Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Time now to look over the Sunday and Monday slate in Week Four of the NFL. As always, games are listed in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedule. Note that New England and Tennessee have byes this week…the first byes of the 2015 season. We also have our first overseas game of the young season as the Jets play Miami in London, England before enjoying byes next week.
Here we go…
NY JETS VS. MIAMI (in London): An opener of Jets -1 has been bet up to -1.5, or -2 in some places. Miami gets consideration at +2. Note that the market now sees the Jets as the slightly superior team since this is a neutral site game without a home field advantage. That certainly wasn’t the case entering the regular season. If the line stays in that 1.5 to 2 range, Miami will be a popular choice in two-team teasers as an underdog of +7.5 or +8. The Over/Under is up from 41 to 42.5. I’ll only mention totals when they’ve moved at least a point.
JACKSONVILLE AT INDIANAPOLIS: The market is watching the Andrew Luck situation very closely. He hasn’t been practicing this week because of a shoulder issue. Sportsbooks don’t want exposure until it’s determined whether or not he’ll be able to go. The Colts had opened at -9 when there wasn’t awareness of his injury…and fell to Indy -7.5 before many places took it off the board. Sharps are assuming he’ll continue to play below par, and will be looking for ways to exploit that if possible with the underdog Jags (or the Under) when the game becomes more widely available.
HOUSTON AT ATLANTA: Not much happening here yet. Atlanta opened at -6, and was bet up to -6.5 but not all the way to the key number of seven. It’s assumed that Houston money would come in hard if the public drives the line there. Atlanta is in a letdown spot after a 3-0 start and a big win las week in Dallas. Situational guys would love Houston +7. Texans +6.5 may be all they’ll see. Syndicates preferring Ryan over Mallett in the quarterback battle got in on the Falcons at six. The Over/Under is up 45 to 46.5 because Mallett may lengthen the game with a lot of incomplete passes.
CAROLINA AT TAMPA BAY: The opener of Carolina -3.5 was bet down to a solid three…where it’s sitting now. There was no buy back on the Panthers at the key number, which is important to note. Dog lovers are happy with their positions. This won’t likely be a heavily bet game by the public Sunday because of the teams involved. If you see anything happen before kickoff, you can assume that’s a Wise Guy move.
NY GIANTS AT BUFFALO: An opener of Buffalo -6 has been bet down to Bills -5.5. Sharps I’ve talked to have been very impressed with the Bills. But, they’re not ready to lay this kind of number with them. Six isn’t as strong as seven in terms of being a key number…but is a respected line. Dog lovers figured +6 was the best they were going to get with NYG and jumped right in. The opening total of 48 has been bet down to 46. As of now, weather isn’t expected to be an issue. We can then assume the move is due to quants projecting that both teams will run clock.
OAKLAND AT CHICAGO: This game got a lot of attention earlier in the week when an opener of Oakland -2 was bet UP. It’s so rare that the Raiders are road favorites over anybody. The Raiders held at the key number of three…and some stores are testing -3.5 because Jimmy Clausen looked so helpless vs. Seattle last week. It may take the hook to bring in Bears money. That may not be enough! Note that the preliminary forecast is showing a chance of light rain and some wind. Monitor the Over/Under on game day.
PHILADELPHIA AT WASHINGTON: Hard to know what’s going to happen here with the weather because hurricanes are fickle. As of now, it looks like the game will be played in conditions that should feature some rain and wind. That’s why the Over/Under has fallen from 47 all the way down to 43.5. Nothing happening on the firm team side line of Philadelphia by 3.
KANSAS CITY AT CINCINNATI: The opener of Cincinnati -4.5 has come down a tick to Cincinnati -4. We’re not in an area where a key number is likely to come into play unless there’s some Sunday steam on the underdog. No support yet for the Bengals, who are in a tough schedule spot after a big road divisional win. Bottom line: the Wise Guys have only expressed a half-point’s worth of enthusiasm for the road underdog.
CLEVELAND AT SAN DIEGO: Big move on the Browns because San Diego is dealing with multiple injuries to its offensive line. An opener of San Diego -10 has been bet all the way down to San Diego -7.5. Some stores are starting to test the key number of seven because the Chargers just aren’t getting any takers yet. Sharps are really happy with the Browns at anything above the seven.
GREEN BAY AT SAN FRANCISCO: Green Bay has been bet up from -7 to -9 on the heels of another impressive showing last week vs. Kansas City. Of course, San Francisco just looked awful the last two weeks on the road at Pittsburgh and Arizona. Sharps liking the Packers knew they had to get in early in advance of public money. Home dog interest is waiting on the sidelines for now, hoping +10 comes into play. Note that sportsbooks will be very hesitant to post Green Bay -8.5 because that would bring a slew of basic strategy two-team teasers into play with the Packers at -2.5.
MINNESOTA AT DENVER: More interest here on the Over/Under than the team side, as an opener of 45 has been bet all the way down to 43. Oddsmakers have been very slow to respond to Denver’s new defensive style and quants have been taking advantage. Minnesota is getting enough interest at +7 to encourage stores to test +6.5. I would expect a game day tug-of-war between Denver -6.5. from the public and Minnesota +7 from the Wise Guys.
ST. LOUIS AT ARIZONA: Arizona was bet up from an opener of -6.5 to -7, where the number has stood since. Not much interest on a buy back on the Rams. Sharps were ahead of the curve last year with Arizona when Carson Palmer was healthy. They realize the line is starting to catch up to Arizona’s new spot in the league Power Ratings. Cardinals’ money came in early. Rams money may not show unless +7.5 is broached. The opening total of 44 has fallen to 42.5 because Nick Foles has struggled so badly the last two weeks.
DALLAS AT NEW ORLEANS: News broke Friday afternoon that Drew Brees will likely play in this game after missing last week with an injury. I’m currently seeing New Orleans -3.5 in a lot of places. Funny that he’s only that price against Brandon Weeden! But, things really are that bad for the Saints defensively right now. If they couldn’t beat Tampa Bay with Brees…they can’t be trusted laying respectable numbers. First total up was 47.
DETROIT AT SEATTLE: Seattle was bet up from an opener of -9 to the critical number of -10. It took them awhile to get rolling vs. Chicago last Sunday. They finally did…and that was enough to drive respect here against another NFC North visitor. Plenty of time between now and kickoff. I believe some Lions money is waiting to see if the square money from the public pushes this above the ten. This is a game where Seattle interest is expressed early in advance of public betting…while Wise Guy money (and old school bettors) wait to see what kind of double digit dog price they can get on game day.
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Have a great weekend. I’ll hope you’ll join me here at the site for my top Saturday and Sunday picks. See you again Tuesday for an updated look at NFL odds to win the Super Bowl. Thanks for reading, and for telling your friends about this “behind the lines” feature.
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