2011 NFL football season already seen some drastic changes

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The 2011 NFL season has already seen some drastic changes from what we’ve been used to over the last decade. Indianapolis can’t win, Detroit and Buffalo are both undefeated through three weeks.

The Lions and Bills made their presence felt by ending lengthy streaks against opponents that had been kicking them around for years. For the Colts, all they did was save Las Vegas sports books Sunday night with inspired play by their defense.

The Lions ended a 13-game skid at Minnesota dating back to 1997 with their 26-23 overtime win while the Bills ended a 15-game losing streak against the Patriots that dated back to 2003 by winning 34-31.

In both cases, each of these teams had to endure a set of daunting circumstances to win beyond their past history. The Lions were down 20-0 and the half while the Bills gave the Patriots a 21-0 lead.

Buffalo gave their supporters a +290 payout on the money-line. Some of those supporters who liked the Bills just fine on the point spread were the sharpest bettors in the world. The Sharps bet the Bills from +9 all the way down to +7.

“We had a lot of straight bet action on the Bills that pushed the game down to 7, but it was a good decision for us because of all the teasers and parlays attached to the Patriots side. It knocked out a lot of risk on the day,” said Red Rock sports book director Jason McCormick.

“However, the Lions winning by 3 wasn’t good for us. Most of the straight bet action was on the Vikings at +3½ and then the bulk of the parlay action was given back as a push on both sides at 3 keeping them alive for the afternoon games.”

It was amazing to watch this Bills team once again show that they can put over 30 points on anyone. Buffalo’s offense scored a season low 34 points on the day giving them a total of 113 points in their three games. Although the Patriots defense isn’t what it used to be, it’s safe to say that you won’t be getting too many points with Buffalo at home anytime soon.

The Bills should be the most rapidly elevated team in the power ratings this week, while Patriots – because of their porous defense – will drop below a few points below the Packers.

The Super-Eagles thought all would be well once it was announced that Michael Vick would be playing after he didn’t practice much in the week due to a concussion.

The sports books offered the Eagles as an 8-point favorite with Vick playing and the game would have been -3 with Mike Kafka starting. As it turns out, Kafka got plenty of playing time as Vick was again was knocked out the game, this time with a broken right hand (non-throwing), which is expected to keep him out 3-to 4 weeks.

The Giants had already played well enough to win even with Vick taking the snaps, and when he went out, so did the Eagles steam. The Giants went on to win 29-16 paying out those who had the fore-sight of them winning at +330 on the money-line.

“The Giants win was good for the house because it knocked out a big chunk of the days parlays and teasers on the Eagles,” McCormick said.

After a decent first wave of early games, the afternoon was a back-breaker for most books with the Ravens and Packers being keyed together in most parlays.

“The Ravens game was where we took the biggest hit, not only was it one of the more bet upon games of the day from a parlay and teaser standpoint, but it was also one-sided on straight bets.”

Baltimore had been bet up to a 6-point favorite on Sunday morning for their game at St. Louis after standing alone almost the entire week at -4.

“Unlike the Browns game where money came in on the other side when Peyton Hillis was announced as not playing, the announcement that the Rams RB Steven Jackson would play made no difference,” McCormick said. “Ravens money just kept pouring in.”

One lucky bettor at the South Point hit a $100, 10-team parlay for $65,000 with the late games proving to be a little better for him than most other bettors. The Raiders and Seahawks helped him cash in on the late games.

After grinding out the 14 early games with the favorites only going 5-8-1, the sports books day rested with the lowly Colts getting 11-points at home against the Steelers. Had the Steelers covered it would have wiped away the entire days win. No one wanted the Colts and the ticket count ratio for Pittsburgh was off the charts.

Usually the isolated games don’t see as much action during the week with small bettors opting to put their bankroll for Sunday’s games on the earlier games and then re-strategize after their own results are known. But this week it was all Pittsburgh, all week, as if it were part of the 10 a.m. rotation.

Kerry Collins once again played poorly, but the Colts defensive line came up with a big effort against Big Ben and even scored on their own to help the cause.

The Steelers eventually won 23-20, but at least Indianapolis has something good to feel about moving forward. You can also expect Curtis Painter to take over the starting quarterback role this week for the Colts which should be an improvement.

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