Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, December 29, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Unfortunately, this is going to be a pretty boring NFL week for sports betting. Yes, a few games matter. But, many matchups feature teams who aren’t going to the playoffs, or are projected blowouts because a contender is facing a bad opponent. The general public will be much less involved than normal, particularly with the huge betting attractions on the board Saturday and Monday in college football. I’ll be brief in the games that don’t matter much and are also being left alone by the Wise Guys.
Cincinnati at Baltimore: The high opener of Baltimore -10 has come down to Cincinnati +9.5. Baltimore needs the win to get into the playoffs. Sharps assume that a divisional rival isn’t just going to lay down. Weather should also hurt scoring a bit, which makes that ten really high. Sharps bet the dog at +10 for value, but didn’t keep betting the Bengals at +9.5.
Green Bay at Detroit: Meaningless game. The opener of Detroit -7.5 has been bet down to Green Bay +6.5. It’s a divisional rivalry, so some sharps are expecting the dog to bring an effort. This is also a better spot for quarterback Brett Hundley because it’s not outdoors in frigid weather.
Buffalo at Miami: No move off the opener of Buffalo -2.5. The Bills need to win, but also need some help. It’s telling that the line has stayed under the key number of three even though Buffalo has “need” in this spot. The public might drive it higher before kickoff.
Carolina at Atlanta: Sharps and the public have been looking at Atlanta. The opener of Falcons -3 was bet off the key number to Atlanta -3.5. Many believe Atlanta was holding back a little last week because THIS was the game they needed to win to avoid missing the playoffs. Carolina is in the brackets, but does have an outside chance of improving its lot. The Over/Under has come down from 47 to 44.5 because quants got a grading below the market opener.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay: New Orleans is in the playoffs, but needs to win to clinch the division. Oddsmakers opened with Saints -7.5. Sharps thought that was too high for a divisional rivalry game. Tampa Bay played well last week at Carolina, and probably won’t lay down at home against another rival. That’s the sharp mindset anyway. Now seeing Tampa Bay +6.5 everywhere.
Jacksonville at Tennessee: Tennessee needs to win. Jacksonville is locked into its spot. The Titans opened at -3, and have been bet up to -3.5. The Titans have been so shaky lately that they can’t get any more support than that in a must-win spot!
NY Jets at New England: The Patriots need to win to clinch the #1 seed in the AFC. But, it’s assumed they’re capable of doing that in their sleep against Bryce Petty. So, there hasn’t been any inflation for “need” in this spot. An opener of Patriots -16 has dropped to either Jets +15.5 or +15. Every game is a divisional rivalry game today. This is one the Jets players take seriously. Sharps wouldn’t be shocked if NYJ hangs around for much of the day, then the Pats run out the clock with the lead.
Houston at Indianapolis: Meaningless game. An opener of Indianapolis -4 has been bet up to -5. Colts are seen as the team more likely to care. Houston’s limping home to the finish line, anxious to start next season healthy.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh: This one has been jumping around on air because of reports that Pittsburgh is going to rest a lot of key players even though they have a mathematical shot at the #1 seed. The Steelers would need New England to lose to the Jets though. Apparently, the Steelers have decided it’s not worth risking injury to see if THAT happens. Sharps have liked Cleveland all season, to their own dismay. Wouldn’t be surprised if that plays out again on game day before kickoff.
Washington at the NY Giants: Meaningless game that’s been sitting on Washington -3 all week. Sharps won’t bet it unless some news breaks between now and kickoff. Some Under interest because of the cold weather. The opening total of 40 is down to 39.
Chicago at Minnesota: Minnesota needs to win to lock in the #2 seed in the NFC. Chicago’s been playing badly on the road recently. The Vikings opened at -12.5. The line has dropped to Chicago +12 or +11.5 because old-school guys like taking double digit dogs in divisional rivalry games…and because the Vikings (like the Pats) will be motivated to run out the clock with a lead rather than run up the score.
Dallas at Philadelphia: Meaningless game. Dallas is -3 on the road because they’ll be playing better athletes as the Eagles try to keep everyone healthy for the playoff run. There’s some sharp interest in the Eagles plus 3…causing a few stores to test Dallas -2.5. Nobody wants to lay three with the Cowboys on the road in cold weather. Not yet, anyway.
Oakland at the LA Chargers: The Chargers need to win here, and hope Tennessee loses to Jacksonville. An opener of Chargers -9 has been bet down to Oakland +7.5 for the same “divisional rivalry” reasons we’ve been talking about all day. The NFL was smart to make sure every season finale was a rivalry game. Makes it more likely lame duck teams won’t just phone in an effort.
Arizona at Seattle: Seattle needs Atlanta to lose to Carolina to have a chance. This game and that one will be played simultaneously. So, the Seahawks should play hard most of the way unless Atlanta runs away and hides early. An opener of Seattle -10 has been bet down to Arizona +8.5 or +9 on the assumption the Cards won’t lay down against a hated rival. Plus, if Atlanta does build a big early lead, the Cards (+) becomes a steal.
Kansas City at Denver: Nothing at stake here. Kansas City has decided to start rookie Patrick Mahomes so Alex Smith is healthy for a home game over Wildcard Weekend. Denver will start injury prone Paxton Lynch. Denver settled in at -3.5 when the quarterback matchup was confirmed. Kansas City will be resting other starters as well.
San Francisco at the LA Rams: The Rams can’t win a tiebreaker with Minnesota for the #2 seed, so they won’t risk injuries. That’s why San Francisco is laying -3 or -3.5 on the road with Jimmy Garappolo. Sharps love him! We might see a small tug-of-war between Niners -3 and Rams plus 3.5. because this is a late kickoff around a key number.
I’ll be focused only on the best betting situations for my clients on this tricky NFL Sunday. I’m definitely excited about the Saturday and Monday college football cards. There’s also some great college basketball on tap. 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 for football and basketball that run through the Super Bowl or March Madness.
Happy New Year! I’ll see you again next Thursday to talk about Wildcard Weekend in the NFL Playoffs.