Behind The Betting Lines 9/17/2004

Behind The Lines Vol. 3
by T.B
Courtesy of
9/17/2004 7:05PM EST

Feast or famine. That is going to be the story for the books this week. Looking at our Sports Insights bet graphs for NFL Sunday there are A LOT of one-sided games already. Come Sunday night there is going to be some heavy drinking at the favorite island watering holes. Either it’s a big day for the books, which is reason to celebrate, or they get clobbered and decide to drown their collective sorrows and talk about that 3rd and 7 that could have turned the whole day around if that F!@#$% MORON hadn’t overthrown his tight end wide open in the flat.

Last week wasn’t a bad start to the football season for the stores. Didn’t hit a home run but it wasn’t a disaster either. Friday night was the big Miami-FSU tussle. Bobby Bowden has to be wondering if there’s a way to never, ever play Miami again. If there was ever a game that he should’ve won that was it. For the entire game Brock Berlin looked about as accurate as Bobby Brady when he drilled Marcia in the nose, they had held Miami to 3 measly points for 58 ½ minutes and they STILL lost.

In our preview of that game we mentioned the “Junk” phenomenon and how bad it is for the books if teasers hit on both sides. Well 10-3 FSU would have been OK since Miami was a 2 pt. favorite. But the 16-10 final was a kick in the nuts and made this spot look good with our Moneyline bet on Miami.

Saturday was a real good day with a lot of the late games going the way of the dog. And then Sunday followed the script that I’ve seen a million times. Win one, lose one, win one, lose one. After the daytime action is all said and done you’re sitting on top of an OK profit. Then from 7:15 until 8:30 you sit there and watch the numbers for the ESPN game go up, up and away. That was the case this past Sunday as everybody was on KC getting 3 at Denver. In fact the game became a double or nothing proposition at some books. Win it and you double your stash for the day. Lose it and you have nothing to show for a 16 hour work day. Betting against Denver in Mile High, first Sunday night game of the year? Bad move, 34-24 Denver.

Now let’s take a look at some games this week to see if the Man has tightened up some of those numbers. We’ll start out with one NCAA game:

USC @ BYU – Sat. 10 PM EST

In our first column we previewed the Notre Dame vs. BYU game. We talked about how BYU just seems to be a different team at home in these prime time games. And this is going all the way back to those Robbie Bosco years. Stuff like this doesn’t always show up in the stats, but when you’ve been watching games for over 25 years there are certain things that stick out: Nebraska struggling in that day-after-Thanksgiving game, Brent Musberger calling every 2nd and 8 like it’s the last play of the National Championship, BC playing Miami tough in Chestnut Hill and this little BYU at home on Saturday night thing.

Game opened at -26 and now it’s USC – 26.5. Now remember BYU beat down Notre Dame in their opener and then Notre Dame comes right back and beats Michigan, at that point the #8 team in the country so that win looks even more impressive. After their emotional victory over the Irish BYU lost their next game at Stanford to a team that has a good shot to finish in the Top 3 of the Pac-10. USC struggled in their opener against Virginia Tech and then beat up an overmatched Colorado St.

You can wait for the extra half point but right now the game is pretty balanced on the straight bets: 54% for USC but 73% of the parlays and teasers. If the move doesn’t come, buying BYU up to either 27 or 28 isn’t a bad idea.

New England @ Arizona – Sun. 4:15 PM EST

Let’s take a look at another home underdog, this time in the NFL. Last week Arizona, with new head coach Dennis Green, hung tough in a road game at St. Louis. If not for having a 95 yard interception return called back on a questionable holding penalty they might have pulled off the upset. As it is, they did keep it within a TD.

Now they go back to the desert for their home opener against the defending Super Bowl champions. The line opened at 8 and that’s where it sits. The public jumped on this one faster than Paris Hilton getting over Nick Carter. A staggering 79% on Straight bets and even higher, 84%, on the parlays/teasers.

The Patriots were able to pull one out against the Colts in their opener but they definitely showed some holes. Most noticeably, their run defense. Do you think Richard Seymour, Teddy Bruschi, etc. are looking forward to that 95 degree heat? Emmitt Smith looked like he was hooked up to the way back machine last week. Look for the Cards to keep it close against New England.

However, that being said, if you like the Patriots there is value to be had. Right now Sportbet is offering New England -7.5. Save the 10 cents and bet New England down to a TD with them.

Alright, it’s time for me to go back to monitoring tomorrow’s games on the Sports Insights graphs page. Happy hunting this weekend, folks … T.B.