GAMBLING RECAP

Week 12: Playing favoritism pays off

Tom Brady and the Patriots covered again. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

The holiday season is upon us, so don't play favorites when fancying gifts. Have an open mind and give from the heart.

In the the world of NFL gambling, doing the complete opposite has been the formula for cashing tickets lately. Playing teams favored and using the "what have you done for me lately mindset," has shown to be profitable.

Favorites have been on an extraordinary 54-24-7 run since the start of Week 7.  Just in November, teams favored are 37-15-4, closing the best month for favorites covering the spread, in the super bowl era.

Sunday, followed the model, as favorites went a remarkable 12-3-1 ATS in week 12. Favorites took a commanding lead vs. the number in 2017, leading the way 89-74-9.

After the dust of the first 11 games settled, the books were headed to a Sunday bloody Sunday. Teams favored started the day 9-2 ATS, with the Patriots and Eagles who were heavy public favorites, covering the double-digit spreads. As the first set of games came to a close, the books were sweltering. The Patriots scored a late touchdown in the final seven minutes of the game to push the lead to 35-17, while the Eagles were cruising vs. the Bears. Needing a public favorite to lose, the attention of bookmakers turned to the Panthers vs. Jets game. Then, a fumble returned for a touchdown by linebacker Luke Kuechly and a late Graham Gano field goal, and Joe Public was eating filet mignon for lunch. The bookmakers did get some slight help with the Bills winning outright, and in the later games, the Cardinals upset the Jaguars. The savior to a horrible day for the books came in the Sunday night game, where the Packers came up short 28-31 but were able to keep the game close as 14 point underdogs.

Biggest underdogs to win

Bills +9 (+320)  16-10

Cardinals +6 (+230) 27-24

Biggest favorites to cover

Patriots (-16.5) 35-17

Eagles (-13.5) 31-3

Falcons (-10)  34-20

Play action or pass went 2-5-2 in Week 12. One game kept us from being great as we hade our teasers tied to the Steelers. The Sunday night game was the difference from ending 7-0-2. We are now 22-21-4 on the year.

Ravens-7     PUSH

Panthers-4  WIN

Colts +4 (bought the hook) PUSH

Falcons TT over 30 WIN

xSteelers-7/Jags+2   LOSS

Steelers-7/Eagles-6.5    LOSS

Chiefs PK/ Steelers-4/Patriots   LOSS

Steelers-4/Eagles-3.5/Bengals+2  LOSS

Steelers-4/FalconsPK/Eagles-3.5  LOSS

Totals

Bookmakers have been extremely sharp when putting out totals. The over-under was 7-9 in week 12 and is 88-86-2 for the year. The Monday night primetime game went under if you got the number late (39.5) and -7.5. Many bettors were able to get in their wagers at o/u 39 and -7, Proving how valuable the half point is off the key number 7. Primetime games this year have been quite profitable for over bettors, sitting at 23-15( 60.5%) through week 12.

We are getting close to the end of the year, here are the Pre-Season Win totals according to Las Vegas Westgate Superbook for future wagers.

 

 

ESPN Power Rankings

1)Eagles

2Patriots

3)Rams

4)Steelers

5)Vikings

Super Bowl Odds

New England Patriots    +250

Philadelphia Eagles    +350

Pittsburgh Steelers    +600

New Orleans Saints    +1200

Minnesota Vikings    +1200

Atlanta Falcons    +1200

Los Angeles Rams    +1400

Carolina Panthers    +1800

Seattle Seahawks    +2200

Kansas City Chiefs    +3300

Los Angeles Chargers    +3300

Jacksonville Jaguars    +4000

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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