NFL Inception: Player’s Ball
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | November 21, 2012
The games are getting closer, but bettors are still picking winners against the Bovada Sportsbook.
It was a rough start for bettors to the 2012-13 betting season. Like the New York Giants on a Super Bowl run, it’s been a slow, surprising rise to greatness. It shows in the Bovada Sportsbook’s top wagers this week.
The biggest win was the New Orleans Saints at the Oakland Raiders. Every week we’ve seen surprising numbers from the Raiders offense, but it never equals victory. Eighty-four percent of bettors caught on to that and took the improving Saints at -6.5 on the road. Another 81% took the -270 moneyline.
One quarter in, it was easy to see the Raiders were outmatched. The Saints
After taking New Orleans, bettors stayed with the NFC South in a division matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. After struggling last season the Tampa Bay offense is on fire, ranking top five in scoring with a young QB and rookie running back. Meanwhile, the Panthers offense is regressing; second-year QB Cam Newton is struggling to find any kind of rhythm to consistently move the ball. With that in mind, and NFL oddsmakers offering a pick, the choice was easy. Eighty-two percent confidently bet the Buccaneers. (With a spread less than three, no moneyline wager was given.)
One rule bettors should keep in mind when placing NFL bets is that division games are generally nail biters. Tampa Bay versus Carolina was no different. In fact, Carolina had the 14-10 halftime lead. It took heroics from Bucs QB Josh Freeman and wideout Vincent Jackson to squeak out an overtime victory. The final score was 27-21.
The Green Bay Packers were our third-largest wager, unsurprisingly since bettors stayed on this bumpy bandwagon all season. The Packers began the regular season 1-4 ATS, but most players took the losses and didn’t waver. In Week 11, 78% took the Packers at -3.5 on the road versus the Detroit Lions. Another 87% bet the -175 moneyline. It was another close division battle, but the Packers squeaked out the 24-20 win and cover. The Packers are now 3-1 ATS in their last four weeks. Bettors’ persistence with Green Bay has paid off.
There is one loss on our Bovada players’ resume this week, and it’s an understandable one – Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s regularly the toughest, back-and-fourth rivalry in the NFL. Though the Steelers were at home in this division battle, starting QB Ben Roethlisberger was out with a sprained right shoulder. This made the -3.5 odds for Baltimore seem like a steal; 70% took the Ravens.
However, it doesn’t seem to matter who is starting in this rivalry, it’s going to go down to the wire. With Byron Leftwich at QB, Pittsburgh still made a game of it. A late-game interception helped Baltimore take the 13-10 victory for the Bovada Sportsbook.
Notice a trend in this week’s wagers? Division battles. More division battles go down later in the season, which could make for some tough odds for bettors and oddsmakers going forward.