Football Betting: Friday Public Action Report
by Trevor Whenham - 11/21/2008
It's an abnormally active week for the Public Action Report - there are four games that fit the criteria. Given the number of games I won't spend a lot of time dwelling on the criteria, but basically we are looking for games where one team has a large majority of the bets, yet the line is moving to make that team more attractive. We are also looking for the line to have moved from, to, or through a key number. Without further ado:
Tennessee (+3) at Vanderbilt (Saturday, Nov. 22, 12:30 pm ET) - There are only two games left in this nightmare season for the Volunteers, and they must be desperate for it all to end. It's a bit surprising, then, that the line movement tells us that Tennessee is worth a look. Almost 80 percent of the bets have been placed on favored Vanderbilt, yet the line has dropped from the opening of 3.5 down to the key number of three. That means that the books are happy to have action on Vanderbilt, and that in turn likely means that some smart money is on Tennessee. Though the Vols have been terrible this year, you can make an argument that they are worth a look. This is a rivalry game for them, and one that they have dominated, winning nine of the last 10 meetings. They aren't exactly playing a powerhouse, either - Vandy has dropped four of their last five, including their last two at home.
East Carolina (-6.5) at UAB (Saturday, Nov. 22, 7:00 pm ET) - It seems hard to believe that East Carolina, now 6-4, was the darling of the media for three weeks in September. Now the line movement tells us to look away from them. Nearly 80 percent of bets have been on East Carolina, yet the line has dropped from the key number of seven to 6.5. That means UAB is worth a look. The Blazers were crushed by 56 points two games back, but they bounced back with a convincing win as underdog last week. That shows that they have more fight than their 3-7 record indicates. East Carolina has been lethargic of late. They only scored one field goal in a loss last week, and then they needed overtime to win as favorites their last two games. They have covered just once in their last eight. Neither team is very good right now, and it shows that the public has too high of an opinion of the Pirates.
Washington Redskins (-3) at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, Nov. 23, 4:15 pm ET) - Three quarters of the bets have been placed on Washington, yet the line has dropped from 3.5 to the key number of three. That means that we should be paying attention to Seattle, as scary as that may sound. Seattle has lost three in a row, and six of their last seven. Matt Hasselbeck has returned to action, but it hasn't helped so far. That's not a lot to like. In the Redskins, though, they face a less than overwhelming opponent mired in offensive struggles. Washington has scored just 16 points in their last two games, and the previously reliable Jason Campbell has three interceptions and little production in his last two games. Clinton Portis isn't completely healthy, and his productivity has dropped in the last two games. Seattle stands more of a chance here than they would against a lot of teams. There's an extra storyline here to add a little intrigue, too - Shaun Alexander makes his first return trip to Seattle after his unceremonious departure.
New York Giants (-3) at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, Nov. 23, 4:15 pm ET) - The public is all over the Giants - more than 80 percent of bets made have been on them. Despite that, it seems like the smart money is more enamored with the Cardinals. The line has dropped from the opening of 3.5 to the key number of three. Though the Giants have won and covered five in a row, a compelling argument can be made for the Cardinals. Kurt Warner and the Arizona offense is red hot, having gained more than 300 yards through the air in four straight games. They are undefeated at home this season. The Cardinals are very reliable against the spread as well, having covered the spread in five of their last six just as the Giants have. The line movement tells us to look at the Cardinals, and it doesn't seem like a terrible idea.