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.
Neither the "Beauty" (the Patriots, favored vs. the Cowboys) nor the "Beast" (the Dolphins, underdogs at the Jets) cashed in Week Six. As you can see, this leaves us down a little more than 100 units through four weeks (cringes). The beauty has covered once, with one push, while the beast covered two in a row to begin our experiment but hasn't won since.
This week's beast is the same as it was a week ago — the winless Dolphins. Miami has lost 9-of-10 at home since the beginning of last season, and with Denver coming to town and the Dolphins honoring the 2008 Florida Gators, there figure to be quite a few Tim Tebow supporters in the house.
As for the house — you know, oddsmakers — it could be a challenge to get much interest in struggling Miami in the weeks to come.
"We're going to be Miami Dolphins fans here on out," said Todd Fuhrman, race and sports book analyst at Caesars Entertainment, which includes Caesars Palace and Harrah's, among other Nevada properties.
The beauty at Caesars? Why, it's the defending Super Bowl-champion Packers, who are nine-point favorites at Minnesota. The Packers are unbeaten, and they have covered four games in a row. The Vikings, meanwhile, were soundly defended on national television Sunday night at Chicago, and they will start rookie QB Christian Ponder in place of Donovan McNabb, who was benched.
"We may even see 10 on Sunday if this kind of betting continues," Fuhrman said, referring to the pointspread.
Mark us down for Green Bay minus-9, the line that was on the board at Caesars as we chatted with Fuhrman, per VegasInsider.com. Alas, our conversation was over the phone, not in Las Vegas — another loss for yours truly. Lunch on this day was a bagel, not a burger at Mesa Grill across from the Caesars book. (Shakes head sadly.)
Week Seven "Beauty vs. the Beast"
Beauty: Packers (-9) at Vikings
Beast: Dolphins (-2) vs. Broncos
Note: Lines as of Friday afternoon
Profit / Loss: -127.27
"Wagers" to date
Beauty: Week Three (Lions -3) — PUSH; Week Four (Bills -3) — LOSS; Week Five (Lions -5½) — WIN, Week Six (Patriots -6½) — LOSS.
Beast: Week Three (Chiefs +14½) — WIN; Week Four (Seahawks +4½) — WIN; Week Five (Jaguars -1½) — LOSS; Week Six (Dolphins +7) — LOSS.