The Washington Redskins currently are favored by two touchdowns over the St. Louis Rams.
According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Washington Times, it’s only the second time since 1992 that the Redskins have enjoyed such a large spread.  In 2005, the ‘Skins were 13.5-point favorites over the 49ers.  Washington won the game by 35 points.
While teams and fans often look to the spread as a sign of whether and to what extent a team is (or isn’t) receiving respect, the truth is and always has been that the betting line is merely a business tool aimed at coaxing bettors to split their action between the two teams.  In Vegas, the goal is to have equal money on each side of a given game — the house then makes its profit via the vig.
That’s why the line on a given game often moves.  If bettors are flocking to a team that is giving up 14 points, the line will move to 14.5 in an effort to even things out again.  If that doesn’t work, it’ll move to 15.
And though we still derive enough enjoyment from the sport without having to put our hard-earned (OK, easy-earned) money at risk, when a line moves we’d be tempted to take the underdog if the spread is growing and the favorite if the spread is shrinking.


  1. I would be shocked if my Skins can cover a spread this large against a desparate, talented Rams team that’s coming off a bye. This feels/looks like a big-time “trap” game.

  2. LOL…great, now Florrio is going to explain the vig and how the action in Vegas works…when do we get the PFT videos where you put on a suit and walk through the basic offensive plays like those idiots on ESPN?

  3. skins also will give a slew (like minnehaha) of points to detroit soon.
    with such widespread parity, numerous teams are undependable favorites +>3 and superdependable dogs +>3.

  4. “when a line moves we’d be tempted to take the underdog if the spread is growing and the favorite if the spread is shrinking.”
    Your technique is the exact opposite of how you should bet Florio. Lines rarely move once they are set, more than one or two points at the MOST. Its more important to follow where the money is going, Betting houses will juice the spread more than they will change the spread, I.e. most normal lines are juiced at-110 (bet $110 to win $100, the house keeps the $10) but the best indicator other than figuring out shit for yourself is following where the money is going before a game, if a line gets juiced the whole way up to -135 or -140 before a game, follow the money. The best example is when money POURED into the giants before the super bowl with brady’s injury status ambiguity, the line didnt change much but the line got juiced more.

  5. “Skins Getting Respect From Vegas”
    I think it’s more fair to say “Rams Getting No Respect From Vegas”.
    I think if the Miami Hurricanes played the Rams, they’d be a 3.5 point favorite.

  6. What team doesn’t get respect playing the Rams?
    The Skins are primarily a running team. I don’t know that they can cover that kind of spread. Not saying they will lose, but, I can see the Rams can keep it respectable with the extra prep time. Although they have played horribly, at some point Steven Jackson and Hokt have to get on track.

  7. I check this website frequently: http://www.vegas.com/gaming/futures/superbowl.html
    I don’t condone gambling, but it’s fun to see what Vegas is thinking long term. Interestingly, the top few teams haven’t moved much if at all in recent weeks. The Skins are getting no long term/future credit. It’s stunning to me where the Colts are. There must be some Peyton factor there. Chargers too. Pretty crazy. I’d love to know how they figure that stuff out.

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