Brady suspension effecting sportsbook lines
May 12, 2015 3:00 AM
by Micah Roberts
Saturday night had everything for the sports bettor with NBA and NHL playoff games, as well as meaningful MLB divisional games and the rain delayed NASCAR race at Kansas. It wasn’t nearly as active for the sports books as last Saturday with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and Kentucky Derby, but it was a raucous crowd with each sport having a different group of fans watching and cheering vigorously. Rangers fans at the books during the playoffs have been the most entertaining to watch as they’re very vocal.
But the most interesting book activity occurred Wednesday as Deflategate had taken a turn with the release of the Wells report where its findings will likely have Tom Brady suspended at least one game, maybe four. Actual suspension, or official NFL ruling, is supposed to occur Monday or Tuesday. Every book has NFL Futures posted and his departure from just one game is huge considering there is only 16 games played. He’s worth up to 5.5-points to the number, and quite a few books already had New England posted as 6.5-point home favorites over the Steelers in Week 1. CG Technologies dropped the number immediately to -3.5 and then later down to -3 while waiting for any type of information that would be confirmed and concrete.
CG went half-way in, but didn’t want to cross the key number of 3, understandable when there is the slim possibility he won’t be suspended. It’s conceivable that by game-time the Steelers could be 2-point favorites if Tom Brady isn’t playing and Jimmy Garrapolo is. The Steelers offense (No. 2 in 2014) can score quickly. Heck, might even be Steelers -3 by then as perception shifts drastically. Despite what would be an inflated number against the Super Bowl champs, I’d want no part of Garrapolo in this type of game.
William Hill sports books took off the Patriots Week 1 number, and also the AFC East division odds where head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich isn’t sure what one game would mean in the division, saying “There’s not a big difference with the other three (Jets, Dolphins, and Bills).”
The Patriots season win total is set at 10.5 games and the Westgate SuperBook kept the number on the board and are just following along with news like everyone else.
Either way, the decision is going to come under criticism. The NFL is in a no-win situation with this thing that has been simmering for almost a week. Will the NFL try to make a statement by not showing favoritism to the leagues poster boy Tom Brady? Or will they slap him on the hand?
When the decision does come down, the books will be making some hefty changes. If it’s one game, that’s not too big of deal. Two games is a big deal. Four games is season altering change of the AFC’s complexion and everybody’s impacted by it. William Hill currently has the Patriots at 8-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl and +325 to win the AFC. The Colts are also co-favorites at +325.
John Wall is rated as one of the best in the league from a regular season value at 3-points, then up to 5-points during the playoffs. He turned into this absolute superhuman player averaging 12 assists a game over the first five playoffs games, but missed Games 2 and 3 because of a broken wrist. Those assists turn into points, and Washington is missing it. Ramon Sessions filled in with only four assists in a blowout 106-90 Game 2 loss Tuesday night. It was their first loss of the playoffs and first non-cover in their past nine games. But they bounced back Saturday afternoon with a 103-101 win, where Wall didn’t play and the line ran from Washington -1.5 at home to Hawks -4. Paul Pierce was the postseason hero once again. The Wizards are now 6-1 ATS during the playoffs. However, during the regular season the Wizards were the worst cover team in the NBA (33-47-2 ATS). Nene and Otto Porter have filled Wall’s departure nicely by stepping up with scoring. It’s fun seeing that striped 1979 Bullets jersey deep in the playoffs again.
The Westgate SuperBook’s SuperContest weekend will be August 28-29, which includes a free handicapping seminar, golf outing and free SuperContest entries given away. The SuperContest costs $1,500 to join and requires five NFL selections against the spread each week of the season. Last years winner, CH Ballers, won $736,000 by picking the most winners. One of the ways to win a free entry is by playing their free national contest on Gamblino.com. It’s free for everyone to play on their phone, from inside or outside of Nevada. Right now, they have an NHL and NBA playoffs going, as well as a baseball contest that runs through the All-Star break. The winners of all three will get a free SuperContest entry.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at MicahRoberts@GamingToday.com.