GAMBLING RECAP

Week 12: Playing favoritism pays off

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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With both Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers making their way back from surgeries that sideline that Astros pitchers last season, and given the team's thin depth in their starting rotation, Houston fans and media have waited on bated breath for scraps of information to leak out of the notoriously secretive organization regarding their progress.

In a week full of mostly Hurricane Beryl-related bad news, the Astros organization had some discouraging news of their own when manager Joe Espada told the media that Lance McCullers has been shut down from pitching after his arm did not respond well to his latest bullpen session. The team says they are "formulating a plan for what's next."

Another Astros starter making his way back from injury is HOF-bound Justin Verlander. Verlander has been on the IL since June 16th with neck discomfort and, while there was initial hope that JV would only miss a start, his status has become increasingly murky as he is still apparently not close to returning.

Shifting from the health questions of the starters to the performance questions of the bullpen, some Houston fans have voiced concern via social media that Astros big-ticket 9th inning pitcher Josh Hader is not looking like a "shut-down" closer. Hader gave up more home runs in the first week of July (3) as he did the entire month of June (2).

In this week's episode of Stone Cold Stros, Charlie Pallilo and Brandon Strange discuss how the fluid dynamics of Astros pitching is impacting the competitive landscape of the division race. To watch the conversation, just click the video YouTube embedded in this article. To listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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