It’s hard not to root for Rodgers just from the aspect of how tough of a situation he was put in three years ago when the whole Favre soap opera started. Rodgers didn’t say much and just played the game, while Favre’s true nature became apparent to all in his final year.
We’ve seen glimpses of greatness out of Rodgers in the past, but nothing like what we saw last week on the stage of the playoffs where he completed 31 of 36 passes for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns in Atlanta. At times, while he was dodging defenders in the pocket and feeling pressure with eyes in the back of his head, scrambling around, I thought I was watching Roger Staubach back there, another quarterback who wore number 12.
The Las Vegas sportsbooks don’t get caught up in sentiment, but rather cold hard facts when creating their lines, yet they too have been greatly swayed by the impressive Packers in their last two games. It was surprising enough when the Packers were a short 1-point underdog at the top seeded Falcons, but this week they are 3 ½-point favorites on the road at Chicago for the NFC Championship game.
The Packers have been placed as the 8-to-5 favorite (Bet $100 to win $160) to win the Super Bowl at the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book despite a higher seed such as the Steelers (2/1) still active. The Hilton’s Jeff Sherman believes the Packers would be a pick’em against the Steelers and minus-2 ½ against the Jets, but also said that the line would drastically change by what happens Sunday. Should one game produce a blow out while the other plays a tight one, it will be reflected greatly in the Super Bowl line.
Three’s the Magic Number
|Value with the Number "3"|
This week Osborne has a major dilemma as both games are hovering around “3”. Should one of the favored teams land on “3“, he‘ll get sided and refund several bets while paying out the winning side at plus-3 ½. Osborne is probably hoping that the games run up more to avoid the key number, but if they don’t, and you’re looking for value, the South Point and the books under their umbrella such as the Cannery, Palms and El Cortez are definitely places to shop.
Bettors Fare Well Last Week
You would think with half of the underdogs winning that the sportsbooks would have done very well, but that wasn’t the case. The local books were able to scrap out a small win, but just about everyone else fared poorly as both the Packers and Jets found plenty of supporters.
Auburn Line Correct?
Auburn’s 3-point win over Oregon in the BCS title game landed just how the bookmakers thought, right? The game opened Auburn minus-3 at most sportsbooks, but dropped considerably to a pick’em at most places by kickoff. Most all of the power ratings had the game as an initial pick’em which has the question begging to ask, where did the “3” come from? No one wants to be out of line in a big game like that, but it appears that there was some early manipulation on the number that set the market, and it wasn‘t necessarily by any book in Las Vegas either.
It’s not unusual to see instances of pre-seeding games by Sharp groups early at a few sports books with hopes of influencing the entire market. All it takes is a few limit plays by respected players at respected books early on to get the ball rolling and then everyone else falls in line. When the Sharp’s desired line is set, they can bet over 20 times the amount initially seeded later at all the other sportsbooks who follow suit.
The final move proved wrong, other than those who pushed with Oregon, but most of the books still lost money on the game. It wasn’t a result of the possible manipulation, but rather because of extended risk from over a month of taking bowl parlays with Auburn or Oregon being the final leg.
NASCAR is close
During a recent Goodyear tire test, it was found that the new Daytona surface made the cars a little too fast, so they will be experimenting with an even smaller restrictor plate than last season for the testing. However, don’t expect too much to change from last year. Those who were good in the plate races, namely the Childress and Ganassi teams, will be good again this year.
Just about every sportsbook has their Daytona 500 odds up. While the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book leads the way with the lowest theoretic hold percentage in the city, it’s still a good idea to check all the books around town to find value on certain drivers that maybe the Hilton considered more of a favorite. Must stops for finding early value are all of the Mirage properties, Lucky’s and the M Resort and Spa.
College Basketball Notes
Colorado Buffs For Real
In their win over Oklahoma State, the Buffs didn’t get to dictate the fast pace they would have liked, but they still sent the game over 143 ½. Surprisingly, despite Colorado running fast and wild all season, the move was on the under for the game. From the beginning of the season, up until now, Colorado may be the most rapidly adjusted team in all power ratings. The value will eventually shift against them, but as of now, betting OVER with them still looks to be the way to for a while.
Little Sisters of the Poor?
We watched the bias of voting during football season as TCU and Boise State were disrespected because of their conference affiliation and after this weeks College Basketball polls came out, we saw it again with San Diego State as they remained No. 6 with Duke sliding into No. 5 after their loss to Florida State. With big wins over UNLV and at New Mexico, the Aztecs warranted much more consideration than given.
Star Player Under the Radar
Good Teams Not Covering
It’s been almost two weeks since the No. 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes have covered a spread. It’s not even as if they have played the Big 10’s best teams since conference play started either. Saturday, they won by only 3-points as a 19-point favorite to Penn State. The Buckeyes look ripe for the upset this week as they play at Illinois on Saturday.
On the same note, Georgetown was on a five-game skid ATS until covering against Rutgers Saturday at a short price thanks, in part, to their rating shrinking. Because of that lower rating, there may some value this week as they play at Seton Hall and a home date against St. John’s.
Despite being undefeated this season, Syracuse hasn't been able to live up to their lofty rating as they have covered only seven games this season among their 18 wins. However, they have their longest ATS win streak currently going on right now with two in a row after beating Cincinnati.
One of the best bets over the last three weeks has been taking Marquette against anyone. They have covered six games in a row while going 3-3 straight up. This week they’ll face DePaul and then travel to Notre Dame.
Oregon’s New Court is…Different
However, comments have been flowing from fans who dislike the design sating that the design looks like a mushroom trip gone bad, or even worse, looks like actual throw-up. The glare to TV viewers may be the most distracting part. It’s just an unnatural projection of colors that probably wasn’t well thought out, but liked so much by Nike owner, and Oregon Alum, Phillip Knight, who built the place, that everyone just let it go. Beyond all that, no one can even see the mid-court line, which is kind of an important part of the game.