Pigskins and Ponies: NFL Home Underdog, Price Play at Del Mar


If you like betting both football and horse racing, you've come to the right place!

Each week in Pigskins and Ponies you'll find analysis and key football bets from Payne Insider and Todd Fuhrman plus racing picks from Jose Contreras.

Professional bettor Payne Insider and former oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman are founders of Bet the Board, a cutting edge sports betting company focused on written and digital content. You can listen to Bet The Board podcast every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday during football season on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Handicapper Jose Contreras is an analyst for horse racing network TVG and a regular contributor to America's Best Racing.

Get this week's picks below, and be sure to check back for new selections each week. Happy betting!


Los Angeles Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers -3 (-120):

The game featuring two of the top teams in football has seen a slight adjustment from the look-ahead line, where the Steelers were installed 4.5-point favorites at BetOnline.AG. At the key number of 3, there is too much value on Pittsburgh to pass up. The Chargers lost their best linebacker three weeks ago in Denzel Perryman, and the Steelers (unlike L.A.’s recent opponents) have the tools to exploit that. On the other side of the ball, losing running back Melvin Gordon will hurt here, and the Chargers might get a bit too one-dimensional on offense. If that’s the case, Pittsburgh’s defense that’s No. 1 in adjusted sack rate could cause Phillip Rivers some trouble.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 (-110):

Carolina is coming off three straight losses and now travels to Florida to take on the Buccaneers, who, despite dropping an inexplicable home game to the Washington Redskins, have trended well the past three weeks. Carolina is a little banged up in the secondary, a unit that wasn’t great to begin with. Tampa Bay’s defensive front is really starting to pose issues for teams and continues to trend and project upward. While Carolina has that “must win” feel to it, going from laying 6 at home a few weeks ago to 3.5 on the road is too much. Tampa winning this game wouldn’t be a shock. 

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals OVER 44 (-110):  

There isn’t much fancy analysis to put here. Denver has played impressively after their bye, with back-to-back wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers and their offense is starting to come together. They should be able to run the ball on a Bengals defense that’s 30th in rushing success rate. On the other side, QB Jeff Driskel is at the helm for Cincinnati after Andy Dalton’s torn thumb ligament has him out for the year, but star receiver A.J. Green is back. The combination of Denver’s surging offense, the Bengals poor defense, and the return of Green should see this total rise.

Fresno State +3 (-120) @ Boise State:  

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to three weeks ago, when Fresno State visited the “Smurf Turf” on a Friday night to take on Boise. The Bulldogs were laying 2.5, and up 17-3 midway through the third quarter before a barrage of penalty calls and the inability to convert one key third down late. Those things cost the Bulldogs a victory in a game they ultimately ended up losing 24-17.  Not even a month later, we have a 5.5-point adjustment, with the road underdog carrying double-revenge and a real familiarity with the “Smurf Turf.” With Boise State getting over 75 percent of the tickets here, we’ll go contrarian and take the +3 as this weeks Bet the Board best bet.

Best Bet: [317] Fresno State +3 (-120)


Saturday, Dec. 1

Del Mar, Race 3, 4:30 p.m. ET

#10 St. Joe Bay (6-1 odds) set the pace, battled gamely, and finished third behind a repeat winner in Battle of Midway in his most-recent start. He’s better sprinting than routing, and I like that he’s cutting back in distance. He doesn’t have any wins on the turf but he does have a second and third in seven tries. I like that he has the outside post position and, hopefully, that allows him to get a clean trip.

Sunday, Dec. 2

Del Mar, Race 5, 5:30 p.m. ET

#1 Worthy Turk (7-2 odds) settled behind the speed but was not able to accelerate down the stretch and had to settle for third in his most recent start. He’s now cutting back in distance to a mile and that might do the trick. There’s plenty of speed in this field to set it up for his late kick. I think he’s going to be able to save plenty of ground with this inside post position.

Total picks: 26

Total winners: 3

Total money returned with $2 to win on each pick: -$29.60

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