Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 11:30 AM
We have a great Thursday night NFL matchup this week that will launch us into the second full weekend of pro and college football. The Denver Broncos are visiting the Kansas City Chiefs in a game that will be televised by both CBS and the NFL Network.
There’s been a lot of buzz in the mainstream media about how Kansas City is a 3-point favorite over an opponent that many are picking the AFC West. What does it mean when a Peyton Manning team is a road underdog of that size within its division? Let’s kick off this week’s coverage with that discussion…
DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (on CBS): Sharps hit the opener of Kansas City by 1.5 pretty hard, driving the game all the way up to the key number. You regulars know that home field advantage is generally worth three points in the NFL…so the market is saying these teams are currently about dead even. The opener was consistent with Futures prices…where Denver is seen as a better bet than Kansas City to win the AFC (don’t forget to ready my Tuesday reports on the NFL Futures market every week!). Sharps right now aren’t buying that. They see Peyton Manning losing his effectiveness in a way that will hurt him when playing on the road against good teams. He couldn’t lead the Broncos to an offensive touchdown last week at home vs. Baltimore.
The Over/Under has fallen significantly along the same lines of thinking. An opener of 46 is down now to 41.5. Sharps, including the quants who specialize in totals, see this Denver offense struggling this season.
All that being said…Kansas City is only -3, not -5 or -6. There’s still a lot of sharp respect for the Denver defense. The Wise Guys expect a hard fought defensive battle that will go down to the wire. If the public jumps on the TV home team during the day enough to move the line higher, I’d expect fairly strong support for Denver +3.5.
CLEMSON AT LOUISVILLE (on ESPN): This isn’t quite the matchup ESPN was hoping for because Louisville was stunned last week by Houston. The Cardinals are 0-2 because they also lost their season opener to Auburn. An opening line of Clemson -4.5 has been bet up to -5.5 or -6. Louisville money has been coming in on the six. So, we may have a tug-of-war through the day with squares (the public) betting Clemson -5.5 while sharps come in on the home underdog at six. The Over/Under has been bet down from 54 to 52, with some stores testing 51.5.
FLORIDA STATE AT BOSTON COLLEGE (on ESPN): An opener of Florida State -9 has been bet all the way down to Boston College +7. Strong support for the home underdog at anything above a touchdown. Though, public money (and some sharp money) does hit FSU at that key number. Sharps weren’t impressed with Florida State through most of last Saturday’s TV game with South Florida. They’re confident that new quarterback Everett Golson shouldn’t have been laying more than a TD on the road this week against a dangerous opponent in a conference game. The fact that BC has a lot of new starters…and possibly an overmatched offense…does come into play at the key number of seven. FSU is palatable to some sharps at that price. The opening total of 53 has followed this week’s pattern so far with big Under money. That’s fallen all the way to 47 because of skepticism about both offenses in what could be a defensive grinder.
NEW MEXICO AT ARIZONA STATE (on PAC 12 NETWORK): The home underdog was hit fairly hard here, as an opener of -24.5 has been bet all the way up to -27. Oddsmakers thought the hook over the key number of 24 might scare sharps away. Instead sharps moved the game all the way to the next key number. Option teams like New Mexico have trouble playing from behind, which the Wise Guys are keenly aware of. No interest on the total yet.
There’s another game Friday night, which matches Idaho State and Boise State. That’s on the “extra” list because Idaho State isn’t part of the FBS. No lines are up yet as I write this. That’s not a game the public would play. And, there are low limits for any sharp that wants to bet it. If you see any move off the opener Friday, you can assume that’s from sharps playing for value at low limits.
My top plays for Thursday and Friday football will be available for credit card purchase here at the website. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 during regular business hours. Hopefully you’ll call Thursday so those big CBS and ESPN games can be included.
Back with you around lunchtime Friday to study several marquee college football matchups on the Saturday schedule (including Ole Miss/Alabama, Auburn/LSU, and Georgia Tech/Notre Dame). Then our NFL report for the rest of Week Two will be up Saturday morning for you to study all through the weekend. Thanks for reading. See you again tomorrow.
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