There was a moment on Saturday night after a long day of college football betting that I turned my attention to the NFL, and frankly I had no idea what I was going to do. Everything seemed so easy that I knew it was too good to be true. Since I know I’m a Square, when I feel like I have a real keen eye on the board for Favorites and Overs, it’s a good indication that I’m in for a rough one. So I went over to one of the sites I check for betting trends, and lo and behold there were at least three games that currently had more than 80% of the money on the Favorite. Naturally, I sent this to my friend and his response: “That’s horrifying. Vegas is about to get very rich.” Thankfully, now checking back, it seems that between line movements and everyone coming to their senses a bit, Vegas definitely got rich, but it certainly could have been worse. Let’s dive in.
GB Packers (-6.5) @ NY Giants – 86% Public Bet
Normally, if I see a number like 86%, I run very far away. However, with the spread being just under a touchdown, I jumped on this game faster than the Chinese government jumps on Hong Kong dissonance (power to the people). I was very curious by this number, but it seems to me that this was a classic case of buy low/sell high. While the Giants can never be attached to anything remotely being high (except maybe when Pat Shurmur makes any decision ever), clearly Vegas didn’t think very highly of the Packers. It seems that after they got shellacked last week in San Francisco, Vegas figured the Packers were big ol’ FRAUDS. Vegas swung and missed badly on this one.
NO Saints (-7) @ ATL Falcons – 80% Public Bet
After the absurd upset the Falcons pulled on the Saints very recently, I stayed away. The Public was too high on the Saints and sometimes Dan Quinn is so stupid that he actually just falls into a win or at least a cover. The eight point spread the game eventually ended up giving this game a better shine than the Falcons deserve. They were down 26-9 with 6:27 to go and because of some garbage time scoring, Matt Ryan ended up with some extra yardage and an additional touchdown to pat his stats. It’s clear that upset was a mere fluke and shouldn’t reflect either of these teams as the Saints make their case for seeding in the playoffs while Dan Quinn figures out how to do math.
CHI Bears (-5.5) @ DET Lions – 73% Public Bet
This another one of those questionable Sharp/Square plays since the line opened at Lions -1.5 and then closed at Bears -5.5, which is ABSURD. That’s a six point line movement, which means that if you were one of those people who decided to take the Bears after it crossed the -3.5 line, then frankly you only have yourself to blame. You’re the squarest of squares and you deserved your square outcome. Not surprisingly, the line was sitting pretty at -3 until last Wednesday morning, and then skyrocketed to -5.5 by kickoff. Clearly the Sharps got the edge on this and the Squares ended up being the victim of their own stupidity.
NY Jets (-2.5) @ CIN Bengals – 72% Public Bet
There are just some teams that have an “aura” about them. For instance, no matter what, the Steelers and the Ravens have great defenses; another example is that the Patriots are just winners regardless of their talent and the Cowboys will always find a way to be perfectly mediocre. The Jets are one of those teams with an “aura” about them, and that aura is massive screw-ups who will never amount to anything. It’s just in their DNA. I took a look at this game, and thought, “Wow… this seems like a good spot for the Bengals to get their first win.” And even though I probably could have justified the play, the moment you get that kind of thought, you should immediately run away. Even though he’s been horrendous, Andy Dalton came back for this game, and the Jets… are well the Jets. Next time you think about putting money at risk based on the Jets performing in an adequate manner, I suggest you light the money on fire. At least that way you’ll be warm.
NE Patriots (-3.5) @ HOU Texans – 70% Public Bet
Does something seem… off about Tom Brady and the Patriots? Tom Brady was throwing to no one and the defense couldn’t stop Deshaun Watson and the Texans if Aaron Hernandez held a gun to their heads. There have been entire budgets expanded because of the number of clicks and views that have started with: “Is This the End of the Patriots Dynasty?” and yet the only thing to end is the doubting. But this game seemed different. This game was well in hand going deep into the fourth quarter, and more importantly, it just seemed like the Patriots offense was off. If I was forced to bet on this game, I would have bet on the Patriots too because you don’t make money betting against the Patriots, but this time it looks like it paid well.
I would be remised if I didn’t mention one more thing, and that’s the Money Line Parlays that were most likely smashed to smithereens this weekend. Think about the fact that the following teams lost outright:
CAR Panthers (-10.5)
PHI Eagles (-10)
LA Chargers (-4.5)
NE Patriots (-3.5)
DAL Cowboys (-7)
If you somehow avoided these landmines, good for you. But just goes to show that just because a team is a heavy favorite, doesn’t mean you can even count on them to win.
Best of luck in these last weeks in the regular season!