Las Vegas Money Moves
September 6, 2012
By Micah Roberts
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Back in June, the Saints were 11-point home favorites over Robert Griffin III and the Redskins. That number slid down to -9 ½ by July, went to -9 on Monday and by Thursday evening, the Saints were only -7.
At one point, the Cardinals were 2 ½-point favorites, but the combination of Arizona's two quarterbacks looking awful in preseason while rookie Russell Wilson shined with the Seahawks has made Seattle the 2 ½-point road favorite with money being attached suggesting that a move to -3 is probable by gameday.
So what gives? Why all the respect for these two rookies? We asked Coast Resorts sports book director Bob Scucci the question and he was pretty straight and simple with his answer. “We have some pretty impressive rookies out there that have shown they can move the ball and have a quick understanding of their systems.”
Quarterbacks like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton proved last season that they could come right out of college and make things happen immediately which has kind of put the thought in the back of every coach’s mind that has a veteran QB who they’re not too sure if he’s the answer to their team’s Super Bowl dreams.
LVH Super Book vice-president Jay Kornegay has another take on why we’re seeing early success from the rookies QB’s and faith given to them by their coaches.
"The kids are better coached from a young age through high school," Kornegay said, "moreso than even 10 years ago. We’re seeing 10-year olds playing cover-2 defenses. The college programs are so much better as far as preparing kids for the next level between the system and getting enough pass reps. It doesn’t surprise me to see them have success at all, and I don’t think the trend is going to end anytime soon."
Andrew Luck showed during the preseason that he can move the ball and take command of the Colts offense and bettors have respected his maturity and leadership. The Bears have been 9 ½-point home favorites against the Colts since the LVH first opened NFL spreads in Las Vegas April 18 and it wasn’t until Thursday that the line went to -10.
While those three quarterbacks have been given the ultimate compliment from bettors, the other two have been picked on.
“Ryan Tannehill will probably struggle the most out of the five rookies just because he doesn’t have the supporting cast around him,” said Kornegay.
Kornegay said the LVH opened the Texans as a 6-point home favorite in April and they have been bet all the way up to -12, with the bulk of that action coming after the Dolphins announced Tannehill would start.
As for the Browns and Brandon Weeden, who the public has bet against taking the Eagles at -8 and pushing it up to -9, Kornegay sees the writing on the wall. "Cleveland has a problem."
One of the bigger moves not involving a rookie quarterback is the Bills action coming in for their game at the Jets. New York was once six-point favorites in the early spreads offered and now are as low as -2 ½ at the South Point.
“I was kind of surprised by that move,” said Scucci. “I don’t understand the large move myself, but we’ve taken a lot of sharp money on the Bills. This will be one of those games where the public will be on the Jets, but we’ll lopsided in Bills straight bets.”
Kornegay kind of understands the move from a psyche standpoint.
“The Bills are full of optimism about their season and bettors have seen that and been betting them to win the conference, Super Bowl and OVER on their season win totals. Whereas the Jets seem to have a little more pressure on them with the media and struggling in the preseason.“
The Jets' offense did struggle throughout the preseason, but there didn’t seem to ever be sense of urgency at any time from Jets coach Rex Ryan. They didn’t even run a Tebow-inspired play on offense during the preseason for fear of tipping off the Bills on how to stop it. Also, the Jets weren’t the only team to go 0-4 in the preseason. Buffalo matched their effort by going winless as well.
The Titans have seen a lot of action the last two days from sharp money across town in their home game against the Patriots. New England was favored by 6 ½-points and they are all the down to -5 ½.
"Despite the number move on the Titans, we’re still going to need the Patriots on Sunday just because they’re such a huge public favorite," said Scucci.
The last 13 Super Bowls losers have gone 2-11 SU and 1-11-1 ATS in their season opener the following season.
The Broncos-Steelers Sunday night game should attract the most action of the weekend and thus far it’s been evenly balanced with the Broncos holding at -1 ½.
“I think Denver should be 2 ½ or 3 in this game,” said Kornegay, “but we’ll let the action dictate where we go from here.”
The top sharp plays of the week around the city are the Rams, Raiders, Bills, Redskins, and Titans.