Friday, November 19, 2010

Las Vegas Betting Moves From NFL Week 11 and College Football through Thursday

By Micah Roberts

You may look at the Chargers second ranked defense and think this may be a bad spot for Broncos offense, but before doing so, let’s analyze who the Chargers have played this season. The defensive statistics are somewhat of a mirage because of their opponents. Outside of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Schaub, the Chargers unit has been helped by playing several teams in transition with identity problems behind center. Even the Texans are in somewhat of an identity crisis right now, especially since they have put the passing game aside in favor of the Arian Foster led running game.

This week the Chargers defense will face the No. 2 ranked passing offense of Denver. In a similar situation last year on a Monday night, the Broncos put up 33 points at San Diego. This year’s version of Denver is much more pass-happy and the attack has many more options offensively. They don’t rely on Brandon Marshall as the feature receiver and the unit is better. Denver rolls with Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal with near equality and running back Knowshon Moreno is healthier than ever to help what was a poor Denver running game.

As for the Chargers, they will get their points too and should help bump this total way over the posted total of 50 ½. Ryan Mathews may finally be the factor they anticipated in training camp, but has since struggled to gain the confidence of his coach. The Chargers also get a boost on offense with both wide receivers Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee practicing this week, a sign that they'll play. The additions should help Phillip Rivers continue his passing excellence against a porous Broncos defense. The only down fall the Chargers have offensively is tight end Antonio Gates, who is very ‘questionable’ this week as he missed practice again.

The Chargers opened as 9 ½-point favorites and have been bet up to -10. It may be hard to side with a team that has looked awful in spots like the Broncos have this season, but outside of the Raiders debacle, the Broncos have looked competitive in their other games. Because of the Raiders and 49ers losses, Denver’s rating is at an all-time low on the season while Chargers have never been higher because this is the second half of the season and the Chargers have won two in a row.

Look for the Broncos to play very competitive ball on Monday with lots of points being scored. This game should probably be a seven-point spread, giving value on the money-line (+400) as well.

The Raiders shocked the Steelers last season in Pittsburgh and could possibly do the same this week. The Steelers opened as 8 ½-point favorites and have been bet against to as low as -6 ½, but are currently at -7, which looks like the right number. It’s tough betting against the Steelers after a loss, but let’s face it, they don’t look so good right now as QB Ben Roethlisberger’s return has muddled up their basic, but affective offense.

The Panthers are in the same position they were in last week, except maybe even worse as they go with Brian St. Pierre at quarterback. The Panthers felt such little confidence in third-stringer Tony Pike that they gave the job to St. Pierre, who wasn’t even in any training camp this year and was a stay at home dad until last week. This factor, coupled with running back Jonathan Stewart likely out again, going against a solid Ravens defense should make covering the spread difficult for Carolina this week.

All season long we have been waiting for that one team to pick on week after week. Last season we had six teams through the first eight weeks that cashed in regularly. This year, no one has stepped up to be that bad, but we have a candidate raising their hands, and it’s Carolina. Last week Tampa Bay was the most lopsided team bet on in ticket count ratios and got there quite easily. Baltimore opened as a 10-point favorite and are now -10 ½. Expect this line to shoot up close to -13 by kickoff as there can be no argument for the Panthers side other than the league trend of underdogs being strong overall.

The early line on the Packers at Minnesota this week had Green Bay as a 1-point favorite, but opened on Monday with the Packers at -3. Last season we saw Vikings defensive end Jared Allen do all he wanted against the Packers offense, but this year, the tables will turn as it looks like GB’s Clay Matthews will be doing the terrorizing. Each week we keep saying “this game is the Vikings season” and they still lose. Green Bay has struggled with their passing game somewhat, but their defense looks much better than a year ago and should be the difference this week.

The Chiefs have struggled lately to recreate their success from early in the season as their defense has broken down, but everyone seems to believe they’ll get their groove back this week as they opened a 6 ½-point favorite against the Cardinals and have been bet up to -8.

The totals also became an attraction for bettors this week after 11 of the 14 games went over the number in Week 10. This week, the initial move on the totals went 9-2 in favor of taking the over.

Here’s a look at some of the other Pro Football Moves of the week through Thursday

  • The Titans opened as 6 ½-point favorites against the Redskins and have been bet up to -7.
  • Cincinnati opened as a 5-point home favorite to the competitive Bills and have been bet up to -5 ½.
  • The Browns were getting +2 ½ at Jacksonville, but are down to +1 ½.
  • The Saints opened as 11-point home favorites to Seattle, were bet up to -12 and now sit at -11 ½ as folks are still apprehensive about laying the big number with New Orleans.
  • The 49ers opened as small 3-point home favorites to Tampa bay and have been bumped up to -3 ½.
  • The Patriots opened a short price of -3 (-120) against the Colts in what looks to be the game of the week and have been bet up to -3 ½. Peyton Manning is the best, but his supporting cast makes he, himself, him tough to support with cash.
  • The Eagles opened as 2 ½-point favorites against the Giants before their Monday night blasting of the Redskins, but are now -3 (-125); a surprisingly short move considering how impressive the Eagles were and how bad the Giants were in their last outing.

College Football Moves of the Week
We don’t have any real monster, must see matchups this week as most of the top BCS contenders are off this week, but it doesn’t explain why there haven’t been any big moves like we have seen throughout the season. No. 9 Ohio State travels to No. 20 Iowa in what is probably the marquee matchup of the week, but the line has stayed steady at Buckeyes -3 all week. No. 21 Mississippi State has seen some action as a 3 ½-point home underdog to No. 13 Arkansas pushing the line down to +3.

Duke was getting 13 points at Georgia Tech, but have been bet down to +10 ½ as it’s apparent that quarterback Josh Nesbitt, who is out for the season, is thought to have a bigger influence on the Yellow Jackets rating than listed.

Michigan opened as a 5 ½-point home underdog to Wisconsin and has been bet down to +4 with some of the move coming on air because of Badgers running back John Clay being shifted from ‘probable’ to ‘doubtful’ for this one.

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