Gambling guide

Weekend wagering: Case Closed, can you Digg it?

This play changed a lot for bettors. SBNation.com

The Minneapolis Miracle was one of most indecipherable plays in the history of the sport that left fans of both teams in disbelief. A moment NFL enthusiasts dream of and reenact as kids while playing backyard football. It's what fantasies are made of, but what exactly did it mean to the gambling world?

The opening line for this game launched at Vikings -3.5. Promptly, it was bet by sharps and moved to the 5 point range within days. The line sat still for most of the week, but it's reported that at least six of the big Casinos in Las Vegas convened at 5.5. With the game ending with over 60% of the money on New Orleans, bettors finally received some redemption after being beaten up all weekend. Not only in the divisional round, but the books have been cashing this entire postseason, where teams favored are now 1-7 ATS, with four dogs pulling outright victories. This is precisely what the books need, as the outright winners also bust teasers and money line parlays, a strategy many gamblers use to better their chances of winning by crossing key numbers. This has been a complete reverse of last year's playoffs, where through two weeks, favorites were 9-2 ATS and had bettors cleaning house.

After the wondrous touchdown, not only did it break the hearts of the under bettors, if you got the late 47.5-48, but it also put both sides in play pending the extra point. With nothing to gain by kicking the extra point, the Vikings kneeled, and the Minnesota faithful erupted. An eruption was also heard in Vegas sportsbooks, where many fans seemed to have caught amnesia and started questioning the rules and what Minnesota chose to do. We have seen this exact situation a few times this year, most recently in the Eagles vs. Raiders game, where the Eagles ran back a fumble after a series of Raider laterals to win the game 19-10. They also chose to kneel the ball with nothing at stake, a situation that left bettors on both sides in the same predicament as this week. That line opened at 7.5 and was pounded to the -9.5 10 range. The lesson to be learned here is getting early numbers and shopping around for the best lines can sometimes be the deciding factor between winning and losing.

True Lines

So what's the benefit of betting a spread early in the week when it's released? When the line first opens it's considered a "true line." True, because either betting side hasn't touched it, therefore it hasn't been swayed either direction because of action. Keep in mind that the objective of the Sportsbook is to set a number they think will generate action from both sides. If they are getting hit substantially more on either team,  they adjust the number to generate traffic for the opponent. Getting your bet in on key numbers is pivotal in being a winning bettor. Back in October on the Pregame line, Fred Faour and RJ Bell spoke about getting early numbers and betting the best lines, two factors that can give you a substantial edge. Give it a listen; it will assist you along your way.

Week 10 this season, I suggested the unthinkable,  make a future bet on the Jaguars at 40-1 odds to win the Superbowl. Here we lie going into Championship Weekend, and Jacksonville can be had at 9-1. Does it seem absurd now? With the odds swinging drastically in your favor, options open up for massive hedging opportunities if the Jaguars can pull off an upset.

So why the Jaguars? A trend that stuck out to me and I stressed in my week 10 article was; Every year since 2000, a team in the top three in net yards per play has made the Super Bowl. At the time the Falcons, Jaguars, and Vikings were the candidates. Is it a coincidence that two of these teams are still alive?

Play action or Pass went 6-3-1 in the divisional round, boosting our yearly record to 57-46-3 (55.3%)

Eagles +3 WIN
Patriots -13  WIN
Patriots 1st half -7 WIN
Patriots Team total over 30.5 WIN
Steelers -7 (-115)  LOSS
Saints+5  (-110)  PUSH

Teasers 6 point
Patriots-7.5/Steelers-1    LOSS
Steelers-1/Saints+11       LOSS

Teasers 10 point
Patriots-3.5/ Eagles+13/ saints+15 (X2)  WIN (2X)

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryboKnowz on twitter.



 

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TEXANS HAVE ZERO DEPTH AT CORNER

Here's what Davante Adams' big day against the Texans really proved

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Seven weeks into the season, Bradley Roby has been the sole bright spot playing for a secondary that has been subpar at best. He entered Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers trailing only Eric Murray for the most tackles as a defensive back, while owning the Houston Texans' only interception of the season.

During his media availability on Thursday, Roby spoke about having the Texans' confidence to trust him as the primary defender shadowing the opposing team's best receiver.

And with Davante Adams coming to NRG Stadium with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Roby had an opportunity to illustrate why Houston's coaching staff have so much faith in him.

Three plays into the game, Roby sustained a knee injury that sidelined him the rest of the afternoon. In his absence, the Texans felt his importance competing with a depleted secondary.

Adams would go on to have a career day against the Texans. He recorded a career-best 196 receiving yards on 13-of-18 targets and two touchdowns — as the Packers handed the Texans a 35-20 loss on Sunday.

Had the Fort Worth native avoided the injury, would it have resulted in a victory for the Texans? Perhaps not. It is always hard for a team to come away victorious after going scoreless during the first half, but Roby would have limited the destruction caused by Adams. Rogers completed four deep passes where he recorded 28 or more yards, with Adams being the recipient of three.

Not only did Houston have to deal with the effects of not having their best corner shadow one of the league's premier receivers, but the team was not prepared to battle without Roby, according to Michael Thomas following the loss.

"When you lose your starting corner like that, it's going to affect [the team]," Thomas said. "Anytime you have to make adjustments. If you're not prepared, and you don't have the right mindset, then you're probably not going to get the right results you want. Maybe we could have done it a little sooner, but you definitely miss a guy like Roby. You plan on having your number one guy go against their number one guy all the time."

Roby's premature exit left the Texans with a gaping void to slowdown Rodgers and the Packers without two of their projected starting corners. Gareon Conley — who revived his career during the second half of last season — has yet to play a single snap for Houston in 2020 as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery.

Their lackluster performance on Sunday showcased the lack of depth and talent the Texans have in the secondary. And with the trade deadline a week away, it may be in the Texans' best interest to invest in a young defensive back they can build around in the future — especially considering the timetable on Conley's return remains unknown.

Interim head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday that the team is hoping Roby's injury is short-term and hopes to have their top corner make his return following the bye.

At 1-6 on the year, all the Texans have left to play for is pride as they close out the remaining nine games of the season, and the best way is to prevent another receiver from recording nearly 200 yards in a single game.

For this vulnerable secondary, it is a feat easier said than done. And with the talents of Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, and A.J. Brown remaining on the schedule, it is only best for Roby to make his return to the field sooner rather than later.

"I take pride in it. It's an opportunity that not a lot of guys get throughout the league, and I'm thankful for that. Just to be able to go against the best and try my best for the team and see how I match up. I'm very thankful for that." — Roby.

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