Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM
Sharps have been pretty busy betting the opening lines in the first full week of NFL Preseason action. That’s particularly true in the Thursday Night games, where we’ve seen some big moves. Let’s run through the most popular sharp bets this week against the openers. Remember that these wouldn’t represent sharp sentiment at “current” widely available lines. They represent sentiment against the openers posted by oddsmakers.
*The first game on the card saw a big move, as host Buffalo opened at -2 over Washington, but sharps hit the Redskins so hard that the visitors are now -2! That’s not only flipping favorites, but taking the line from almost a field goal on one end to almost a field goal on the other. Clearly we’re seeing respect here for Mike Shanahan’s general success in exhibition action through his career vis-à-vis the lack for success for Chan Gailey. Just remember that the line did stop at Washington -2, at least as of the time we went to press. Sharps are no longer betting Washington at the line you’re seeing.
*New England opened below a field goal tonight against New Orleans, but has been bet up past the key number with a line move from -2.5 to -3.5 (and even -4 in places). There used to be automatic support for teams who had played an extra game early because it helped them get the rust off faster. Oddsmakers anticipated that kind of support on the Saints here, only to find out that sharps didn’t think that edge was worth very much against a team like the Patriots.
*The tragedy in Philadelphia involving the son of head coach Andy Reid looks to be impacting the line in the Steelers/Eagles game. Philadelphia opened at -3, but is down to -1. Clearly a tough week for the Eagles to stay focused given the tragic developments earlier this week.
*The most important move in terms of pointspread dynamics would be Cleveland +4.5 at Detroit dropping to and staying at Cleveland +3. Clearly sharps expect the quarterback war with the Browns to provide underdog value. Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, and Seneca Wallace all have something to prove. It’s telling that the line got bet down to a critical number without seeing any bounce off the field goal. There was no Detroit sentiment when the home favorite sunk to the critical number.
*We also saw a move of a point and a half with Jacksonville opening at -1 but being bet up to -2.5 in their home game vs. the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Nothing here for the Giants to prove, while the Jaguars have a new head coach and a lot of players fighting for jobs. Sharps liked the Jags to win the game, but the line has stopped short of the magic number of three (which is admittedly less magical in August than it is during the regular season). Looks like oddsmaker believe Giants money would come in at +3. They won’t go there unless they have to.
There haven’t been any big moves yet in the two games scheduled for Saturday, nor in Monday Night’s TV game matching Oakland and Dallas (though that could change in a few days). But, we did see relevant early betting action in Sunday’s matchup featuring St. Louis and Indianapolis. The Colts opened at -2.5, but the line for the home favorite is down to -1. It’s odd to see the sharps bet a bad team on the road at a price below a field goal. Our sources are telling us this move is a reflection of coaching respect. Both teams have new coaches. Sharps wanted to bet on former Tennessee Titan’s leader Jeff Fisher over the inexperienced Chuck Pagano in a situation where both new leaders are trying to get things moving in the right direction.
It’s great to have football back on the schedule. And, we can assure you that we’ll be monitoring what the sharps are doing in the NFL all season long right here at VegasSportsMasters. As we stated at the top, today’s discussion has focused on what sharps did against the OPENING lines as they drove the numbers to what you see now. The task for winning TODAY is now in the hands of our handicapping legends. Among the Thursday highlights:
*Fresh on the heels of a 25-Unit winner on New Orleans over Arizona in the Hall of Fame Game, Kelso Sturgeon is back with another 25-Unit score Thursday. Get that monster plus a bonus football winner for just $35. Or, pay only $95 with your major credit card to get the rest of the NFL Preseason.
*Wayne Allyn Root is on a 29-13 tear in baseball after sweeping the board Tuesday and Wednesday with 3-0 salvos. Tonight WAR attacks football with the same fury with a winner for $25. The full Preseason can be purchased for $99.
*Jim Feist went 24-15-1 last year in the NFL exhibition slate. You get his strongest team side tonight, his strongest total, and a bonus baseball play all for just $20.
Be sure you click on the “buy picks” link that will show you all the options for tonight, the Preseason, and the full season with the biggest names in handicapping. The fun starts Thursday with what might be the single greatest opening night we’ve ever seen! Super Bowl contenders. Hall of Fame Stars. Exciting draft picks. And, an great national TV game matching Green Bay and San Diego.
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!