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NFL betting: Houston backers get Schaub-ed


A stand-up comic searching for new material might want to look to the Houston Texans and their clumsy quarterback, Matt Schaub, whose latest football-throwing folly is worth a lot of laughs.

“That was a joke,” said Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sports book director. “That’s unbelievable.”

Bogdanovich was not laughing. It was a joke that didn’t amuse him or anyone else who needed the Texans side from a betting perspective. There are two ways to look at every point-spread decision, and those siding with the Seattle Seahawks were chuckling at their unbelievable luck.

“The game should not have been close,” Bogdanovich said, and he was on target with that comment, too.

The Seahawks, favored by 1½ to 2 points on the road, erased a 17-point deficit to beat the Texans 23-20 in overtime. Houston dominated the game statistically and should have won going away, but never scored after halftime.

Schaub threw three touchdown passes, the third to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman with 2:40 remaining in regulation. Schaub rolled to his left and threw back across the field.

Dumb play call, dumber throw. Sherman picked it off and strolled 58 yards to tie the game.

“Schaub just doesn’t know how to win,” Bogdanovich said. “End of story. He never makes a play in the clutch. He didn’t even need to make a play; just throw the ball away.”

It almost requires a sick sense of humor to get involved in this NFL betting nonsense week after week.

In the most bizarre result from Sunday’s games, Texans bettors got jobbed — or Schaub-ed. It’s not a new development. It typically takes either an elite quarterback or a great coach to win a Super Bowl, and Houston has neither.

I didn’t bet the game, but those on the Texans have a worthless slip of paper and a bad-beat story to tell.

“The wiseguys were on the Texans. The majority of our business is the public, and we needed Houston,” Bogdanovich said. “The big games did not go our way.”

If the Denver Broncos are playing, it’s a big game. Peyton Manning completed 28 of 34 passes and piled up four more touchdowns as the Broncos, 10½-point favorites, pummelled the Philadelphia Eagles 52-20. The total was 58½, and it went “over” early in the fourth quarter.

The betting public is infatuated with the Broncos and Seahawks, and it’s a rewarding relationship. If you had bet those two teams in each of their four games, you are 8-0 against the spread, assuming you didn’t lay the worst number in Denver’s 16-point victory over Oakland last Monday. The books got middled on that game, as the line moved from 14½ to 16½.

All four Broncos games have gone over the total, too.

So maybe this NFL betting nonsense is not that difficult, after all. Just go with the best teams in the league and wager against the worst.

Jacksonville is the worst, it’s not close, and we knew that before they took a 37-3 beating from the Indianapolis Colts, who were laying 9½ points on the road in the definition of a flat spot.

LVH sports book director Jay Kornegay, struggling like most of the 10 handicappers in the Review-Journal NFL contest, took the dead ’dog and lamented his decision Sunday afternoon.

“That will be the last time I take the Jaguars,” Kornegay said, sounding as if he will stick to that promise.

The Jaguars are 0-4 ATS. RJ Bell of Pregame.com said he “asked multiple Vegas bookmakers to project a point spread” on Jacksonville’s game at Denver on Oct. 13. The consensus opinion was Broncos minus-28, which would make them the biggest favorites in NFL history.

In addition to Denver and Seattle, the public won with Indianapolis, Kansas City and Washington. The Redskins finally dented the win column by beating Oakland. The Chiefs improved to 4-0 and sent the New York Giants to 0-4 with a 31-7 rout.

“There was a lot of late money on the Giants,” Kornegay said, speaking mostly of so-called sharp money.

Eight favorites have covered in Week 4, including San Francisco on Thursday. All six underdogs that covered won outright — Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland, Minnesota, New England and San Diego.

Philip Rivers passed for 401 yards as the Chargers scored the game’s final 20 points in a 30-21 victory over Dallas. Adrian Peterson rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings held off Pittsburgh 34-27 in London, where “Big Ben” Roethlisberger dropped to 0-4 ATS.

The books won Sunday’s finale. Matt Ryan failed to make a clutch play and pull off an improbable comeback in Atlanta’s 30-23 loss to the Patriots. The Falcons were not a bad-beat story, but their offense is a bad joke in the red zone.

Tom Brady knows how to win. End of story.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports betting columnist Matt Youmans can be reached at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907. He co-hosts “The Las Vegas Sportsline” weekdays at 2 p.m. on ESPN Radio (1100 AM). Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.