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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Casinos think this weekend’s NFL games will be the highest-scoring ever thanks to the league’s replacement officials.
Oddsmakers say casinos are changing their expectations as interim referees add new variables to the game, changing its pace and the approaches taken by coaches.
Casinos haven’t fully changed lines yet because there have been only two weeks of games and referees might adjust how they call games based on weekly feedback from the league. But oddsmaker Mike Colbert of Cantor Gaming says home teams will deserve an extra half-point in their favor if games are called all year the way they were officiated in Week 2.
“It’s starting to concern us a bit,” Colbert said. “(Officials) should have no influence on the total or the side.”
Penalties were skewed in favor of home teams during the first two weeks this year, with visitors getting 55.1 percent of 419 penalties. Last year began in a similar fashion— visitors took 54.8 percent of 407 total penalties through the first two games — before evening out over the rest of the season. Penalties were relatively even between home and road teams for all of 2010 and 2011, and it’s anybody’s guess how this year’s penalties will split.
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