Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 12:00 PM
The Dallas Cowboys started off Week 13 of the 2017 season with a surprisingly easy 38-14 win over Washington Thursday night. Sharps took a loss on that one after driving the visitor to road favorite status through the week. The Wise Guys don’t win them all, but they win more than they lose. Let’s see how professional bettors have been attacking the rest of the NFL card.
Detroit at Baltimore: The only action here has been on the Over/Under. Baltimore opened at -3 on the team side, and is still sitting there. Sharps would fade any move off the key number. The total opened at 41, but is now up to 43 or 43.5 depending on the store. That tells you the weather is going to be nice…and that the quants may be losing some respect for both defenses.
San Francisco at Chicago: Looks like a tug-of-war will stay in play through the weekend between Chicago -3 and San Francisco +3.5. You probably know that Jimmy Garappolo will get the start for San Francisco. Sharps who like him are happy to get the hook. He’s considered at least a three-point upgrade from C.J. Beathard. The Niners are hoping he’s more than that in terms of their future hopes! But, Chicago does bring in some sharp and square action when the line is at -3. That’s been the case since Garappolo was confirmed as the starter. Hard to see why it wouldn’t stay that way until kickoff.
Minnesota at Atlanta: Could be a great game and a playoff preview. Though it would be in Minnesota if these teams met again in January. We’ve been sitting on the key number of three all week. That means the smartest influences in the market see these teams as dead even. Home field advantage is worth three by itself. (Obviously, that means the market sees Detroit and Baltimore as even too, just a few points further down the scale).
New England at Buffalo: An opener of New England -9 has been bet down to Buffalo +8.5 or +8. Tyrod Taylor won on the road at Kansas City last week, so market respect has returned to the Bills. Note that New England -2 or -2.5 will be a popular choice in two-team teasers where you get to move the line six points if this number holds. Tough spot for sports books. Buffalo +9 would keep getting hit hard by sharps, but so will New England in teasers. The line has to lock in somewhere.
Denver at Miami: Two bad teams. Similar situation here to Washington/Dallas is that the favorite has flipped from the home team to the visitor. Denver is now -1.5 after opening +1. It’s not that sharps love Denver…but they are so down on Miami that many syndicates still had gradings on the Broncos at +1 or pick-em. This won’t be a heavily bet game by the public.
Houston at Tennessee: Another tug-of-war that started early. Tennessee opened at -6.5, and was bet to -7. But, sharps hit Houston +7 hard whenever they see it, impressed by what was mostly a competitive loss at Baltimore this past Monday night. Houston won stats but lost turnovers. Some syndicates don’t trust Tom Savage on the road, so they’ll lay the 6.5. That MNF game at Baltimore ended up being a 23-16 decision. Not that big a difference right now between the way Baltimore and Tennessee are perceived in the marketplace.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville: Jacksonville opened at -9.5, which is very high for a team that doesn’t have much of an offense. But, the defense is fantastic and capable of setting up very cheap points. Not exactly a tug-of-war here because it’s not going to be an actively bet game and you can’t really trust either team in this price range. Generally speaking, sharps will like Indianapolis at +10. Only those that weight defense very heavily would think about the Jags at -9 or -9.5.
Tampa Bay at Green Bay: Green Bay has been pushed from a home dog on the earliest openers to a home favorite of -2 or -2.5. The team looked much better last Sunday Night at Pittsburgh, though some of that may have just been Pittsburgh coasting. A few “bad” teams have played Pittsburgh close, but then they were still bad afterward! I don’t expect the line to get all the way to Green Bay -3. If it does, sharps would hit the Bucs hard. Tampa Bay will already be popular in teasers, moving +2 or +2.5 up to +8 or +8.5 past the key numbers of three and seven.
Kansas City at NY Jets: The Chiefs have been burning money lately. An opener of -5 is down to -3.5. Kansas City just played on this field recently against the Giants, and couldn’t even win straight up against a team worse than the Jets! We might get all the way down to a field goal. But, value-minded sharps and the public would likely hit KC hard on the key number. For now, the sharps are in on New York at +4 or better.
Carolina at New Orleans: The Saints opened at -4. They’re either still there or at -4.5. depending on the store. This is a dead zone between the key numbers of 3 and 7 that limits value-minded betting. Four (or five) isn’t as common a landing spot. The market sees the Saints as about 1-2 points better on a neutral field than Carolina. I don’t think sharps will get involved heavily unless they can get +5. The public is less likely to lay points with the Saints after they just lost to the Rams, and were lucky to beat Washington.
Cleveland at LA Chargers: The only double digit spread this week (at the moment), as the Chargers opened at -13 and were bet up to -14. I would expect the Wise Guys to come in on Cleveland at that number. But, they keep backing the Browns every week and regretting it. Maybe it will take +14.5 this week. Will the public lay this many points with Philip Rivers? Normally, I’d say know. There was a big TV audience for the Chargers blowing out Dallas, though. We’ll see.
LA Rams at Arizona: We’ve been sitting on Rams -7 all week. Sharps would fade any move off the seven caused by public betting action. Maybe we’ll see a tug-of-war between the Rams -7 and Arizona +7.5 if squares win some of the early games and try to re-invest in late day favorites.
NY Giants at Oakland: New York announced earlier this week that Geno Smith would get the start over Eli Manning. That’s caused some Oakland money to come in, lifting the line from Raiders -7 to -8 or -8.5. This offense is so short-handed that there’s not much Power Rating difference between Manning and Smith. It would have been about a field goal, I think, if the team had healthy receivers. Sharps aren’t looking to lay points with Oakland’s soft defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants got some game-day money from the Wise Guys. They’re just waiting around to see if the line goes any higher.
Philadelphia at Seattle: Big jump from the opener, as Philadelphia rose from -3 to -5.5 or -6. Laying three points at this site for a visitor is already a tremendous sign of market respect. Tells you a lot about how high on the Eagles many syndicates are (and how down on the Seahawks they’ve become). Wise Guy money does come in on Seattle at +6. That could set up a war between now and the Sunday Night kickoff between Philly -5.5 and Seattle +6.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: An opener of Pittsburgh -5.5 has come down, after a short visit to six for awhile. We’re now seeing Cincinnati +5, or even +4.5 in some spots. Old school guys like divisional home underdogs, and Monday Night home underdogs. The math guys are having some trouble with the Steelers because the team plays worse than they should vs. losing opponents, but better than they should vs. top competition. Pricewise, we’re in a dead zone between key numbers. If the public wins big with favorites on Sunday (which can’t keep happening forever), they’d probably come in on Pittsburgh with some of that extra cash. That could set up a tug-of-war with the dog lovers. If not, we’ll probably stay where we are.
I have a few teams circled for serious play myself on this weekend’s NFL card. 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. You regulars know that college basketball is my favorite sport to handicap and bet. There’s plenty of basketball to supplement your football investments.
Thanks for reading. See you again next week.