|The DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship will be held Jan. 11-13 in Jersey City, N.J. $1M is guaranteed to the winner. Details here. (Based on my anecdotal evidence, there should be a number of competitors familiar to regular VSiN viewers.)
Dave Tuley’s ATS wrap-up on the college bowls . . .
No. 15 Texas beat No. 5 Georgia 28-21 in Sugar Bowl: ViewFromVegas is the Longhorns closed as 13.5-point underdogs & an average of +425 on ML to make Texas the biggest winning dog of the bowl season.
Favorites won 23 of the 38 bowls (the national title game doesn’t count as a bowl game), but underdogs ended up 21-17 ATS with those 15 outright upsets plus 6 covers in SU losses; dogs were 10-2 ATS in last dozen bowls starting with OU vs. Alabama; in totals wagering, Unders came out ahead 19-18-1.
In earlier games . . .
Ohio St. holds off Washington 28-23 in Rose Bowl: Huskies get back-door cover after closing as 5.5-point underdogs (stayed Under 55.5).
LSU beats previously undefeated Central Florida 40-32 in Fiesta Bowl: Tigers covered after closing as 7-point favorites (went Over 58).
Kentucky beats Penn St. 27-24 in Citrus Bowl: Wildcats were 4.5-point underdogs & +170 on ML (went Over total of 47.5).
Iowa beats Mississippi St. 27-22 in Outback Bowl (free coconut shrimp on Jan. 2!): Hawkeyes were 7-point underdogs & +240 on ML (went Over low total of 39.5).
Big bets . . .
The back-door cover by Washington wasn’t good for most bettors, based on the reports from the bookmakers.
From Patrick Everson of Covers: William Hill’s Nick Bogdanovich on the swing from Washington’s late TD to cover — at least most numbers — vs Ohio State: "Huge. We got very lucky." In a game with "insane handle," TD a 7-figure swing for WillHill, from sizable 6-figure loss to sizable 6-figure win.
Also from Patrick: One MGM bettor had a series of moneyline parlays involving Georgia:
- A $630K 2-teamer of Patriots and Georgia to win $200K
- A $125K 5-teamer — Alabama, Patriots, Seahawks, Chiefs, Georgia — that would have paid $111K.
- A $50K 3-team moneyline parlay of Patriots/Bama/Georgia, for $27K
Needless to say, the MGM was happy with that Sugar Bowl result.
Drive Point stats from Jeff Fogle
With the NFL playoffs kicking off Saturday, we now limit our study of drive points (those scored and allowed on drives of 60 yards or more) to postseason participants. The numbers you see below are regular season per-game averages…offense listed first, defense second.
- Indianapolis (18.6/12.3) at Houston (13.1/13.1)
- Seattle (17.4/12.7) at Dallas (13.8/12.6)
- LA Chargers (17.7/10.1) at Baltimore (14.9/10.5)
- Philadelphia (14.8/13.9) at Chicago (15.2/10.1)
Bye teams: New Orleans (20.2/18.5), LA Rams (19.1/15.7), Kansas City (25.1/19.9), New England (16.6/12.1)
You can see why the first three visiting wild-card teams were getting so much interest from respected bettors. Impressive differentials. All three hosts opened below a field goal, with early money driving the line away from the key number of three. Possibly some vulnerability next week for #1 seeds with either inconsistent defense (New Orleans) or soft defense (Kansas City).
Contest corner . . . How does it feel to win $1.42 million?
Veteran SuperContest reporter Dave Tuley tracked down the winner:
Eric Kahane, 44, of Irvine, Calif., won the $1.42 million first-place prize in Westgate Las Vegas’ SuperContest, the famous NFL handicapping contest that ended Sunday with the conclusion of the regular season.
But despite topping a record field of 3,123 entrants who put up the entry fee of $1,500 by going 5-0 in Week 17 to finish an impressive 70% against the spread, an accomplishment that anyone would understand if he went on a bender, Kahane had his priorities in order.
“I had a celebratory dinner with a friend,” said Kahane, who spent Sunday in Vegas in case he needed to make any hedge bets, “and then I was driving home at 3 in the morning. My 4-year-old doesn’t care about any of this, he just wanted his daddy home for breakfast.”
Full story here.
Bet Smart by Jeff Fogle
Coaches get fired for not reaching expectations. Always have, always will. In fact, it’s hard to find a BETTER barometer for whether or not a coach should be fired than performance vs. the market.
Jeff explains here.