|For those of you who came out on the wrong end of the Seahawks-Cowboys game, we will understand if you don’t read any further.
Dave Tuley’s ATS report . . .
Cowboys beat Seahawks 24-22: View From Vegas is Seahawks covered as 2.5-point road underdogs as they went for 2-point conversion due to kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s injury at the end of the first half (total went Over 43).
Colts beat Texans 21-7 to kick off NFL wild-card playoffs: Colts closed as 1.5-point underdogs & +105 on money line (stayed way Under 49).
VSiN’s betting recaps are here.
In today’s games, the line is BAL -3 vs. LAC at majority of Las Vegas books (7 of 13 on DonBest Sports screen with 6 still at -2.5); CHI -6.5 vs. PHI but -7 (EVEN) at CG Technology; next week, KC -5 vs. IND with low of -4.5 at South Point & high of -5.5 SuperBook & William Hill.
Track the line changes here courtesy of DonBest Sports.
About that Seahawks’ cover . . .
The back-door cover by Seattle served as a painful reminder for some that you always should get the best number.
From David Purdum of ESPN: A bettor at a William Hill book in New Jersey placed a $275,000 bet on the Cowboys minus the points against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys were -2.5 at William Hill in NJ (-2 in other states).
From Patrick Everson of Covers: MGM drew plays of $110K on Cowboys -2 and $100K Cowboys -2.5, from same bettor. Line went to -2.5 (-120), and MGM books got a $70K wager on Seahawks +2.5 (even).
And this from Patrick: An MGM bettor who put down 6 figures on Cowboys’ first half (a win) and second half (a loss) jumped all over Chargers for today’s game at Ravens. $100K on Chargers +2.5 (even); $100K +0.5 first half; $100K +130 moneyline; $65K +120 first-half moneyline. $365K total.
More on today’s games . . .
From VSiN’s Jeff Fogle:
Los Angeles Chargers (+2.5 at South Point) at Baltimore (CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET)
Sharps started showing respect for the Chargers months ago. Everyone knew Philip Rivers could sling the ball. When a rushing game and stout defense developed, this team started approaching championship material.
That’s why the Chargers opened below a field goal on the road at Baltimore, despite a “bad body clock” kickoff (10:05 a.m. Pacific time). Oddsmakers knew sharps would take LAC at +3. The Chargers have covered six straight road games against a tough schedule. Sharps cashed tickets in most of those.
That said, sharps were also surprisingly optimistic midseason about Baltimore when rookie Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback. Experienced bettors are usually skeptical about young QB’s. But a respected defense and running game were also in place here. Baltimore is 6-0-1 in regulation in Jackson’s starts, with the “tie” on the road in an eventual 27-24 overtime loss to AFC seed Kansas City.
Informed money is backing Baltimore at -2.5 this week with intensity. Not all sharps agree on every game! This has created a high-handle cash cow involving Ravens -2.5 and Chargers +3 that could divide action fairly evenly depending on who the public supports in the hours before kickoff.
Whoever wins will very likely be a sharp road underdog choice next week in the Divisional round.
Philadelphia (+6.5 at South Point) at Chicago (NBC, 4:40 p.m. ET)
Chicago is a strong fit for the “defense wins championships” mold this season. It’s not unheard of for ultra-elite defenses to control their destinies through the brackets even if they don’t have a great quarterback. And, the Bears have covered nine of their last 10 games in a style that expresses quality and consistency.
Philadelphia is the defending NFL champion, and has a quarterback in Nick Foles who has proven his mettle under playoff pressure.
Betting in this game centered in the 5.5 to 6 area through the week, before a burst of Bears money Friday. Chicago is a popular public choice at -6 or better. Sharp Philadelphia money was happy at +6 earlier in the week, and will keep buying at better prices if the line keeps rising. The fact that weather should be mild (by “Chicago in January” standards) also makes it easier to back the underdog. Looks like game time temperatures will be in the low 40s with limited wind.
If Chicago advances, its great defense will attract sharp money at projected prices next week on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. Philadelphia would travel to New Orleans with a win…a win that would add to Nick Foles’ playoff legacy.
CFB update . . .
Alabama is down to a consensus -5, with low of -4.5 at the SuperBook, Boyd Gaming and Wynn & high of +5.5 on Clemson at MGM and Stratosphere books; low Bama ML of -200 at several books, Clemson +185 ML only left at Strat.
College hoops . . .
As VSiN’s Mitch Moss pointed out, there were plenty of huge moneyline upsets today in college hoops. Here is a partial list:
ECU (+1100) over Cincy
Portland St (+1000) over Montana
New Mexico (+900) over Nevada (New Mexico lived up to Matt Youmans’ expectations and then some)
So. Utah (+800) over Weber St
South Carolina (+550) over FLA
VSiN’s betting recaps here.
Finally . . .
In case you missed it, Zion Williamson’s 360-degree dunk.