NFL Marketwatch Week 14 2011-12

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 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” (8-5 = 61.5%)

Last week’s selection, the Detroit Lions, couldn’t quite stay with the New Orleans Saints, dropping the NFL Marketwatch to 8-5, a 61.5% winning percentage.  The Lions lost 31-17, but were within a score of beating the big nine-point spread.  As we near the end of the NFL season, we will be scouring the board for large underdogs at home, as mentioned in this article.  As our readers know, Sports Insights’ team of analysts like NFL underdogs receiving a “material” point spread (of seven or more points) — and this strategy has proven to be a solid betting trend to follow.  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 22-15 (60%) record this season.  Last season, Sports Insights’ contrarian methods of Betting Against the Public, includingSquare PlaysBest Bets, and Marketwatch had a solid NFL season — and produced 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

Although this was a down week for the general betting public, it could have been much worse.  The public won heavily-bet games on both Sunday and Monday Night Football, with New Orleans and San Diego, rescuing square bettors.  The public ended the weekend at 6-7 on lopsided-bet games — with teams like Green Bay, Dallas, Philadelphia and Oakland all failing to cover the spread.  Before the big Sunday and Monday night games, the public stood at just 4-7 in these games.  Because of the heavier action on the evening games, “Joe Public” did not get completely crushed this weekend.  Still, the sportsbooks will take the 6-7 week for the public, which drops the public to a cumulative 55-53 (50.9%) record in lopsided-bet games this year.  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.

New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins

On the face of things, this match-up is setting up to be an “ugly play.”  On one hand, we have the first place New England Patriots (9-3), who are peaking at the right time and are making a strong run into the playoffs.  On the other hand, we have the lowly Washington Redskins (4-8) — in last place in the NFC East.  Our analysts circled this game early in the week because of the extreme betting percentages.  At the time of writing this article, only 8% of all bets are taking the Washington Redskins as home underdogs.  

As a result, this game fits into Sports Insights’ 80/20 NFL Betting System, which has won 68.8% against the spread this season.

In addition, the line movement has triggered a Sports Insights “smart money” alert, because the betting line had reverse line movement.  That is, the line opened at New England -8.5 or -9 — but is generally available at New England -8.  Even with more than 11 out of 12 bets taking the New England Patriots, the line has declined!  One of the offshore books we talk to noted that, “As soon as the line opened, some known sharps took Washington.  The Redskins are tougher than they seem — and this will be a game of interest for our book this week.”

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.

We will “bet against the public” and follow the “smart money.”  We’ll also keep our antacid nearby, as Tom Brady’s Patriots have been averaging 35 points per game over their past four games (and more than 30 points per game for the season).

Some other betting trends and statistics for this match-up:

  • The Patriots have won four games in a row, outscoring its opponents 140-63 over this span.
  • The Redskins have gone 1-7 in their last eight games.
  • As usual, we are trying to obtain value by “buying low” on the Redskins and “selling high” on the Patriots.  This approach typically yields value because the point spreads on the underdogs are expanded — due to betting trends that have the public overvaluing recent results.
  • The Redskins have been outscored by just 54 points this season.
  • Washington has the ninth-best passing defense in the NFL.  
  • Note that we are also near the end of the NFL season, where academic research points to a betting trend of value on home underdogs.  

Earlier this week, I joined Chad Millman on’s Behind the Bets podcast, discussing this game, as well as other contrarian betting opportunities for NFL Week 14.

Washington Redskins +8.5 (-115)

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