Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM
It will be interesting to monitor NFL betting action this weekend. We have one of the least appealing schedules EVER because of how the byes fell this week. Three different 6-0 teams are off! Green Bay, Denver, and Cincinnati are all sitting out, as well as Chicago. Will squares cut way back because there aren’t many games to get their juices flowing? Or, will we suddenly see bigger handles than you’d expect for matchups like Houston/Miami or Tampa Bay/Washington because NFL is KING and the public has to bet no matter who’s playing?
There are a few high profile games. Maybe that will be enough to keep things business as usual. Let’s get to work. Games are presented in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules…
BUFFALO VS. JACKSONVILLE (in London, England): Buffalo opened at -6, but has been dropping through the week because of injuries. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is out again. E.J. Manuel will get the start. The Wise Guys are much less enamored of Manuel. I wouldn’t read that move in any sort of “pro-Jacksonville” way. Sharps have soured on the Jaguars after some early season enthusiasm. Poor result last week vs. Houston. The Over/Under is down from 42.5 to 41 because of Buffalo’s offensive injuries. I’ll only mention totals in the spots that have moved at least a point.
CLEVELAND AT ST. LOUIS: St. Louis was bet up from an opener of -5.5 to -6.5. This is a very difficult schedule spot for the visiting Browns. They’re coming off back-to-back overtime games while St. Louis just had a bye. So, “situational” sharps see this as a game that could blow up in favor of the hosts. But, Wise Guys who place more weight on stats and Power Ratings would definitely consider the Browns at +7…and might settle for +6.5 if that’s the highest it’s going to go on game day. If you look at the line, St. Louis isn’t seen as “this” much better than the Browns when both teams are fresh. Bettors have to determine how big an adjustment to make (if any) for the host’s rest advantage.
PITTSBURGH AT KANSAS CITY: No line up on the board as I write this because Landry Jones will probably be starting for the Steelers. Oddsmakers want to make sure that’s certain before risking any exposure. Ben Roethlisberger is progressing in his recovery from injury. But, his actions this week don’t look like a surprise return is in the cards just yet. Once a number goes up…first moves will tell you what the sharps are thinking.
HOUSTON AT MIAMI: This one has come down from an opener of -5.5 to -4.5. Oddsmakers tried to estimate how big enthusiasm would be for the Dolphins after last week’s great performance under the new coaches. Sharps think they overshot the mark. This may be where we sit through the weekend because no key numbers are involved…and it’s not expected to be a high profile matchup in media coverage. The Over/Under is up from 43 to 45 because Miami played a more wide open game last week in Tennessee than what we had seen earlier. Plus, Houston’s offense has been getting some things done with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. The fact that sharps hit both Houston and the Over is a reflection of that developing dynamic.
NY JETS AT NEW ENGLAND: Clear support for the Jets at the opener of +9.5. It’s telling that sharps didn’t drive that a half point higher to the key number of 10. Instead, instead money on the dog! Now seeing Jets +8 everywhere. The public may come in on New England over the weekend…though Jets backers are having success this year and may hold the line in check. If that number stays on the eight, the Patriots will be very popular in two-team teasers that let you move the line six points. Crossing both the 3 and the 7 in one fell swoop is a hallmark of basic strategy teasers. The total is down from 49 to 48 because of respect for New York’s defense.
MINNESOTA AT DETROIT: Minnesota has been bet up from -1 to -2. The market soured on Detroit long ago…as both the offense and defense are playing well below norms. Even in a win over the Bears last week, the Lions couldn’t cover because they turned the ball over three times and allowed 444 total yards. Detroit will get a look in two-team teasers though if the line is sitting in the +1.5, +2, +2.5 range on game day. Sharps will push that up to +7.5, +8, or +8.5 in two-teamers.
ATLANTA AT TENNESSEE: Atlanta opened at -5.5. The line has come down a bit as the market tries to gauge the status of Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota. He was hit low last week in the Miami game. Moves you see this weekend will likely be tied to news about his status, and sharp evaluations of the backup QB if Mariota can’t go. The opening total is down from 48 to 47 or 46.5.
TAMPA BAY AT WASHINGTON: Looks like we have a tug-of-war shaping up in this one. Washington opened at -4, which fell immediately because of interest in improving Jameis Winston and the fresh Bucs off a bye. Tampa Bay +3.5 gets support, but Washington money comes in at -3. This isn’t likely to be a heavily bet game by the public (a few matchups like that this week since those three undefeated powers are sitting out). So, we’re likely to see competing syndicates betting for value around the key number of three. Quants pounded the Under, with the opening total of 45.5 falling all the way to 42.5.
NEW ORLEANS AT INDIANAPOLIS: A lot of games opening within arm’s reach of five this week. An opener of Indianapolis -5 is down to -4.5 or -4 as I compile this report. Even though Andrew Luck is back, sharps still are down on the Colts! New Orleans is an awful road team. But, the Saints do have some extra preparation time off a Thursday nighter. Indy had that high energy game with the Patriots Sunday night. Another spot where the situational guys felt they had to step in for value even with a shaky visitor.
OAKLAND AT SAN DIEGO: Another tweener line, as San Diego opened at -5.5. A lot of interest in the dog because this is a rivalry game, Oakland is coming off a bye, and San Diego’s defense can’t be trusted to play 60 good minutes. That opener of -5.5 is down to -4 with some stores testing -3.5. The Chargers would definitely get hit hard if the three comes into play. Sportsbooks aren’t likely to go there, and will be positioned to root for the hosts. This could be a heavily bet game by the day’s standards because it’s a late kick, and because Oakland has a strong local following in Nevada.
DALLAS AT NY GIANTS: Dallas is also coming in off a bye, and also received strong betting support at the opening line as a road dog in a divisional rivalry game. The Giants went up at -6…it’s now painted -3.5 everywhere. New York’s looked awful the last two weeks…getting blown out by Philadelphia and barely beating San Francisco. The fact that Matt Cassel will get the start for Dallas doesn’t hurt. Sharps hate Brandon Weeden, and think Cassel has the better chance to compete this week.
PHILADELPHIA AT CAROLINA: An opener of Carolina -3.5 has come down to a solid -3. You regulars know that’s a big half point because there wasn’t any buyback on the host. Philadelphia’s defense has been very impressive this season…and largely keyed the blowout win this past Monday. The defensive dog made sense to sharps off Philly’s recent form, even with Carolina sitting at 5-0 in the standings. The total has dropped from 47 to 45.5 because quants are getting lower projections in Eagles games. The offense is struggling while the defense is playing great.
BALTIMORE AT ARIZONA: Big move here off an opener of Arizona -7 up to -8 and beyond. Some stores are showing -8.5. Looks like nine is the number that starts generating Baltimore interest. Horrible schedule spot for the Ravens…who have already played at Denver, Oakland, and San Francisco. And, that loss to the Niners looks much worse now that SF wasn’t competitive Thursday on the same field with Seattle. Quants couldn’t believe they could get Arizona -7 on the opener. Note that Arizona -2 or 2.5 in teasers will be a popular play. And, sharp teaser plays LOVE Monday night qualifiers because they can tag them with games that go the following week. Arizona -2 or -2.5 could cause heavy sportsbook exposure over two separate weekends. The total is down from 49 to 48.
My top plays NFL plays can always be purchased 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. Don’t forget to ask about including the World Series with any football program.
Have a great weekend! My next sharps report will be on Tuesday…when I’ll talk about the World Series and NFL Super Bowl Futures. Let’s go win some money!
Be sure to follow:
Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters