Saturday, October 3, 2015

NFL Week 4 Money Moves in Vegas; Cards may be undervalued

Arizona Cardinals could be underrated.
LAS VEGAS -- Move over Seattle, Green Bay and New England. The betting public has a new favorite team joining the group that's routinely featured the most on parlays across every sports book in the Las Vegas valley.

Meet the Arizona Cardinals who have jumped out to an impressive 3-0 start, but have endeared themselves more with the betting public by covering all three of its games by an average score of 42-16.

What's not to like about them? They don't just win and cover, they crush teams, and the games go OVER the total. It's a parlay bettors' side-to-total delight and the two-teamer at 13/5 odds (Bet $100 to win $260) is 3-0 with the Arizona-OVER combination this year.

The more bettors win on a team, the more they love them and they go for the ride as long as the roll goes. In Week 3 action, the Cardinals were the most one-sided wagered team of the week and were the major culprit of making the sports books losers on Sunday for the second time on the early season.

The question is whether or not Arizona's roll will last.

Are they for real?

Bettors are now having to lay larger numbers with Arizona as its rating has jumped about four points since the season began. In the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook’s early Week 4 lines last week the Cardinals were -4 for Sunday's home contest against the Rams. On Friday, the Cardinals were -7 (EVEN) after opening Sunday night at -6.

Is there too much of a rating adjustment on Arizona making their opponents more attractive for wise guys at the bet windows, or could the ratings still be low? One of the sharpest professional bettors in Las Vegas, Jeff Whitelaw, had a surprising take on the Cardinals and where they stack up among the rest of the teams.

"Before last week’s game, someone asked me who I thought the best teams in the NFL were and I said Green Bay, New England and then Arizona, and he was a little surprised by my answer. But you have to look at everything they're comprised of which is a great coach, solid defense, outstanding special teams play, an offensive line that is much better than expected and then a healthy Carson Palmer."

It's quite eye-opening to hear someone like Whitelaw mention Arizona before Seattle, a team the Westgate currently has as a six-point home favorites over the Cardinals for their Nov. 15 meeting in updated NFL Games of the Year numbers. It's an indication the Westgate currently has Seattle rated 2.5-points higher on a neutral field over Arizona.

"Right now, I think Arizona might be every bit as good as Seattle. The Seahawks have that pedigree and the Cardinals really haven't played anyone yet, but they're burying those teams that have been placed in front of them, and it's not like Arizona just snuck up on us. They were 11-5 last season with Palmer playing in only six games (6-0)."

Whitelaw says he expects Arizona's rating to climb even higher and there should still be value on them the next few weeks until its true rating levels off, which would then put them right up there the elite teams in the league.

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