Stay away from the heavy line moves
November 22, 2006
Before kickoff last week, I was talking with a friend who has been around Sports Books for a long time. We were talking about line moves and my picks for the games, and I said that I was not comfortable with the way the line moved in the Bears and Jets game. If you remember I picked the Jets plus the points.
The opening line was Bears minus 7, and I thought that by game time it would be even higher. Well, by kickoff the line had dropped to 5 1/2. Anytime I see a line move the same way that I have made a pick, I do not feel good.
For two and a half years I have preached to get out early, check out the lines and watch the moves. The reason for this is to gain insight into where the money is going. It is not wise to bet into a move of 1 1/2 or more.
Watching the Bears vs. Jets game I did feel we had a shot as there was no score at halftime. The Jets then came out for the second half and attempted an onside kick; while it did not work I liked the aggressive call by a rookie head coach. Chad Pennington threw two costly interceptions and the Bears won the game 10-0. The other pick was the Dolphins, which amazingly ended up being a winner. When you look at the box score for this game you have to believe that this was the luckiest win ever.
The Dolphins rushed for minus 3 yards, that’s not a misprint, they went backwards attempting to run the ball and they needed two defensive touchdowns to win. But no matter how lucky, we’ll take a split, bringing our standing to 14-8.
This week we can all celebrate Thanksgiving and watch football all day. The NFL is again trying something new. The week starts with Thursday night football. For the rest of the season if you have the NFL channel you can watch a game on Thursday night.
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The Bears will play their third straight game on the road when they take on the Patriots. Gillette Stadium has undergone a midseason makeover when the grass surface was ripped up and the new synthetic field turf was installed while the Patriots were away.
The line on this game favors the Patriots by 3 with a total of 37. The pick here is to take the Patriots and give up the points. Although the Bears have won their last two since their only loss of the season, they really have only played one good half during those two wins. The Patriots are looking to get on a roll heading into the last month of the season, while the Bears are hoping to get healthy, and they do have a comfortable lead in their division and conference.
The second pick is also against a team that is reeling with injuries to their defense. It also falls into the category of a non-conference game with a home underdog. The Giants will visit Tennessee and are favored by 3 points with a total of 42.5. The pick here is to take the points, with a money line play possible at a price of at least +$1.40.
Unofficially I like all the home teams on Thanksgiving Day. I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Jason Kolenut is the Casino Fandango Race and Sports Book supervisor.