On Sunday afternoon the Miami Dolphins are scheduled to play the Tennessee Titans in Miami. As I write, the betting lines show the Dolphins as a -3.5 home favorite. What is not yet reflected in the betting lines, however, is that the City of Miami and surrounding area is a likely landing spot for a Category 4 hurricane. Depending on the strength of the hurricane, the game will either go ahead in Miami as planned on Sunday, be moved from Sunday to Monday in Miami, or remain on Sunday; but, be moved to Tennessee.
NFL betting lines, generally, award 3 points to a home team; regardless, of how good the team is or who their opponents. A line that shows Miami as a -.3.5 favorite at home would likely see them become a +3 underdog on the road in Tennessee which is a near 6 point swing. To professional sports bettors, such a move would allow them an incredible opportunity to profit with zero risk. A bettor that knew with certainty that the game would involve a switch of home venues would bet Tennessee today at +3.5 based on the assumption that the game will be in Miami and then, once the game is move to Tennessee, bet Miami at near +3 giving him a “middle” of at least 6 points. Middle bets allow a bettor — if the margin of victory by either teams falls into that gap — to GUARANTEE a win of both bets while making losing both bets IMPOSSIBLE.
In short, the final decision on where and when the Dolphins and Titans’ game will be played in response to the impact of Hurricane Mathew is incredibly valuable in the right hands (tens of millions of dollars valuable). Look for swings in the betting lines on this game just before the NFL’s decision is publicly announced on where and when the game is to be played. Such line moves will demonstrate to those that know how to interpret them that the decision leaked beforehand and that huge financial bets were made with that “inside information” in hand.
[October 7 Note: Fortunately, Hurricane Mathew did not have the impact predicted and the game will remain in Miami for Sunday afternoon. The line in the Carolina/Tampa game did have such a move as discussed above when it was announced that Carolina’s QB who had been under the NFL concussion protocol would not be playing on Monday. With that news, the line went from -7 Friday morning to -4, a 3-point opportunity to middle for all those that bet Tampa earlier in the week with such a possibility in mind.]