Wise Guys Discuss Aaron Rodgers' Injury Impact; Plus Season Win Totals

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 07, 2013



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

If there was ever a moment where the jaded fans at Lambeau Field wanted to see Brett Favre back in the green and yellow, it was Monday night when Aaron Rodgers went down with a fractured collarbone. 

Rodgers announced on his weekly radio show on ESPN 540 Milwaukkee that he has no timetable to return and that it is a "significant injury".

The Packers lost straight up at home against Chicago on Monday night as 10-point favorites.

So how will this impact the spread on Packers games going forward? RJ Bell of Pregame.com tweeted that Rodgers is worth over a touchdown to the line. 

However, Jeff Stoneback, sports book manager at The Mirage didn't agree. He said that his book holds back from putting up the lines for the games involving the Monday Night teams until Tuesday to save themselves from the liability of an injury of this magnitude.

But he said that they would've made the Packers a 9.5- or 10-point favorites if Rodgers didn't get hurt.

But when asked where they will open the game with Rodgers surely to miss it, Stoneback said, "We haven't really gotten to that yet. I would probably imagine it would be Green Bay probably 8, 8.5 something like that. A couple of points difference."

When asked why the drop from a former Super Bowl and NFL MVP to a 33-year-old journeyman wasn't bigger, Stoneback responded, "It's a lot different when you get thrown in in the middle of a game when you're a backup when you have a whole week to prepare, take snaps with the first team.

"[Packers backup quarterback Seneca Wallace is] not green or anything, he's been around for a quite awhile. I mean, it is a big drop off from Aaron Rodgers to him but with his experience and being at home it's just a couple of points. If they were going on the road it would be three points, maybe 3.5 points, but at home, it's a bit of a different game, they can manage it a bit more and try to win it more."

Green Bay did open at -2.5 at the Las Vegas Hilton on Tuesday afternoon, before a number has been posted at The Mirage.

Another reason for why Stoneback thought the spread should be higher than what it opened elsewhere in Sin City is the opponent and a common public play.

"Like I said before we were getting money from the sharps on Philadelphia," said Stoneback. "What the public likes to do as well, when a team got an injured quarterback they like to go against that team, although Green Bay is a public team." 

The books were thrilled with Green Bay's public team status on Monday night. 

"We did very well on that game, even though the sharps came in on Chicago, that game we were open at 11 and we closed at 10 even and I know there were some 9.5s out there. But the public money [on Green Bay] overwhelmed the sharp money."

Stoneback believes that the formula of a public team playing at home on Monday going against a team with a backup quarterback led to the flood of money coming in on Green Bay, despite the spread dropping a point because of the sharp money on the Bears.

And so far this season, double-digit underdogs are 11-8 ATS (.579). This is why Stoneback thought the line on Monday was too high for the Packers, despite knowing the public would be on them regardless.

"That was a lot of points," said Stoneback. "Chicago is not a bad team, they were 4-3 going into the game and as I said before there's an experienced quarterback who's not coming in green, so it seemed like a lot of points but the public figured that 'Hey, Cutler's out, the Packers are at home so let's just bet it blindly, whatever it is.'"

From a future standpoint, betting on the NFC North is closed this week at the Las Vegas Hotel due to Rodger's injury. Green Bay was 10/1 to win the Super Bowl on Monday and 15/1 on Tuesday. 

Stoneback had the Packers at 6/1 on Tuesday and when I called him at his desk, he decided to adjust. 

"I'm going to raise the Packers. We got them at 6/1 right now. I got it in front of my screen now so we're gonna go ahead and make them, we'll make them 10/1 right now."

 

Litmus test for Carolina Panthers

The best looking game on the schedule is Carolina at San Francisco. Carolina's four-game winning streak has vaulted the Panthers to the top of the Quality Stats Power Rankings, while the 49ers sit at No. 5.

But after beating the Vikings, Rams, Bucs and Falcons, Stoneback is unsure what to think of the Panthers, opening the game at San Francisco -6.

"They're a good defensive team, and Cam Newton is playing well right now, so this is kind of like the litmus test right here," said Stoneback. "This will be the true picture to see if they are legitimate or if it's been the competition they've been playing.

"After this game people will have more of a definitive opinion on the Panthers and the 49ers. If the 49ers blow them out too, people will be jumping all over the 49ers after this game."

Stoneback said that the early action was on San Francisco but "nothing of any significance at all."

Where is the rest of the early action?

"The Cowboys, we took some money at +7. We took some money on the Ravens at +2."

 

Cash that ticket!

For the rest of the season, we will have this section dedicated to the team or teams that clinched the win total victory, and see how the books did and keep a running score.

The public-heavy Houston Texans clinched the under with the loss against Indianapolis. Not only did the books claim the money from the over bet, they won again with Andrew Luck's two-point conversion toss to Coby Fleener late in the game gave the Colts (-2.5) at 27-24 win.

As previously noted in this column, the Texans have been dominating games statistically -- currently ranked second in Total Team Yards Differential -- but keep losing games and missing spreads because they are 31st in Cold, Hard Football Facts Intelligence Index. 

"They're not a bad team but they play like a bad team," said Stoneback. "Whereas a bad team knows how to lose, they seem to find a way to lose every game. It's kind of baffling, it's just like the season fell apart after that Seahawk game where they threw the pick-six and ended up losing that game.

"Obviously, the sharps thought they were going to come out sharp against Indy, which they were going to and they did it again. It's like they're a bad team that finds a way to lose, although they're a good team. It's hard to understand."

The Atlanta Falcons lost their sixth game of the year on Sunday at Carolina. The best the Dirty Birds can do is win 10 games, which is exactly where the win total was set. But the majority of the money is on the over, so with a solitary loss the rest of the way, Stoneback says he will win on Atlanta. 

"They were just a few yards away from the Super Bowl last year and to lose this bet they would have to lose seven games.

We had them at 10, it looked like they would get 10, go 10-6 based on what they did last year."

Now the Falcons are 25th in our Quality Stats Power Rankings and defensively are 29th in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating and are bound to go under the total.

"When they started off so hot last year it was funny, people would be calling up, the media and stuff and they would be surprised that we had them so high for the Super Bowl because nobody was betting them, are they for real or not?

"But after getting as far as they did in the playoffs and then [Matt] Ryan signs a big contract it seems that maybe they are legitimate, now it turns out maybe they weren't."

Assuming that the Falcons will drop one game the rest of the season, the book's record is 2-1 on future bets after taking a hit with the Chiefs over last week. 

*****

Week 10 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.

Washington (3-5) -2.5, +1.5 at Minnesota (3-5)

Seattle (5-4) -6, PICK at Atlanta (2-6)

Detroit (4-4) -2.5, +3 at Chicago (2-5-1)

Philadelphia (4-5) at Green Bay (4-4) -1.5, -7

Jacksonville (1-7) at Tennessee (5-2-1) -12, -3.5

St. Louis (3-6) at Indianapolis (5-3) -9.5, -2.5

Oakland (5-3) at NY Giants (3-5) -7.5, -9

Buffalo (5-4) at Pittsburgh (2-6) -3, -7

Cincinnati (5-3-1) -1.5, +3 at Baltimore (3-5)

Carolina (5-3) at San Francisco (6-2) -6, -6

Denver (4-4) -7, -3 at San Diego (5-2-1)

Houston (1-7) at Arizona (5-3) -3, +3

Dallas (7-2) at New Orleans (5-3) -7, -4

Miami (4-4) -2.5, +1.5 at Tampa Bay (2-6)

Byes: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, NY Jets

***** 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tampa Bay: Off the board

Jacksonville: Off the board

 

NFC 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minnesota: +500000, +500000, +100000, +45000, +10000, +7500, +15000, +11000, +5500, +3000

Tampa Bay: Off the board

 

AFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacksonville: Off the board


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