Weekend wagering: Case Closed, can you Digg it?
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.
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
Teasers 10 point
Patriots-3.5/ Eagles+13/ saints+15 (X2) WIN (2X)
For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryboKnowz on twitter.