NFL Marketwatch Week 12 2008-09

Sports MarketWatch
NFL Week 12 – Early Moves
11/21/2008 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 MarketWatch!

Every week he speaks directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. Dan takes a look at what’s in store for this week in the NFL.

Sports MarketWatch – NFL Week 12

Recapping Last Week

NFL Week 11 was another downer for the sportsbook industry. This was the first back-to-back losing Sunday for the industry this season.  All sportsbooks reported losing anywhere from 1% to 3% of their handle, resulting in another long day of payouts on Monday.  The only thing that seemed to go their way was the controversial San Diego vs. Pittsburgh ending — in which a clear touchdown was ruled a forward pass — and the points taken off the board.  The Public took it on the chin in that one. analysis shows that in games with over 65% of the action on one side, the Public continued it’s positive momentum, going 6-4,  making the Public 38-49 = 43.7% for the season. Games to Watch analysis continued its downward spiral, posting yet another 1-2 record, making it 17-15-1 = 53.1% for the season.

View Last Week’s Column:

We anticipate that New England, Chicago, Denver, Washington, Indy, and Green Bay will be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week.  Visit to view live wagering statistics from seven online sportsbooks.

NFL Week 12 Sports MarketWatchGames to Watch (17-15 = 53.1%)

Tampa Bay Bucs vs Detroit Lions

Our offshore contacts circled this game because early “Sharp” action on Detroit moved the line from Detroit +9 down to Detroit +7.5.  The current line is Detroit +7.5 but there are some +8.5’s available.  At this lower line, the betting percentage on “point spreads” is closer to 50% than we would expect — but the bets on teasers/parlays are still overwhelmingly on Tampa Bay (to the tune of 76%).  Thus: we’ll “bet against the Public” and join the “Sharps” on the winless Detroit Lions.

At 0-10, the Lions are the league’s doormat.  Although the Lions are winless, their record ATS (against the spread) is a reasonable 4-6.  As we know, the point spread is a great equalizer — and in this case, getting more than a TD on Detroit — as a home dog — looks like it has some positive value.

Detroit Lions +8.5 (SIA)

Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons

A few years ago, you would never have thought that Atlanta would be involved in a key match-up between two of the NFL’s stronger teams — with playoff implications.  And — the Public STILL doesn’t believe it.  The Public loves the mighty Panthers in this game, with almost two out of every three bets taking the 8-2 Carolina Panthers.

The Atlanta Falcons have “quietly” gone 6-4 and are actually a very slight favorite at home.  The sportsbooks are leaving the line at Atlanta -1 / Carolina +1 and seem to love taking all the action they can get on Carolina +1.  We’ll “bet against the Public” and join the side of the sportsbooks.  This match-up pits an under-rated Atlanta squad against a Carolina team that has been red-hot all season.  Let’s “buy low and sell high” in this key divisional match-up.

Atlanta -1

New York Giants vs Arizona Cardinals

The Giants have been hurting contrarian sports investors all season.  The Giants have surpassed most sports fans’ expectations and seem to be on a runaway path to the Superbowl.  This game looks like a classic “bet against the Public” contrarian play.  A huge five out of six bets (84%) are on the Superbowl Champion Giants to continue their dominating ways.  And our readers know what that means: there is value going the other way!

In addition to “fading the Public” — we have the added value of joining “Sharps” in this game.  With almost every bet taking the Giants, the line actually moved in the other direction!  The line opened at NY Giants -3.5 but actually declined to the Giants -3.  This means that some “big money” has gotten down on Arizona and moved the line, offsetting the Public’s smaller bets.  Once again, we’ll “sell” the Giants at their recent peak and try to grab some value on the Arizona Cardinals at home.  The Giants have been lighting up the scoreboard with all of their W’s — but did you know that Arizona is in first place at 7-3?  Take the Cardinals as a “real live dog.”

Arizona +3

So, here’s a wrap-up of analysis for this week’s Games to Watch:

Games to Watch (17-15 = 53.1%)

Detroit +8.5 (SIA)
Atlanta -1
Arizona +3

It should be another exciting NFL Weekend.  Keep Sports MarketWatch 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 the new edition of the Sports MarketWatch.

Enjoy the games!

Daniel Fabrizio