Gambling guide

Weekend wagering: Case Closed, can you Digg it?

This play changed a lot for bettors.

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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It's Draft SZN! Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

On Thursday June 22, the NBA will hold their annual draft. With the Rockets owning the number four overall pick, you'd think things would be looking up for them. However, in a draft where the top three players are all expected to be immediate impact guys, the drop begins where the Rockets are selecting. Armed with some young talent, cap space, and a new head coach, the Rockets are looked at as a team on the rise. But what will help contribute to that rise?

When you have assets, you have options. There are three main options I see here for the Rockets with number four: keep the pick and select the guy you think will work best moving forward; trade up to select the guy they feel they missed out on that isn't a punk Frenchie who dislikes Houston; or trade the pick for an established star. The other option is trading the pick for a good player and a future pick/s. Let's take a look at the options:

Option 1: Keeping the pick means you're drafting the leftovers. Those leftovers start with Amen Thompson. He's the guy I believe can come in and help sooner rather than later. At 6'7 and 215 pounds, he has an NBA body. His skill set can come in handy because he's played point guard. This team could use a true point guard, but Thompson isn't exactly a traditional point. He has the size of a wing player, which allows him to see over the top of the defense. His outside shooting is abysmal and needs a vast improvement. To me, adjusting to life as a pro without his twin brother Ausar, another good draft prospect himself, will be difficult. Overall, I believe he's the guy to take at four if they decide to stay.

Option 2: Trading up to get Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller may prove to be difficult. Both teams picking ahead of the Rockets have their point guards. Charlotte wants to find Lamelo Ball a running mate and have their eyes rumored to be set on Miller. Portland is trying their best to keep Dame Lillard happy. The Rockets would be best served to trade with either team willing to move down for whatever they offer, provided it's worthwhile. Portland was just in the playoffs the last few years and aren't as far out as some would think. They're the ones I'd eye to trade with. Speaking of Portland and Dame…

Option 3: The Rockets need a point guard and Dame may be looking to get out. Help them start their rebuild and bring Dame to Houston. Or, how about the Jaylen Brown rumors? Fred VanVleet has a player option for next season, then becomes an unrestricted free agent. There are a few options of finding veteran help around the league, especially at the point. Problem is, are any of these team willing to take the Rockets' offers? It'd start with number four, and include other assets as well. This option makes sense if the organization believes the roster, with whatever vet addition they make via trade, is playoff ready.

Option 4: The last option I thought about is to trade the pick for a first rounder in next year's draft and a decent player. I see this as a last resort of sorts. But only if they do not feel comfortable with whatever player they may take. That, and if they want to save cap space for next free agency period. Not having a first rounder next year isn't as bad as one might think. The team will need to make the necessary moves this offseason to ensure that won't be an issue next draft. FOMO is real, especially when a team is rebuilding and can't use one of the best/cheapest forms of acquiring top talent.

I talked with my good friend “TC.” The guy loves basketball and even hips me to a bunch of stuff. He wants them to move up in the draft for Scoot or Miller. While he is a James Harden fan, he doesn't necessarily want him back. He wouldn't mind it, but it's not his first option. I've spoken with a lot of native Houstonians about this. They all want a winner sooner than later, but have different philosophies on how to get there. Personally, I say options two and three are my faves. Trade the pick for help, rookie or vet, and go from there. I guess we'll have to wait three more weeks before we find out. Or will we…

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