Former World No. 1 Jason Day withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Thursday. But unlike Tiger Woods, Davis Love and Talor Gooch, who all withdrew with some sort of injury prior to the event, Day played six full holes and then called it quits from the fairway on hole No. 7. Day explained to his caddie and playing partners that he could not continue due to a back injury.
Day’s withdrawal caused quite a stir on social media and in the betting market. Especially after Day told reporters following his WD that he “woke up and couldn’t really walk or sit up in the car” after last Saturday’s practice round at TPC Sawgrass in preparation for next week’s PLAYERS Championship,
“I was on a dose pack to try to get the inflammation out of it and that didn’t get any better,” Day said. “I saw a physio here (in Orlando) and tried to do as much work as I possibly could to get ready for this week,“ Day said. “I couldn’t play at 100 percent today, so I just wanted to see if I could get out here and may have loosened up.
“But unfortunately it didn’t, so I had to pull out.”
Will Gray of the Golf Channel said in an interview that Day had an annular tear in the L4/L5 disc which was revealed following an MRI this past Monday. He was taking some anti-inflammation medicine and carefully moving around the locker room after his WD from the event.
Day’s WD and impact on the betting market
Day won the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational and was one of the betting favorites this week at 14/1 odds to win the tournament. Day was also listed in a number of head-to-head 72 hold match-ups. Sportsbook rules grade any match-up or outright wagers as a loss when a golfer withdraws after he tees off on his first hole.
However, some sportsbooks again came to the bettors’ defense and offered a goodwill refund of bets made on Jason Day. That includes Ladbrokes, Sportsbet, and new legal U.S. operators FanDuel Sportsbook.
Since he withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational after just six holes due to injury, we went ahead and refunded all Jason Day bettors for the tournament.
If you had money on Day, we strongly encourage treating yourself to an ice-cold Arnold Palmer on us 🍹 pic.twitter.com/1DYOH1ngzA
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) March 7, 2019
Should players health reports be disclosed?
Most bettors and daily fantasy sports (DFS) players are feeling like this is another example of why injuries and health reports need to be disclosed. Do the players owe it to the PGA, fans or gamblers to report health issues?
According to a PGA spokesperson, the answer, for now, is NO.
“For the foreseeable future, medical information is considered confidential,” the spokesperson said. “Players are not required to disclose an injury.”
Fellow PGA pro Kevin Kisner made his point on the subject clear.
“It’s nobody’s business,” said Kisner, co-chairman of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council, on Thursday. “I mean, are we out here to gamble, or are we out here to play golf? I don’t really give a s*** about the DFS guys. You should have picked someone else. If he had shot 65 and he had a hurt back, those guys wouldn’t have said anything.”
Gamblers often seem to feel a sense of entitlement, and they are often critical of league rules changes and reporting procedures. But the league injury reporting is not likely to change anytime soon. Even if it would seem of interest to the PGA Tour, sponsors, fans and especially gamblers.
Gamblers need to soften their stance on the issue and quit complaining. That includes verbal attacks on players and through social media rants. Bettors place bets on NFL players knowing they are playing injured, and rest assured many PGA pros are dinged up and feeling the aches and pains and even playing injured.
Day didn’t play in the Pro-Am Wednesday, which could have been a warning sign. Many golfers are playing injured to some degree, and Day has even missed three other Wednesday Pro-Ams in his career due to injury or illness and won the tournament four days later.
Gambling comes with a risk. Day took a far greater one even trying to play in Thursday’s opening round. He likely did so to not only test his back, body and ability to perform in the days and weeks ahead, but also to satisfy a commitment he’s made as a professional golfer. He may be an independent contractor and play for himself, but he and fellow Tour players at all levels represent the PGA for fans, sponsors, fellow competitors and this week the King – Arnold Palmer. Give Day and the Tour a break.
Can Tiger Woods become a Masters champion again? Some bettors think so, and are putting their money on it in a big way.
$10K on Woods
As March Madness nears, the tune-up tournaments toward the Masters, which are held April 11-14 at Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia, are in full swing. This means that betting on the Masters — golf’s biggest event — is also on course.
The games’ biggest name just had a big bet placed on him. Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas took a $10,000 bet on Woods to win the 2019 Masters at 12 to 1 odds.
just took 10k on @TigerWoods to win 2019 Masters at 12/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) February 28, 2019
The ‘Tiger’ effect
Jeff Sherman is the vice president of risk management and golf oddsmaker at the SuperBook. Westgate SuperBook has the biggest menu of golf betting options and matchups in Vegas. Last year’s Masters drew a record handle at the SuperBook, thanks to Woods.
“Tiger’s effect has been about 30 percent extra to what we normally do,” Sherman said.
Last year, the SuperBook had 100 Masters props, while in more recent years, the SuperBook would post about 40 props.
Woods ranked first in ticket count to win. This year will have more Woods props after many bettors lost in the 2018 Masters when Woods finished tied for 32nd and 1-over par with the best score of 69 in the final round.
Woods prop bets
- Will Tiger finish in the Top 5? Yes +300; No -400
- Will Tiger finish in the Top 10? Yes +155; No -175
- Will Tiger finish in the Top 20? Yes -160; No +140
- Lowest round shot by Woods: 68.5
“Any time Tiger plays, he garners so much attention from the general public that his odds are generally half of what they would be had his name not been associated with the odds,” Sherman said.
Last season, Woods returned to relevance brought more fans and betting interest to golf. In fact, in late 2017 before Woods made his 2018 debut, Woods was 100-1 to win the Masters.
Woods’ last major victory
Woods last significant win was his 14th in 2008 when he won the US Open at Torrey Pines on the first sudden death hole following an 18-hole playoff.
Woods won the 2018 Tour Championship at East Lake in September for his 80th career PGA Tour victory; the event drew the highest-ever TV rating for a FedEx Cup Playoff event.
Woods is a four-time Masters champion (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005). He tied for 17th in the 2015 Masters at 5-under par. He did not play in 2016 or 2017 due to health and injury issues.
Woods sitting out
Woods was scheduled to return to Bay Hill this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he has won eight times in 18 starts. But he announced Monday afternoon that he would miss the tournament.
1) Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API. I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn't improved enough to play. My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for The Players.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 4, 2019
Woods will likely play next week in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass as he makes the Florida swing in preparation for next month’s Masters.
His health and odds to win will be watched closely as well, but they can’t go much lower unless he wins an event or seriously contends leading up to the Masters. For now, one bettor thought 12-1 was good enough and hopes Woods will play at Augusta and turn his $10,000 into $120,000 with a Masters victory.
Whether you’re betting on golf or playing daily fantasy sports and fantasy golf, the Masters will be a major betting event to enjoy and be engaged in as Woods continues his pursuit of another major victory.
2019 Masters odds (Updated March 4)
Here’s a look at where things stand for betting on the Masters:
Super Bowl LIII was a letdown by most accounts, including a reported 5 percent drop in viewership from last year’s game, making it the lowest-rated Super Bowl over the past decade.
Many are calling it the worst Super Bowl in history as the New England Patriots won their sixth championship since 2001 with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. But that’s the beauty of the Super Bowl — as boring as the game was, there were hundreds of other ways to keep your interest with prop bets.
Popular Super Bowl props that won
Sony Michel over 17.5 rush attempts/ 76.5 rush yards (-110, Westgate SuperBook)
The Patriots running back was a popular target for bettors, and he delivered very late in the Super Bowl for ‘over’ bettors. Michel rushed three times for 21 yards in the first four plays of the game and was on his way. But the over bets did not look good midway through the fourth quarter even as the Patriots got the ball back off the interception leading 10-3 with just over four minutes remaining.
Then Michel carried the ball on the first four plays of the Patriots game-clinching drive, including a 26-yard burst from the Patriots 5-yard line to get them out of the shadow of their end zone. He carried the ball seven times for 41 yards on the drive that concluded with a field goal to put New England ahead 13-3. Michel finished the game with 18 carries for 94 yards and one touchdown.
Julian Edelman MVP
Michel was runner-up for Super Bowl MVP behind WR Julian Edelman, who won and cashed in for many on MVP odds of 40-1 at BetStars NJ and 35-1 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Edelman rewarded his ‘over’ bettors by catching 10 passes for 141 yards.
Rob Gronkowski over 3.5 receptions/ 53.5 receiving yards (-110)
The yardage number was bet up, but Gronk still delivered with six receptions for 87 yards.
Brandin Cooks over 5.5 receptions and over 75.5 yards (-110)
Cooks was the only Rams player to go over his yardage and attempts finishing with 8 receptions for 120 yards.
Longest field goal in game – over/under 48.5 yards (-110)
In the last 17 Super Bowls, only twice has there been a field goal longer than 48.5 yards. But Rams kicker Greg “the leg” Zuerlein kicked a 53-yard field goal late in the third quarter to reward over bettors.
Will the team to score last win the game? Yes or No.
The -190 moneyline on YES came through on this one. In the last 17 Super Bowls, the team to score last won 15 times. This bet came down to a Rams missed 48-yard field goal by Zuerlein with five seconds remaining in the game. The Patriots thus scored last with their late field goal and also won the game.
The opening coin toss
Tails was the winner, giving the Rams the win (the Patriots always call heads). In 53 Super Bowls, the coin toss has now come up tails 28 times and heads 25 times. The Rams are now 4-0 all-time on the Super Bowl coin toss.
The Gatorade shower
While Nevada gaming regulations do not allow Nevada sportsbooks to offer many novelty props unrelated to the actual game, there were plenty of other props that were popular in New Jersey. When Super Bowl LIII ended with a 13-3 Patriots win, the props and betting results were still being decided. The Gatorade dump on the winning coach was anxiously awaited by many bettors, and the color blue won at +375 odds.
This prop was far from popular, but one bettor scored big at the South Point in Las Vegas with a $250 bet at 400-1 odds on the LA Rams to score exactly 3 points in the Super Bowl. He cashed in $100,000. The South Point opened the prop at 500-1 odds and dropped to 400-1 odds, the MGM had it at 250-1 and the Westgate Super Book had the same prop at 80-1.
Popular Super Bowl props that lost
Tom Brady props
Brady finished under his passing yards, attempts and touchdown totals, and failed to win the MVP as the prohibitive favorite (+110). Brady finished 21-of-35 for 262 yards and no touchdowns.
James White props
Patriots running back James While failed many bettors on his rushing and receiving attempts and yards. White rushing just 2 times for 4 yards and caught 1 pass for 5 yards.
Rams OVERs fall short
Rams QB Jared Goff also came up short on passing yards, attempts and touchdowns, as he finished 19-of-38 for 229 yards and no TDs. Running backs Todd Gurley (10 rush 35 yards, 1 catch), CJ Anderson (7 rush 22 yards) and wide receiver Robert Woods (5 receptions, 70 yards) all came up short of their yardage for over bettors.
Total field goals made by both teams – over/under 3.5 (-110)
When Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked the third field goal of the Super Bowl with 1:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, it looked like ‘under’ bettors would still cash easily with the score 13-3. But the Rams drove down the field and with five seconds remaining, Los Angeles tried a 48-yard field goal hoping to cut the margin to 7 points and try an onside kick and recovery hoping for one more miracle play. But reliable Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein missed, allowing under bettors to cash-in on one final Super Bowl prop bet sweat.
The bets are coming in fast as Super Bowl 53 kickoff nears between the favored New England Patriots (-2.5) and Los Angeles Rams. Historically, more than 70% of the bets on Super Bowl are made in the 24 hours leading up to kickoff. And like a poker tournament nearing its conclusion, the stakes have risen and “all-in” bets are being made with both the Patriots and Rams taking seven-figure wagers to win Super Bowl LIII.
MGM takes a $2 million bet on the Rams
An anonymous bettor that made multiple million dollar bets and won on last year’s Super Bowl and World Series is at it again. Known as “Bettor X”, he’s placed three moneyline bets on the LA Rams totaling $3.8 million. One of those was made at the MGM in Las Vegas, as reported by ESPN gambling reporter David Purdum.
The $2 million Super Bowl bet placed Thursday @MGMRaceSports was on the Rams moneyline at +120. There have been two reported million-dollar-plus bets on the Super Bowl at this point; both on the Rams moneyline. MGM bet was first-reported by @beatingthebook.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) February 2, 2019
That $2 million moneyline bet on the Rams (+120) would net that bettor $2.4 million with a Rams victory. Along with that $2 million bet and the additional $1 million plus on the Rams, William Hill US also took a $1.5 million moneyline bet on the Rams (+120).
Other noted bets on the Los Angeles Rams include:
- CG Technology: $300,000 on Rams moneyline
- South Point: $300,000 on Rams moneyline
- William Hill: $132,000 on Rams +3. Same bettor bet $132,000 on the total OVER 56.5 and $132,000 6-point teaser Rams and OVER
Despite more sharp money betting under the total, most sportsbooks will need UNDER the total as many public parlays/straight bets are tied to the OVER.
New England Patriots taking most bets
The initial flood of betting on the Patriots more than 10 days ago moved the opening line from pick ‘em at most sportsbooks to Patriots -2.5. That’s where the line is holding steady this weekend and game day at a majority of sportsbooks including FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey. The Patriots are taking more than 70% of the spread bets at many sportsbooks leading into Super Bowl LIII.
FanDuel says 83% of the moneyline bets are on New England, and 75% of spread action is also on Patriots. FanDuel also has most prop action on Patriots players to win MVP, score first and most touchdowns.
Not to bet outdone, New England has taken its share of big bets, including a $1 million wager at MGM.
Other noted bets on New England Patriots include:
- South Point: $220,000 on Patriots -2.5
- Westgate SuperBook: $120,000 on Patriots -2 (bought ½ point).
- MGM: $220,000 on Patriots -2.5
Westgate notes they have not taken as many six-figure bets on this year’s Super Bowl, but “a lot of $20,000 and $30,000 bets.”
“A Patriots victory by 1 or 2 points could produce “our best Super Bowl ever,” says MGM representative Scott Shelton. MGM took three different customer bets for a combined $1.9 million on the Patriots money line.
The matchup is set for the Big Game on Feb. 3.
The two starting quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Jared Goff, are the clear favorites to win the 2019 Super Bowl MVP award. The New England Patriots were quickly bet up to a 2.5-point favorite over the Los Angeles Rams and the total is a Super Bowl record-high 57 points as of Thursday.
A quarterback has won the MVP award 29 times in 52 Super Bowls, including seven times in the last nine years.
But before you award Brady the MVP, know that the team that is the underdog in the Super Bowl has won the game six times in the last seven years.
All eight Super Bowls involving QB Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick have been decided by one score. Brady has averaged 403 passing yards and a QB rating of 103.4 over his last three Super Bowl appearances. Jared Goff makes his first Super Bowl appearance in his third season at the Rams quarterback.
Super Bowl MVP Odds at New Jersey Sportsbooks
(Odds updated 1/31/19)
|QB Tom Brady (NE)||+110||-105||+115|
|QB Jared Goff (LA)||+200||+200||+190|
|RB Todd Gurley (LA)||+1400||+1600||+1600|
|DT Aaron Donald (LA)||+1400||+1800||+1600|
|RB Sony Michel (NE)||+1600||+1800||+1600|
|RB CJ Anderson (LA)||+2200||+1600||+3000|
|WR Julian Edelman (NE)||+2800||+4000||+3500|
|RB James White (NE)||+2800||+2000||+2500|
|WR Brandin Cooks (LA)||+3300||+4000||+5000|
|TE Rob Gronkowski (NE)||+4000||+5000||+5000|
|WR Robert Woods (LA)||+4000||+4000||+5000|
|RB Rex Burkhead (NE)||+6600||+6000||+8000|
|WR Josh Reynolds (LA)||+6600||+6000||+10000|
|K Greg Zuerlein (LA)||+8000||+10000||25000|
|DT Ndamukong Suh (LA)||+8000||+6000||+7000|
|LB Dante Fowler (LA)||+8000||+6600||+10000|
|LB Kyle Van Noy (NE)||+10000||+10000||+10000|
|LB Dont'a Hightower (NE)||+15000||+15000||+15000|
|FB James Develin (NE)||+20000||+10000||+10000|
Super Bowl MVP value?
The value in the 2019 Super Bowl LIII might be with the running backs or wide receivers. With a high-scoring game projected, the chances are better that those position players could have more yards and score multiple touchdowns.
See Patriots running back Sony Michel in the AFC Championship win when he rushed 29 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Michel also had 24 carries for 129 yards and three touchdowns against the Chargers in the divisional round. Those numbers would be tough to ignore as MVP in the Super Bowl.
James White had 15 receptions for 97 yards in New England’s win over the Chargers. That many touches and catches combined with two to three touchdowns — especially if he breaks a long screen pass for a touchdown — would position him for strong consideration as MVP.
In the Patriots’ 2017 Super Bowl overtime win over the Falcons 34-28, many people felt White should have won MVP.
Despite having 29 rushing yards and two touchdowns, plus 14 receptions for 110 yards and another TD, White failed to earn the MVP award. Brady passed for 466 yards playing from behind to steal the game and MVP honors. Still, the value is with the position players including the Rams running back combo or wide receivers.
For the Rams, a real comeback story is running back CJ Anderson, who was signed by the Rams off the street in December and promptly rushed for 167 and 132 yards in the final two regular season games scoring a touchdown each game. In the playoff game against Dallas, he added 123 rushing yards and two more touchdowns.
Last week against the Saints, Anderson had just 44 yards rushing, but that was against a much stronger run defense than the Patriots. Anderson could get a bulk of the rushing load if Todd Gurley is not fully healthy.
There seems to be something not quite right with Gurley after playing few than 50 percent of the snaps against the Saints in the NFC Championship. His knee inflammation is clearly acting up, and Gurley had a turnover and just four carries for 10 rushing yards against the Saints after returning to the lineup the previous playoff game against Dallas and rushing for 115 yards and one touchdown.
If the Rams score into the 30s, which is realistic, then either Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks have a solid shot to have big receiving games, providing MVP value much better than Goff. Woods is Goff’s favorite target and led the team in pass targets in both of the Rams playoff wins. Between 2005-09, three wide receivers won Super Bowl MVP honors.
Two of the past five Super Bowl MVPs have been defensive players, but both those players were on supremely dominant defensive teams when the winning teams shut down the opponent to 10 points or less. That’s very unlikely in the 2019 Super Bowl.
History of Super Bowl MVP winners (since 2000)
|2018||Philadelphia vs New England||Eagles 41-33||QB Nick Foles (PHI)|
|2017||New England vs Atlanta||Patriots 34-28||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2016||Denver vs Carolina||Broncos 24-10||LB Von Miller (DEN)|
|2015||New England vs Seattle||Patriots 28-24||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2014||Seattle vs Denver||Seahawks 43-8||LB Malcolm Smith (SEA)|
|2013||Baltimore vs San Francisco||Ravens 34-31||QB Joe Flacco (BAL)|
|2012||NY Giants vs New England||Giants 17-14||QB Eli Manning (NYG)|
|2011||Green Bay vs Pittsburgh||Packers 31-25||QB Aaron Rodgers (GB)|
|2010||New Orleans vs Indianapolis||Saints 31-17||QB Drew Brees (NO)|
|2009||Pittsburgh vs Arizona||Steelers 27-23||WR Santonio Holmes (PIT)|
|2008||NY Giants vs New England||Giants 17-14||QB Eli Manning (NYG)|
|2007||Indianapolis vs Chicago||Colts 29-17||QB Peyton Manning (IND)|
|2006||Pittsburgh vs Seattle||Steelers 21-10||WR Hines Ward (PIT)|
|2005||New England vs Philadelphia||Patriots 24-21||WR Deion Branch (NE)|
|2004||New England vs Carolina||Patriots 32-29||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2003||Tampa Bay vs Oakland||Buccaneers 48-21||S Dexter Jackson (TB)|
|2002||New England vs St. Louis||Patriots 20-17||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2001||Baltimore vs NY Giants||Ravens 34-7||LB Ray Lewis (BAL)|
|2000||St. Louis vs Tennessee||Rams 23-16||QB Kurt Warner (STL)|
Sports bettors are piling on additional bets at this time of the year during the NFL playoffs. Proposition bets (props) are offered by many sportsbooks with many player props and yardage totals to bet. They will become especially popular during the Super Bowl with nearly 50% of many sportsbooks total handle taken from prop bets alone.
But in the NFC Championship Sunday at New Orleans, many prop bettors took a hard hit when Rams running back CJ Anderson was tackled for a 3-yard loss in overtime just plays before Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein booted the longest game-winning kick in playoff history when his 57-yard field goal sailed well beyond the uprights to send the Rams to Super Bowl Llll.
How it happened
Anderson became a popular player to target as he rushed for 167, 132 and 123 yards for the Rams after being acquired by Los Angeles in mid-December. At FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey, Anderson’s rushing yards prop against the Saints was over/under 53.5 yards as of late as Saturday night. Anderson ‘under’ bets became popular at many sportsbooks and his rushing yards prop closed between 44.5-46.5 yards at many locations by kickoff on Sunday. Anderson’s workload was expected to drop further against the Saints with RB Todd Gurley back healthy after he ripped off 116 rushing yards against Dallas while sharing the rushing load with Anderson the previous week.
Against the Saints, Anderson became the Rams’ primary ball carrier when Gurley struggled and played less than 50% of the Rams’ offensive snaps. Gurley had just four carries for 10 yards and a turnover on a pass deflection he should have caught deep in Rams territory early in the game as the Saints built a 13-0 lead.
On the Rams early fourth quarter drive, Anderson carried the ball three times, for 5, 2 and 1 yards, the last yard from the Saints 2-yard line when he was stopped one yard short of the goal line. But that last yard gave Anderson 47 rushing yards for the game. Bettors who played over his rushing total at the most widely available numbers were happy and no longer sweating the result.
So it seemed. The Rams passed the ball eight straight times on their final drive in regulation when Zuerlein kicked a 48-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. Over bettors were still winning the Anderson rushing prop.
When the game went to overtime and the Rams intercepted Saints QB Drew Brees on the opening drive, Los Angeles took over near midfield. After a 12-yard pass completion on the first play, Anderson took an inside handoff and was tackled for a 3-yard loss. His rushing total dropped to 44 yards. Three plays later without another rushing attempt for Anderson, Zuerlein kicked the game-winning 57-yard field goal.
Tough break. Bad beat. Unfortunate luck, unless you had bet the under!
Anderson finished with 44 rushing yards on 16 carries with a long of 8 yards. He’ll be another popular target when the Super Bowl props are released this week.
Editor’s note: Initial projections of single-digit temperatures in Kansas City on Sunday may be a little harsh. But with wind chill temps falling and rain and snow mix developing Friday evening, the fluctuating weather could make the AFC Championship Sunday evening more eventful.
It’s going to be cold in Kansas City for the AFC Championship game between the Chiefs and Patriots. Not cold like the subzero temperatures in Minneapolis during the 2016 wild-card game that saw the Seahawks escape over the Vikings 10-9 on a missed chip-shot field goal.
But the cold and severe weather impacts games in many ways, including the sportsbooks adjusting the over/under odds for the AFC Championship game early this week with more betting activity initially supporting under the total.
Then, as we get closer to the Sunday evening kickoff, the “Arctic blast” threats that had drawn bettors to the under started to dissipate.
Updated 'Artic Blast' conditions for Patriots-Chiefs: 22 degrees, zero rain, treacherous 6 mph winds: https://t.co/2YZSxFnxIE
— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) January 17, 2019
So, now what?
The line and total adjustments
However, FanDuel Sportsbook dropped the AFC Championship total to 54.5 on Wednesday as the fluctuating forecast shows even more severe weather over the weekend in Kansas City. That looks like the low point as other sportsbooks in New Jersey and Nevada have the total at 55.5 after opening as high as 58 at some sportsbooks.
Severe cold weather can greatly impact the play on the field and the betting total as witnessed in the 2016 Vikings Seahawks wild-card playoff game. The total opened 42.5 and closed 39.5. The temperature was minus 6 degrees, and the wind chill was minus 25 at kickoff.
In the midst of the December 2017 game at Buffalo, who could forget the cold, snow-covered field and heavy fog during the Bills 13-7 overtime win over the Colts?
Blizzard conditions and a foot of snow left the media and fans unable to see the scoreboard or lines on the field. Temperatures in Buffalo were in the low 20s — like the forecast in Kansas City on Sunday — and the total dropped from 40 to 36.5. Under the total bettors had fun watching that game.
Lions, Eagles in snow
The snow was insane in Philadelphia for the December 2013 game between the Lions and Eagles. It was not as cold with temperatures in the high 20s, but Detroit had four fumbles in the first quarter alone.
Last year’s Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was in the midst of his sick season passing for 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions. One of his interceptions was in that weather-impacted game. Detroit led 14-6 after three quarters, but the Eagles erupted for 28 points to win 34-20 and send the game over the closing total of 51; down from the opener of 54.5.
Weather impact can be difficult to determine, but wagering usually supports less scoring, and you want to have a good idea of the weather conditions at game time and anticipate what will happen in the betting market to get favorable betting numbers.
Explosive offenses present problems for under bettors
Kansas City’s offense led the league in scoring this season at 35.1 points per game with a league-high 426 yards per game. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes will win MVP honors, and his 50 touchdown passes and mobility combined with multiple motions and offensive sets make the Chiefs the most difficult team to defend.
The Patriots average 27.2 points per game and 393 yards per game and have the NFL’s greatest postseason quarterback leading the charge in Tom Brady.
Neither team has an above average defense. Thus, betting the under is more difficult, especially with the Patriots’ 43-40 last-second win over the Chiefs on Oct. 14 looming in bettors’ minds. The Patriots had 500 yards offense that game and the Chiefs had 446 yards on limited possessions and plays.
So the weather will be a determining factor in the play-calling, execution and scoring in the AFC Championship. The biggest bets will come during the weekend, and a majority of the bets will be made Sunday as kickoff approaches at 6:40 EST.
The Chiefs scored 31 points and the Patriots 41 points in last week’s playoff win to set up the showdown for AFC Super Bowl representative. The dilemma for sports bettors continues until kickoff, and in-game wagering will be worth watching and betting on as the possessions and weather changes.
NFL’s Wild Card weekend got wilder as emotions from fans and bettors were on full display Sunday night.
The Philadelphia Eagles escaped with a 16-15 win after Bears’ kicker Cody Parkey’s game-winning 43-yard field goal attempt hit the upright and crossbar and fell back into the field of play.
The “double-doink” kick became to talk of NFL fans and sports bettors were slightly tipped at the line of scrimmage by an Eagles’ lineman. But that provides little solace to Bears’ bettors and fans.
FanDuel Sportsbook awards customers up to $100 credit
All online FanDuel Sportsbook customers in New Jersey who placed a single, moneyline wager on the Bears to beat the Eagles on Jan. 6 will automatically receive a site credit matching their stake up to $100 in their account.
“We are thrilled for the Eagles, but it was a tough way for the Bears to lose,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group.
“With playoff season heating up, this was a way to prove there are more ways to win on the FanDuel Sportsbook, and once again, show why we are the most innovative and fun sportsbook in the United States.”
FanDuel’s creative approach
FanDuel continues its innovative approach to sports and gaming, and the company is changing the way consumers engage with their favorite sports, teams and leagues.
In November, the FanDuel Sportsbook made an impact in the industry with sports betting history. FanDuel became the first legal sports betting operator in the US to pay out future wagers on the college football national championship — more than a month before the final game happened.
The FanDuel Sportsbook awarded online customers early winnings and paid out all Alabama bets to win the national title. The Crimson Tide ended up losing in the national championship game to Clemson on Jan. 7, and the promotion cost FanDuel $40,000. Alabama bettors with future win wagers on the Tide rolled in the money more than five weeks ago.
FanDuel offers a sportsbook app in the state of New Jersey. FanDuel also has physical sportsbooks at NJ’s Meadowlands at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.
The company provides “More Ways To Win” through its live football sports betting TV show.
With the biggest single sports betting event approaching for Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, it will be interesting to see what FanDuel offers its customers next. It’s likely to be a touchdown catch for its customers.
The NFL’s wild-card weekend should produce some intriguing games and results, as three of the contests have home teams with less than three-point favorites.
Take this advice; there is no sure side despite market moves and sharp action. The betting activity on the NFL playoffs is increasing as the games near kick off, and the injury reports are nearing finalization.
Wagering activity and betting support on teams vary across the country at various sportsbooks. Which teams can be counted on to win, cover and advance to the divisional round of next week’s playoffs?
Recent wild-card round history
Last year’s wild-card round results were a dog lover’s delight.
Underdogs went 4-0 ATS with two outright winners as the Atlanta Falcons flew past the Los Angeles Rams 26-13, and the Tennessee Titans shocked the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21.
Recall that all four home favorites were laying at least six points.
The prior playoff season, the wild-card-round favorites went 4-0 SU/ATS with each winning by double-digits. Three of them were laying at least six points.
So where is the edge with this year’s wild-card games with all four games lined at 6.5 points or less and three of the home favorites laying three points or less?
NFL playoff betting activity and market moves
The two games on Saturday are expected to be close and also feature rematches from earlier season meetups.
Indianapolis at Houston (-1)
Houston Texans host this game as the AFC South champs.
These two teams met twice during the regular season with each team winning on the road by three points.
The betting activity on the side is nearly even on each team at a consensus of seven of the biggest online sportsbooks as tracked by Sports Insights.
The line has dropped slightly from the opener. FanDuel Sportsbook had Houston as a one-point favorite with added vigorish (-115) as of Friday afternoon.
The Colts started the season 1-5 but finished winning nine of their last 10 games. Indianapolis was only an underdog one time during that stretch, and they won outright at Houston 24-21.
The Texans started 0-3 this season and then went on a nine-game winning streak that began with a 37-34 overtime victory at Indianapolis.
According to John Murray, director of the SuperBook at the Westgate in Las Vegas, said there is “good two-way action and we did take a $30,000 bet on the Texans. There’s been a lot of moneyline action on Houston.”
Seattle at Dallas (-2)
Both teams finished 10-6. Dallas Cowboys hosts the game as NFC East champs.
FanDuel was the only sportsbook showing Dallas -3 (+100 vig) as of Friday. Similar to the AFC‘s wild-card game, Sports Insights betting activity tracker shows a 51-49 percent split on the side for each team.
“Another game with very good two-way handle,” Murray said. “We did take a bet for $20,000 on the Cowboys -2. It will be a very high-handle game between two high-profile teams in primetime.”
When the Cowboys and Seahawks met in Seattle in Week 3, the Seahawks prevailed 24-13. The yards were nearly even and both teams near 300 total yards offense. The Seahawks were just a one-point home favorite, and three Dallas turnovers were the difference in defeat.
Sunday’s wild-card games will likely draw even more wagering activity — especially the late primetime game.
The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles snagged a wild card by winning five of their last six games and now travel to the Windy City against the upstart Chicago Bears and their dominant defense.
LA Chargers at Baltimore (-2.5)
The Baltimore Ravens (10-6) host this wild-card game Sunday as AFC North champs after holding on last week against Cleveland.
Baltimore finished the season on a 6-1 run after rookie QB Lamar Jackson was inserted as the starting quarterback and the Ravens went to a run-heavy approach on offense to compliment their No. 1 defense.
The Chargers (12-4) couldn’t get by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West but are tied for the second-best record in the NFL this season.
This game is -2.5 across the board at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but -3 (+100) at FanDuel on Friday. Major online sportsbooks are split between 2.5-3, favoriting the Ravens. However, a playoff-high 72 percent of the bets are on the LA Chargers, according to Sports Insights.
“So far, most of the larger bets have come in on the Ravens and pushed the number to Ravens -2.5 (-120),” Murray said.
Philadelphia at Chicago (-6.5)
The Chicago Bears (12-4) host the Eagles (9-7) as NFC North champs.
The Bears, like the Houston Texans, went from worst to first after finishing last in the division a season ago. As the sun sets near halftime of this primetime game, it will be near freezing temperatures in the mid-30s with winds 10-20 MPH.
Quarterback Nick Foles will try to lead the Eagles on another magical playoff run. Foles was a full participant at practice Thursday after suffering injured ribs during the Week 17 win at Washington.
Foles and the Eagles offense will have to play their best to pull out a victory, as the Bears were dominant with their defense at Soldier Field this season going 7-1 SU/ATS including 6-0 SU/ATS as favorite.
Chicago also closed the season on a 9-1 SU/ATS run.
The Bears are a six-point favorite across most of Las Vegas, but the major online sportsbooks in New Jersey have the Bears at -6.5. According to Sports Insights’ bet tracker,
Chicago is taking 53 percent of the bets while the Eagles are getting 62 percent of the moneyline bets.
“We took a $20,000 bet on the Eagles +6 and moved to 5.5, but we are back up to Bears -6, as the majority of the bets have come in on the Bears,” Murray said.
“Historically speaking, the fourth and final game of each playoff weekend is a high-handle game with big liability to the book, as all the moneyline parlays and teasers that are alive will be going to that game.”
Take teaser bets into consideration as the lines are set and moved at playoff time.
With tight lines and close contests expected, professional bettors are taking a stance with some underdogs this week, crossing over the key numbers of 3, 4, 6 and 7 to get +7.5 or more on six-point teasers supporting three underdogs on the Colts, Seahawks and Chargers.
The FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey and the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas release NFL advance look-ahead lines, and Week 17 is usually filled with much uncertainty. That’s the case 11 days in advance of the games with the difference in point spreads by the two sportsbooks providing look-ahead lines.
There are no Thursday or Saturday games and no Sunday night game in Week 17. Every game in Week 17 a division game. The motivational and situational angles will change based on Week 16 results and playoff potential of teams. Same with other teams that will have nothing to play for and some coaches preparing their teams for a final regular season game knowing they too will be given a pink slip the following week.
Many sportsbooks will hold off releasing betting odds on selected Week 17 games until more information is available. Review the NFL Week 17 look-ahead lines below but understand there will be more to consider as the Week 16 results come in along with other information throughout next week.
Adjusting to market moves
Last week, two road favorites went down in defeat as New England lost at Pittsburgh 17-10 and Seattle fell in overtime at San Francisco 26-23. The Patriots were an underdog on the advance look-ahead line, and then became the short favorite leading into Week 15 action. Sharp money came in on San Francisco, and also on the Tennessee Titans, who went from a 2.5-point underdog to a 2.5-point favorite on game day and in their road win against the New York Giants.
Over the last three weeks, road favorites are just 9-11 SU and 7-12-1 ATS. Teams that took the highest percentage of bets in Week 15 and lost ATS were road favorites New Orleans, New England and Seattle with the Patriots and Seahawks losing outright. The other big bet team was the Texans, who closed a 7-point road favorite on Saturday and were losing 22-19 with less than 3 minutes remaining before a miraculous ATS push or even a win for early Houston bettors in a 29-22 win against the NY Jets.
There are plenty of market moves and adjustments for Week 16, and the market will move and adjust faster in Week 17 with more information and situations to consider.
NFL Week 17 look-ahead betting lines
All 16 games are division contests in Week 17. Key games likely still impacting playoff positions includes Chicago at Minnesota with a line that reflects the Bears will likely be resting starters and a slim chance to improve their No. 3 NFC playoff seeding. Minnesota will likely need a win to make the playoffs. Philadelphia at Washington could be a key game for the final NFC wild card pending Week 16 results. Same with Indianapolis at Tennessee in the AFC.
Much to look forward to as the final two weeks play out. Stay tuned.
|Game||Westgate Line||FanDuel Line|
|Dallas at NY Giants||NYG -2.5||NYG -1|
|Oakland at Kansas City||KC -13||KC -14.5|
|Carolina at New Orleans||NO -5.5||NO -9.5|
|NY Jets at New England||NE -13||NE -12.5|
|Philadelphia at Washington||PHI -5.5||PHI -5.5|
|Detroit at Green Bay||OFF||GB -4|
|Jacksonville at Houston||HOU -7.5||HOU -7.5|
|Cleveland at Baltimore||BAL -4.5||BAL -6|
|Atlanta at Tampa Bay||ATL -3||TB -1|
|Miami at Buffalo||BUF -3||BUF -1|
|Indianapolis at Tennessee||IND -2.5||TEN -1|
|Cincinnati at Pittsburgh||PIT -13||PIT -10.5|
|Chicago at Minnesota||MIN -6.5||MIN -1.5|
|LA Chargers at Denver||LAC -5.5||LAC -4.5|
|Arizona at Seattle||SEA -10.5||SEA -10|
|San Francisco at LA Rams||LAR -9||LAR -9.5|