Monday, January 11, 2010

Cardinals Save The Day for Las Vegas Sports Books In An Absolute Thriller!

by Micah Roberts

There haven’t been ooh’s and aah’s in Las Vegas Sportsbooks all season like what was witnessed by the thousands who viewed Sunday’s Packers-Cardinals Wild Card matchup. The game resembled more like an Arena Football league type of game with non-stop action than an NFL game, at least by the standards set from the three previous uneventful Wild Card games over the weekend. However, unlike the old Arena league games, this game was the most heavily bet game of the weekend.

Usually the final game of the playoff weekend always has the most wagers just because of all the repeat wagers after the other games are over. Sometimes their winning bets from earlier games are rolling over from someone feeling lucky, and then sometimes it’s the unlucky who are trying to recoup their losses from the other games.

By Friday of last week, before any of the games started, several sportsbooks were already reporting that the Cardinals game had the most action of the four games by far -- both from the sharps and small money. The ticket count ratio was 6 to 1 at many books in favor of the Packers and the actual cash wagers resembled the same ratio.

When the opening line came out last Sunday night, many opened the game with the Cardinals a 3 (EVEN) or 2 ½-point favorite. That number continued to slide down all week until finally having the Packers as a 1-point favorite by Thursday. By kickoff on Sunday, most books closed with the Packers being a 3-point favorite -- a six point move in many cases.

Everyone had Packers fever. The public had just witnessed the same game last week in Arizona with Green Bay winning easily 33-7, despite the Cardinals not playing many of their starters. They had just seen the Jets dispose of the Bengals like they did last week and same with the Cowboys thumping the Eagles again, why not the Packers too. The Packers offense had been so crisp the last few weeks led by Aaron Rodgers and the defense had been almost equally as strong.

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