Behind the Betting Lines 11/12/2004

by T.B.
Courtesy of
11/12/2004 7:22 PM EST

Behind The Lines  Vol. 11

It’s amazing to me how some people can walk into the bank and cash their check without feeling the need to wear a mask and hold a gun.  Now there are incompetent boobs in just about every industry out there who don’t earn their paycheck.  But it seems there’s a higher concentration of them in the offshore industry.  However, it’s one thing to make a mistake and quite another to gloat about it afterwards.  Take the following example.

In his recap of last week’s action a spokesman for one offshore shop talks about the fact his book did not follow the move on the Notre Dame @ Tennessee game:

“The ‘sharpies’ got down on Notre Dame early and moved the line down from the key number of -7, to -6 ½ dropping as low as -6 in places at kickoff. So, standard logic dictated we too should have been at -6 ½, or -6 as well right? Wrong. Here’s why: we wrote more than 6 to 1 tickets on the Tennessee and simply followed our action. Not only did we not move down to -6 ½ to -6, but we actually moved the other way to -7 ½! The ‘Irish’ … upset the ‘Vols’ 17-13 and showed a huge win for the house.”

Now, I haven’t sat in the chair for awhile but I think I still remember a few things.  Doesn’t it make sense if these guys had moved the number down to -6 ½ or -6, they would have invited even more action on Tennessee, thus guaranteeing them even more profit?  Plus, moving to -7.5 now invites someone to come in and pop you and take away whatever profit you were sitting on.  Of course you don’t know the score ahead of time so I’m not blaming them for not making the move down.  I’m just saying I wouldn’t be bragging about it afterwards when I know in the end my decision cost the company money.

Before we look ahead at this week’s contests I’d like to revisit a topic that users of Sports Insights know a lot about: Smart Money.  As explained on the Sports Insights ‘How To Win’ section, the Smart Money Method, “primarily looks for betting line movements that contradict the betting percentages.”

Two games that we talked in detail last week dealt with the Smart Money concept.  Both Houston, visiting Denver, and Kansas City, visiting Tampa Bay, were attracting a huge number of bets.  In the case of KC they were getting over 90%  of the bets.  Yet in both games, the number had moved against the teams generating all that action.  So what happens?  Underdog Tampa Bay wins outright 34-31 and Denver pounds Houston 31-13 to easily make their number.  Just another example of how invaluable the information on Sports Insights really is.  On to the weekend:

Kansas City @ New Orleans – Sun. 1:00 (CBS)

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Once again Kansas City is favored against an NFC South opponent.  This time the line opened -4.5 … and KC is getting 82% of the Straight bets and 91% of the Parlays and Teasers … and yet the line is going down again!  Here’s yet another instance of the Smart Money Method coming in to play.  Now that the Wiseguys have had half a season to assess, watch for this to happen more as we head into the stretch run.

Detroit @ Jacksonville – Sun. 1:00 (FOX)

This is a match-up of two, true ‘Jekyl and Hyde’ teams.  From one week to the next you don’t know what you are going to get from either team and that’s especially true this week for Jacksonville as Byron Leftwich is out at quarterback with a strained left knee.  That means former East Carolina star, David Garrard, will be getting the start.  The opening line was Jacksonville -3 and the Jags are getting 73% of the Straight bets.  Some places haven’t budged off of -3 and the ones that have only moved the money.  We see some 3-125’s and 3-120’s out there. Detroit started out winning their first 3 games on the road, but lost two weeks ago in Dallas before losing at home to Washington last week.  If you like the Lions this is a good spot to grab them, getting the plus money.

Teaser Of The Week

Back to our winning ways last week in a big way.  The Raiders won outright while getting 14 points from Carolina and the Patriots blew out the Rams by 22.  This week New England opened -8, they’re getting 85% of the Straight bets, but the line has moved down to -7.5 and even -7 at some places.  That’s a warning sign for Smart money on the Bills.  While that holds true for the Straight bets (we wouldn’t lay the 7.5 either), there’s another rule in effect here: Belichick OWNS Bledsoe.  He has for his whole career.  So New England to a pk. is the first leg.   The second leg is Dallas.  Parcells on Monday night, the Eagles looked in disarray last week, Dallas at home, all those factors make it too much to pass up teasing Dallas to +13.5 or +14, depending on your out.  Enjoy the games this weekend … T.B.