When you get lemons, you make lemonade. That’s what most football fans had to do Sunday as the NFL handed out one of the worst lineups ever seen for Week 7. The poor lineup was helped by having six popular teams on byes that combined for a 24-12 record through six weeks. But in the end, there was a little cause for excitement because of getting a glimpse of the future.
Tim Tebow had an awful first 55 minutes and then pulled a miracle in Miami. Christian Ponder held his own against the world champs and became a hero for the sports books. Then there’s Carson Palmer who came into the Chiefs game looking to save the day, but gave more of the same sorry quarterbacking story.
When looking back on week 7, it really wasn’t as bad as it initially looked on paper. Nine of the first 13 games were competitive from a point-spread perspective of being less than 5-points. This made things difficult for the bettors.
Usually it’s the point spread on teams that dictate where the small money goes. Bettors didn’t have the popular teams like Patriots, 49ers or Giants to feature in their parlays. Nor did they have the upstart Bengals or Bills. And it doesn’t matter what the Eagles record is, they’re always going to attract attention as one of the more popular plays.
So bettors had to try and find a new angle last week and it was tough. The Chargers are a popular team, so a large portion jumped on their wagon as their first link of the day against a struggling Jets squad. Even though the Jets were 3-0 at home, they’re too up and down for the casual bettor to take a liking to. The Chargers jumped out to an early commanding lead, but the Jets fought back to win 27-21.
The public also jumped in on the Broncos and all the Tim Tebow hype. The Dolphins opened as a 3-point favorite, but Denver closed as the 2½-point favorite. All the experts were glowing for the first 55 minutes of the game in their analysis of Tebow not being able to make it in the NFL because he can’t throw. And he couldn’t in this game, he was awful.
But then all of a sudden, the other faction of his game came out, the part of his game supporters say is the reason he can make it in the NFL, his heart. He willed his team to 15 points in the final 3 minutes – the first time it’s happened in the NFL since 1970 – to tie the game and send it to overtime. His team rallied behind him, got a turnover and then kicked the winning field goal to win 18-15.
The win was one of a sprinkling few on the day for bettors. It was also the Broncos first win ever at Miami in eight tries.
Public support also sided with the Lions at home going from a 3½-point favorite to -5½. The feeling was that Lions should bounce back after their first loss of the season against a Falcons team searching for their identity. The Falcons went back to being physical and pounding the ball with Michael Turner, using a blueprint from the 49ers win two weeks ago, and won 23-16.
Incidentally, the Lions, on a two-game losing streak are 3½-point favorites at a Tebow-crazed Denver this week.
With the sports books coming out unhurt from the early games, all they needed to secure a winning day was have two of the underdogs cover in the four late games with a preference on one of those teams being the Vikings.
The Chiefs jumped all over Kyle Boller and the favored Raiders (-4) for three interceptions, including one for a touchdown in the first half to take a 14-0 lead. Newly acquired QB Carson Palmer took over in the second half much to the Raider Nation’s delight, but his performance was almost a carbon copy of Boller’s. Palmer would throw 3 picks as well, including one for a touchdown and the Chiefs put 14 more points on the board to eventually win 28-0.
For the sports books, things were faring okay, but the Vikings were still the underdog they wanted. The Steelers were handling the Cardinals and the Cowboys were destroying the Rams, so everything was riding on the arm of Ponder and legs of Adrian Peterson.
The books got what they wanted early on as Ponder rolled out and threw a beautiful pass down the sideline for a 74 yard gain that led to an easy score. That set the tempo for the afternoon. It was kind of an early punch in the nose to the 10-point bully that they were going to be in for a tough game.
However, things started to turn the bettors way when the Vikings 17-13 halftime lead quickly turned into a 33-17 Packers route by the time the fourth quarter started. But the Vikings chipped away with a field goal and then the all important back door cover making the score 33-27 and covering the 10-points.
“We really only won two games on the day,” said Las Vegas Hilton Super Book executive director Jay Kornegay, “But they were our biggest two games of the day with the Jets and Vikings getting there. I wouldn’t say we won on the day, but it wasn’t a loss.”
So following the Saints to the OVER massacre Sunday night, the favorites ended up 6-5-1 on the day. Just like the Browns-Seahwaks game, the day was a push and it’s on to week 8 with all our favorite teams back in action.
Hello Mr. Murray
Welcome to the big-time DeMarco Murray. Your 253 yards rushing against the Rams set a new Cowboys record and puts your name above the likes of Hall-of-Famers Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith. The city of Las Vegas, your home town, couldn’t be happier for your success. Good luck to Felix Jones trying to get that starting job back.
Kornegay on the Linemakers
Jay Kornegay from the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book will be featured as a guest on “The Linemakers” this Friday night at 8 p.m. on Discovery’s Velocity channel. “The Linemakers” is a show starring all the legendary bookmakers who built the modern day sports books.
“I’ve been watching the show every week and I like it a lot,” said Kornegay. “It’s kind of cool that we can have our business, which so many people across the states are intrigued about, be on television for all to see.”
The show tapes each Tuesday at the South Point and has already featured current sports book directors like Bert Osborne. The stars of the show are Jimmy Vaccaro, Vinny Magliulo, Lou D’Amico, Kenny White, Rick Herron and Richie Baccellieri. It is hosted by Brian Blessing.