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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pats will rest starters

How Vegas is betting the Patriots rest their starters…
Everyone is trying to guess what coach Bill Belichick will do Sunday. As in, will he bench his starters to save them for the playoffs?

Interestingly, Las Vegas has made its call. The Patriots are eight-point underdogs — yes, underdogs — to the Texans. Never mind that the Pats (10-5) are coming off a big-time win, while the Texans are scuffling for a playoff spot.

It’s the most points the Pats have gotten since 2001 when they were plus-14 in the Super Bowl vs. the Rams.

So why? Why are the Patriots such dogs?

Allow Stephen Nover, a full-time Vegas-based handicapper and reporter for sports gaming Web sites, to explain.

“The spread is surprisingly high,” Hoyer wrote me, in an email. “Oddsmakers definitely are thinking Belichick is going to rest his starters and that Tom Brady won’t play four quarters. Recreational bettors love to play on teams that are in must-win situations. The Texans are going for their first winning season and still have slim playoff hopes. So the line is going to be tilted toward the Texans.”

Nover thinks the line is tilted too much, especially if Belichick’ll treat this like a regular game. Early on, the action has been on the Texans.

“The line opened 7 1/2 and has gone up to 8 at some books,” Nover continued. “The game won’t draw any more money until Sunday unless information comes out about how Belichick is going to treat this matchup. And we know that’s not going to happen.”

Vegas always knows what going on. Pats will no doubt rest the starters for this one. Use Sunday to get chores done and prepare for the following week.

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