Yet right now, you can not only bet that game and every other Week 1 matchup, but every matchup through the season’s first 16 weeks. As has become the norm for CG Technology, the Las Vegas sportsbook operator just posted lines for every single regular-season contest except those in Week 17.
It sounds like a monumental task, and indeed it is, but much of the heavy lifting was done long before this week, according to Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG.
“We’ve had season win totals up for more than a month already,” Simbal told Covers this afternoon. “Basically, to those win totals, you have to put a value on every team, and a pointspread [for every game] based on those values. So we already had the bulk of the information.”
To that information, CG added events of recent weeks, such as trades and draft expectations.
“We just had some clean-up to do, once the schedules were released last week,” Simbal said.
So at that point, how is the sausage made?
“A group of four or five of us had already made lines. So we put those back up and see if any need to be adjusted,” Simbal said. “A good example: We opened the Raiders’ win total at 7.5 [in February], and they got bet up to 8, and kept getting bet. So based on that information, we know that the public perception of the Raiders is higher than when we did our season win totals.
“So we had to go back to the drawing board and tweak all of their lines. We had to do that on the Ravens also. We opened them at 7.5 wins, and they got bet up to 8.”
CG had a handful of teams at the top of the pile, with a season win total of 10.5: Seattle, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Green Bay and New England. But that doesn’t mean those teams rate as equals when it comes to adjusting the line for 16 weeks’ worth of games.
“We always add a little bit to the Seattle Seahawks, because they’re the best team and people like betting them,” Simbal said. “It became clear that of those five teams, the public was more bullish on the Seahawks and the Packers than on those other three.”
With so much work done back in February that tied into releasing 16 weeks’ worth of lines, data entry really became the most arduous task this past week.
“Quite honestly, the biggest part of this process is getting all these events into the system – inputting all the games, inputting all the spreads,” Simbal said. “That takes quite a while. It’s a lot of work from a lot of people. A very underestimated aspect of this is systematically having all these games in the system at once. No one really thinks of that aspect.”
“The games don’t just magically appear on the board. Human beings have to put in some good work.”
Speaking of games on the board, here they are:
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.
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