NFL Marketwatch Week 9 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 recent 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” (5-3 = 62.5%)

Last week’s NFL Marketwatch “Game to Watch” selection, the Miami Dolphins, led late in the game, eventually losing in the fourth quarter to the New York Giants.  Still, the Dolphins easily covered the double-digit point spread, improving the NFL Marketwatch to 5-3 for the 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’ Square Plays and Best Bets have gotten off to a combined 25-21 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, 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

After several weeks of outperformance for “Joe Public,” the betting Public had a tough week.  Conversely, the sportsbooks had a great weekend and are back on path to have their typically good year during the busy football season.  The betting public had a bad weekend last week, going 2-5 in lopsided-bet games, with San Diego’s outright loss on Monday Night Football, gravy for the sports books.  This brings the public’s cumulative record to a solid 32-31 (50.8%) in lopsided-bet games this year.  Buffalo and Detroit were the only winners for the Public, while New Orleans, Baltimore, the Giants, New England, and San Diego all failed to cover.  There were two pushes in lopsided games, showing the importance of “shopping for the best line.”  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.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons

In one of the heavier-bet games of the week, the Indianapolis Colts are receiving just 12% of bets in their game with the Atlanta Falcons.  This is less than one out of every eight bets taking the Colts, plus the points!  The line opened at Indy +8 at CRIS (Pinnacle had Atlanta -9, but at +111 odds).  Even with the vast majority of bets taking Atlanta, the latest line has dropped to Indy +7.  This is an indication that the 12% of bettors includes some “sharp” and “big money” — that is more than counterbalancing the avalanche of bets on Atlanta.

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 go along with the smart, big money by taking the Colts, plus the points.  This week’s NFL Marketwatch selection falls into the 80/20 betting system highlighted by my article here — as well as a Wall Street Journal article highlighting Sports Insights last season.

Here are some other reasons why we like the Colts:

  • Like our selection last week (the Miami Dolphins), the Colts are winless this season (0-8).  The Dolphins are still winless — but they covered the spread for us last weekend.  
  • Most people have given up on the Colts this season.  This definitely qualifies as “buying at a low.”
  • One of our mantras is that the “point spread is a great equalizer.”  We don’t need “bad” teams to do something good, we just need them to “not get blown out.”  That is, we don’t necessarily need the underdog to win outright, we need them to stay close.  And the “point spread is a great equalizer.”
  • The Atlanta Falcons have won two games in a row, so we will “sell them at a high.”
  • We like the Colts +7.5 as a solid contrarian value.  Our team of researchers particularly like NFL underdogs receiving at least 7 points.  

If you shop around, you can grab the Colts at +7.5 at some “public books” such as SportsInterAction (SIA) or Bodog.  SIA has the better odds corresponding with the +7.5 at the time this article was written.

Indianapolis Colts +7.5 (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