If someone would have told you that referees would affect your NFL weekly picks, you’d probably think that Roger Goodell lost his marbles and hired Tim Donaghy to start officiating football games. Certainly it’s nowhere near that serious, but a small tweak to the positioning of officials has caused a big stir during the preseason.
For years, we’ve all seen video of running backs and linebackers plowing over officials too slow to clear out. While it’s provided plenty of Football Follies fodder over the years, it became a safety issue for many of the older officials in the league. So in an effort to keep the men in stripes from getting caught between the rock and a hard place (namely a linebacker’s helmet), the NFL decided to try placing the umpire in a new spot. Instead of lining up in his traditional spot in the middle of the defense, the league chose to move the umpire into the offensive backfield behind the deepest running back. The official would move back to his original spot during the final two minutes of game, leaving the defense with just a few seconds to survey the field before the official blew his whistle.
One problem: No one consulted Peyton Manning. During last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers, Peyton and pals were flagged twice for illegal snaps – not waiting long enough for the official to blow his whistle. Manning got a yellow card and a half-dozen unnecessary roughs, which means he’ll start next week against the Cardinals. Other than Pouncey, no one else on the Colts team got much of a punishment. It seems like the league is reducing the offense because they’re afraid of more fines and injuries.
Meanwhile, the number of interceptions, passes and severe penalties on Sunday night football increased dramatically from the preseason. passer penalties alone accounted for eight dropped passes, three interceptions, three fumbles, and three blocked punts. That’s three too many and it should seriously affect the clubs that incur its. Clubs with key injuries to starting wide receivers have a better chance of winning the game, but are less likely to cover the spread ( Cards are about a 3-point underdog at home against the Chargers).
Weekend road favorites are only prone to long road losing streaks ( Rockets are a perfect 2-0 ATS on the road). The best way to profit consistently is to bet against the Piercecats, Chargers, Ravens and Texans. The average margin of victory of all 12 clubs is usually less than a field goal. subtracting the home favorite’s scoring differential (see above totals section).
In addition, there are other reasons to bet against the Overmatched clubs. As an example, the Browns should be an easy bet this week against the Steelers. Despite an 0-5 SU and ATS mark in the preseason, the Browns have actually outscored their opponents by 59 points on the season. Pittsburgh has been outscored by 88 points at home during the same period. Pittsburgh has actually won five of its last six games at home. Betting against the Steelers at home is not a smart wager. The Browns should stay in the game but likely will cover the spread.
Week 2 of the preseason offers more examples of this trend. Think back to the first game of the season. How many times did the favored underdog cover the spread in Week 1?
Here’s a list of the betting trends to follow this week.
- Favorites are covering the spread in MLB games This is actually a new trend this season, as teams have been betting more aggressively on baseball since the strikeout crisis. Most of this action is taking place on the road against weak teams.
- Home underdogs are covering the spread in QQdewa games
Essentially, anyone with an Internet connection can bet on this trend. Professional money line players are especially targeting this trend, as they track the trend closely and know that some games are easier to pick than others.
- Rough-cheeks are covering the spread in college football
Almost every college football game is viewed by sports bettors as a home underdog game. Of the last five weeks, home underdogs have won by an average of 8.5 points per game.
- Opinions are divided on the streaming of video poker machines
Some Las Vegas casinos are moving all their video poker machines online to try to counter the effect of online gambling on U.S. players. Gamble Online, the company that operates Play Place, has had its share of contests played against its video poker machines and found that counters are winning 70 percent of the time. In March, Casino bin acquired the software programming for an advanced video poker machine and tested it in a sample of 11 games. They found that 25 percent of the games went into a money lock while another 27 percent had non-issue cards.