NFL Inception: Road Warriors
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | October 25, 2012
Bettors ignored the coveted home-field advantage in Week 7, did it pay off?
Since the NFL’s first kickoff bettors always paid their respects to the home-field advantage. When all things are equal, the home team usually wins, however at least once per season the road teams run roughshod on the home team and its dejected crowd.
Week 7 may have been that week. Question is, did it help bettors or us at the Bovada Sportsbook?
Our most one-sided wager was the New Orleans Saints at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the Saints coming off a bye, looking for its second-straight win after losing four, bettors didn’t hesitate to bet on Drew Brees versus the Bucs defense. Eighty-one percent took the Saints -1.5, and considering New Orleans’ defense isn’t very good another 81 bet OVER 49 versus the total. And they got the shootout they wanted. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman finished with 420 passing yards in three touchdowns, but Brees kept pace, throwing for 377 with 4TDs, squeaking the 35-28 win and cover.
The good news for bettors continued when the Green Bay Packers went to St. Louis. The Rams are competitive but lack an offensive spark outside of the mutant leg of kicker Greg Zuerlein. The Packers came in steaming after lighting up the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football, so it’s unsurprising 78 percent of bettors took them at -6, with another 91 percent betting the -237 moneyline. Once again QB Aaron Rodgers delivered, dishing out three touchdowns on to a 30-20 win and cover. That’s two weeks in a row that Rodgers and the offense showed MVP form, we expect the wagers to keep rolling in for the Pack when they face Jacksonville at home this Sunday.
Another team looking to get itself back on track was the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh was coming off a loss to the lowly Tennessee Titans in Week 6, a team whose defense couldn’t cover a bed. Pittsburgh went up against the Cincinnati Bengals at home with the possibility of 2-4 staring them in the face, bettors figured Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t going to let that happen. Sixty-six percent took the Steelers at -2 and hoped a bit of the balanced, dominant Steelers appeared on SNF; they got it. Pittsburgh took some pressure of Big Ben by running the ball effectively with Jonathan Dwyer and the commitment paid off, pounding them to a 24-17 win in a difficult division matchup. Are the Steelers all the way back? There are still questions about their defense, and they could be torched in Week 8 when they face rookie dual threat Robert Griffin lll.
The Dallas Cowboys at the Carolina Panthers wraps up our top wagers for Week 7, and if you got a peak at the pouty press conference of Panthers QB Cam Newton you know how this game went down. Eighty-four percent of bettors took Dallas at -2 (-135), and were awarded with an ugly, but profitable 19-14 win and cover. The Panthers were viewed by some as a sleeper squad for easy money in 2012, it’s been a bit of a disappointment at 3-4 ATS.
After dealing with shaky replacement refs, adjusting defenses and unforeseen slumps from top teams bettors broke out in Week 7. We’ll see if they have the NFL pegged again in Week 8.