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Behind the lines

Home teams are clear favorites in NFL playoffs

January 10, 2008|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

As the NFL playoffs move into the next round of games, Las Vegas oddsmakers have made this weekend's four home teams heavy favorites to advance to the conference championship games.

Undefeated New England is a 13 1/2-point favorite over Jacksonville, Green Bay is an eight-point favorite over Seattle, Indianapolis is an 8 1/2-point favorite over San Diego and Dallas is a 7 1/2-point favorite over the New York Giants.

Big numbers across the board that have attracted a major flow of underdog bets, according to's betting trend.

The Jaguars, Seahawks and the Giants each have picked up more than half of the wagers against the spread this week with the Colts as the only favorite with a betting edge as of Wednesday afternoon.

Jacksonville has gained 68% of the bets against the spread, Seattle is at 64% and New York is a whopping 70%. Indianapolis is at 57%.

Although most wagers will likely be made later in the week, this underdog betting trend is expected to continue.

According to, which simulates every game 10,000 times, the Seattle at Green Bay game will be determined by the play of quarterbacks Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck.

With Favre and Hasselbeck playing the way they did during the regular season, Green Bay wins 72% of the games with an average score of 25-17. But if Favre returns to the level he played at during the 2005 and 2006 seasons -- when he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and lost numerous fumbles -- the Seahawks could pull off an upset, especially if Hasselbeck has a big game.

If Hasselbeck completes nearly 70% of his throws and passes for at least 270 yards and two touchdowns, Seattle wins 52% of's simulations.


Here are two bets available regarding Roger Clemens at While testifying before Congress, will Clemens admit using (7-2), deny using (1-3) or refuse to answer (1-1)?

Will Brian McNamee recant that Clemens used illegal performance-enhancing drugs while testifying before Congress? Yes (+250) or No (-400).

College football

Assuming Pete Carroll returns as coach next season, USC has been tagged as the favorite to win the 2009 Bowl Championship Series title game, according to

The Trojans are listed at 3-1, followed by Ohio State, Florida and Georgia at 6-1 and Oklahoma at 8-1.

This year's BCS champion Louisiana State is at 10-1, West Virginia and Texas are at 12-1 and the field is 15-1.

The line for UCLA and new Coach Rick Neuheisel is 70-1.


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