Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, December 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM
Don’t forget that there are two SATURDAY games this week in the NFL. Both have playoff implications. Detroit must keep winning to have any chance to get an NFC Wildcard when they host Chicago. The nightcap between the Chargers and Chiefs is the battle for first place in the AFC West. I’ll start with those then go in Nevada Rotation order through the rest of the weekend. Here’s how sharps have been betting pro football this week.
Chicago at Detroit: The first openers up were around Detroit -7, but the dog was hit hard right away. Stragglers opened at Detroit -6. Now, we’re down to Detroit -5 or even -4.5 at some stores. The Lions aren’t seen as a blowout team. And, Chicago’s easy win at Cincinnati last Sunday impressed a few sharps. Wise Guys like the Bears at +5 or better, and are very happy if they got in at +6 or better. They don’t care about the “must-win” scenario for the host. Sharps like this dog.
LA Chargers at Kansas City: We’ve flipped favorites from the opener. Kansas City started out at -1, which would have seemed very low several weeks ago. The Chiefs were -3 when they played at the Chargers back in Week 3! The line has moved even further away from KC since. Right now, the Chargers are -1 as a road favorite. Many sharps are impressed with the all-around play of Los Angeles in recent weeks. Kansas City has been in a bad slump, but did beat Oakland last week. Sharps like the Chargers at pick-em or better.
Philadelphia at the NY Giants: An opener of Eagles -8 is down to -7.5. That’s still in the classic teaser window that lets you drop the favorite past both the 7 and the 3. Sharps will be hitting the Eagles hard in teasers at -1.5 or -2 if that stays available (as will the public). Looks like a 2-3 point line adjustment from Carson Wentz down to Nick Foles based on where this line would have settled if Wentz hadn’t torn a knee ligament. Old school sharps like the Giants at +8 as a divisional home dog facing a road favorite that’s playing its third straight road game. We’d likely see Eagles money come in at -7 because they need to keep winning while the Giants need to keep losing for the draft.
Green Bay at Carolina: This was kind of messy early in the week because it wasn’t known at first whether or not Aaron Rodgers would be cleared to play. Since he was cleared, we’ve had a tug-of-war between Green Bay +3 and Carolina -2.5. That could continue all weekend. This will be a heavily bet early Sunday kickoff because it’s so important. Sharps who think Rodgers will be rusty are very happy to lay -2.5. Sharps who think Carolina will be worn down from playing New Orleans and Minnesota in consecutive weeks are happy to take the field goal.
Cincinnati at Minnesota: Cincinnati’s offense has struggled vs. good defenses all season. Now they have to face a strong defense at a tough road site. The opener of Minnesota -10 has been bet up to -10.5 and -11. Old school sharps who take every double-digit dog are waiting to see what they can get. Quant guys who focus on matchups are in on the Vikings at -10.
Miami at Buffalo: Miami is getting some respect after upsetting New England this past Monday Night. An opener of Miami +4 is down to +3.5. Sharps and squares alike would hit Buffalo if the key number of -3 comes into play. That would surprise me. It’s hard for a bandwagon to build for a Florida team playing up north at a short price.
Houston at Jacksonville: The opener of Jacksonville -13 is down to -11. The Jags don’t have an offense that can be trusted to run up the score. Plus, whoever goes at quarterback for Houston will have the ability to hang close throughout, or score in garbage time to rally from 16 or 17 down. Support did dry up at +11. If the public hits this favorite on game day, which is a big question mark at this point, sharps would fade any move higher. Probably not a heavily bet game Sunday.
NY Jets at New Orleans: Bryce Petty will get the start for the Jets. New Orleans opened at -15, and has been bet up to -15.5 or -16 depending on the store. Jets money comes in at +16 (and hit any outlier stores that went higher). Old school sharps will take +17 or better if it comes into play before kickoff (and will settle for +16 if that’s the best they see). The public “might” hit this big favorite because the Saints are seen as a blowout team and New York just lost big in Denver.
Arizona at Washington: Washington opened at -6 despite coming off two very bad performances. Sharps hit Arizona pretty hard. We’re seeing Arizona +4 or +4.5 everywhere even though this visitor doesn’t have any playoff need. Frankly, a bad opener. Washington wasn’t playing well enough to deserve that. Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert is playing to save his career.
Baltimore at Cleveland: A high opener of Baltimore -9 has been bet down to -7 or -7.5 depending on the store. Sharps have been hitting Cleveland all season, and regretting it! But, the team should be trying because they have a two-game lead for the top draft pick with only three games left. Plus, it’s a divisional home dog of a TD or more. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s at tug-of-war this weekend between Baltimore -7 and Cleveland +7.5. If squares don’t want this favorite, we may just settle on the seven.
LA Rams at Seattle: Pretty big jump here, though not involving any key numbers. The Rams opened as a short road favorite. Seattle is now -2.5 in most shops. There’s some skepticism about the Rams because they played badly at Minnesota in their last big road game, then couldn’t beat Philadelphia last week at home. But, LA will be popular in teasers, as a move to +8.5 will cross both the 3 and the 7. Basically, sharps like Seattle at -1.5 or better on a strong home field, but the Rams at +7.5, +8, or +8.5 in six-point teasers.
New England at Pittsburgh: New England has been -3 all week, even with the loss at Miami. That’s a lot of respect considering this is a road game against a real Super Bowl threat. Would New England be -6 on a neutral field, or -8 to -9 at home? No way. But, at this price, “all you have to do is win the game,” and both sharps and squares like Brady in that situation. I do believe smart money will show on the dog over the weekend.
Tennessee at San Francisco: Sharps like Jimmy Garappolo. He’s 2-0 against the spread with straight up wins as a road dog both times. This opener of -1 was bet up to -2 even though San Francisco has nothing to play for and Tennessee is in a fight for the playoffs. Though, it did stop at two…it’s not like this line is being driven all the way up to -3. Sharps will use Tennessee in teasers at +8
Dallas at Oakland: Big move on Dallas, as sharps have really soured on Oakland. The Raiders looked awful vs. Kansas City last week…and sharps made KC a home dog to the Chargers. No surprise, in that light, that Dallas got the money here. An opener of pick-em is all the way up to Dallas -3. And, there hasn’t been much interest on the home dog even after the key number came into play. Tells you a lot about contempt for the recent form of the Raiders.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: An opener of -5 was bet up to -6. Atlanta should have a field day against this soft Tampa Bay defense. But, this is a divisional rivalry, and home team doesn’t have any reason to outright tank. I don’t think we’ll go higher unless the public takes it there on game day. Sharps would take this dog at +7 if it gets that high. Wise Guys who liked the Falcons got in at -5 and -5.5.
Big weekend with the bowls getting started and so much going on in the NFL. 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 with college basketball when you call.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back with you next Thursday to talk about more bowls and that night’s NFL game. Then, we’ll meet again on Friday to cover Christmas Weekend NFL.