Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, August 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Back, as promised, to cover the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday matchups in the first full weekend of NFL Preseason action. You probably noticed some significant LATE moves on Thursday once final quarterback rotations were pinned down more clearly. That may be common through August. I’ll only be able to report on relatively early moves here in the “sharps” reports. Be sure you’re monitoring late moves on your own. Those are almost always sharp in the Preseason because the pubic isn’t very active…nor is “square” money respected enough by sportsbooks to move the line.
Going in Nevada rotation order…
TENNESSEE AT ATLANTA: Tennessee is getting the sharp money that is in play. An earlier line of Atlanta -2.5 is down to -2, -1.5, and even -1 in a few spots. I’ve talked to many sharps who are optimistic that rookie Marcos Mariota can perform well (by rookie standards) in this particular system. Atlanta money would probably come in at -1. Keep an eye on that before kickoff if more stores go low. The Over/Under is down a tick from 37 to 36.5 in most places.
CAROLINA AT BUFFALO: Not much action here…as the opening line of Buffalo -3 and 35 is mostly untouched. Sportsbooks are wary of coming off the three even though it’s a less common number in exhibition action. It’s still common enough to matter. Any late day move will be sharp and must be respected.
NY GIANTS AT CINCINNATI: Here we do have a game that fell below the three. Cincinnati -3 is now down to -2.5 without any sort of buyback on the home favorite. That tells you sharps were pretty strong on the Giants +3. The Over is down from an opener of 37 to 36.5 or 36…which is also a move to respect.
PITTSBURGH AT JACKSONVILLE: Pittsburgh played last Sunday, and having that one-week head start is something the market respects. That’s why this game opened at pick-em. Well, that plus it won’t be 60 minutes of Landry Jones for the Steelers! No move off pick-em yet, as oddsmakers correctly counter-acted potential sharp support for the tuned up Steelers. The Over/Under is down from 36.5 to 36 or 35.5 in most spots. Sharps (particularly the quants) tend to prefer Unders in the Preseason outside of the dress rehearsal games in Week Three. You’ll note only one game made it past 37 Thursday.
ST. LOUIS AT OAKLAND: Some interest on Oakland this morning… as a game that had been pick-em or St. Louis -1 is now Oakland -1 or -1.5. There’s no way the public is betting this game…so you know that’s a Wise Guy move. Let’s see if it moves more toward the three during the day. Sharps with their eye on St. Louis to play well this year may step in if +2 or better is breached. Most stores are now showing 35.5 off an opening total of 36
DENVER AT SEATTLE: Seattle usually gets a lot of respect in the Preseason because the head coach emphasizes results…and the players often play to the rabid home crowd in the home opener. That’s why this one opened above the field goal at either -4 or -4.5 depending on the store. There’s been enough variance here to know that Seattle money comes in at -4, but Denver money comes in at +5.5 or +5. Potential for a rare Preseason tug-of-war here because Denver isn’t a pushover. Continuing our Over/Under theme…the total is down a tick from 37 to 36.5.
TAMPA BAY AT MINNESOTA: Nothing happening here. Minnesota earned market respect for its head start, and is laying -3.5 with a total of 36. The Vikings did cover last week…but weren’t as impressive as many of their backers had been expecting. That’s limited the potential for this game rising above the slightly inflated opener.
SAN FRANCISCO AT HOUSTON: This game fell below the opener of Houston -3 when it was clear that Arian Foster was lost for the Preseason. We’ve seen Texans -2.5 ever since. A lot of sharps are very skeptical about San Francisco this season…which is why only a half-point worth of enthusiasm hit the board. The total is sitting on 35.5, and moves back there if any store tests a tick higher or lower.
KANSAS CITY AT ARIZONA: Potential tug-of-war here because Kansas City gets interest at +3, while Arizona gets interest at -2.5. It’s not the same as a regular season Sunday hanging around that number. But, both sides do have some betting interest…and that betting interest is smart enough to hit the right number. Most stores are showing 36 on the total.
INDIANAPOLIS AT PHILADELPHIA: A much higher line and total than we’re used to seeing at Philadelphia -4 and 42. It’s assumed that the Eagles are going to emphasize their up-tempo offense with new quarterback Sam Bradford and decent backups. Indianapolis really has no reason to make this a war. Game day personnel news might influence the market. The market is basically pricing the Eagles like they’re Seattle! Big spread for a Preseason game against a playoff-caliber opponent.
You can purchase my NFL and baseball BEST BETS every day right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 any weekday during regular business hours or weekends before the first games start.
I’ll see you again next Thursday to run the full NFL card for the weekend. Then, we’ll do the same thing the next week for the dress rehearsals. After that…the college regular season starts! I’ll cover marquee matchups that first week including Texas/Notre Dame, Texas A&M/Arizona State, and Ohio State/Virginia Tech. Las Vegas really buzzes when football arrives…and I can tell you firsthand that energy has really picked up this week. Thanks for reading. See you next week!
Be sure to follow:
Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters