Weekly odds puzzling for some top teams
Nowadays it seems everybody lives in the moment. Can we really depend on anything or whomever to be consistent for any prolonged period of time? Sorry for sounding so old here but in the NFL we can actually use that very popular current trend to an advantage. Especially in the first five or six weeks of the season before any teams really are cemented toward any playoff potential or consistent form.
Hate to pick on the Atlanta Falcons but here they go again this season. You may recall how they roared out of the gate in 2015 to a 6-0 straight up record and a 5-1 mark against the spread. This year after losing to the always unpredictable Tampa Bay Bucs, they've reeled off four straight wins and four straight covers including consecutive upsets over 2015 NFC Champion Carolina Panthers and Super Bowl winner Denver Broncos. The result: a current strange +6 underdog this Sunday at most preferred offshore sportsbooks vs. the always intimidating Seahawks at home in Seattle.
Hmmmm. Glimpsing at large, respected sportsbooks, including Bovada and BetOnline, the Seahawks are a steady -6 favorite. Is that due to back to back covers over the Jets and 49ers or the Seahawks CenturyLink Field reputation? Overall, like life, what you did yesterday or in NFL language (your last game) is most critical in determining the point spread toward the next game. Had the Seahawks lost to the Jets in their last game, I am certain this game is no more than -3 for this Sunday. And those extra few points in the NFL can make a huge, huge difference toward winning or losing depending on which side you're wagering on.
This is NOT necessarily an endorsement to potentially load up on the Falcons this week with the points, but an indicator that the public's memory zone is so focused upon recent events. Always, always remember the first priority of the point spread. To promote the potential for EVEN WAGERING involving both teams. Why would the house gamble with a guaranteed payoff of at least 10% plus?
Steelers Make the Point
No better text book example this season was highlighted during the recent Sunday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. In their prior game, the Steelers closed -4 favorite at Diamond Sports, Heritage and most Vegas sports books on the road at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Out of nowhere, the Eagles blasted Pittsburgh 34-3, handing the Steelers one of their worst losses in several years. No one knew what to make out of it but the line maker.
That Sunday night before a huge NBC Sunday Night Football audience, the Steelers were a very unconfident -3 favorite at home over the Chiefs. Had the Eagles not destroyed the Steelers and perhaps even squeaked by, this line is Steelers -6 to -6.5. Not at all an indication they are three points better than the Chiefs in seven days. But more application toward a public's full appetite to customarily back the Steelers at home. Non-believers felt ashamed as Big Ben & company put it away in the first quarter, leading 22-0 and 29-0 at halftime in cruising to a 43-14 final.
And what about those high-flying Eagles? Coming off their monster upset, a -3 favorite on the road last Sunday vs. the Detroit Lions. Nobody on planet Earth would have forecasted that line three weeks ago. Cynics were rewarded again as the Lions prevailed 24-23.
The Price of INFLATION
Blare the trumpets as the golden boy is back. Word is he is foaming at the mouth like an innocent murder suspect wrongly accused.
Paying the price for altering the air pressure of footballs, Tom Brady was under center starting at quarterback for the New England Patriots on Sunday. His sentence was staying back at his mansion and playing catch at a private island for a month with his Brazilian model wife. Meanwhile, the Pats were 3-1 and used the time to determine their 2016 back-up QB plans. OK.
As if this guy needed to get any luckier, his return warm-up game was against the NFL's worst team, the Cleveland Browns. In this case, the previous Sunday seemed to have zero effect on the betting line as the Patriots were asleep in getting completely dominated by the Buffalo Bills 16-0 on the Pats home turf. But then again, maybe it did have some effect as the Patriots were "only" a closing -11.5 favorite at Bovada. The prior week the 0-4 Browns got thumped by the Redskins 31-20, who were desperate for a win themselves. IF the Pats did their job and beat the Bills, what would the line on this game have been. No doubt Patriots -14.5 at least. We all know laying double digits on the road against any NFL team is a shaky proposition. No problem as Tommy Boy was in Super Bowl form from kickoff as the Pats cruised 33-13.
Another Case in Points
After losing to the 49ers on opening day 27-0, the Rams were nowhere. Now after three straight wins, they led their NFC division and were everybody's "wise-guy" team. Last Sunday they were a full -3 favorite at home vs. the Buffalo Bills at most top online sportsbooks. Last year the Rams didn't even have a home in LA!! What have you done for me lately...
This was another "tilted spread" game determined by last week's results. The Bills beat the "Brady-less" Patriots but much more impressive was the Rams 17-13 upset on the road over the Arizona Cardinals. No disrespect against the Rams but what did we really know about either of these teams just yet? Many bettors and sports experts were spanking themselves on Sunday night as the Bills rolled to their third straight win, a big 30-19 win over the LA Rams at the Coliseum. Maybe we shouldn't have fired the Ryan Brothers or given them three fat points just yet?
Like in horse racing, where your last race is a really important indicator, the last game is key. Just keep in memory for betting purposes it's only one game and we've got about TEN or more still to go.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.