A summary of the week that was in the NFL as it pertains to betting, the book, and the landscape ahead.
The Dog Did It
After the favorites (Atlanta -13.5 and Dallas -7) cruised to winning on Thursday (Atlanta was ahead 27-0 at the half) and Saturday night (Dallas up 28-0 at the break) things evened out substantially Sunday morning.
The early games on Sunday saw Washington (+6), Kansas City (+12), Seattle (+3.5), Carolina (+5) and Indianapolis (+6.5) all coming out ahead as dogs. All the favorites won the afternoon games as did San Francisco as a favorite Monday night, Baltimore was merely a -1 favorite losing at San Diego on Sunday evening. All the damage was done early as the mass favorite fallout broke up many parlays and teasers that likely would have cashed late.
Tom Brady still does so many things so well, as do the Patriots in their general preparation for a game. Denver looked lively early but it was just a matter of time as New England pulled ahead 27-16 at halftime and then cruised to a 41-23 victory. Despite the loss Broncos QB Tim Tebow certainly did not embarrass himself with 194 yards through the air, 93 rushing and 2 TDs.
Reggie Bush is likely running as well as he ever has, or better. He has run for over 100 yards in each of his past 3 games and scored twice, including 203 and a score Sunday at Buffalo. What is most impressive is how the former Saint is rushing between the tackles.
The most wagered games in terms of both wager count and dollar volume were Washington Redskins at NY Giants, Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (all one-sided) and New England Patriots at Denver Broncos – we exclude the prime time night marquee games as they are always the most wagered on.
The least wagered games were Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts.
As someone who took a financial position on the Buffalo Bills Over 5.5 -120 Season Wins, I am none too pleased with the abuse inflicted upon them this past week by Reggie Bush and the Miami Dolphins. Buffalo came out looking solid at 5-2 and, following the loss of multi-purpose back Fred Jackson and handing out a contract to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, they have lost 7 straight games and play Denver and New England to close out the season.
Last week I touched on the Carolina Panthers taking a 23-7 lead to the break as they hosted Atlanta and then lost the game, calling it “growing pains”. This past week they went to the half with a 21-0 lead, on the road at Houston nonetheless, and held on for a 28-13 win, we’ll call that “graduation”. This week we’ll see how they handle being a big favorite (-7.5) at home to Tampa Bay Buccaneers – both teams run well but struggle to defend it.
Oakland Raiders were ahead 27-14 halfway through the 4th quarter before bowing to the knees and surrendering to Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. It was like they shrugged their shoulders and said “we can’t stop these guys anymore”. The long pass to Johnson just before the game-winning score was particularly sad as Stafford fired the ball straight up and it dropped straight down to the Lions receiver as he had to come back for the ball with two defenders close by. With Denver at 8-6 and San Diego now 7-7, the loss was a terrible waste of opportunity for the 7-7 men in black.
San Francisco earned big marks for their 20-3 Monday Night victory over Pittsburgh. The Niners end the season on the road with games at Seattle and visiting St. Louis.
A Betting System
A betting system I have used in the past with success is this: Play ‘On’ any team that starts the season 0-4 when they are at home as a pointspread dog.
This season we have Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams as the teams that started 0-4 out of the gate. The Colts have qualified and lost three times. As previously stated, I don’t really like the Colts for this system simply because they have lost personnel which have put a huge strain on their defense being on the field too long and they have the look of a team that just doesn’t want to compete anymore. The case for the other 0-4 teams is different in my opinion, but the Colts, while technically qualifying, are not a team I will bet on unless it is a perfect spot. Last week was that perfect spot, as I released an official play on them to at least cover hosting Tennessee.
Indianapolis technically qualifies this week but we don’t like the spot as much as last week. Houston needs to win for playoff positioning and their ground game should have success on Thursday. No other teams qualify this week as they are all road dogs.
Our “0-4 Dog System”:
ATS SEASON RECORD: 3-0
Houston looked completely out of sync last week hosting Carolina and will have to get things together over a short week. Rookie TJ Yates looked like a 5th round rookie QB last week and will have to play better as the Texans (-5.5) go to Indianapolis on Thursday night.
Most everything gets underway early on Sunday the 24th so people can get their Christmas going without the NFL getting much in the way.
With both teams still eyeing the playoffs ever so slightly, the battle of New York has some meaning. The “home” team Jets are a -3 +100 favorite over cross-town rival Giants, the total set by BetDSI Sportsbook is 45.5
Never would have thought that Arizona Cardinals (40.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (-4) would qualify as “interesting” at this point in the season, but it is. Cardinals have won 4 in a row while the Bengals are just 2-4 over their past 6 contests.
San Diego (52) at Detroit (-2.5) and Philadelphia (50.5) at Dallas (-1.5) are two of the more meaningful games on Sunday.
Games of the Week
10:00 Pacific: Miami Dolphins (49) at New England Patriots (-9.5)
1:15 Pacific: Philadelphia Eagles (50.5) at Dallas Cowboys (-1.5)
Games I Won’t Be Watching
10:00 Pacific: Jacksonville Jaguars (39.5) at Tennessee Titans (-7)
10:00 Pacific: Cleveland Browns (38.5) at Baltimore Ravens (-13)