Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM
Opening lines saw quite a bit of movement this week as sharps made investments all over the NFL Preseason card. There were some meaningful moves in the two games Thursday Night, as well as several more over the weekend. Let’s run through the notable bets from professional wagerers in Las Vegas and offshore.
*Atlanta opened at -3.5, but was bet up to -4 and -4.5 in their home game with the Cincinnati Bengals that will be nationally televised by the FOX network. Normally, when you see an opener at -3.5…the sportsbooks are trying to discourage bets on the favorite. Their read of the situation suggested that posting -3 would have seen a huge imbalance toward favorite money. Opening at -3.5 discourages makes you pay a premium to lay the points. Sharps weren’t bothered by that! They laid the -3.5, and some laid -4. That tells you many sharps believe the “right” number here is closer to 6 or 7 in terms of projected victory margin. Because of the value of the magic number three…there’s a tendency for the market to move toward the three. When it moves AWAY from the three, it means something . Sharps like the host here…though they didn’t bet with enough enthusiasm to drive the line up to five.
*The biggest news of the night came in the other game. We had a line CROSS the magic number, which is very important. Green Bay opened at -4.5 vs. Cleveland. It was bet all the way down to -2.5 on the news that Cleveland would be playing its starters deeper into the game than normal for Week Two. There has been some buy back in recent hours though at many stores which has the game sitting right on three. Sharps LOVED Cleveland at +4.5, +4, and +3.5…but money for Green Bay started to kick in at -2.5.
*Tennessee +3 got support from sharps on the road at Tampa Bay. That line is down to +2 for the Titans.
*Miami got support in a bounce-back spot off their bad loss to Tampa Bay. The Dolphins opened at +5 in Carolina but are now down to +4. Sharps generally prefer road underdogs in the Preseason because they believe oddsmakers and the public count too much for home field advantage. Three of our first four moves are dogs.
*Detroit continues the trend, and crosses the magic number of three! The Lions opened at +3.5 at Baltimore, but are down to +2.5 as we go to press. Note that this game will be nationally televised by FOX. That may bring in some public money on a TV home favorite at less than a field goal from squares before kickoff.
*There hasn’t been much action in two games that saw slight leanings toward the underdog. We’ll just lump them together into one blurb. Buffalo opened +2.5 at Minnesota. It’s either still there are a smidge lower in spots as we post this for you. Jacksonville +6.5 at New Orleans is either the same or +6 at press time.
*There was a big move on a favorite in the late Friday game. Arizona opened at -3 and rose up to -5 vs. Oakland. Some of that was a reaction to Oakland’s very poor showing vs. Dallas in the Monday Night game. Plus, Arizona has a quarterback battle going on between two guys who need to show production. Big move off the critical number there because it bucks the general direction toward dogs this weekend.
*The Jets/Giants game that ESPN has been building up to all week by throwing a big birthday party for Tim Tebow has seen a flipping of the favorites. The Giants opened as a 2-point favorite. It’s currently the Jets laying chalk dust at -1.
*Kansas City opened pick-em and went to -1 at St. Louis. Sharps clearly have little respect for this Rams squad right now since they’re the home team. St. Louis looked awful last week vs. the Colts.
*Back to an underdog theme for the rest of Saturday. Washington opened +2.5 at Chicago but is down to +1.5. Sharps will be rooting for a lot of visitors this week.
*Seattle opened at +3 at Denver, but is down to +1 or even pick-em. That’s not just a slight move below the field goal…but a big move all the way to a virtual toss-up. Once again you see a quarterback battle influencing sharp thinking.
*Dallas opened +4 at San Diego but was bet down to a field goal, with +3 the line as we go to press.
*Moving to Sunday Night’s game on NBC, Indianapolis opened at +4.5 at Pittsburgh. It’s now +4 or +3.5 with sharps feeling “Luck-y” on another road underdog.
*Monday Night’s game fittingly shows dog support…and crosses the magic number of three. Great way to end the theme. Philadelphia opened at +3.5 at New England in what many are calling a potential Super Bowl preview. Philly is only +1.5 right now…though there’s plenty of time for that number to move between now and kickoff.
Among the football highlights available Thursday Night at VSM:
*Dean of Sports Handicapping Kelso Sturgeon is shooting for a 2-0 night on his $15 football report. You can still get the rest of the NFL Preseason for $99 here at the website with your credit card.
*Jim Hurley will be unleashing “Thursday Thunder” with a Preseason Parlay in Cincinnati/Atlanta and Cleveland/Green Bay. Just $15.
*Jim Feist has a “Game of the Month” going tonight, which should get everybody’s attention. His Inner Circle Game of the Month is available up until kickoff for only $25.
Check the home page of this website and the “buy picks” page each day this weekend for big news on big money plays from our Vegas legends. There are literally marquee matchups over five straight days!
If you’re going to beat the market, you need to THINK LIKE A SHARP and BET LIKE A SHARP! The sharpest minds in handicapping are always waiting to hear from you at VegasSportsMasters!