Books Continue to Pound Players
by Micah Roberts Micah writes about football and other issues for the great publication Gaming Today. Read Micah’s insights as well as up to date news on gaming at www.gamingtoday.com.
Week 10 of the NFL gave the bettors a glimmer of hope for a good day with the most lopsided bet games of the day getting there plus a gift miracle finish in OT for another win.
But that would be all there was to cheer about from the betting public.
Once the late games became final (and every underdog covering), the season’s weekly scoreboard now reads: sports books 9, bettors 1.
It’s a shame the day ended as it did for the players because it was so promising early on. The most weighted plays in ticket counts had the Buccaneers and Jets get there, but those plays were dragged down the drain with the Colts, Vikings and Titans.
For the day, the underdogs went 9-3.
While we count the Jaguars as favorites – who closed at pick’em and won – we also count the Chiefs and Titans as favorites even though they closed at pick’em but lost.
Outside of losing money, all might agree that Week 10 was perhaps the most exciting of the season.
We had a Hail Mary close out a tied game with Jacksonville beating the Texans. We saw Buffalo win its first game of the season, but blow the cover late. The Jets won on the road in OT for the second straight week. There were 9 TD passes thrown in the Chiefs-Broncos game and the Cowboys played inspired ball for the first time all season for their new coach.
The biggest roar of the day in the sports books was the Jets winning with 16 seconds left in overtime. The Jets were laying 3-points (-120) all week and closed at -3½ (EVEN) by kickoff. They were a very popular choice with the small money and it was the last of the early games still playing.
With such little time remaining and the ball at the Browns 37, most everyone believed their bets were in trouble with a long field goal attempt sure to come that would probably not be made and even it did make it, most of the day of game bettors would lose by the hook.
But after a few missed tackles by the Browns, Mark Sanchez’ quick slant to Santonio Holmes turned into a touchdown giving the bettors a gift cover.
The Jets have the look of being, perhaps, the best team in football right now because they seem to win all the close games. By playoff time, this team is going to be battle tested like no other.
The Jets are now 7-2 and in control of their division because of a head-to-head win over the Patriots. In three of their last four games, they have won thrillers with Sanchez being the one coming up with the big plays when needed most.
The Cowboys were the most heavily bet team with the Sharps pushing the spread from the Giants being 14-point opening favorites to -11½ and -12 by kickoff. The small money liked the Giants and almost felt like they were getting a deal by laying less than 2 TD’s against a team that had packed it in.
Yes, it is a tough divisional battle, but look at what the Cowboys have dome their last two games. They packed it in and showed no pride for the star on their helmet and the backup quarterback has looked terrible. How is a new coach going to make that much of a difference?
Jason Garrett obviously made a huge difference as the Cowboys thoroughly dominated arguably the best team in the NFC, winning 33-20. There wasn’t a moment of that game where it looked like the Giants were going to be able to get back in the game. Jon Kitna may have played his best career game and the overall Cowboys game plan was executed with perfection.
Poor Wade Phillips, sitting at home, watching the game, still hurt by being let go and he watches his team finally play the way they’re capable of. Maybe Phillips was the virus that needed to be exterminated, but the overall element that was there with Phillips is still there with his entire coaching staff.
It’s only one game. Chances are, the Cowboys go back to being their normal self to close out the year. I’d be hard pressed to find a way they can be 5-11 by season’s end.
Remember when the Steelers started out 3-0 and we all thought that when Ben Roethlisberger came back, coupled with that awesome defense, that they would be the team to beat in the NFL. It seems like so long ago.
The Steelers have looked ragged at times with much of it coming from the quarterback play. They seemed like a better team when featuring Rashard Mendenhall and their running game.
The Sunday night game with the Patriots and Steelers was a game the sports books had all kinds of extended risk on from the earlier 11. After the final game was posted, leaving only the Sunday night affair, the risk forced a move on the game from Steelers -5½ to -4.
Had it not been for the Patriots winning to the over, the sports books would have had maybe their third best Sunday of the season.
And how about Tom Brady? Did he show what being a leader is all about? Does this guy command some respect or what? After being knocked down on a stalled drive, Brady went on a tirade on the sidelines aimed at his entire offensive squad.
Because he rarely shows that type of emotion, the players may have been caught off guard a bit, but the rant proved to be pivotal as the Patriots played better from then on.
The Dolphins ruined a lot of bets for the public by beating the Titans 29-17 and did so by using three quarterbacks. Chad Pennington’s return to the lineup didn’t have the same affect he’s had in the past when he twice won comeback player of the year.
Pennington lasted only one series and his shoulder injury could be career ending. Chad Henne took over and played well, but he got hurt too, leaving the fourth quarter to Tyler Thigpen who lead the Dolphins to close out the victory.
And what do you do with the Broncos now? They have shown glimpses of being a very good team while also looking like one of the worst in two of their losses.
After a bye week, Kyle Orton came out with a vengeance against the Chiefs, giving the Broncos a 35-0 lead before Kansas City could even blink. It looked like a reverse cycle of what the Raiders did to Denver a few weeks ago. Getting 9½-points in San Diego could be tempting for the Monday night game.
This week we have eight games favored by 6-points or more with four games hovering around -3. It looks like a pretty tough card filled with some interesting matchups led by the always interesting duel between Brady and Peyton Manning.