Pigskins and Ponies: Late-Season NFL Plays, Single in Mr. Prospector


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!


Oakland @ LA Chargers -6.5 (-115):

The Chargers opened -6.5, and got sent down Monday to as low as -5 before professional bettors came in and bet Los Angeles. Despite the turnover debacle we saw Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the Chargers have been playing better football since getting healthy, especially on the defensive side. Oakland seems to be trending in the opposite direction, losing their last three games as they’ve fallen out of playoff contention. Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden indicated Wednesday that both offensive lineman Trent Brown and running back Josh Jacobs will be out. Offensively, QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers should have a field day moving the ball through the air against the Raiders 31st-ranked pass defense. Lay the price with the Chargers as they avenge their early season loss to Oakland.  

Jacksonville +7.5 (-115) @ Atlanta: 

Come Week 16, looking at season-long metrics as the sole reason for an investment can lead you astray, especially when you have teams playing no longer in the playoff race. The Falcons put their heart and soul into their upset victory over the 49ers, labeling it their Super Bowl. Now, Atlanta heads home to take on a Jaguars squad that showed some heart and grit in a comeback win over the Oakland Raiders. Factoring in those performances, if both teams are motivated here, this number is pretty inflated. Jacksonville should have enough success through the air to keep this one under a touchdown.  

New Orleans @ Tennessee +3 (-120):

Finally, a game with importance for both squads. The Saints are coming off an epic Monday Night performance at home where Drew Brees took down another all-time record, while Tennessee lost a crucial division game against the Houston Texans. Now Brees goes on the road, outdoors for only the second time in the past year, and will probably have to keep up with a Titans offense that should be able to attack the current weakness of the Saints (the linebacking core and secondary). It’s time to sell some Saints stock as they hit the highway; make sure you grab +3 knowing the look-ahead line was as low as PICK’em on this game before each team played in Week 15.

Cincinnati +1 @ Miami

This game opened Bengals +1 at FoxBet.com, and we’ve seen a small appetite for the favorite from influential bettors. The Bengals offense continues to show signs of life late in the season, and they should breathe a sigh of relief as they go from facing one of the NFL’s best defenses in New England to one of the worst in Miami. With a 93% chance of rain and strong wind in the forecast, the team that can move the ball on the ground should have an advantage. Miami is 32nd in rushing efficiency, while the Bengals have been successful on 49% of their runs since QB Andy Dalton returned in Week 13.

Best Bet: [460] LA Chargers -6.5 (-115)


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 will keep track of ROI each week. This week’s key horse:

Saturday, Dec. 21

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $100,000  Mr. Prospector Stakes, 4:30 p.m. ET

#2 Imperial Hint: He put up a good battle to win the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes by a nose over Firenze Fire on Sept. 28. He’s had plenty of time off and looks to be training well for his return to the races. What I like most about him is his ability to go to the lead or rally from behind the leaders. Jockey Javier Castellano knows him well and this is a horse that takes his racetrack with him. He’s won at Tampa Bay Downs, Parx Racing, Laurel Park, Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, and here at Gulfstream Park. He’s 3-for-5 at this distance and has shown the ability to fire big efforts after breaks like this one.

$1 Pick 3 ticket:

Race 9: 1,2,5,8,9

Race 10: 2

Race 11: 3,4,5,9

Total: $20

Total Wagered: $300

Total Returned: $44.75

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