NFL Marketwatch Week 15 2008-09

Sports MarketWatch
NFL Week 15 – Early Moves
12/12/2008 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 14

Recapping Last Week

NFL Week 14 was another tough Sunday for the sportsbooks. Most sportsbooks reported being flat or losing 1%-2% of their handle.  The New York Giants losing outright at home, San Fran shocking the New York Jets, and New England failing to cover — kept the Public from parlaying their way to a huge payday.  Let’s just say there were a lot of frustrated sports bettors with 4 out of 5 team correct in their “5 teamers.” analysis shows that in games with over 65% of the action on one side, the Public had a winning day going 6-5,  making the Public 50-60 = 45.4% for the season. Games to Watch analysis bounced back in a big way and produced a winning day, going 3-1, making it 22-20-1 = 52.4% for the season.  Let’s see what the Sports Marketplace has in store for us this week — as we hope to continue our forward progress.

View Last Week’s Column:

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

NFL Week 14 Sports MarketWatchGames to Watch (22-20 = 52.4%)

Tampa Bay Bucs vs. Atlanta Falcons

After Tampa Bay’s 15 point loss to Carolina in a battle for first place just a few days ago — on Monday Night Football — it looks like we will be able to grab some value on Tampa Bay this week.  Sports fans will remember the loss, even though the game was up for grabs entering the fourth quarter.  This looks like one of those opportunities to “buy at a low” — and indeed it is…  The Public is taking Atlanta in this divisional match-up at a rate of almost two out of every three bets.

Atlanta is a much-improved team at 8-5 and is just one game behind TB in the NFC South.  Even though Atlanta is much improved recently, Tampa Bay is a battle-hardened playoff team.  Let’s “bet against the Public” and grab TB plus the points.

Tampa Bay Bucs +3

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

This looks like the easiest game of the week to play.  Tennessee has the best record in the NFL with just one loss all season.  Houston has a 6-7 record and has given up more points than they have scored.  Tennessee is giving just three points to the Houston Texans.  Looks like an easy game to cash, right?

The “Smart money” doesn’t think so, and neither do we.  One of our Offshore contacts told us about “early sharps on Houston moving the line lower.”  The line opened at Tennessee -3.5 at some books — but even with three out of four bets landing on the Titans, the line has moved to Tennessee -3.  We’ll go with the “Smart money” and go with one of the ugliest games on the board.  Value is often where you least expect it.  Take the home dog — and have your antacid nearby.

Houston Texans +3

Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals

In this battle of first-place teams, it is surprising to see the betting so hugely one-sided — but that’s exactly what we are seeing.  A huge number of bets (almost 90%!) is landing on the Arizona Cardinals.  The Public figures that the home team Cardinals are giving up “just three points” — but in this game, those three points can mean the difference between winning and losing “against the spread.”  In addition, because the Public is pounding their hard-earned money down on the Cardinals, the “line and vig combo” is moving just a bit, adding some more value to this play.

This game has playoff implications and should be close.  We’ll “bet against the Public” and take the visiting Vikings plus the field goal.

Minnesota Vikings +3

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

Games to Watch (22-20 = 52.4%)

Tampa Bay Bucs +3
Houston Texans +3
Minnesota Vikings +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