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Malott’s Believe It or Not

A DFS, Sports betting and FF Blog

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When I was in high school, I was the subject of torment for what I’d just call having an interesting childhood and an imagination, all things considered. I’ve decided since this summer was my 20th year high school reunion and I didn’t attend, and as a nod to that rebelliousness, I’m taking back the title of an English project done about me in high school and using it to talk about fantasy football, daily fantasy football, sports betting along with me! I have absolutely no problem talking about myself. You should enjoy it.

Apparently my childhood was so entertaining that my classmates used me as the subject of an English project dissecting actual events in my life and purporting whether or not each of the 50 or so different things were true or not in paper. Interestingly, the project was so popular that my classmate sold copies of it to other people and eventually sourced me for more material, cut me in on the profit and it died, thankfully, because most of the things being said about me were harmless if not just true. Again, I had an interesting childhood.

The project was simply a list of statements about either things I’d said or things I’d done.

Here’s a list of things. I’ve been here at Stampede Blue, part of SBNation and under contract with Vox Media going on five years now. In that time, I’ve contributed hundreds of hours of video content covering the Colts post game, prognosticating on the future and have even got scouting hours under my belt as part of the staff. I’ve even got into coaching football, am now part of Soldiers to Sidelines, a 501c3 aimed at putting people like me on an NFL staff. I’ve written about gambling before, been commissioner of our staff and community fantasy football leagues (that no one signed up for this year, no biggie).

This year, I want to produce any content I can when it comes to fantasy football, DFS and sports betting.

Fantasy Football

First, let’s talk fantasy football. I want to make sure I always remind you to match the cheat sheet you’re using with the format you’re drafting. Also, make sure you know the date and time of your draft so you’re not stuck auto-drafting. Remember, under normal circumstances, you only need one each of a QB, TE, DST and K. Good rules of thumb are to wait to draft DST and K until the last two rounds of the draft.

I would write something like “don’t reach” but we all know you’re going to reach, especially for QB/TE. This is supposed to be fun, so even if it’s for money, draft your guy (thinking QB/TE here). Satiate your most base desires there (get them Out of the Way so you can focus on drafting RB/WR depth). In my most recent PPR draft, I was able to draft TE Travis Kelce and QB Lamar Jackson without reaching. Patience. I will write more about fantasy football as the weeks come. What questions do you have about fantasy football? How can I help make that experience better for you?

Here’s a sample result of a PPR draft from last night. Let me know if you have questions!


DFS is sort of uncharted territory here for me. I want to offer you strategy, but until I can replicate some sort of working, repeatable process to determine my best possible lineups, bear in mind this is just theory. I would think that knowing who is going to go off this week is a good way to start a lineup. For example, I think the Eagles are going to go off this week against the Lions. When I look at DraftKings, for example, I get $50,000 to spend on a roster including a QB, 2x RB, 3x WR, TE, FLEX, DST. My argument is that I want to spend under $7,000 on a QB.

It just so happens that Jalen Hurts is on an Eagles team favored by 4 on the road and is a QB I scouted when he was in college for Stampede Blue and its fans. I think we’ve all seen what Detroit brings to the table with the additional footage we got from Hard Knocks and while I’ll be rooting for the Lions this season (and next! I really like Dan Campbell and some of their players have grown on me!), I think the Eagles are winning their Division this year (more on sports betting here in a minute) and I hope the Lions win in the draft next year? Gonna be a rough ride, Detroit faithful.

This first draft lineup that I’m hoping gets torn to shreds in the comments because it’s awful seems logical if you follow me in that only a guy that is ready to ball out would go on Barstools’ Bussin’ with the Boys podcast, so guys like Lenny and TJ fit my idea that we aren’t spending money on them unless we expect a big Week 1, to say the least. Colts fans will enjoy my FLEX Parris Campbell. Lenny vs. Dallas in primetime!? You know he’s going off. Najee Harris with a questionable QB situation should just get fed, right? AJ Brown is part of my Philly is going to run Detroit out of the gym theory. Someone has to play winning football in that NYG/TEN game, right? Why not Robert Woods? Brandon Cooks I chose because again, someone has to have a day against the Colts and it’s usually a Houston WR (I can still see D-Hop and Andre Johnson when I close my eyes). The Saints are playing arguably one of the league’s worst teams in ATL. Does this make sense?

Kill me in the comments.

Sports Betting

As a rule, I only bet on professional sports. That’s why there was no betting content ahead of the college games. I watched six full college football games this past weekend/Monday night. It was glorious.

I watched Penn State/Purdue, Indiana/Illinois, Oregon/Georgia, Notre Dame/Ohio State, FSU/LSU and will watch Clemson/Georgia Tech. I try to Advance Scout the college game so I can better bet on the pro game. It’s the purest form of the sport and I really feel like especially the late season college football (like the Senior Bowl) are what this game is all about (just my thoughts). Let’s talk money.

As per usual, don’t gamble if you don’t have it to gamble (I don’t/won’t until I pay off my debt).

In terms of the Thursday night game between the Rams and Bills. the Rams are hosting in LA, meaning the Bills had to travel across country. The Rams are +2.5 and at home. Keep in mind, there’s a betting theory that Vegas gives you 3 points as the home team. I’d take the Bills -2.5 here, especially as part of a parlay. My logic is that is Vegas is giving 3 points to the home team, then the actual line is +5.5 so then the thought exercise (for me) is that do I think the Bills beat the Rams by more than a touchdown? Probably not. However, I’d bet the Bills to win by a field goal (again because I think the line should be Bills -5.5). Bills -2.5

Your Indianapolis Colts -8.5 (was -8 yesterday) are slated to beat the snot out of the shallow Texans +8.5. I wouldn’t buy this because I see the 3 points given to the Texans, meaning the real line is Texans +11.5 and I ask myself, do I think the Colts are ABSOLUTELY GOING TO BLOW OUT THE TEXANS ON THE ROAD BY TWO TOUCHDOWNS? No, I don’t. I think the Colts under Head Coach Frank Reich have started out slow and fizzled in the end of the season. I think this game is unnecessarily close. I would just take the Colts heads up to win as part of a parlay. Win anyway is my thought process here.

As a general rule, I try to avoid betting on games with abnormally large or small spreads and/or games featuring two teams that I don’t expect to make the Playoffs.

That said, after looking at the slate of games and their spreads, here’s what I think happens.

The Bills get the better of the Rams by a field goal on the road to spark what will be an incredible NFL season. I’d bet the Bills to win their Division as well.

BLOWOUT ALERT BUT ONLY KINDA The Colts will just win on the road against the Texans. I’m not gonna sit here and beat my chest. (Is it highly likely the Colts dog-walk the Texans? Yes.) I’d just take the Colts on the moneyline and live to fight another day (bet against history otherwise, you say?). I’d also bet on the Colts to win their Division (this is my homer pick, right? I get one!)

The Panthers -2.5 will win by a field goal or more at home against the Browns +2.5. There is nothing quite like a QB playing like the justified starter having escaped an inept organization. Keep in mind, Baker Mayfield and McCaffery vs. Jacoby Brissett. Smart money makes money. Panthers could win their Division, too.

BLOWOUT ALERT! I also like the Saints -5.5 on the road against Atlanta +5.5 because I think the Saints could challenge for a Wild Card spot and Atlanta might be the worst team in the NFL. Atlanta probably feels like another home game for the Saints, too.

I like the Cowboys +1.5 at home over the Bucs -1.5, but I’d just bet this straight up. I could see a world where this comes down to someone other than Tom Brady or Dak Prescott making a game-ending mistake. I think the Cowboys and Bucs are both Wild Card teams. It’s Sunday Night Football!

BLOWOUT ALERT! I also have the Denver Broncos -6.5 on the road dog-walking the Seattle Seahawks +6.5 on Monday Night Football. If you’re the organization letting go of Russell Wilson and then you have to play against him, you know you’re getting his best game, right? I have no doubt about that. Russell Wilson has weapons and Denver could win their Division.

Also, don’t copy my bets, lose money and then get mad at me. I’m just here to give you something to chew on, think about, chat about and ultimately if we make money and have fun, that’s what we’re here to do. Most of you reading this stuff don’t bet and don’t win when you do, so don’t start now. Ease into it. I got you.

Here’s your Division winners.