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Best and worst NFL teams against the spread, but does it matter? | Sports-betting notes

Recreational bettors enjoy looking at those records against the spread, but do the sharp bettors follow these trends?

The Eagles are 3-6 against the spread this season, same record as Cleveland, Sunday's opponent. The Eagles are just 1-3 against the number on the road. The Browns have covered just two of five at home.
The Eagles are 3-6 against the spread this season, same record as Cleveland, Sunday's opponent. The Eagles are just 1-3 against the number on the road. The Browns have covered just two of five at home.Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Nobody’s been more miserable against the spread this year than Dallas. The Cowboys hung tough with the Steelers in Week 9 to cover for the first time all season, but they are 1-8 against the number, including 0-4 on the road heading into Sunday’s trip to Minnesota. The Vikings are laying 7.

Recreational bettors (like me) enjoy looking at those records against the spread. Besides Dallas, the Jets and Texans are 2-7 overall. New York is 0-4 on the road. The Jets are getting 8.5 from the Chargers. Pittsburgh is 7-2 against the number (3-1 on the road) — the failure coming in Week 9 at Dallas. Pittsburgh (-10) is in Jacksonville Sunday.

The Eagles visit Cleveland on Sunday. Both are 3-6 against the spread, with Cleveland on a four-game streak of not covering.

In the colleges, Penn State (0-4) is one of five teams that have played at least four games and not covered the spread all season. Appalachian State and Kansas, both 0-6, have had the most trouble.

Do the sharp bettors follow these trends?

“To be honest,” said Jack Andrews, a longtime professional gambler, “I don’t look at those stats at all. ... In the case of public teams like Penn State and Dallas, I’d see it as an indication that they’ve been overvalued and over-bet by the public.”

Sharp bettors will look more at the point spread itself to see how the bookies’ numbers compare to their power ratings. North Jersey sports bettor Spanky recently tweeted some of the things he and his group look for to try to gain an edge, including injuries, who is refereeing, and especially Mother Nature.

“Weather has a big impact especially on [football], but most blindly apply it,” he wrote. “Great example is wind gust direction which greatly affects FGs and PAT. Anticipating which direction a team is driving in each quarter (based on past coin-toss decisions) will yield high dividends.”

As always, handle with care. This is where waiting for in-game wagering might be the better play.

Speaking of plays, BYU is 7-0 against the spread this season, best among all the college teams. The Cougars welcome North Alabama on Saturday, and the line is a mere 47.5. Could always tease it down to 41.5.

Just kidding, sharp bettors.

“On those other teams [that aren’t popular among the public like Penn State and Dallas], it could be a sign that the market has been off and maybe there’s some value there,” said Andrews. “However, in total, I wouldn’t base a bet on it.”

Against the Spread
Mia, Pit
Against the Spread
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Cin, GB, KC, LV, Min
Against the Spread
Den, Ind, LAC, LAR, Sea
Against the Spread
Buf, Car, Chi, SF, TB
Against the Spread
Against the Spread
Ari, Atl, Jac, NE, NO
Against the Spread
Against the Spread
Against the Spread
Cle, Eagles, Ten.
Against the Spread
Hou, NYJ
Against the Spread

Draft stuff

One of the best NBA draft wagers to come across Twitterverse was the sharp player who put $1,000 on Patrick Williams to be selected with the fourth overall pick. The Tuesday wager at DraftKings had odds of 30-1.

Before the draft, PointsBet put out its largest liabilities. Here’s how the top six of those wagers fared:

  1. OVER 1.5 Big Ten players selected in first round — LOSER; only B10 player taken in first round was Maryland’s Jalen Smith.

  2. Kira Lewis Jr. draft position UNDER 15.5 — WINNER; Lewis went 13th to New Orleans.

  3. James Wiseman draft position UNDER 2.5 — WINNER; Wiseman went 2nd to Golden State.

  4. Precious Achiuwa draft position UNDER 15.5 — LOSER; Achiuwa went 20th to Miami.

  5. Devin Vassell draft position UNDER 11.5 — WINNER (barely); Vassell was the 11th pick, by San Antonio.

Rookie of the year odds

Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball (4-1), the third pick, opened as the slight favorite for NBA rookie of the year over Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards (9-2), the top pick. DraftKings had the Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey at 60-1. Here’s why you shop around. FanDuel had Maxey at 45-1.

This & that

  1. William Hill reports that the over in NFL games is 77-66-4 (53.1%). So if a bettor put $10 on over on every game, he/she would be up $44 (corrected). That’s how tight the NFL is.

  2. More than 80% of the money on the Eagles-Browns at FanDuel is on Cleveland. Weather played a factor in Cleveland managing only 10 points in last week’s win against the Texans. Nick Chubb played the biggest role in them not covering. In their last four games, Cleveland has scored 7, 37, 6 and 10 against Pittsburgh, Cincy, Vegas and Houston, respectively.

  3. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are 5-2 straight-up and against the spread when they’re underdogs. Their only two losses were to San Francisco last season. They are slight ‘dogs this week (1-1.5 points) at Indianapolis.

  4. Klay Thompson’s season-ending injury sank the Warriors’ NBA title odds from 8-1 to 100-1 at the Westgate SuperBook in Vegas.

  5. Parx’ Turf Club is closed until at least Jan. 1 because of COVID-19 restrictions. The other sportsbook within the city limits, Rivers Casino on Delaware Avenue, is closing “late Friday afternoon,” according to a customer service operator who could not be more specific. Suggest checking ahead before venturing down there on Friday.