Pigskins and Ponies: NCAA Title Game, NFL Division Round, La Canada Value Play


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!


Minnesota +7.5 (-115) @ San Francisco:

We were bullish on Minnesota +8 last week, so we have no issues going back to the well in the Divisional Round. This number currently sits around the closing number of the Saints game last week, but we know San Francisco doesn’t have the home-field advantage that New Orleans did, and while the 49ers are rated slightly higher than the Saints, we may have seen something clicking on this Vikings unit last week can translate well here.  The defensive line was ferocious in the face of Saints QB Drew Brees, and this is Jimmy Garopollo’s first test in the playoffs with large expectations placed on his shoulders. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins seemingly got the proverbial monkey off his back last week, delivering a big time win. This number, like last week, is a touch high, and there was even more value when books moved to a juiced hook.

Houston @ Kansas City Team Total Over 28.5:

These teams met Week 6 and the accompanying closing total was 55 at FoxBet.com.  The Chiefs scored 17 points early in the first quarter, had two more drives fizzle at the Houston 32 in the first half, but only amassed 24 points because they only possessed the ball for 20 minutes. Kansas City Head Coach Andy Reid has extra prep time here and has been historically good under those circumstances, but with this number reaching KC-9.5/51, both side and total have lost some value. Let’s dig into the derivative market and look for the Chiefs to have their way offensively. Remember back in Week 6, QB Patrick Mahomes was playing with a severely sprained ankle, he was without two starting offensive lineman, WR Sammy Watkins was out, and it was WR Tyreek Hill’s first game back in more than a month. Go back to last week, Buffalo, with a bit more aggressive playcalling on offense, could easily have reached the mid-20s. Aggression won’t be a concern for Mahomes and the speed of this offense. Go OVER 28.5 on the Chiefs team total.

Clemson +6 vs. LSU:

This number less than two weeks ago would have been LSU -1 when factoring in a small home-field advantage with the game in New Orleans. Since the results of the playoff games, we’ve seen incredible movement toward the LSU Tigers, creating some value on a team that hasn’t lost in 29 games. That’s hard to even comprehend. Clemson has one of the most efficient and physical defenses in the country, but where they really excel is getting to the edge and containing speed. LSU QB Joe Burrow has been phenomenal, and it really is difficult to stand in front of this team, but +6 offers far too much value to pass up. Go (Clemson) TIGERS!

Best Bet: [899611] Kansas City Chiefs TEAM TOTAL Over 28.5


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

Saturday, Jan. 11

Santa Anita Park, Race 8, $200,000 La Canada Stakes, 7:07 p.m. ET

#6 Horologist: She did not fire at all in the Grade 2 Lexus Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland and finished well beaten in that effort. She went to the bench and now returns after almost three months for a barn that can get them ready to go off the layoff. Two starts ago, she finished third behind two fillies that would be heavily supported in a spot like this. She has the ability to either go to the lead or stalk the pace, and that is a good option to have given the running styles of a few of these. She’s also the only filly in this field with multiple wins at the distance.

$1 Pick 3 ticket:

Race 7: 4,6,10,11,12

Race 8: 6

Race 9: 2,9,11,12

Total: $20

Total wagered: $360

Total returned: $44.75

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