Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roberts Week 8 NFL Plays: Six Games Starting With Broncos In London

Denver (+2 ½) vs. San Francisco: What a nice exhibition of football England gets to witness this year as the two participating teams in this goodwill match are a combined 3-11; it’s not exactly the type of gift a friendly country should give to an ally. However, this could turn out to be a pretty entertaining game. The 49ers’ Troy Smith will be making his first start since his rookie season of 2007 and can’t be much worse than what we’ve seen out of Alex Smith this season. Frank Gore should be licking his chops after seeing what Darren McFadden did to Denver last week.

The Broncos defensive meltdown last week can be attributed to not having two of their starters playing in the secondary, most notably, defensive leader Brian Dawkins patrolling the field. Both players will be back this week which should plug some of the gaping holes witnessed last week. Denver still doesn’t have a pass rush which should help Troy Smith gain a little confidence in the game and have a few successful drives helped by Gore.

On the Broncos offensive side, Kyle Orton will move the ball. He’s been able to do his thing against the best defenses in league such as the Ravens and Jets and should be able to do the same this week against the 49ers. I have a lean towards the Broncos to win the game outright and like the total to go over 41 ½ even more. This should be a pick'em game and getting +120 on the money line due the significant spread move this week presents good value.

Jacksonville @ Dallas (-6 ½): The Cowboys might get the spark they needed this week with any kind of shuffle within the organization by not having Tony Romo running the offense. Firing Wade Phillips might have been the best option, but a new quarterback runing the show is a good shake-up. Backup John Kitna surely doesn’t have Romo’s talent or raw ability, but he may help the Cowboys be more well rounded offensively and it’s doubtful he can be any worse in key moments of games like Romo has been this year. I like the Cowboys by 14 over the Jaguars 30th ranked defense.

Tennessee (+3 ½) @ San Diego: At what point do we say the Chargers just aren’t a very good team. We see they have the NFL top rated offense and defense statistically, but they also have one of the worst records at 2-5. Their Jekyll and Hyde routine home and away was disproved last week when the Patriots beat them at home the same way the Rams did in St. Louis two weeks earlier by taking advantage of Chargers mistakes and protecting the ball. However, the Chargers will make their run at some point and probably go on a six of seven game winning streak. If it’s to begin this week, it will be very close. I’ll go with the roll the Titans are on, along with taking the better coach at +3 and the hook.

Houston (+6) @ Indianapolis: This is a nice revenge spot for the Colts; at home, division rival and of course having the best quarterback in the league. However, my concern with the team rests with their injuries. Manning not having his reliable outlet of Dallas Clark, trusty hands of Austin Collie and the underrated Joseph Addai is a lot of pieces missing from his regular arsenal.

I think the Texans will have just as much motivation for this game as they did in their season opening win against the Colts. This is their franchise’s nemesis and they can take their next step in having their best season ever by winning Monday. I’ll take the points in this one as well as a small play on the money line at +210 or higher.

The best value on this game if liking Houston is to wait until Monday morning when all of Sunday’s final parlay liability is figured into Monday’s what-if scenarios. The Colts are a huge public team and the extended risk for each sports book on them will be much higher than the Texans which will force a move to -6 ½ or -7.

Green Bay (+6) @ NY Jets: The Jets are coming off a bye while the Packers come off the emotional high of finally beating Brett Favre for their fans. It could be a dead spot for the Packers, but I think of it more as a building block for them to get on a roll and take control of their division. I see the Packers playing well enough to win outright.

Buffalo @ Kansas City (-7 ½): I’ve been very impressed by the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills, but I love what the Chiefs are doing this season. They have the luxury of always having their ground game as the foundation of their offense. The two-headed monster of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are on their way to having 1,000 yard seasons each. Over their last four games, no one in the NFL has a better QB rating than Matt Cassel. I see the Chiefs winning by 14 or more in this one just because they have a nice fluid rhythm going and their not big headed enough yet to take the Bills lightly.

Other Games I have yet to bet but Leaning Towards
Miami @ Cincinnati (-1 ½): The Dolphins are a few plays away from being 5-1 on the year while the reality show driven Bengals are a few plays away from being 0-6. The Bengals run too loose of a ship and rely on emotion to carry them game to game. Right now, that emotion is on the down swing. Finger pointing by the disgruntled loose cannons on the Bengals are about to occur. The Dolphins are well coached and being 3-0 on the road is a perfect example of that. I’ll take the Dolphins to win.

Carolina @ St. Louis (-3 EV): At some point, I’m going to have to get on board with the Rams and acknowledge they are for real. They have been one of the best teams ATS (5-2) this season and Sam Bradford has been a very good leader minimizing turnovers. There aren’t a lot of positives going for the Panthers even though they won their first game of the year last week. They are also without DeAngelo Williams which helps me side with the Rams even more.

Tampa Bay (+3 EV) @ Arizona: Who would have thought that this would be one of only three games this week where neither team had a losing record. Each has played with a lot of heart and have been well coached maximizing the minimal talents they have. I’ll side with the better quarterback in Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman in what should be a very low scoring game.

Seattle @ Oakland (-2 ½): I like the direction both teams are going in. The Raiders are beaming with confidence after last week while the Seahawks are playing with a college football type enthusiasm inspired by their rah-rah coach. It could be a let down spot for the Raiders, but I don’t think their fans will let it happen as the bikers, grim reapers and Darth Vaders of the black hole will help the team feed off their energy. I could see Seattle resorting back to their road woes from week 2 and 4. I’ll lay less than a field goal with Oakland.

Pittsburgh (+1) @ New Orleans: Just when we thought it safe to count on the Saints after beating Tampa Bay with big plays two weeks ago, they follow it up by returning to their 2010 norm by losing at home to the Browns. Who are these guys; it‘s looking they are experiencing the same Super Bowl hang over that has afflicted many of the champs over the last decade. Laying less than a field goal at home with the Saints seems like a deal, but I‘m not buying. The Steelers defense will lead the way to a win against a team whose confidence has been shattered.

Washington (+2 ½) @ Detroit: Only two teams are worse defensively than Jacksonville and the Redskins are one of them. Matt Stafford returns for the Lions and all should appear to be well for the home team, but I like the Redskins to expose the Lions through the air and be the deciding factor in this one.

Minnesota (+6 ½) @ New England: Whether Tavaris Jackson or Brett Favre starts, the Vikings game plan is sure to feature the ground game of Adrian Peterson which is good news for Vikings supporters. If the Vikings could have gone that way for their first six games they could have limited the 14 turnovers caused by Favre this year and been leading comfortably within their division. I like the toned down version of the team led by Peterson this week allowing their solid defense not to be put in tough positions to stop opponents due to Favre’s mistakes. I’ll take the points with the Vikings whoever starts.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Roberts Week 8 NFL Plays: Broncos Bounce Back Big in London

Here are my NFL Picks for the Week. I'll have a write-up posted Saturday night on why I like the selections, but the bets are in (most anyway), so here's who I got:

Broncos +2 ½ vs. 49ers
Broncos +120 ML vs. 49ers
Broncos/49ers OVER 41 ½
Cowboys -6 ½ vs. Jaguars
Chiefs -7 ½ vs. Bills
Packers +6 @ NY Jets
Texans +6 @ Colts ( will bet Monday for best line)*
Texans +210 ML @ Colts (will bet Monday for best line)*

* The best value on this game if liking Houston is to wait until Monday morning when all of Sunday’s final parlay liability is figured into Monday’s what-if scenarios. The Colts are a huge public team and the extended risk for each sports book on them will be much higher than the Texans which will force a move to -6 ½ or -7 by game time.  

I have a few more I like for smaller unit plays which I'll include Saturday as well.                

Roberts' Week 9 College Football Plays: Spartans and Utes Best Bets

Here’s a look at the College Football Games I played this Week:

Michigan State +7 @ Iowa
Clemson -7 @ Boston College
Baylor +7 ½ @ Texas
Stanford -7 ½ @ Washington
Arizona -9 @ UCLA
California +2 ½ @ Oregon State
Utah -7 @ Air Force
Ohio State -25 @ Minnesota
Michigan -2 ½  @ Penn State
USC +7 vs. Oregon
Hawaii -14 ½ vs. Idaho

Week 9 College Football Betting Moves From Las Vegas

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 8 NFL Betting Moves From Las Vegas Sports Books

By Micah Roberts

More Favre Drama
Brett Favre is walking around Vikings headquarters on Thursday without his protective boot on and appearing to have no limp whatsoever. Reporters and team officials are all amazed at the speedy recovery from two fractures that occurred just last Sunday night at Green Bay. Vikings coach Brad Childress now looks like he doesn’t have the daunting task of telling Favre he has to sit, so in the process, now Favre can extend his cherished NFL record to 292 consecutive starts this week at New England.

What does that mean to the Las Vegas sports books in regards to the line? Absolutely nothing.

A few sports books have kept the game off the board this week until hearing more information on the injury, while other books have used the key word of “fractured ankle“ as enough info to comfortably keep up a line. Prior to the injury, the Patriots would have been a 4-point favorite. With the injury, the Patriots went to -5 and -6 at the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book. Over at the Mirage, when the alert came out that Favre was probable, the Patriots went to -6 ½ and -7 (-105) as people are betting more favorably on the Patriots now that the injured Favre is playing.

Hilton Race and Sports Executive Director Jay Kornegay believes the Favre we’ll see this week will be a shadow of his former self.

“You’re looking at a Favre that’s maybe 80% this week of what he’s been this year so far. We’re essentially getting a Brett FAV this week,” Kornegay said jokingly leaving the “R” and “E” out in a reference to the diluted product the Vikings will have on the field this week.

It’s very probable that his entire show, without the boot on, for everyone to see Thursday was an attempt to garner support in his attempt to start game No. 292. It‘s like he‘s saying, “Hey everyone, look at me, I’m limp, see.”

Why else would someone with a fractured ankle take off the boot until game day?

Based on the relative quiet nature of the line movement around town, it’s apparent that most books believe Favre’s ankle is not game ready.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants Odds Director Tony Sinisi sent the Favre probable alert to their clients with a recommendation of Patriots -6 ½.

“We’re treating this like a Favre “out” number,” said Sinisi. “Favre is going to be physically immobile and I expect their game plan to reflect that, taking much out of what Favre brings to the equation in a normal game out of this one.”

Sinisi also said he expects to see a bigger role this week out of running back Adrian Peterson.

That could be good news for Vikings supporters this week. Peterson routinely gets left out of plays called for him as Favre greedily audibles his own plays. A little less Favre and more Peterson could be just what the Vikings need to be competitive this week. 14 turnovers by Favre through six games isn’t acceptable for any NFL quarterback, not even a gimpy Favre.

A wounded, ego driven Favre, who is showing signs of his age, should do the right thing and sit after he takes the first series of snaps to keep his streak alive. Or better yet, just sit and allow Jackson to start the game and show his team that it’s not all about him and his personal records. But that surely won’t happen, because in Favre's eyes, it is all about him and no one else.

Cowboys May Be Fine Without Romo
There are other games of interest this week that don’t quite involve the drama of Favre, but have a much bigger impact than him in regards to the spreads beginning with Tony Romo and the Cowboys. Dallas would have been 11-point favorites with Romo playing this week against Jacksonville, but are now -6 ½ almost everywhere with him out.

We saw the Cowboys look miserable in 2008 when Romo missed three games going 1-2 with Brad Johnson at the helm, but I honestly believe John Kitna will perform better than that. I have a feeling that Kitna may even make the Cowboys a better, more balanced offensive attack, something we haven’t seen all year from Dallas.

Dallas definitely needs a boost of some kind and if they aren’t willing to fire Wade Phillips, the quarterback is a good place to start. Granted, Romo puts up good numbers in the box score, but the box score doesn’t reflect the timing of his bad decisions. When the Cowboys need Romo at his best in key moments this season, he has faltered. Laying the points looks like a good deal against the Jaguars 30th ranked defense.

49ers Start a New Mr. Smith
The San Francisco 49ers are 1-point favorites over Denver in their game being played at Wembley Stadium in London. The 49es will start Troy Smith this week against a shamed Broncos squad coming off a 59-14 beat down, on their home field, against the hated Raiders. Or maybe the Raiders aren’t hated anymore. Maybe Denver’s instilled hate for Oakland and their history against each other left with Mike Shanahan.

This weeks line is definitely a reflection of that blowout loss. The 49ers starting Troy Smith over David Carr while Alex Smith mends baffled many, but Jay Kornegay saw coach Mike Singletary’s logic in it.

“I was initially surprised, but I think Troy Smith’s mobility and similarities to Alex Smith’s game was the deciding factor and they can game plan similarly rather than chnage so much to accomodate Carr's style, “ said Kornegay. “David Carr just can’t move. My past memories of him playing, sad to say, are being sacked and turning the ball over.“

Kornegay leans towards the Broncos in this one stating that their last game was something that was a just a freak happening.

“Denver has been very consistent against every team they played up until last week and have played some of the their best ball away from Mile High stadium.”

Other NFL Moves
The Lions welcome back Matt Stafford this week and have been bet up from 2-point opening favorites to -2 ½ against the Redskins.

The Packers have found supporters coming off their big Sunday night win over the Vikings. The rested Jets opened as a 6 ½-point favorite and have been bet against to -6.

The Dolphins have found some believers in their road performances after going 3-0 thus year as they roll into Cincinnati. The Bengals opened a short 2 ½-point favorite and are down to -2.

San Diego still has some faithful out there that believe they are still very good at home as they moved from a -3 (even) to -3 ½ against the Titans. Vince Young is expected to play for the Titans, but maybe that’s why the bets came in.

The Saints resorted back to their old ways in a home loss to Cleveland last week. Following their week six 31-6 win at Tampa Bay, many us thought the Saints had figured it all out and they’d go on a run like they did in 2009, but the Browns said not so fast. This week they opened pick’em at home against the Steelers and have been bet up to -1 ½. Maybe the Saints just aren’t that good and are about to experience the same fate that many Super Bowl Champs have had over the last decade where they don’t make the playoffs the next year.

The Colts get to avenge their loss to the Texans with a rematch at home. They opened 5-point favorites and have been bet to -5 ½. I’ll side with Houston in this one just because of the key injuries the Colts have to deal with. How will Peyton Manning fare without his faithful and reliable outlet of Dallas Clark. He’ll also be without Austin Collie, Joseph Addai and probably Donald Brown too.

Since it’s a dead number, the best strategy is to wait until Monday to bet. Between the public loving the Colts and extended parlay risk coming from Sunday’s games, the Colts popularity and incurred liability figure to force a move higher. Don’t wait too long Monday though, because if the Sharps like it, the game will go to -4 just because -5 and -5 ½ is a quick number to move off of not requiring full limit bets to move.

College Football Moves of the Week in Las Vegas

By Micah Roberts

Not a lot of action this week even though we have a couple really big games with BCS implications. No. 1 Auburn travels to Mississippi and tries to avoid being the fourth straight No. 1 team to lose. Auburn is a 7-point favorite and it has held strong as the public appears fearful of betting against the upset after getting burned three weeks in a row.

The team that should be fearing being upset is No. 2 Oregon as they travel to USC and face the rapidly matured Matt Barkley, who looks every bit as good as Pete Carroll claimed he‘d be. This game is USC’s season. This is their bowl game and should play a very inspired game. Oregon opened as 7 ½-point favorites and is down to -7. The total of 70 is a thing of beauty to look at. As high as it seems, I couldn’t bet real money on the under for this one.

No. 14 Nebraska has to make up to their home fans after being exposed by Texas two weeks ago. It was an embarrassing loss at home, and became even worse a week later when they saw Iowa State win at Austin the following week. No. 6 Missouri may have given all they had in last weeks emotional win over Oklahoma. How can they possibly get up for this game? A small portion of bettors don’t think they can and have bet Nebraska up from the opener of -7 to 7 ½.

Nobody ever talks about No. 8 Utah and where they fit into the BCS shake down, but they could be major movers with an upset in two weeks when they welcome No. 4 TCU to Salt Lake City. But what about this week? That’s exactly what they’re going to have to keep focused on, because if they look ahead too much, Air Force will swipe away their season. Utah opened 7 ½-point favorites and are down to -7.

Las Vegas oddsmaker Kenny White thinks it’s a good idea for Utah to closely watch how TCU dismantled Air Force No. 1 rated rushing attack 38-7 last week. White also gave his thoughts on what next week’s line might be should both TCU and Utah win this week.

“I’m thinking TCU -5 or -6 based on the assumption that TCU beats UNLV by 35 and Utah beats Air Foce by 7 or more.”

However, White doesn’t see the winner of that game doing any type of leap-frogging in the BCS computer like we saw with Auburn last week after beating a highly rated LSU squad.

“The computers just don’t rate the Mountain West that high. For what they don’t like about TCU, they really don’t like or respect in Utah.”

I would have to believe that both TCU and Utah would gain a huge chunk of respect and ratings with a quality win. Should TCU win, they should pass Boise State and if Utah won, their move over No. 7 Alabama would be tough because a win over LSU that week would be impressive.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, Utah still has to beat Air Force and TCU, well, you can write your own score against UNLV.

The largest moves of the week:
Louisville +11 to +9 ½ at Pittsburgh
Temple -28 to -29 ½ at home against Akron
Kansas State +6 to +4 ½ at home against Oklahoma State (WR- Blackmon suspended)
Michigan -1 to -3 at Penn State
Western Kentucky -4 to -6 at home against North Texas
Troy -14 ½ to -16 at Louisiana-Monroe    
Get all your sports gaming information at

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kenny White's Las Vegas Oddsmakers Rankings: College Football Week 8

Below is a complete breakdown of this week’s Top 30 from White.
RankSchoolRatingLast WeekBCS Rank
1Texas Christian118.514
2Boise State118.123
5Ohio State116.2611
10Virginia Tech113.91123
13Florida State113.11316
14South Carolina113.01920
20Michigan State112.4205
25Oklahoma State109.62417
26Mississippi State109.52421
28Oregon State109.328NR
29Southern California109.129NR
Next Ten: Texas A&M, West Virginia, California, Michigan, Cincinnati, Nevada, Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Penn State
Dropped out: West Virginia (24), Cincinnati (30)