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BTSC Bookie: Betting NFL Week 1 games against the spread

It’s time for the BTSC community to show they could cash in betting on NFL football games.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the Week 1 installment of BTSC Bookie! This is a chance for the BTSC community to collectively choose games in which to place an imaginary wager of “BTSC Bucks.” Each week I will remind everyone of the rules and explain an aspect of betting in order to further educate those interested about the process.

Before I get into the procedure of things, I want to remind everyone that gambling addiction is a serous problem numerous people face. Like many things in life, gambling can be a fun and safe exercise if done in moderation, while obsessive gambling can have destructive and life-altering consequences. If you or anyone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, help is available HERE.

The Process

  • We will start with $500 in BTSC Bucks for the season. If we bust, we may borrow from the BTSC Bookie, but will have to pay 20% interest each week it isn’t paid. It’s a steep price, but there are consequences to failure.
  • All games this week will be betting against the spread.
  • There will be 10 betting lines for users to place a vote. The point spreads are as of Tuesday evening and they are locked in throughout the voting. The polls will run until Saturday night at 11:59 PM and the top three results will have wagers placed: $100 for the top choice, $50 for the second choice, and $25 for the third.
  • A write-in campaign can be staged for voting. If any comment in the weekly article brings up a different game in the comments to make the wager and can receive enough recommendations to place it in the top three vote-wise, it will be calculated accordingly. I know it’s highly unlikely for a comment to receive that many recommendations, but if it does it will count.
  • Thursday games will not be included due to obvious time constraints.
  • Some games may have the two opposing lines as an option. If so, only the higher vote-getter will be eligible for the wager. For example, if betting on the Steelers in Week 1 earns the most votes while betting for New England is the second highest, only the bet for the Steelers will be placed.
  • Betting both for and against the Steelers will always be an option.

The Spread

According to, point spreads are explained as follows:

A point spread in sports is a figure set by oddsmakers to provide an advantage or disadvantage based on the margin of victory or defeat for a given team. The “favorite” team (labeled with a “-” sign) would be at the disadvantage as they would need to win the game by a set number of points while the “underdog” team (labeled with a “+” sign) would be given an advantage to not lose the game by a set number of points. The reason oddsmakers do this is to provide betting interest for both sides due to one team typically being better than the other.Here is an example of an NFL game where point spreads are utilized and how it would look:

Dallas -4.5 (-110)

New York +4.5 (-110)

As you can see, Dallas is the 4.5-point favorite which means they would need to win the game by five points or more to win the bet. Conversely, New York is a 4.5-point underdog which means they would need to win or not lose the game by more than four points to win the bet.If Dallas wins 20-17, then they win by three points and did NOT cover the 4.5 points, but New York has “covered the spread” because they stayed within 4.5 points.

What if the point spread result is a tie? This is a very common occurrence in sports betting and is known as a “push.” When this happens, the sportsbook simply refunds your money. An example of a push would be if Dallas was a 4-point favorite vs New York and they only win by four points. Neither team covers the spread in this case.

Week 1 Options

Here are the options chosen for the Week 1 betting exercise. Make sure you can your vote in the poll. If you want to play your own game, leave your choices in the comments below and keep track of your total throughout the season.

For this week, payouts are 1/1 as we will get into “juice” (the -110 after the spread in the above example) at a later date.


Which game would you like to place your BTSC Bucks?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Pittsburgh (+5.5) at New England
    (115 votes)
  • 5%
    New England (-5.5) vs Pittsburgh
    (21 votes)
  • 3%
    Washington (+10) at Philadelphia
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Houston (+7) at New Orleans
    (15 votes)
  • 12%
    L.A. Rams (-2.5) at Carolina
    (44 votes)
  • 0%
    Carolina (+2.5) vs L.A. Rams
    (3 votes)
  • 21%
    Kansas City (-3.5) at Jacksonville
    (76 votes)
  • 4%
    Miami (+7) vs Baltimore
    (15 votes)
  • 10%
    L.A. Chargers (-6.5) vs Indianapolis
    (39 votes)
  • 5%
    Tennessee (+5.5) at Cleveland
    (18 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now