Books see home as edge in final four
IT was still early in the second quarter of the Patriots-chargers game Sunday morning when the Westgate sports book posted theopeninglinefortheafc title game between New England and Kansas City.
Thepatriotswerebuilding a 35-7 halftime lead over
Los Angeles when the Chiefs were installed as 3-point favorites over New England next Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Jeff wanted to put that line up halfway through the first quarter,” Ed Salmons said of fellow Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman.
Theopeningtotalof59 was quickly bet down to
57½ for the rematch of the Patriots’ 43-40 win over the Chiefs in Week 6 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
“It’s just going to be a little slower track,” Salmons said.
Las Vegas oddsmakers also expect plenty of points in the NFC championship game. Moments after a late interception preserved their 20-14 divisional-round win over the Eagles, the Saints opened as 3½-point (even) home favorites over the Rams with a total of 57.
Another rematch: New Orleans beat L.A. 45-35 at the Superdome in Week 9.
“It was sort of like the Rams got humbled down there the first time around, but they’re hitting on all cylinders right now,” William Hill sports book director
Nick Bogdanovich said. “I think the Rams are live.”
Salmons also leans to the Rams getting 3½.
“I think that’ll be a field goal game,” he said. “I could definitely see the Rams winning, just because they lost there the first time.
“But it’s tough to play in New Orleans with the noise there.”
Early action on Pats
The Westgate took $15,000 in early money on the Patriots (+3) over the Chiefs, including one $10,000 straight bet.
“I would definitely lean to the Patriots. It’s obvious listening to (Tom) Brady that the Patriots are playing with a chip on their shoulder,” Salmons said. “And it’s Andy Reid in a pressure game. I just don’t see a game where (Bill) Belichick is going to allow the Chiefs to go crazy with the scoring.”
After New England whipped the Chargers 41-28, Brady said on CBS that “I know everyone thinks we suck and you know, can’t win any games. So we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
The betting public turned the divisional round of the NFL playoffs into a bizarro world, backing the underdogs in a big way on a weekend in which all four favorites won and three of them covered.
“This week really surprised me,” Salmons said. “I was shocked they liked the Colts the way they did, and I was shocked they liked the Chargers the way they did.”
Bettors lost big on the Chargers — who closed as 3½-point underdogs after the line opened at 4½ — and lost even more Saturday on the Colts, who closed as 4½-point ’dogs after the line opened at 5½ in a 3113 loss to the Chiefs.
The Rams covered as 7½-point favorites over the Cowboys in Saturday’s Todd Dewey Review-journal
30-22 win. The Saints, laying nine points, were the only favorite that didn’t cover.
“It’s amazing that three of the teams they bet on all year — the Rams, the Patriots and the Chiefs — they bet against for some reason this weekend,” said Jason Simbal, CG Technology sports book director. “We needed the Pats pretty big. It’s so rare when we need them that it was nice being able to root for them