Pigskins and Ponies: Intriguing Monday Night Game, Pocahontas Pick


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!


Iowa @ Iowa State Under 21.5 FIRST HALF:

In one of the more tantalizing games of the week, two teams led by their defense do battle in Ames, Iowa.  The Cyclones had the week off, so they will be well prepared for Nate Stanley and the Hawkeyes offense. The total opened 47, and we have seen it drop all the way down to 44.5, while the 1H opened 23, and we have seen that start to tick down as well. Iowa is very good at shutting down explosive plays, and with some wind in the forecast, we could see a slow start from both of these offenses. Expect this 1H total to close around 20.5.

Texas State +17.5 @ SMU:

Ugly game, but we’re going to pull the trigger on the Bobcats. Texas State is 0-2 ATS to start the season, but their defense should be good enough to slow down SMU (they held Wyoming to 211 total yards last week). Texas State Head Coach Jake Spavita used to be an assistant to SMU Head Coach Sonny Dykes, so there is familiarity here that should be beneficial to the underdog.  Add in the fact that SMU has a monster look-ahead game with TCU on deck — a game talked about all summer — and we think Texas State can do enough to get their first cover of the young season.

Buffalo @ New York Giants +2:  

The Bills thoroughly outplayed the Jets last Sunday, but turnovers made that game seem closer than it was.  Now they return to Metlife Stadium to take on a Giants team that was welcomed to the 2019 season by a Kellen Moore play-calling clinic. While Buffalo is a team professional bettors have loved from the onset this offseason, it’s a tough spot with a turnover-prone QB. This number has drifted pretty far, providing some value on the G-Men. Back in the summer, New York was actually a 3-point favorite. Last week, the Giants were a 1.5-point favorite on the look-ahead line. Now, after Week 1 results, we saw the Giants move to a 2.5-point underdog (where a “buy” to the 3 was purchased). We agree with the money backing New York.

New England @ Miami Under 49:  

With a spread this high, a blowout of sorts is expected. That’s where this total handicap originates from ... from a mathematical perspective. Miami HC Brian Flores worked under Bill Belichick, and they ended on great terms with Flores delivering a Super Bowl title. As Bet the Board podcast indicated, New England should have success any and everywhere this game, I would expect the Patriots to slow things down and not put much on tape if the game is in cruise control. Additionally, it’s tough to envision much success for Miami’s offense with as good, deep, and versatile as the Patriots defense is.  A 31-10 type score shouldn’t shock anyone.

Cleveland @ New York Jets Under 46:

What an interesting Monday Night Football game, as Gregg Williams and the Jets look to damper the Browns hype even more than last week. Two things here:  New York is BANGED up on offense with Sam Darnold out due to mono, and the receiving options are limited now that Quincy Enunwa is out and Chris Herndon’s suspension wasn’t lifted. Expect the Browns defensive line to get after Trevor Siemian, former Broncos starting signal-caller. On the other side of the ball, how healthy is Baker Mayfield’s wrist? Add in the fact that he has a below-average offensive line, and a defensive coordinator out for some revenge. This game looks like it is set up to go under the projected total. 

Best Bet: [1154] Iowa @ Iowa State 1H Under 21.5 


For this series, I will be looking for one key horse to single in a Pick 3 in hopes of cashing a profitable exotic wager. The budget will be in the $20 range and I will keep track of ROI each week. This week’s key horse:

Saturday, Sept. 14

Churchill Downs, Race 9, Pocahontas Stakes, 4:53 p.m. ET

#3 Portrait: She showed some talent in her debut when getting up for third despite a troubled start when racing on the turf. She switched to the dirt for her second start and really showed what she could do by posting an easy win under this rider. Her pedigree suggests that the extra distance should be no problem, and I think she’s going to improve once again.

$1 Pick-3 ticket:

Race 9: 3

Race 10: 4,7,8,9

Race 11: 1,2,3,8,10

Total: $20

Total Wagered: $60

Total Returned: $0

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