|Dave Tuley’s ATS report . . .
Rams beat Cowboys 30-22 in NFC divisional playoff: ViewFromVegas is they also covered as 7-point home favorites (went over closing total of 48.5); Cowboys won second half, 15-10, covering as 0.5-point, second-half underdogs; went over second-half total of 24.
ViewFromVegas of NFL playoffs: with Rams’ home/favorite/over result, home/faves 2-0 ATS today, over/under 1-1; road teams & underdogs dip to 4-2 ATS, unders 4-2; first-half faves/dogs 3-3 ATS, first-half unders 4-2; second-half faves/dogs 3-3 ATS, second-half overs 4-2
Chiefs routs Colts 31-13 in NFL divisional round: ViewFromVegas is they also covered as 4.5-point home favorites (stayed under 55); Chiefs win second half, 7-6, as slight second-half dog of PK +100 thanks to Vinatieri missed PAT, stayed under second-half total of 26.5).
Jeff Fogle previews today’s NFL divisional playoff games . . .
As we’ve discussed in the past, the key to getting a read on sports betting markets can come from recognizing what ISN’T happening.
Through most of the week, a general public that’s spent years watching the New England Patriots make playoff history during the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era ISN’T laying the points with the Pats.
Los Angeles Chargers (+4) at New England (CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET)
The first numbers posted offshore and in Las Vegas during LAC’s upset in Baltimore last week showed the Patriots at -4.5. Normally, you would expect the public to drive that to at least -5 out of the gate (Kansas City rose vs. the Colts in a similar price range in advance of Saturday’s playoff opener). Instead, the Chargers were bet by sharps and squares alike.
This, despite the fact that LAC would be playing at a “bad body clock” starting time on the East Coast for the second straight week…against a well-rested opponent.
Some of that is due to the influence of “Los Angeles money” in the Vegas market. Though, sharps have been riding the Chargers for weeks (9-4 against the spread the last 13 games, with outright road dog victories at Seattle, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Baltimore). But, the allure of betting Belichick and Brady just isn’t there any more for casual fans in what may be the waning days of a dynasty.
Philadelphia (+8) at New Orleans (FOX, 4:40 p.m. ET)
More surprisingly here, the public also wasn’t laying points with Drew Brees and the Saints. While New England had been flunking “the eye test” often through 2018, New Orleans had rightly earned its status as NFC and Super Bowl market favorites with many impressive performances.
An opener of New Orleans -9 (with a 48-7 rout of the Eagles in the Superdome in mid-November on the minds of oddsmakers) settled a point lower after early betting.
Influences included the “Foles Factor,” as Eagles quarterback Nick Foles remains a big money maker for bettors in clutch situations. It was Carson Wentz who imploded in that hard loss in the Big Easy. Plus, New Orleans is perceived in some circles to have peaked too early. The Saints failed to cover four of their last five games, and it would have been five of six if not for a slew of Atlanta miscues Thanksgiving night.
Heading into the weekend, it was clear that the sharps liked Philadelphia at +8.5 or +9. The public has plenty of time to decide how passionately it’s going to lay points in the weekend finale. That might depend on how well favorites treated them in earlier action.
Remember to spend some of your TV time today thinking about NEXT week’s matchups. Don’t just root for your bets! The great thing about playoffs in any sport is that what you learn in one round can help you in the next.
Track the lines across Las Vegas here.
Contest corner . . .
The final day of the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship is today. You can follow the leaderboard here.
According to Tuley: rleejr86 takes over lead at $50,882.40 as he went all-in with $27,504 on Rams -7 (covered by 1 point with 30-22 final); gucho drops to 2nd at $44,482.20; @DraftKings contestants sweating late Saturday night action before Sunday’s action is limited to 2 NFL games.
Horse racing . . .
The Kentucky Derby futures book that was posted Wednesday by DraftKings at the Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville, Miss., has been suspended indefinitely, VSiN learned Saturday afternoon.