Welcome to "Beauty vs. the Beast," a handicapping feature designed to track how the teams that are bet the most and the least at a given sportsbook in a given week fare. Each week, I'll put down a mythical 100 units on each of the games and see what happens.
We had a pair of firsts in Week Five. Our "beauty" selection (the Lions, vs. the Bears) came through, while the Jaguars became the first "beast" to fail to cover. Nonetheless, we continue to show a decent "profit" thus far with a 3-2-1 ATS mark through three weeks of this feature.
For our beauty and beast selections for Week Six, we caught up with Jay Kornegay, the vice president of race and sports book operations at the Las Vegas Hilton. As of Friday afternoon, the Patriots, nearly touchdown favorites vs. the Cowboys, were most popular with bettors in terms of ticket count at the Hilton, while the winless Dolphins, New England's AFC East rivals, had the fewest tickets written on them.
The betting public is favoring New England, but not professional bettors, Kornegay said."The sharps are on Dallas," he said. In fact, the line fell a half-point Friday after opening at seven.
The Dolphins are not a club popular with the betting public, Kornegay said. Miami plays New York on Monday night. The Jets, at 2-3, have their own issues. A good number of future-book bettors backed them to win the Super Bowl before the season, Kornegay said.
"The Jets were a very popular team over the last couple years," he said.
However, he noted, "Things change fast around here. If you don't reward your bettors, you soon become a non-betting team."
Of Dolphins-Jets, Kornegay said: "It looks like a pretty boring game."
Week Six "Beauty vs. the Beast"
Beauty: Patriots (-6½) vs. Cowboys
Beast: Dolphins (+7) vs. Jets
Note: Lines as of Friday afternoon
Profit / Loss: +72.73
"Wagers" to date
Beauty: Week Three (Lions -3) — PUSH; Week Four (Bills -3) — LOSS; Week Five (Lions -5½) — WIN.
Beast: Week Three (Chiefs +14½) — WIN; Week Four (Seahawks +4½) — WIN; Week Five (Jaguars -1½) — LOSS.