Tough break: Sharp bettors reportedly backed K.C. before Smith’s injury

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More than any other factor, injuries to starting quarterbacks move point spreads.

No surprise, then, that the Chargers-Chiefs point spread moved about a field goal toward San Diego on Friday after Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith was ruled out with a lacerated spleen.

The Chiefs, who were 3.5- to 4-point favorites vs. the Chargers, are now just one-point favorites at most Nevada sports books, per line movement records.

However, here’s a more interesting element of the story: per Micah Roberts of “The Linemakers” of the Sporting News, professional bettors wagered on Kansas City just before Smith’s injury was announced this morning, driving up the point spread. Then, the Smith injury news hit, and down the line went, leaving early bettors with tickets at the higher prices in an unenviable spot.

It’s clear sharp bettors had no idea Smith was hurt; if they knew he were out and wanted to play the Chiefs all the same, they would have waited to get a better price.

“It’s one of the strangest examples of bad time timing I’ve seen,” William Hill U.S. head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich told Roberts. “It was a legitimate move by sharp money on the Chiefs. They were moving it everywhere. This is just another example of the crazy stuff that routinely happens in Week 17.”

Chase Daniel will start in place of Smith for Kansas City (8-7), which needs a win, a Baltimore loss vs. Cleveland and a Houston loss or tie vs. Jacksonville to make the postseason.

25 responses to “Tough break: Sharp bettors reportedly backed K.C. before Smith’s injury

  1. If you are dumb enough to bet a substantial amount of your hard earned money on a football game you deserve to be separated from your money anyway.

  2. thedingo8 says:
    Dec 26, 2014 4:59 PM
    the “sharps” .. i cant stop laughing real “sharps” know that the nfl is the worst gamble going… and always has been..

    I don’t understand this comment. If your point is that professional gamblers don’t bet on football, you’re crazy.

  3. The comment that the NFL is the worst bet going is because the lines makers study the NFL probably more than any league, and by week 17 you know what you get.

    Compare that to betting on some random college football game that the lines makers have a fraction of time to spend researching.

    Which line is harder to be exact, an NFL matchup or a game between two AAC teams?

  4. Thoughts and prayers for those who professionally prey on other’s addictions, for your loss.

    That said, Phil Rivers better be having someone taste his food tonight and tomorrow, and lock all of his kids up somewhere safe. Depending on how “sharp” the money involved in this today, there’s really no morals that some people won’t stoop to do try and at least even their odds up back to where they think they should be. This type of money isn’t a group of buddies throwing $100 into a pot or a betting slip, that kind of money are the ones that livelihoods are at stake.

    If he or any other Charger contracts ‘Food poisioning” or “has a urgent family matter to attend to” suddenly in the next couple days, the FBI needs to be all over it.

  5. “Sharps” are also taking the over on a 4 hour time of game if windbag Ed Hochuli and his flag throwing buddies officiate this one.

  6. You think they are sitting there and crying into their beer? They’ll buy some of it back and find other ways around it. They’ll wait for in-game live betting and get themselves a middle or a complete way out if necessary. There is a reason why they are called “sharps.”

  7. Also new lines for: PI, illegal contact, hands to the face, holding, etc.

    That’s what the refs are for…to rectify these bad timing scenarios right up to the end of the game.

    A real “sharp” doesn’t change his stripes, he just wears them. There’s no gray area. It’s all there in black and white.

  8. If anyone wonders WHY Goodell gets so pissed off when coaches like Belichick have the temerity to put player safety ahead of gambling interests, THIS is why

    Disclosing player injury only puts THEIR health at risk

    But Las Vegas and Gambling Interests hold sway over the commissioner

    Fail to cooperate and protect your players like Belichick? Expect to be fined.

    Of course the majority of football fans cluelessely side with Goodell on this one for some odd reason.

    Maybe it’s just because they’re jealous of Belichcik

  9. The line opened at KC -2.5 . Wouldn’t say jumping on that is a sharp or dumb move as that is about what the math suggests for 2 = teams w KC getting 2.3 for hfa.

    Neither team is a big public team either, again showing the line was set pretty reasonably.

    What these guys would do is take SD +1.5 to hedge and pray the game doesn’t land on 2.

  10. stampnhawk says:
    Dec 26, 2014 6:13 PM

    If he or any other Charger contracts ‘Food poisioning” or “has a urgent family matter to attend to”…
    I HATE it when people say “to attend to”.

    You can “attend something”, or you can “tend to something”, but you cannot “attend to something”.

    Learn English, America!

  11. Loved billsfan’s comment!

    A bettor I know often half-jokes that the ref is calling Blandino to ask on which side the most money is bet and to be told how to call a ‘close play’…

    Teams can easily be marched down the field or put into negative situations by zebra intervention (and it happens all too often).

  12. I’m not buying (a not so subtle betting metaphor here) that Daniels is the better QB option than Smith, just because Daniels almost won against the Chargers last year.

    Its relatively easy to perform when one cannot fail, which was exactly what Daniels was facing last year. Reid played him and much of their 2nd and 3rd stringers and basically told them to have fun, because the game didn’t matter–and fun they had. But this time its for real. Now the game means something. The fun and games are over.

    Let’s see if Daniels has what it takes. I’m betting he doesn’t.

  13. First of all, those bettors did the wrong thing because they did not factor divisional rival familiarity. We have all the information in the world to give people who place bats, but they do not look at all of the splits the divisional rivals have when they face each other twice per year.

    Also, bettors believe in Alex Smith when all he does is not throw deep or intermediate and takes too many of his own sacks?

  14. Anyone else notice that Houston’s playoff hopes rest on three backup QBs. And two of those are not even the 2nd string guy.

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