Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, November 9, 2018 at 4:00 PM
The Pittsburgh Steelers looked like a Super Bowl team Thursday night in a 52-21 thrashing of the Carolina Panthers. Sharps (professional wagerers) misread that one, loading up on the dog at +4 or better through the week. Is better news ahead for the Wide Guys? Let’s run through their action in other pro football matchups.
Note that there are byes this week for four teams: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, and Minnesota. Games are presented in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes in your schedule.
BUFFALO AT THE NY JETS: An opener in the range of 8-9 fell right away. That was before it was confirmed that Sam Darnold would miss the game with a foot injury. Backup Josh McCown doesn’t represent any sort of a drop-off. He’s probably better right now, but doesn’t have the same star potential as Darnold down the road. We’re seeing Jets -7 everywhere as I write this. That’s off a low of Jets -6.5. Not sure if the public will play this one Sunday. Sharps would likely fade any move off the seven in either direction.
ATLANTA AT CLEVELAND: Big move on Atlanta, who opened at -3.5 but soared up to -6 at Cleveland. The Falcons did look great last week in Washington. Cleveland didn’t respond well to the coaching change, though facing Kansas City right away was a tough draw. It’s an offensive mismatch, which is why quants jumped in so early. Money stopped on the relatively key number of six.
NEW ORLEANS AT CINCINNATI: Similar situation here…but with better teams. New Orleans opened at -4.5, and has been bet up to -5.5. I’ve seen a store test the six. Saints are playing great. But, this is a brutal schedule spot after they played three very big games in a row. Situational guys are waiting for the apex so they can bet the dog. Quants liked red hot Drew Brees at -4.5 and -5. We’ll see what the public does on game day.
WASHINGTON AT TAMPA BAY: Tampa Bay rose from pick-em to -3 because of all the injuries to Washington. Bad news broke early in the week about multiple players lost for the season. And, the Redskins really did look awful vs. Atlanta after those players went down. Sharps would love the Bucs at anything below the key number, but some would probably bet Washington for value if +3.5 comes into play. Might not be a high-profile game with the public.
NEW ENGLAND AT TENNESSEE: A lot of interest in this one because Tennessee looked so good last Monday night in Dallas. I’m expecting a tug-of-war between New England -6.5 and Tennessee +7. The game opened Pats -7, with sharps taking the Titans whenever they see the key number on the board. New England can be shaky on the road. This will be the most heavily bet early game by a mile.
MIAMI AT GREEN BAY: An opener of Green Bay -9 has been bet up to -9.5, but not the full 10. That’s telling. Oddsmakers know that sharps would hit the Dolphins at the key number against a tiring Green Bay defense that just had to face the Rams and Patriots in back-to-back weeks. I think we’ll stay right in this 9 to 9.5 range. Sports books won’t go to 8.5 because they don’t want the whole world on Green Bay -2.5 in teasers (six-point moves would cross both the 3 and the 7). Will take public interest on the Pack Sunday to bring up a 10.
JACKSONVILLE AT INDIANAPOLIS: Indianapolis has been at -3 most of the week. Though, many stores are posting higher juice to take the dog. Tough spot for sports books. The “right” number is probably something like 2.8. That’s going to set up a tug-of-war between Indy -2.5 and Jacksonville +3 if enough bettors are attracted. The AFC South can be a dead betting conference some years. Jacksonville’s been a huge disappointment after reaching the AFC Championship game last season (which the Jags should have won!).
DETROIT AT CHICAGO: It’s been the Bears -6.5 all week. Sports books know that Detroit money would come in hard at +7 against a divisional rival in a bounce back spot. Tough to lay this big a number in an important game with Mitchell Trubisky. Some are taking shots as the Bears get the bulk of the money at this price. Possibly a tug-of-war between Chicago -6.5 and Detroit +7 Sunday morning. A lot of people like betting on or against the Bears this season.
ARIZONA AT KANSAS CITY: An opener of Kansas City -17 (higher in early outliers) has been bet down to -16.5 or -16. Obviously, the Chiefs are much better. Will they be in the mood to run up the score when they can probably just rest people in the fourth quarter? Sharps like taking big dogs like this whenever the favorite’s defense is questionable. Definitely an issue here. Squares (the public) didn’t want to lay such a big price. Sharps see “garbage time” value with this big ugly dog.
LA CHARGERS AT OAKLAND: We’ve been painted Chargers -10 all week. Oakland looks like it’s tanking, though it might just be that Coach Jon Gruden has lost the players. Not much betting action. Early money has been shaded to the Raiders, so it’s possible more stores test -9.5 before kickoff. Tough to trust Philip Rivers as this big a big road favorite. Oakland’s been burning money for awhile. We’ll have to see if the public gets involved Sunday. These teams do have a following in Vegas.
SEATTLE AT THE LA RAMS: Here we’ve been painted at Rams -9.5 all week. Seattle has a great defense, and may have been flat vs. the Chargers last week because they were looking ahead to this divisional rival. Sharps really want the Seahawks +10, and are hoping they’ll get that shot after public betting. This will be the featured late afternoon game, so it’s going to be heavily bet. I expect a tug-of-war between Rams -9.5 and Seattle +10. But, it’s possible we’ll see replay of Packers/Rams from two weeks ago in terms of money. A bandwagon started on the road dog that kept right on rolling. Russell Wilson doesn’t inspire the same kind of support that Aaron Rodgers does though.
DALLAS AT PHILADELPHIA: In the Sunday nighter, the Eagles nudged from openers of -6 or -6.5 up to the key number of seven after the Cowboys looked so awful in the second half vs. Tennessee this past Monday. We’ve been a solid seven all week. Sharps would fade any move off the key number for value. Eagles -7.5 is too much for a rivalry game, particularly with their shaky form. Eagles -6.5 swings the percentages the other way because a good offense is facing a bad offense.
NY GIANTS AT SAN FRANCISCO: Hard to believe the Giants have fallen this far. San Francisco opened at -3 with Nick Mullens at quarterback. That’s the standard home field value. So, the Giants are now seen as about even with San Francisco after some preseason pundits were picking them to make a run at the NFC East crown! Early money has been on the Niners because Mullens played so well last week. So far, stores have lifted the vig from -110 to -120 or -125 rather than bring -3.5 into play. Giants money would probably come in hard with the hook just because Eli Manning has such a big experience edge over Mullens.
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See you again next Thursday to look at late-week football betting, and next Friday to cover the rest of the NFL. Thanks for reading.