Belated Monday Night Update – Bodog appears to have Seattle -10, in which case Luigi would take the Rams. The other lines I’ve seen are closer to -7, in which case Luigi would just stay away. Seattle is -450 and the Rams are +325 on the moneyline, so the Rams are worth a look, and the over/under is 38.5 so Luigi would take the over. I say all this knowing that the Seahawks are currently up 10-0, so I don’t feel that great about the Rams at all.
We’re in the home stretch now, and a ton of games have playoff implications. There’s also a few interesting points in the lines and whatnot this week, which I’ll try to point out below. There’s a small hole in my coverage because Bodog doesn’t have any numbers up for the Monday night game yet – I assume they’re waiting to hear more about Sam Bradford. So I’ll try to update that before the game, and here are the rest of the predictions.
Over/under: I think somewhat in contrast to previous weeks, there aren’t a lot of ‘over’ picks this time. Maybe that means more will be correct?
Moneyline: New Orleans is the closest call here – Luigi thinks the bet is just barely profitable. The biggest bet is, unfortunately, Minnesota. They should be more than +400. I, of course, hope this bet is a giant loser. In terms of caveats, remember that the model doesn’t know that both Cutler and Forte are injured, or that Houston is on its third QB and missing Andre Johnson. Then again, I don’t think that the Texans have noticed that they’re on their third QB or have missed Andre Johnson.
Spread: Luigi is coming into the weekend at 1-0 thanks to the Browns hanging in against the Steelers. I missed the first three quarters of the game, which I don’t regret at all, but I do wish the Browns could have pulled the upset. I’ll change things up a little bit and put my SuperContest picks here since I use the Bodog lines. I’m running with the Colts, Browns (score!), Texans, Chiefs, and Bears. If the Seahawks end up being at -1 or worse (i.e. pick ’em or Rams are favored), they would move in instead of the Bears. The games to skip, on the other hand, are Titans-Saints and Cowboys-Giants; if the Seahawks managed to be touchdown favorites (I don’t think they’ll be that strong) you would also want to pass on them.
Simmons: Here are Bill’s picks. We only agree on five games, so this could be a big week for one of us to make a move: either Bill to catch up or me to blow things open.
And now the interesting things in the Bodog numbers: Dallas is the typical 3 point home favorite, but the payoff on it is -150. That’s the lowest it’s been all season, and the lowest one all last year was only -135 as well. Ordinarily if a lot of money comes in on one side they’ll move the line to make it less attractive, like put Dallas at -3.5. Or they can just give worse odds, like make Dallas -3 at -120 instead of -110. Since Dallas is all the way down at -150 it means that money has been coming in on Dallas but Bodog really does not want to move off of -3; they expect a close game and want to have that field goal push as an option. There are also four double-digit home favorites this week (five if you include the Steelers). I think last week with the Pats and 49ers I mentioned that double-digit favorites aren’t coming through that often, and the Pats and 49ers actually over-performed by going 1-1. So this week I would hold my breath on the Lions, Packers, Jets, and Ravens; the Steelers have already failed to cover. I don’t care if the Lions cover so long as they win.