Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 5:00 PM
Week 13 started off Thursday night with a miraculous come-from-behind victory for the Green Bay Packers over the Detroit Lions. On the game clock…the Packers never led…nor were ever covering! Yet they won and covered thanks to a Hail Mary touchdown pass on an untimed play after regulation time hand ended (thanks to a defensive penalty). That sets up a Sunday and Monday where more playoff contenders will be doing whatever it takes to stay in the championship chase.
Let’s get to it. Games are listed in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
SAN FRANCISCO AT CHICAGO: Not much action yet on the opener of Chicago -7. More Bears money has been coming in than Niners money…so a few stores are testing Chicago -7.5. Very tough to bet SF on the road this season, and they’re coming off a tight divisional game. Chicago is in good form of late, but is very untested as favorites of this size. Might see a tug-of-war shaping up on game day if sharps do nibble at the dog plus the hook. The Over/Under is up from 42 to 43.5 because weather will be unseasonably nice. I’ll only mention totals in games that move at least a point off the opener.
CINCINNATI AT CLEVELAND: This one has risen betweem key numbers…as the opener of Cincinnati -7.5 is up to -9.5. That’s actually not as big a move as it might seem because 8 and 9 are relatively rare final victory margins. But, the move away from the seven tells you how much skepticism there is about the Browns right now. Home dog money probably would come in at +10 if the number gets that high by kickoff.
JACKSONVILLE AT TENNESSEE: Little interest so far in what will likely be a very lightly bet game. Tennessee opened at -2. We’re painted at -2.5 right now. It’s assumed sharp money would come in hard on Jacksonville +3 if the key number came into play. The most likely scenario here is limited betting on the team side, but a lot of sharp interest in taking Jacksonville +8.5 in two-team teasers because the six-point move would cross both the 3 and the 7.
HOUSTON AT BUFFALO: This has turned into a very big game because Houston has surged into the AFC South race while Buffalo remains a strong Wildcard contender out of the AFC East. The opening line of Buffalo -3 is still solid. Sharps would fade any public move off the three between now and kickoff. We may not see much betting in this high profile game because these aren’t really “public” teams, and sharps consider three the right number.
BALTIMORE AT MIAMI: Miami opened at -3.5, and moved up to -4 in early Wise Guy betting. That’s only half a point…but it’s a telling half because the move was away from the key number of three. Sharps didn’t want the dog even with the hook. Both teams are out of the playoff picture unless one gets hot in this last month. Probably another lightly bet game in the early Sunday window. Baltimore’s coming in on a short week after winning at the last second Monday in Cleveland. (Two crazy finishes Monday and Thursday!)
CAROLINA AT NEW ORLEANS: Everyone’s wondering when Carolina is finally going to have an off-week. Sharps liked them at the opener of -6, driving the line up to the key number of -7. Tough to be flat when you have extra rest and preparation time to face an opponent with a really bad defense! Wise Guys who faded Carolina on Thanksgiving regretted that fairly quickly. Few shot takers on the dog showing up yet here. If the public drives the line to -7.5 on game day, that might bring out some dog players.
SEATTLE AT MINNESOTA: One of the biggest games of the day…in what will probably be the heaviest bet of the early starts. Seattle opened at pick-em. The line is now Seahawks -2 as there’s doubt from Wise Guys about Minnesota’s ability to win a big home game. The Vikings were embarrassed by Green Bay here a couple of weeks ago…and Green Bay hasn’t looked very good in the six weeks surrounding that result. If the line stays up on the two, Minnesota +8 will be a popular sharp choice in two-team teasers. Not much to talk about on totals yet. This opener of 41 is up to 42, again because weather is going to be surprisingly nice in the Midwest for a December Sunday.
ARIZONA AT ST. LOUIS: Arizona opened at -6. That’s come down a half a point to St. Louis +5.5 because there is still sharp respect for the Rams defense. This is a good matchup for the dog, as you saw in the first meeting. That was as road shocker for the Rams…and one of the few shaky outings this year for Carson Palmer. Big move, in context for the week, on the Over/Under in this one. An opener of 44.5 is down to 43 because of respect for that Rams defense.
ATLANTA AT TAMPA BAY: Not much betting interest yet in what’s likely to be another low profile game. Atlanta’s fallen off the map during their recent slide. Tampa Bay is inconsistent, with their balloon losing air in a bad loss at Indianapolis last week. Tampa Bay opened at -1. If the public pushes the game to -1.5 or -2, then Atlanta (+) is going to show up in a lot of sharp teasers. The opening total of 45 was bet up to 46 by the quants.
NY JETS VS. NY GIANTS: Big move here on the Jets as the opener of pick-em is now Jets -2. Remember this is a neutral site game because both teams play their home games in the same stadium. You can deduce that sharps think the Jets are the better of the two teams because they took out pick-em and -1 fairly quickly. This game will see a bunch of New York money make its way to Vegas. Though, it’s a relatively low interest game for the rest of the country.
DENVER AT SAN DIEGO: Denver opened at -4.5, but has been bet down a tick or two because San Diego played so well last week at Jacksonville. A lot of old school guys like divisional home underdogs anyway. Here we have an inexperienced road quarterback on the field too. Brock Osweiler did impress in the win over New England last Sunday. Can he keep it going against away from home against a divisional rival? Sharps saw value on SD at +4.5 and +4.
KANSAS CITY AT OAKLAND: We’re fairly frozen here on Kansas City -3 and 44. Some stores are testing 44.5 on the total. This one could have a fairly big handle because it’s a later start, and Raiders money spends aggressively in Nevada when the team is doing well. That win at Tennessee last week may inspire locals to play the Raiders as a dog here. Sharps would fade any move off the three. Enough syndicates have been making hay with KC lately that we may see a tug-of-war developing during the afternoon Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA AT NEW ENGLAND: New England opened at -9.5. We’ve seen mixed action so far. I do know some syndicates are hoping to get Philadelphia at +10. Will that ever become available? If the public bets New England to bounce back off the Sunday night loss….then we’ll have a tug-of-war between sharps and squares at the ten (or higher). With the Gronkowski scare, public money may be less likely to come in. The opening total of 48 is up to 49 in spots…again because weather won’t be hurting offenses this weekend.
INDIANAPOLIS AT PITTSBURGH: Big move here is on the total…as the opener of 47 has been bet up to 49 because of the likelihood for a shootout. Pittsburgh played that high scoring game in Seattle last week, and had one not too long ago at home vs. Oakland as well. The team side line is a fairly solid Pittsburgh -7, though some stores are looking at -7.5 to see if that brings in Colts money. Plenty of time for stories to develop in this Sunday night attraction.
DALLAS AT WASHINGTON: Even though Dallas looked horrible on Thanksgiving…and then lost Tony Romo for the season…sharps took them as a dog here at the opening line of +5. Washington just isn’t seen as a team you can trust as a favorite, even if they currently lead the NFC East. We’re seeing a solid Washington -4 everywhere right now. The public is much less likely to lay points with this favorite than most other teams in a Monday Nighter. Will they take shorthanded Dallas? I’ll be very interested to see what game day action looks like. Everybody wants to bet the Monday Nighter…but it could prove tough for the public to pull the trigger on either side.
I’m ready for a big weekend. I hope you’ll join me on Championship Saturday in the colleges and then for the rest of lucky Week 13 in the NFL. My BEST BETS in all sports can be purchased 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 before the first games get started Saturday.
Back with you on Tuesday with an update on NFL Futures pricing for the Super Bowl…plus any early market news in college football’s Final Four. The bowls will be here before you know it…so it’s going to be a very busy December. Thanks for reading!
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