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Jon Campbell: This Week In Betting

Did you like last year’s Super Bowl?

Nevermind. You’re going to watch it again whether you liked it or not, says the NFL. September 8 in fact is the first game of the 2016 season when the Denver Broncos host the Carolina Panthers. Only this time there is no Peyton Manning and no Beyonce. And get this - the Broncos are favored. 

That’s what a Super Bowl win and home field will do for you, I guess. But bettors smell a rat. They jumped at the near-field goal offering and hammered Carolina all the way back down to a pick as of Monday. 

Bettors are using their bank rolls to declare it the worst opening point spread of Week 1. The Cincinnati-New York Jets line comes in a distant second with a move from Bengals -1 to a pick ‘em in a game hosted by the Jets, whose starting quarterback situation remains to be determined. 

Other than that we’ve seen little movement so far but talking about the early odds is all part of the fun of NFL betting. 

The only reason that betting on individual NFL games hasn’t become a year-round form of entertainment is because there were 68 days between the Super Bowl and the 2016 NFL schedule release. 

Steph Curry injury is an anomaly

NBA players who average 30 points per game in a season don’t miss playoff games in the same year. They just don’t. 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, only one player in NBA history missed a playoff game following a season in which he averaged at least 30 PPG. It was Allen Iverson, who missed Game 3 of the 76ers' Eastern Conference Finals against Milwaukee in 2001 with a bruised tailbone. That's one missed game compared to 554 postseason games played.

The Warriors still covered on Monday after the spread plummeted from 11.5 to 8.5 at tipoff in a 115-106 win over the Rockets. 

Golden State closed at -13 in Game 1 with Curry in the lineup, so if you’re going purely by those numbers, Curry is worth about 5.5 points to the spread. 

Bryson DeChapeau odds 

DeChambeau, the U.S. Amateur champ who made his PGA tour debut last week, is 28-1 to win in his second event, the Texas Valero Open, which begins Thursday.

For those not up on your French, ‘chapeau’ means ‘hat’ and he wears a Hogan style cap. You get it. 

OKC most overrated team in the NBA 

The Thunder are the most overrated team we've seen in the NBA in a long time. They proved it again Monday night when the Mavericks upset them 85-84 as 14-point underdogs. That tied for the biggest upset in the NBA playoffs in our database, which goes back 20 years, with the Celtics' upset over the Magic as 14-point underdogs in the first round in 1995. 

OKC is 37-44-3 against the spread this season and 33-38-2 ATS as a favorite.  

Chicago-St. Louis (x 2)

For the first time since 1992, the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues will play a playoff game on the same day as the Cubs and Cardinals play according to Bet Labs. Chicago won both games in 1992 but the Cardinals are favored over the Cubs on Tuesday (-125). The Blackhawks are -160 faves to beat the Blues at home. 

(Update: Cubs won 2-1 and the Blues won 4-3.)

Game 4 is no easy win

When teams go down 3-0 in a series you may be tempted to think they roll over in Game 4. After all, only five teams out of 335 attempts in NBA, NHL and MLB history combined have ever come back from this deficit according to whowins.com. 

But teams only win at a rate of 63.3 percent when up 3-0 in a series (212-123) – a lower rate than I would have guessed – and just 58.3 percent in the first round in the NHL (28-20). The Flyers, down 3-0, opened as +150 underdogs at home against the Capitals for Game 4. 

I quit betting soccer

I have seen some nonsense stuff in soccer over the years, but Leicester City's most recent game against West Ham was enough to make a match-fixer blush. To top it off, LCFC star James Vardy is likely to be out the next two games with suspension as Leicester City hangs on to a lead in the Premier League. 

This sport is so fixed that even if it's not, it looks like it is. Maddening to wager on. I quit betting soccer. 

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