Sports Marketwatch – Early Moves Edition
NFL Week 3
9/21/2006 10:33 AM EST
by Daniel Fabrizio
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Sports Marketwatch where Daniel Fabrizio, founder of SportsInsights.com gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NFL point spread market. If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all access pass with Sports Marketplace! Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon he speaks directly with the line managers at Pinnacle, Bowmans, 5Dimes, BetUs.com, and Oasis about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. So far, the first five weeks of the season have produced a lot of surprises. Dan takes a look at what’s in store for this week in the NFL.Sports Marketwatch – NFL Week 3.
Sports Marketplace – NFL Week 3
Recapping Last Week
All sportsbooks reported higher than expected handles in NFL Week 2 resulting from a lot of Public Teams playing bad teams. NFL Week 2 continues the trend of Public Teams not just winning but steamrolling opponents. Public Teams (teams receiving over 70% of the bets) went 4-1, with an average margin of victory well over 21pts. The cream is beginning to rise to the top of the league quickly this year. All the sportsbooks I spoke with had a dismal Sunday. “It wasn’t the sides that hurt as much as all the parlay and teasers hitting,” stated 5Dimes.com line manager Lou.
“Anytime the favorites go 10-5, it’s going to be a long day of payouts on Monday morning,” stated the 5Dimes.com line manager. It wasn’t only favorites covering – it was heavy favorites covering. The 2006 NFL Season has pretty much picked up where a dismal 2005 left off. The good news is that the Public is flush with cash and should push some lines from light line shades to major line bloats. If you have the stomach for it, there will be some buy back opportunities this week.
SportsInsights.com analysis shows that in games with over 70% of the action on one side, the public posted another winning weekend 4-1. SportsInsights.com Games to Watch analysis continues to dwell in the basement, posting a 1-2 weekend. But always remember it’s not how you start – its how you finish. There is a lot of football to be played. Overall, that makes the Games to Watch column 2-4.
View last week’s column
NFL WEEK 3
We anticipate Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia to be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week – proving that sometimes it’s not who you are, it’s who you’re playing. Visit SportsInsights.com to view LIVE wagering statistics from SEVEN online sportsbooks.
NFL Week 3 Sports Marketwatch – Games to Watch
Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings
There is little doubt in the sportsbook industry that this will be the biggest game of the weekend. “I’d say 9 out 10 tickets have the Bears to win. We have players that went from $50 bettors to $500 bettors for this game,” said line manager Steve Stone of OasisCasino.com. “Every other parlay we take is tied to Chicago. If we win this game and manage to break up teasers, we’ll have a profitable day no matter what happens.”
The Public just can’t believe a team as good as the Bears is only laying -3pts. The Bears have crushed two of the worst teams in the NFL: Detroit and Green Bay. Minnesota, on the other hand, has played two quality opponents, Washington and Carolina. They have proven they are a playoff caliber team.
We relish the fact that the Public thinks this is a soft line. Public money has already pushed the line from -3 to -4. Remember the Bears are going into a hostile atmosphere having to deal with a loud dome crowd and lighting fast turf. The line opened at -3 and has seen nothing but Public money on Chicago, most books reporting 90 % to 95% action on Chicago. You very rarely really witness the Public that heavily decided on one team. We’re buying back Minnesota at +4, and looking for Chicago’s offense to show its true colors versus a solid Minnesota squad. Look for the line to move to -4.5, -5 before Sharp action comes in and buys it back to -4.
Minnesota +4 Bet at SIA Minnesota +4 -105
Philadelphia Eagles vs San Francisco 49ers
We’ve circled this game for a couple of reasons. First, there’s heavy Public action on Philadelphia – even after they blew last week’s game vs NYG. It takes weeks to get over a loss like that. Second, a scrappy San Fran team is getting +6 at home. San Fran is a team heading in the right direction. They played Arizona tough in week 1, and beat a solid St Louis squad in Week 2. There is a lot of value in the lines. We’re taking San Fran +6 at home.
San Fran +7 Bet at Bowmans San Fran +7
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns
This will probably be one of the toughest bets you’ll make all season… And that’s exactly why you have to make it. We warned you that you would need an iron stomach to follow this column. We circled this game because it jumps out as a soft line. A red hot Baltimore square only laying -6.5 against one of the worst teams in the NFL??? “When I saw the opening line I cringed,” states line manager Steve Stone of OasisCasino.com. “We posted the line and within 1 minute we had 50 bets on Baltimore. It was like we opened a flood gate.”
The line opened at Baltimore -6 and quickly retreated to -6.5 – with some sportsbooks already at -7. All the sportsbooks we’ve spoken with report one way Public action on Baltimore. We anticipate this line to move to -7 and maybe to -7.5 before kickoff.
We’re taking a shot of Pepto and Cleveland +7, hoping the value in a 7 point home dog will see us through another Sunday afternoon.
Cleveland +7 Bet at Bowmans Cleveland +7
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights.com analysis for this week’s Games to Watch for NFL Week 3.
Games to Watch (2-4)
San Fran +7
It should be another exciting NFL Weekend. Keep Sports Marketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.
I’ll be back next Friday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch.
Enjoy the games!