The Sports Daily > Redskins Hog Heaven
You can make a killing in Vegas betting Redskins to the Super Bowl

Redskins GM Bruce Allen

If you believe the Redskins have a shot at the 2015 Super Bowl, now is the time to place your bets. The sportsbooks just handed you a gift.

The Redskins did not make the first day free agency splash that has led to so many blunders (Albert Haynesworth, Adam Archuleta). Hog Heaven likes the deliberate pace of Bruce Allen’s front office. We’ll withhold judgment on the players until we see performance in Jay Gruden’s system.

You should do the same. See, talent transfers; performance not necessarily so.

Some fans are outraged that Jairus Byrd or Aqib Talik and the like are not signed. Like recovering addicts, they are having withdrawal symptoms off the lack of headlines. Those moves never worked in the past. I’m stumped why people are complaining.

They are not alone. The sportsbooks aren’t impressed either. After the first week of free agency, my friends at Bovada post the Redskins at 50/1 odds to win the 2015 Super Bowl. Last week, the Redskins were 40/1 odds. The book is moving the wrong way.

Kevin Bradley, Bovada’s sports book manager explains.

“Unless a quarterback or star running back moves teams, it is pretty rare that one player in the NFL will have a big impact on Super Bowl odds, but we have seen some slight movement since free agency began. The Green Bay Packers have seen some money over the last week, getting Peppers no doubt contributed to that, and have gone from 16-1 to 10-1. Meanwhile the Denver Broncos who have bolstered up their defense a touch have also dropped from 8-1 to 7-1, but are not seeing any backing by our bettors. The Eagles would be the other team that has moved from 25-1 to 18-1 as a result of them being pretty active in the market through keeping their own free agents, trades, and free agent signings.”

So, after explaining that odds don't move much on individual player moves, Bovada raised the odds against the Redskins after the first week of free agency.

Remember now, bookies set odds to entice your gambling dollars. It’s not really a prediction of a future outcome. Signing big name players makes gamblers confident so bookies can offer lower odds and still get their wager. At best this is the wisdom of the crowd.

Crowdspeak isn't backing the 'Skins, so the odds go up to attract the bucks.

In the financial market, smart investors buy into a declining stock price for a company they believe in. Buy low; sell high is the most open secret on Wall Street. It’s also the hardest thing to do. Small investors like me tend to wait for the decline to bounce. Then wait some more to be sure the rise is sustained.

We buy from the sharps when the price high and when there’s nowhere to go but down. Yup. Buy high. Sell low. Whine. That's me and more than likely you.

Casual gamblers do the same — wait until a team is on a roll before dialing up Bovada. That’s when the odds will be lowest and the payoff thinnest.

If you believe in the Redskins and what they are doing, now is the time to buy low and place your bet.

But don’t take my word for it. (No, really, don’t take my word for it.) Hog Heaven is neither a gambling tout nor a financial advisor. We won’t stand good for your losses. Just pointing out the timing of an opportunity that could pay off big if a whole lot of other things fall into place.  


Here are Bovada’s odds from last week and this week for the top five Super Bowl favorites and for our cousins in the NFC BEast.




Seattle Seahawks



Denver Broncos



San Francisco 49ers



New England Patriots



Green Bay Packers



Philadelphia Eagles



Dallas Cowboys



New York Giants



Washington Redskins



Bookies like Philadelphia’s free agent moves. They are unimpressed with the rest of the division.

Do bettors have it right?

DC sportswriter David Elfin yesterday wrote that Bruce Allen was off to a good start largely by avoiding big mistakes. That’s progress for the Redskins.

ESPN’s John Keim makes the same observation.

“The Redskins have shown a methodical approach to free agency, and that won’t change. They’re not taking on bad contracts and should be set up nicely in terms of cap space for some big contracts in coming seasons. As far as remaining holes, the draft is considered deep at receiver, so there’s a good chance that position is addressed in the first several rounds. Inside linebacker and safety also could be early targets based on what they haven't done in free agency.”

Let Vegas yawn. Keim reminds us that player acquisition is a months-long process. Hog Heaven is prepared to let this all play out. You should be too.

The great sins of the Snyder era were the chase for big name players over those that fit the scheme, and gaming the system rather than managing it properly.

Allen and Mike Shanahan went a long way avoiding the first, except for nearly every quarterback decision made since 2010. Now Allen is being prudent with the cap in most cases.

He made Jason Hatcher an offer he could not refuse before Hatcher even arrived at Redskins Park to seal the deal. It was twice the figure Hatcher was hearing from any other team, a classic Snyderrato move. But it was about one-fourth of the amount offered to Albert Haynesworth.

We take our improvements in baby steps around here.