September 29 2003
By Wilson King
NFL Football Sports Betting – Inside the NFL football betting lines
There must be something in the autumn air causing people to sleep in and take it easy this first weekend of Fall. Maybe they are taking morning walks with their wives, eating breakfast, sipping Starbucks or reading The Times on their back deck as the Port Chester sun reflects off the changing oak leaves. Or perhaps people were too busy posting bond and attesting to witness statements taken the night before at the Sports Insights-sponsored Golden Bears victory party in the hills of Berkeley. Either way, folks were slow to action today.
Mirroring their moves from yesterday, the public shied away from the early games. However, what they did go after was driven by current circumstances, past history and recent performances. Since there was no favorite in the 49ers/Vikings game, no one knew which way to go. But after one look at a gimpy Moss and incapcitated Culpepper, the public went with San Francisco, a pick on the road. They also liked Pittsburgh hosting a Tennessee team that got squashed and pureed in their last trip to Heinz Field. To round out an odd morning, everyone did the unthinkable and took the underdog Bengals on the road. A move that goes against the first two points of the betting public’s creed: 1) always bet the favorite at home and 2) never bet the Bengals.
As the anti-climatic afternoon went on, Gus Ferrotte did what Gus Ferrotte fans across the country have always known what Gus Ferrotte could do. He won and the Vikings decimated the NFL’s number one defense, putting up 35 points en route to a victory for the good guys. Tennessee did more than was asked from them and beat the Steelers at home. While the Bengals won outright, the victory was somewhat tainted as the result broke up teasers. With the Minnesota win breaking up the other major exotics, the day was off to a good start.
The late games approached and action began to pick up as the late risers liked what they saw on the slate. It is almost redundant to say the public liked favorites, but they did. While the 4 PM games did not feature the cake walk matchups that last week did, everyone bet confidently as our handle rose significantly. Folks liked the Chiefs, Broncos, Panthers, and they liked them big. Their one reversal in trend came in New Jersey, where nothing ever goes according to plan. Knowing that Parcells is more at home in the Meadowlands than Jimmy Hoffa, the public took his visiting Cowboys over the favored Jets.
The Chiefs proved that they are not overblown hype by holding off the Ravens with a game ending interception on the goaline. The score would have given Baltimore the victory, but the turnover meant we were the big losers. Atlanta failed to cover and the NY Jets lost at home, which did not bode well for the house. But before it was all said and done, the biggest dog of the day managed to cover and help stem the tide. Detroit’s cover at Denver helped make things right for us.
But once again, the ESPN game proved to be our biggest decision of the day. While a loss would still leave us on the modest sign of plus for the day, there was an uneasy feeling in the office when the the Saints were down 14-0 in the first quarter, and their entire offense consisted of a John Carney fake field goal scamper.