Submitted by SportsMasters Consensus on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM
This is shaping up as one of the most exciting NFL Sundays of the modern era, with multiple marquee matchups up and down the “Showdown Sunday” schedule. Of course sharps and sports bettors are much more focused on money-making opportunities rather than entertainment opportunities. Let’s see what professional wagerers in Las Vegas have been doing with their money so far for Week 15 in the NFL.
Games are discussed in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
GREEN BAY AT CHICAGO: Very little betting interest in this game yet. Green Bay opened at -3 and 42, and is now -3 and 42.5 (with some 43’s out there). So, we have some action on the Over, which tells you weather won’t be an issue again despite this being a cold weather city in late December. We hear that sharps would fade any public move one way or the other because they believe three is the right line based on how these teams have been playing lately.
NY GIANTS AT ATLANTA: Limited interest here as well, though the Giants are a popular choice for two-team teasers in spots where they’re getting +1.5. The six-point adjustment moves NYG past the 3 and the 7 to +7.5. Some stores are considering staying at Atlanta -1 so they don’t have to worry about getting flooded with basic strategy teasers on a quality team. The total has dropped from an opener of 52 to 51, anticipating a playoff atmosphere that would feature conservative play and tight defense.
TAMPA BAY AT NEW ORLEANS: Clear sharp sentiment on the home favorite here even though it’s only a half point move. New Orleans opened at -3, and is now -3.5. We’ve told you often this year that it takes a lot of money to move off the three. If a number moves off a key line, then STAYS there, then you know the sharp side. No buy back on the Bucs at +3.5. Sharps are happy with their position on the home team -3. Nothing on the total. If we don’t mention the Over/Under in any of the following games, it’s because sharps haven’t expressed an interest.
MINNESOTA AT ST. LOUIS: Another quiet game right on the three. St. Louis opened at -3 and stayed there. This is why you can tell New Orleans was such a strong opinion. Neither Green Bay nor St. Louis moved off the key number. New Orleans moved and then locked in higher than the key number. Sharps will fade any public move in this game that could launch the winner to a surprise Wildcard spot if they get some help elsewhere.
WASHINGTON AT CLEVELAND: There’s been no line all week because of the injury to Robert Griffin III. Washington won’t announce until Sunday whether or not he’s going to play based on most recent reports. Sharps have a number in mind with RGIII and without. They’ll hit the opener if oddsmakers miss the mark. If you want to know who the sharps are betting Sunday morning in this one, follow any moves right after the game goes up. Sharps always act quicker than the public.
JACKSONVILLE AT MIAMI: Miami opened at -7, and there’s been enough action that we’re now seeing either increased juice on the Dolphins at -7, or line moves to -7.5. Sharps prefer the favorite, and would also like to include Miami in basic strategy teasers because they can move the line down below the 7 and the 3. There are some sharps, though, who think the Jaguars plus anything over the key number of seven offers value. So, there’s a bit of a tug of war going on between the Miami -7 and Jacksonville +7.5 contingents. If the public gets involved, they would likely play Miami at -7 but not -7.5. This is obviously a low priority game in terms of the public’s radar this week…except for squares who always move all favorites down to cheap prices for teasers.
DENVER AT BALTIMORE: Interesting spot here. Denver opened at -2.5, and stayed there most of the week. When this happens, it typically means sharps like the underdog. Obviously, if they liked the favorite, they would have jumped in beneath the key number for percentage reasons. But, as we’re going to press this morning there are some stores moving up to three. We’re hearing that’s more public-driven than sharp driven…and that sharps will generally be on Baltimore +3 or better if the public backs Peyton Manning. Even if the line solidifies at +2.5 everywhere again, sharps will be on the Ravens in basic strategy two-team teasers. Sharps will be rooting for Baltimore this Sunday in one form or another.
INDIANAPOLIS AT HOUSTON: Houston opened at -8 despite their poor showing last Monday Night in New England. Sharps who liked Houston acted early, driving the line to -8.5 or -9. Those who prefer the dog are waiting to see what they can get because the public may bet the highly regarded team in a bounce back spot at any price below -10. Sharps would have Houston in two-team teasers at -8 or -8.5, but not at -9 because that moves out of the window. We understand that some stores moved this one up to nine quickly once the sharps committed so that it wouldn’t fall in the teaser window.
CAROLINA AT SAN DIEGO: Another game sitting solidly on the key number of three. Our discussions suggest sharps generally prefer the dog, which might shade juice in that direction before kickoff. Though, because three’s are so common, sharps would fade any public move off the key number if that happens. In other words, sharps may have a lean toward Carolina at +3, but they would like San Diego -2.5 better simply because three’s are so common in final victory margins. The total has dropped from an opener of 46 down to 45. It’s not a busy week on totals for sharps because weather influences just aren’t happening this year.
SEATTLE VS. BUFFALO (in Toronto): Seattle opened at -5.5…and it doesn’t take a lot of money to move a game off a tweener number like that. Yet, we’re still sitting at Seattle by 5.5 in this neutral field game as we go to press. Six is a “minor” key number. So, it’s telling that Seattle wasn’t at least driven to the six. We’re hearing that sharps are concerned about peak focus for the Seahawks because a huge game with San Francisco is on deck next week. Sharps would probably take Buffalo at +6 or better if the public moves the line higher Sunday.
DETROIT AT ARIZONA: Some interest on Detroit at the opener of -6. We’re seeing a few -6.5’s out there. This is tepid interest though because serious backing for the favorite would have yielded an immediate move to at least -6.5, and then probably up to the key number of -7. You’ve seen what happens when sharps really like a favorite. That’s not what’s going on here. We would expect sharp respect to show up for Arizona’s defense if the public moves the line to Detroit by seven before kickoff. Sharps who are taking a flyer on Detroit are in softly at -6. If there’s a “hidden dragon” here, it’s on Arizona getting +7 as a home dog.
PITTSBURGH AT DALLAS: In most weeks, this would be the biggest public game of the entire weekend. Today it’s overshadowed by a few others. But, the prime placement in the late TV window will still make this a very heavily bet game. Sharps hit Pittsburgh at the opener of +1. We’re now seeing Pittsburgh -1.5 in most stores. That’s not really a big move percentage-wise even with the flipped favorites. Note that Dallas is now in the teaser window, because you can move them up past the 3 and the 7 to +7.5. Sharps will be rooting for Pittsburgh +1 and Dallas +7.5.
KANSAS CITY AT OAKLAND: Our fourth and final game of the day that’s been frozen on three. Oakland is the short home favorite. Sharps will fade any public move. The late schedule is fairly heavy this week, so the public may not be very active in this game. Had there been just three late games, which has been common lately, even an ugly matchup like this would get heavily bet. Sharps did play Over 43 at the opener. We’re now seeing 44 in most places.
SAN FRANCISCO AT NEW ENGLAND: Maybe this is a game the sharps will be betting again several weeks down the road. Is this a Super Bowl preview? Right now, Vegas books have the AFC at -3 over the NFC in the Super Bowl…which you can bet even though the teams aren’t known yet. New England only opened at -4.5 here…which is less than you’d except for the AFC favorite playing on its home field. Sharps bet the Pats to -5.5. Given how the public joined the sharps on New England over Houston last week, we may see a rise once again on game day in this line. We understand sharps would come in on San Francisco at +7 because of their strong defense.
We’ll have a special report Monday to discuss the NY Jets/Tennessee game. Game day news has been breaking in the markets on recent Mondays, so we may have some very fresh information to discuss around lunchtime.
Don’t forget that the best way to bet like a sharp on game day is to link up with the VegasSportsMasters for their top releases. Expanded details on each day’s offerings are always available on our “buy picks” page. Build your bankrolls with Saturday bowls…then hit the NFL hard on Sunday!