Vegas Money Moves - Wild Card
January 4, 2013
By Micah Roberts
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The most heavily bet game of the weekend is the Seattle Seahawks playing at the Washington Redskins. Orleans sports book director Bob Scucci created some of the early action with high number, but based on tickets written and it being the final game of the weekend, the success of just about every book in Las Vegas will be hinged on that game.
“We opened the Seahawks high at minus-3 and got a lot of sharp play on the Redskins early on,” said Scucci. “But the Seahawks money has been coming strong, and combined the Redskins action as well, It’s our biggest handled game of the week.
“Once the parlays from the other three playoff games have been graded and roll into the Redskins game, it’s going to be a very large decision.”
It’s almost a shame that these two teams have to face each other right now because they are two of the hottest teams in the league, something you look for at this stage of the season when searching for Super Bowl futures. Five of the last seven Super Bowl winners have started from the Wild Card round. Playing the additional game and keeping momentum going appears to be more of an edge than resting and having the week off.
The Seahawks are 9/1 (Bet $100 to win $900) to win the Super Bowl and the Redskins are 25/1. The Seahawks have won seven of their last eight games and the Redskins have won seven straight.
When pressed for a team that could duplicate what the Giants (twice), Packers, Colts and Steelers have done from this round, Scucci said the Seahawks would be that team, but he’s hoping for a bigger draw for business purposes.
“We wouldn’t set many records with a Seahawks-Texans game, that’s for sure,” Scucci joked. “But the team I would love to see come out of this round and make the Super Bowl would be the Packers. If we get them against the Patriots or Broncos, that would be a game that would appeal to the masses more than any other.”
In order for the Packers to get there they’ll have to begin their climb by beating the Vikings, a team they lost to last week in a must win situation for the No. 2 playoff seed. Adrian Peterson has rushed for 409 yards combined in the two games against Green Bay, but Scucci still opened the Packers high for their home game.
“We got early sharp action on the Vikings +8, and dropped the game to 7 ½ (where it’s at now), but since then it’s been all Packers money with ticket counts on them at over 2-to-1,” Scucci said.
The other two Wild Card games haven’t generated as much excitement through the bet windows, but Scucci made a move on the fly because of an announcement.
“We had the Ravens -6 ½ and didn’t have a lot of action on them or the Colts, but when Ray Lewis made his announcement that he would be retiring, I thought that was worth a half-point and raised it to -7. The announcement may help shape public betting patterns and it may help the team play more focused, I don’t know, but I thought I’d be proactive with the news.”
The least bet game of the weekend has been the Bengals-Texans game where the side and total have stood still.
“We haven’t taken any large bets on the game,” said Scucci.
The Texans are -4 ½ and are almost in the same situation they were in last year, except they have their starting quarterback. Last season the Texans had lost their final three games, limping into the playoffs with rookie QB T.J. Yates, and beat the Bengals 31-10. This season, they limp in having lost three of their last four and blowing the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, relegating themselves to the Wild Card round.