NFL Marketwatch Week 13 2008-09

Sports MarketWatch
NFL Week 13 – Early Moves
11/28/2008 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 13

Recapping Last Week

NFL Week 12 was another downer for the sportsbook industry.  November hasn’t been kind to the sports betting industry.  It’s been the worst November in the last 4 years, and we still have one more Sunday to go.  All sportsbooks reported losing anywhere from 3% to 5% of their handle, resulting in the third straight Monday with a long line at the payout window.  The only games that seemed to go the sportsbooks’ way were Houston beating Cleveland and the New Orleans Saints pounding Green Bay on MNF.  Pretty much every big game went the sportsbooks’ way – New England mauling Miami, and Chicago routing the St Louis,  plus the New York Giants continuing to outperform and hurt the sportsbooks. analysis shows that in games with over 65% of the action on one side, the Public continued its positive momentum, going 4-2,  making the Public 42-51 = 45.1% for the season. Games to Watch analysis continued its downward spiral, posting yet another 1-2 record, making it 18-17-1 = 51.4% for the season. It’s time to stop the bleeding and turn this around!

View Last Week’s Column:

We anticipate that Tennessee, Dallas, Baltimore, New York Giants, and the New York Jets will be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week.  Visit to view live wagering statistics from seven online sportsbooks.

NFL Week 13 Sports MarketWatchGames to Watch (18-17 = 51.4%)

Indianapolis Colts vs Cleveland Browns

Teams are scrambling for playoff spots and the cream is rising to the top.  Some of the old reliable NFL powerhouses have been hot — and the Indianapolis Colts are no exception.  The Colts have rang up four wins in a row — and the Public thinks they are the Colts of the past few years.  More than 90% of all bets are taking the visiting Colts over the Cleveland Browns.  That is huge!  We also want our readers to note that a huge 95% of teaser / parlay bets are on the Colts; teasers and parlays typically represent very “square” bettors.  The Public is all over the Colts and you know what that means: we want to “bet against the Public” and take the Cleveland Browns as a live home dog.

Note that before Indy’s winning streak, they were 3-4.  Even now, the Colt’s “points for” minus “points against” is only 247 – 244 = +3.  Even with the Public pounding their hard-earned money on the Colts, the sportsbooks have left the line solidly at Colts -4.5.  The books look very content at taking the other side at Cleveland +4.5.  We’ll join the sportsbooks, bet against the Public — and look for Cleveland to at least stay close in this game at home.  If you shop around, you can find some +5’s around.

Cleveland Browns +5

Atlanta Falcons vs San Diego Chargers

This match-up falls into out “buy low and sell high” mantra.  We’re selling Atlanta after its big win over Carolina — and buying San Diego on its lackluster performance in the previous week against a resurgent Indy team.  The Public noticed these performances and is taking Atlanta plus the points to the tune of 70%.  You don’t see the Public taking underdogs at this rate that often — and this is the same reason that you don’t often see our Sports MarketWatch pick favorites very often.

The NFL marketplace has been interesting for the Falcon-Charger game.  The line opened at San Diego -5.5.  We believe that the marketplace was surprised that the Public was on the underdog Falcons at the 70% rate they have been getting bets down on Atlanta.  The line has been getting pushed down — and you can now get the Chargers -4.  The past few years, San Diego has been hyped as a Superbowl contender.  The Public is disappointed in the Chargers and is starting to jump on the Atlanta bandwagon.  We like the value of the 1.5 line movement (especially into the “key 4” number) — as well as a San Diego team at home — with its playoff-backs against the wall.  Give the points.

San Diego Chargers -4

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots

NFL fans have been looking forward to this game!  The Steelers are 8-3 and the Patriots are 7-4.  New England is starting to pull it all together — but because of their early-season difficulties, the Pats are just a 1 point favorite at home.  We believe there is value on the Pats at home at -1 — particularly because the Public remembers their early season slump.

NE QB, Matt Cassel, has been “coming into his own” and there is even talk of Tom Brady being on the trading block!  There are also stories about Cassel making a huge name for himself — and the potential for him signing a huge contract at some point in the near future (read: contract year!).  Either way, New England is looking strong in the QB position and is gaining momentum at the right time of the season this year.

New England Patriots -1

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

Games to Watch (18-17 = 51.4%)

Cleveland Browns +5
San Diego Changers -4
New England Patriots -1

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