NFL: $105K at stake in contests

Dec 14, 2008 6:55 PM
by Mark Mayer |

It’s Week 15 of the NFL regular season and still no winner in the NFL Pro Progressive contest at each of the nine Harrah’s properties. The top prize is now at $81,893 for picking eight games correctly against the spread and eight straight up. The weekly contest is competed among entries at Caesars Palace, Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Paris, Harrah’s, Rio, Bally’s Bill’s Gambling Hall & Saloon in Las Vegas along with Harveys in Reno.

And at Lucky’s Race and Sports Books across Nevada, including the Plaza and Terrible’s in Las Vegas, the jackpot is up to $24,000 after a three-week carryover. Earlier in the season, Lucky’s had carryovers reach the $40,000 mark until the contest was hit.

As for Week 15, there are two more double-digit favorites on the slate. Today, the Indianapolis Colts are a 17-point favorite over the winless Detroit Lions. On Monday night, the Philadelphia Eagles are a 14-point chalk against Cleveland. The Browns are down to their third quarterback in Ken Dorsey.

We bring up double-digit lines for a reason – the tide has turned. Underdogs at this range started 9-0 against the spread and reached 17-1 through 11 weeks. But the dogs are 1-6 since. GamingToday columnist Andy Iskoe noted that underdogs of greater than 9 points are still well above .500 for the season, but at a little less glossy 19-13.

The hottest team against the spread is the Baltimore Ravens, having covered seven of their last eight games. The Ravens have risen from a 2 to 3-point favorite over the Pittsburgh Steelers with first place in the AFC North on the line. The coldest against the number is Jacksonville, failing to cover in four straight games and 10 of 13. The Jaguars are a 2½-point home underdog to Green Bay.

The game which should attract the most betting action is the NBC Sunday Night clash in Dallas, where the dysfunctional Cowboys are a 3-point favorite over the Plaxico Burress-less NFC East leading New York Giants. The line opened at 3 and hasn’t budged. As far as NFL futures bets go, a Minnesota Vikings victory at Arizona or Packers loss eliminates Green Bay from the playoffs, while a Denver win at Carolina or Chargers loss at Kansas City finishes San Diego.