Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 7:00 AM
I’ve covered the Thursday and Saturday games of Week 16 in the NFL already. Let’s pick it up with the Sunday matchups. Here’s a look at how sharps are betting thus far in the penultimate week of NFL action. Games are listed in rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
NY GIANTS AT MINNESOTA: Don’t forget that this one has been time changed to prime time on NBC. The first game listed on the Sunday schedule is actually the last one that’s going to be played! Minnesota opened at -6.5. Sharps have been closely watching the news on Adrian Peterson’s ankle. He’s such a big factor for the Vikings that his “confirmed” health (if it ever gets confirmed in time) will strongly influence the sharps. Though, dog lovers might take flyers on the Giants at the key number of +7 even if Peterson is given a green light. Note that it’s going to be very cold for this one…with a high in the teens. See if game day weather influences Over/Under betting.
CHICAGO AT TAMPA BAY: Meaningless game. The opener of Tampa Bay -2.5 was bet up to the key number of three. Not much interest in the Bears yet for a buy back. Nothing recent from Chicago would inspire sharp money on them. This isn’t expected to be a heavily bet game. Not much happening yet on the Over/Under. I’ll only mention totals in games where we’ve seen a move of at least a point.
CAROLINA AT ATLANTA: This one’s drawing a lot of attention because Carolina is still undefeated, and the opposing divisional home underdog has revenge off a recent blowout loss. The opener of Carolina -7 has been bet down to Atlanta +6.5. More than a few sharps think this is the spot where Carolina could fall. If the public backs the undefeated favorite, we’ll see a tug-of-war just below the key number.
DALLAS AT BUFFALO: Another meaningless game. News that Kellen Moore would get the start at quarterback for Dallas inspired some Under money. The total is down from 44 to 42.5. A chance of rain and temperatures in the mid 40’s. Shouldn’t affect a quarterback who thrived in college ball at Boise State! That Buffalo defense sure could affect him though. Buffalo opened at -6.5. More Dallas money than Bills money so far…so it’s mostly Dallas +6 on the board right now.
JACKSONVILLE AT NEW ORLEANS: Everyone’s waiting for word on Drew Brees. He’s either going to play with a torn muscle in his foot…or he’s going to sit out. Nothing’s going to happen until his status is pinned down. This won’t be a heavily bet game when it goes up on the board since it’s meaningless for both teams. Sharps do have a number in mind for the backup…and will correct any misguided openers.
SAN FRANCISCO AT DETROIT: Big move here on Detroit from -7.5 to -10. Sharps were impressed with their effort in New Orleans this past Monday night. Plus, the Niners are just playing out the string with a bad, jet-lagged team. That’s obviously a big move to begin with. And, it moved AWAY from the key number of seven at the outset, which is even more telling. Of course, sharps loved Detroit against the Rams recently and took a big hit.
CLEVELAND AT KANSAS CITY: Interesting move here on the Browns. The opener of Kansas City -13 has been bet down to -11. If you’re only casually scoreboard watching of late, that might not make sense to you. But, if you read the boxscores, you know that Kansas City’s been winning with very ugly stats recently. Quants believe -11 is the better line once you account for that and the likelihood of poor weather. Looks like a rainy, windy day in the mid 30’s is on tap, making it harder for a favorite to win a blowout. The total is down from 44 to 42.5 on that weather report.
INDIANAPOLIS AT MIAMI: Miami has been bet up from -1 to -2.5. Andrew Luck is still out for the Colts…and they’ve been playing horribly without him. Basically, we have two of the worst teams in the NFL in terms of “recent form” squaring off here. Sharps would rather have the host at the cheap price. This won’t be a heavily bet game. Sharps playing “basic strategy” teasers will at least look at Indianapolis +8.5 because the six-point move would cross both the 3 and the 7. (Though, they may not have another game to pair it with!)
NEW ENGLAND AT NY JETS: The Patriots opened at -3. It takes a lot of money to move off the three in the NFL, as you regulars know. More New England money has been coming in on the key number…causing a few spots to test -3.5. This is likely to be the most heavily bet early kick on Sunday. It’s likely we’ll see a tug-of-war just above the key number. Though, all the squares who have been winning with New England lately may come in so hard before kickoff that the four comes into play. Sharps will fade public money on the favorite over the key number. Nothing happening on the total yet…but watch the weather here. Chance for rain. And, even middling winds can cause issues at this site.
HOUSTON AT TENNESSEE: Another spot where everyone’s waiting on quarterback news. Brian Hoyer is still waiting to be cleared for action after his concussion. Plus he has an ankle issue. As I write this, he’s questionable. If he can’t go, then Brandon Weeden gets the start. He did lead the Texans to a road win at Indy last week. Sharps have their numbers in mind and are waiting to see what comes up on the board this weekend.
GREEN BAY AT ARIZONA: This will be a heavily bet game because it’s the showcase matchup of the day AND has almost an exclusive TV window in the second session. Almost everyone in the country will be watching this game! Such a great matchup too, as a potential playoff preview. Nothing happening yet to push the game off the opener of Arizona -4.5. The quants aren’t that enamored of Green Bay lately because the offense is still struggling to move the ball. They’ve been fortunate to score easy points in recent covers vs. Dallas and Oakland. Arizona generally gets strong support at home…but sharps and squares a like took a bath with that approach when the hosted Minnesota. From what I’m hearing…we have different factions biding their time. Sharps liking Arizona are waiting to see if Packer money brings the four into play. Dog lovers are hoping they can get at least +5 before betting. Definitely a “market chess match” worth monitoring on game day. Quants have pushed the total up a point from 49.5 to 50.5.
ST. LOUIS AT SEATTLE: Dog and Under support in a divisional rivalry game that will probably be played in wet weather. Openers of Seattle -13.5 and 42 are down to -12.5 and 40.5. Note that St. Louis is also getting a boost from playing on a Thursday night. Extra rest for a revenge-minded team with a good defense. Sharps like it when they see that kind of combination. Squares may keep riding Seattle though, because they’ve been getting rich doing so! We might see a strong tug-of-war Sunday just because there are only two games scheduled for that late TV window.
PITTSBURGH AT BALTIMORE: Baltimore fell so hard vs. Kansas City last week that Pittsburgh opened -9.5 and got pushed up to -10. Hard to imagine for this series given its intensity in recent years. But, the Ravens are shorthanded, and just playing out the string. Pittsburgh must win to stay well-positioned for the Wildcard tie-breaker. Squares will pay a premium if they want to bet that “must-win” angle. Remember that this has been time-changed to an early kick.
CINCINNATI AT DENVER: Such a tough game to bet! Sharps have decided Under is the right way to go given A.J. McCarron getting the start for Cincinnati against Brock Osweiler. Tough to trust either quarterback to shine vs. a quality defense…and these are quality defenses. The opener of 42 is down to 40.5 Weather is in the mix as well because temperatures will be in the 30’s. Nothing happening yet on the team side opener of Denver -3.5. It’s at least telling that sharps didn’t take the hook with the dog right away. We can deduce, for now, that sharps don’t love the Bengals or the key number would have come into play quickly. The market may not make up its mind until game day.
You can purchase my pro football and college bowl BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 before the first games kick off Saturday or Sunday. Be sure to check on combination packages that include basketball. College hoops begins conference play very soon…and you know Richie B. will be all over that!
Back Monday as our busy schedule continues with more bowl coverage. Here’s how the week is shaping up…
Monday: A look at the SIX weekday bowls that are set for Monday and Tuesday (Military, Quick Lane, Armed Forces, Russell Athletic, Arizona, and Texas bowls)
Tuesday: An update on NFL Futures after Week 16 is in the books.
Wednesday: SEVEN college postseason games running Wednesday and Thursday…which are the Birmingham, Belk, Music City, Holiday, Chick-Fil-A, Orange, and Cotton Bowls. (The Orange and Cotton Bowls are the National Semifinals matching Oklahoma vs. Clemson and Alabama vs. Michigan State).
Thursday December 31: The New Year’s and post-New Year’s bash for January 1-2 featuring the Outback, Citrus, Fiesta, Rose, Sugar, TaxSlayer, Liberty, Alamo, and Cactus bowls
Saturday January 2: we close out the 2015 NFL regular season with a look at Week 17.
Hope you had a great Christmas! Thanks for reading. Best of luck to you in Week 16. I’ll see you again midday Monday.
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