Sports Options: By the numbers

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

Monday Night Middle

Significant lines moves through the past week have opened up a juicy middle for bettors in tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup (5:35 p.m. PT, ESPN).

New England opened as a 14.5-point home favorite versus Kansas City, who lost their starting quarterback Matt Cassel (hand) in last Sunday’s 17-10 loss to Denver.

Backup QB Tyler Palko, an undrafted free agent out of Pitt, will get the start on Monday night. It will be the first career NFL start for Palko, who has appeared in only four NFL games – two last year and two this year, all with KC.

In those four games, the 6-foot-1 native of Imperial, Pennsylvania completed nine of 13 passes for 82 yards, no TDs and no interceptions. He has been sacked twice but has no fumbles.

After opening at -14.5 the spread widened to -15 by Thursday before jumping to 16.5 at most online sportsbooks on Monday morning. Those moves have opened up a middle of up to 2 points.

A Patriots win by 15 or 16 points could mean a big payday for astute handicappers with action on both sides of the contest.

Crosby skates again

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby will finally back on the ice tonight after missing nearly a year due to post-concussion syndrome.

On New Year’s Day 2011, Crosby was decked by Washington Capitals center David Steckel at the Winter Classic played at Heinz Field.

Crosby, who likely suffered a concussion in the collision, tried to play a few days later against Tampa Bay but was hit hard into the boards by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.

That hit effectively took Crosby out of action until tonight when the Penguins host the New York Islanders (4:05 p.m. PT, MSG). Until that hit, Crosby was having a career year having scored 32 goals and notching 34 assists through 41 games.

The Pens, who are 11-6-3 and sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, opened as -210 home favorites versus the last-place Isles (5-9-3). That number has widened to -225 to -230 at most offshore books. The total is set at 5.5.

Penguin props

Here are some Crosby-related player props being offered by Bodog:

Will Sidney Crosby score a goal in the game?

Yes -140
No +110

Will Sidney Crosby record a point in the game?

Yes -325
No +250

NHL 2011-2012 Regular Season – Total Games Played – Sidney Crosby

Over 50.5
Under 50.5

NHL 2011-2012 Regular Season – Total Points – Sidney Crosby

Over 80.5
Under 80.5

Will Sidney Crosby win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player?

Yes +800

Note: The Pens have 62 games remaining on their regular season schedule.

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