Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Wanted to do a special report this week for the first full day of NFL Preseason action. Thursday’s schedule has some fascinating storylines in play…particularly with the soap operas currently involving the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. What a way to kick off the new season! I’ll have another report up for you midday Friday to cover the rest of the weekend.
Games are listed in Nevada rotation order…
NEW ORLEANS AT BALTIMORE: This game has been frozen solid on Baltimore -3 since the opener. No interest from sharps on the team side to this point. Maybe something will happen right before kickoff if the “when it doubt, take the dog” old school sharps decide to step up. Though, the fact that the game hasn’t dropped already may be telling. The “classic” Preseason bet would be dog +3…and sharps didn’t step in when they could have. We did see a drop on the total this morning from 38 down to 37.5. So, to the degree there’s Wise Guy interest in this game…it’s on the Under at the relatively key number of 38.
NY JETS AT DETROIT: Sharps have been hitting Detroit and Under since the news broke about Geno Smith’s jaw injury. That’s not because the Wise Guys think Smith is a critical player. Ryan Fitzpatrick is generally considered to be equal to or better than Smith by the guys who do team Power Ratings. The key here is that the Jets QB rotation took a hit. What had been a promising “Preseason” ordering of Smith, Fitzpatrick, and Bryce Petty (rookie from Baylor) all playing with something to prove is now Fitzpatrick trying to avoid injury followed by guys who aren’t as good as Smith. The opener of Detroit -3 is up to -4. The total has dropped down to 35 or 35.5 after opening 36.5 at most stores.
GREEN BAY AT NEW ENGLAND: Tom Brady has been in court this week, so New England coach Bill Belichick decided not to play him tonight. That announcement caused a flood of Green Bay money to hit the board from both sharps and squares alike. Sharps got the full three points. Squares have continued betting even at +2.5. Some stores are testing +2 and even +1.5 as I write this because sportsbooks are BEGGING for Patriots money. Books will be extremely one-sided in this one if they don’t get it. If we continue to see a slide toward pick-em in the afternoon…you can deduce that some of that will be additional smart money that’s decided Green Bay plus any number is value. First sharps in at +3 are happy with their position. The Wise Guys may not actually be done yet. The total is down from 37.5 to 37.
WASHINGTON AT CLEVELAND: The first numbers up last week were either Cleveland -1 or -1.5. That rose this week up to Cleveland -2…where it’s stood fairly firm. The rise is reflective of relatively soft sharp interest in the host. The game would have made a run at -3 if the Wise Guys really loved the Browns. Of course, the full three would have inspired a big buy back on the Redskins. Quiet game in a quiet place on the board. Some interest on the Over as most offshore books are showing 37.5 off an earlier line of 37.
MIAMI AT CHICAGO: Most stores opened at pick-em or -1 because the visiting Dolphins are seen as the superior “neutral field” team entering the new season. Money coming in has been on the host. That’s out of respect for new head coach John Fox, and possibly the lack of fire Miami showed in its Week One road opener last year at Atlanta. Chicago is now either -1.5 or -2 at most shops. Not much happening on the total, though some stores are testing 37.5…up from 37.
DALLAS AT SAN DIEGO: An opener of San Diego -3 has been bet up to -4. These teams played on this field a year ago…and the Chargers won 27-7 in a virtual Cowboys no-show. Many of the same elements are in place regarding coaching staff and key players. Sharps don’t see any reason to back the Boys…so sharp and square Chargers money moved the market. An Over/Under that had been 38 is down to 37.5 or 37 in most spots as I write this.
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Back Friday to look at the rest of this weekend. Then, we’ll have full weekend reports on the next two Thursdays right here in the VSM Blog. The regular season will bring expanded coverage that includes marquee college football matchups. Thanks for reading! It’s great to have football back on the sports schedule.
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