NFL Marketwatch Week 3 2008-09

Sports MarketWatch
NFL Week 3 – Early Moves
9/19/2008 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 3

Recapping Last Week

NFL Week 2 went the way of The Public.  JC, head lineman at Skybook, reported a profitable College Football Saturday, followed by a bad NFL Sunday. A lot of late comebacks, plus a couple of lopsided-bet games that landed “close to the number” really hurt the books (namely, Seattle and Indy).  When a game lands close to the number, the sportsbooks end up paying out a lot of teasers on both sides — which makes for a long day of payouts on Monday morning.  Seattle, Indy, Green Bay, and New York all went the way of the Public.  The Sunday night game once again saved the sportsbooks from getting pounded even more. analysis shows that in games with over 65% of the action on one side, the Public went 3-3 and 9-9 for the season. Games to Watch analysis got back to its winning ways, going 2-1. We’re back to .500 and in a great position to start making some money.

View Last Week’s Column:

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We anticipate Buffalo, NY Giants, Carolina, and Dallas to be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week.  Visit to view LIVE wagering statistics from multiple online sportsbooks.

NFL Week 3 Sports MarketWatchGames to Watch

Cincinnati Bengals +13.5 over New York Giants
If people didn’t believe in the Superbowl Champion New York Giants, they certainly do now!  The Giants are now 2-0 and lead the NFL in “net points” or “points for” minus “points against” with a +37.  The Giants are collecting about two-thirds of the bets — even with a large line of Giants -13.5.

In this game, we want to “bet against the public” and “sell” the Giants after last week’s dominating performance.  We’d note that the Giants beat up on St. Louis, currently the league’s doormat (0-2, -63 “net points,” worst in the league by a wide margin).  At the same time, we want to “buy” an underperforming Cincy team.  The Bengals finished last season just below .500 (with a 7-9 record) and scored about as many point as they gave up.  On the other hand, the Giants scored just slightly more points than they gave up in the 2007 regular season.

We don’t think the Giants have improved so much that they command such a large line — even at home.  The point spread is growing as we speak.  With the public jumping on the Giant bandwagon, the line is steadily increasing and should hit Cincy +14 or +14.5 at game time.  Skybook reports heavy Smart Money coming in Cincy.  We’ll take the points.

Cincinnati Bengals +13.5

Minnesota Vikings -3 over Carolina Panthers
This game will be one of the most “lopsided-bet” games of the weekend.  The Public can’t believe Carolina is getting +3.5 and they are betting it like they know the score.  A glance at the standings shows Carolina 2-0 and Minnesota 0-2.  Thus, the casual betting public is thinking that they will grab Carolina and the points and take the seemingly better team.  The Public may also be factoring in Viking RB Adrian Peterson’s sore hamstring too much.  It’s looking like he will be playing on Sunday.

If we take a closer look at the standings, we see that Carolina’s two wins AND Minny’s two losses were ALL close games.  Both of these teams have scored almost the same number of points that they have given up (even with 2-0 and 0-2 records!).  In 2007, the Vikings were just below the league’s elite, with “net points” (PF minus PA) of +54 while the Panthers were mediocre at best at -80.

Minnesota opened at -3 but Sharps have pounded the number off of the “key 3” to -3.5.  We’ll join the Sharps and take the better team from last year (discounting this season’s early win-loss records).  Grab the -3 that is still available at SIA.

Minnesota Vikings -3 (SIA)

Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 over Indianapolis Colts
This should be a great game between two of the NFL’s elite squads.  The teams’ combined 1-3 record (Indy is 1-1; Jax is 0-2) in this young season will make this a hotly contested game.  The Public still loves the Indianapolis Colts but it looks like Indy has lost a step.  Although the Jaguars have started the season off slowly, they have lost their two games by a combined 11 points.

SportsInsights’ sports marketplace stats verify that “smart money” is on Jacksonville.  With the majority of bets on Indy, the line actually moved from the opener of Indy -6 down to Indy -5.  The big, smart money is more than countering the Public’s bets on Indy.  We’ll join the smart money and take Jax in what should be a great game.  Grab the 5.5 points that is still available at some books.

Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5

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

Games to Watch (3-3)

Cincinnati Bengals +13.5
Minnesota Vikings -3 (Sports Interaction)
Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5

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