Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 4:00 PM
Back for my weekly look at how sharps (professional wagerers) are betting Sunday and Monday NFL. As always, I’ll take the matchups in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules. Already byes this week…Carolina and Washington are off.
MIAMI AT NEW ENGLAND: This one surprised some people. New England has looked so bad the past two weeks that the Patriots only opened at -7. This line would have been double digits before the season started. Maybe as high as -12 to -13 if the Dolphins had struggled. Instead, Miami is the sharp side at seven! Not much action…but sharps betting the game have taken the dog. That’s caused some stores to test 6.5 to see if that brings in square (public) money. I’m guessing we’ll see a tug-of-war between Patriots -6.5 and Dolphins +7 this weekend. Sharps won’t touch the Pats until they show signs of life.
HOUSTON AT INDIANAPOLIS: The game has dropped from Indianapolis -2.5 down to Indy -1. The two isn’t an important number. But, you regulars know that any move away from the key number of three is very important. Sharps saw a line just below a field goal, and DIDN’T bet the favorite. Houston was going to be a popular sharp teaser play at +1.5, +2, or +2.5 because moving the line six points crosses both the three and the seven is historically sound. I can tell you that many sharps were saddened to see Andrew Luck come off the field for a last-second Hail Mary pass vs. Philadelphia. I mean, as fans, not bettors. Colts used Jacoby Brissett for that. Luck’s shoulder still isn’t all the way back. Colts got the money either way.
CINCINNAT AT ATLANTA: A lot of interest in Cincinnati at the opening line of +5.5. We’ve come all the way down to Atlanta -4. Sharps figure Atlanta won’t have much left in the tank after that tough overtime loss to New Orleans last week. Plus, Atlanta’s defense is looking vulnerable. Andy Dalton can score points on sub-par defenses. Big rise on the Over/Under from 48 to 53.5. Quants loved that one. That combo of “Cincy and Over” tells you the most important market influences are expecting a big game from Dalton.
BUFFALO AT GREEN BAY: Buffalo earned sharp respect last week with that shocking upset at Minnesota. The defense showed heart. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen made some plays. The Bills are no longer seen as expansion caliber. That’s why an opener of Green Bay -11 was bet down aggressively to just 9.5. That move crossed a key number and stuck! If squares hit the favorite this weekend, we’ll see a tug-of-war between Green Bay -9.5 and Buffalo +10. If not, that line might come down further.
DETROIT AT DALLAS: Here’s a case of a game being driven right to a key number after an oddsmaker mistake. Dallas opened -3.5. Sharps didn’t buy that at all given how shaky the Cowboys have looked this season. We’re now seeing a solid three painted. Sharps will now fade any move off the key number. They really liked Detroit +3.5 given a competitive showing at San Francisco and last week’s dominating win over New England.
NY JETS AT JACKSONVILLE: An opener of Jags -9 has been bet down to -7.5. Jacksonville’s rout of New England looked less impressive after Detroit did the same thing. Jags have struggled to move the ball in their other two games vs. NYG and Tennessee. Sharps were happy to take the full nine…particularly because a downward line movement also opens up teaser bets that include Jacksonville -1.5. That will be one of the biggest teaser liabilities this weekend for Vegas books unless the line falls to 7, or rises back to 9.
TAMPA BAY AT CHICAGO: We’ve been sitting on a solid three all week. Sharps don’t trust the Bears as a favorite. Chicago couldn’t cover at Arizona last week despite winning stats. Tampa Bay’s aggressive offense is turnover prone, and now all the distractions about who should be the starting QB will hit. Sharps will fade any move off the key number of three for percentage reasons.
PHILADELPHIA AT TENNESSEE: Philadelphia opened as a road favorite of -3, and was bet up to -3.5. It’s held there much of the week, though some stores are still on the field goal. This strongly suggests a tug-of-war through the weekend with Philadelphia -3 and Tennessee +3.5. Old school home dog lovers in particular will want to take a shot on a “defensive dog.” Though, Tennessee would be in a better situational spot if it wasn’t coming off a hard-fought road upset of divisional rival Jacksonville.
SEATTLE AT ARIZONA: Interesting situation here. Arizona is getting more respect with rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback than it was with Sam Bradford. Seattle opened at -4. It’s been bet down to -3.5 or -3 depending on where you shop. Seattle still has a defense, even if it’s not quite the stuff of legends as before. Sharps didn’t think this inconsistent Seahawks offense should be road favorites…even over what might be the worst team in the league. I’m guessing the public would like Seattle at a widely available -3, which would set up a tug-of-war on Sunday.
CLEVELAND AT OAKLAND: Oakland is up from an opener of pick-em to -2.5. Oddsmakers expected people to bet Cleveland…with extra rest and Baker Mayfield coming off his dramatic debut. Oakland is 0-3, with horrible fourth quarters all three weeks. Instead, early money was on the cheap home team fading the rookie quarterback. If the line stays in this range, sharps will look very seriously at Cleveland +8.5 in teasers.
SAN FRANCISCO AT THE LA CHARGERS: Chargers opened at -9.5, as oddsmakers tried to guess where everyone had C.J. Beathard rated as the new Niners quarterback. Money hit the host pretty hard, even though many still don’t believe LAC has much of a home field advantage yet. We’re seeing -10 or -10.5 right now. Telling that many stores have to put the hook on the board to see if it can attract SF money. That’s a “local” team in Nevada. Few locals want to invest in Beathard yet.
NEW ORLEANS AT THE NY GIANTS: An opener of Saints -4 is down to -3.5. Some stores did test -3, only to see Saints money come in strong. We’re either going to settle at Saints -3.5, or have a tug-of-war between New Orleans -3 and the NY Giants +3.5. Situational guys like the home dog coming off a win, facing a road favorite that could be exhausted from a high scoring overtime divisional thriller.
BALTIMORE AT PITTSBURGH: A solid three all week. This has been a great rivalry in recent years that both teams take very seriously. Hard to get scoreboard separation. Sharps would fade any move off the three. They might even try to bet the Ravens hard enough at +3 to drop the line into the teaser window at +2.5. Sharps would really like getting Baltimore +8.5 in teasers.
KANSAS CITY AT DENVER: Another line that would have been hard to imagine before the season started. Kansas City opened at -5. We’re now seeing either that line or Chiefs -4.5. You know people love betting “Monday Night Home Underdogs.” There’s also some belief that new KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes has to cool off from his fast start. Tougher to be a scrambling quarterback at altitude! Sharps haven’t bet the Chiefs yet. Probably dog or pass for the Wise Guys barring new developments.
Big football weekend ahead. You can always purchase my daily BEST BETS 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 to ask about packages that include the MLB playoffs that start next week as well.
Thanks for reading. See you next week.