Sports gambling column: Week Five

You know when you’re about to quit a job, and you have to submit a two weeks notice? Consider this to be my two weeks notice of starting to gamble again. My Bovada account will be unlocked on Oct. 22, which means I can start placing bets again on that day. But before then, here’s something that doesn’t come often from me: actual gambling advice!

This upcoming Sunday, the Vikings are favored by 10.5 points against the hapless Cardinals. The Vikings were favored by six or so more points than that vs. the Bills a few weeks ago and lost 27-6. It’s basically the same scenario again because the Vikings are heavily favored at home, the Vikings’ vaunted defense is facing a rookie quarterback, and a lot of people will probably be wondering why the Vikings aren’t favored by more. Normally, I would tell you that the Vikings got humiliated against the Bills and that their players and coaches won’t underestimate another opponent. But, 10.5 is just too high. Take the Cardinals.

Here’s an obligatory PSA for everyone. Please, for your own sake, do not bet on any NFL game played in London. It’s been a recurring trend for years that weird stuff always happens in those games. The three games in London this year begin with the Raiders playing the Seahawks, two teams that are so wonky that no one should be betting on them anyway. This is about as big of a stay-away as there is.

The NBA season is starting soon, and Bovada has released 60(!) NBA-related props that you can lose money on. I like a few of them that I’ve seen, including the Cavaliers to have over 30.5 wins this season. Kevin Love was marginalized playing with LeBron James in Cleveland, and I have a tiny bit of confidence that he can at least approach the level of play that he thrived with when he played on the Timberwolves. I think Collin Sexton can have success as a rookie, and even if you are in the camp that believes that Tyronn Lue is a bad coach, the Cavs still have some good players (including my son, David Nwaba) and can win more than 30.5 games in a weak Eastern Conference.

I also like the Spurs to not make the playoffs on a +115 money line. Dejounte Murray, the Spurs starting point guard, just tore his ACL, which is a huge blow to that team. Even though we just watched the Spurs make the playoffs with Kawhi Leonard playing only nine out of 82 regular season games last year, the Spurs will be battling for a playoff spot with a handful of other Western Conference teams. I promise I’ll go in-depth on this in a The Weekend Wire ( episode later on.

There is one NBA rookie of the year bet that is worth taking a flier on, and that is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to win the award at +3300 odds. The Clippers apparently love this guy, and I love these odds that can win you $320 if you bet $10 on them. It’s a fun bet, but put $10 on Luka Doncic (+333), too.

As for my ongoing bets, the Chiefs handled a great Jaguars defense and moved to 5-0 on the season, giving them great odds (90 percent according to to win the AFC West. The Bengals also came back from being down 17-0, and I was relieved to see that the Ravens lost this week, even though Atlanta got destroyed by the Steelers. I should be able to win at least one of these bets, unless something truly catastrophic happens. Like Patrick Mahomes getting hurt because he takes too many big hits. See you next week.

Money spent to date: $70

Winnings to date: $0