Sports Options: By the numbers

Let’s take a look at some of the interesting odds-related numbers currently appearing in the Sports Options odds service:

Packer peculiarity

Green Bay is once again the target for some interesting line moves.

This week, the Packers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and opened as 14 1/2-point favorites (10 a.m. PT, FOX). The total checked-in at 49 1/2 at many online sportsbooks.

As of late Friday morning Pacific Time, both of those numbers had moved against the public betting action, particularly the total.

According to the Sports Options odds service, 72 percent of the public money was on the OVER. Despite this overwhelming action, the total has actually dropped to 48 1/2.

Meanwhile on the pointspread, 75 percent of the public betting action was on the Packers. Yet, the spread has dipped by a 1/2-point to minus 14 at most online books.

Similar moves occurred on the Monday Nighter between Green Bay and Minnesota. The Packers opened minus 14 with the number dropping to 13 1/2 despite Green Bay getting tons of action. The total opened at 51 1/2, but dropped to 49 1/2 despite public money.

The Packers subsequently battered the books winning 45-7.

Lucky middle

Bettors have a nice middling opportunity on tomorrow’s Cal-Stanford game (7:15 p.m. PT, ESPN).

The No. 9 Cardinal (9-1) opened as 20-point home favorites last Sunday at most offshore books. Despite some early money coming in on Cal, the number did not begin to dip until Monday.

The line was still as high as 19 1/2 until Wednesday morning (Pacific Time) when it dropped to 17 1/2. Many online books had cut the line to 17 by early Friday afternoon.

That opens up as much as a two-point middle for those who got in at 19 1/2 or 20.

The line drop may reflect eroding confidence in the much-hyped Cardinal, who lost their first game of the season last week 53-30 to Oregon as 2 1/2-point home favorites.

That said, Stanford has still drawn 74 percent of the public betting action.

UFC underdog action

MMA fan favorite Urijah Faber (25-5) opened as a -220 favorite versus fellow American Brian Bowles (10-1) in a bantamweight bout on the undercard at UFC 139 in San Jose, California on Saturday night (approx. 8 p.m. PT, PPV).

Known as “The California Kid”, Faber grew up Lincoln, 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. He is the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) featherweight champion (145 lbs.). Bowles, a native of West Virginia, is the former WEC bantamweight champion (135 lbs).

Despite being a +185 to +190 dog, Bowles has drawn nearly 60 percent of the public betting action.

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