Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, November 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM
I hope everyone stuffed themselves on Thanksgiving. I was thankful my NFL releases went 2-1, including a top play on the LA Chargers covering by three touchdowns in Dallas. Back today to look through the rest of the NFL weekend. My sharps reports will return next Thursday to discuss Championship Weekend in college football. Then the normal NFL report will run again on Friday.
Games are presented in official Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
Cleveland at Cincinnati: An opener of Cincinnati -9 has come down to -8.5. Nobody wants to lay this many points with the Bengals. But, Cincy does fall into the teaser window at that price…which will make them a popular option in two-teamers for both sharps (professional wagerers) and squares (the public). There are some sharps who think the Browns are getting too many points each week, and are going to keep betting them for value on that principal. Last week, Cleveland found a way to blow a cover in the final moments vs. Jacksonville.
Chicago at Philadelphia: An opener of Philadelphia -13 is up a tick to -13.5. Everyone who hit the Eagles hard last week in Dallas won big, so they might have enough support to bring -14 into play. Dog lovers are waiting to see if that happens before committing. All the old school guys will be on the Bears. Quants will occasionally get gradings on favorites this big if they have potent offenses. Those guys bet early (with some of the money they earned on the Eagles last Sunday night in Dallas).
Miami at New England: This was the highest opener of the year at New England -17. It’s come down a tick to Dolphins +16.5. The public usually doesn’t lay numbers this high in the NFL, even with a team like the Patriots. So, dog lovers came in right away since a key number was in play. We may not see much more action than this. Unlikely that any influences would “steam” Miami over the weekend. Maybe the public will push the game back to -17 Sunday morning.
Buffalo at Kansas City: We might have a tug-of-war shaping up between Buffalo +10 and Kansas City -9.5. Most sharps like the big dog, particularly with Tyrod Taylor returning to the starting lineup. The public hits the Chiefs whenever stores come down to -9.5. A month ago, this would have seemed like a big game. Buffalo has fallen so far in Power Ratings since then.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Similar situation here in terms of the price. Sharps liked Tampa Bay at the opener of +10. Atlanta gets support from the public on any moves to -9.5. Atlanta’s been playing better than Kansas City the last few weeks. Tampa Bay is still trying to compete with a backup quarterback and a surprisingly shaky defense.
Carolina at NY Jets: Carolina opened at -4. Some sharp groups and the public liked that price. We’re now seeing Carolina -4.5 or -5 everywhere. There is a contingency waiting to bet the fresh home underdog. The Jets have been bringing great effort every week. Old school guys LOVE home underdogs that bring effort. We’re not near any key numbers, nor the teaser window. So, I think we’ll stay in the 4-5 range all weekend. That dog money eventually has to come in.
Tennessee at Indianapolis: Another tug-of-war brewing between Tennessee -3 and Indianapolis +3.5. The public loves taking “playoff contenders” at cheap prices against lousy opponents. The Titans are irresistible to that mindset. Sharps like divisional home dogs who bring effort. They’re stepping in when the hook comes up on the board. This is similar to Carolina/NY Jets in terms of the playoff/non-playoff dynamic…but that line’s a bit higher because Carolina is very fresh coming off a bye and two home games.
Seattle at San Francisco: Very interesting situation here. Seattle opened at -7, and they’re facing a team with a 1-9 record that may be thinking about draft order for the summer. Yet, the line has come DOWN off the key number and stuck at SF +6.5. Why? It’s not because Jimmy Garappolo is going to start. The Niners announced they’re still going with C.J. Beathard. San Francisco is like Carolina in that they’re coming off a bye week and two home games. Plus, Seattle has a short week off a physically draining Monday Nighter vs. Atlanta. It’s been awhile since Seattle impressed with the eye test. The public doesn’t look to be interested in laying near a TD with them.
New Orleans at LA Rams: This is the biggest game of the weekend in the NFL. Both teams lead their divisions, and have a chance to go deep in the playoffs. We’ve been sitting on the Rams -2.5 all week. That signals a lot of respect for the Saints because no sharp influences liked the Rams enough to pull the game up to the key number. New Orleans will be a very popular sharp choice in two-team teasers. If the public takes this home favorite, then we’ll have a tug-of-war on game day between Rams -2.5 and Saints +3. Maybe we’ll just stick on 2.5 up until kickoff. I’m interested to see if any of the respected money that’s been hitting the market hard on certain playoff contenders makes any choices here.
Jacksonville at Arizona: Another one of these “road favorite is a playoff team and the home dog isn’t” games. Like Carolina/NYJ, we’re also in the dead zone between critical numbers. Jacksonville opened at -5, and is up to -5.5. Might not be a heavily bet game. Anyone who laid points with the Jags in Cleveland last week knows they had a miracle cover. No reason to try to get lucky on the road two weeks in a row. Arizona is a home dog only old school sharps could love. They’re waiting to see if they can get +6.
Denver at Oakland: Not much interest yet, which isn’t something I thought I’d be saying about a Broncos/Raiders game. Nobody wants to bet Oakland. Many made big money last week fading the Raiders down in Mexico. Denver’s looked awful for weeks. Actually, many of the same bettors who faded the Raiders against the Patriots faded the Broncos TWO weeks ago against the Patriots. Oakland opened at -5, and is still sitting there. It’s possible some dog interest is waiting to see if game day square money hits the favorite. I wouldn’t be shocked if some stores move the line just to see if that generates some interest. Sportsbooks would rather have a position with 11/10 in their favor than having a dead game on the board.
Green Bay at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh opened at -13.5, and was bet up to -14 by a small segment situational sharps who like having extra preparation time off a Thursday Nighter, and who know Brett Hundley is likely to be in over his head on the road against this defense. But, the Steelers have a habit of going half-speed vs. bad teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if dog lovers hit the Packers for value Sunday morning. If squares take the like to -14.5 or -15, then a few sharp syndicates would come in harder on the big dog.
Houston at Baltimore: Too bad Deshaun Watson got hurt. This would have been a great TV game if he were healthy. An opener of Baltimore -7 hasn’t moved much yet. Stores are generally seeing more interest on the Ravens. Some will raise the vigorish, others will test Baltimore -7.5. over the weekend. If we do settle at Baltimore -7.5. by early Sunday, the Ravens will go into a lot of teasers for this week, and carrying over to next week. Stores who don’t like sweating teasers will just stick at seven.
You can purchase my BEST BETS in all sports right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you ask about combination packages when you call. Hope you caught some of the great college basketball tournament action these past few days. This is a great time to handicap hoops!
Thanks for reading. Enjoy all those turkey sandwiches this weekend. See you again next Thursday.