The Betting Edge

Bad teams unbalance the books

By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / October 30, 2009

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Here’s a sad story line for you: Bookmakers took a pounding last Sunday.

The reason is simple. For some of the bad teams in the NFL, you could give them a 20-point head start, at home, and they still wouldn’t cover.

Last weekend, New England went off locally as a 16-point favorite over Tampa Bay and the Patriots cruised, 35-7.

Indianapolis was a 14-point favorite on the road against St. Louis, and the Colts ran away with the game, 42-6.

Meanwhile, both Kansas City and Oakland were underdogs at home and were crushed by a combined score of 75-7.

Jay Kornegay is the director for perhaps the most prominent sports book in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Hilton. This week, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “I can’t remember an NFL season with this many bad teams. No doubt, [Sunday] was the worst day ever for the books.

“We can’t attract money on these poor teams. We keep losing on the same teams. They are not even close to covering.’’

It’s something to think about when you make your plays. Here are mine (home team in caps):

NY JETS (-3) over Miami: The biggest reason I’m going with the Jets is that Miami is starting two rookie cornerbacks. The Jets couldn’t solve the Dolphins’ precise execution of the Wildcat offense in their first meeting but I don’t expect this to be as big of a problem the second time around for defensive-minded Jets coach Rex Ryan. Miami needs a win to keep pace but the Dolphins could be spent after giving everything they had against New Orleans and coming up empty. Risking $110 to win $100.

BUFFALO (+3 1/2) over Houston: The Bills are nothing special offensively; in fact, they’re the opposite of special. But they can run the ball, and backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is developing a rapport with wideout Lee Evans. Houston has struggled with its running game, and Buffalo’s defense has contained two decent ground attacks - the Jets and Carolina - in the last two weeks. Risking $55 to win $50.

GREEN BAY (-3) over Minnesota: Green Bay, having already lost in Minnesota, has been prepping for its rematch by taking a week off and then winning easy over Detroit and Cleveland. Minnesota limps into Lambeau Field after slugfests with Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The Packers will win going away. Risking $110 to win $100.

Last week: 3-0, plus $400. Season: 15-11, plus $679.

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