NFL Marketwatch Week 19 Playoffs 2005-06

Sports Marketwatch – Early Moves PLAYOFF Edition
NFL Playoffs – Divisional Playoffs
1/13/2006  11:01 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 Oasisabout 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 Playoffs

NFL Wildcard Weekend Recap
All sportsbooks reported a healthy Wildcard Weekend, retaining between 2-5% of their handle. analysis shows that the “Public” opinion was divided in all four games. No game received more than 59% of bets. Games to Watch – Playoff Edition started off poorly, going 1-3. For the season, that makes Games to Watch – Playoff Edition a dismal 1-3.
View last week’s column

NFL Playoffs
The NFL Playoffs are a totally different animal than the NFL Regular season. The amount of “public” square bets skyrockets. The culmination of this trend is the Super Bowl, the most wagered sporting event. Everyone, and their mother, wagers on the Super Bowl. For value-minded sports investors, this massive influx of “public” money means opportunity. During the NFL Playoffs, odds makers heavily weigh public opinion when deciding on a game’s betting line. They’ll shade a line 2-3 pts knowing that the public will be heavily on one side. The amount of “sharp money” buying back the shaded lines is dwarfed by “public money”.

We anticipate New England and Carolina will be the most “lopsided-bet” game of the weekend. Visit to view live wagering statistics from six online sportsbooks.

NFL Playoff Edition – Games to Watch

Washington Redskins vs Seattle Seahawks
View Live Stats –

The line managers at Oasis, 5Dimes, and Bowmans reported taking heavy two-way “Sharp” money. The line opened at Seattle -9 and pretty much stayed put all week. Washington is receiving a good amount of the early “Public” action. analysis is showing 60% of bets in this match-up are coming in on Washington. Simon Noble line manager at Pinnacle also reports, “We’ve written twice as many wagers on them (Washington) as on Seattle.” The “Sharps” also appear to be divided on this game. Bowmans reported taking a lot of early Seattle “Sharp” action at -8.5 and -9, causing them to move to -9.5 -115 on Thursday. 5Dimes and Oasis both reported taking two way “Sharp” action.

I like Seattle playing at home after a bye week. Let’s face it. The Redskins were lucky to walk away with a win against Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay pretty much handed them the game. I look for Seattle to pound Washington early and often on both sides of the ball.

Seattle -9.5

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos
View Live Stats –

New England looked impressive against Jacksonville as they begin their march for a third straight Super Bowl. Tom Brady now stands alone in the record books as he looks to improve on his 10-0 record in the playoffs. New England is receiving the most lopsided “Public” action of any game this weekend. analysis shows that New England is getting over 72% of the bets placed in this match up.

Denver is coming off a well-earned bye week. How important is a bye week? Noble Simone of Pinnacles stated, “Since 1990, home teams off a bye week in the playoffs are an impressive 40-10.” I’d say it’s important.

All the sportsbooks opened up at Denver -3 and have received a lot of “Public” action on New England +3. So far the “Sharp” money has been slightly on Denver -3. A lot of the sportsbooks are reporting heavy point buying and teasing of this game. If this game lands on Denver winning by 3pts, look for the sportsbooks to pay out winners on both sides.

Denver will be well rested and playing in front of a juiced-up crowd. They beat the Patriots once, why not again?

Denver -3

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts
View Live Stats –

The line opened at either -9.5 or -10 at most sportsbooks. The “Public” appears to be siding with Pittsburgh, who is receiving a little over 55% of the bets, but overall the “Public” and “Sharp” opinion on this game has been split. Indy hasn’t played a meaningful game in weeks, while Pittsburgh benefited from an early injury to Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer. I believe Indy will be prepared and ready to play this weekend. They will be out to prove they are Super Bowl material.

Indianapolis -9

Carolina Panthers vs Chicago Bears
View Live Stats –

This game is a mirror image of the New England vs Denver game. The line opened at Chicago -3 and has seen a lot of two way “Sharp” action, most buying off +3. Similar to the Denver game, the “Public” is all over the visiting underdog. SI analysis shows that over 67% of the bets placed on this match-up have come in on Carolina.

Like the Denver game, if Chicago wins by 3 points the sportsbook will be paying out on both sides. I think this will be an exciting defensive battle, but I believe Carolina’s ability to actually generate offense will prove the difference.

Carolina +3

So, here’s a wrap-up of analysis for the Playoff Edition of Games to Watch.

Games to Watch – Playoff Edition (1-3)
Seattle -9.5
Denver -3
Indianapolis -9
Carolina +3

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 with another special Playoff Edition of the Sports Marketwatch.

Enjoy the games!

Daniel Fabrizio