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Super Bowl 53 . . .
As of midnight Pacific: Patriots -2.5 vs. Rams at 11 of 12 Vegas books with William Hill only book dealing Pats -3 EVEN/Rams +3 -120.
Patriots -140/Rams +120 ML at most books (8 of 12 Vegas books); best Pats price is -135 at Boyd; best Rams price is +125 at the SuperBook, Caesars and Wynn; O/U 56.5 at 7 of 12 books. Track the line movements here.
“If you like the Rams, there no reason to get involved right now,” South Point sports book supervisor Tim Fitzgerald told Mitch and Pauly on Monday morning.
There is other evidence that Rams backers will get involved eventually . . .
From ESPN’s David Purdum:
An estimated $6 billion will be wagered by Americans on the Super Bowl, according to survey results released Monday by the American Gaming Association, a trade group representing the casino industry.
Nearly 10 percent of American adults plan to bet on the Super Bowl in one way or another, according to the survey, and they are divided on which team to back. Fifty-two percent of the 2,201 surveyed said they would be betting on the Rams, with the other 48 percent planning to back the Patriots.
Full story here.
Tim also walked through the props that were drawing mostly sharp action.
Will a team score 3 times in a row? Tim says normally public money bets no and sharp money bets yes. But all the money is on no so far.
Will there be a roughing the passing penalty? “No” has seen a big swing, moving from +130 to -170.
Full segment here with which props were getting early action from sharps.
Patrick Everson of Covers talked to Vegas oddsmakers about how the Under (including the first-half Under) is being hit by sharps.
Dave Tuley’s ATS report . . .
NBA underdogs went 4-1 ATS with Golden State the only chalk to cover in its 132-100 rout of the Pacers as 7-point road favorite; though 4 dogs covered, Hawks were lone one to pull outright upset in 123-118 win over Clippers as 6-point road dogs; Unders 3-2.
NHL underdogs 2-0 on short card back from All-Star Break as Flyers were +120 home dogs vs. Jets and Devils were +200 road dogs vs. Penguins; Over/Unders 1-1; 1st period Overs 1-1 but 1-0 with the only #FollowtheMoney5 Over team in action (Penguins).
No 16 Texas Tech routed TCU 84-65: Red Raiders also covered as 5.5-point home favorites; earlier (in the only other game involving a Top 25 team), No. 2 Duke routed Notre Dame 83-61, also covering as a 15-point road fave (stayed Under 152.5).
College basketball . . .
Jeff Fogle writes: Don’t buy the media hype about the SEC “losing” its conference challenge against the Big 12 last Saturday.
While it’s true that the Big 12 won six of 10 games, the SEC was more impressive by “market” standards. That should influence your postseason handicapping come March in the NCAA’s and the NIT.
Why does VSiN believe the SEC was more impressive? The oft-overpriced Big 12 was favored to win EIGHT of the 10 games! So that league going 6-4 when it was supposed to go 8-2 isn’t something to be proud of. The SEC went 4-6 straight up when it was supposed to go 2-8…and that’s with three ranked teams not even involved in the challenge because of a mismatched conference count (14 teams in the SEC, only 10 in the Big 12).
Shorthanded, the SEC won more than it was supposed to.
- Georgia (+4.5) beat Texas 98-88. If you watched, you know that Georgia never played like it should have been the underdog. And, making a run at the century mark against a Shaka Smart defense is impressive indeed. Overrated Texas fell to a 65% non-cover rate with the loss.
- Texas A&M (+4) beat Kansas State 65-53. Similar story here. The home-dog Aggies weren’t outmatched, and dominated down the stretch (both Georgia and A&M won their second halves by double digits).
- Arkansas (+10) almost upset Texas Tech in a tight 67-64 loss. Remember when Texas Tech was supposed to be the best team in the Big 12? People aren’t saying that any more. Arkansas almost sprung a shocker in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are about 67% to NOT cover so far this season.
- Kentucky (-5) beat Kansas 71-63. Some might say this was the biggest highlight, because it was a win/cover in the game garnering the biggest national spotlight. While that’s true, it was only a 3-point cover and the Wildcats had trouble getting distance much of the night. An important win, and one that should have NCAA Tournament seeding ramifications. If you focus on the market, upsets that covered by double digits from Georgia and Texas A&M spoke more highly of SEC’s quality and depth. (Kansas dropped to a 60% market failure rate, by the way.)
The SEC’s other win was by Tennessee, in a laugher over the last place team in the Big 12…West Virginia. Three of the Big 12’s outright victories barely topped market expectations for home favorites TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State respectively over Florida, Auburn, and South Carolina. The more impressive Big 12 results (worst SEC results) were Iowa State (-1.5) winning handily at Ole Miss 87-73, and Oklahoma (-9.5) routing Vandy 86-55.
On the whole, the Big 12 should take a hit in your handicapping. Kansas and Texas Tech don’t look to be ready to match media hype, and teams like Texas, Kansas State, and Baylor may not be anything beyond potential one-game spoilers. (Keep an eye on Iowa State and Oklahoma though, they’ve been cashing tickets all season!)
The SEC has hard-charging Kentucky AND Tennessee as true National Championship threats. LSU, Auburn, and Mississippi State are talented teams who might sneak up on more people because they missed the Big 12 challenge. Florida and Alabama are currently bubble teams who could certainly spring upsets of they get in. Ole Miss needs to re-settle after cooling off. And, don’t sleep on any SEC entries in the NIT.
Bettors don’t get much of a chance to compare conferences at this stage of a college basketball season. Be sure you take last weekend’s lessons to heart as you try to pick winners moving forward.
Industry news you can use . . .
Prominent sports bettor David Oancea, known in gambling circles as “Vegas Dave,” pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor in federal court.
He originally faced 19 felony counts after authorities said he used other people’s Social Security numbers to open player accounts at casinos.
Full story from our friends at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
New York takes another step toward passing sports betting legislation (though no mobile betting).
Seen & Heard on VSiN
It’s that magical time of the year in the NBA: Tankapalooza. Gill talks with Dan Besbris about which team is already fully engage in a “beautiful tank.”
Get your Tankapalooza shirt now from the VSiN store.
On the Early Odds podcast, Joe Ostrowski and the Golden Nugget’s Aaron Kessler discuss the first wave of Super Bowl prop bets, where the point spread is headed, prop angles to consider, and Aaron passes on a trendy college hoops future.
On Between The Sidelines, Sam Panayotovich has already made some Super Bowl plays, but not Matt Youmans. He has a plan.
"Maybe he just doesn’t have the juice in his legs right now." VSiN weekend host Michael Lombardi raises a serious concern about Todd Gurley’s long-term prospects.
Are the Lakers a lock to make the playoffs if they can acquire Anthony Davis? Mitch is not so certain.
VSiN news you can use . . .
The Super Bowl edition of Point Spread Weekly will be out Wednesday morning. It’s just $9.99. Predictions and favorite prop bets from all your favorite VSiN personalities. Pre-order it here.
Or get all-access subscription through 2020 Super Bowl for just $240 — a savings of 50 percent
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We have special week of Super Bowl programming. On Super Bowl Sunday. turn down the sound on the game and turn up Matt Youmans, Matthew Holt and Michael Lombardi as they follow the twists and turns from a bettor’s perspective. Not a Maroon 5 fan? Perfect. Brent will preside at halftime with Gill, Mitch and Pauly, among others, aiming to improve your bankroll in the second half.
If you are going to be in Las Vegas, don’t forget Betting & Buds with Brent on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the South Point. Meet Brent and his Guys in the Desert. Have some Buds.
Finally . . .
Gill and A Numbers Game producer Matt Jones did extensive research (some might say too much research) to try and identify which song Maroon 5 will play first during the halftime show.