Handicapping the headlines: Betting this week's biggest stories

Aug 17, 2012 |
Handicapping the headlines: Betting this week's biggest stories
How will Melky Cabrera's suspension impact the Giants' day-to-day odds.
How will Melky Cabrera's suspension impact the Giants' day-to-day odds.
There is so much information out there these days, it’s tough for sports bettors to see the forest through the trees – or the good info from the bad info.

Some stories hitting your favorite media sources may seem like they’d have a huge impact on the odds for those teams involved. However, most of the time, these stories don’t register a blip on oddsmakers’ radars.

Here are three big stories from this week in sports, their impact on the odds, and how bettors should treat them when sizing up those teams’ matchups:

Story: San Francisco Giants All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games after testing positive for testosterone.

Odds: According to Pete Korner, oddsmaker for the Sports Club in Las Vegas, Caberera won’t have an impact on how they price the Giants’ day-to-day odds. While Cabrera is having a great year, he doesn’t carry the same impact like Matt Kemp or Albert Pujols.
Reaction: While the oddsmakers’ original lines may not reflect the loss of Cabrera, the betting markets will dictate how much he is worth to the moneyline. When news broke that he was suspended Wednesday, the Giants’ odds dipped from +108 to +118 versus the Nationals.

Story: Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten suffers a serious spleen injury and could miss the start of the regular season.

Odds: Tight end is one of the tougher positions to define with a value to the spread. Witten has led Dallas in receptions the past few seasons and is Tony Romo’s security blanket on offense. Korner says he could be worth about a half a point to the spread, but says receivers don’t impact the odds as much as running backs and quarterbacks because they only touch the ball a few times per game.

Reaction: The spread for Week 1’s tilt with the New York Giants is sitting between 3 and 3.5 in favor of New York. As money comes in closer to game day, books won’t hesitate to move to -4 once everyone is at 3.5. Korner says Cowboys fans should wait until closer to kickoff to place their wagers in Week 1.

Story: The Boston Red Sox are rumored to be pushing for the firing of manager Bobby Valentine.

Odds: Oddsmakers almost never factor managers into their day-to-day MLB odds. However, if a team begins to give up on the manager and starts taking losses, adjustments to the original odds will be made. The public has been betting against the Red Sox, even at underdog odds this past week.

Reaction: After such a disappointing season, Boston is likely to undergo some serious shakeups this offseason. Players are aware and are playing for contracts right now, which could help the BoSox present some value down the stretch. This weekend’s series with the Yankees could be the ultimate gauge as to how the Red Sox will perform from here out.

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