Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 5:00 PM
Some very interesting games in the NFL this week…including the much-anticipated Sunday nighter featuring the NFC Super Bowl favorites Green Bay visiting Denver. Peyton Manning is almost never a home underdog! As always, I’ve listed everything in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedule. Note that Buffalo, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, and Washington all have byes this week. Let’s see how sharps have been betting so far, and what it means for the weekend.
DETROIT AT KANSAS CITY (in London, England): The NFL had hoped this would be a matchup of good teams playing in London. Both had Wildcard hopes entering the season. Instead, it’s 1-6 Detroit facing 2-5 Kansas City. Sharps see the Chiefs as the much superior team. That’s why the opener of KC -3.5 has stayed above the key number of three. No interest in the dog. Some stores are testing the four. The Over/Under has dropped two points from 47 down to 45. That might be due to turf conditions. Last week’s game had so many cheap points that it hid relatively generic stats in the Buffalo/Jacksonville shootout. From this point forward, I’ll only mention Over/Unders in games that have moved at least a point.
MINNESOTA AT CHICAGO: We’re seeing either Minnesota -1 or pick-em in most spots. Chicago is coming off a bye week…something that carries enough respect that it would slow down any Vikings interest. But, Minnesota is much more of a sharp darling than the Bears are this season. Might end up being a tug-of-war around pick-em between groups who think the bye week means a lot, and those who don’t. This rivalry game involving a Chicago team will likely be a good early Sunday betting attraction.
TAMPA BAY AT ATLANTA: An opener of Atlanta -7.5 has been bet down to -7 in most stores. But, Atlanta money does come in on the key number of seven. That likely signals a tug-of-war over the weekend around the seven. Tampa Bay covered at Washington last week, though they eventually blew the straight up win. If Jameis Winston can keep avoiding turnovers, the Bucs are going to cover a lot more spreads. I’ve talked to a few previously skeptical sharps who have changed their opinions about his potential.
NY GIANTS AT NEW ORLEANS: An opener of New Orleans -3.5 has mostly stood pat…though some stores are testing the key number of three because of Giants interest. The Saints often get more than three points of value on their home field…which makes this one tricky. This isn’t a classic Saints team…but they are playing better of late. Likely another tug-of-war around the key number. The public loves betting Drew Brees at home at low prices. Sharps look like they’ll take the Giants above the three.
SAN FRANCISCO AT ST. LOUIS: The Rams opened at -7.5. Instead of seeing a move toward the key number (as in the games we’ve just discussed), the game moved away to sit on -8. Nobody wanted the Niners at +7.5. And, there hasn’t been much resistance to the eight. Sharps are back to hating the Niners after covers vs. NYG and Baltimore might have promised a turnaround. St. Louis -2 will be a popular choice in two-team teasers if the line stays in this range, as “basic strategy” will have sharps using the six-point move to drop down below the three. With so many games moving toward a key number this week…the fact that it didn’t here tells you a lot about the road dog.
ARIZONA AT CLEVELAND: Arizona opened at a hefty -5 considering this is a road game after a Monday Nighter. Plus, Arizona’s been travelling north and east a lot this season. Sharps still see them as an offensive juggernaut…and are very skeptical that Cleveland can play well with their current quarterback situation. The number is up to -6 in many stores…where some dog interest starts to show. Just remember that a line in this range is saying that Arizona would be around -8 or -9 on a neutral field, and a double digit favorite at home. That’s how little sharps think of Johnny Football!
CINCINNATI AT PITTSBURGH: It look promising that Ben Roethlisberger will return to the lineup for Pittsburgh. The market has settled at Steelers -1 based on that development. They would have been home underdogs to undefeated Cincinnati off a bye with either Michael Vick or Landry Jones at quarterback. The game should have a playoff feel to it because the Steelers were playing at a high level before Big Ben’s injury. My contacts are telling me sharps are waiting to get a better feel for Roethlisberger’s health before stepping in. If he looks good-to-go in late week practices, I would expect the Wise Guys to push this game in the direction of the key number. (Remember that at +1.5, +2, or +2.5, Cincinnati becomes a basis strategy teaser team you can move up above the seven).
SAN DIEGO AT BALTIMORE: Baltimore opened at -4.5….which seems odd for a team that’s only 1-6 on the year! San Diego’s really beat up…and looked awful until garbage time vs. Oakland last week. Sharp money has come in on the dog because the favorite has so many question marks. I’m now seeing 3 or 3.5, suggesting a tug-of-war on game day between Baltimore money at -3, and San Diego money at +3.5. You’ll notice I’m not talking much about totals so far. Sharps haven’t been betting them! We’re well into the season now, so oddsmakers are pretty much in synch with the quants. There’s little chance for bad weather this weekend, though rain might come into play here in Chargers/Ravens. Keep an eye on that Sunday morning.
TENNESSEE AT HOUSTON: No line yet pending health-related stories. It will likely be the least bet game of the day in Vegas once a number does come up.
NY JETS AT OAKLAND: Anybody remember the Heidi game? You can bet the networks will be reviewing that story from the late 60’s. There haven’t been many memorable and important meetings between these teams since! Here the opener of Jets -1.5 was bet up to the key number of -3. It’s been holding steady there…which represents fairly strong support for NYJ. Both teams are coming off huge divisional battles last week. The Jets would have been a popular bet-against team had they upset the Pats.
SEATTLE AT DALLAS: Some similarities here to Arizona/Cleveland, in that a respected NFC West road favorite opened at -5 and was bet up because the home dog will be starting a quarterback that doesn’t get market respect. One difference here is that Seattle has extra rest off a Thursday nighter before a late-afternoon start, while Arizona is on short rest before a bad-body clock game. Most stores are showing -5.5 or -6. We may have a tug-of-war on game day because Cowboys money does come in on the six. The Over/Under is up from 40 to 41 after the Dallas offense did start to move the ball last week. In context, that feels like a big totals move because so few totals have been moving!
GREEN BAY AT DENVER: Very interesting story here. Green Bay got tremendous respect out of the gate…as an opener of pick-em was bet all the way up to -3. That’s amazing because Denver has a strong home field, and one of the best NFL defenses we’ve seen in years. A line of Packers -3 at this site means they’d be favored by -6 or -7 at a neutral site, and up around -9 or -10 at home! Can that be right? Sharps say it is because Aaron Rodgers seems unstoppable while Peyton Manning’s fading arm strength and accuracy continues to be a big concern. Some Denver money has started showing up…which may set up a tug-of-war between Green Bay -2.5 and Denver +3.5 in what’s shaping up as one the most heavily bet regular season games ever. The Over/Under has been bet up from 43 to 45.5 because of the general market impression that Rodgers is going to be able to put points on the board against this Broncos defense.
INDIANAPOLIS AT CAROLINA: An opening line of Carolina -6.5 has set up a likely tug-of-war between the host at that price and Indianapolis at +7 based on early betting. A lot of potential danger spots for sportsbooks this week if we have any pushes on key numbers! That would mean half of the equation would get their push and take a refund, while the other half would cash a winning ticket. A definite danger for sportsbooks all season long with such a condensed league.
You can always purchase my strongest NFL opinions right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about long term packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. November is shaping up as one of the most exciting football months in years…and I’ll be here in the thick of things making sure you get the best information.
See you Tuesday for my next NFL Futures report. It will be interesting to see what results in Green Bay/Denver, Cincinnati/Pittsburgh, and a few other games do to Super Bowl odds. Have a great weekend!
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