Angles On Games…

Even though there will be no Football Friday this week, I had some time to browse around some of the football sites that I normally use to collect information for those sorts of things.  I ran across some interesting – not nearly important – betting trends for some NFL games this weekend.

The Saints host the Cardinals on Sunday:

  • In their last 16 games in October, the Saints have covered the spread in all 16 of them.
  • In their last 21 games in October, the Saints record against the spread is 20-1.
  • It will still be October when the game kicks off on Sunday.

The Steelers host the Dolphins on Monday Night Football this week.  Despite having a losing record for the season and a losing record at home, the Steelers are a 15-point favorite to beat the Dolphins in this game.

  • Since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach of the Steelers in 2007, the Steelers have played on Monday Night Football 6 times.  The Steelers record in those games is 6-0.  Good luck to the Dolphins…

The Pats host the Browns this Sunday.  Since 2009, 62 teams from the AFC have come to Foxboro to play a game.

  • In those 62 games, the Patriots’ record straight up is 59-3.
  • In those 62 games, the Patriots’ record against the spread is 39-20-3.

The Vikings host the Skins on Thursday Night Football this week.

  • In their last 56 home games, the Vikes record against the spread is 39-16-1.

Wagering on sporting events is an expanding industry these days; state legislatures seem to be tripping over themselves to enact legislation that will bring some of that action to their states and some of the tax revenue generated by it to their coffers.  The NCAA of course steadfastly opposes such venal behaviors and sees gambling on college sporting events as an exploitation of the student-athletes.  [Aside:  There is a delicate irony in that position, but let’s just ignore that for the moment.]

At least two of the NCAA member schools have banned betting on games involving the school by players, students, faculty and staff at those schools.  St Joseph’s was the first to do so; about two weeks ago, Purdue followed suit.  Purdue’s President, Mitch Daniels said that the new edict intends to “protect student-athletes from people on campus looking for inside information.”

It is hard to argue with that intention.  However, I do have a couple of questions for President Daniels:

  1. A Google search says that the student population at Purdue is 41,573.  How is the university going to enforce this ban on wagering on Purdue games within such a large population?
  2. Wikipedia says that the faculty at Purdue consists of 3,055 people.  How will the university monitor the behaviors of these folks to assure that the new policy is followed?
  3. What is the scope of the new policy?  If Purdue makes the NCAA basketball tournament in the Spring, would a member of the Purdue family violate the policy by filling out a bracket for an online contest where he/she could win money?

Finally, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald reacted to the news that Eliud Kipchoge had broken the 2-hour barrier in a marathon:

“Kenyan superstar runner Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2-hour marathon barrier in 1:59.40.2 Saturday, a once unfathomable feat. I once covered 26.2 miles even quicker, but didn’t get credit because I was in a car.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………