NFL Week 9 PERCEPTION LINE ERRORS by Dan Bebe

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NFL Week 9 PERCEPTION LINE ERRORS by Dan Bebe

Prelude: In last week's blog, we talked about how we will continue to go "bigger" on games that have more line value, and we'll continue to play any game with enough value to make a play, and that even though week 7 was a 1-3 turd, the perception errors will always lead to a winning end result.

This most recent week (number 8), we looked smart! While the plays of minor value went just 1-2 for a loss of 1.1 units, the bigger value NFL plays (San Diego and New Orleans) went 2-0 for a gain of 5 units. Just one week, but it's amazing how fast you can wipe out a bad week if you stick to what works.

Anyway, back to the quick PERCEPTION LINE ERROR notes on EVERY game, since, dammit, that's what I've been doing since last December. I will make the following statement, and I challenge anyone to disprove it:

"No one, Pro or otherwise, has broken down, in writing, more games, from a betting standpoint, over the last 12 months, for free, than me."

I'd put that in my forum signature, but it's complicated enough, already.

Pro Notes:

1) NFL -- SUNDAY ALL ACCESS PASS with GAME OF THE WEEK -- 8-2 on "BIG" NFL Plays (including 2-0 this most recent week) -- cashed another 4 units this last weekend, so I expect ALL of you that read this to JUMP ON, no excuses!!

2) CFB -- CFB GAME Of The YEAR-- 7-0 Last 7 Straight College Big Plays, and now haven't lost a CFB Saturday Paid Play since mid-September! Also, 6 Consecutive CFB Winning Saturdays! Very quietly, we've just won every College Card since week 3. And with that in mind, I have my FIRST EVER Game of the Year at Pregame. I'm 0-0 in GOY plays in all sports, so let's get #1 together!

3) NBA -- Pasted from last week: on average, we'll have about 1.5 plays per day, and given the season is roughly 180 days, and the SEASON PASS is just $495, you're looking at an investment of LESS THAN $2 per play! If you buy the plays individually, it will probably run about $3,000, so...GET THE SEASON PASS - it's the best deal at Pregame.

4) MLB -- The World Series! You guys can thank the NBA, because ALL WORLD SERIES PLAYS WILL BE FREE!

Week 7 Recap and Lessons Learned: This week, I'd argue, we had some prime examples of how "weirdness" regresses to a mean.

The Chargers literally handed the Patriots two "fumbles" in week 7, but in week 8 managed to injure Vince Young and hang 30+ on the Titans.

In week 7, the Steelers got a wild official ruling to steal a win in Miami, but in week 8 they got caught when they made mistakes, and the Saints, who, in week 7, allowed 2 fluke pick-sixes, bounced back with a less "weird" game of their own.

Betting on good teams to avoid back-to-back "weird" games isn't a terrible idea.

What did you guys learn?

Sports Wagering: NFL

Sunday, 1pm

Chicago Bears (-2.5) @ Buffalo Bills with a total of 40;
Yikes. Where to begin? The public is coming off watching Chicago lose back-to-back home games to the Seahawks and the Redskins, and turn the ball over 6 times (4 just on Cutler's arm) in that hideous Washington game. I'm not sure the public could think a great deal less of Chicago than they do right now, but they're still the Bears, and they're still a Chicago team, which means they'll be public until proven otherwise. Losing ugly hasn't made them a non-public team, just a slightly less intriguing one. The Bills, meanwhile, keeping finding ways to lose heartbreakers, but given that they're catching more than a handful of points every time out, they've been covering, so quietly, Buffalo has started to become a little ATS darling in late October. I believe that if this line came out 2-3 weeks ago, Chicago would have been a 4 point road favorite, at least, so based on that, there's a little value on Chicago, but based on the fact that Chicago just can't be trusted, I'm not sure there's any true value anywhere. When a line is as close to where it should be as this one seems, there's no sense in pushing our luck. Plus, there's something to the idea that Buffalo hasn't been, really, any better at home than on the road, so getting those extra 6 points might actually make the Bills a better road play.

San Diego Chargers (-1.5) @ Houston Texans with a total of 50;
Well, we cashed in 3 weeks of ugliness with the Chargers last week, and now they go right back to being the road favorite. Interestingly, early indications are that the public is actually backing Houston, or at least pretty close to split, despite San Diego's win over Tennessee last week, and maybe more interestingly, despite Houston getting blasted on Monday Night Football. I suppose it makes sense. Houston has fluctuated between scoring a ton of points and not, though they've given up a ton of points seemingly every week, while San Diego stunk for a month, won one game, and when all is summed up, both teams are somewhat moderately disliked by bettors, and that's splitting the action. I can't really get on board with San Diego laying points on the road, but that Houston defense should give up at least 25 points, probably more, to a Chargers team that can really move the ball. Tough to find a ton of line value in this opening number.

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Carolina Panthers with a total of 40.5;
This one doesn't need much of a breakdown. The Saints are coming off a Sunday Night Football win over the Steelers, the perceived best team in the NFL. The Panthers got completely shut down by an impressive Rams defense, and remain just a 1-win team. Is this a letdown spot for the Saints? Maybe. Are the Saints truly 9.5 points better than the Panthers on a neutral field? Probably not, but it's pretty easy to see why this line is as high as it is. This line should probably be about a point lower, which is something, but not nearly enough for me to get behind this Panthers team against a quality opponent. They are just a disaster, and though they did lose just 16-14 to New Orleans earlier this year, I can't imagine they have similar success in round two, especially not if Brees brings even his B-game. But, as I've stated a thousand times (and violated 900), this is a perception blog, and clearly, the line value is with Carolina. If this one gets over a TD, Carolina will look a lot better.

Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings (-8) with a total of 40;
This is a tough one to analyze, largely because of Favre (or not Favre). I suppose we could also argue that it's a tough one because Derek Anderson might get the start for the Cardinals. With so much uncertainty, it's very, very difficult to get a firm grasp on how the public is going to react. Clearly, they're going to prefer the Vikings just because of the star power of Adrian Peterson, but Randy Moss getting waived and Favre's injuries are definitely putting a damper on things, and this line is pretty darn high. On Arizona's side, they lost a winnable game to the Buccaneers last week, losing out on what appeared to be a sure game-tying FG chance with minutes remaining when Derek Anderson tossed yet another INT near the red zone. Whoops! Just from the teams alone, there's probably some perception value on the team getting 8 to 10 points, but not sure I can trust Derek Anderson to actually score at all, and as a fantasy owner of the Vikes defense, I'm finally looking forward to a weekend.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons (-9.5) with a total of 46.5;
First off, please do take note of the rather high total. I know the Bucs played a wildly high-scoring game in Arizona, but they hadn't been featuring monster offensive outputs (or allowing a ton) prior to that. Tampa Bay isn't really great on either side of the ball, but they're not terrible, so that total is giving a ton of credit to a solid Atlanta offense. The Bucs did just win another tight one, so I have to think the public opinion of them is going to stay about the same - somewhere in the middle of the road. As far as Atlanta goes, they put on a scoring show with the Bengals before a "bye" week, and I would believe that game has had some impact on the total. The side is awfully high though, and I have to think that it opened this high because of the "bye" week that Atlanta had to prepare. But let's not ignore the fact that the Bucs are confident, and they think they're the best team in the NFC. This would be an intriguing time to try to prove it. I think this line is a shade high considering it could be argued that this is some sort of rivalry, but Atlanta with 2 weeks to prepare should definitely score some points. Make of those statements what you will.

New York Jets (-3.5) @ Detroit Lions with a total of 41;
Well, that line seems oddly low, doesn't it? I know the Jets got shut out last week, at home, by the Green Bay Packers middling defense, but just over a FG to the Lions? It's pretty clear which side is going to be the public choice in this one. But let's dig deeper. The Jets had dominated during their winning streak, but one could argue that Sanchez didn't play all that well in Denver in a win that basically was gifted by a pass interference call, and then capped with some strong running game work. Sanchez is probably going to need to do some work in this one, too, since Detroit's front 4 are definitely in the League's top 10. On perception alone? Well, the Jets are still the Jets - the villains of the NFL that people love to hate, but also like to bet on because they were cashing ticekts. And, sadly, the Lions are still the Lions to folks, even though they've been extremely competitive in every game, and are actually about 2-3 plays from being a 4-3 team instead of 2-5. Anyway, from a math perspective, this line confuses me. The Lions were catching 14 when they played in Green Bay in early October, albeit without Matthew Stafford, but then this most recent week Green Bay was catching between 4-6 in New York. By that token, the Jets should be valued at 12-14 points more than the Lions without Stafford, on a neutral field. By that logic, we're saying Stafford alone is worth at least 5-6 points, maybe as many as 8? I'm not buying it. This line is hugely fishy.

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens (-4) with a total of 39.5;
I doubted you on the road, Miami, and I apologize. The Dolphins once again found a way to win on the road, despite scoring just 1 TD in the game. Somehow, they worked their way down the field repeatedly, and repeatedly settled for FG's, but that defense ratcheted up the intensity and held the Bengals first down-less for more than half the game! So, what do people remember about these teams? The Ravens won a nailbiter before heading into their "bye" week, so they're still fairly public, but maybe not as much since the close game was with a Buffalo team that no one figured would even compete. Here's the thing about Baltimore - aside from beating on a Denver team that is being revealed to be a bit of a fraud, they've played all pretty darn close games. Miami has been finding ways to win those close games on the road, but I have to believe the World is going to catch on with the Fins pretty darn soon, if they haven't already. I think that, at 4 points, this line is a little low, and Miami's nice road win, and series of covers forced a low opening number. As this line creeps up, though, then you have to start thinking that perhaps the value is not only gone, but flipped.

New England Patriots (-4) @ Cleveland Browns with a total of 45;
Once again, it's pretty easy to see which side has the intrinsic line value. The Patriots are coming off yet another win and yet another cover, beating the Vikings at home in their most recent affair. Still, New England seems to be getting, let's say, some breaks. If you go back a few games, the Pats have done a significant amount of their spread-covering with rather unique measures. Special teams went nutso in Miami, San Diego gifted them a win, and then at home, the Vikings foolishly played Brett Favre...still the head-scratcher of week 8. So, what happens now? New England gets to face a team with 3 subpar QB's, but at least one of them is showing signs of growth. The Pats are overvalued, and it's a matter of when we think the time is right, but getting well over a FG is intriguing.

Sunday, 4pm

New York Giants (-5) @ Seattle Seahawks with a total of 40;
Yes, we all know about the Giants pass rush, and we know that Seattle matches up poorly in that regard because they don't run the ball well, but we've also seen what opposing QB's can do to the Giants if the front 4 don't get a ton of pressure. So, that raises a few interesting points, in terms of situational angles and matchups. Let's break down those in the comments section. In terms of line value, the Giants have won 4 games in a row, covering 3 of them. They've scored 103 points in their last 3 games, and they're just clicking right along. Seattle, meanwhile, got creamed in Oakland by a suddenly surging Raiders team, and now comes back home where they've actually been pretty good this year. The fact that this line has gone up near a TD isn't surprising, either, as sharps could be grabbing that -5 to get ahead of the market, and certainly with Seattle coming off an ugly loss, and the Giants off a "bye", the middle opportunity is set up. So, yes, there's some solid line value with the Seahawks at opening number, and moreso at 7.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders (-1) with a total of 41;
Both of these teams look decent to bettors right now...who would have thought I'd be typing that in week 9 a few weeks back? The Chiefs defense has kept them in every game, and the offense is slowly coming along. The Raiders are coming off back-to-back blowout wins for the first time in, well, probably the better part of a decade. As discussed on "TiSB", both of these teams are a little overrated right now, and the line is probably pretty close to where it should be. At Oakland -1, the Raiders are a slight value, but by the time of posting this note, the line has moved up towards a FG, and now we're looking at a number that's probably right on the nose. Though, again, it's hard to imagine the Chiefs being at completely full strength off playing a full 75 minutes last week in a hard-fought win, but that's a story for the comments area.

Indianapolis Colts @ Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) with a total of 46.5;
Short week for Indianapolis, 2 weeks for the Eagles, and the return of Mike Vick. The question is, how much of that does the public digest. The Mike Vick part, I have to believe, is indeed processed by the bettors, so that's factored into the line. The "bye" and Indianapolis traveling off a MNF game might not be. Situationally, there's the quick breakdown. From a value standpoint, Indy is off a big win over Houston that bettors just ate up, and Philadelphia's most recent game was a poor performance in Tennessee...or, really, a poor 4th quarter. And by "poor", we mean, "the worst damn quarter they could have imagined." So, with that in mind, Philadelphia might be a tiny bit undervalued, if that's possible given the Vick situation, and there's no question the Colts are going to be overvalued off the MNF monster win. In my humble opinion, the Eagles are probably a more well-rounded team than Indianapolis, so anything FG or under is a slight line value (key number value, I'd say) on Philly.

Sunday, 8:30pm

Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers (-7.5) with a total of 44.5;
This opening number is silly, and the fact that the line has gone up as high as 9 is even funnier. It's official, though - the World has given up on the Cowboys. Dallas got worked by Jacksonville in their last game, in what I like to call the "season's over, letdown game"...but as we've seen in every sport from every team that sputters, after the letdown comes the "playing for pride" part of the season. From a perception standpoint, the Packers are way, way overvalued. Dallas's offense wasn't nearly as bad as last week might have indicated, as 3 tipped balls ended up as interceptions, and without those, they might have won, or certainly would have put up another 7-10 points. Green Bay, meanwhile, won last week because they keyed in on the Jets' rushing attack, and let the insane winds ruin whatever Mark Sanchez might have been trying to accomplish in the Jets' passing game. This line shouldn't be higher than about 6, certainly not over a TD, and certainly not 9.

Monday, 8:30pm

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals with a total of 42.5;
The Bengals look pretty terrible. Is that the time to back them? Probably, since catching over a FG at home for any team in the NFL, especially one that can indeed break out and score a few points, is something intriguing. Still, I'm not sure I can trust them. From a pure perception standpoint, Pittsburgh is coming off a road loss in New Orleans, but I don't think that does a ton to hurt the perception of their skill. Losing to a good team isn't that debilitating, and Pittsburgh should still be the slightly overvalued club, here. Cincinnati, meanwhile, can't get out of their own way. They've lost 4 in a row, and while many have been close, that simple fact speaks to Cincinnati's trouble getting anything done when it matters. Hell, just last week, Miami held the Bengals to zero first downs for basically the middle 30 minutes of the game. And Pittsburgh's defense might be a tiny bit overrated on name, but they're damn good at tackling, and don't give up many big plays. I'd love to advocate the home dog, and certainly catching 3.5, or more, is a nice deal, but it will take some colossal nuts to get behind the Bengals right now, even if they're a nice 2 point value.
  • that's some straight weird-ass crap right there...how on earth does an NFL blog get referenced on a discussion about backup girlfriends?

  • CAR is definitely an interesting play this week. The line has opened and stayed at -6.5. Books aren't stupid and the longer this line stays at -6.5 the more reason I have to back CAR. Not olny does it look so easy to tease the Saints down, but the books rarely allow people to take advantage of key numbers. Lines that open at -2.5 or -6.5 are usually bad games to back favorites.

  • Great shit El Samo.

  • Good point Samo!

    For me, I usually like to wait on those bad teams, until they look like they're actually figuring something out, at least a little.  I've taken a few 1* fliers this year, and they've gone poorly.

    I do, however, agree, that the line is a value for Carolina.  I just don't trust that team, and DeAngelo Williams is out again, so we'll see more Stewart (which isn't a bad thing), but also more passing game, most likely

  • Dan, since you broke the rules and talked about line value in the 'Aints/Panthers game, I want to quickly point out that line has public disaster written all over it.  It sounds so easy to tease New Orleans to a pick, after all,  "they really look like they are back on track after that win over Pittsburgh."  I think we can't forget that New Orleans is still a very flawed and injured team that is going against a legitimate defense on the road.     I know we like to stay away from trends, but in the past 3 seasons NO has only covered once against Carolina.  

    I feel like we are getting to a new phase of the season, where we have to recognize that the ugly teams we have been cashing on for the past month (Buffalo, Oakland, Detroit, St. Louis) are starting to lose their value. As this happens, we need to start looking for our next crop of teams that the public is auto-fading. Carolina just might be one of those teams

  • litlle scary this week. minn and nyg look like $$...based on what we have seen lately,no?

  • Haha, EVERY QB should be scared when that Giants front 4 comes knocking...not his fault that he's going to be running for his life!

  • Easy there Dan.  Not everybody can have an Aaron Rodgers...hahaha.  

  • Unless Osi takes his head off on the first play of the game...

  • Charlie Whitehurst...ole Clemson boy!  He showed life during the preseason and will have a rowdy crowd to help him out at home this weekend.  Pass for sure, but will be cool to see a Clemson QB start an NFL game...can't remember the last time that happened.

  • By the way, some interesting injury news...

    Matt Hasselbeck is OUT this weekend...that game is a PASS for me now, with charlie whitehurst getting the nod.

    Antonio Gates now has a bruised toe on one foot, and a popped plantar fascia on the other!  If he plays, he's going to be at 50%, at best.  San Diego's offense will take a HUGE hit if its without Gates.

  • Yeah, PASSSSSS for me on that game.  if I'm backing Lions at home against a superior team, I want 6 points.  There's a little value in Detroit at the current line, but for me, not enough to warrant a play against a team that has the potential to dominate

  • appreciate the kind words, Dan. I gotta tip my cap to Pregame tho, to both the Pros and some of the members in the community, I definitely wasn't this deep before I got here.

    You bring up a great point with that Lions/Jets game Samo. I really can't add much cuz you pretty much covered it all including the nice comparison to that monday night game. I'll just add the fact that this game isn't a stand alone game Sunday night or Monday night so it would make me feel a little more confident taking a "square" play in the Jets. People might be onto the Lions, but the fact is when it comes down to laying the cash, i don't think the public has the cajones to make the play against the jets. It's barely Thursday and more of the public money won't be coming in til tomorrow and onto the weekend, but the percentages are around 80% in favor of the Jets. Initially, i thought this game was Lions or Pass, but now i feel a little more leniant as far as taking the Jets, but ultimately i think i have to pass.

  • Dan Bebe: "I love making ugly plays."

    I feel like there is a "that's what she said" or a "that is what I told your mom" joke in there somewhere. Maybe?

  • I want to focus for a second on this NYJ/Lions game.  Let me say for a second, that I can't stand ESPN's Colin Cowherd. I had to drive somewhere for work yesterday and he was on with fellow ESPN commentator, Chad Millman.  Now, another aside. If anyone ever tells me they listen to Millman's podcast I first ask them "WHY!?" then point them to Bebe and Gill's podcasts.  If you want to listen to a guy who is perpetually in awe of "vegas and sharp money" listen to millman, if you want to listen to a couple of guys who are truly interested in this industry and put out info listen to Pregame (and if you want to listen to a guy who looks down at his listeners listen to cowherd).  

    Now back to my point.  I feel like the lions are like a  hot stock tip you hear from your buddy.  By the time people are talking it is too late.  These two ESPN guys were going on on and about Detroit's ATS record and how "the lions have a nose for the number."  While that may all be true, the fact that everyone knows it now makes that information less valuable to us.   I once read a book about horse racing from an old timer and his big thing was that people like gambling because we are all a bit larcenous, that is, we all want a "good deal," we want to be "insiders."  Maybe ESPN had something there..

    A few weeks ago before the Tennessee/Jacksonville MNF I wrote about the how the public can think they are getting a bargain on a line.  I think we should be aware that something similar might be going on in this Det/NYJ game especially in light of the puzzling play of the jets and their punter at home against a green bay team that is not really known for defense.