Commentary

Behind the Bets: Save your pool

If the death of NFL parity destroyed your survival pool, here are three solutions

Updated: December 9, 2009, 4:38 PM ET
By Chad Millman | ESPN Insider

A lot of the talk in NFL betting circles this season has been about the lack of parity. The dominant play of favorites, or the way underdogs have laid down, has been a game-changer. I asked sports betting info guru RJ Bell of Pregame.com to put this season in perspective for me, and he told me that favorites are covering double-digit spreads at a 56 percent clip, 16 percent higher than last season. That has forced sports books to rethink linemaking strategies by raising point spreads to unprecedented highs, especially in games involving the Bucs, Browns, Raiders, Chiefs and Lions. Same with the Saints and Colts, who have garnered a lot of public money and consistently cover.

[+] EnlargeBruce Gradkowski
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesBruce Gradkowski and the Raiders have been decent against the spread this season.

While things have tapered off the past few weeks -- last week's underdogs were 10-4 against the spread, and even the Browns and Raiders are now 6-6 ATS -- this season is still lacking the spate of big-time upsets. There was one in Week 11, when Cincy lost to Oakland, and almost one this past Sunday, until the Skins went in the tank against the Saints. But, mostly, it's been a season of chalk.