NFL Marketwatch Week 20 Playoffs 2005-06

Sports Marketwatch – Early Moves PLAYOFF Edition
NFL Playoffs – AFC/NFC Championship Weekend
1/20/2006  10:01 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 Marketwatch

NFL Playoff Recap
All sportsbooks reported another profitable NFL playoff weekend, retaining between 5-8% of their handle. Indianapolis and New England losing outright broke up a lot of parlays and teasers. analysis shows that “Public” opinion was divided in all four games. No team received more than 62% of the bets. Games to Watch – Playoff Edition bounced back after a poor Wildcard Weekend, going 3-1. For the season, that makes Games to Watch – Playoff Edition a mediocre 4-4.
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 Carolina to 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

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos
View Live Stats –

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an improbable win over the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts. Nobody – and I do mean nobody – (unless you happen to live in Pittsburgh) thought the Steelers had a chance…and that’s, of course, why they play the games. The Steelers now attempt to be the first team to win three straight road playoff games.

The Denver Broncos benefited from five New England turnovers and some “phantom” calls to put away the two time defending Super Bowl champs. The Denver Broncos will be looking to capitalize on their home-field dominance as they attempt to extend their 8- game home winning steak.

The point spread market opened at Denver -3 at all sportsbooks. The line has sat there all week. The line managers at Oasis, 5Dimes, and Bowmans reported taking heavy two-way “Sharp” money. The Public, on the other hand, has sided with the Steelers who have received a little north of 60% of the bets placed on this game.

I believe the Steelers’ bubble is about to burst. I like Denver playing at home in Mile High. It’s going to be a “grind-it-out-smash-mouth” game but I believe Denver has more weapons on offense and should be able to move the ball.

Denver -3

Carolina Panther vs Seattle Seahawks
View Live Stats –

Carolina looked impressive against Chicago on way to their second straight road playoff game. Carolina, like Pittsburgh, will attempt to be the first playoff team to win three straight games on the road.

Pinnacle opened at Seattle -6 but took a lot of early “Sharp” money on Carolina that forced the line down to Seattle -3.5. Oasis and 5Dimes report taking a lot of two-way “Sharp” money at -3.5.

Deshaun Foster is out of the lineup and this will hurt Carolina’s reliable run game. Seattle has wiped off the rust and worked through the playoff jitters in last week’s win over the Washington Redskins. I believe this weekend Seattle puts it in high gear – sending Carolina packing for home.

Seattle -3   Bet at Seattle -3

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

Games to Watch – Playoff Edition (4-4)
Denver -3
Seattle -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