|You will see and hear more over the next few years about it, but we had a tremendous night here in Las Vegas as Derek Stevens revealed the name of his new casino, Circa Las Vegas. As we’ve mentioned, VSiN will have a studio in the sports book and you can get a glimpse here in these photos. Or here in the video played at an amazing event in downtown Las Vegas last night.
Your loyal newsletter proprietor who has been working late into the night this week at the big CES convention and tonight at Derek’s event now turns over the newsletter to the great Jeff Fogle . . .
NFL action returns this weekend with the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. VSiN will study the betting picture in those matchups for you Saturday and Sunday. Right now, we want to catch up on themes we’ve discussed throughout the season as they relate to the remaining eight teams.
ESTIMATED “MARKET” POWER RATINGS
Every week Jonathan Von Tobel of “Betting Across America” and I put our heads together in an attempt to capture how “the market” is currently rating NFL teams based on settled point spreads. We used a standard three points for home field advantage, then build a scale that would represent neutral field meetings. New England is a 4-point favorite at home over the Los Angeles Chargers…so the Patriots go one point higher on our scale after you take out home field value.
Current Ratings: New Orleans 87, Kansas City 86, LA Rams 86, New England 85, LA Chargers 84, Indianapolis 83, Dallas 82, Philadelphia 82.
Again, this isn’t necessarily how “we” see the teams, or how YOU should see them. This is our guess at how the market sees them. Bettors should look for possible market misreads that can be exploited.
Sports books have updated their odds to win the Super Bowl after last week’s action. Here are the latest numbers from William Hill, with percentage win equivalents in parenthesis…
New Orleans 2/1 (33%), Kansas City 9/2 (18%), LA Rams 5/1 (17%), New England 5/1 (17%), LA Chargers 8/1 (11%), Indianapolis 13/1 (7%), Dallas 14/1 (7%), and Philadelphia 15/1 (6%).
Those percentages add up to 116%. Sports books build a universe greater than 100% to create their house edge. A quick reminder that betting your preferred team in a “rollover money line parlay” usually brings a much higher return. Philadelphia is around +310 this week in New Orleans, and would likely be around +250 at Los Angeles, and +120 to +150 in the Super Bowl were the Eagles to advance all the way. Online parlay calculators show a return of 30/1 or more if you just keep re-investing through the sequence rather than betting the table run up front.
These are points scored and allowed ONLY on offensive drives of 60 yards or more. The goal is to focus on the specific skill sets of offenses to drive the field, and defenses to prevent it. We exclude defensive scores, special teams scores, and the relatively cheaper points scored from field position breaks.
In matchup order, with offense listed first, defense second…
- Indianapolis (18.6/12.3) at Kansas City (25.1/19.9)
- Dallas (13.8/12.6) at LA Rams (19.1/15.7)
- LA Chargers (17.7/10.1) at New England (16.6/12.1)
- Philadelphia (14.8/13.9) at New Orleans (20.2/18.5)
Positive differentials for every team. Interesting that the home favorite has the inferior defense in every matchup. Underdogs have been getting sharp respect in early betting. Sharps emphasize skill sets in the areas that matter most. You’ll recall that last week’s underdogs graded out very well before a point spread sweep.
Ron Flatter on horse racing . . .
The Ron Flatter Racing Pod: After a four-month wait, Johnny Avello got the go-ahead from Mississippi regulators to post his Kentucky Derby futures this week in his new role at DraftKings. He goes over the numbers and outlines the rules on the new edition of the Ron Flatter Racing Pod. A year ago Bolt d’Oro was the favorite in Avello’s Derby futures, but a dream Run for the Roses never happened. The colt’s owner Mick Ruis looks back on 2018 and what he might have done differently.
Or if you prefer a more text-based presentation, here is Ron’s column.
Finally . . .
Department of corrections: Yes, Klay Thompson plays for the Warriors.