5-0 smart

September 24, 2002 7:42 AM
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   Week 3 in the NFL saw the Saints again go marching into the win column and taking the bettors with them.

   “Lots of times it’s the ”˜what have you done for me lately’ mentality that sways bettors,” said Jay Kornegay, race and sports director at Imperial Palace.

   In pro line movements of at least 1½ points, the bettors went 5-0.

   New Orleans was the popular flavor of the day, closing as a 1½-point favorite after opening as a 3½-point underdog at most Las Vegas books.

   “We opened the game at Bears-3 and it closed at 2½ for the Saints,” Kornegay said. “I don’t think it was because people thought (Jim) Miller wouldn’t start at quarterback for the Bears. Miller isn’t worth five points. (John) Elway in his prime was worth four.”

   The Saints wiped out a 20-0 second quarter deficit to reward the bettors. The house also took a hit on the Cleveland-Tennessee matchup when the underdog Browns erased a 14-point deficit to win in overtime.

   The other big victories for the bettors were Philadelphia’s rout of Dallas, San Diego’s win at Arizona and San Francisco’s half-point cover against Washington, winning 20-10.

   “The Eagles were solid and the bettors knew it,” Kornegay said. “We got a little bit back with New England when the Chiefs came back to cover. I think the people are beginning to give the Patriots more respect.”

   Teams that could draw public backlash in this week’s lines are the New York Jets and Minnesota, who continue to disappoint their supporters.

NCAA

   The most incredible result in college football might have been Notre Dame or Florida. But those are obvious.

   Since any game on the board carries the same meaning from a betting standpoint, here's a result the wiseguys were on all week-Louisiana Lafayette 34, UAB 0.

   “I don’t know why that happened,” Kornegay said. “There wasn’t enough action on that game to hurt us, even though the line moved a couple of points.”

   That was not the case later on that evening when top-ranked Miami pushed across a couple of late scores to cover the 26-point spread against Boston College.

   “The Miami result definitely hurt us,” Kornegay said. “It ruined what had been a decent day.”

   UAB was 1-2 and playing to its billing as the seventh best team out of 10 in the preseason Conference USA standings. Still, a 2-2 mark seemed assured since the opponent was 0-3 SU

this season and a dismal 9-49 since 1997.

   La-La, formerly Southwestern Louisiana, had lost by an average of 22 points. Lafayette dropped four straight to the Blazers over a six-year span, including 47-2 two years ago in Birmingham and 42-7 in '97.

   Notre Dame was another of the eight major line movements from last weekend. The Irish opened as a pick'em against Michigan State, but by kickoff the Spartans were bet up to a 3-point favorite in East Lansing.

   The Irish pulled out a dramatic 21-17 victory to the delight of the house.

LINE MOVEMENTS

NFL

Game                        Open                        Close                        Result                        Adv

Cle-Tenn                        T-6.0                        T-4.5                        C 31-28                        P

NO-Chic                        3.5                        N-1.5                        N 29-23                        P

Was-SF                        SF-7.0                        -9.0                        S 20-10                        P

Dal-Phil                        P-8.5                        -10.0                        P 44-13                        P

SD-Ariz                        S-1.5                        -3.0                        S 23-15                        P

NCAA

Game                        Open                        Close                        Result                        Adv

Rut-Pitt                        P-27                        -23.5                        P 23-3                        P

ND-MSU                        pick                        -3.0                        N 21-17                        H

Ohio St-Cin                        O-14.5                        -18.5                        O 23-19                        H

Ohio-Conn                        C-1.5                        -5.5                        C 37-19                        P

Ball St.-Clem                        C-24.5                        -28.8                        C 30-7                        H

MTSU-Ky                        K-9.5