Monday, October 4, 2010

Through Four Weeks of NFL Action, The Small Bettor is Going Broke

Sharps Do Well in Week 4, But The Small Guy Loses AgainIt was a dog day afternoon in the Sunday early NFL games that saw seven of the first eight games go barking with four of the ‘dogs winning outright. Almost as one sided as the early games were for the dogs, three of the four afternoon games went to the favorites. After it was all tallied, week four once again went to the sports books with the small players left gasping for air, and money.

The sharp players did well Sunday with Cleveland and Jacksonville being their featured games, but forget about those guys, they‘ll always be fine. I’m worried about the little guy, the square or small player who bets $100 a week that keeps having a hard time of it and can’t find his day in the sun yet.

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The games aren’t supposed to be this cruel to players. It’s supposed to be fun; we win some and you lose some, and in the process we all have a good time. But how many times can a player keep getting up. Isn’t there a three knock-down rule of sorts within the betting community, or three strikes and you’re out. After four weeks of action nobody knows what team to trust anymore and picking winners is tougher than ever.

Everyone used to have the good old reliable Colts and Peyton Manning as a sound investment, but so far this season he’s let the public down twice, including Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars. If you can’t trust Manning against the Jaguars -- who got drilled successive weeks by the Chargers and Eagles -- who can you trust.

How about Seneca Wallace? Everyone should be able to count on him to do nothing and have a bad game with a pick-six gift wrapped, and you’re only laying 2-points with the Bengals, should be easy, right? The 49ers are 0-3 and they are going East -- always a bad thing for West Coast teams going East -- and the Falcons are only laying 7-points, fresh off a big win at New Orleans.

But no, Jacksonville plays an amazing game and the Bengals get outplayed by the Browns. Both the 49ers and Broncos traveled East and covered their games dispelling all the traditional wisdom of the past, and further putting a wrinkle into everyone‘s strategy for the weeks to come.

Bettors can’t even rely on the big favorites anymore. The two double-digit favorites almost lost straight up last week making double-digits favorites 1-4 over the last two weeks. Where is the justice in that? Should the bettors start changing their ways and betting into the perceived awful teams. Nah, that’s no fun for folks.

People want to win bets by crushing their opponents. They want to watch 34-7 scores and ease into to wins with no sweat and it‘s much easier to get there by betting teams favored by 10 points or more.

By the way things are going with small bettors consistently losing their allowance, they are going to have to change, and will. What’s sad, though, is that as soon as the bettor changes their philosophy and starts playing the underdogs, the will favorites emerge, and then the books and bettors will both be in the middle of the reverse betting world where big favorites are covering and the book still wins.

From a bookmakers point of view, these type of starts just don’t happen and it is somewhat of a gift from all the sleepless night endured last season where nothing could be done to stop the favorites and bad teams. This year’s NFL teams are more balanced than ever with no real correlation to follow, that is other than just betting every underdog. Through four weeks, the underdogs are 35-21-3 against the spread going into Sunday night’s game.

The Chargers and Texans covering ended up being losses for the books, but it wasn’t as big of a loss as it could have been had the Colts covered. The Colts losing demolished just about everyone’s get-back three-team parlay in the late games. Overall, off the board parlays, parlay cards, teasers and straight bets were winners for most books at days end. That’s pretty much a clean sweep of all categories to go along with a clean sweep of all four weeks.

Week 5 doesn’t have any double-digit favorites and only has three games at minus-7 or higher. You’ll be looking at six home ‘dogs with a West Coast team traveling east and an East Coast club heading west for the late Sunday night game.

It doesn’t get any easier this week. My best advice would be to stay the course because everything does cycle around. Trust the numbers and the ratings of teams who are supposed to be better. These are the truest lines of any sport in the world and with all the underdogs covering lately, there is soon to be positions where you are getting lots of value on the favorites.

Give it another week or two before altering your own strategy too much based on what has occurred the first four weeks. The tide will turn, it always does is pro football betting.

Whisenhunt Not So Wise
Not to say that things would have been different had the whole Matt Leinart saga not transpired, but it had to cross Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s mind watching Derek Anderson look so bad again. After three games and a quarter and a half of action in Sunday’s game at San Diego, Whisenhunt made the switch to his backup, rookie Max Hall. How nice it might have been to give the ball to Leinart in that spot. Moving forward, I believe the coach will be regretting the entire situation.

Eagle Sandwiched
Before we start getting down on Kevin Kolb for not doing much of anything when Michael Vick went down, let’s remember that Vick was already down 14-0 to Washington before he got crushed from both sides by Redskins tacklers. Vick will be out for this week’s game, but with a week of work running the first string Kolb should be in good shape for their game against the 49ers. Look for a good game out of Kolb this week and look for the 49ers to start calling on replacements for Mike Singletary if the 49ers go 0-5.

Broncos Frequent Flier Miles
Nice scheduling by the league in back-to-back weeks for Denver. They traveled to Nashville for Sunday’s game, go home to practice and then travel back east to Baltimore. Had Denver lost last week to the Titans, I might think was a good spot for the Broncos, but since they won, it looks real good for the Ravens, even though they are beat up a little from their physical game at Pittsburgh. The Broncos had a similar situation last year when they traveled to Baltimore and Washington D.C. within three weeks and lost them both. Ravens 30, Broncos 14

Hilton Early NFL lines
For anyone looking to get a pure NFL line before the market takes over, check out the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book on Sunday’s at 4:30 p.m. PDT. They offer all of the next week’s action at numbers that are based solely on the staff’s ratings. The rest of the world comes out a few hours later, but during that window you can get a good idea who some of the sharper players like by the line moves.

The Hilton also offers lines two weeks in advance for those that have a good opinion of what may happen from one week to the next. This week they’ll have week six lines posted Tuesday morning and you’ll have until they close Saturday night to bet those games. It’s a great opportunity for folks who are out of town that would like action for the next week while back at home.

M Resort Fantasy Football In-Game Wagering
Who out there has played the NTN football game at places like Buffalo Wild Wings during games and had hoped that that concept could be incorporated into a casino game where instead of winning points and beating your friends, you got paid cash. Well, over at the M Resort they have In-Game Wagering on players as the game goes. Along with betting the plays, you can bet over-under yardage on the players as they go with wagers taken through the end of the third quarter. All the fantasy football experts can now make some real cash and put their expert mouths on the line with cash and be rewarded for their expertise. It’s a great concept that is yet another breakthrough in the long line of innovations the M Resort and Cantor has brought to Nevada.

Hilton NBA Pre-season Lines
Beginning this week, bettors will be able to get their fix in for the NBA by betting every pre-season game over at the Hilton. Their first line was posted on Monday for the Lakers and Timberwolves who are playing in London. On Tuesday the entire world gets to see Lebron James in action with his new teammates as Miami plays the Pistons.

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