Behind The Betting Lines 10/22/2004

Vol. 8
by T.B.
Courtesy of
10/22/2004 4:22PM EST

Well we would be remiss if we started out this week’s column without mentioning the Greatest Comeback In Sports History.  Yes, coming back from a 3-0 deficit has been done twice before, but that was in hockey and hockey isn’t a real sport and for now, doesn’t even exist.  Second, this was done against the Yankees, the winningest franchise in sports and a team with more mystique around it than any other.  But yes, I am still checking out my window for flying pigs.

But let’s turn our attention towards the pigskin.  Last week started out fortuitously for the books.  As I mentioned in the column last week, my head was saying Kansas City giving points on the road even though I knew by Sunday afternoon the wallet was going to need Jacksonville.  And I was right, the Jags were a big score early in their last minute victory.

Another close call was the New England game.  With Wisguys coming in on the underdog Seahawks, the stores needed a last second goal-line stand from the Patriots to finally exhale a sigh of relief.  It’s a good thing these two decisions landed the way they did or it would have been an all-out bloodbath.

Don’t get me wrong, it was horrible.  Green Bay and Philly in the early games were big and then an 0-3 on the late stuff, including a crushing defeat with Minnesota covering on the road against New Orleans.  Bad beats all around.  This has been an historically bad stretch for the books.  Anyone who tells you different is lying.  The baseball playoffs have been absolutely horrible and football hasn’t been picking up the slack like it usually does.  Let’s get this NBA started, and soon.

Taking a look at this weekend’s games we see it has the potential to turn things around in one week, or put the final nail in the coffin of some underfunded books.  There are some ASTOUNDING bet percentages being shown right now.  Numbers like:

–         95% of Parlays and Teasers going one way (Seattle)

–         81% of Straights and 92% of the ‘Junk’ (St. Louis)

–         85% of the Straight bets (San Diego)

–         89% of  Straights and 88% of the ‘Junk’ (Philly)

There are more, but those are just the most blatant examples.  Let’s take a closer look at some of these numbers.  First of all, I’ve never seen more games listed at -6 and -6.5.  Six games total, almost half the games on the board, are listed at either of those 2 spots!  You almost get the feeling the numbers makers are trying to thin out the crop of sportsbooks with these numbers.  Either that, or it’s finally time for this season to start turning around.

Miami, FL @ N.C. State – Sat. 7:45 PM (ESPN)

Miami started out as a 7 pt. favorite.  Obviously that’s a number places are usually hesitant to move off of.  However, we see it now stands at -7.5 and we’re not even on game day yet.  Checking Sports Insights we see that none of our affiliated books are offering anything but 7.5 right now.  Great if you are looking to get down on the Wolfpack but judging by the numbers that’s not where the money is going.  Right now 55% of the Straight bets are on Miami, which isn’t TOO bad, but we have 79% of the junk action on the ‘Canes.

Since this is a late start on Saturday, you should have plenty of time to take stock of how your day is going so far and to keep checking the Sports Insights bet graph page to see if anyone has made the move back down to -7.

Tennessee @ Minnesota – Sun. 1:00 (CBS)   Tennessee is currently in sole possession of last place in the AFC South.  They managed to score only 10 points at home against Houston last week.  Minnesota’s offense has been performing at a step just below the Colts.  Duante Culpepper is on pace to throw 212 TD’s.  So why isn’t this number a -7, instead of a -6.5?  Especially when you factor in that 69% of the Straight bets and 72% of the Junk bets are on the home favorite.

You always see the guy dressed in his Norsemen costume at Viking home games, is something rotten in Denmark?  If you like the ‘dog, you know where to play it: Sports Interaction is currently offering +7.  On the other side, WWTS is showing a -6.  Damn, it pays to have access to all this information on one page at Sports Insights.

Teaser Of The Week   Well Jacksonville’s last second heroics gave this spot its first defeat of the season last week, by one measly point.  In a number that looked screwy, K.C. was giving 2 on the road.  So we got to push them up to +5.  However, they lost 22-16.  In the other selection New England’s goal line stand still couldn’t prevent Seattle from making their + 11.

The first games that jump out this week are teasing Indy down and the Jets up.  The formula has been working so far with the Colts juggernaut and using the same logic last week, why not take an undefeated team up to + 13?  But our man Sanders Lightfoot would probably say we’re taking the easy way out (but that’s the point isn’t it?).

But let’s add a degree of difficulty here and go with a couple of home ‘dogs.  First, Cincinnati teased up to + 13, playing their first home Monday Night football game in 15 years.  Pair them with the Cardinals getting 13.5 against Seattle.  Yup, two historically bad squads, but getting 13 or more at home in the NFL?  That’s a lot of points.  Enjoy the games this weekend … T.B.