Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, November 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving…and already got in your Friday exercise to burn off all those extra calories. Time to analyze how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting the rest of this week’s pro football action. Note that only two teams had byes this week. Kansas City and the LA Rams are getting rest after what was supposed to be a Monday night game in Mexico. They still need it after that thriller in LA!
Matchups below are presented in Nevada Rotation order so you can make notes in your schedule.
JACKSONVILLE AT BUFFALO: An opener of Jacksonville -4 has been bet down to -3 or -3.5 depending on where you shop. You have to lay extra juice to get the key number of three at select stores. Josh Allen is now probable to play for the Bills…and the team did get some things done before his injury. Sharps have really soured on Jacksonville. The defense looks like it got tired of carrying Blake Bortles every week. But, the Wise Guys will lay the three with the Jags because Buffalo’s overall talent level is still low. Probably a tug-of-war between Jacksonville -3 and Buffalo +3.5 in a game that the public will avoid because of the poor won-lost records.
OAKLAND AT BALTIMORE: An opener of Baltimore -12 is down to -10.5 with Joe Flacco out for another week. Tough to trust Lamar Jackson as this big a favorite, even if Oakland is awful this season. Old school sharps in particular were happy to take +12 early and +11 after the first move. They want every double-digit dog they can get in the NFL. Here they could bet early because the public probably wasn’t going to lay such a big number with a rookie QB. Nobody’s tested -10 yet figuring squares WOULD come in on the key number.
SAN FRANCISCO AT TAMPA BAY: We’ve been painted Tampa Bay -3 all week, but the juice is changing depending on action. It went from Tampa Bay -125 at the field goal, all the way to San Francisco -115 at the field goal. So, sharps clearly like this dog vs. a favorite that can’t settle on a quarterback and has a horrible defense. Should the line drop to TB -2.5, we’d see a lot of teaser play on SF, lifting the number up to +8.5. Sports books don’t want to create that middle where favorite money starts to come in at -2.5 while teaser dogs get both the three and the seven.
NY GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA: The first number up offshore was Philadelphia -7. Stragglers opened at -6 because all the early money was on the Giants. We’re now seeing -5.5 because that trend has continued. New York has won two in a row, and is playing better overall. Philadelphia is falling apart because of defensive injuries…and there’s a chance defenses have figured out how to slow down the Eagles offense. Nothing yet to trigger enthusiastic Philly money. Sharps like this dog at +6 or better.
CLEVELAND AT CINCINNATI: We’ve been sitting on Cincinnati -3 all week. Though, like our earlier example, the underdog is getting most of the money at that price. You have to lay -120 to get the Browns at +3 at many shops. The Wise Guys still like taking the Browns every week. Cleveland will be fresh off a bye and beating Atlanta. Cincinnati’s falling apart as the players realize this coach/quarterback era may be coming to an end. If the line drops to Bengals -2.5, the Browns +8.5 will be heavily used in sharp teasers.
NEW ENGLAND AT THE NY JETS: An opener of New England -9 is up to -10 with news that Sam Darnold is out. The Patriots haven’t been very good on the road this season. That will temper any public enthusiasm for the chalk here. Haven’t seen any dog interest yet on the Jets at the ten. Old school guys are waiting to see if they can get a hook or +11. We’ll probably eventually have a tug-of-war because both teams have betting constituencies. I’ll say it this way…this will be less heavily bet than normal because a lot of New England money is tired of losing road games against the spread (and straight up for that matter).
SEATTLE AT CAROLINA: An opener of Carolina -3 (with added juice) is up to -3.5. That’s been solid all week. Both teams have been getting respect from sharps in recent weeks. The quants apparently see both as wildcard caliber teams, even if we probably won’t see both in the playoffs (so many contenders this season). Such a fine line here…but we may have a tug-of-war between Carolina -3 (-120) and Seattle +3.5 (-120).
MIAMI AT INDIANAPOLIS: A line of Indianapolis -10 was bet down to -8.5 or -8 on news that Ryan Tannehill would return to the lineup for the Dolphins after a long injury layoff. The market sees him as a couple points better than Brock Osweiler (though sharps have usually overrated Osweiler). Indy will be a VERY popular bet in teasers, laying -1.5, -2, or -2.5 depending on where you shop. Andrew Luck is having a great season away from the media glare. The public loves betting him anyway. Sharps and squares will be all over the Colts in teasers. We may not have much action on the team side or total.
ARIZONA AT THE LA CHARGERS: The Chargers have been bet from an opener of -11 up to -13. Still a lot of debate in sharp circles how much home field advantage should be worth at that site. LAC should be familiar with the surroundings by now, but continues to underachieve. Chargers just got upset by Denver, and need to bounce back strong here. Can Arizona slow them down? Quants bet the home favorite hard. Old school guys haven’t bought this dog yet. Though, that may be happening as we speak with some stores starting to test 12.5.
PITTSBURGH AT DENVER: Looks like a tug-of-war here between Pittsburgh -3 and Denver +3.5. Tough spot for the Steelers, who had to rally late to win at Jacksonville last week. Now, a road game at altitude. Pittsburgh has a shaky road history under this coach in recent years. It’s like they prioritize the home games and accept that a few road losses are going to happen. Is Denver good enough to take advantage? If more sharps thought so the line would be pick-em. I’m guessing this will be a heavily bet tug-of-war in the late afternoon TV spot.
GREEN BAY AT MINNESOTA: Minnesota has to play in the Sunday night game for the second week in a row. This is a bounce-back spot against a divisional rival. We’ve been painted on 3.5 all week. There’s been so much bickering about the Green Bay head coach that we may not see as much Packer interest as normal. I think the Vikings would get hit very hard by sharps and squares if -3 comes into play. Folks will have all day to bet this one…but might be a bit money-weary since the fun started early Thanksgiving Day (in this division) with Bears/Lions. If the public has a big Sunday in early action, it will probably split money here between a cheap TV favorite and a popular dog.
TENNESSEE AT HOUSTON: An opening line of Houston -5.5 has been bet up to -6 or -6.5 because Tennessee quarterback Marcos Mariota is questionable. The Titans looks awful at Indianapolis last week. But, did win at Dallas the week before, and have been strong underdogs most of the season. Recent pricing shows the Wise Guys (particularly the quants) see Houston as a strong playoff threat. The team itself isn’t playing to that level yet. For now, the market is waiting for confirmed news on Mariota. I think sharps will take +6.5 or +6 if he can play at something near 100%.
Hope things have been going your way so far. 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 has always been my favorite sport to handicap and bet. This is the most exciting early-season slate I can remember. So much great basketball on TV!
Thanks for reading. We’re back to our regular schedule next week. Thursday for the late-week games (Saints/Cowboys could be great in the NFL Thursday night, and it’s Championship Week in the colleges). Friday we’ll cover the rest of the NFL. Eat healthy this weekend!