Anyone catch the Panthers/ Broncos game on Thursday night? Good. Did anyone bet it? No, right? Why not? Because we don’t trust Thursday night betting trends, as I went over in our list of important lessons taught in SPORTSBOOK 101, correct? Well, you should have taken the BRONCOS +3(-125) without even hesitating a second. ‘How’, you ask? Wouldn’t taking action in that game fly directly into the face of the third lesson listed in my last post? Well, sort of.
See, that wasn’t really Thursday Night Football. That was the NFL Kickoff Game, which was the first chance for gamblers to take action on a relevant NFL game in seven months. So, much like a junkie going though withdrawal, sports gamblers can’t wait to collect on their first winner of the year, especially after such a long layoff. Which means, the betting trends had more action, or at least the equivalent of action that is usually bet on any given Sunday night or Monday night game. I probably should have clarified that in the SPORTSBOOK 102 introductory post, but I didn’t.
Now you know the difference between Thursday Night Football and a Thursday Night Kickoff. And just for future reference, I’ll add this rule: If Al Michaels is announcing the game, then you can trust the betting trends.
Al is the MJ of play-by-play announcers, as far as I’m concerned. If that man is calling the game, chances are it’s a big deal, and the amount of action on it is guaranteed to make the betting trends trustworthy.
Now, back to that kickoff trend result. What was it? Correct. A House Dog Special, or HDS, which was exactly the trend result of the Super Bowl. Vegas raked the public right from the jump. You gotta respect that. Let’s take a look at the trend percentages.
First off, Denver’s vig value was not the standard -110. It was -125. Which means what? Right. Denver was the Covert Favorite. Remember the last time Denver was the Covert Favorite? Remember what an over analytical ass I made of myself preaching about how Vegas wanted you to take the Broncos in that “Battle of the Undefeateds” game against the Packers? Well, I wasn’t getting burned again.
But what I found absolutely breathtaking above all those numbers was that the people actually had an UNDER in a primetime game. It almost brought a sentimental tear to my eye at the thought that this course is breaking conventional betting trend barriers considering we had how many combined People’s Unders between SNF & MNF in all of last year?
Yes, they had the UNDER 40.5, and, yes, they were one point off the win. But let’s call that People’s Under for what it really was, shall we? An analytical conclusion based solely on Super Bowl residual.
The Super Bowl under came in between these two, therefore(in typical human psychological sports watching analysis), we project what we have seen in past events as the overwhelming probable outcome to most future events. That’s why that OVER 40.5 was the lock of the night. Everything just screamed House Special to me from this trend.
Well, should we get to our first quiz of the year? You’re damn right we should. Let’s go…
PATRIOTS +7 @ CARDINALS -7
MY FANTASY STARTERS:
K: S. GOSTKOWSKI @ ARI
MY FANTASY OPPONENTS:
RB: D JOHNSON VS. NE
K: C. CATANZARO VS. NE
EMOTIONAL RED FLAG ALERT: 5
This had all the potential to be at least an 8 or 9 on the Emotional Red Flag Alert 1 to 10 scale. First, it’s the Pats. Second, Brady’s suspension has me livid, and nothing would make me happier than to see Belichick have his squad in full fledged “FU Mode” for this entire first month right out of the gate. Third, Arizona screwed me on multiple primetime picks last year, so it’s hard for me to trust them.
Having said that, I’m taking the CARDINALS -7, but I’m rooting to lose this first call of the year. I call this an “Emotional Hedge”. Sometimes I’ll do an “Emotional Hedge” to cushion the blow of a loss I know I will take really hard. For example, I took the SEAHAWKS MONEYLINE in Super Bowl 49. Not because I thought they would win, but because if they did, at least I would have made some bank even though I wasn’t happy with the outcome. It’s kind of a Reverse Jinx, in a sense. You are essentially paying money for the win you want. By the way, best $200 bucks I ever spent. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE SEATTLE. Love them. For reasons I won’t even go into right now or ever, but they will always have a special place in my heart. But, ya know…it was Brady, dude. Brady.
CARDINALS -7 & OVER 44.5
CLASSIFICATION: PEOPLE’S FAVORITE HOUSE CROSS(PFHC)
82% on the UNDER 44.5? Could the public actually start the primetime betting season by riding the under, after never having ended on a single under by kickoff all of last season? I highly doubt it. The people just can’t seem to help themselves in the Total Points department. Rooting to hit overs is apparently in their DNA. I’m positive they end on that OVER 44.5. I see this staying a PFHC or a PFC with the public ending on the over per their predictable selves. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the public end on the PATRIOTS +7 hovering in the high 50s to mid 60s with the OVER 44.5, which would leave us riding with a HFC(CARDINALS -7 & OVER 44.5). Has your head starting spinning yet? Bottomline, however the Side Action breaks, I’m taking the Cards Side with The House Total Points….whatever that ends up at…which will most likely be the under until proven otherwise.
FANTASY FACTOR: I have Gostkowski. My opponent has Johnson and Catanzaro. Meh. No real factor to swing me in either direction. I fully expect to have this week wrapped up by the end of the 4pm games anyway. OBJ, BABY!! BRING IT!!
JUMP SHIP AUDIBLE: The eventual audible here will simply be switching to the UNDER 44.5, when the public inevitably jumps on that over. We’re taking The House Total Points wherever it lands, so audible accordingly. We are sticking with the CARDINALS -7 regardless of the trend movement.
STEELERS -3(+110) @ REDSKINS +3(-130)
RB: D. WILLIAMS @ WAS
TE: JORDAN REED VS. PIT
EMOTIONAL RED FLAG ALERT: 1
A -130 dog? Eww. I hate that. I hate -130s with a passion. But being that Pittsburgh is widely considered a “Public Team”, I’m willing to ride the devalued vig.
“Public Teams” are teams with strong national fanbases. Other noteworthy Public Teams are the Packers, Cowboys, Patriots, and the Bears. Of these five teams, only the Bears will miss the playoffs, so their public team status won’t have much of an impact this year.
But a fanbase as big as Steeler Nation only having to lay -3, and you can get it at the bargain price of +110? Hmm. That seems very trappy to me. Even more trappy than a -130 vig, in my opinion.
I’m going with Washington here. That vig value on a public team like Pittsburgh just seems too good to be true. I’ll believe it when I see it.
REDSKINS +125 & UNDER 49.5
CLASSIFICATION: HOUSE DOG PEOPLE’S SPECIAL(HDPS)
I see the public sticking with the STEELERS -3(+110). It’s just too good to pass up…for a sucker, that is. They probably will switch to the STEELERS MONEYLINE, as well, and definitely will stick to their favorite bet with the OVER 49.5 making this a probable House Dog Special.
FANTASY FACTOR: Meh.
JUMP SHIP AUDIBLE: No audibles. It’s REDSKINS +125 with the UNDER 49.5, or bust. Unless, the unlikely scenario of the public switching to the UNDER 49.5 happens. Which it won’t…obviously.
RAMS -2.5(-115) @ NINERS +2.5(-105)
EMOTIONAL RED FLAG ALERT: 9
The Los Angeles Rams are back, baby! Case Keenum against Blaine Gabbert with a Monday night 10:20EST kickoff! Does it get any better than that for a Week 1 closer?!
Well, at least the Rams are back, with arguably the best back in the game in one Todd Gurley, against a Niner team lead by the man who gave my DeMarco Murray jersey a shelf life of less than six weeks.
Without a doubt the biggest waste of money I ever spent on sports apparel, and I owe it all to Chip. I’m at an emotional 9 for this game, just because I blame him for singlehandedly destroying my former franchise over the last two years. I’m no longer an Eagles fan, but I’m still extremely bitter about buying my first Eagles jersey in 23 years, and it couldn’t even last one year of relevance before becoming completely obsolete. Rams all day. I hope they beat the piss out of them. Welcome back, LA.
RAMS -2.5(-115) & OVER 42.5
CLASSIFICATION: PEOPLE’S FAVORITE CROSS
Probably ending up a PFP or PFHP.
FANTASY FACTOR: None
JUMP SHIP AUDIBLE: When the public jumps on the OVER 42.5 we audible to keep the PFC, if the public sticks with the RAMS -2.5(-115), of course. If the public swings to the NINERS +2.5(-105), then let’s take the OVER 42.5 regardless of whether the people have it, or not.
And I HATE Double Favorites in most cases(especially -2.5 Double Favorites), but I’m not moving off this Rams side. I hate what Kelly did to my Murray jersey more. This is personal.
Goodnight, and good luck.