Teddy_Covers's Blog

Posted Monday, June 23, 2014 10:46 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: AFC Morphers

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the seven NFC teams that are projected to improve or decline by two wins or more in 2014 based on the current market numbers for their season win totals.  I intended to write Part II of the article last week, talking about the four AFC teams that are also projected to improve or decline by two wins or more in 2014, but I got derailed by the College Football Game of the Year openers at the Golden Nugget; a ‘must report’ event.  So, let’s just call it ‘better late than never’!

The markets are telling us to expect ‘more of the same’ from 12 of the 16 AFC teams.  What makes these four squads different? My goal here is to focus on why these particular teams are expected to improve or decline significantly compared to last year.  I’ll do that by looking at how the broader market conditions affect the numbers.  What do the markets fixate upon?  What do they largely ignore?  Read on to find out. 

Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5 in 2013, O/U 8 wins in 2014.

Last year in this space, I called the Chiefs coming off a truly dismal 2-14 campaign “the poster child for the ‘expected to be the most improved team in the NFL’ category.”  Here’s an excerpt:

“Quite literally, just about every statistic and metric that we have to predict NFL success or failure points towards an i... [More]

Posted Monday, June 09, 2014 11:14 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFL Season Wins

I’ve been waiting patiently for the NFL Season Wins market to mature, but that doesn’t happen quickly here in June.  Most of the notable offshores have not posted Over/Under win totals yet, leaving Vegas as the only active market right now. As a result, all the numbers used in this article are from right here in Sin City.

Of the 32 NFL teams, only 11 have Over/Under win totals that are different from their final record last year by two games or more.  In other words, the markets are telling us to expect ‘more of the same’ from 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

In my Vegas Wiseguy Report article over the next two weeks, I’m going to focus on those eleven teams that are expected to morph positively or negatively from last year.  The goal of this discussion is to focus on why these particular teams are expected to improve or decline significantly compared to last year.  I’ll do that by looking at how the broader market conditions affect the numbers.  What do the markets fixate upon?  What do they largely ignore?  Read on to find out.

This week’s focus will be on the seven NFC teams that are projected to improve or decline by two wins or more in 2014 based on the current market numbers for their season win totals.  Teams are listed in alphabetical order.  Next week, I’ll break down the four AFC teams with an exten... [More]

Posted Monday, June 02, 2014 12:00 PM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: First Take 2014 NFC

Last week, I wrote that “the NFL offseason, at least for sportsbettors, is essentially over.  Numbers are up, and they’re moving!”

“My first step in assessing the upcoming NFL season begins with a thorough look back at last year.  Every team’s power rating is set, in large part, based on where they finished the previous campaign.  Obviously, adjustments are made for injuries, luck, offseason improvements or declines, coaching changes and the like, but those base power rating numbers factor in what happened in 2013 very heavily.”

Last week, I focused on the 16 teams from the AFC.  In this week’s Vegas Wiseguy Report, I’ll pass along a tidbit or two from each of the 16 NFC teams in regards to last year.  My focus is on things that are NOT likely to repeat the same way in 2014.  And this week, I’ll do my absolute best to avoid egregious errors like my ‘San Diego didn’t make the 2013 playoffs’ mistake from last week.

The Dallas Cowboys have a grand total of one playoff win since 1996; a franchise that has sunk into long term mediocrity over the past decade.  Given their extensive salary cap woes, it’s not going to be easy for Dallas to end that streak in 2014.  Last year, the Cowboys defense allowed a woeful 6.1 yards per play, ranked #31 out of 32 teams.  And Dallas will be hard pressed to repeat their 67% fumble ... [More]

Posted Monday, May 26, 2014 11:16 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: First Take 2014 NFL

The LVH Superbook posted their NFL Season Win totals last weekend.  Cantor sportsbooks (CG Technology) have had season win totals posted for months.  Many other books both here in Vegas and offshore have posted season win totals, Week 1 pointspreads and ‘Game of the Year’ pointspreads.  Most books that haven’t posted NFL numbers yet plan to do so in the near future.  The NFL offseason, at least for sportsbettors, is essentially over.  Numbers are up, and they’re moving!

My first step in assessing the upcoming NFL season begins with a thorough look back at last year.  Every team’s power rating is set, in large part, based on where they finished the previous campaign.  Obviously, adjustments are made for injuries, luck, offseason improvements or declines, coaching changes and the like, but those base power rating numbers factor in what happened in 2013 very heavily.

In this week’s Vegas Wiseguy Report, I’ll pass along a tidbit or two from each of the 16 AFC teams in regards to last year.  My focus is on things that are NOT likely to repeat the same way in 2014.  I’ll offer similar analysis for the 16 NFC teams in my column next week.

The Buffalo Bills have the NFL’s longest current postseason drought; dating back to the Music City Miracle game in January 2000. They’re coming off three consecutive 6-10 seasons.&n... [More]

Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 10:22 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Post NFL Draft Hype

The NFL draft is a thing of beauty for those who appreciate hype without substance.   After months of hype – literally, months of it, more hype than we see for any Super Bowl – the first round of the NFL draft attracted 32 million viewers to the coverage on ESPN and the NFL Network. 

That’s a massive 28 percent increase over the 25 million that watched the draft in 2013.  On digital media platforms, the draft drew more than 14 million visits, a 54 percent increase from 2013.  And I’m not convinced the ratings gold were all the result of Johnny Manziel ‘s crossover publicity.  Fans and bettors alike seem to think that the draft is important.

The pre-draft hype is a series of smokescreens, with GM’s and personnel directors around the league unwilling to divulge any meaningful information to media types and those who communicate with media types.  We see mock drafts for weeks leading up to the real draft, with the likes of Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, Pete Prisco and Mike Mayock offering their informed predictions. 

And yet despite multiple revisions of those mock drafts -- even the final versions released on draft day itself -- the best result from the most-hyped predictors was to nail six of the 32 first round draft choices here in 2014.  That’s not exactly a track record of accuracy, yet it’s remarkably consisten... [More]

Posted Monday, January 27, 2014 09:32 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Super Bowl $$$

It’s Super Bowl time again; the moral equivalent of Christmas Day for sportsbettors.  Yet many of the professional full time bettors that I know are rather disappointed with the proposition betting opportunities this year – there’s simply not much ‘low hanging fruit’.  The biggest and best sportsbooks (market leaders both here in Vegas and offshore) have learned from previous mistakes.  Bad numbers do NOT abound in 2014.

Let me start with the game itself.  The Super Bowl itself has been an underdog bettor’s paradise in recent years.   The Ravens won the Super Bowl last year as the underdog, beating the favored 49ers.  The Giants won the year before as an underdog; knocking off the Patriots.  In 2010, the Saints won straight up as a dog over Peyton Manning and the Colts.  In 2009, the Cardinals covered the spread in a tight loss to the Steelers.  In 2008, the Giants beat the favored 18-0 Patriots outright.  The only favorite to win and cover in the last six Super Bowls was the Packers when they beat the Steelers in 2011.

The underdog trend in the Super Bowl goes back even further than that, with four consecutive dog covers from 2002 through 2005 (the Patriots beating the Rams in ’02, the Bucs destroying the Raiders in ’03 and spread covering losses from the Panthers and Eagles against the Patriots in ’04 and ’05).  Laying ... [More]

Posted Monday, January 20, 2014 09:57 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Super Bowl Memories

On the one hand, the Super Bowl is ‘just another game’ for a professional bettor.  On the other hand, the Super Bowl has two major differences.  First and foremost are the prop bets; quite literally hundreds of wagering opportunities that allow bettors to wager from everything on the coin toss and the length of the national anthem to whether Russell Wilson will throw more touchdown passes than Manchester United will score goals on Super Bowl Sunday.  I’ll write about those next week.

The other biggest difference between Super Bowls and ‘other games’?  Simple – the Super Bowls stand out in our memories; every one of them.  I’ve been in Vegas since the 1998 football season, and I can tell you where I watched every Super Bowl, what the pointspread was and who covered. Thank you in advance for indulging me a brief trip down memory lane.

My first Super Bowl in Las Vegas was when the Broncos faced the Falcons as favorites of about a TD back in January 1999.  I watched the game in the stadium seating at the Imperial Palace racebook.  My handicap was simple, thinking Denver had a big edge having played in (and beaten) the Packers in the Super Bowl the previous year.  I’m not sure it mattered after Falcons cornerback Eugene Robinson was arrested for soliciting the night before the game; throwing Atlanta off their game.  The Broncos won and cover... [More]