Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 1:00 PM
A wild start to the NFL week with that 41-39 thriller featuring the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers Thursday night. Let’s see how sharps have been betting the rest of the card. As always, games are presented in Nevada Rotation order.
Baltimore vs. Jacksonville (in London): Remember that this is a neutral site game. Baltimore isn’t laying -3.5 or -4 “on the road.” All stores are showing those two numbers. I’d say that dog lovers are happy to take the plus 4. The public may like the Ravens as we get closer to kickoff because of their 2-0 start, and because Jacksonville looked so bad vs. Tennessee last week. The four isn’t really a tug-of-war number most weeks. It might work out that way here if squares decide they want the favorite in Sunday morning football.
Cleveland at Indianapolis: Hard to imagine the Browns as a road favorite given their form of the past few seasons. They opened at -2.5 here, and were bet down to -1.5. Sharps can’t imagine that either! They didn’t expect the public to push this favorite toward the key number of three. Those who liked the home dog took what they could get. At that price, Indy +7.5 will be popular in two-team teasers because the six-point move crosses both the 3 and the 7. Though, sharps are aware that lower rung quarterbacks like Jacoby Brissett can be dicey in those spots because of implosion potential.
Pittsburgh at Chicago: The opener of Pittsburgh -8 is down to -7.5. Sharps who bet Chicago as a home dog vs. Atlanta back in Week 1 were rewarded…as were sharps who faded Pittsburgh by betting Cleveland as a home dog. It was a lot of the same guys! That contingency will be betting the Bears for value. Though, if the line stays at -7.5, then Pittsburgh -1.5 will be popular in sharp teasers. It will be interesting to see if the public lays the big chalk here, or passes at the high price.
Miami at NY Jets: We’ve been a pretty solid Miami -6 all week. I would expect sharps to fade any public move off that number. It’s not quite as important as seven, but that’s a minor key number that could become more important with more missed extra points. Sharps who thought they could bet the Jets for value are 0-2 so far this season. Will this be a replay of what happened with the Cleveland Browns last year? Sharps wanted no part of Miami at this price. They’ll take the hook if offered on the dog.
Denver at Buffalo: Big early move here on Denver from -1 up to -3. Basically, any square who watched Denver dominate Dallas last week is expecting the Broncos to win this one easily. I wouldn’t be surprised if the public drives the number up to -3.5 or more before kickoff. Sharps will wait to see what they can get, and will step in against the favorite in this letdown spot. Don’t be surprised if there’s a tug-of-war between Denver -3 and Buffalo +3.5 Sunday morning.
Houston at New England: This line continues to rise, as an opener of New England -12.5 is now up to -14 in many spots. I think a solid +14 will bring in dog lovers, particularly old-school types who take double digits whenever offered. New England made the public rich last year…and then was a big winner on New Orleans last Sunday as well. We’ll see how much the public loves New England before kickoff. Probably a tug-of-war coming up. Not sure if that will be at -13.5 and +14, or -14 and +14.5.
New Orleans at Carolina: Carolina opened at -6. The offense has struggled this season, and is now dealing with multiple injuries…so nobody wanted a part of the Panthers at that price. Some stores are testing Saints +5.5 because most of the money so far has been on the dog. Sharps playing this game want the dog. But, they know the Saints are 0-2 straight up and ATS out of the gate…and probably won’t invest heavily in this horrible defense. So far, dog or pass for sharps. (Note that some systems players will be looking at all the 0-2 teams as underdogs this week.)
Tampa Bay at Minnesota: The market has been waiting for word on Sam Bradford. Some stores put up soft openers (low limits) on Minnesota -2. The Wise Guys won’t invest until they know who’s going to play quarterback. A lot of sharps have their eye on Tampa Bay this season as a team to watch. They might take the Bucs cheap vs. Case Keenum, or getting at least a field goal against Bradford.
Atlanta at Detroit: Atlanta’s been a very solid three all week. Sharps would fade any move off the key number. It’s probably a pass for most at this line. Though, generally speaking, more sharp syndicates emphasize underdogs than favorites. Would have been easier for squares to push the line higher on Atlanta if Detroit hadn’t won so easily Monday in New York.
NY Giants at Philadelphia: We’ve been at a solid six all week, which is a testament to how far the Giants have fallen in Power Ratings just two games into the season. Back in August, this was expected to be about -2.5 or -3. Sharps will fade any move off the key number. They’re also waiting to see if Odell Beckham Jr. is moving better in practice. If he’s closer to 100% health, it’s easier to make a case for an underdog of this size in a must-win situation.
Seattle at Tennessee: Tennessee opened at -1.5, and has been bet up to -2.5. We could very easily see the three tested because Seattle’s offense looks even worse now that San Francisco’s defense was lit up by the Rams. Think about it. Seattle couldn’t score a TD at Green Bay, then the Packers got run over by Atlanta. Seattle couldn’t score a TD until the final moments vs. San Francisco, only to see the Rams light up the scoreboard. Sharps who liked Tennessee initially got their money in early. I’ll be very interested to watch the market dynamics here on game day. Seattle plus 8.5 will be a logical choice for two-team teaser players.
Kansas City at LA Chargers: An opener of Kansas City -3.5 is down to a solid three. The public may be all over the Chiefs Sunday because they’ve played so well, and because there’s a perception the Chargers don’t have much of a home field advantage at their new mini-stadium. Sharps have already shown they’ll take the home dog +3.5 in this divisional rivalry. I’m anticipating a tug-of-war Sunday between KC -3 and the Chargers +3.5.
Cincinnati at Green Bay: The Packers opened at -9. Stores are either still on the 9 or testing -8.5 because of limited betting interest so far. Green Bay’s defense is capable of letting opponents in the back door. Cincinnati’s in a “must show up” situation after a 0-2 start. Many sharps like betting 0-2 teams in Week 3 on the assumption that the market is overreacting to bad starts. That will put some Wise Guys on this dog.
Oakland at Washington: The opener of Oakland -3.5 is down to a solid -3. Could be a fun wide-open game, because Washington often plays that way and the Raiders are well suited to pile up points. Awkward travel spot for Oakland, who just played out East in Tennessee two weeks ago, before their home opener vs. the Jets. This being a night game should help get them re-acclimated. That, and Washington’s in the same situation after visiting Los Angeles last Sunday. Sharps will probably fade any move off the three. This will be a heavily bet game in Nevada because the Raiders are involved. That would have been true even if they hadn’t announced a move to Las Vegas in the near future.
Dallas at Arizona: I’m seeing both Dallas -3 and -3.5, which suggests a tug-of-war all the way up until kickoff. The public knows Arizona has been playing horribly, and wants to bet the Cowboys in a bounce-back spot. All the sharps who thought Dallas would fall back to earth this season would love getting the hook with a home dog they thought had the talent to make a Wildcard run. Like the Giants, Arizona has fallen a few points in some Power Ratings assessments.
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Thanks for reading. Back again next Thursday for the next sharps report.