Here’s To Football

Here’s to Football
By David A. Lane of

Though the pennant races can be a kick thanks to wagering and fantasy baseball leagues, they still just never equal the excitement that builds this time of year as football training camps open across the land. The crashing of pads, 2-a-day drills, and hard competition for eleven positions on both sides of the ball, beckons a change of the season as well because soon summer turns to fall and students everywhere prepare to go back to school. Football season evolves from right here, right now, with both the college and the professional ranks readying themselves for some special football Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and/or Thursday night, performances that we’ll forever remember.

The NBA Basketball season, I always felt, really starts its season fairly unceremoniously, as if they were more or less were just trying to get something out of the way. For some reason, the regular season has little or no meaning and the players seem to know it. This is true especially early on, as the lack of excitement leads to some serious yawns until after Christmas when the intensity (finally!!) picks up.

Major League Baseball certainly has some early season magic going with its Spring Training in Florida and Arizona which is great- very much because we know it signals the end of winter and with it the new beginnings of spring. Fantasy baseball drafts might enhance that interest just a bit because we all like to see if we can find out who the next roto-stud will be. Certainly, though early season baseball is fun at times and has some interest, it just still doesn’t hold a candle to the beginning of football.

College football defines excitement with the long-standing traditions, the marching bands, and the cheerleaders, only enhancing what always proves to be an entertaining season. Having no official pre-season officially makes each college football game worth watching from the get go, and as a gambler you have to love that. Though the opponents scheduled during the early season at most major programs are usually powder-puffs for a reason, there are some exceptions: Thursday Sept 3 10:15PM Oregon v. Boise State, Saturday Sept 5- Va. Tech v. Alabama at 8PM Eastern, Saturday Sept 5 at 3:30PM Eastern Georgia v. Oklahoma State, and Monday Sept 7 Miami v. Florida State at 8PM Eastern.

The long pro football season starts as a tease because fans are mostly trying to find an edge for the upcoming season during the pre-season and coaches are trying to find players. Some bettors do wager on these games (The advantage in doing so is that most coaches will flat out tell you in what they’re going to due during the game in their pregame interview) although I’ve always found it better to wait until the regular season when you know the best players will be playing and that they’ll also be taking the game seriously. Regardless, money is won and lost at the Sportsbooks as people who bet sports are more than happy to throw some wagers pro footballs way after long dry spells sorting through the ‘boys of summer’ and horses- for the ‘books baseball’s slim handle makes way for football’s huge takes.

The excitement builds as the NFL season begins to take shape with each passing week of preseason. Though the games are meaningless, watching a team’s free agent acquisitions, taking a peak at the rookies, and getting a handle on a coach’s particular style, can have implications on wagers made later in the season.

Paying attention to everything is the most important thing a gambler can do to insure he or she does the best they can to make informed decisions concerning their wagers.

The NFL season kicks off on a Thursday night September 10th with the Tennessee Titans playing the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and that date is really circled, highlighted, and starred, on my calendar. Thus begins a long road for 32 teams trying to get to Miami- the tussle for 2010 Super Bowl Supremacy. May the best two teams get there this year and the road in between be profitable for all- here’s to football!

Odds to Win Super Bowl

New England Patriots 5 to 1
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 to 1
Philadelphia Eagles 11 to 1
NY Giants 12 to 1
Indianapolis Colts 13 to 1
Dallas Cowboys 15 to 1
San Diego Chargers 15 to 1
Minnesota Vikings 17 to 1
Tennessee Titans 19 to 1
Carolina Panthers 21 to 1