Inside Vegas: Wise Guys Discuss Week 11 Streaks, Point Spreads

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 14, 2013



Note: Each week of the NFL season, our Vegas insider Sean O'Neill takes CHFF Insiders behind the scenes and into the board rooms of the Vegas wise guys, providing valuable insight into the minds of the guys who set expectations each week and each NFL season. For information like this each week, and much, much more, become a CHFF Insider today.

By Sean O'Neill
Cold, Hard Football Facts Vegas Insider (@sean_oneill)

The New Orleans Saints are 13-0 at the Superdome in Sean Payton's last 13 games coaching the team, which includes 4-0 this year, according to pro-football-reference.com.

So the giving the Saints only a field goal at home, even against a team as good as San Francisco, seems like a pinata for the public.

"We probably will be needing San Francisco when it comes to gameday," said Jeff Stoneback, sports book manager at The Mirage.

"The first play we took was from a professional at +3.5. So the pros, obviously like the 49ers, and the Saints is gonna be the side of the public, I wouldn't be surprised if it did go back to 3.5. We're just gonna need the 49ers, we'll give the sharp money back, but teasers and parlays, especially, we'll need the 49ers side."

But why not raise the spread up higher just because of this impressive New Orleans streak, regardless of the opponent?

"San Francisco is still considered one of the best teams and if you give them over a field goal, that's tough given, any of those teams, whoever they're playing on the road, whether it's San Francisco, New Orleans, Seattle or Denver.

"It's really tough to make one of those top-tier teams a field goal underdog because you'll get a flood of money once you get a field goal on one of he best teams."

But Stoneback immediately contradicted himself when he brought up the Chiefs-Broncos game, where public darling Denver is an eight-point favorite, stating that "I've never seen a 9-0 team getting more than a touchdown.

"I don't think I've ever seen a team 9-0 getting more than a field goal!"

The line was set at 8.5 because Stoneback is trying to reel in any Kansas City money because of Denver's public team status. He shades all Denver lines higher than he thinks they should be to compensate for the expected river of money. 

The action according to Stoneback has been light so far on Chiefs-Broncos. One reason why is because the rematch between these division rivals takes place in two weeks and bettors may pass and wait for this game to transpire and have more information to play the rematch. But what will have a bigger impact on where the oddsmakers will set the line for the game at Arrowhead in Week 13, the result of this match or the action on Sunday?

"You can basically say a combination of them both," said Stoneback. "It'll be interesting to see, I have no feel for what's going to happen on this game. The track record we've had with the Broncos is that people are betting them blindly, but there's gonna be people out here too saying that Kansas City hasn't given up more than 17 points, they have the best defense, they can hold the Broncos down, but we'll see what happens. 

"In two weeks when they play, we'll take into consideration if we do get one-sided on Denver and Denver blows them out, we'll probably inflate the line again a little bit more. Or if Kansas City plays them tough and now they're coming home, we may take money on Kansas City, we may shade more to Kansas City. It's a tough game; I have no feel for how the public is gonna go, and honestly I don't have a feel for where the game is gonna go, personally."

 

Mirage Wise Guys debate Patriots-Panthers point spread

Stoneback and his co-manager at The Mirage, Jay Rood, disagreed on the Patriots-Panthers Monday Nighter when setting the spread for the game.

"When we were coming up with that number," said Stoneback, "Jay, he wanted to hang the line 3 and I was just the opposite. I thought that [the sharps] would bet New England this week. So what we did was hung it [Carolina -2.5, -120, so a little bit of a lean to his side. My thought process was that I didn't wanna give away a full field goal to the Patriots, I thought everyone would jump on that. But his thought process is that the game is gonna go to 3, so it's two different opinions on it."

At a few shops in Vegas, the Panthers are now favored by a field goal. So will the game reach the three-point spread before kickoff on Monday in one of the most high profile games of the weekend, and in the obvious chase game after a weekend of losing?

"If you ask him, the answer is yes," said Stoneback, referring to his colleague Rood. "If you ask me, the answer is no. Which is good cause you gotta have different opinions to bounce off each other. I don't know; it's tough. If the Patriots go to 3, everyone is gonna jump on that. I know there is a place here in town that has the Patriots 3, -120. I don't think it'll go to 3."

Stoneback's belief that New England will get all the money if the game moves to a field goal is because the Patriots are the type of team to end Carolina's hot streak. He said that the Panthers' 10-9 victory over San Francisco was the best game of the day for the book because "the public" weren't believers in Carolina and unfortunately they paid for it."

Before playing the 49ers, Cam Newton and company racked up W's by beating the league's sisters of the poor. Their five previous victories came against teams that have an average ranking of 27.2 in this week's Quality Stats Power Rankings, which kept betters skeptical.  

But after the victory over San Francisco, Carolina is favored over New England at home, something that wouldn't have happened if this game took place in Week 6. This brings up how the oddsmakers inflate the lines depending on results.

If the 49ers had added a touchdown to their total on Sunday, Carolina's winning streak ends and the spread changes to a pick 'em, at best. But the result was the result, and the Panthers are now laying 2.5. The oddsmakers use this to change the spread because of the recency bias of the public.

"If they stunk it up in San Francisco," said Stoneback, "that game would've been a pick or maybe a point favorite, or maybe how bad they look, New England would have been a point favorite. That was a 2.5-point swing there."

Stoneback is hoping that the Panthers keep rolling, and wouldn't complain if owner Jerry Richardson is presented with the Lombardi in February. According to his future action, Carolina -- currently at 17/1, opened at 35/1 and was as high as 75/1 at The Mirage -- would be the second biggest winner for the book in the whole league. 

Stoneback has gotten a little bit of action on New England but, "it's not a barometer of what is going to happen. It's just a small amount."

 

The sharps got their money on ... Scott Tolzien?! 

During our conversation with Stoneback, we asked him, as always, about where the early action is. He told me that he took a max bet of $30,000 from a sharp on Green Bay this week at +7 against the New York Giants.  

He then put me on hold for a few seconds as somebody walked into his office. When the Cirque du Soleil commercials for The Beatles Love ended and he picked up the conversation and offered this:

"It's funny we were talking about that game and I just took two bets on that game -- one of them from a professional -- so we are now at -7, +125 on the Giants."

As scary as this must sound to have two $30,000 bets from sharps on one side of the game, it was as smooth to Stoneback's ears as "The Long and Winding Road" because of some creative bookmaking. 

He set this game at a touchdown knowing that there were other shops in Las Vegas at -6 for the Giants so he could rope in the sharps on the Packers because of the value of the extra point, knowing that on Sunday the public will come in and bet on New York because of the square bettor's obsession with betting against backup quarterbacks. 

 

Cash that ticket!

The Falcons clinched the under last week, which won money for Stoneback. But he better start saving on the electricity bills now because four teams are a game away from securing their number, which will turn The Mirage into a personal piggy bank for the public.

Here's the teams that are a game away from cashing, with comments from Stoneback: 

Arizona Cardinals, over 5.5: "That is going to be a loser for us. Most of the action that we took was on the over. Very little action on the under."

New York Giants, under 9: "Giants going under is going to be a significant loser for us also. We closed them at 9, under -180."

Pittsburgh Steelers, under 9: "Another significant loser for us. NFL season wins are always tough for us. We've actually been lucky the last couple of years and won a little on it, but it's a tough for us to beat because the sharps are so good at it, it's out there for a couple of months. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, under 7.5: "Guess what? Another loser. Like I said, the last couple of years we've actually been on the plus-side and was very fortunate to be on the plus side. There's years where we win and everything, but I would say we lose every two out of three years."

 

Week 11 lines

All records are ATS. The line in bold is the current consensus line at VegasInsider.com. The other line was released by Cantor Gaming in May when it put out lines for every game of the season up to Week 16. The lines are for comparison purposes to see what the books thought of these games in May.

Indianapolis (5-4) -3, -1 at Tennessee (5-3-1)

NY Jets (6-3) at Buffalo (5-5) -1.5, -1.5

Baltimore (4-5) at Chicago (2-6-1) -3, PICK

Cleveland (5-4) at Cincinnati (5-4-1) -6, -6

Atlanta (2-7) -1.5, -1 at Tampa Bay (3-6)

Arizona (5-4) -7, PICK at Jacksonville (2-7)

Oakland (6-3) at Houston (2-7) -7, -7.5

San Diego (5-3-1) -1.5, +3 at Miami (4-5)

Washington (4-5) at Philadelphia -3.5, PICK (5-5)

Detroit (5-4) -2.5, +3.5 at Pittsburgh (3-6)

Minnesota (3-6) at Seattle (6-4) -13, -6

San Francisco (6-3) at New Orleans (6-3) -3, PICK

Green Bay (4-5) at NY Giants (3-6) -6, PICK

Kansas City (6-3) at Denver (5-4) -8, -7.5

New England (5-4) at Carolina (6-3) -2.5, +3

***** 

Current future odds. The number in bold is the current price and the second number is the odds at the start of last week. The rest of the numbers go chronologically back to Week 1. Lines are for comparison purposes to see where the value was. All odds are courtesy of the Las Vegas Hotel. 

Super Bowl

Denver: +225, +250, +250, +250, +200, +200, +200, +300, +500, +450, +500

Seattle: +300, +400, +350, +400, +450, +450, +400, +350, +450, +600, +600

New Orleans: +600, +800, +500, +600, +450, +450, +700, +1000, +1200, +1400, +1800

San Francisco: +800, +800, +450, +600, +600, +700, +800, +1000, +1000, +600, +600, +600

New England: +800, +800, +800, +1200, +1000, +700, +1000, +800, +800, +1000, +800, +1000

Kansas City: +1200, +1000, +1000, +1000, +2000, +2000, +2500, +2000, +2500, +4000,+5000

Carolina: +1400, +3000, +4000, +6000, +10000, +10000, +7500, +10000, +10000, +5000, +4000

Cincinnati: +2000, +1600, +1200, +1200, +2000, +2000, +2500, +1400, +1800, +2000, +2500

Detroit: +2000, +3000, +5000, +6000, +5000, +6000, +3000, +5000, +5000, +3000, +4000

Indianapolis: +2000, +1200, +1600, +1400, +2000, +1500, +2500, +3000, +6000, +4000, +3000

Green Bay: +3000, +1500, +1000, +1000, +1200, +1200, +1400, +1200, +800, +1000, +900

Dallas: +5000, +3000, +4000, +3000, +3000, +4000, +3000, +2000, +4000, +2500, +2000

Philadelphia: +5000, +10000, +20000, +10000, +8000, +8000, +10000, +10000, +5000, +2500, +6000

Chicago: +6000, +4000, +10000, +7500, +4000, +4000, +2500, +1200, +2000, +2000, +2500

NY Giants: +6000, +10000, +10000, +20000, +100000, +100000, +15000, +10000, +4000, +4000, +2500

Arizona: +10000, +30000, +20000, +50000, +30000, +10000, +15000, +20000, +10000, +10000, +10000

Baltimore: +10000, +30000, +10000, +10000, +4000, +3500, +4000, +2500, +3000, +3000, +3000

Cleveland: +10000, +30000, +100000, +50000, +20000, +8000, +10000, +20000, +20000, +10000, +6000

NY Jets: +10000, +10000, +20000, +10000, +20000, +10000, +15000, +7500, +10000, +8000, +7000

Miami: +20000, +10000, +10000, +7500, +6000, +6000, +4000, +2500, +2000, +3000, +4000

San Diego: +20000, +20000, +7500, +7500, +10000, +10000, +7500, +10000, +6000, +6000, +6000

Tennessee: +20000, +10000, +10000, +10000, +20000, +10000, +5000, +5000, +6000, +10000, +10000

Washington: +20000, +10000, +20000, +10000, +20000, +8000, +6000, +10000, +5000, +4000, +3000

Houston: +50000, +30000, +10000, +10000, +6000, +4000, +2500, +2000, +1000, +1000, +1200

Pittsburgh: +20000, +50000, +30000, +10000, +10000, +20000, +15000, +10000, +7500, +5000, +2000

Atlanta: +200000, +100000, +30000, +10000, +20000, +8000, +4000, +3000, +1600, +1800, +1600

Oakland: +200000, +200000, +30000, +100000, +100000, +50000, +200000, +100000, +20000, +30000, +50000

St. Louis: +100000, +200000, +50000, +50000, +20000, +30000, +30000, +20000, +10000, +5000, +5000

Buffalo: +200000, +200000, +100000, +30000, +100000, +100000, +15000, +20000, +10000, +20000, +10000

Minnesota: +100000, +999900, +999900, +200000, +100000, +20000, +15000, +30000, +20000, +10000, +5000

Tampa Bay: Off the board

Jacksonville: Off the board

 

NFC 

Seattle: +140, +180, +160, +180, +200, +225, +175, +175, +225, +300, +350

San Francisco: +400, +200, +275, +250, +300, +350, +450, +450, +300, +300, +350

New Orleans: +275, +350, +240, +250, +200, +200, +300, +450, +600, +800, +1000

Carolina: +700, +1500, +2000, +3000, +4500, +5000, +3700, +5000, +5500, +2800, +2000

Detroit: +1000, +1500, +2500, +3000, +2300, +2500, +1400, +2500, +2700, +1600, +2000

Green Bay: +1500, +700, +450, +450, +500, +500, +600, +550, +400, +550, +500

Dallas: +2500, +1500, +2000, +1300, +1300, +1800, +1000, +2200, +1300, +1100

Philadelphia: +2500, +5000, +10000, +5000, +3500, +3500, +5000, +5000, +2700, +1300, +3000

Chicago: +3000, +2000, +5000, +3700, +1800, +1800, +1100, +550, +1100, +1100, +1300

NY Giants: +3000, +5000, +5000, +10000, +45000, +50000, +7500, +5000, +2000, +2200, +1300

Arizona: +5000, +15000, +10000, +25000, +13000, +5000, +7500, +10000, +5500, +5500, +5000

Washington: +10000, +5000, +10000, +5000, +9000, +3500, +3000, +5000, +2700, +2200, +1500

St. Louis: +50000, +100000, +25000, +25000, +9000, +15000, +15000, +10000, +5500, +2800, +2500

Minnesota: +50000, +50000, +50000, +100000, +45000, +10000, +7500, +15000, +11000, +5500, +3000

Atlanta: +100000, +50000, +15000, +5000, +9000, +3500, +1800, +1500, +900, +1000, +900

Tampa Bay: Off the board

 

AFC

Denver: -160, -125, -125, -110, -150, -150, -140, +130, +200, +160, +180

New England: +350, +350, +500, +450, +300, +450, +350, +450, +400, +300, +350

Kansas City: +500, +400, +400, +450, +900, +900, +1200, +1000, +1100, +1800, +2300

Indianapolis: +800, +550, +700, +900, +700, +1200, +1300, +2500, +1800, +1300

Cincinnati: +800, +700, +500, +550, +900, +900, +1200, +600, +700, +800, +1100

Baltimore: +5000, +15000, +5000, +5000, +1800, +1700, +2000, +1000, +1300, +1800, +1300

Cleveland: +5000, +15000, +50000, +25000, +10000, +4000, +5000, +9000, +8000, +4000, +2800

NY Jets: +5000, +5000, +10000, +10000, +5000, +7500, +3000, +4000, +3000, +3500

Miami: +10000, +5000, +5000, +3000, +3000, +2000, +1000, +800, +1300, +1800

Tennessee: +10000, +5000, +5000, +5000, +10000, +5000, +2500, +2300, +2500, +4000, +4500

San Diego: +10000, +10000, +3700, +3700, +5000, +5000, +3700, +4500, +2500, +4000, +2800

Pittsburgh: +10000, +25000, +15000, +5000, +5000, +10000, +7500, +4500, +3000, +2300, +900

Houston: +25000, +15000, +5000, +5000, +3000, +2000, +1200, +900, +400, +400, +450

Buffalo: +100000, +100000, +50000, +15000, +50000, +50000, +7500, +9000, +4000, +8000, +4500

Oakland: +100000, +100000, +15000, +50000, +50000, +25000, +100000, +45000, +8000, +12000, +12500

Jacksonville: Off the board


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