Behind the Betting Lines 9/10/2004

by T.B and courtesy of
9/10/2004 11:25AM EST

Behind the Lines  Vol. 2

YES! YES! YES!  It’s finally here!  After a summer worth of waiting, endless teases and previews the moment is finally here.  That’s right it’s … the series premiere of ‘Joey’ starring that lovable goof, Matt Leblanc!  Yeah right, just checking to see if you’re paying attention.  Anybody happen to catch that?  I was too busy watching the NFL pregame show before Colts-Patriots to see if Jessica Simpson suffered a wardrobe malfunction.  I wish someone had told me there was a 10 second tape delay.  There’s ten minutes of my life I ain’t getting back.

The big announcement from the NFL for the weekend is the game between Tennessee  and Miami has been moved to a Saturday at 1 PM start time due to the expected arrival of Hurricane Ivan.  I love it how people always talk about moving to Florida because the weather is so nice.  Tell that to the people who are bracing for their third monster in about a month.

This storm may also have an impact on the offshore casino world as well.  It just narrowly missed the island of Curacao, home to Sports Insights’ partners  Oasis  and Gameday.   This was quite a scare for the folks down there as historically the island is outside of the hurricane belt.  The path turned north which was great news for Curacao but not so good for Jamaica.  Ivan is on a direct course for the island which is also a haven for a couple of sportsbooks.  Here’s hoping for another turn out to sea, but it’s not looking good.

Well the weather is something that’s out of our control so let’s turn our attention to something you do have a say in: where to put your money down this weekend.  There is a full slate of college ball Saturday but since it’s opening weekend of the NFL our focus is going there.  One college note: looking at our bet graph on Sports Insights for the FSU-Miami game we see the parlay/teaser count for Miami has dropped from 74% down to 61%.  What does that tell us?  That people know that since 1983 there have been seven games in this series decided by 3 points or less.

Do they also know that Miami has one EVERY single one of those games!  What is the reason for such an outstanding stat?  Not a big secret: FSU’s kickers perform as if they have 2 hands wrapped around their throat.  Choke, choke, choke.  How else can you explain someone like Janikowski, who has the leg to make it from 60 + yards, not coming through in a situation like that?  Me thinks a moneyline bet on the ‘Canes is in order …

Alright, let’s take a look at some games on the NFL slate:

Tennessee @ Miami – Sat. 1 PM

How about this one, the first game of the weekend?  Miami, a perennial playoff squad (albeit a perennial playoff early exit team) is getting 3 points in their home opener.  Obviously the betting public thinks this line should be much higher as they are ALL OVER the Titans, to the tune of 91% on the straight bets!  Ninety-one percent?  Those are Reagan-Mondale numbers. What’s up with this?  Doesn’t Miami still have Junior Seau, Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor anchoring their D?  Hasn’t Tennessee shown a propensity for injuries, especially Steve McNair?  And now Tennessee doesn’t have a kicker after Joe Nedney’s hamstring injury in practice on Tuesday.  Books are very hesitant to move off the number 3, but if this game goes to +3.5 or +4 you have to consider it.

Seattle @ New Orleans – Sun. 1 PM

Here’s another line that has the potential to move in favor of a home ‘dog.  The line here is Seattle -2.5, it’s been there since it opened.  Now I read 10 preseason publications and I believe 8 of them had Seattle representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.  And right now people are betting as if they believe the hype: 68% of the straight bets and 80% of the Junk drawer are on Seattle.  I guarantee this game will hit -3 before kickoff.  Make sure you keep checking Sports Insights to see which of your outs makes the move first.

Dallas @ Minnesota – Sun. 4:15 PM

The last game we’ll take a look at on this week’s slate shows the home team favored in this one.  But obviously the public doesn’t think it’s by enough as this is another game where we have another 91% of the public unloading on one team.  Minnesota -4.5 is the play here so far.  I only have one word of caution for you: when people are betting the game so heavily, like they already know the final score?  Tread very carefully … T.B