NFL Inception: Niners Rise; Home Dogs Surprise
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | September 21, 2012
Still unsure of what they saw last season, 64 percent of bettors went against the San Francisco 49ers’ NFL odds in Week 1 and got a rude awakening. San Fran proved versus the Green Bay Packers that its hard-hitting, ball-control style can win and cover versus one of the best offenses in the league.
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In Week 2, bettors weren’t going to sleep on the Niners again, especially with the inconsistent Detroit Lions visiting Candlestick Park. Sixty-five percent took the 49ers at -7 another 70 bet on the -290 moneyline, The Lions did their best to gash the impressive Niners defense and did a solid job in the first quarter, posting two field goals versus San Fran’s touchdown. Unfortunately, field goals were all quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense could get most of the evening, they scored their first touchdown with 1:35 left in the game. As for Niners QB Alex Smith he was sharp again all evening, finishing with 226 passing yards and two TDs. 27-19 was the final, and with San Francisco clicking in every facet of the game, we expect bettors to bet heavily on San Fran when they visit Minnesota.
Though bettors gashed Bovada with a big Niners win, some of that was balanced out by two bad home underdog plays.
First is the Dallas Cowboys -3 (-125) at the Seattle Seahawks. Any “homedog” wager should give bettors pause, especially a homedog wager when it comes to Seattle. The Seahawks have the loudest fans in the NFL, and games at CenturyLink Field tend to drive the opposition nuts. But players still bet on them Cowboys, 81 percent took the spread and another 67 played the -175 moneyline. Seattle had a rookie QB, an unknown defense and an ailing running back, what could go wrong?
Special teams went wrong; they forced a Cowboys fumble on the opening kickoff then blocked a punt for a TD. Once a 10-0 lead was established Seattle coach Peter Carroll rode the back of RB Marshawn Lynch for a 27-7 win. Bettors shouldn’t sleep on the ‘Hawks, rookie QB Russell Wilson has made few mistakes and is already a solid playmaker; the defense ranks second against the run. Seattle may be closer to Vancouver, B.C. than Canton, Ohio but they look stacked up for a surprising, 49ers-like season.
New Orleans Saints -3 at Carolina Panthers was the second homedog bet. This one was surprisingly heavy on action not just because a homedog was involved, but that it’s a division opponent. The last time the Saints played at Carolina the Panthers covered as 6.5-point homedogs. That was with QB Cam Newton still wet behind the ears, in 2012 Cam is an NFL year older, meanwhile the Saints are going gray after “Bountygate.”
But 85 percent still took the Saints versus the spread, another 66 took the -160 moneyline, and whatever trust bettors had in the Saints without head coach Sean Payton were squashed. The offense isn’t nearly as crisp and the defense is horrible. On Sunday Newton and seemingly all the Panthers weapons got to do their own Superman end zone celebration; the Saints added two fourth-quarter TDs to make it interesting but 35-27 was the final.
The question for Week 3 is if bettors will still go heavy on homedog action — so far there are six homedogs for Week 3 in the Bovada Sportsbook. Can you trust the “road favorite” in 2012? Week 3 might tell the tale.
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