Welcome to the second week of this new column as we continue to cover the sports-betting landscape and try to find winners as we go along.
Our big play on Monday was the Lions 10.5 from last week’s Point Spread Weekly, though we kept advising followers to wait for the best line. By kickoff, I’m hoping all of us were holding tickets at + 11.5 or even 12. The Lions played as well as they could in the first half and actually led 17-14 at halftime.
Now, I hope longtime readers recognized the situation we were in and at least hedge/shot for a middle with the Packers -6.5 or -7 in the second half. We were still hoping to cash our “pre-flop” bets on the Lions (for myself, that also include all my contest action), so it was some consolation when the Packers turned it on in the second half to not only win outright but cover against all pre-game lines with their 35-17 victory. When they were ahead 28-17, it was the perfect scenario for us with the 11-point margin as we would have won all bets, but Aaron Rodgers tacked on that final TD (though we did get another thrill with the Lions going for the back-door cover in the closing seconds but Jared Goff’s final pass was broken up in the end zone.
At least we hit our best bet in MLB with the Cardinals + 5 beating the Brewers. I’m hoping the fact the consensus line closed lower (see below) is a sign that many of my readers were able to share the wealth after I released it here Monday morning.
Let’s get to the general betting recaps and a look at the leaders in Las Vegas’ high-end handicapping contests before coming in with Monday’s best bet.
Monday’s betting recaps
The Packers pulled away in the second half to beat the Lions 35-17 on Monday Night Football to wrap up NFL Week 2. The Packers also ended up covering after closing as 11.5-point home favorites. The game went Over the closing total of 49.4 points as Overs are now 6-0 to start the season in prime-time games (Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football).
NFL underdogs still led 9-7 in Week 2 while Over/Unders split 8-8. Faves lead 17-15 SU on the season after two weeks, but dogs lead 21-11 ATS (65.6%) with those 15 upsets plus six covers in SU losses. Home/road teams split 8-8 SU in Week 2, but road teams led 9-7 ATS & now lead 16-15 SU & 18-13 ATS (58.1%) overall (note: one fewer game as Packers-Saints in Week 1 was held on neutral field in Jacksonville, Fla.). Unders lead 17-15 overall (53.1%).
Cardinals (+ 167) beat Brewers 5-2 Monday for ninth straight win. Underdogs went 7-4 on the night (note: Nationals-Marlins closed a consensus pick’-em, very nearly 8-4). The biggest upset was by the Tigers (+ 200 vs. White Sox. Favorites still lead 1,293-885 (59.4%) on the season with 52 games closing PK. Over/Under split 6-6 on the night. Unders' slim lead is at 1,065-1,059-100 (50.1%).
Circa Sports Million has 12 entrants tied for first place at 10-0 after Week 2: ARCH STANTON, BETSBYBOB, DEADMONEYMEDIA, DIVOC 21, FOR ALL THE MARBLES, Johnny Vegas, MISTER ED AND WILBUR, Money Mike 23, myhelmetshoulderpads, PICKING DUCK, St. Cloud Connection-2 and TYLER3. As we reported after Sunday’s games, the Top 5 Most-Selected plays went 2-3 in Week 2 to dip to 5-5 after two weeks.
Circa Survivor has 2,985 alive (out of the 4,080 entrants playing for the guaranteed $6 million prize pool) through Week 2. The Top 3 choices advanced with the Browns (1,180), Packers (778) and Buccaneers (532). These were the Week 2 eliminations: Steelers (252), Seahawks (126), Chargers (10), Chiefs (3), Texans (3), Eagles (1) and Saints (1).
The Westgate SuperContest doesn't have any entrants at 10-0 as the co-leaders are JOHNNY VEGAS & TEMPEST at 9-0-1 for 9.5 points (pushes count for half a point; Panthers were -5 vs. the Jets in Week 1 with the push when the Panthers won 19-14. There are 14 tied for third place at 9-1. In SuperContest Gold; the early leader of the $5,000 buy-in version of the SC is TKASPRO277 at 8-1-1 for 8.5 points. As also reported in this space Sunday night, the SuperContest Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 0-5 in Week 2 on the Steelers, Eagles, Chiefs, Rams and Cardinals. The SC Top 5 is 2-8. The SC Gold Top 5 went 1-4 and is 3-6-1 through the first two weeks.
Cardinals (+ 190) at Brewers: Hey, why wouldn’t we ride the hot hand as the Cardinals, led by veterans Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, have won nine straight to take control of the NL’s second wild-card spot and are still getting a great price with St. Louis’ Jake Woodford facing Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff. I also pointed out in Monday's pick that the NL Central-leading Brewers really don't have anything to play for as they're pretty much locked into the NL's No. 2 seed. That was the only line showing on the Don Best odds screen early Monday, so I advise followers to grab the best price you can in the morning as I expect this to get bet down through the day and before the 7:40 p.m. ET/4:40 p.m. PT first pitch just like on Sunday.
Good luck today (and every day!).