NFL Marketwatch Week 16 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” (10-5 = 66.7%)

In a shock to the football world this season, Kansas City defeated the powerhouse, and previously undefeated, Green Bay Packers.  This play looked so ugly, that we didn’t even bother listing match-up information last week!  And this is exactly the reason why there was potential value on the Chiefs last week — and the reason why the NFL Marketwatch has put together almost a decade’s worth of winning selections for our readers.

The NFL Marketwatch is now 10-5, or 66.7%, against the spread this NFL 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’ NFL Best Bets and NFL Marketwatch have combined for about a (60%) record this season.  Last season, Sports Insights’ contrarian methods of Betting Against the Public, including Square 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 had a down week this past weekend in lopsided-bet games, which are defined as games having 65% or more bets on one team. The public ended the weekend 3-5 on lopsided-bet games — with teams like Green Bay, the New York Giants, and Detroit all failing to cover the spread.  On the other hand, public teams like New England, New Orleans, and Dallas all covered the spread.  The 3-5 record last week brings the public to a cumulative 64-63 (50.4%) 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.

San Diego Chargers vs. Detroit Lions

This was a very interesting week for our team of analysts at Sports Insights. Our researchers typically look for relatively large home underdogs at this time of the NFL season.  With no such play in sight, we scanned the boards for lopsided-bet games as well as heavy betting activity.  This week’s “game to watch” is a match-up between two potential playoff teams, the San Diego Chargers and the Detroit Lions.

The public is backing the resurgent San Diego Chargers, who have won three games in row, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 109-38 over those games.  Chargers quarterback, Philip Rivers, has not thrown an interception in four games and has raised his season QB rating to almost 90, closer to his career QB rating of 96, which is the third-highest in NFL history, behind Aaron Rodgers and Steve Young.  The public is backing the red-hot Chargers and Rivers to the tune of more than 75% of all bets, including teasers and parlays.  We will “bet against the Public” — and take the Detroit Lions as a rare favorite, as the NFL Marketwatch “Game to Watch.

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 Detroit Lions are a “quiet” 9-5 because they are in the same division as the powerhouse Green Bay Packers.  We were a little surprised to see the public backing a 7-7 visiting team over a 9-5 team, but this made us circle the game as a potential contrarian value selection.  We spoke with one of our offshore sportsbook contacts and he agreed that “there are a lot of good games this week.”  He noted that “the Lions-Chargers game moved off of the key-three number.” 

CRIS opened this game at Detroit -3, but early betting on San Diego caused the line to tick down to Detroit.  We like “betting against the public” and grabbing the line value and giving just 2 points with Detroit.  Here are some other reasons to like the Detroit Lions -2 this week:

The latest line is generally available at Detroit -2.5.  At the time of this article, if you shop around for the best line, the public book SportsInteraction (SIA) has the best combination of point spread and odds.  Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Detroit Lions -2 (-105) (SIA)

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