LAS VEGAS -- Sunday was a crazy game when it came to grading NFL results against the spread.
As I've written before (seemingly every week), I track all the betting results using what I call the ViewFromVegas Consensus Closing Line, which is done with a survey of all the books in town on the Don Best real-time odds screen (and Cantor Gaming from my phone app). Every week, I get someone on my Twitter feed or in my forums saying that such-and-such a line was different at the book they use or that the line in question was bet by most people at a different number (especially if it stayed there most of the week), and it's misleading to use the closing number.
That's why I always say to take any ATS stats you see with a grain of salt, because you often don't know what they're based on. At least my criteria are clearly laid out. I use the consensus closing line because it's the number that has been arrived at after all the oddsmakers, wiseguys and finally the public have all had their input. For me, it's the fairest way to see how teams outperform or underperform against market expectation. But there's often one game each week that gets debated, and we had several Sunday:
• The Bears were plus-2.5 early last week for Sunday's game against the Lions before Jay Cutler was announced ready to play and the line closed a consensus pick 'em. Those that took the Bears plus-2.5, which was available in the LVH SuperContest, were thrilled with the Lions' 21-19 victory as the Bears scored a late TD but failed on the two-point conversion. However, the Lions were the ATS winner against the consensus closing line.
• The Eagles-Packers game had a change of favorites. The line was around Green Bay minus-2 or minus-2.5 on Monday, but money on the Eagles drove it to Eagles minus-1 by kickoff.
• There was another change of favorite in the Bengals-Ravens game. Cincinnati was around minus-1.5 most of the week but late money drove the Ravens to a consensus closing favorite of minus-1.
• The Cardinals were minus-2.5 versus the Texans, including in the LVH SuperContest. It went to minus-3 later in the week but then on Sunday it steamed up to a consensus closing line of Arizona minus-4. When the Cards won 27-24, that meant that early bettors (and SuperContestants) won with the Cardinals and lost with the Texans, but for official grading purposes, it was Houston that covered against the consensus closing line as a road underdog.
With those clarifications in mind, let's take a look at the gambling takeaways from Week 10 and an early look at the Week 11 lines.