NFL Marketwatch Week 16 2005-06

Sports Marketwatch – Early Moves Edition
NFL Week 16
12/23/2005  9:25 AM EST
by Daniel Fabrizio

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Sports Marketwatch where Daniel Fabrizio, founder of gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NFL point spread market. If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all access pass with Sports Marketplace!  Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon he speaks directly with the line managers at Pinnacle, Bowmans, 5Dimes, Carib, and Oasis about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. So far, the first five weeks of the season have produced a lot of surprises. Dan takes a look at what’s in store for this week in the NFL.Sports Marketplace – NFL Week 16

NFL WEEK 15 Recap
NFL Week 15 was disastrous for the “Can’t Miss” Colts but prosperous for the sports betting industry. Most sportsbooks reported retaining between 3-5% of their handle. The sportsbooks were 5-4 in games with large money decisions, but as always, the ability to break up teasers/parlays is what makes or breaks any weekend. Steve Stone, line manager at Oasis, had this to say, “Indy, Seattle, and Dallas failing to cover really helped us out. There were a lot of parlays and teasers tied to those games.”

Week 15 was the first back-to-back profitable weekend for the sports betting industry since Weeks 9-10. That’s good news for the books, as they look to bounce back from a horrible November. analysis shows that in games with over 65% of the action on one side, “the Public” posted a negative 4-5 record, continuing to give back profits from Week 12-13. Games to Watch analysis took a small step backwards, going 1-2. For the season, that makes Games to Watch 29-23 = 55.8%.
View last week’s column

NFL WEEK 16 Preview
Christmas, falling on Sunday, has pushed the majority of games to Saturday afternoon. I expect handle sizes to remain strong as holiday shoppers look to relax by the fire, and watch some football. This time of year is always exciting for NFL fans. December is the month teams either hit high gear or self-destruct.

This time of year is tough for the oddsmakers as teams that can’t improve their playoff position look to sit starters. Two games come to mind: Indy at Seattle, and New England at the New York Jets. Scott Kaminsky, line manager at Bowmans, had this to say, “We’re waiting to post lines on the Indy and New England games. We’re hoping some more info is released on who’s starting.”

This time of year also has its share or miserable match ups: two teams going nowhere, i.e. Detroit @ New Orleans. Thank you “DIRECTV NFL Package!”

I’d continue looking for value in betting underdogs, as the sportsbooks over-shade lines in an attempt to recoup some revenue – and salvage something out of a dismal 2005 NFL season.

We anticipate Pittsburg, Chicago, San Diego, and Denver to be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week. Visit to view live wagering statistics from six online sportsbooks.

NFL Week 16 Sports Marketwatch – Games to Watch

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns
View Live Stats –

This is one of the most lopsided bet games of the week. I’m showing upwards of 80% on the spread bets coming in on Pittsburgh, with an incredible 90% of teasers/parlays.
I circled this game because Cleveland is playing a lot better than their 4-7 record. This will be a heated divisional game with both game plans focusing on defense and ball control. I love getting a +7.5 home dog when the total is 33pts. Pittsburgh has been a “Public” team all year. I feel the oddsmakers have taken this into account and shaded the line a good 2pts. This game will come down to a field goal.

Cleveland +7.5

San Diego Charges vs Kansas City Chiefs
View Live Stats –

One of the better match-ups this weekend. I circled this game because it reminds me of two weeks ago: Denver vs KC. The line opened at KC -1 but heavy Public action pushed the line to Denver -1.5. KC won that game by 4 points.

I see a similar match up and line movement in San Diego vs KC. 5Dimes reported, “We opened at KC Pick and immediately received some Sharp money. We moved the line to KC -1 but the flood of Public money has been on San Diego pushing the line to San Diego -1 “. I’m once again following the Sharp money.

Kansas City +1.5

Minnesota Vikings vs Baltimore Ravens
View Live Stats –

As the drastic line movement would suggest, the sportsbooks have received a lot of Sharp action on Baltimore. Simon Noble of Pinnacle sports reports, “We initially opened this game at Minnesota -1 -112. The sharps were unanimous in backing Baltimore even before the Monday night 48-3 blowout of the Packers. The sharps mostly got their bets in on Baltimore as a small dog, playing the Ravens down to -1 -114. After the Monday Night game the public followed the sharps, driving the price up to Baltimore -2.5 -113. We have accepted three bets on Baltimore for every one on Minnesota.”

Bowmans, Oasis, and 5Dimes all report taking Sharp action on Baltimore. I believe there is still value in taking Baltimore -2.5. I like the fact that all the books I spoke to reported heavy Sharp action.

Baltimore -2.5

So, here’s a wrap-up of analysis for this week’s Games to Watch for NFL Week 16.

Games to Watch (29-23)
Cleveland Browns +7.5
Kansas City Chiefs +1.5
Baltimore Ravens -2.5

It should be another wild NFL Weekend. Keep Sports Marketplace picks handy and your browser pointed to for the latest real-time updates using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.

I’ll be back next Friday to update you on the latest line movements directly from the top online sportsbooks.

Enjoy the games!
Daniel Fabrizio