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.

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