Sports gambling: Rams’ playoff and Super Bowl odds take precipitous fall
Three weeks ago, VSiN discussed misleading odds for the Rams to win the NFC and the Super Bowl. We warned that they didn’t reflect true odds and suggested waiting for better opportunities to develop.
Since then . . .
- Odds for the Rams to win the NFC have fallen from the 11-1 to 12-1 range all the way to 60-1 at Circa Sports in Las Vegas.
- Odds to win the Super Bowl have dropped off the map to 100-1 at the Westgate in Las Vegas, 150-1 at Circa.
What had been a 5-3 team coming off double-digit wins over Atlanta and Cincinnati (but with a tough schedule ahead) is now a 6-5 team with a greatly reduced chance of making the playoffs. Other wild-card contenders have records of 9-2 or 8-3, and offenses that can actually score.
After losing handily to the Ravens and versatile quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Rams have to face another two-dimensional player in Arizona’s Kyler Murray.
The Rams’ offense couldn’t find the end zone once in recent losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore. It is just six of 33 on third-down tries the last three weeks, with eight turnovers.
Reaching 10 wins with such low production is a longshot against a schedule that still includes Seattle, Dallas and San Francisco. Recent market pricing suggests the Rams will be short home underdogs to the Seahawks, then road underdogs at Dallas and San Francisco. Finishing 10-6 might not be enough to make the playoffs anyway.
Those new Super Bowl futures offerings of 100-1 or 150-1 still don’t reflect true odds. Discretion was the better part of valor three weeks ago, and still is.
Betting markets do see the Rams as slight favorites Sunday at Arizona. The Cardinals had a week off to rest and prepare, while the Rams are on a short week with travel through a holiday. A fairly stable line of the Rams -3 started inching toward the Cardinals by midweek.
Bettors will learn this week if the Rams have truly collapsed or are a team that can bully noncontenders despite face-planting against quality opponents.
The Chargers were also three-point road favorites midweek in their divisional game at Denver. Though, in this case, it’s the favorite coming off a bye while the host is coming off an offensive debacle. Denver didn’t score a touchdown last week in a 20-3 loss at Buffalo, gaining just 134 total yards on 2.9 yards-per-play.
The Los Angeles Rams are 6-5 and still have to deal with the likes of the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks and the desperate Dallas Cowboys in coming weeks.
- UCLA is favored by less than a field goal in its season finale Saturday vs. California (FS1, 7:30 p.m.). The line dropped to Bruins -1.5 midweek because of the uncertain status of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He didn’t practice Monday after limping off the field late after the loss to USC. Markets will adjust with late-week medical reports.
- UCLA’s basketball team finished sixth in the Maui Invitational with a 1-2 record. Its only win came against small-college host Chaminade. But the Bruins did cover the spread in their finale against national power Michigan State. UCLA lost 75-62 as 14-point underdogs. That after missing the market by 16 points in a 78-63 opening-night loss to Brigham Young as a one-point favorite.
- In the NBA, the Lakers and Clippers allayed concerns about road sluggishness against the spread with statement victories in Texas this week. Futures markets still have them as virtual co-favorites to win the NBA title. Circa Sports has a special prop where customers can bet “either” L.A. team to win it all at a +110 money line (risk $100 to win $110). Investors can take the rest of the field at -130 (risk $130 to win $100).
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