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.
In my early days as a horse player, I recall betting a horse I really liked at Arlington Park — only to have the horse dump the jockey. It was the latest setback in a tough start to the day.
My horse-playing mentor, a guy who has forgotten more about the game than I'll ever know, said something to the effect of, "It's probably time to scale back your bets."
Some days, you just don't have it. Every handicapper knows this. And if I were putting real money on our "beauty" picks" — oh, man, I would have scaled it back a long time ago. I'd be down to pocket lint, a piece of gum, nervous shakes and tears at this point.
But this is an experiment, and my wallet remains closed, so it is all unicorns, soft-serve ice cream and sunshine here.
Anyway, this week's "beauty" selection is the Packers, who are getting plenty of support at the Club Cal Neva sportsbooks in Nevada.
"No big surprise," said Chris Andrews, Club Cal Neva's assistant sportsbook director.
The undefeated Packers are 6½-point favorites vs. the Giants, who faltered in the face of a strong Saints passing game on Monday night.
Our "beast" pick is the Rams, who have won just two games this season after showing some promise in 2010. As of Saturday morning, there were neither many tickets written on the Rams nor much money wagered on them, a sign that both public and sharp bettors were staying away from St. Louis, a 13½-point underdog at San Francisco, Andrews said.
"Man, it's hard to bet this Rams team," Andrews said.
Yep, sounds like a "beast" bet to me.
Beauty: Packers (-6) at Giants
Beast: Rams (+13½) at 49ers
Note: Lines as of Saturday
Beauty: -618.18 (2-8-1 ATS)
Beast: -145.45 (5-6 ATS)
Profit / Loss: -763.63
"Wagers" to date
Beauty: Week Three (Lions -3) — PUSH; Week Four (Bills -3) — LOSS; Week Five (Lions -5½) — WIN, Week Six (Patriots -6½) — LOSS; Week Seven (Packers -9) — LOSS; Week Eight (Patriots -3) — LOSS; Week Nine (Bills -2½) — LOSS; Week Nine (Packers -5½) — WIN; Week 10 (Ravens -6½) — LOSS; Week 11 (Cowboys -7) — LOSS; Week 12 (Cowboys -7) — LOSS.
Beast: Week Three (Chiefs +14½) — WIN; Week Four (Seahawks +4½) — WIN; Week Five (Jaguars -1½) — LOSS; Week Six (Dolphins +7) — LOSS; Week Seven (Dolphins -2) — LOSS; Week Eight (Rams +14) — WIN; Week Nine (Dolphins +4) — WIN; Week Nine (Colts +7) — LOSS; Week 10 (Buccaneers +3) — LOSS; Week 11 (Buccaneers +14) — WIN; Week 12 (Lions +6) — LOSS.