Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, October 16, 2015 at 6:00 PM
We move now to Week 6 of the NFL season. Four teams have byes this week: Dallas, Oakland, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay. As always, I’ll run through the games in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
DENVER AT CLEVELAND: The Broncos opened at -6. That’s been bet down by sharps to only Denver -4. Cleveland is getting respect after good road performances at San Diego and Baltimore. Denver is in a potential letdown spot after a road divisional game, and will be dealing with a bad body clock. Worth remember that sharps are liking what they’re seeing from quarterback McCown. Nobody’s talking about Manziel any more. Not much happening yet on the opening Over/Under of 42.5. I’ll only mention totals today when they’ve moved at least one point off the opener.
CINCINNATI AT BUFFALO: Cincinnati has been bet very aggressively this week because of the injury situation in Buffalo. An opener of pick-em is up to Bengals -3, and some stores are testing -3.5. The fact that some stores are even thinking about moving off the key number of three tells you that things may be pretty bad healthwise for the Bills. The Over/Under is down from 45.5 to 42.5 because sharps are pessimistic about E.J. Manuel at backup QB for the Bills…or about Tyrod Taylor if he has to play injured (among other offensive injuries).
KANSAS CITY AT MINNESOTA: Minnesota has moved off the opener of -3 up to a widely available -3.5. You regulars know that’s actually a huge move even though it’s half a point. It takes a lot of money to move a game off the three and then keep it higher. Some stores are even testing Vikings -4 because there’s so little interest in the stumbling and now shorthanded Chiefs. The Over/Under has been bet down from 44.5 to 43 because the Vikings tend to run clock and play strong defense in their victories.
HOUSTON AT JACKSONVILLE: We’ve flipped favorites here, as an opener of Houston -1.5 is now Jacksonville -1 or -1.5. Sharps were surprised to see the Texans as a road favorite given how poorly the team has been playing recently. Looks like oddsmakers were giving a boost for extra rest off a Thursday game that wasn’t justified. I’m hearing this is very much an anti-Houston move rather than a pro-Jacksonville one. If the line firms up at Jaguars by 1.5…then Houston is going to be a popular underdog choice in two-team teasers that move the line six points. That would cross both the 3 and the 7 to put Houston at +7.5 in two-teamers.
CHICAGO AT DETROIT: Detroit has come down from an opener of -3.5 to a very solid -3. It’s telling that Lions money didn’t come in with any passion on the key number. Sharps have soured on Detroit in recent weeks because the defense has been inconsistent and the offense too mistake-prone. It’s not like they suddenly love Jay Cutler! But, they don’t mind taking points with him above the field goal against a slumping opponent.
WASHINGTON AT NY JETS: Support for the Jets continues to show. The opener of NYJ -5.5 was bet up fairly early to six and beyond. As I write this, some stores are testing Jets -7. We’ll have to see if that’s enough to bring in dog money. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is…which would set up a tug-of-war between Jets -6.5 and Washington +7. The Redskins are playing a second road game off an overtime loss…which can be tough for losing teams to overcome. Monitor this one between now and kickoff to see if that tug-of-war develops or not. The opening total of 41.5 was bet down for value by quants to 40.5.
ARIZONA AT PITTSBURGH: A lot of money hitting Arizona…as big winners from last week in Detroit are re-investing on the Cardinals. An opener of Arizona -3 flew off the three past Arizona -3.5 to what’s becoming a common Arizona -4. Pittsburgh is in a short week off that dramatic Monday Night win…which is why there isn’t much resistance to the Arizona money. Also, Michael Vick isn’t seen as a great come-from-behind quarterback even though he managed to pull that off against the Chargers.
MIAMI AT TENNESSEE: Not much happening on the team side, where Tennessee is still on the opener of -1 at most places. The Over/Under jumped from 43.5 to 45.5 because it’s assumed Miami will play a more wide-open style under a new coaching regime. Teams often change their stripes after a coaching change and more than a few sharps are trying to beat the market to that punch. Be on the lookout for some creative betting on game day. Some pro bettors may try to bet Tennessee up to -1.5 just so they can come in strong on Miami +7.5 in two-team teasers. Crossing the 3 and 7 is always on the teaser radar for aggressive sharps.
CAROLINA AT SEATTLE: Seattle opened at -6.5 and was bet up to the key number of -7. It’s been sitting there since. I would be surprised if it drifted higher because Carolina plays defense, as well as a style that makes points more scarce. If the public bets the home favorite, the Wise Guys would definitely fade any move off the seven. The Over/Under has fallen from 41.5 to 40.5 because of the chances for a defensive struggle.
SAN DIEGO AT GREEN BAY: Sharps also bet a favorite just below a key number early here…in anticipation of public support for the Packers. Green Bay opened at -9.5…and has blown through the 10 all the way to -10.5. Some support for the Chargers does come in above the key number. But, there are Wise Guy concerns about how this struggling San Diego defense matches up against Aaron Rodgers. I’ll say it this way…the math guys think Green Bay is going to have a big day…while the “old school” guys who will take any double digit underdog don’t mind rooting for Philip Rivers to either cover normally or rally the team back for a backdoor cover in garbage time. There aren’t enough old school guys betting (yet) to bring the line back to 10.
BALTIMORE AT SAN FRANCISCO: I’ve talked to a few sharps who were impressed with San Francisco’s effort last Sunday Night in New York. They didn’t look like a team who had thrown in the towel yet. So, an opener of Baltimore -3 was bet strongly in the direction of the home underdog. Stores are either showing San Francisco +2.5 or +2 right now. You already know that’s a fairly dramatic development below a key number like three. As of now, it looks like San Francisco +8 or +8.5 will be a popular play in basic strategy teasers. (Some Super Bowl rematch! The teams are a combined 2-8.)
NEW ENGLAND AT INDIANAPOLIS: New England has been very heavily bet all week. An opener of Patriots -7 is all the way up to -9 with little headwind. The math guys are getting a projected blowout, as they did last week with Patriots/Cowboys. Early public bettors are going to keep investing in Brady too. We can assume that the “information” guys aren’t getting any scoops about Andrew Luck returning in great health. The Pats couldn’t possibly be -9 if Luck was healthy! Also worth remembering here that sportsbooks wouldn’t want to fall back to 8.5 even if there was Colts money because that would invite basic strategy teasers featuring New England at -2.5. Sportsbooks learned a few years ago that they need to “play defense” against potential teaser overloads.
NY GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA: Some support for the Eagles at the opener of -4.5. Some stores are showing -5 now. We’re not near any key numbers…and there isn’t any reason to jump in early here. Wouldn’t be shocked if action ultimately splits out. Philly’s big win over New Orleans last week will invite some favorite money to come in. But, Eli Manning gets respect as a dog. And, there are still lingering doubts about whether Sam Bradford’s offense can pull away from good teams if they’re not getting turnover breaks. The early total of 49 may be influenced by game day weather. So, pay attention to the forecast.
My top NFL plays are always 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. I have a big weekend planned in college football, the baseball playoffs, and the NFL. (Early money in Game One of the NLCS was on the Cubs as a slight road dog in New York. That moneyline should continue drifting to pick-em considering the excitement about the Cubbies from sharps and squares here in Las Vegas. I know guys who have been waiting for the Cubs to play in a World Series since Harry Carey’s WGN days back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s!)
Thanks for reading. My next report will be Tuesday when we update the baseball scenarios and talk about odds to win the Super Bowl. Have a great weekend!
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