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.


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome