Pigskins and Ponies: Trio of Home Underdogs, Santa Anita Standout

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!


Memphis @ Temple +6:

Memphis comes in undefeated and nationally ranked with a high-powered and explosive offense. Temple, led by their stingy defense (4.0 yards per play, sixth in the country) gets another chance to stop a talented offense (Maryland earlier in year) on ESPN2 at Lincoln Financial Field — and with three extra days of prep. Expect Temple to use its running game to control time of possession and allow a rested defense to lead the way. The +6 is too much, as the original opener of +3 was closer to the correct number.

USC +11 @ Notre Dame:

USC has the talent outside with wideouts Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, and Amon-Ra St. Brown to really challenge Notre Dame’s secondary, especially with Kedon Slovis back behind center for the Trojans. USC is coming off a bye, and this game really comes down to USC not turning the ball over. The Trojans are -7 in turnover differential, while Notre Dame is +10! Recently, Notre Dame lost one of its best cornerbacks in Shaun Crawford, and this week, specifically, that could really hurt. With the extra prep and health boost at quarterback and on defense, USC +11 is worth an investment.

Penn State @ Iowa +4:

Without being too blunt, this number is inflated. Kinnick Stadium at night is far from an easy place to play, especially with a talented Iowa defense getting some contributors back in the secondary. QB Nate Stanley and the offensive line look to rebound from their loss at Michigan against a Penn State defense that hasn’t been tested this year. Iowa’s defense should do enough to give the Hawkeyes a chance at the outright victory. We’ll take the +4 with veteran quarterback Stanley outperforming the young signal caller for the Nittany Lions, Sean Clifford.  

Seattle @ Cleveland +2:

Cleveland opened -2.5 on the look-ahead line, and now we’ve seen a 4.5-point adjustment (albeit, through the 0). We understand the love for Russell Wilson, who literally carries Seattle season after season with miraculous fourth-quarter performances.  Despite the injury reports still up in the air, Cleveland should be getting back some secondary pieces this week and the defensive line should have success against a Seattle O-line that’s below average in both adjusted line yards and pass protection. This is the ultimate a buy-low/sell-high position, and the matchups dictate a chance for success for Cleveland on both sides.

Best Bet: [199] USC +11


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. 12

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, California Distaff Handicap, 6:30 p.m. ET

#1 S Y Sky was traveling well chasing the early leader but was unable to close the gap late when finishing second in her most-recent start Aug. 25 at Del Mar. She always fires a big effort and loves to win races. She has enough speed to be aggressive from the inside post, and I think she’s going to enjoy this slightly longer distance at Santa Anita.

$1 Pick 3 ticket:

Race 6: 1,2,3,5,7

Race 7: 1

Race 8: 1,2,6,7

Total: $20

Total Wagered: $140

Total Returned: $0

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