Friday, January 15, 2016

Most sports books open Steelers-Broncos line on Friday

Bettors playing lots of teasers this weekend.
Las Vegas sports books haven't even seen 10 percent of the action they'll take in over the weekend in the four NFL divisional playoff games, but early indications show it’s going to be a teaser kind of weekend for bettors.

And why not?

The spreads on the games are perfect for the teaser with a couple of 7’s and a few dogs crossing key numbers. Best of all for teaser bettors is they have some recent history on their sound during this round. How does the all-way side teaser going 7-1 in the Divisional Playoff round last year sound? How about 19-5 in the past three years?

The sports books set some nice numbers where all eight remaining teams usually play to their true ratings. The reflection of how good those numbers are is what happens if you add 6-points to each side. Last season three of the four divisional games were all-way side winners.

Can you imagine that? Just walking to the betting counter this week and saying, "I’m betting the line is perfect and I’ll take both the Patriots and Chiefs in a 6-point teaser." Then the Patriots win 20-16, and you cash. Don’t try that, really, it’s not a strong betting move, but it’s an example of what has been happening lately in this round. These spreads are tight.

The one spread that still has some loose ends is Sunday’s game with Pittsburgh at Denver, where most sports books kept the game off the board all week until posting Broncos -7 on Friday. Will Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) play? That is the main question.

"We didn’t post a line until today (Friday) on the Denver game because there was too much uncertainty with the Steelers key performers," said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne. "Antonio Brown is now out, Roethlisberger hasn’t thrown a pass in practice yet (through Thursday) and (DeAngelo) Williams is likely out. That’s basically their entire offensive attack in limbo."

Osborne is still waiting on any Roethlisberger news, but posted Denver -7 (no total) Friday without the news just because of all the weekend action that has started to heat up. It’s the NFL playoffs. People are excited and they want to bet all the games.

CG Technology books have been playing the wait and see game with Pittsburgh while posting a number for low limits -- wise guys get only $1,000. They were one of the few books in town in town with a number posted all week.

"We opened Denver at -6 on Monday knowing there we’re lots of injury issues surrounding the Steelers and we we’re steady at -6.5 for most of the week and got mostly Denver money," said Jason Simbal, VP of risk management for CG Technology.

"So we moved to -7 on Thursday, then when Brown was ruled out Friday we moved to -7 -120 and then someone immediately took +7 EVEN, so we’re down -7 -115 now."

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