Submitted by Wayne Root on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM
The huge Super Bowl rematch this Sunday night between the defending league champion New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons isn’t creating nearly the buzz the league and NBC had hoped. Even though both teams entered the new season widely respected, neither has been playing to market expectations.
*New England started the season suffering a blowout loss at home to Kansas City. Last week, they were life and death with the New York Jets most of the afternoon before winning by a TD as 9-point favorites. The Patriots are just 2-4 against Las Vegas pointspreads.
*Atlanta started the season almost losing to the Chicago Bears. Last week, they were humiliated in a 20-17 home loss to the Miami Dolphins. Jay Cutler’s offense had been a joke…yet rallied from 17 points down in the second half to spring the upset as a double-digit underdog. Atlanta is 2-3 against the spread.
While it’s still technically a Super Bowl rematch…it’s still a team that just barely beat the Jets facing a team that just lost to the Dolphins. Some titanic struggle!
New England and Atlanta aren’t alone in struggling to meet expectations at the top of the food chain. Pretty much all the teams expected to win their divisions are 3-3 ATS (down the vigorish) or worse.
AFC East: New England 2-4 ATS
AFC North: Pittsburgh 3-3 ATS after last week’s win at Kansas City
AFC South: Tennessee 3-3 ATS after last Monday’s lucky cover vs. Indy
AFC West: Oakland 3-4 ATS after Thursday’s last-play cover vs. Kansas City
NFC East: co-favorites Dallas and the NY Giants are 2-3 and 3-3 ATS respectively
NFC North: Green Bay is 3-3 ATS, and now doomed with the loss of Aaron Rodgers
NFC South: Atlanta is 3-3 ATS
NFC West: Seattle is 2-3 ATS, and not yet playing like a championship threat
None of the summer divisional favorites have a winning record against the spread! Of course, that’s great news for THE KING OF LAS VEGAS, because that means we’ve been cashing tickets on underdogs against these overrated favorites. You know I went 5-0 last Sunday, fading a few of the teams I just mentioned.
Pinnacle: Minnesota (+3) beat Green Bay 23-10
Millionaire’s Club: Miami (+13.5) beat Atlanta 20-17
No Limit Play: Arizona (+1.5) beat Tampa Bay 38-33
Inner Circle: Pittsburgh (+3.5) beat Kansas City 19-13
Power Play: New Orleans (-4) beat Detroit 52-38
I also won Monday night with Tennessee (-) over Indianapolis in a rare favorite play. Yes, I needed a late TD to get there, but that’s only because the Colts lucked into a defensive TD earlier in the game. Did you see the stats?! I made it seven straight this week in the NFL with the Raiders Thursday.
After looking over this weekend’s pointspreads, I’m confident another big weekend is ahead. The betting markets are having big troubles properly pricing the top teams at both the college and pro levels. That doesn’t mean they’ll ALL lose. But, way too many are overpriced because of…
*Parity (even in the colleges)
*Overconfidence from favorites (especially in the colleges)
*General improvement of defensive strategies
*The tendency for favorites to “play to win” and stay healthy rather than “play to cover”
That last one has really helped increase the cover percentage for underdog bettors. In the fourth quarter, you often have BOTH teams trying to win your bet for you! The underdog is trying to score points. The favorite is trying to run clock with a lead that isn’t big enough to get the money. If you weren’t an underdog player before this season, you should definitely be one now. Most of you are probably 80% to 20% betting favorites (or higher!). Smart bettors are 80/20 the other way.
I can’t say for sure, as I write this, who I’ll be backing (if anyone) in that Sunday night Super Bowl rematch on NBC. Atlanta has been the sharp side in early betting. New England at -3 might have adjusted too far. You’ll have to be a paying client to get the final word throughout the weekend. There’s no hotter football handicapper in the country right now than yours truly.
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Many of you are having tough seasons because you insist on playing the teams media pundits said were going to win their divisions…or fading teams who supposedly had NO CHANCE to get anything done this season. Sign up with the man who’s been beating the market for decades. Sign up with the hottest handicapper in the land. It’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!