Pigskins and Ponies: Key NFL Division Showdowns, Class Angle at Santa Anita

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

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!


Oregon @ Washington +3:

Oregon has been phenomenal since their meltdown Week 1 against Auburn, but we feel their price point in the market has peaked laying a field goal on the road at Washington. We also know about the Ducks struggles away from Autzen Stadium under their current coaching staff. Additionally, there’s an under-the-radar injury to Ducks stud TE Jake Breeland (leading receiver) which could hamper Oregon’s offense on the road against Chris Peterson’s defense. Huskies QB Jacob Eason is starting to play to his potential as this season progresses, and he’ll need to continue to do so against a very talented Oregon defense. We think he can get it done. Huskies +3!

Houston @ Indianapolis Under 23.5 First Half:  

Houston and Indy meet in a matchup that will determine the AFC South leader through one-third of the season, and there are some SOS metrics that support a look at going under early. Both offenses have faced an extremely easy schedule of opposing defense (Top 5 easiest thus far), while the defenses have faced a Top 10 schedule of opposing offenses. I expect Frank Reich to install a game-plan very similar to the one utilized in Kansas City two weeks ago — run the football, protect the young secondary. Darius Leonard, Clayton Geathers, and Jabaal Sheard will be back, and there’s an outside chance Malik Hooker could return, as well. With health, and two weeks to put together a game plan for a familiar opponent, the Colts defense should show improvement. Scoring could open up later in the game, so look under early.

Philadelphia +3 (-120) @ Dallas:

Injuries, injuries, injuries. This game is full of them, and unfortunately for the Cowboys, they seem to be the side most banged up. WR Amari Cooper looks doubtful, both starting cornerbacks, Anthony Brown and Byron Jones, will be out, and the offensive line has health question marks as well at both tackle positions. The Eagles should have success wherever they want on offense, as Dallas ranks 24th in both defensive rush and pass success rate.  Cooper is a massive loss for Dallas against this Eagles secondary, and Philly should do enough to stop the run and make the Cowboys one-dimensional. Take the +3 (-120) with the Birds.

New England @ NY Jets +10 (-115):

The Patriots are probably the best team in football, but the Jets with QB Sam Darnold back and possibly LB C.J. Mosely (practicing this week) are vastly different from their season-long metrics. New York has played a brutal schedule, facing a top-10 offensive and defensive slate thus far, while the Pats toughest test was in Buffalo where they benefitted from a +4 turnover margin and barely squeaked out a victory. With the Jets getting healthier, the market hasn’t caught up to how different a team this is with Darnold under center. Grab the double-digits before Monday or it will be gone.

Best Bet: [368] Washington Huskies +3


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, Oct. 19

Santa Anita Park, Race 6, California Flag Handicap, 6:15 p.m. ET

#2 Tribalist: He made a strong middle move while making a five-wide bid around the turn before losing fourth in the final strides in the Grade 2 Eddie D Stakes. He ran against some very sharp turf sprinters in that race, and I like that today he's against an easier field of California-breds. He picks up the services of a top rider in Flavien Prat and should be able to save more ground from this post position.

$1 Pick 3 ticket:

Race 6: 2

Race 7: 1,2,3,4,5

Race 8: 1,3,5,8

Total: $20

Total Wagered: $160

Total Returned: $0

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