NFL Week 4 Live Betting Weekend & MNF Preview At Bovada
The "Roger Goodell Appreciation Bowl" highlights the NFL live play-by-play betting options at the book on Sunday.
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That "bowl" is a 4:15 p.m. ET matchup in Green Bay between the Saints and Packers. Back in the preseason, it looked like a potential Super Bowl matchup. Now? The teams are a combined 1-5 and have fan bases who may hang the commissioner in effigy.
Goodell severely punished the Saints franchise this offseason for the bounty scandal, suspending head coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the year, among other punishments. It's clear the Saints badly miss Payton, who is also the offensive coordinator, as QB Drew Brees hasn't been the same in 2012 with New Orleans one of two teams at 0-3 (Cleveland the other).
Last season, Brees set NFL records by completing 71.2 percent of his passes for 5,476 yards to go with 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. New Orleans was an offensive juggernaut at home, winning and covering all nine games in the Superdome (including playoffs). This year, the Saints are 0-2 at home and Brees is completing 54.7 percent of his passes for 904 yards, seven TDs and five interceptions overall. He's on pace for career-worst marks in percentage, picks and rating.
The Saints won't get any sympathy from the Packers, who opened as 8-point favorites at the book for Sunday's game. Green Bay was on the wrong end of potentially the worst call in NFL history on Monday night, with the Seahawks winning on the final play of the game. It was pretty clear to the naked eye that Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings picked off Seattle's Hail Mary pass, but Goodell's replacement officials ruled that Seahawks receiver Golden Tate had simultaneous possession when the two players hit the ground. It was a touchdown, Seattle won 14-12 and the NFL wouldn't overrule the decision.
The result outraged everyone, especially bettors, as the Packers took the huge lean on the spread and closed as 4-point bettors. Here is what Bovada sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley had to say about the controversy:
"Never have I seen such an egregious call that represented such a huge swing in money. With 75% of pre-game action on the Packers, (Monday's) game-ending play goes down as one of the most significant last-minute money swings in recent betting memory and certainly the most controversial. Even the Super Bowl odds have been impacted as the Packers went from 7/1 to 17/2 and the Seahawks went from 60/1 to 30/1," he said.
The Saints and Packers played last year's NFL opener in Green Bay, a memorable 42-34 Packers win that ended with the Saints being stopped on Green Bay's 1-yard-line. Brees and Aaron Rodgers combined for 731 passing yards, six scores and no interceptions. The Packers were unbeaten at home last regular season but have lost two of their past three at Lambeau dating to last year's playoffs.
49ers at Jets (+4.5, 41): San Francisco became the Super Bowl odds-on favorite at Bovada after starting 2-0 and beating two 2011 playoff teams in the process. But last week's 24-13 upset loss at Minnesota dropped San Francisco to 6/1 to win the Super Bowl, now behind Houston (5/1). The Niners' odds to win the NFC West dropped significantly to -250 with their loss and the fact Arizona is 3-0. The Cardinals are now +350.
The Jets, meanwhile, suffered the biggest injury in Week 3 as All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis tore his ACL in New York's 23-20 overtime in Miami and is done for the season. Revis is the most irreplaceable player on the team. For example, in 2011 no player in the league allowed a lower completion percentage than Revis as receivers caught only 41.2 percent of passes thrown their way when he was covering them.
With Revis on the field in 2011 and before getting hurt this year, the Jets allowed opposing QBs to complete 54.1 percent of their passes with 15 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in 1,066 plays. In the 126 plays that Revis has been off the field in that stretch, QBs completed 62.9 percent of their passes for five touchdowns and no interceptions.
The 49ers and Jets haven't played since 2008.
Giants at Eagles (-1, 47): Is Michael Vick's time as the Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback short-lived? Unlikely, considering his backup is rookie Nick Foles. But the question arose this week because Vick has nine turnovers this season (six interceptions), more than any other single team in the NFL but Kansas City (also nine).
Philadelphia ranks No. 5 in the NFL in total offense but tied for last in the league at 15.7 points per game because of all the turnovers (12 total). Opposing teams have scored a total of 40 points off Eagles giveaways. The Giants are likely licking their chops as they have forced eight turnovers, tied for second in the NFL.
The Eagles and Giants split two meetings last season, each winning on the road. New York receiver Victor Cruz tormented Philly in 2011, totaling nine catches for 238 yards and three scores. The Giants have lost six of the past seven in this series and have covered just one of the past eight.
Monday, Bears at Cowboys (-3.5, 41.5): All eyes will be on quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Tony Romo in this one and it's likely that sacks of those quarterbacks will determine the winner.
Chicago leads the NFL 14 sacks, and the Cowboys' Romo was under constant pressure in last week's win over Tampa Bay. Romo lost two fumbles in pass-rush situations against the Bucs and also was intercepted once.
Meanwhile, Bears beleaguered left tackle J'Marcus Webb, who was publicly berated by Cutler in Chicago's Week 2 loss at Green Bay, likely will have to face off against Cowboys pass-rushing demon DeMarcus Ware. He leads the NFL with 103.5 sacks since 2005 and has four this season. Cutler has been sacked 11 times through three games.
Dallas hasn't been a good team since Cowboys Stadium opened, going 8-9 there. And the Cowboys also haven't been good on "Monday Night Football," covering just one in their past seven. The Bears and Cowboys haven't played since 2010.
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