Finding Value with America?s Team

Finding Value with America's Team

By Tony Salinas

The Dallas Cowboys host the San Diego Chargers tonight on NBC's Sunday Night Football. I've always been an advocate of fading "America's Team" because the public loves betting on the Cowboys...and the public is usually wrong.

I have to admit though that oddsmakers have done a pretty good job pegging the Cowboys in recent seasons. Over the last seven years, nobody was getting the best of it by backing or fading Dallas...

2010: 7-9 ATS
2009: 9-7 ATS
2008: 7-9 ATS
2007: 9-7 ATS
2006: 8-7-1 ATS
2005: 7-7-2 ATS
2004: 7-9 ATS

Total: 54-55-3 ATS

Not just a good job from the oddsmakers, but a consistently good job. There wasn't a single season in the last seven that saw either 10 covers or 10 non-covers over a 16 game schedule for the Cowboys. If you had been betting one way or the other, the juice would have gotten you either way.

Betting Dallas: 54-55, which is the equivalent of 54-60.5 with the 10% vigorish, or -6.5 betting units.

Fading Dallas: 55-54, which is the equivalent of 55-59.4 with the 10% vigorish, or -4.4 betting units.

If you're betting action in Vegas, you're looking to try and hit 53-54% to grind out a profit. If you're playing fewer games but betting them bigger, then you want something closer to 58-60%. There's no edge there in Cowboys games in terms of big picture overall strategies.

Personally, I've found I have been able to pick my spots and find some edges. Here are the general rules I follow:

  • Fade the Cowboys as favorites when they're getting a lot of media hype. The lines DO get out of whack when all the "America's Team" stuff is out there in full force. The public loves jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon when things start to go well. That's when the lines get out of whack. Even when Dallas is good, they have trouble covering inflated lines.
  • Fade the Cowboys in TV games, because the public is more likely to bet the Pokes in a national TV game than they are in a regional game against some non-contender from another division.
  • Take the Cowboys as underdogs, particularly if they're in good health. The way the owner spends money, there's usually enough talent here to hang tough with quality opposition. This isn't all that common of an occurrence because of the respect they get in the line. There are occasionally spots where they're not getting enough respect.

Should you take or fade the Cowboys tonight? They're on national TV, which usually brings out the public. But, the line is so small that you can't really say it's an "inflated" line. I'm not going to post any of my Sunday selections here in my VSM blog. That would be unfair to my paying clients. I can tell you that any play in this game would be based on my read of the backup players for each team rather than any concerns about oddsmaker pricing.

It seems like I've been talking a lot about Texas teams this week. The Rangers continued to impress with a big week in Major League Baseball after my posting during the Angels series. They play like Texans. You gotta respect that! The Cowboys may be getting a swagger about them this year based on what I've been hearing from those close to the team. If I'm going to back them this year, I'll be backing them EARLY before any bandwagon sentiment gets started. This is a tough team to invest in once the hype starts. every edge you've got! I'm from Texas, so I naturally follow those teams (plus the Big 12 in college sports) pretty closely. Wherever YOU happened to be from, see if you can get the best of it because you know your local teams better than the oddsmakers do.

You can always purchase the exact same games I'm betting the biggest myself right here online. And Sunday is a biggie! My PRESEASON GAME OF THE YEAR! You can go day-by-day with your credit card, or sign up for the full season. If you have any questions, call my office at 1-888-536-8880. You've got a lot of choices to make with your handicapping dollar. There's only ONE choice who's lived his life in Las Vegas for many decades as a true HIGH ROLLER in the most prominent sportsbooks known to man! It's time for you to meet TONY SALINAS!


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