Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM
An intense start to the new NFL week with Seattle surviving the Green Bay Packers Thursday night 27-24. A lot of complaining in Las Vegas about officiating and Green Bay’s time management. At the end of the evening, it was sports books complaining the loudest. Everyone betting Seattle -2.5 won. Anybody betting the game day line on the key number of three was refunded for a push. Sportsbooks hate it when nobody loses!
Now we move to the rest of the pro schedule to see how sharps have been betting. A whopping SIX bye teams this week! Those are: Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, the NY Jets, and San Francisco. With so many bad teams sitting out, some great matchups had to hit the board. We’ll get to those in due time. Games are presented in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes in your schedule.
CAROLINA AT DETROIT: An opener of Carolina -3.5 has been bet up to -4 or -4.5 depending on the store. That’s actually a VERY important move because it went AWAY from the key number of three. Sharps clearly think Carolina is the much better team. Detroit’s fallen apart in recent action. Also worth remembering that Carolina had extra time to prepare off a Thursday night loss to Pittsburgh’s buzzsaw.
DALLAS AT ATLANTA: Already a tug-of-war between Atlanta -3 and Dallas +3.5. That could hold true all the way to kickoff. Dallas is a rare dog that the public will bet (“America’s Team!”). But, Atlanta always looks cheap to squares when laying a field goal or less at home. Probably a heavily bet game because of the team’s involved, and the perceived value for either side when the hook is dancing.
CINCINNATI AT BALTIMORE: No line yet because nobody knows who Baltimore’s quarterback is going to be. Joe Flacco might try to play hurt, though he really needs more time off. Lamar Jackson missed midweek practice with an illness. We may see a very rusty RGIII behind center for the Ravens. Sharps will be looking for ways to fade the latter two possibilities. Oddsmakers know that, and will aim to post a line that prevents it.
MINNESOTA AT CHICAGO: This has been time-changed to prime time for NBC. I’m sure the network is excited it could “flex” to include the Chicago market while yanking disappointing Jacksonville off its schedule. Another tug-of-war, with Chicago getting the money hard at -2.5, but Minnesota bringing in sharps who respect defense at +3. This should be a very heavily bet game because everyone will have almost all weekend to bet it. Plus, Las Vegas has a lot of Chicago fans who bet the Bears whenever they’re any good.
PHILADELPHIA AT NEW ORLEANS: Tricky one here for sportsbooks. An opener of New Orleans -9 has been bet down to -8.5 or -8. That’s right in the two-team teaser window that crosses both the 3 and the 7 with a six-point move. If either of those lines holds, books will be BURIED with teaser money on red hot New Orleans -2 or -2.5. Sharps and square alike would pound anything below a field goal. But, if sports books go back to the nine, they would then be one-sided with Eagles money at that high price. A headache. Very simple to analyze sharp play here…they like Philly +9, and would LOVE the Saints below three in teasers. Note that this has been time-changed to a late-afternoon kickoff for the big TV window.
TENNESSEE AT INDIANAPOLIS: Important drop in a surprisingly important matchup. The Colts are getting good again. But, Tennessee impressed the last two weeks with wins over Dallas and New England. An opener of Indy -3 was bet down to -1.5 or -2 depending on the store. No serious buyback on the short home favorite (except at -1.5). If the line stays here, then Tennessee +7.5 or +8 will be heavily bet in teasers. We know the sharps want to bet Tennessee’s defense for value. Will oddsmakers go all the way down to Indy -1 to prevent that?
HOUSTON AT WASHINGTON: Houston opened at -2, and was quickly bet up to -3. It stuck on the key number, which is very important. Washington is dealing with injuries, and was killed in the stats last week by Tampa Bay in a misleading victory. Quants and sharps who like defense want Houston at anything below the key number. We haven’t yet seen what will drive Washington money. Will it take Texans by 3.5? Possibly.
TAMPA BAY AT THE NY GIANTS: Stores have been at Giants -1.5 or -2 all week. Tough to see it moving from that range, which will probably lock in Tampa Bay as a popular teaser bet at +7.5 or +8. The Giants would draw sharp and square interest down at +1. Tampa Bay would get pounded at +3. Too bad that wasn’t a Thursday night game in the snow! Weather isn’t expected to be an issue Sunday in this early kick.
DENVER AT THE LA CHARGERS: We’ve been painted Chargers -7 all week. Sharps would fade any move off that key number. Denver would look like a value underdog at +7.5. The Chargers are playing well, and would certainly draw public interest at -6.5. Wouldn’t be surprised if the game sticks on seven until kickoff.
OAKLAND AT ARIZONA: One of the worst games of the year. An opener of Arizona -3 was bet up to -5 because the Raiders are either imploding or tanking. Tough to love the Cardinals laying chalk with a rookie quarterback. Sharps do like them at -3 or -4. We haven’t yet seen the number that would inspire Raiders enthusiasm this week.
PITTSBURGH AT JACKSONVILLE: This is now and early kickoff after all the time changes for TV. If you WANT to bet it, bet your money in before it starts! An opener of Pittsburgh -6 was bet down to -5 because of lingering respect for Jacksonville’s defense. They have still been showing up for home games. Amazing how much perceptions of these teams have changed since last year’s playoffs. Jacksonville won at Pittsburgh, and should have won at New England. Without changing coaches or quarterbacks, the Jags are now a 5-point home dog. Maybe the public will get involved Sunday on the favorite because Pittsburgh has been so dominant. I would expect squares to lay -5 with the Steelers, and we know sharps will take the Jags +6.
KANSAS CITY AT THE LA RAMS: Everyone’s been buzzing about this one for weeks. The Rams opened at pick-em or -1 when the game was going to be in Mexico City. Local money drove that to -2.5 because there are some deep-pocketed Rams supporters in Vegas who don’t mind that the team has failed to cover three in a row. When the game was switched to Los Angeles because of poor field conditions south of the border, sports books moved to -3.5. While that’s only one point, it crosses the key number of three. The Rams don’t have a one-point home field advantage. It’s just that the win percentages only swing it one point right around the most common victory margin. Sharps haven’t yet jumped on the dog…suggesting the Wise Guys are hoping they can get +4 on game day after the public plays the TV favorite.
Great schedule! You can 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 early season basketball. College hoops is my favorite sport to handicap and bet. Looking forward to the Maui tournament and other special events next week on the hardwood.
Thanks for reading. Special schedule next week for the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll go up Wednesday midday to look at sharp betting in Thursday and Friday action…then again at the usual time Friday to finish out the weekend.