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Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Last week’s Wildcard games were heavily bet here in Las Vegas. Reaction was somewhat subdued once the games were played because favorites weren’t having much success. Squares love laying points! And, we have a lot of transplanted Chicago sports fans who live here. They hated to see the Bears lose to the Eagles late last Sunday. Crowded but relatively subdued is the best way to describe local sports books last weekend.

Let’s look at this weekend. The public typically loves laying points with rested bye teams. But, there are some quality dogs poised to challenge. Here’s how betting has played out so far. I’ll take the games in kickoff order…

SATURDAY, INDIANAPOLIS AT KANSAS CITY: An opener near -4 or -4.5 for the Chiefs was bet up quickly to -5 or -5.5 depending on the store. Quants like the explosiveness of the Chiefs, and believed that Indy played a very soft schedule. The public obviously loves big offenses. But, sharps that emphasize player skill sets do like the Colts at +5 or better. That’s probably going to create a tug-of-war between the public on KC at -5 and sharps on Indy at +5.5. I would be surprised if sixes hit the board. I know a few sharps who LOVE the Colts improved roster, and would jump in hard at +6. (Those are the guys you saw celebrating last week when the Colts led Houston 21-0 in the first half!)

The Over/Under opened at 55.5. It’s up to 56.5 or 57 depending on where you shop. Math guys expect a shootout. The public loves asking offenses to score. Might take a surprising change in the weather forecast to bring in serious Under money. There are some old school sharps who will bet the Under on principal in playoff games. Three of the four Wildcard games stayed Under, two by double digits.

SATURDAY, DALLAS AT THE LOS ANGELES RAMS: Most stores opened at Rams -7. The earliest number offshore was -6.5, but it got bet up to the key number right away. We’ve been painted seven most of the week. More Rams money is coming in at that number, so many spots are either charging extra juice (a vigorish of -115 or -120 instead of the standard 11/10). I am seeing occasional 7.5’s as I prepare this report. I believe sharps would hit Dallas hard at +7.5 because the Rams have performed so poorly against the spread in recent action. Possibly a tug-of-war between Rams -7 and Cowboys +7.5…or we’re going to settle at seven with extra vig on the Rams.

An opening total of 50 was bet down to 49.5. Not much of a move in that scoring range. Quants thought 50 was a tick too high. The public hasn’t jumped in yet.

SUNDAY, LA CHARGERS AT NEW ENGLAND: An opener of Patriots -4.5 or -5 was bet down very quickly. Many sharps LOVE this Chargers team. And, we’re generally seeing a lot of Los Angeles money infiltrate Vegas books this season for both the Chargers and Rams. For now, the public has been frightened off the Patriots. Tom Brady and Company are just as likely to look horrible as they are to look great on any given week. Books are one-sided on the Chargers, and may have to drop below the four to ignite New England interest. Though, it should be said…if the public cashes tickets Saturday on Kansas City and the Rams, they will re-invest that money on this favorite. Might create an interesting Sunday morning. 

Not much happening on the total that’s been sitting around 47.5 all week. You probably know that the weather could be iffy. Sharps are waiting to see the actual conditions before betting. They will bet Under if things get any worse than currently forecast. The Chargers may come from a warm-weather city, but their style of play is well-suited to the cold. You saw that in the grinder vs. Baltimore last week.

SUNDAY, PHILADELPHIA AT NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans was as high as -9 early in the week. But, all the hype about that “Nick Foles Magic” has helped bring the line down. We were painted at Saints -8 for a few days. I’m now seeing -8.5 in spots. The public remembers that New Orleans annihilated Philadelphia on this same field back in mid-November (though that was against Carson Wentz, not Foles). They’re looking for reasons to lay the points. If favorites cover earlier games, this line could rise to -9. If it stays where it is, the Saints will be in a lot of six-point teasers because the move falls down below the key number of three. Sharps will probably pair New Orleans -2 or -2.5 with one of the respected AFC dogs in teasers they bet before the action starts. The public is much more likely to use a Rams/Saints Saturday-Sunday teaser (and money line parlay too for that matter).

Not much happening with this total either. We’ve been at 51 or 51.5 all week. And, nobody’s waiting on a weather report from the Superdome! Looks like oddsmakers did a good job of matchup up with the quant algorithms this week. It will be up to the public to move these lines before kickoff. Sharp math guys would fade any public moves of a point or more.

This could be a very exciting betting weekend because we have live dogs with upset potential, but we also have great quarterbacks as favorites who might light up the scoreboard. 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 check on my college basketball program. That’s my favorite sport to handicap and bet. We have some great conference matchups on the immediate horizon.

Thanks for reading. See you again next week.

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