Chasing Your Losses: Props

I know I promised a post coming up on the replacement refs from 2001, and I’ll get that up later today, but first, I wanted to introduce a weekly feature, highlighting the Monday Night game, and in particular, some props.

My absolute favorite prop bet is the alternate point spread. This let you move the line against you, but gives you a much more favorable odds payout. For instance, tonight’s game is Green Bay -3.5 @ Seattle (-115/-105) at Bovada, which is my preferred source of props. There are a number of alternate spreads available, but for instance, if you think Seattle is so good at home that a 3.5 point win by them is possible, then a +240 line is available for you. If you think a 7.5 point win is in the cards, then +500 is on the boards for you.

Now I’m not particularly in love with either of these alternate point spreads. From my picks last week, you can tell I like the Seattle side of the overall spread here. However, that’s not because I think Seattle may be a secret powerhouse. It’s just because I think they look competent. Green Bay is Green Bay meanwhile. They’re very good to great, but with a couple flaws defensively, and a less than perfect offensive line. I like Seattle’s chance of eeking out a cover here, and they could even win outright, but this isn’t a situation where I think Seattle might just be a better team than Green Bay, and thus could win big at home.

With the caveat that hindsight is 20/20, this sort of “could win in a blowout” prop is much better suited for Eagles @ Arizona. There just wasn’t all that much evidence that the Eagles were any good, let alone road favorites good. If someone told me they thought the Cardinals were the better team on a neutral field, that’s not an implausible opinion. (As opposed to someone claiming that about Seattle vs. Green Bay). Now maybe that just means I really hate the Eagles, but either way, that’s the recipe for a good +500 alternate point spread win.

In Seattle’s favor on the other hand is that they have a dominant looking home win vs. Dallas last week, and lost a close game on the road to the 3-0 Cardinals. Maybe Bill Simmons is right, and the Seahawks are going all the way. If you believe that, then go ahead and bet them on all the alternate spreads tonight. I don’t happen to buy that, but that’s the decision you want to be looking to make.

I’ll look at this more in coming days, in particular about the history of various underdogs and favorites covering alternate point spreads. Maybe the line you really ought to be betting is Green Bay + 7.5 (-800) for instance.

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