Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 3:00 PM
After having so many huge games to talk about in our prior college report, it’s a bit of a letdown to talk about the NFL this week. The only game qualifying as a true marquee matchup in terms of importance and star appeal is San Francisco at New Orleans. There are many other games that will obviously impact the crowded playoff picture in both conferences. Chief among those are Kansas City at Buffalo (oddsmaker humor), and Miami at Detroit.
There are six bye teams this week, which created a reduced schedule. Sitting and watching games with the rest of us will be Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England, San Diego, and Washington. Houston is using the bye week to break in new starting quarterback Ryan Mallett. San Diego looked wiped out last week in Miami, and badly needed this break.
The games below are presented in official Nevada rotation order so you can makes notes in your schedules.
DALLAS AT JACKSONVILLE (in London): Oddsmakers waited a few days to learn what they could about the status of Tony Romo. He’s been practicing in London, and is expected to play injured, which means estimating a point value for the “hobbled” version of Romo. The first numbers up were near a TD on the neutral field. As I write this report, many stores still have the game off the board. Early guesses at a total are around 45.
MIAMI AT DETROIT: Sharps have been in love with Miami in recent weeks, and hit the Dolphins fairly hard at the opener of +3. The game moved off the most important number in football down to +2.5, and didn’t move back. So, that’s a strong indicator for underdog support. Miami will also be a popular choice at +8.5 in two-team teasers if the line doesn’t move any more. If sharps loved the Dolphins at +3, they’ll really love them at +8 or +8.5. The total opened at 42.5 and has been bet up a point to 43.5. I’ll only mention totals when there’s been a move of at least a point.
KANSAS CITY AT BUFFALO: Kansas City has also been a popular sharp team in recent weeks, and also drew early support here. An opener of -1 has been bet up to -1.5 or -2 for the short road favorite. Note that the move puts Buffalo in the teaser window as a home dog of +7.5 or +8 in two teamers. Basic strategy for teasers is to cross both the 3 and the 7 at one time. Miami and Buffalo are both projected to be qualifiers for that approach. In this game, many sharps will be rooting for Kansas City -1 and Buffalo +8 because the middle of that range is such a high percentage strike point. Totals bettors hit Under 43 on the opener. I’m now seeing 42 in most stores.
SAN FRANCISCO AT NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans was a strong Wise Guy bet out of the gate. Oddsmakers put up an opener of -3.5, which is right above a critical number. Even though three is the most common final margin for NFL games, the line moved forcefully away from the three. New Orleans is now -5 or -5.5 across the board. And, some square stores are testing the six. Sharps were impressed with what the Saints did the last two weeks vs. Green Bay and Carolina, and think that SF’s dismal showing vs. St. Louis last week is another sign that the Harbaugh era is fading quickly. Always pay attention when a line moves aggressively away from a key number.
TENNESSEE AT BALTIMORE: The Ravens opened at -10.5, but the big road underdog Tennessee has been bet through the key number of 10…and we’re now seeing a tug-of-war between Baltimore -9.5 and Tennessee +10. Old school money that likes any double digit dog is part of the story here. But, Baltimore has looked pretty shaky recently. And, that road loss at Cincinnati looks even worse now that Cleveland won so easily on that same field. This won’t be a heavily bet game by the public. Sharps would fade any square game day money coming in on the favorite.
PITTSBURGH AT NY JETS: One of the odd NFL betting stories of the year here in Las Vegas is that sharp money keeps coming in on the Jets every week, only to get embarrassed when the results are in the book. Even though the Jets keep struggling, an opener of red hot Pittsburgh -5.5 is now down to -4. Like clockwork…on a clock that might need to be fixed. Pittsburgh would take over sole possession of first place in the AFC North with a straight up win.
ATLANTA AT TAMPA BAY: The Falcons opened at -1 and have been bet up to -2.5. Sharp money would definitely come in at the full three on the home dog against a non-contending road favorite. If the game stays here, Tampa Bay will be in the teaser window and will be a popular choice in two-teamers at +8.5. Syndicates liking Atlanta bet early figuring that would be the best line they’d see. Tampa Bay money is waiting for a three if public action makes it happen, but will settle for +8.5 in teasers if need be. The Over/Under opened at 47.5, and has been bet down to 46.
DENVER AT OAKLAND: Another game that moved away from a critical number at the open. Though, it’s a less common critical number and partly a position-taking move on a public favorite. Denver opened at -10.5 and was bet up to -11 or -11.5 depending on the store. Underdog money is waiting to see how high it goes before coming in, particularly the old school guys that like double digit dogs even better when it’s a divisional rivalry. The late card isn’t particularly strong this week…so it’s possible that Denver will get hit hard by squares just because there are so few appealing games to bet. Sharps might wait until 15 minutes before kickoff before investing their Raiders money.
ST. LOUIS AT ARIZONA: This one opened on the key number of seven. St. Louis was the sharp choice at that price…though a tug-of-war has developed between Arizona -6.5 and St. Louis +7. That may continue until kickoff because this isn’t a high appeal game for the public. If squares do take the home favorite because of its won-lost record, sharps would back the divisional dog at +7 or better. Big move on the total by this week’s standards. An opener of 45 has been bet down to 43. Most games have stayed on or near the opener because oddsmakers have largely cracked the algorithm code used in the NFL by quants. In that context, a move of two points seems huge.
NY GIANTS AT SEATTLE: Very little interest here on the openers of Seattle -9 and 45. Neither team is giving bettors much to have confidence in at this price. New York was overmatched by Indianapolis, and is short on weaponry. Seattle has lost several steps from last season, and had trouble getting distance from lowly Oakland on this field last week. The public has so few games to bet late that there may be a lot of square action right before kickoff. Sharps would fade any moves off the current numbers. (Note that the total is now 44.5 in most stores, just a very slight move Under).
CHICAGO AT GREEN BAY (Sunday Night): After a day lacking glamor, this classic rivalry may bring in a lot of bored money by default. We’re already seeing a tug-of-war between Green Bay -7 and Chicago +7.5. It’s harder to predict public money with 100% confidence when the Bears play because Chicago has been known to draw support as a public dog. Of course, squares like betting Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at affordable prices. So, this could be a heavily bet game tug-of-war with split sharp/square sentiment on both sides. Sportsbooks will root very hard for the game to NOT land on the seven. If it does, Green Bay money would push, and Chicago money would win. Disaster for a sportsbook. The total has been bet up from 52 to 53.5, probably on the memory that the first meeting between these teams a few weeks ago didn’t have a single punt!
CAROLINA AT PHILADELPHIA (Monday Night): Carolina has looked so bad in recent weeks that sharps have been betting on Mark Sanchez! An opener of Philadelphia -5.5 is now up to -6.5 at most stores…and the full seven might be tested soon. Sharp money will very likely come in if seven gets tested. Will the public bet on Sanchez during the day Monday? That’s going to be interesting to see. He did move the ball last week in Houston but threw two interceptions. For now, Philadelphia money isn’t afraid to hit the market, while Carolina money is waiting to see what it can get. The total hasn’t moved at all from the opener of 48. Any game day moves on the total would likely be weather related. Basically, if the total drops, that’s from sharps possibly getting word on game conditions that could hurt scoring. If the total goes up, that’s from the public wanting to root for points. Less likely in a QB matchup of banged up Cam Newton vs. untrustworthy Mark Sanchez.
I have my eye on a few great spots on the card we just discussed. You can purchase my NFL BEST BETS before the early kicks on Sunday right here at the VSM website with your credit card. If you have any questions about my personal service, call the VSM office weekdays during normal business hours, and weekends before first kickoff at 1-888-777-4155.
My next “sharps” report will go up midday Tuesday to talk about the MAC games scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday Nights. Then we’ll have our regularly scheduled Thursday midday report to discuss Buffalo/Miami in the NFL and four college games set for late week (including California at USC in the Pac 12). We’ll also very likely have a bonus report for college marquee games on Friday November 14, with matchups like Mississippi State/Alabama, Auburn/Georgia, and Florida State/Miami looming so large in the playoff chase. Full NFL reports like the one you just read go up every Friday afternoon through the full season.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!
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