Once again the public bettors got the best of the bookmakers even with a perfect balance of dogs and favorites covering in week 4 of the NFL. The reason is simple, when teams like the Patriots, Packers, Saints, Lions, Ravens, and even the NY Giants get the cover you can rest assured there were a ton of 4,5, & 6 team parlays and teasers paid out. With odds of 20-1 and higher, it makes it almost impossible for books to make it up from bettors laying 11 to win 10.
In CFB teams like Alabama, Stanford, & Wisconsin continued to cost the books and a closer look at the results thus far reflect that wagering on teams in the AP top 5 blindly allows bettors to turn a profit. Then when you couple that with teams like Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Michigan who receive money each week…it’s obvious why books are complaining that odds makers aren’t doing an efficient job of protecting them.
Finally, the MLB Playoffs have brought with them a huge influx of recreational bettors to the market and odds makers are once again sending out “fair lines” rather than “true lines”. When the overall goal is to balance action and steer the public on the opposite side of the sharps, there is definitely a lot of value to take advantage of.
These observations are nothing new and each season it seems like the same type of findings are repeated over and over. Ultimately books depend on bettors NOT to practice proper money management so that even when they are able to outperform a coin-toss in the land where they’re forced to lay 11 to win 10, profit is avoided. Therefore, I for one believe that more information needs to be provided on treating it like an investment or a business. Because if you “treat it like a business, eventually it will pay like one”.
With that, let’s look ahead and try to isolate those teams that the market is over-under valuing at the moment based on perception rather than true data.
TOP 5 “OVER-VALUED” TEAMS :
1.) MILWAUKEE BREWERS
The price to back them coming down the stretch was inflated but they were able to out-perform the market and bettors continued riding them. Now that the playoffs have started NOTHING has changed and books will definitely be quick to inflate the price for backing them. No better example than Game 3 which was “do or die” for Arizona, but even at home they were offered up as the dog. That inflated price should continue onto the next series even against Philly.
For years this team has found a way to under-perform even when loaded with talent. This season they’re employing a spread-offense and it’s helped them put up a lot of points and cover the spread. More importantly, they’re getting a ton of public money each week regardless of the opponent and the AP has them ranked #8 in the polls. Most sharps I spoke to don’t even have them in their Top 15 yet and expect to cash in by fading them going forward.
Currently ranked #1 in the AP and getting public money each and every week since that opening win against Oregon. They may be 5-0 SU but ATS they’re only 3-2. Now that may be enough to turn a profit but the inflated price attached will make it tough for that to continue in the tough SEC. Most of the sharps that share their power-ratings with me have them ranked behind Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, and some even behind Stanford.
4.) BALTIMORE RAVENS
After destroying the Steelers in week 1 it was obvious the public perception would be high on this team. But now after disposing of the NY Jets on prime-time SNF, their stock has really soared. The defense is as solid as any but they lack the type of offense needed to cover inflated numbers. Flacco is completing less than 50% of his passes and that’ll have to improve for them to live up to the hype.
5.) DETROT LIONS
It’s tough to say a team that’s won 12 straight games including the pre-season and has covered all but one in the process is “over-valued” or “over-rated”, especially after having the best ATS record last season. But the goal of this list is to look AHEAD more than behind and determine which team’s stock is too high or low. Ultimately when a team performs as well as the Lions, the over-reaction in the marketplace puts the price too high to offer any value. Don’t forget that in 2010 they were covering spreads as an “under-valued” team, but this year it’s the opposite and the market always corrects itself.
HONORABLE MENTION :
CFB = BOISE ST
NFL = PACKERS
TOP “5” UNDER-VALUED TEAMS :
1.) TEXAS RANGERS
For selfish reasons since I hold a futures ticket that pays out almost 100 units if they win the World Series, I’m hoping Texas gets it done. But the bottom line is that even if they don’t the market will offer up more than enough value to turn a nice profit. The reason is because they’ve received the least amount of hype coming into the Playoffs even after being in the WS just a season ago. When you have a very good team that isn’t getting much support at the betting window, you have exactly what’s needed to find value and turn a profit. If they meet the NYY next, they’ll be even more under-valued.
2.) TEXAS A&M
3.) FLORIDA ST.
Let’s not forget that prior to losing to Oklahoma this team was ranked in the top 5 of the AP poll, but after that loss was followed up by another against Clemson…they have dropped to #30. That is just too much based on the talent the Seminoles put out on the field each week and they are too well coached. Based on my own power-ratings I would only make a team like LSU around -6 on a neutral field and some sources I use say their’s reflect an even shorter price.
4.) NY JETS
They came into the season as one of the most over-valued teams in the NFL and received a ton of money in futures. But after a loss to the Raiders and being blown out on SNF by the Ravens, their stock has really plummeted. They are only one game out of 1st place in the AFC East and have NOT played a division game yet so don’t look for them to quit on the season just yet. Now that they’ll be discounted, they’ll finally offer betting value.
Another team that came into the season with expectations being too high based on their talent and it was obvious they’d be over-valued early on. But starting out 2-2 SU/1-3 ATS and almost losing to the Seahawks, has most bettors jumping ship. A closer look reveals they’ve played only 1 home game this season and in the dome they went 20-4 SU the L/3 seasons. When their stock is low and they’re playing at home they’ll definitely offer value.
HONORABLE MENTION :
CFB = NOTRE DAME/SOUTH CAROLINA
NFL = BEARS
MLB PLAYOFFS = 75% PUBLIC / 25% SHARP
If not for the public using Totals mostly for parlays only, this ratio would be even higher. Prime-time games in any sport bring out recreational bettors but couple that with “playoffs” and market gets saturated with them.
CFB = 65% PUBLIC / 35% SHARP
Like usual this ration climbs in favor of the public on prime-time games and drops greatly on totals and smaller conference match-ups.
NFL = 80% PUBLIC / 20% SHARP
After locals reported that Sunday provided the most volume and money wagered they’ve received all season, it’s obvious that the exercise of betting on NFL games is growing. More fantasy football fans continue to cross over to wager and sharps are no longer able to limit exposure as much as before.
…Packers & Lions get all the attention in the division which means Chi-Town will be discounted greatly in those games that are the most meaningful to teams.…This one’s a tie because the loss last week had pollsters drop SC way too low and the QB change will keep bettors away until they see how he performs…And ND is still in my Top 15 (power-ratings) but the AP dropped them to #30.Last week we isolated Arkansas who had dropped down too far in the polls after a loss but weren’t adjusted much in most sharp’s power-ratings. This week, the Aggies barely made the AP top 25 (#24) after suffering their 2nd loss of the season. Those same sharps that didn’t adjust much on Arkansas have done the same with A & M by keeping them in their top 15. When perception changes that drastically after a single game, a quality team will continue offering up value…especially at a discounted price.…Super Bowl champs almost always carry a premium the following season, but when it’s a team that cashes tickets early on and has a huge fan base eventually odds makers inflate price even more.…Coach Peterson just refuses to play the BCS’s game and pulls the starters after building a big lead which always leave the back door open.