Welcome to the 2012-13 edition of NFL Marketwatch, where the team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NFL point-spread market.
Every week we analyze the sports betting marketplace to pinpoint which games the public is chasing and which the sharps are pounding.
Overall Record: 1-1 (50%)
The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true line value. Often, if a line looks too good to be true, there is a reason. You’ll occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens (10/7 – 1:00 p.m. ET)
Two of the best running backs in the National Football League highlight this week’s marketwatch as Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs host Ray Rice and the Ravens.
Last season, Charles suffered an ACL injury in the opening game and ended up missing the entire season. A full year removed from his breakthrough 2010 campaign, many analysts doubted whether or not Charles could return to form. After four games those questions have been answered emphatically. The former Texas Longhorn currently leads the AFC with 411 rushing yards, including a remarkable 233-yard performance in a week 3 victory over the Saints.
While Charles’ comeback has been somewhat of a surprise to some, Ray Rice’s continued production is anything but. The versatile back is eighth in the AFC in rushing (317 yards) and leads his team in receptions (22). While Rice may be the Ravens’ most talented offensive player, the spotlight has recently been focused squarely on QB Joe Flacco.
Despite setting records for most wins by a quarterback in his first four seasons (44) and most passing yards in franchise history (13,817), there have been many questions raised about whether Flacco can lead Baltimore to the promised land. The 6’6″ gunslinger has already thrown for 1,269 yards this year and has posted a career-high 95.8 QB rating, but is he ready to establish himself amongst the league’s elite signal callers?
The Ravens (3-1) opened as 6.5-point favorites at CRIS and are currently receiving 81% of spread bets and 87% of parlay wagers. Despite this lopsided betting, the line has actually dropped a half-point to 6. This reverse line movement is a strong sign that sharp money has been coming in on the 1-3 Chiefs.
The table below shows a breakdown of the spread betting percentages from our six contributing sportsbooks.
This game fits a number of historically profitable betting systems, including our highly touted 80/20 betting rule. This system shows that since 2004, underdogs receiving less than 20% of spread bets in regular season games have posted a record of 86-65 (ATS) for a profit of +16.59 units and an 11% return on investment (ROI).
The chart below shows the changes in spread betting percentages and line movement since this game opened at Pinnacle.
Additionally, a number of betting systems have been triggered on Kansas City, including a Smart Money Play from Sportsbook.com (7-3, +3.55 units), providing further evidence that sharp bettors like the home dog in this contest.
Game to Watch (1-1)
Kansas City Chiefs +6.5 (Sportsbook.com)
It should be another exciting week of NFL Football action. Keep Marketwatch handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates.
Enjoy the games!