NFL Marketwatch Week 13 2011-12

By Daniel Fabrizio

The NFL Marketwatch column is written by Daniel Fabrizio, founder and president of, with the goal of  providing sports betting enthusiasts unprecedented insight into the NFL point spread market. The column takes an academic and contrarian view of the sports marketplace, as detailed in this article published in the Wall Street Journal, entitled, “A Contrarian’s Guide to Football Betting. is a leader in the sports information industry and has published a popular and best-selling Sports Investing series of books as well as articles on comparing the Sports Marketplace to the Financial Markets and Contrarian Sports Investing: Why It Works.

The column is normally published every Saturday morning. Readers can sign-up to receive an advance copy of the NFL Marketwatch, which is distributed via email on Saturday mornings. Sign-up to Receive the Early Edition of the NFL Sports Marketwatch

NFL Marketwatch Performance

Recap of Last Week’s “Game to Watch” (8-4 = 66.7%)

Sports Insights Marketwatch columns remain hot, particularly in football.  Last week’s NFL Marketwatch “Game to Watch” selection, the Kansas City Chiefs, held the Pittsburgh Steelers to 13 points, easily covering the double-digit point spread.  The Chiefs still lost 13-9, but this game was a relatively easy cover.  Sports Insights’ researchers like NFL underdogs receiving a “material” point spread (of seven or more points), and this strategy has helped yield a record of 8-4 (66.7%) for the NFL Marketwatch this season.  Since its inception more than six years ago, Sports Insights’ popular NFL Marketwatch column has produced a winning percentage of about 57%.  

Sports Insights’ Best Bets in the NFL have gotten off to a 20-14 (59%) record this season.  Last season, Sports Insights’ contrarian methods of Betting Against the Public, includingSquare PlaysBest Bets, and Marketwatch had a solid NFL season, producing a combined winning percentage of about 55% with NFL Squares at 57%.  Check out the Blog for timely betting trends reports, plus original analysis on featured games and strategies.

View Last Week’s Column

Tracking Public Performance

There were relatively few lopsided-bet games last week, with the Public going 2-3 in in lopsided-bet games.  Interestingly, two games landed right on the point spread (and were a “push”), showing the importance of shopping for the best line.  Carolina and New England won for the betting public, but Cincinnati, Seattle, and Pittsburgh all lost for the Public.  The Steelers’ loss, in particular, was a big loss for the Public (and good for the sportsbooks) because it was a heavily-bet Sunday night game.  Overall, the public is now a cumulative 49-46 (51.6%) in lopsided-bet games this year.  This has been a good year for the Public so far, and the 51.6% winning percentage highlights the fact that it is extremely difficult to overcome the 52.4% barrier that is needed to beat the sportsbooks (and -110 odds).  Over the past six seasons, the public has been correct only about 48% of the time against the spread in “lopsided-bet” games,  which are defined as games having 65% or more bets on one team.

Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints

It’s not often that you can get a 7-4 team and an almost double-digit point spread.  But that’s exactly what we will take in this weekend’s edition of the NFL Marketwatch.  The Detroit Lions are visiting a hot New Orleans Saints team and are receiving +9 points as visiting underdogs.  To most sports fans, the Saints are a “known quantity” who won the Super Bowl just a few years ago.  The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, are not getting the respect they deserve, especially after losing 27-15 to Green Bay.  Although the loss to Green Bay was definitely “respectable” — it was in front of a huge Thanksgiving television audience.

The line history graph below, which is available to all Premium and Premium Pro members, shows how the NFL Betting TrendsNFL Betting System plays and weather alerts have affected line movement for this game at Pinnacle.

The Lions have gone just 2-4 over their last six games, after starting the season at 5-0.  So, we are “buying low” by taking the Lions — and appear to be “selling high” by betting against the Saints this week.  The Saints are coming off of a blowout win (49-24) over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football — and have gone 4-1 over their last five games.  In addition, Drew Brees and the Saints boast the best offense in the NFL in terms of passing yards and total yards.  The Saints are a close second to Green Bay in points scored. More than three-fourths (76%) of the bets are taking New Orleans, so we will “bet against the Public.”

Some other reasons to like Detroit:

  • The Lions have the 6th-best defense in the NFL against the pass — so they can challenge Drew Brees.  As a comparison, the Saints rank 27th in terms of passing yards yielded (although this stat is misleading because of the points the Saints have posted this year; teams try to pass in an attempt to get back into games.).
  • The Lions have scored the 4th-most points in the NFL, so they can also score some points.  The Saints are 2nd in the league in points scored.
  • The Lions are 5th in the NFL in INTs and 10th in sacks.  The Saints are 28th in INTs and 20th in sacks.  
  • Overall, this looks like a great game — and a potential NFC playoff preview.  We like getting a fairly sizable point spread.

The latest line is generally available at Detroit +9.  At the time of this article, if you shop around for the best line, the latest lines at public books such as Bodog has the best odds associated with that point spread.

Detroit Lions +9 (Bodog)

If the NFL Marketwatch has helped you improve your handicapping skills and bottom line, then try Sports Insights’ Premium Pro Membership.  It should be another exciting NFL weekend. Keep NFL Marketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to for the latest Real Time OddsNFL Betting Trends and NFL Betting System Picks. I’ll be back next Saturday with the new edition of NFL Marketwatch. Enjoy the games!

Daniel Fabrizio