Odds to Win the 2011-12 NCAA Football BCS National Championship

We took a look at the early odds for Super Bowl XLI (46), and considering the college football season actually begins prior to the NFL, we thought we would take a look at the odds to win the 2011-12 BCS National Championship.

Oklahoma... 9/2
Alabama... 11/2
Florida State... 10/1
Oregon... 12/1
Boise State... 14/1
LSU... 14/1
Florida... 16/1
Stanford... 16/1
Wisconsin... 20/1
Nebraska... 25/1
Ohio State... 25/1
Texas... 25/1
West Virginia... 25/1
Notre Dame... 28/1
South Carolina... 28/1
Arkansas... 30/1
Oklahoma State... 30/1
Penn State... 30/1
TCU... 30/1
Virginia Tech... 35/1
Texas A&M... 40/1
Georgia... 50/1
Michigan State... 50/1
Miami ... 60/1
Mississippi State... 60/1
Iowa... 65/1
Arizona State... 75/1
Michigan... 75/1
Mississippi... 75/1
Missouri... 80/1
North Carolina... 80/1
Tennessee... 80/1
Auburn... 100/1
California... 100/1
Cincinnati... 100/1
Clemson... 100/1
Kansas State... 125/1
Oregon State... 125/1
Arizona... 150/1
BYU... 150/1
Georgia Tech... 150/1
Pittsburgh... 150/1
South Florida... 150/1
Texas Tech... 150/1
UCLA... 150/1
Utah... 150/1
Washington... 150/1
Boston College... 175/1

Our thoughts: While we like Oklahoma (9/2) and Alabama (11/2) as much as anyone, the return on investment just isn't all that enticing for those two powerhouses. You're better off re-distributing that money in other bets for the Sooners or Tide throughout the year rather than having to sit on it all season, if you truly believe one of the favorites will come out on top in 2012.

We think, however, a wild card will emerge to win this year's National Championship. Our favorite odds on the board in terms of value are Stanford (16/1), Wisconsin (20/1), South Carolina (28/1), and if you really want a darkhorse, Texas A&M (40/1).

Either way, here are the odds, but as a public service announcement we are not huge on betting on these futures to win it all. It's hard enough for most folks to pick winners week-in and week-out, but it really is a crapshoot to pick the champion before the season begins--and if you bet a heavy favorite it rarely is even worth it if it pans out.

You might even say, it takes a lot of Luck. See if you geniuses can decipher our 2012 championship pick based on the previous sentence (and the above picture; and the fact that we already listed them above; Ok, we'll tell you, it's Andrew Luck and Stanford).

Will Brett Favre Come Out of Retirement in 2011?

Now that the NFL lockout has finally been lifted, we can get back to betting on the game of football. Once again, we spent the entire summer desperately trying to maintain some sort of return web traffic by conjuring up Free Picks in baseball, tennis, golf, arena football and soccer. And, by all accounts, all picks (as well as attempts at more traffic) failed miserably.

But now, the NFL lockout has been lifted, and we can get back to our bread and butter. In 2011, we finished the season with an even 60% success rate on our Free NFL Picks. While we would like to improve on that number, 60% is generally a very good percentage if you want to make a living betting on football games--which of course, every human being to ever live would love to do.

And so, we present our first bet on the 2011 NFL season, fittingly enough involving the same Brett Favre prop bet that pops up this time of year, lockout or not.

Will Brett Favre return to the NFL in 2011?
Yes +275
No -350

Our wager is an emphatic no. While we've been burned by Favre on this very prop before, this year, for certain, he is retired. Some have wondered if a team like the Eagles--soon to be in need of a quality backup--or the Panthers or Seahawks--teams in need of a quality starter--will come calling to No. 4, especially considering the short time frame caused by the lockout in which rookie quarterbacks (like Carolina's Cam Newton) have to prepare for the upcoming season.

Rest assured, though, that the only way Favre benefited from the lockout is in the boost to retirement pensions. Favre is retired, and though the juice is horrible, this isn't a bad bet to lay down a crisp Benjamin and collect some easy money.

2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) Prop Bet Results

With our recent posting about the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) odds, we found ourselves all pumped up for football again for the first time all summer (excluding our brief Arena Football excursions). Unfortunately, we might have jumped the gun, as it now looks like the players are not as pleased as we hoped with the CBA agreement that would end the lockout.

Nevertheless, in our excitement for the upcoming Super Bowl, we looked back at the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) matchup that saw the Packers defeat the Steelers. We realized that, regrettably, we never posted the official results to our myriad of Super Bowl XLV prop bets. To incorrectly use an analogy, the Super Bowl is our Super Bowl of blogging. It's the time of year when we produce our best, most consistent, and most entertaining content, by a wide margin. We are known as the unofficial home for Super Bowl prop betting (self-proclaimed, anyway).

However, we remember something coming up which caused us to miss making the post, which led to a week or two passing and us making the decision that it was no longer relevant. We took some heat from a few of you that relied on our extensive research for the results, to which we could only reply by directing you to our source of research.

Now that we're all excited and jacked for football, we'll end your wait right here and now. The results from Super Bowl XLV (45) are as follows:

The Coin Toss
Our Picks: Well, OK, we copped out here. We didn't actually make a pick, but rather informed you on the history of the results and the recent trends. Not that it meant anything--it's a freaking coin flip. So we didn't bet heads or tails, but we picked the Packers to win the toss, riding a 13-game NFC coin toss win-streak. Thus, we picked the player calling the flip--the visiting Steelers--to be incorrect.

Result: 14-in-a-row for the NFC! The remarkable streak continues as the Steelers called tails and lost the flip as the coin landed on heads. Also remarkable about the result, it means that heads and tails are back to an even split in the Super Bow, 23-23. Obviously, statistically that should be no surprise given that the odds are 50% either way. But still, it doesn't often work out quite like that. The Packers also deferred (which meant they kicked first), if anyone bet that other popular coin toss prop.

Our record: 2-0

The National Anthem
Our Picks: We were pretty proud of ourselves on this one, hedging at two different books to find a nice middle, giving us the over on 1 minute 50 seconds and the under on 1 minute 56 seconds and a chance to make a serious profit if it landed in between. We also took her to hold the last note, "brave," for under 6 seconds.

Result: Though this bet should have been thrown out completely given that she botched it beyond recognition, we still won some nice cash on it. She clocked in at 1 minute 45 seconds, right in the middle of our buffer zone. So yes, we correctly bet both the over and under on the anthem. Unfortunately, in order to get to that middle, we had to be terribly wrong on the time she would hold her last note--which we were. She held brave for an astonishing 11 seconds, then made some weird whimpering noise for an extra second after that.

Our Record: 4-1 (2-1 on this prop)

The Gatorade Shower
Our Pick: This is one of our favorite Super Bowl props, though it was the one that caused us the most frustration this year. After very nearly betting on the field at +500 odds due solely to the fact that the 2010 color, orange, was included in that bunch, we pussed out and went with the more common clear at +200. Should have followed our collective guts. We need to grow a pair of lemons.

Result: As you can tell by the picture accompanying this post, the liquid was very much orange in color. This means that after nine straight Super Bowls without making an appearance (2001-09), orange is now on a two-year win streak after being doused onto Mike McCarthy, as Sean Peyton took an orange bath last year. Trend alert!

Our Record: 4-2 (0-1)

Our Pick: Another cop out on our part; we told you to either take Aaron Rodgers (7/4) or Ben Roethlisberger (7/2), depending on which team you thought would win. Our reasoning was simply that the two quarterbacks are among the league's best, and the Super Bowl MVP is given to the QB almost by default.

Result: Well, we were right. If you liked the Packers, you should have bet Aaron Rodgers, who was named the Super Bowl XLV MVP. But since we didn't outright pick A-Rodge, and we know how much people like to call us out for any and all mistakes we make, we will refrain from including this prop in our running record total.

Our Record: 4-2 (N/A)... can't count that one

The Pittsburgh Steelers
Our Picks: We made a total of five player props for the Steelers, narrowed down from a list of about a thousand. We tried to find the best value, which led us to taking Rashard Mendenhall to run for more than 77 1/2 yards, Hines Ward to tally less than 42 1/2 receiving yards, Emmanuel Sanders to take advantage of Hines' lack of production to notch over 35 1/2 yards and over 2 1/2 receptions, and James Harrison to record under 1/2 sacks.

Results: Things got ugly here. Mendenhall had a good game (you know, aside from coughing up a game-changing fumble), but only amassed 63 yards on 14 carries. We didn't count on the Steelers digging such an early hole and being forced to throw all game. It was only until the drive that Mendenhall ended up fumbling that the Steelers really started to gain some control and run consistently. Our receiver guesses... er... well-researched bets did not go well. Hines had 78 yards, leaving just 17 yards on two catches for Sanders and leaving us blanked on three Pittsburgh wideout bets. To cap it off, James harrison even got a sack--his only tackle of the game. We'd just as soon not bet on the Steelers any time soon, even five months removed from the Super Bowl.

Our Record: 4-7 (0-5)

The Green Bay Packers
Our Picks: As bad as our Steelers props were, we made up for it by nailing the eventual champion Packers path to the Lombardi trophy. Of our five bets, only one came with negative juice, giving us nice paydays on the others. We rode the MVP Aaron Rodgers to throw over two touchdowns and under 1/2 interceptions, at +105 and +135, respectively. Then, we used the same strategy as with the Steelers WRs (old wideout struggles, young one steps up), taking Donald Driver to be held under 45 1/2 yards and Jordy Nelson to grab over 3 1/2 receptions. Lastly, at a whopping +175, we predicted Clay Matthews would record under 1/2 sacks.

Results: Yeah... things went better here. The MVP threw for three touchdowns with no picks en route to his honor, with nine completions going to Jordy Nelson (as well as about 10 drops). Driver left the field with an injury after just 28 yards receiving. Lastly, Claymaker made one of the biggest plays in the game (the aforementioned Mendenhall fumble), but did not record a sack, as we predicted. We swept the board with the Packers, making us 5-5 in total player props. Quite a strange way to go about doing so.

Our Record: 9-7 (5-0)

The Blake Griffin Point Total
Our Pick: A little background, this cross-sport prop asked who will score more points on Super Bowl Sunday: Blake Griffin or the Green Bay Packers. We immediately liked this one because everybody was riding Griffin's nuts at the time so we knew his total was going to be overvalued. Based solely on the fact that the Packers team over/under total was set at 24 and Blake Griffin's scoring average was around 23, we already liked the Packers. Factor in that we expected their total to be high, and for the Clippers to get pounded by the Heat that particular night of February 6th, and we picked the Packers to score more points than the NBA's Rookie of the Year.

Result: Our reasoning proved valid, as the Packers scored 31 to Griffin's 21 and the Clippers indeed were destroyed by the Heat. Griffin also grabbed 16 rebounds and had a pretty good game, but hey, that wasn't the prop.

Our Record: 10-7 (1-0)

The Halftime Show
Our Pick: There were a number of random things to bet on during this crazy halftime show, so we took a stab at a few Black Eyed Peas prop. Or rather, a prop pertaining to Fergie's outfit. After some debate over whether she won adorn a skirt or pants, we went with the pants option, figuring some tight leather jeans were in order.

Result: The winner? Weird spacesuit. Needless to say, our pants guess was incorrect. Technically, they scored her outfit as a skirt/dress, as the prop dealt only with her bottoms and not the sparkly shoulder pad number she wore on top.

Our Record: 10-8 (0-1)

The Jerry Jones TV Shots
Our Pick: We LOVE these props. In the hype of Super Bowl week(s), there are so many storylines about stupid garbage that people talk about just to fill time. Obviously Jerry Jones is the Cowboys owner, and the Super Bowl was played at his enormous new stadium, so that was a relatively decent talking point and didn't qualify as stupid garbage like many other stories did. Still, by comparison to the actual game, who gives a crap about Jerry Jones? Bookies get people to bite on these all the time. Look out for these props: How many times will they show/talk about (fill in celebrity here) at the Super Bowl? And always take the under. That's what we did, and in this case the under was 2 1/2.

Result: Easy win. They showed Jones once, and that was that. There was a game to play. You know, that Super Bowl thing.

Our Record: 11-8 (1-0)

The Favre Bombs
Our Pick: This is of the same mold as the Jerry Jones prop, so we think you know where we stand. How many times will they mention Brett Favre during the Super Bowl? Not the pre-game, not the post-game, during the actual game. We're telling you, which we'll reiterate in time for Super Bowl XLVI, always bet under on these. This one was at 2 1/2 again AND we got it at EVEN money because so many casual fans were hitting the over hard.

Result: You betcha, not one single in-game F-bomb. More easy money. Just because it is a huge storyline pregame, that doesn't mean it will come up at all during the game, especially with an experienced crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on FOX. These guys announced every single Packers playoff game, and even the last few of the regular season, so they no doubt had plenty of time to re-hash the Favre saga--and they rightfully rarely did so. Great job by this crew to focus on the game, which most experience broadcasters (and you have to have a little experience to announce the Super Bowl) would do.

Our Record: 12-8 (2-0)

The Thank You
Our Pick: The MVP is interviewed after the game, and they are usually quite thankful to everybody they've ever met, which is the reasoning behind this prop--who will they thank first? As with the actual MVP prop, we predicted what Rodgers and Roethlisberger might say and gave you answers accordingly based on who you thought would win the game. For the Packers, our answer was teammates, assuming Aaron Rodgers would thank them first. For the Steelers, we felt--based on past history--Roethlisberger would thank God and try to get back some image points (as he'd done in previous interviews this year).

Result: With Rodgers winning the MVP, he kind of thanked his teammates... but not really. He stated that "you gotta give credit to our defense," which is a way of showing gratitude, but is not an outright thank you. As such, the official result is the "does not thank anyone" option. As we stated when we originally posted this prop, you are leaving a lot to the discretion of your bookie on this, which is never comfortable.

Our Record: 12-8 (N/A) because we gave out two answers again and were generally noncommittal

The Scoreboard
Our Pick: We didn't have a pick on this one, but made a point to tell you as much. There was no option for no in the prop that asked if a punt would hit the giant scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium, and the Yes option yielded an enticing +1000 odds. As a public service announcement, we simply wanted to make sure nobody bet on this.

Result: Of course, nobody hit the scoreboard, something that only happened once in preseason when a punter did so on purpose to prove a point.

Final Super Bowl XLV (45) Prop Bet Record: 12-8 (60%)

Obviously, in terms of web traffic, relevancy, and a whole slew of other practical reasons, this post is very much out of place. But again, with football on the horizon, we thought we'd tie up one last loose end from 2010 before prepping for a new season.

For 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46), we promise to post the prop bets result within five months instead of waiting until the cusp of the upcoming season. That is, if Super Bowl XLVI is played.

A Look at the Early 2011-12 NFL Super Bowl XLVI (46) Odds

The NFL lockout is almost over, meaning that we can continue to hit over 60% of our Free NFL Picks in 2011. Before we do any of that, we thought we'd take a look at the odds to win the 2011-12 Super Bowl XLVI (46).

Will the Packers repeat? Will the Colts become the first team to play the Super Bowl at home? Will Scam Newton and the Panthers go from worst to first, overcoming 125/1 odds?

Here are the current odds, pre-Free Agency and any injuries that may occur in training camp and the preseason, which suddenly is just around the corner!

Green Bay Packers... 7/1
New England Patriots... 7/1

San Diego Chargers... 10/1
Pittsburgh Steelers... 12/1

Atlanta Falcons... 14/1

New York Jets... 14/1

Baltimore Ravens... 15/1

Dallas Cowboys... 15/1

Philadelphia Eagles... 15/1

New Orleans Saints... 16/1
Indianapolis Colts... 18/1

New York Giants... 18/1

Minnesota Vikings... 25/1

Chicago Bears... 30/1

Houston Texans... 30/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers... 30/1

Detroit Lions... 35/1

Kansas City Chiefs... 35/1

San Francisco 49ers... 40/1

St. Louis Rams... 45/1

Miami Dolphins... 50/1

Oakland Raiders... 50/1

Tennessee Titans... 55/1

Washington Redskins... 60/1

Denver Broncos... 65/1

Arizona Cardinals... 75/1

Cleveland Browns... 75/1
Jacksonville Jaguars... 75/1

Seattle Seahawks... 75/1

Cincinnati Bengals... 80/1
Buffalo Bills... 100/1

Carolina Panthers... 125/1

Our initial thoughts: With an elite quarterback and many returning injured players, the Packers have a good chance at a repeat, but considering it hasn't happened since the Patriots did so a decade ago, we are likely to shy away from them should we make a Super Bowl future bet, which we rarely do. Our pick to win the Super Bowl at present is probably the Jets (14/1). Like it or not, Rex Ryan will get this team to the Super Bowl, at which point we'll all have to suffer through/enjoy his media day showing. The bottom line is that Rex is a helluva coach and the Jets will again have loads of talent.

Best value: Jets (14/1), Eagles (15/1), Ravens (15/1)
Worst value: Vikings (25/1)--they are way worse than that

Now, keep in mind again that all of this is somewhat speculative (duh) because the free agency period has yet to commence. In that case, not that we would recommend this, but if you feel like the Cardinals (75/1) are a quarterback away from winning it all, they are likely to get a quality quarterback via free agency. We fully except their odds to move into the 35-40/1 range should they acquire somebody like Kevin Kolb, but we also fully expect them to still not win the Super Bowl. A better bet would be taking them to win their crappy division before they are able to acquire a QB.

It's all way too early to tell, and technically the lockout hasn't been lifted yet. But if there are some odds that jump out as valuable prior to the player signing phase, you might want to pull the trigger. At least it's better than betting on the MLB and the Rangers (as we've unsuccessfully been doing of late).

Riding the Rangers For Our First Post-Break Free MLB Pick

We're riding the hot streak here at Stock Lemon with our 50% Free MLB Picks, even though we lost our very last Free MLB Pick when betting the Rangers. In fact, that was Texas' last loss before their incredible current 12-game win streak. When you can't beat 'em, join 'em... or something.

Texas Rangers +113 over the Los Angeles Angels

Hopefully we don't put the Stock Lemon jinx on Texas as we did way back on July 3.

Good luck!

Your 2011 Home Run Derby Winner Will Be...

Now that our Free MLB Picks have dipped all the way down to 50% (1-1), we fell off of our baseball high slightly. Fortunately, Monday provides an opportunity to regain that high by watching balls fly high and far out of the park at the 2011 Home Run Derby.

Heading into All-Star Weekend with just two free picks under our belt was by design, and we plan on picking up in that department following the break, but before that we can try and make some money on America's former and hopefully not only pastime.

Below are the odds on the 2011 Home Run Derby and our pick to win the whole shebang.

Jose Bautista... 3/1

Bautista is having another steroid-speculating type of season after last year's breakout performance, and if this were a few years ago he would have been condemned for as much by now. But we're back with a false sense of confidence in the system and turning a blind-eye like it's 1998. This is not to pick on Bautista, just merely pointing out how Brady Clark-esque his sudden homer numbers are. Still, the home run leader at the break often gets a lot of action (as you'd expect) by the public much to the bookies delight. We don't expect Jose to win it.

David Ortiz... 7/2

Last year's champ and one of the "captains" this year, Big Papi is not a horrible bet to repeat, but we don't see a repeat performance here.

Prince Fielder... 7/2

The only vegetarian who hates his dad to ever win the derby, Prince is back for another crack at it in 2011

Matt Holliday... 4/1

Holliday's got a sweet stroke, but his name value really drives up the price for him at the derby. We think he has the least amount of value at 4/1 odds. That is, of course, unless he wins the thing. Don't worry, he won't.

Adrian Gonzalez... 7/1

And now, our winner. Sure he'll need to have a lot more home runs then his current 16 if he wants to win this thing, but we think he's more than capable with his combination of power and bat speed. We also predict that his .350ish batting average will diminish, becoming another derby winner to see their actual numbers decline after having to adjust their swing to the contest. Still, Red Sox fans can hedge that bet of their new star player fading down the stretch by taking generous 7/1 odds that he's our 2011 derby champ.

Matt Kemp... 7/1

Kemp is another guy enjoying a breakout season, hitting nearly everything that gets thrown at him. The Dodgers fan base could use any bit of good news they can get, but we think big Kemp betters will end up in a similar situation as the Dodgers owner--bankrupt. And maybe divorced, who the hell knows.

Robinson Cano... 15/2

As in, Cano way he wins.

Rickie Weeks... 12/1

Weeks is really only in this competition because Prince Fielder is his buddy, so take these long odds for what they are--long odds.

Let's Keep the Good Times Rolling

As is appropriate this weekend, our Free MLB Picks have started the year off with a bang (Hey-o!) after being kept on the shelf all season. Now, we're going to keep things moving with another free pick today along with a photo of a sexy Rangers fan to boost our traffic. Don't judge, you know that's why you're here.

Rangers -1 1/2 over the Marlins

Remember, these Free MLB Picks haven't lost all year!*

*limited sample size may apply

Just How We Drew it Up, Free MLB Picks Are 100% in 2011

And that's the way that we expect our Free MLB Picks to go all season.

The Brewers edged the Twins, overcoming a 7-0 deficit to earn a one-run win in Minnesota and give our first Free MLB Pick of the season a winning result.

So, after a long wait, there you have it: our Free MLB picks are officially hitting 100% in 2011 (1-0).

As we mentioned, now that we have the system the way we like it, we'll be rolling out many more Free MLB Picks in the coming weeks.

As always, stay tuned.

Brewing Up a Free MLB Pick

Though we've been avoiding baseball like the plague this summer, we do like the value in this pick today:

Milwaukee Brewers -112 over the Minnesota Twins

Very manageable chalk on a pitching matchup we like, with the underrated Chris Narveson on the mound for Milwaukee.

This is our first Free MLB Pick of the year, if you can believe it, but we're hoping to get something going beginning with interleague play. Our system historically takes a couple months before we are confident in the data, and usually we make the mistake of rolling picks out too early and getting appropriately frustrated and swearing them off. Now, in addition to our newfound love of Arena Football, we intend to have plenty of summer wagers in the month of July.

You asked for more free picks, and you shall receive. Of course, that won't stop us from continuing our analysis on legal gambling, aka the stock market.

Free AFL Pick Win Gives Us Hope For the Summer

We've all but sworn off baseball, and aside from betting on the headline golf events, big horse races, some sporadic tennis matches and the 2011 World Cup, the sports portion of Stock Lemon this summer has--as we warned--taken a backseat to our stock analysis.

But the football-betting high has returned to us for a brief moment. In just our second Arena Football League wager of the year (we were shellacked in our first attempt), we've regained that sense of enthusiasm for sports betting, and have only the obscure sport of indoor football to thank.

The Pittsburgh Power, despite blowing a big halftime lead and committing a comedy of errors, held on to cover a +8 1/2 point spread by a half point in a 62-54 loss to the Orlando Predators, giving us our first Free AFL Pick win of the year (1-1!).

The bottom line is this: we hope you enjoy Free AFL Pick bets, as we plan on rolling more of them out each week, unless and until they begin to go horribly wrong.

For now, we're just going to enjoy paying attention to football again.

A Chance to Bet on a Football Game on NFL Network!

... nobody has to know that it is in the Arena Football League.

Our football withdrawals (which happen this time of year with or without a lockout) will be alleviated for tonight as the Pittsburgh Power (8-6) visit the Orlando Predators (8-6) in a game that probably has some sort of playoff implications and importance within the context of this once-popular league. Thanks to NFL Network's ratings bonanza that is Arena Football Friday, we're able to watch some meaningful(ish) football!

Pittsburgh Power +8 1/2 over the Orlando Predators

In the NFL, home field advantage is often settled by giving the visitors three points. Meaning, in an otherwise even contest, the visitors would be at +3. In front of the rowdy 2,000-plus fans at any given arena game, apparently the visitors get much more leeway. Truth be told, we think Pittsburgh has the better team.

To be fair, neither squad is playing particularly well, with Orlando losing its last three and Pittsburgh escaping the same fate with a narrow, low-scoring victory over lowly Milwaukee last week. We'll take the points.

We've got the Power!

And, fear not, fore if this doesn't work out, we will bore you to death with more stock recommendations (which have been going considerably better than our sports capping this summer).