By Micah Roberts
So you want to ride a team’s losing streak like everyone did last year for the first seven weeks, but you‘re in a quandary of what‘s right, wrong and real. Yes, the Bills are bad, but 14 points against the Patriots who showed further signs of being nothing like the 2007 Patriots after melting in New Jersey last week doesn't sound promising.
I know, we can pick on the Browns. They’re 0-2 and they were ripe for the picking last year, but when I look at their games this year, they have been competitive, pushing in week one at Tampa Bay and barely losing at home to the Chiefs and now I have to lay 10 ½-points with the Ravens, a team that only scored only 10 points in each of their first two games. No Thanks, that new and improved offense Baltimore has looks as bad as the Browns with Seneca Wallace running the show.
When I look at the NFC with their six 0-2 teams, it doesn’t get any easier. Despite the Texans being 2-0 with two great wins, picking on Dallas this week doesn’t seem like a good deal. Nor does putting any faith in the Vikings laying 11 against the Lions, a Detroit team whose offense looks crisper than the Vikings with Brett Favre looking like he’s still working out training camp kinks.
Aaahh, the Rams. Yes, there’s a team to jump all in against. But wait, they’ve got a push and cover in their two games and they have a quarterback who looks nothing like Marc Bulger. And I have to lay 3½-points with the Redskins, a team who should be 0-2 as well. No thanks!
I could make a case for Cincinnati laying 3-points at Carolina. I like the angle of picking on Jimmy Clausen in his first start against a very good Bengals defense. But that’s when the doubt comes into play and week one and two ghosts of bad plays keep returning and reminding me of how great a play it was to take the Eagles last week against the Lions and their back-up starting.
Of course this is all an exaggeration, but it’s based on real moments I’ve seen from all my years behind the counter when bettors go into a tail spin. Right now, the bettors have no confidence and are trying to get a read on anything possible to give them a lean.
This is the time when many bettors turn to paid handicapping services. If you don’t have a feel for it, and know it, and have to have action on the games as we all do, let the experts who are doing well help you. VegasInsider.com handicappers Bruce Marshall and Dave Cokin are both seeing things very clearly now. Pay them to get you out of the rut and back on track.
Here’s a look at some of the moves that have happened at Las Vegas sports books this week beginning with the 49ers visiting the Chiefs. The perception and ratings on the 49ers are back in order despite being 0-2. Their play Monday night showed everyone that 49ers ARE who we thought they were. In the Sunday night opener the Chiefs were a 1 ½-point favorite and by kickoff the 49ers had already been bet up to -1. The revised opener on Tuesday morning was -2½ and then bet up to where it sits now at -3.
The Eagles initially opened as 1-point favorite at Jacksonville with Kevin Kolb expected to start. Despite Andy Reid saying Kolb would be his starter, he quickly changed his mind Tuesday and announced Michael Vick would start. The initial reaction from the sports books had the Eagles -3 (even) but since has been bet down to 2½ flat.
The Colts opened up Sunday night as a 3½-point road favorite at Denver, but after watching the Colts look like their old self again against the Giants, the line quickly moved to -4½ and then eventually -6 by Monday afternoon until getting some Bronco buy-back putting the game where it’s at now at -5½.
The Patriots number has finally found a solid home at -14 against the Bills after climbing the ladder up from the opener of -11½. Had the Patriots beat the Jets in the same fashion as they did to Cincinnati a week earlier, this line would have been -17, but they didn’t and showed some major flaws in the loss.
Other games that have moved include the Packers dropping a full point down to -3 at Chicago, the Chargers moving from -3½ to -5½ at Seattle, and the Saints dropping from the early opener of -6 to -3½ against the Falcons following the Monday night game.
All these games have moved two points are higher from the opener:
Central Michigan +6 ½ from the opener of +8 ½ at Northwestern
Temple +13 ½ from the opener of +16 ½ at Penn State
Connecticut -20 from the opener of -18 against Buffalo
Georgia -1 at Mississippi State where they opened as the 1-point favorite
Air Force -13 ½ at Wyoming from the opener of -10 ½
Kansas State -7 from the opener of -5 against Central Florida
San Jose State +30 from the opener of +34 at Utah
LSU -10 from the opener of -6 ½ against West Virginia
UTEP -11 ½ from the opener of -9 ½ against Memphis
UNLV -10 ½ from the opener of -8 ½ against New Mexico
Arkansas State +11 at Troy from the opener of +13
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