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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Almost a full schedule this weekend in pro football, as only Carolina and Pittsburgh are sitting out with byes. Those are the last two byes of the season. So, we’ll have complete 16-game NFL cards from Thanksgiving Weekend forward.

Here’s how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting Sunday and Monday action thus far this week. Games are presented in Nevada rotation order so you can makes notes in your schedules.

CLEVELAND AT ATLANTA: Very little interest in this game thus far. Atlanta opened at -3, the standard value of home field advantage. Both teams need the win in their respective playoff races, but neither team is seen as “playoff caliber” by oddsmakers or the smartest bettors. Most everyone agrees that three is the right starting point. Sharps would fade any public move in this game. We can assume there isn’t Atlanta interest or Falcons money would have come in early on the key number. I’m hearing there’s some Cleveland money that’s waiting around to see if squares (the public) come in on the favorite before kickoff. Slight move up on the total from an opener of 46.5 to 47. From this point forward, I’ll only mention Over/Unders that have moved at least a point.

TENNESSEE AT PHILADELPHIA: Another very quiet game here. Philadelphia opened at -11. Sharps sure don’t trust Mark Sanchez at a price that high. And, Tennessee is tough to take in a short week off a Monday Night heartbreaker against Pittsburgh. It’s interesting that old school money that likes taking every double digit underdog hasn’t made its presence felt yet. Perhaps its waiting to see a game day rise generated by the public. This will not be a heavily bet game unless game day weather creates action.

DETROIT AT NEW ENGLAND: The Patriots opened at -6, and have been bet up to -7. Sharps have been rather slow to get on the New England bandwagon. Results-wise, the Pats are playing as well now as they have in recent seasons. Oddsmakers and sharps weren’t giving them that credit, and have missed the mark badly in recent matchups with Denver and Indianapolis (and Chicago, and Buffalo, and Cincinnati as the current run is 5-1 ATS the last six!). Not surprising the opener was driven to the key number of seven by position-takers and those supporting New England. The public could push this game higher by kickoff. If that happens, New England will be a popular two-team teaser choice at -1.5, -2, or -2.5. Sharps generally use a “basic strategy” for teasers that involves any side that can cross both the 3 and the 7 with the six-point move allowed in two-teamers.

GREEN BAY AT MINNESOTA: The first games have been so quiet, that a budding tug-of-war here between Green Bay -9.5 and Minnesota +10 seems like a major development. The Vikings are getting interest at the key number of +10 as a home underdog. But, Packers money shows up at anything below that…and likely would on Sunday as well given how great Green Bay looked last Sunday in a nationally televised blowout of Philadelphia. I’d expect that tug-of-war to continue around the key number. The Over/Under is up at many stores from 48 to 49. Possibly the forecast for a relatively mild weather day outdoors in Minneapolis is a factor.

JACKSONVILLE AT INDIANAPOLIS: The first number up of Indianapolis -13.5 was pushed up to -14. The Colts have done a good job of blowing out bad teams this season, so any sharp betting that tendency wanted to get in right below the key number. Old school money that bets every big dog is likely waiting to see if the public pushes the game up above +14. This probably won’t be a heavily bet game. But, the early card does have some blowout scenarios that appeal to bored squares. Jacksonville money from sharps would come in hard at +14.5 if it’s ever available.

CINCINNATI AT HOUSTON: Houston is up from an opener of -1 to -2. Sharps were impressed with Ryan Mallett…but not impressed enough to drive the game all the way to three. This is our first game currently in the teaser window this week. Moving Cincinnati from +2 to +8 in two-team teasers will be a common strategy this week for sharps this weekend if the line doesn’t move from where it is now.

NY JETS VS. BUFFALO (game now to be played Monday Night in Detroit): You’ve probably heard that this game has been moved to Monday Night because of the massive snowstorm that hit Buffalo this week. It will be played in Detroit, making it a neutral site game. The offshore opener for the new scenario was Buffalo -2. Early money came in on the Bills, forcing other spots to open at Buffalo -2.5 or -3. Odd game for betting because there’s no home field, and neither side is an “indoor” team. Sources tell me some of the early betting comes from sharps who believe Buffalo’s talent is better suited to the site. It will be interesting to watch game-day betting on Monday because squares could normally have a larger impact in the meeting than would normally be the case. The Jets at +8 or +8.5 would be a popular neutral field underdog in teaser plays.

TAMPA BAY AT CHICAGO: A strong likelihood for rainy conditions has caused the total to drop from 48 to 46. That’s one of the biggest moves of the week so far! Looks like a tug-of-war brewing between Tampa Bay +6 and Chicago -5.5 on the team side. The Bears finally had a good game last week against Minnesota, which should help inspire squares to lay the points. Sharps will take the Bucs at +6 or better.

ARIZONA AT SEATTLE: It’s also supposed to be rainy in Seattle, and that’s also caused a total drop. An opener of 42 is down to 41. An early tug-of-war is shaping up a point higher than in the game we just discussed. Seattle -6.5 is getting support, but so is Arizona +7. The public has backed off auto-betting Seattle at home because this just isn’t the same team this year. Sharps have been fairly aggressive with Arizona when the situations were right. Hard to say where this will settle. Arizona money is hoping the public gives them +7 or better on game day.

ST. LOUIS AT SAN DIEGO: Word of Philip Rivers playing with an injury that’s worse than had been reported has helped drop this number from San Diego -6 to San Diego -5. The offense hasn’t shown much of anything in recent weeks…only 13 total points in the month of November! That’s a 0 in Miami, a bye week, and then 13 last week vs. Oakland. Sharps were very happy to get the Rams early at +6, and would fade any game-day rise from squares betting the Chargers. The Over/Under has dropped from 44.5 to 43.5 along similar principles regarding San Diego’s offensive issues.

MIAMI AT DENVER: Denver’s had several home games this season vs. decent teams where the line has stuck around -7.5. Here, we’re seeing a solid Denver -7. That suggests that the smartest influences in the market like Miami at anything higher than the touchdown. Sportsbooks won’t give it to them unless the public comes in hard on Denver on game day. Complicating matters, any move to Denver -7.5 would invite teaser play on the Broncos at -1.5. Note that the current forecast is for very windy conditions…which might actually favor the stronger arm of Ryan Tannehill over the fading velocity of Peyton Manning. Sharps have really been in love with Miami for weeks. The Dolphins are 5-2 ATS their last seven games…and are just a couple plays away from a 7-0 ATS sweep.

WASHINGTON AT SAN FRANCISCO: Not much early interest in this one. It’s been a pretty quiet week because there just aren’t many games that “need” to be bet early in advance of public influence. San Francisco looks to be a solid -9. Sharps don’t have much respect for RGIII as a positive influence on the field. But, they aren’t ready to lay a big number with inconsistent San Francisco either.

DALLAS AT THE NY GIANTS (Sunday Night): Strong early support for Dallas at the opening line of -3. We’re now seeing -3.5. It’s telling that early money bet the favorite off the key number, and there wasn’t any buyback on a nationally televised home underdog. Dallas had a bye last week to help them get healthy. New York lost a turnover-filled home game to San Francisco. Will take more than a hook to get dog money interested here. The public may push the game to four and beyond in the extra betting hours leading up to the prime time kickoff.  

BALTIMORE AT NEW ORLEANS (Monday Night): Another game pushed off the key number, with New Orleans opening at -3 but now sitting at -3.5 in most spots. But, in this matchup, there has been some interest on the Ravens with the hook. If it were “sharps only” betting this game, I think there would be a tug-of-war between Saints -3 and Ravens +3.5. But, the public historically loves betting the Saints at home when they’re cheap (even if that’s not working out so well this year). So, there’s a chance that dog bettors might get as much as +4 before kickoff. Depends on how much squares have to invest Monday after Saturday and Sunday are in the books.

I encourage you to watch Sunday morning moves very closely. When everything is this quiet early, all heck often breaks lose in the hours just before the first kicks. Any really big Sunday morning moves will be Wise Guy (or weather) related. And, that’s particularly true for any underdogs or Over/Unders that get strong market support.

You can always purchase my game day football releases right here at the website with your credit card. I have big plays in both college and pro football this weekend. If you have any questions about my personal service, call the VSM office Friday afternoon normal business hours or on weekend mornings before the earliest games start at 1-888-777-4155.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not doing a Saturday college report this week because there are so few marquee matchups. We’ll have expanded coverage during Thanksgiving Weekend on the following schedule:

Wednesday: How Sharps are Betting Thanksgiving Day Action

Thursday: How Sharps are Betting Friday TV College Games

Friday: How Sharps are Betting Saturday’s Marquee College Matchups

Later Friday: How Sharps are Betting the NFL

Next week is going to be HUGE because there are so many monster games scattered throughout the weekend. This is the best Thanksgiving Day card we’ve had in YEARS because both Detroit and Dallas are good, the prime time NFL game is Seattle/San Francisco, and both college games are worth watching.

I know we’re all looking forward to that. In the meantime, let’s make some money this weekend. Best of luck to you. Thanks for reading. See you next week.


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Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

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