Bookmaker's Corner: When You Place Bet Can Make Big Difference
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 11/24/2009
When it comes to betting on football, do you know when to be assertive versus patient? Take the Indianapolis Colts' 17-15 win over the Baltimore Ravens, for example.
Online football bettors who got in on the Colts early were rewarded, as were those who waited for the right number on the Ravens. That's because the Colts opened at -1 and quickly received heavy action, pushing the line to -1.5, then -2, then all the way up to -2.5 before temporarily moving back to -2 and finally closing at -2.5.
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As is typical with casual NFL bettors, the majority of wagers were placed close to the start of the game, so Bodog actually took most of the Indy action at -2.5, leaving the book with a small win on the game. If tardy Colts backers had simply checked the opening line and taken -1, they would've won. Instead it was a half-point loss.
You might be wondering, couldn't the action have pushed the line the other way? It's possible, but you have to consider the match-up. Undefeated football teams that aren't laying a lot of points are typically popular with casual bettors, even on the road against good teams like the Ravens. After a while, experienced bettors develop a feel for the way lines are going to move, which is why a lot of the sharp money waited on the sidelines before it pounded the Ravens at +2.5.
NFL bettors won big on Sunday night when the Eagles (-3) beat Jay Cutler and the Bears by 4. The majority of bettors also took the Patriots to bounce back against the Jets a week after being embarrassed by the Colts (not to mention their own coach).
New England's next game on Monday night in New Orleans will be another big one. So far we're seeing heavy early action on the Pats (+3) against the undefeated Saints, but expect us to adjust the moneyline before we move off a key number like 3.
And with the Thanksgiving holidays comes another tradition: NFL football featuring the Detroit Lions, who have been playing football on Thanksgiving Day since 1925. This is an extra-special day for American football fans - and for sports books.
We expect Thursday's games to double the handle of the average Sunday game, even with teams like Detroit, Oakland and free-falling Denver involved.
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