NFL Marketwatch Week 15 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 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” (9-5 = 64.3%)

Last week’s selection, the Washington Redskins, stayed with the New England Patriots, surprising many bettors.  In the end, the Patriots prevailed 34-27, but the Redskins covered the point spread, which favored the Patriots by more than a touchdown.  The NFL Marketwatch is now 9-5, or 64.3%, against the spread during the 2011 season.  As we near the end of the NFL season, we will be searching for value on large home underdogs, 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

The public started the weekend slowly once again, but ended strongly to end the week 6-5 in lopsided-bet games.  In addition, the public won the heavily-bet games on Sunday Night and Monday Night Football, making it a long day of payouts for the sportsbooks.  The public ended the weekend at 6-5 on lopsided-bet games — with teams like New England, Pittsburgh, Detroit and San Francisco all failing to cover the spread.  However, many public teams, such as Green Bay, the New York Giants, Seattle, and New Orleans all covered the spread.  The 6-5 record last week brings the public to a cumulative 61-58 (51.3%) 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.

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Will the Green Bay Packers go undefeated, have a perfect season, and win the Super Bowl?  Everyone is jumping on the Packers’ bandwagon — and this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs is currently one of the heaviest-bet games of the week.  A vast majority of bets are on Green Bay — even with a hefty point spread of around two touchdowns.  As the Packers continue their march towards greatness, the media attention will intensify.  This kind of media attention can lead to over-valuation.

The extreme, lopsided betting alerted us about potential value in this game.  Sports Insights has been featured by ESPN’s Chad Millman and the Wall Street Journal based on our80/20 rule in the NFL.  This match-up has an extreme betting percentage of 91% of spread bets on the heavily-favored Packers — pointing to value on the Chiefs plus the big points.  In addition, one of our offshore contacts noted that “the point spread actually dropped from its opener of Chiefs +14 (at CRIS & PinBet) to +13.5.”  This is a sure sign that some big, smart, bets are coming down on the heavy underdog KC Chiefs.  Some public books are still at +14.5 at the time of this writing.

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 can go into all of the reasons why Green Bay has been on a roll and sports a 13-0 record.  We can talk about Aaron Rodgers’ 39 TD passes, mere 6 INTs and 123 QB rating — and other reasons why we might be “selling the Pack at a high.”  We can also review KC’s troubles and their recent firing of their coach — and reasons why we could be “buying the Chiefs at a low.”  However, it’s the holidays and these extremes are giving me a pit in the stomach.  Suffice it to say, that this is one ugly play — which makes it a solid “contrarian value.”

This week, rather than looking at the match-ups and betting trends, we will review some thoughts related to Sports Insights’ philosophy of sports investing:

  • The point spread is a great “equalizer.”
  • In the NFL, Sports Insights research and betting trends show that there is value on a “material” point spread of 7 points or more.
  • Oftentimes, these types of games will result in a rout — but more often than not, data shows that the underdog finds a way to stay within a “point spread’s reach,” surprise the heavy favorite, or even find a “backdoor cover.”  
  • This game falls into several Sports Insights categories: “betting against the public” and following the “smart money.”

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.  The latest line is generally available at KC +13.5 to +14.  At the time of this article, if you shop around for the best line, the public book Bodog has the best combination of point spread and odds.

Kansas City Chiefs +14.5 (-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