Behind the Betting Lines 11/05/2004

Behind The Lines  Vol. 10
by T.B.
Courtesy of Sports Insights
11/05/2004 3:15 PM EST

Well in the words of my man Flava Flav, who is currently disgracing himself on some horrible reality show on VH1, “This time the Revolution will not be televised.”  It was a tough week for the Hub of The Universe.  First the Patriots 21-game winning streak was ended at Heinz Field.  Then John Kerry lost and the following night the Celtics blew a 17 point lead in their opener to the 76ers.

But thankfully the NBA has returned in full force.  And just in the nick of time, I don’t think I could have gone on much longer without my hockey!  Just kidding.  Besides Barry Melrose has anyone even noticed the NHL isn’t playing right now?  But the NBA coming back is important because if you look at the schedule there’s really only 3 WEEKS left of full NCAA action.  I can’t believe the football season is moving along at this rate.

At least the wins have picked up recently, at least for some books.  Last weekend was up and down and each shop I’m in contact with had a different story for each day.  On the whole Saturday was decent but Sunday it seemed like the books were running in quicksand all day, just couldn’t get started.

Right out of the gates Green Bay and Buffalo dashed the hopes of having a monster day.  Two easy covers, over the Redskins and Cardinals respectively, meant the books were bailing water already.  The Giants, Falcons and Steelers made things interesting but most places only managed to scrape out a small profit.

Monday night was QUITE interesting though.  What a strange game.  Most of the early money, including a few bucks from yours truly, was all over the Jets.  I’ve been saying it since around Week 2, the Jets are better than the small amount of attention they’re getting so far.  A big surprise there, a team from New York tied for the best record in the AFC and they’re still flying under the radar.

Anyways, something strange happened at a few of the offshore shops: Wiseguy money started flooding in on Miami.  The lucky few accepted this gift from the gambling gods while those who didn’t receive the windfall basically gave back all they made on Cincinnati the Monday before, and then some.  Let’s take a look at the week ahead but we’ll look at the games in pairs this week.

Vikings @ Colts – Mon. 9:00 (ABC) and Saints @ Chargers – Sun. 4:05 (FOX)

Well in Vol. 5 ( this space predicted a Colts game this year would have a posted Over/Under of 60 or more.  If ever there was a game for it to happen, this would be it.  Right now it stands at a gaudy 58 ½  and could climb up to the magical 60 number before kickoff but I doubt it.  Even though both of these teams play NO defense, 60 is still a number books don’t like to put out there.

The reason I tied this game with the Chargers is the pointspread in each game.  The Colts opened up at -6 as did San Diego.  Right now, there are 6 ½’s posted for each home favorite.  For that reason I don’t put them in the category of home favorite too weak to lay -7 because I think by kickoff of both games you will see 7’s out there.  Right now the Chargers are getting 74% of the Straight money while Indianapolis getting practically ALL of the money in their game.  With Randy Moss still questionable and the way Minnesota looked last week, don’t expect that to change too much.

Texans @ Broncos – Sun. 4:15 (CBS) and Chiefs @ Buccaneers – Sun. 1:00 (CBS)

We put these two games together because of some funny line movement.  Denver opened as a 6 ½ point favorite at home against Houston.  Even though the action is on Houston, to the tune of  57% of the Straights and 61% of the ‘Junk,’ we see the line has actually climbed to -7 at most places.

In the other game, Tampa Bay is a home ‘dog.  The line itself hasn’t changed, but the money has even though K.C. is getting an enormous amount of the action: right now an incredible 92% of the Straights and 91% of Parlays/Teasers.  So the line should be shading in favor of the Chiefs, right?  You would think but right now we see Oasis has moved it to K.C. -3 +100 and Pinnacle has it K.C. -3  +103.  Doesn’t seem like much but you have to question where the ‘smart’ money is going in a situation like this.

Teaser Of The Week

Well we jumped back on the Indianapolis bandwagon last week and they almost pulled off the cover.  But their defense is just SOOOO bad, it’s gotten to the point we can’t just rely on the league’s best offense to bail them out.

So this week we turn to our tried and true strategy: Things that make you go, “Hmmm.”   The Patriots secondary is decimated with both starting corners out for this one.  The running game managed 5 YARDS total last week and Corey Dillon is questionable again this week.  So how in the world are they favored on the road in a dome against St. Louis?  We don’t know either so the Patriots teased up to + 4 ½ will be the first leg.

The second leg is the Raiders.  I hate the Raiders, I think they’ll lose 12 games this year.  But teasing them up to +14 is too good to pass up.  I mean Carolina is 1-6 and averages 14 points a game.  So theoretically the Raiders could get shut out and still get a push on this.  “Just score, baby.”  Enjoy the games this weekend … T.B.