NFL Week 2 – Early Moves
9/12/2008 11:01 AM EST
by Daniel Fabrizio
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Sports MarketWatch, where Daniel Fabrizio, founder of SportsInsights.com, 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 2
Recapping Last Week
It was a solid opening NFL weekend for the sports betting industry. All sportsbooks reporting a healthy first week handle. JC, head lineman at Skybook, put it best, “It was good to finally have the buzz back of an NFL Sunday in comparison to the grind-it-out feeling of MLB.” Most sportsbooks retained a little less than 1% of their handle. The Public was up big after the 1pm games, and then began to give it all back after the 4pm. The Sunday night Chicago at Indy game was huge for the books. Chicago , a +10 point underdog, winning outright on the road, broke up a lot of parlays and saved the books from a long day of payouts on Monday.
Our Games to Watch started the season off in the hole, going 1-2. Always remember that one weekend doesn’t make or break a season. Consistent winning means winning over an entire season. Anyone can go 5-0, but very few professional sports bettors can achieve a winning percentage above 55% for an entire season. Readers from last year will note that we started the season off slow, going 0-3 in week 1 and week 2. We ended the NFL Regular Season with a (26-19-2 = 57.8%) record. It’s about patience and believing in your research.
SportsInsights.com analysis shows that in games with over 65% of the action on one side, the Public won 50% of their games, going 6-6. SportsInsights.com Games to Watch analysis stumbled out of the gate, going 1-2.
View Last Week’s Column:
NFL WEEK 2
We anticipate Indy, New Orleans , Green Bay , and Pittsburgh to be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week. Visit SportsInsights.com to view LIVE wagering statistics from multiple online sportsbooks.
NFL Week 2 Sports MarketWatch – Games to Watch
207 Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This game caught the attention of our oddsmaker contacts immediately. Public money on Atlanta has dropped the line all the way from Tampa Bay -9 to the key number of -7. SportsInsights.com’s exclusive betting percentages capture the imbalance of bets, and show that a surprising 3 out of every 4 bets are landing on the visiting dog Falcons. It’s rare that the public piles onto a visiting dog — and rare for the NFL MarketWatch to select a favorite. However, sometimes the sports marketplace presents value on favorites.
This match-up is a good example of selling on good news. Atlanta had a surprise opening weekend win over Detroit . At the same time, this is a good example of buying on bad news. Note that the Tampa Bay Bucs suffered a tough loss to New Orleans in Week 1. We’ll use this combination of “selling good news” and “buying bad news” to grab a good NFL contrarian value. We’ll “bet against the public” and grab the 2 points of line value.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7 -105 (Skybook)
199 Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
This is our Pepto Bismol play of the week. MarketWatch readers know that we often need bad teams to “not stink.” In this game, we are cashing in on Green Bay ’s strong Monday Night Football (MNF) performance in the previous week. This means several things:
- A huge audience watched a convincing GB win.
- QB Aaron Rodgers, who took the reins over from Brett Favre, had one of the highest completion percentages in history — in their game as a starter.
- The MNF spotlight and sparkling results add fuel to the Green Bay-Favre-Rodgers story.
- The MNF appearance also means one less day of preparation for this week’s game against Detroit .
Detroit, in their opening Sunday, was less stellar. The Lions lost 34-21 to non-powerhouse Atlanta team — and the game wasn’t even as close as the score. Before you could blink, Atlanta ran the score up to 21-0 by scoring 3TDs in the first quarter!
The public is taking notice of Green Bay’s strong performance and Detroit’s poor performance by piling back onto the Pack’s back. A huge 85% of bets are landing on the visiting Packers. We’ll take a shot to Pepto and get down on Detroit +3.
Detroit Lions +3.5 (Sports Interaction)
191 Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
SportsInsights’ proprietary sports marketplace tools flagged this game for “smart money.” Early sharp action on Oakland pushed this line from Oak +4 to Oak +3.5. Notable in this line movement is the fact that almost 70% of the bets are taking KC. With two-thirds of the bets landing on KC, the line actually moved in the direction of Oakland. This means that some big money came in early and moved the line down from Oak +4 to Oak +3.5. Big money is also typically “smart money.”
We’ll bet against the public and join the “early sharps” in this match-up. Note that Oakland got “beat up” by Denver late Monday night — so we’ll be buying the Raiders after “bad news.” We like getting as much value as we can!
Oakland Raiders +3.5
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights.com analysis for this week’s Games to Watch:
Games to Watch (1-2-0)
- TAMPA BAY BUCS -7
- Detroit Lions +3.5
- Oakland Raiders +3.5
It should be another exciting NFL Weekend. Keep Sports MarketWatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com 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