By Daniel Fabrizio
Every week, Daniel Fabrizio speaks directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest online sportsbooks — about which games the public is chasing and the “sharps” are pounding. He also utilizes the award-winning betting tools and NFL Betting Systems found on SportsInsights.com to uncover hidden value in the coming weekend’s games.
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Sports Insights takes an academic and contrarian view of the sports marketplace, as detailed in this article recently published in the Wall Street Journal, entitled, “A Contrarian’s Guide to Football Betting.“ Sports Insights is a leader in the sports information industry and has published a popular and best-selling Sports Investing series of books as well as recent articles on: comparing the Sports Marketplace to the Financial Markets and Contrarian Sports Investing: Why It Works.
NFL Marketwatch Historical Performance
The 2011 NFL Season marks the seventh year for our popular NFL Marketwatch column. Over our six-year history, we have produced a winning percentage of 56.5% based on Sports Insights’ philosophy of applying contrarian sports investing methods and seeking value in the sports marketplace.
The Miami Dolphins stayed with the Patriots for most of the game on Monday Night Football, but Tom Brady’s career-best 517 yards passing helped the Patriots beat the spread and give our NFL Marketwatch a loss in the opening weekend. Our record in Games to Watch for the 2011 season stands at 0-1. Last season, the NFL Marketwatch finished with a 53.8% winning percentage (14-12).
Sports Insights’ contrarian method of Betting Against the Public methods in the NFL, including Square Plays, Best Bets, and MarketWatch had a solid season, with Square Plays and NFL MarketWatch producing a combined winning percentage of just under 55%. NFL Squares ended the regular season at 57%. Check out the SportsInsights.com Blog for timely betting trends reports, plus original analysis on featured games and strategies.
Tracking Public Performance
Over the years, Sports Insights has tracked the Public’s performance in lopsided-bet NFL games. Overall, in “lopsided-bet” games, which are defined as games having 65% or more bets on one team, the public has been correct only about 47% of the time, against the spread. During the 2010 NFL Regular Season, the public was a respectable, but still sub-.500 63-64 = 49.6% in lopsided-bet games. This, combined with the “vig” that the sportsbooks collect – made 2010 a losing year for the NFL betting public — and a profitable season for the sportsbooks.
In Week 1 of the 2011 season, the public went 4-4 (50.0%) in lopsided-bet games (65% or more on one team). We note that two games were impacted by line movement associated with the extreme betting percentages. That is, the Tennessee and Arizona games could have gone either way based on the point spread. Remember to shop for the best point spread: it can add valuable percentage points to your winning percentage.
We don’t handicap games – we handicap the sports betting marketplace. SportsInsights.com collects betting trends from major online sportsbooks and tracks real-time odds to pinpoint profitable betting opportunities. By closely monitoring line movement and Sports Insights’ unique Public betting trends statistics, we uncover the most profitable plays. Let’s see what the NFL sports marketplace has in store for this week.
Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers
It is early in the season and teams have not had much of a chance to prove themselves. As a result, it is a bit surprising to see double-digit point spreads so early in the season — and this week’s NFL board features three such games. Of these double-digit point spread games, the match-up that caught our analysts’ eyes was the Carolina-Green Bay game. Carolina is a 10-point underdog at home. However, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers rang up 42 points in defeating the Saints in Week 1. Meanwhile, the “lowly” Panthers lost to Arizona. As a result, an overwhelming percentage of bettors are taking the Packers, even with the relatively large point spread. Including teaser and parlays, about 85% of bets are taking the Packers.
The line history graph below, which is available to all Premium and Premium Pro members, shows how the NFL Betting Trends have affected line movement for this game at Pinnacle.
Interestingly, very early line movement had the associated odds for the 10-point spread ticking slightly in the direction of Carolina. This is an indication that larger bets, and potentially “smart money” was getting down on Carolina. We were in touch with one of our industry contacts, an offshore risk manager who verified that some of his “sharper bettors” were getting down on the Panthers, saying, “Yes, the sharps are getting on Carolina — and that pushed the line down to Carolina +9.5 at Pin and CRIS.”
The Panthers are definitely a “live home dog” with good “young blood” and are energized with Cam Newton’s big game in Week 1. The Panthers were a poor 2-14 last season, but our readers know that we regularly make very “ugly selections.” We don’t need our “ugly selections” to win outright, but we do need underperformers to “not get blown out.” This is definitely a play that “separates the men from the boys” in terms of ugly contrarian value. Our readers will have to “man-up” and make sure they have their Pepto Bismol nearby.
We also like this play because our team of researchers notes that Super Bowl champions are often overvalued the first few weeks of a new NFL season. We’ll take Carolina and the big points, “bet against the Public,” and follow the lead of the “smart money.”
Carolina Panthers +11 (SIA)
It should be another exciting NFL weekend. Keep NFL Marketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest Real Time Odds, NFL Betting Trends and NFL Betting System Picks. I’ll be back next Saturday with the new edition of NFL Marketwatch. Enjoy the games!