NFL Marketwatch Week 20 2008-09

Sports MarketWatch
NFL Week 20 – Early Moves Playoff Edition
1/16/2009 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 Playoffs

Recapping Regular Season

Christmas started early in NFL Week 15 and 16, but the party ended for the sportsbooks in NFL Week 17.  All sportsbooks reported flat profits in Week 17 with most sportsbooks losing anywhere between 0%-2% of their handle. analysis shows that in games with over 64% of the action on one side, the Public came out on top, going 5-2 — making the Public 57-75 = 43.2% for the season. Games to Watch analysis stumbled in the last week going 0-1, making it 26-22-2 = 54.2% for the season.  Not bad for a free weekly column; imagine the money you’d have won by using our Premium Pro membership!  If you have enjoyed the insights this column provides, please be sure to visit and sign up for a Premium Pro Membership. Your bankroll will thank you!

2005 Games to Watch: 33-25 = 56.9%
2006 Games to Watch: 31-18 = 63.3%
2007 Games to Watch: 25-19 = 56.8%
2008 Games to Watch: 26-22 = 54.2%

Special Thanks

I’d like to thank the line managers at our contributing sportsbooks for taking the time to speak with me every week, allowing unprecedented access to their line boards and minds.  It’s been an education in itself. I’d also like to thank the loyal readers of Sports Marketwatch.  Your encouragement and support made this weekly column a joy to produce. I hope the Sports Marketwatch has shown readers the importance of line value – while helping them to another profitable NFL Season.  Visit to view Live Betting Statistics coming from the line boards of multiple sportsbooks.

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NFL Playoffs – Games to Watch  (0-2 = 0.0%)

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 of the year. Everyone, and their mother, wagers on the Super Bowl. From the casual “box-office-pool” – to the professional sports bettor – to the Superbowl commercials: everyone has some interest in the Superbowl.

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. “Public Money” dwarfs the amount of “Sharp Money” buying back the shaded lines.

Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The Public loves the Ravens right now.  The Ravens pounded the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs before holding the powerhouse Tennessee Titans to 10 points last week.  More than 60% of the bets of the bets are coming in on the Baltimore Ravens.  However, the line opened at Pittsburgh -5 and has moved to Pittsburgh -6.  This means that some “big money” is taking the Pittsburgh Steelers.

We’ll “bet against the Public” and take the Steelers — tagging along with the “big money” or “smart money.”  The Ravens have been on a roll — and six points seems like a lot of points to give in what might be a low-scoring game.  This is a good contrarian value on several levels.  Take the Steelers and give the points.

Play On Pittsburgh Steelers

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

Games to Watch – Playoff Editions (0-2 = 0.0%)

Pittsburgh Steelers  -6

It should be another exciting NFL Playoff run.  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