On Sunday evening, the week before the game, I set my logical price at Bucs favored by three. They had beaten New Orleans on the road, Houston had lost to Tennessee by eight. The first line posted by Vegas, the opening line Sunday night, was Texans favored by one. It varied from mine by four, so it was a slam dunk formula pick. Go their way and take Houston because Vegas obviously is begging for Tampa Bay money. Sure enough, the opening line, also known as the "outlaw line," stayed up very briefly, and was quickly bet up to Bucs minus 3 ½. Vegas caught a lot of fish when the Texans won.I had to read that twice just to fully comprehend what it meant, but essentially the Casinos knew this was a trap game for the Bucs and purposely set a low line to fool bettors into losing money on it. Which they promptly did even though, as the Football Outsider guys point out, the Bucs mostly outplayed the Texans during the game.
What is the lesson learned? Beware the trap road games the week following divisional road games. Especially when the opponent has Andre Johnson.