Do you see that guy on the other side of the counter at the sportsbook you visit?
He has walking orders. He is not thinking, considering all the factors, or trying to separate you from your money. He is just a soldier, and the smartest people in the game are the ones giving him his duty. How many points at what vig to offer you on every National Football League game. Their job is to separate you from your money.
This year, the books had lost money every time the Dallas Cowboys played and someone bet on their opponent this season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t won a game since opening day, when they upset the Indianapolis Colts, and have lost money for those betting on them five straight weeks before they hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
And beat the spread.
The books caught both those bad teams, the Cowboys and Jaguars, in ideal spots to set lines that made them the percentage side of the point spread proposition. The Pittsburgh Steelers came into Dallas undefeated and off back-to-back hard earned wins over the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens.
The books gave Dallas two touchdowns on their home field, and the public backed the Steelers like they were the only choice in the game. In fact, at one Reno sports book the establishment was out 100 to 1 in Steelers money … and collected when the rag tag Dallas group almost upset Pittsburgh and easily covered the spread in a competitive game that Pittsburgh didn’t lock down until the Cowboys final pass of the day fell incomplete. Steelers got out of town with a 24-19 eighth straight win.
The Houston Texans came into Jacksonville while winning only one point spread decision in seven starts this season. That win, by the way, was gained against the Jaguars four weeks ago in Jacksonville when the Texans were a six point favorite and won the game, 30-14.
A road favorite of nearly a touchdown that has won only one game both straight-up and against the spread this year didn’t deter the public from laying the points in Jacksonville yesterday. The Texans were one of the most bet games of the week with nearly 70% of the action on this game backing their chances on the road, and the books collected when Houston squeaked by straight-up and lost the spread decision, 27-25.
Tonight, we have a New England Patriots team that has lost four straight games and doesn’t look like a Bill Belichick team, favored by nearly double-digits on the road against the New York Jets. And the majority of the public bets are laying those points and expecting to collect after the game.
Now, to be fair, while I saw the advantages of both the Cowboys and Jaguars before they played this week, I didn’t pull the trigger on either one. I still had problems with the talent and injury situations in both Dallas and Jacksonville.
So, tonight, with a similar situation begging to take the Jets, I’m not tempting fate and banking on a New York team still looking for their first win and with injuries on both sides of the ball.
So, I take no credit for knowing that the books are making up ground on the exact teams they have lost over the first half of the season, because I have not been willing to cash with the smartest guys in the game. But for sure, and if I was on twitter this would be in all caps, I wouldn’t bet on the Patriots tonight.