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September 25, 2018

Yep, These Roughing The Passer Penalties Are Impacting NFL Spreads And Totals

FairwayJay September 25, 2018
Roughing the Passer

How far is too far when it comes to roughing the passer penalties? Following a record 21 roughing penalties in the first two weeks, there were plenty more in Week 3 — including four alone on Monday Night Football (the most in a game since 2001). There was also another roughing the QB penalty called Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who has been flagged each of the three games to open the season.

Matthews’ penalty in Week 2 against Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has been reviewed thousands of times by football fans. And the consensus is that the officials’ call was a terrible one, wiping out Green Bay’s interception on the play with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. That INT would have secured the Packers victory in regulation. Instead, Cousins rallied Minnesota to a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion to send the game to overtime, where two missed field goals cost the Vikings a victory and its placekicker his job in a 29-29 tie.

The Matthews roughing the passer call in that contest also cost Green Bay backers on the moneyline, as the Packers closed a 2.5-point underdog after opening as a 1.5-point favorite at the sportsbooks a week before the game. It also saved Vikings bettors both on the money line and teasers. Most importantly, it cost Green Bay a victory in a key division contest.

Protecting the quarterbacks

The NFL is trying to protect the quarterbacks, its highest-paid and most recognized and important players. The quarterbacks are more vulnerable to injuries, and the new rules to protect them are being enforced by the head referees, who are guided by the new rules and principles.

Matthews’ hit and roughing the passer penalty on Redskins QB Alex Smith in Week 3 is considered a ‘textbook’ case of roughing.

Roughing the Passer – Rule 12-2-9 (B):

“When tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture, (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defenders weight. Instead, the defensive player must strive to wrap up the passer with the defensive players arms and not land on the passer with all or most of his body weight.”

The league has decided to protect its quarterbacks because the league knows that the quality of the product suffers greatly when the best quarterbacks aren’t on the field.

The impact on the games results without its best quarterbacks also affects the betting lines, as we’re about to see again with the Week 3 injury to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who likely suffered a torn ACL and will be replaced by second-year quarterback CJ Beathard.

The new helmet rule was also designed to make the game safer for players, but the increased calls have also impacted the sports betting market as more penalties and 15-yard infractions helped increase scoring to 47.03 points per game through the first two weeks. After the games averaged 44.63 points in Week 3, the average is at more than 46 points per game through the first three weeks of the season. Last year, NFL games averaged 43.3 points per game, and consistently averaged near 45 points per game since 2010 with a high of 46.8 points per game in 2013.

More penalties = more points

The combination of roughing the passer rules and preventing leading with the helmet is making it tougher for defenders. There is no doubt that more offense and scoring makes for good TV, and the league needs its best quarterbacks on the field making plays so it can sell its product and keep revenue flowing for the league as well.

But scoring and name brand QBs, its featured stars, also keep fans engaged, fantasy players more involved and sports bettors holding out hope that their team can rally to win and cover point spreads when trailing. That point was driven home again Thursday night when the Cleveland Browns won for the first time in their last 21 games, led by rookie Baker Mayfield coming off the bench to bring the Browns back and rally to win.

Mayfield is a future star and another money man for the league and a quarterback it needs to protect. The NFL couldn’t protect sports betting from becoming legal in the U.S. this year and don’t be surprised when more roughing the passer penalties impact the outcome of games and points spreads as scoring increases.

Cashing Tickets: Stanford Stunner Saves An Eight-Leg Parlay Worth $62,000

Sean Chaffin September 25, 2018
Stanford

Longshots, long odds, and big wins. It’s what many who head to the betting window hope for – cashing that big ticket. A few players were lucky enough to bring home some big bucks over the weekend in NFL and college football action.

A Cardinal miracle

A bettor at CG Sportsbook at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas completed a $365 eight-leg college football parlay that scored $61,932.98 on Saturday. The first few teams (Michigan State, Ohio State, Clemson) all covered easily. Stanford (-2.5) was another story, winning 38-31 after completing the most improbable of comebacks.

The Cardinal trailed 24-7 in the third quarter and were only 1% to win the game according to ESPN’s predictive analytics. Then one play turned it all around. Oregon was driving deep into Stanford territory in the third quarter to put the game out of reach, but Stanford returned a fumble 80 yards for a touchdown.

The Cardinal still appeared done and dusted with 51 seconds left in the game and the Ducks salting away the clock up 31-28, but Oregon running back CJ Verdell fumbled while fighting for extra yards and Stanford recovered. Moments later they kicked a game-tying field goal, sending it to overtime and keeping our bettor’s parlay alive.

Stanford opened the overtime period with a touchdown and then intercepted a Ducks pass in the end zone to seal the win and keep this parlay intact.

It must have been quite the scene in Vegas after Wisconsin closed out the big win.

Another huge parlay

In a bet that many only dream of, a bettor at the William Hill book in the SLS Las Vegas Casino completed a 10-leg parlay on Saturday. The $100 bet was all on college football and earned $72,000. It all came down to Old Dominion facing a +27.5 against Virginia Tech. The Monarchs went on to a massive upset beating the Hokies outright 49-35.

Amazingly, many individual legs on the parlay came through pretty easily with few close calls – even Ohio State, favored by 37, won handily over Tulane 49-6. Clemson was favored by 16 and won 49-21. Western Michigan was favored by 16.5 and beat Kansas State 35-6. Old Dominion then made it a sweet victory. It’s that easy!

Buffalo bonanza

Bills fans must have been happy as their team bounced back from big losses in the first two weeks of the NFL season. Buffalo had a surprise 27-6 victory over what was expected to be a tough Minnesota team at home.

One bettor at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, West Virginia, must have had a premonition and booked a $500 straight bet on the Bills at 10-1 odds. It certainly paid off, netting him a hefty $5,000 profit. Cha-ching!

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Will Sports Betting Culture Become The Nosebleeds From Online Poker’s Glory Days?

Chops September 25, 2018
Sport Betting

Flash back to 2009. Online poker rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were money machines. Cash was falling from the sky. Stakes were constantly rising. You could feel the excitement.

You had the high-stakes “nosebleed” games rolling daily. Ivey. Durrrrr. Hansen. Isildur1. Jungleman. Antonius.

High-stakes action and crazy bets were an integral part of the fabric of online poker culture. It sprung up its own cottage industry of content and reporting.

I Bet You. Prop Bets. Bracelet bets.

The wagering didn’t stop at the felt. It was part of the life, and part of what made poker a fun ride on the zeitgeist.

Are we on the precipice of seeing the same with sports betting?

An appetite for betting content

If you haven’t already been reading David Purdum at ESPN for the past few years, you should start now.

Along with solid journalism around the sports betting industry, Purdum is increasingly reporting more on actual bets being made with various sportsbooks. Some gems from this week’s column:

  • At the MGM in Nevada, someone placed multiple six-figure wagers on the Saints point spread and moneyline. It was the largest single-game loss for the casino this season.
  • Another place that took a hit from the Saints was the Harrah’s Gulf Coast in Biloxi, MS. They took in more action on the Falcons-Saints than any other game, and it’s pro-New Orleans crowd.
  • The Westgate took a $50,000 bet on the Rams at 7-2 to win the Super Bowl.
  • Someone [who hates money] bet $50,000 on the Browns to win the AFC at 50-1.

As sports betting proliferates to more states, the odds are, you’re going to hear about more bets. In particular, you’ll read about more of the random 16-game parlay that an Average Joe in Mississippi hit that changed his / her life. There’s “Moneymaker Effect” wagers out there every week. The more that hit, the more that get reported, the more that will come in. It’s a self-sustaining cycle of betting awesomeness.

We’re just at the tip of the iceberg.

The content tree is growing

Brent Musburger is a damn prophet for launching VSiN when he did. Half the battle in business is timing, and he nailed it.

Branches on the sports betting content tree are quickly growing.

Fox Sports is investing in gambling programming, launching Lock It In with “Cousin Sal” Iacono of Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Ringer fame.

Cousin Sal is actually everywhere in the sports betting world. He’s got a podcast on The Ringer (Against All Odds) and is going to be a regular on Colin Cowherd’s Fox Sports radio show and podcast. And speaking of Cowherd’s Fox Sports radio show and podcast, his most downloaded and listened to segment each week is his “Blazing Five” NFL picks. The picks and wise-guy analysis of the picks make up about half of his 3-hour Friday show.

We’re already seeing the net effect of “bigger, more interesting bets” with Cowherd too, who just placed (and won) his largest wager last week (a four-figure bet), milking it for a programming draw.

All of this is a far cry from Wayne Allen Root tout shows and Internet TV-only Wager Wars.

Where does it go from here?

First, sports betting is going mainstream. Unlike online poker, which had an expiring shelf life (and was on the decline even before Black Friday), sports betting content has staying power in the U.S. This is only going to gain steam as the industry matures and its audience grows.

And with reporting of actual wagering on the rise, the bets themselves are only going to grow and get more interesting.

TV programming on what to bet on is already getting greenlit. It’ll start on basic “how to bet” programming like Lock It In and quickly move towards more daring I Bet You style shows. Jackass was entertaining. Imagine how much more fun it’d have been if there was money riding on it? And you could participate on it in real time? That’s the direction this will move, with reporting around those wagers sustaining the beast.

Expect the types of bets to get crazier. The amounts to rise. The reporting to increase.

It’s all happening already. This is just the start.

Seeing The Woods Through The Trees: Tiger Is Back, And Oddsmakers Agree

Grant Lucas September 25, 2018
Tiger Woods

The 18th green and the area around it at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta may now sit several feet lower than it did Sunday morning thanks to Tiger Woods. Ironically, after causing the uproarious celebration that Atlanta hasn’t seen since the Falcons took a 25-point lead in Super Bowl LI (too soon?), Woods watched his odds soar to win next year’s Masters.

And fitting how, just after securing his 80th career PGA win in his trademark red polo and black slacks, Woods has seemingly made his return as the man to beat. Not just on the golf course but also in the sports betting world. Tiger’s furious finale over the weekend resulted in a number of Tiger-centric futures hitting the sportsbooks. And for once, we don’t have to see the headline, cringe and wonder, “Who cares?”

And that’s what life is all about, right?

Welcome Back, Kotter Tiger

Few expected Tiger Woods to win again after… well… you know…

And then…

Not even John Daly, the long-ball-hitting, tee-off-a-beer-can-swinging and every-man’s favorite golfer whose notoriety for going hard resulted in a cocktail bearing his name, received as much scrutiny.

Yet Woods somehow did the improbable: located the nearest shovel, digging himself out of the hole and scooping up Lindsey Vonn (a gentleman’s tip of the cap, sir). He appeared in nearly just as many tournaments in2018 (18) than the past four years combined (19). He nearly tripled the number of made cuts (16) this past year than between 2014 and 2017 (6) while appearing in all four majors for the first time since 2015.

In Atlanta this Sunday, Woods booked his first PGA win since 2013 and his first Tour Championship victory in 11 years. Watching his post-round interview provided chills, a nostalgic “TI-GER! TI-GER! TI-GER!” chant breaking out from the gallery.

If futures odds are any indication, it won’t be the last time a reception such as that will occur on the 18th green.

Masters and Commander

Per the Westgate SuperBook, Woods is the odds-on favorite to win The Masters. Shake it off. Not a typo. Tiger. Woods. Is. The. Favorite.

Shortly after he sealed the Tour Championship win (and second place in the FedEx Cup standings for a cool $3 million on top of the $1.67 million for winning the tourney), Woods jumped to the top of the 2019 Masters odds list.

Heading into the weekend, Woods was tabbed as a 12/1 favorite to win the coveted green jacket (gold jacket?) next year. Now, Tiger has the target on his back as he seeks his 15th major victory, including his first since 2008 and first at Augusta since 2005.

Other odds emerge

Cue Billy Mays: “But wait… There’s more!”

Remember that Tiger vs. Phil Mickelson head-to-head event? The one thing no Thanksgiving can do without? Westgate lists Woods at -220 to win the match-play event over Lefty, who is tabbed at +180 to win.

“But wait… There’s more!”

Westgate apparently also offers futures on Tiger’s performances at the majors next year. Not so much, “Will he win?” Rather, “How many will he win?”

Thus concludes Tiger Watch — OH BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Apparently “futures” is not limited to just 2019. So make that bet and keep it in a safe place for seven years.

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NFL Week 4 Lines And NJ Betting Guide

Marco Cerino September 25, 2018
NJ Sports Betting

After another chaotic Sunday, New Jersey bettors can start to strategize for Week 4. All eight online sportsbooks have released lines on the games. Let’s take a look.

(Odds updated 9/29/18)

 DraftKingsFanDuelSugarHouseBetStars888sportCaesarsMGMWill Hill
Minnesota
LA Rams
49.5
-7
49.5
-6.5
49.5
-7
49.5
-7
49.5
-7
49.5
-6.5
49.5
-7
49
-7
Buffalo
Green Bay
44.5
-9.5
44.5
-9.5
44.5
-9.5
44.5
-9.5
44.5
-9.5
45
-9.5
45
-10
44.5
-9.5
Cincinnati
Atlanta
53
-3.5
53
-4
53
-3.5
53.5
-3.5
53
-3.5
53.5
-4
53.5
-3.5
53.5
-54
Detroit
Dallas
43.5
-3
43.5
-3
43.5
-3
44
-3
43.5
-3
44
-3
44
-3
44
-3
Houston
Indianapolis
47
-1
47
-1
47
-1
47
-1
47
-1
47
PK
47
PK
47.5
-1
Miami
New England
48.5
-6.5
48
-6.5
48.5
-6.5
48
-6.5
48.5
-6.5
49
-6.5
48
-6.5
48.5
-7
NY Jets
Jacksonville
38.5
-7.5
38.5
-7.5
38.5
-7.5
38.5
-7.5
38.5
-7.5
38.5
-7.5
38.5
-7.5
38
-7.5
Philadelphia
Tennessee
-3
40.5
-3.5
40.5
-3
40.5
-3.5
41
-3
40.5
-3.5
41
-3
41
-3.5
41.5
Tampa Bay
Chicago
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
46.5
-3
Cleveland
Oakland
44.5
-3
45
-3
44.5
-3
45
-3
44.5
-3
45
-3
45
-3
45
-3
Seattle
Arizona
-3.5
39
-3
39
-3.5
39
-3
38.5
-3.5
39
-3
38.5
-3
39
-3.5
39
NO Saints
NY Giants
-5
52.5
-3.5
51.5
-5
52.5
-3.5
50
-5
52.5
-3.5
50
-3.5
52
-3.5
50
SF 49ers
LA Chargers
46.5
-10
46.5
-10.5
46.5
-10
46
-10.5
46.5
-10
46.5
-10.5
46
-10
46.5
-10.5
Baltimore
Pittsburgh
50.5
-3
50
-3
50.5
-3
50.5
-3
50.5
-3
51
-3
50
-3
50.5
-3
KC Chiefs
Denver
-4
54.5
-4.5
55
-4
54.5
-4.5
54.5
-4
54.5
-4.5
55
-4.5
55
-4.5
54.5

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Week 4 betting breakdown

Vikings at Rams (-6.5): The Rams are the new Super Bowl favorites and have looked very impressive to start the season. FanDuel opened the total at 49.5, while William Hill and BetStars opened at 49 (same -110 price as other books).

NY Jets at Jaguars (-7.5): Two teams looking for bounce-back wins after disappointing losses. The Jets have won the last four in the series, including three straight at the Meadowlands.

Eagles (-3.5) at Titans: FanDuel was the only book with the spread, total and moneyline listed on Monday, while William Hill was the only spread-only offer. These prices could easily change once the Titans name a starter. Carson Wentz is 6-9 SU on the road but 7-8 ATS.

Bills at Packers (-9.5): For the second week in a row, the Bills open as a big underdog on the road against an NFC North opponent. Aaron Rodgers defeated Buffalo 34-7 in their last meeting at Lambeau in 2010. The Bills are getting a half-point of value at William Hill.

Bengals at Falcons (-3.5): The only book offering the total and ML as of Monday was FanDuel. Others followed on Tuesday by opening at ATL -5 0r -5.5. The number dropped closer to a field goal by Saturday. Andy Dalton won the only meeting against Matt Ryan in Cincinnati in 2014.

Texans at Colts (-1): Seemingly a must-win game for the 0-3 Texans. Andrew Luck is 3-1 at home all-time against his AFC South rivals (SU and ATS). The line opened at IND -2.5 and quickly moved to 1.5 at most books.

Buccaneers at Bears (-3): William Hill installed the Bucs as underdogs on before the Week 3 Monday night game, and the line moved half a point to CHI -3 on Tuesday. 

Detroit at Dallas (-3): This line could hold steady at DAL -3 all the way until kickoff. Dallas has won three of the last four hosting the Lions.

Dolphins at Patriots (-7): The Patriots have struggled this year, while the Dolphins travel to Foxboro undefeated. The Pats get the recency bias in this series, having won the last nine home games against Miami.

Browns at Raiders (-3): The Browns are 3-0 ATS this season. Oakland, which has won the last four matchups, gets an extra half-point value at William Hill.

Seahawks (-3) at Cardinals: Seattle has won four of the last five games in Glendale (the other game was the 6-6 tie in 2016). Arizona got an extra half-point value at William Hill at open.

Saints (-3.5) at Giants: Does that opening total of 50 seem high? Four of the last five matchups saw the teams combine for at least 73 points.

49ers at Chargers (-10.5): Only a couple books had this game on the board on Monday awaiting the diagnosis for Jimmy Garoppolo. With Jimmy G officially out for the year, this spread might move in favor of LA during the week.

Ravens at Steelers (-3.5): Interesting to note here that BetStars listed PIT -1 on Wednesday afternoon. The Steelers have won four of the last five against Baltimore at Heinz Field.

Chiefs (-4.5) at Broncos: Chiefs get the recency bias with the 3-0 start and Patrick Mahomes record start (13 TDs in the first 3 games). KC has five wins in a row against their rivals, including the last three at Denver.