NFL: Favorites win big for the public

December 15, 2009 5:04 PM
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After going over a month of getting pounded by the sports books, the bettors struck back with a big week 14 in the NFL. The win was fueled by the favorites going 10-4 Sunday, when only two underdogs won straight-up. Of the two dogs that won, Miami and San Diego, both were short numbers that garnered public support and didn’t really help the books at all.

The only NFL game that the public truly lost on the day was the Saints winning by only three as a 10-point favorite. The other dog that won but didn’t cover was the Patriots winning by 10 but not covering the 12.5 spread. Late Panther money had come in pushing the spread down from 13.5.

The greatest sign of the public doing well was watching the rush to the local books by all the season contest players of Station Casinos Great Giveaway and Coast Resorts Pick the Pro’s. Hundreds of folks came rushing to the counters asking for results before the late games were even over, stating that they had perfect cards in the no-points contests.

The old trend that was good for the first seven weeks of the season of picking on bad teams held true in week 14. Betting against the Buccaneers, Raiders, Lions, Chiefs and Rams was a winning proposition going 5-0 with payouts of 20 to 1 in a parlay together.

Fortunately for the books, the last few weeks of action that showed signs of life in those teams deterred an onslaught of action that had been seen earlier in the year.

Two teams that have done very well this season for the public, the Colts and Vikings, came through again with wins. The huge favorites of the Titans and Ravens also found lots of public support and won easily with each putting up over 40 points in lopsided wins.

The Dallas Cowboys continued their disastrous December trend of losing. While sharp money had pushed the Cowboys from a 3-point favorite to 3.5 by kickoff, the public wasn’t buying it. Coming into the game the Chargers had won 7 straight games and Phillip Rivers had gone 15-0 in December games as the Chargers starting quarterback.

The Chargers held on for a 20-17 win, but it really wasn’t even that close. The Cowboys scored a late touchdown giving the appearance of a close game, but the Chargers controlled the entire game.

Should the Chargers and Rivers continue their December trend of dominance heading into the NFL playoffs, they are going to be one tough team to face for any AFC team, including the 13-0 Colts.

When the Colts beat the Broncos 28-16 they secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and also set a record for winning 22 straight regular season games. With three games to go it’s likely the Colts will choose to rest starters in favor of going for an undefeated season, a move that has proven dangerous in the past by teams because they don’t have that same rhythm that got them the lofty record once real play begins for them.

The Saints are undefeated as well, but have the Vikings nipping at their heels in a quest to win home field advantage. While the Colts don’t appear to care too much about the undefeated mark, the Saints are relishing their moment with lots of excited talk about running the table with no losses.

While the Vikings, Eagles, and Packers all look like solid contenders, the Saints at home look almost unbeatable.

This week the Saints are a 7-point favorite to the sliding Cowboys. After that, they get the Buccaneers at home and close out the regular season at Carolina in games where they’ll be sizable favorites. Drew Brees may get a rest at some point, but don’t expect it to happen until those games are in control.