somehow start 4-0 (which is not completely out of the question), we only need one of those 8.
To me this line seems off by a game. I think 5.5 would be a more appropriate line. I think the chances are really high for the Illini to reach 5 wins this year.
Official Plays – NCAA Football Futures
Texas A&M (+4000) to win the National Championship (Fan Duel)
Risking 0.50 Units to win 20.00 Units
Nevada Under 6 Wins (-134) (Barstool)
Risking 4.02 Units to win 3.00 Units
Old Dominion Over 4.5 Wins (+100) (Draft Kings)
Risking 3.00 Units to win 3.00 Units
Illinois Over 4.5 Wins (-120) (Fan Duel)
Risking 3.60 Units to win 3.00 Units