In 1956, there was an animated television commercial that aired during kids programs of a little guy in a cowboy hat with his father convincing his son to try a new breakfast cereal called Maypo. Once the dad tastes it while working to induce the kid he likes it so much that he starts shoveling it down and the kid says a line that was ringing in the ears of kids and parents everywhere, “I want my Maypo.”
Well, the maple flavored oatmeal breakfast didn’t last, but we have a parallel in the National Football League this week where bettors are saying, “I want my Cowboys.”
On Thursday, it became apparent that the Cowboys were not going to play starting quarterback Dak Prescott this week. The Cowboys without Prescott is like a car missing a wheel. Last year, while Prescott was sidelined with an injury, the Cowboys played like a wheel barrel without a wheel.
The Nevada books are occasionally prompted to disallow a game on their parlay cards when a major injury changes the competitive balance that was present when the spread was printed. That would normally be the case with tonight’s matchup in Minnesota, where the Vikings opened as a 1½ point underdog, which is the number listed on the parlay cards, and are now a three point favorite based on the Cowboys missing their quarterback.
This week, the books didn’t have to eliminate the Cowboys or Vikings from their parlay cards because the public kept betting on Dallas even after Prescott was declared out.
While the point spread on the board is Dallas plus three, the public is still taking the Cowboys by a two to one ratio on the parlay cards giving 1½ points.
Because, like the kid in the Maypo commercial who just wanted his Maypo, the Dallas bettors, who are undefeated against the point spread this season, just want their Cowboys. The books are very happy to accommodate them.
Rule number one in making money from sports wagering is not to give the books what they want. Tonight, they want Dallas money, and this is a very likely spot for the Cowboys six game point spread winning streak to end.
So, why are we not on the Vikings in this one?
Well, other games rated higher this week and we have the Kirk Cousins factor … he has had trouble beating teams with winning records during both his tenures in Washington and with the Vikings.