Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 3:58 PM
With college football quiet this week except for the Army/Navy game, I'm just going to do one report focusing on the NFL weekend. We'll be back to our regular schedule next week to talk about early college bowls and more pro football.
We start off today with a great Thursday night matchup. Then, the rest of the weekend will be handled in Nevada Rotation order so you can makes notes in your schedules. Here's how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting so far, and are likely to attack the pro football card this weekend.
New Orleans at Atlanta: A lot of interest in this one. We keep flipping favorites. Atlanta opened at -2 on its home field. Some sharp syndicates like New Orleans a lot this season. They pushed the game all the way to Saints -1 or -1.5. Atlanta money has come in overnight to bring the Falcons back to -1 as I write this. It's weird to have a tug-of-war around pick-em in the NFL because so few games end in a tie (none yet this season). In this case, even before you get to the public, there are competing sharp influences who like either side as a dog. The public would have been more likely to bet Atlanta here if the Falcons hadn't lost on this field to Minnesota last week.
Detroit at Tampa Bay: No line yet because the status of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is up in the air. He's likely to go. But, sportsbooks don't want to post a number on the assumption that he's playing, only to find out that he's a scratch. Exposure to informed money would be huge given the Power Ratings difference between Stafford and his backup.
Chicago at Cincinnati: Cincinnati opened at -5.5. The Bengals have been bet up through the six to -6.5 in some places. Chicago struggled badly in its last road game at Philadelphia, and has been in a funk in recent weeks once defenses figured out how easy it is to contain this simplified offense. Bears money would come in at the key number of +7 I believe. Sharps are still high on Mitchell Trubisky long term. They think he's being held back by his coach.
Indianapolis at Buffalo: Tyrod Taylor hurt his knee late in the game vs. New England last week. He's currently "day-to-day," which means nobody knows if he'll play Sunday. No line yet as a result. Sharps will definitely be looking for ways to fade Nathan Peterman if the rookie is forced to start. Sharps remember that the Colts won at Houston when Tom Savage first took over for Deshaun Watson too. Not a lot of Wise Guys interested in Buffalo right now. That will be clearer once this game is bettable.
Seattle at Jacksonville: Jacksonville opened as high as -3.5 in some spots, which was surprising given how little respect Blake Bortles has as a quarterback. Sharps took out the hook right away. In fact, Seattle has been bet so hard that we're now seeing Seahawks +2.5 at many shops. It takes a lot of money, or one-sided sharp interest to push through the key number of three and hold steady. Sharps love Seattle at +3 or better. No indicators yet for interest on the Jags. Will be interesting to see how the public bets this game Sunday. If we're still on +2.5, Seattle will be popular in six-point teaser bets at +8.5.
Oakland at Kansas City: Not much interest in this one yet. Most stores opened at either Chiefs -4 or -4.5. It's been on the four ever since. The Chiefs are in a free fall. Oakland has a poor defense, and can't be trusted to cover either. Sharps don't want either side at this price. The public may leave the game alone because there's not an obvious team to take. Anybody riding this favorite in recent weeks went broke.
Minnesota at Carolina: Minnesota is getting a lot of sharp interest since they beat the Rams awhile back. Sharps hit the Vikings hard at Atlanta last week, and were rewarded. Here, an opener of pick-em or Minnesota -1 has been bet up to -2.5 or -3 depending on the store. Carolina interest does show up as a home dog on the key number of +3. That looks like it will set up a tug-of-war over the weekend, between Minnesota -2.5 and Carolina +3.
Green Bay at Cleveland: Cleveland money finally cashed last week against the Chargers, making it easier to take a shot on the Browns this week. An opener of Green Bay -4 has been bet down to the three. Sharps will take anything above the three if the public drives that line any higher. Sharps are aware that Cleveland can now "win" a game because they have a two-game lead over the field in the race for the #1 draft pick. Both San Francisco and the NY Giants have two victories. Cleveland is 0 for the season. Nobody wants to finish a year 0-16.
San Francisco at Houston: Sharps like Jimmy Garappolo a lot. They cashed with him last week at Chicago, and like him at +3 here against the Texans. Houston money does come in, though, at -2.5. Tom Savage is playing better with each passing week...making it tough to just assume the Niners can show up and win another road game. Probably a tug-of-war this weekend between Houston -2.5 and SF +3 unless the public decides on Sunday they want Garappolo as a dog. Sharps will push SF +2.5 up to +8.5 in six-point teasers.
Washington at the LA Chargers: We've been solid on the Chargers -6 all week. That may seem like a high line to some of you. But, Washington looked so bad at Dallas last Thursday that none of the Wise Guys want any part of them. It gets tougher to trust Philip Rivers of LAC the higher a line gets. Looks like a pass for the sharps, unless the public pushes the game off the six in either direction. Wise Guys would bet it back to the six.
NY Jets at Denver: Hard to believe the Jets are a road favorite at Denver. So many local pundits were saying the Jets wouldn't win a game this season. This opened at Denver -1 but was bet across the threshold to NYJ -1. A low interest game outside of the cities involved. It might take +2 for Denver money to show up given how badly that team has played the past two months.
Tennessee at Arizona: It's been a solid Tennessee -3 all week. Any excursions off the key number come right back. So, we can assume that sharps aren't very interested in this one, but will fade any public move in either direction for value. There's not a lot of buzz about the later kicks right now. If the public does well early in the day, we may see more interest (and tug-of-war potential) in the minutes before kickoff.
Philadelphia at the LA Rams: Definitely the game everyone will be watching and betting Sunday afternoon. The game opened at either Rams pick-em or -1 depending on the store. We're now seeing Rams -2 almost everywhere. Sharps fell out of love with Philadelphia in the second half in Seattle last week. They will still take the Eagles at home...but it's harder to like them on the road unless they show up and get a result here. The Rams just beat the Saints on this field, and can make a real statement against the Eagles. Sharps who like the Rams are already in at pick-em, -1, or -1.5. Were the public to drive the game all the way to three (which doesn't seem likely), then Eagles money would come in strong on the key number. Note that sharps will be on the Eagles around +8 in six-point teasers. You'll see a lot of Seattle/Philadelphia combos in teasers this week.
Dallas at the NY Giants: This has been time-changed from a late start to an early kickoff. Also, Eli Manning is back in the starting lineup after ownership fired the head coach. That caused a line drop from the opener of Dallas -6 to Dallas -4 or -4.5. The public might take the Cowboys on game day given the extra rest off a Thursday nighter and the good showing vs. Washington. Sharps will take the Giants at +4.5 or better.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh opened at -6. Baltimore's been bet down to +5 because they have a great defense, because this is an intense rivalry, and because Pittsburgh is coming off a very physical Monday Night rally against Cincinnati. Sharps will take +6 strong if it becomes available after public betting. Probably won't. The public watched that bruising MNF game and won't be in the mood to lay such a big number on the favorite.
New England at Miami: An opener of Miami +12 has been bet down to Miami +11.5 or +11 depending on the store. Not much early interest in an ugly game like this. New England just one by 18 at home as a 17-point favorite over the Dolphins two weeks ago. The number is where it should be. Will the public lay double digits on a Monday Night road favorite? They might when the time comes. No reason to do that early in the week. Sharps will take Miami at +12 or higher, particularly old school sharps who love double digit dogs.
A few really big games to look forward Thursday night and Sunday. I believe I have a great slate lined up for my clients. You can purchase my BEST BETS in all sports right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you ask about combination packages with college basketball when you call.
That's it for the week. Thanks for reading. Back with you again next Thursday as we gear up for a very busy second half of December.