NFL Marketwatch Week 17 2009-10

NFL Marketwatch – Week 17
12/31/2009 11:01 AM EST
By Daniel Fabrizio

Welcome to this week’s edition  of the NFL 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 NFL Marketwatch!  The column appears on every Saturday afternoon. Signup to receive an advance copy of the NFL Marketwatch which is emailed out on Friday mornings at 11am est.

Every week he speaks directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest online sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and the “sharps” are pounding. He also utilizes the award-winning betting tools and betting systems found on to uncover hidden value in the coming weekend’s games.  If the NFL Marketwatch has helped you to improve your handicapping skills and bottom line, then Try’s Premium Pro Membership. You’ll receive our Best Bets plays. They are emailed out on weekdays at 6:25pm et, and on weekends by 12pm et. On average,’s Best Bets have been consistently profitable across every sport!

NFL Marketwatch – NFL Week 17

Recapping Last Week

NFL Week 16 was the Christmas gift the sportsbooks have been waiting for all season. All sportsbooks reported another solid weekend with most retaining between 4-5% of their handle. The final two weeks of the NFL regular season always carry a lot of surprises.  The old saying holds true this time of year, “Misery loves company.”  The role of the spoiler is a powerful motivator in the final weeks of the season. Teams with nothing to play for come out and play their best games of the year against teams trying to make the playoffs. The big decisions for the books were Tampa, a 14-point underdog, beating New Orleans; Carolina, a 9-point underdog, pounding the New York Giants; and the New York Jets, which opened as 7-point underdogs, spoiling Indy’s undefeated season. Chicago beating Minnesota on Monday Night Football was the final nail in the coffin for the betting public. The sportsbook industry looks to continue this positive momentum into the final Sunday of the regular season. As we mentioned in last week’s column, the last two weeks of the NFL regular season historically favor betting home underdogs. There is a good chance for the sports betting industry to close out the regular season on a high note.

Our Games to Watch continued its wining ways, going  2-1, and for the season putting us above .500 and back to even money, 23-21-2, 52.3%. It’s been a tough year for betting against the public, but we’ve stuck to our guns and are in a good position to capitalize on the Public’s tendency to overvalue road favorites in the last two weeks of the regular season. We’ll look to finish the season strong — and in the black for our fifth consecutive year. analysis shows that in games with over 64% of the action on one side, the Public took it on the chin, going 3-5. For the season, that puts the Public in the red with a record of 61-60 = 50.4%. To put this into perspective: over the previous 3 NFL seasons, in games where the Public was at least 64% on one team, the Public posted a record of 128-208 = 38.1%.  Needless to say, the 2009 NFL season has gone the way of the “Square.”

View Last Week’s Column:

NFL Week 17  – Games to Watch

The NFL Marketwatch column takes a truly unique approach to sports betting.  We don’t handicap games – we handicap the sports betting marketplace.  We utilize the betting tools and statistics found on to pinpoint the week’s most profitable betting opportunities.

We anticipate Chicago, San Fran, Atlanta, Baltimore, San Diego, and Tennessee to be the most “lopsided-bet” games of the week. Visit to view LIVE wagering statistics from multiple online sportsbooks on every NFL game.

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

This match-up is seeing a huge, overwhelming landslide of bets coming down on the Chicago Bears.  Almost 90% of bets are taking the Bears, who are playing the hapless 2-13 Detroit Lions.  We see this as a good opportunity to “Bet Against the Public” — and grab some good contrarian line movement.  The line opened at Detroit +2.5 and has made a huge move to Detroit +3, with good “vig/odds” pricing.

In addition to line movement value, we like Detroit for a number of other reasons, including:

  • Selling Chicago’s impressive Monday Night showing.
  • Smart Money play triggered by 5Dimes as alerted by SportsInsights’ Premium Pro feature (47-40, + 8.2 units).
  • In addition, we like home dogs — particularly at this time of year.

Detroit Lions  +3 +105 (Bet at CRIS +3 +105)

San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams

This is an interesting match-up that one of our offshore contacts circled.  Our contact said that a few of his sharpest bettors got down on the St. Louis Rams.  Indeed, SportsInsights had a Smart Money play triggered by Carib (33-16, +12.9 units).  The Rams are seeing less than 25% of spread bets.  Note that because many of the games are relatively “meaningless” with respect to the playoffs, there is less action on the games this week.

The 1-14 Rams are at home — taking on the 7-8 San Francisco 49ers.  As our readers know, we are keen on home dogs near the end of the NFL season.  This is a divisional rivalry — so we should have a “live” home dog going, stirred up by the home crowd in the season finale.  Finally, if you shop around, you can now grab extra value by getting 7.5 points — more than a TD worth of a point spread.

St Louis Rams +7.5 -105  (Bet at Bodog +7 -105)

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

This is a classic Pepto Bismol game.  Baltimore is playing for a playoff spot while Oakland is wrapping up another abysmal season.  Public money has bid up the point spread from Baltimore -10 to -11.  This game is one of the heavier-bet games this week because of the playoff implications and is seeing 75% of the bets take the heavily-favored Ravens.

We see a lot of value in getting Oakland as +11 home dog.  “Motivation” — such as playoff positioning — is often over-valued by the betting Public.  As a result, sportsbooks’ odds are also typically inflated.  Professional athletes have pride — and Oakland does not want to be a doormat.  Oakland, the “home dogs,” will be particularly “live” home dogs at this time of the season.  They can give it “their all” for the last game of the season.  The Raiders — and their home crowd will certainly be into it!

Oakland Raiders +11 (Bet at CRIS +11 -110)

Tennessee Titans vs. Seattle Seahawks

This game has several interesting storylines.  But first, let’s take a closer look at the NFL Marketplace.  Despite well over 80% of the bets coming on Tenn, “Sharp Money” has been coming in on Seattle.  We have the familiar pattern of “reverse line movement” — with the line moving from Tenn -5.5 down to -4 — even with the vast majority of bets taking Tenn.  Big money is getting down on Seattle.  There is still plenty of value in getting Seattle as a +4.5 home dog. Now, let’s take a look at some background.

After compiling the NFL’s best record last year, Tennessee started this season by going 0-6.  They then won 7 of 8 games to get close to the playoff picture — only to lose last week to San Diego.  Tennessee’s hot streak got some attention from the fans and media — and as a result, the Titans are grabbing a huge 85% of the bets this week.  We note, however, that both teams in this game are now out of the playoff picture.  There’s a chance, however, that the Titans will have more of a letdown after their heroic hot streak ended last week.

Tennessee is coming off a pounding from San Diego last week.  Let’s fade the Public, go with the “Sharps” — and take yet another “home dog.”

Seattle Seahawks +4.5   (Bet at Bodog +4.5 -110)

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

Games to Watch (23-21-2, 52.3%)
Detroit Lions
 +3 +105   (Bet at CRIS +3 +105)
St Louis Rams +7
-105   (Bet at Bodog +7 -105)
Oakland Raiders +11    
(Bet at CRIS +11 -110)

Seattle Seahawks +4.5   (Bet at Bodog +4.5 -110)

It should be another exciting NFL Weekend. Keep NFL 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 NFL Marketwatch.
Enjoy the games!