How to make money betting on Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel’s CFL career is only a small number of days old but his presence is already having an impact – on the betting lines.

Several bookmakers, including Bodog, have issued updated 2018 Grey Cups that see the Hamilton Tiger-Cats making a big jump after signing Manziel over the weekend. On Bodog, for example, The Ticats jumped from 9-to-1 a day after the Grey Cup (seventh-best after B.C. and just ahead of Ottawa) to 11/2 as of Monday – second-best behind Calgary (who are 11/5 to win it all.)

Here’s the full list.

                                                  11/27/17            Current Odds
Calgary Stampeders                  3/1                    11/5
Hamilton Tiger-Cats                 9/1                    11/2
Edmonton Eskimos                   5/1                    13/2
Saskatchewan Roughriders      5/1                    7/1
Toronto Argonauts                    7/1                    7/1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers          7/1                    15/2
British Columbia Lions             7/1                    11/1
Ottawa Redblacks                     10/1                  11/1
Montreal Alouettes                    16/1                  14/1

In addition to the Grey Cup odds, there is a bevvy of Manziel-specific props to put money on.

Johnny Manziel – Will he start Game 1 for Hamilton?
Yes +200
No -300

Johnny Manziel – Will he be on a CFL active roster by Week 21?
Yes -200
No +150

Johnny Manziel – Total starts
Over/Under 7.5

Johnny Manziel – 2018 Regular Season Interceptions
Over/Under 11.5

Johnny Manziel – 2018 Regular Season Passing Touchdowns
Over/Under 23.5

Johnny Manziel – 2018 Regular Season Passing Yards
Over/Under 3,900

Johnny Manziel – Will he win CFL Most Outstanding Player Award in 2018?
Yes +1000
No -2500

There are also odds on Manziel joining a CFL team next season…

I’m not a betting man – especially not on the team I cover – but if I were, I would be wagering “No” on the Week 1 start, “Yes” to on the roster at the end of the season and “No” to will he be on an NFL team next season.

I’d also be hammering the under for all the number-based bets. First, he isn’t projected as the starter and may never see the field if Jeremiah Masoli stays healthy. Plus, six quarterbacks had more than 3,900 yards passing in the CFL last season (Reilly, Mitchell, Ray, Glenn, Nichols, Harris) and none of them started the season as a backup. This is also full of veterans with a minimum of six years in the league.

This feels like oddsmakers vastly overestimating Manziel’s impact because of his star power and their relative ignorance of the league. No reason why those that know better shouldn’t profit from the bookies’ lack of knowledge.

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