How The Sharps Are Looking at NFL Week 6
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Another loss for Eli Manning and the New York Giants kicked off a new weekend of NFL action. Philadelphia finally started looking like the defending Super Bowl champs on offense. A few sharps lost big with the G-men. Many others are much more invested in what’s coming up Sunday and Monday. Let’s take a look.
ARIZONA AT MINNESOTA: Not much happening in a game where it’s hard to love either side. An opener of Minnesota -10.5 has been bet down to -10 at most spots. Maybe we’ll see a tug-of-war between those lines through the weekend. The public wants to bet against a rookie quarterback at a loud site. Many old school sharps take all double-digit dogs on principal. I don’t expect this to be a heavily bet game.
LA CHARGERS AT CLEVELAND: More Wise Guy interest in Cleveland, which seems to be the story every week. An opener of Chargers -2 as a road favorite was bet down to LAC -1. Now we’re seeing some pick-em’s out there, and even a Browns -1 offshore at a respected site. Many are looking at the QB battle and thinking the experienced Rivers makes sense vs. a rookie. Sharps tend to prefer defense, and Cleveland has really impressed on that side of the ball this season. Tough to know where the line is going to settle because we probably won’t reach a key number in either direction.
CHICAGO AT MIAMI: Sharps really stepped in hard on Chicago at the opener of -2…and again at -2.5…and bought even more on the key number of -3. We’re seeing Bears -3.5 right now, and there hasn’t been any buy back. Some of that is because Chicago is coming off a bye week…and many of the quants give that respect. But, the Bears did look great their last time out vs. Tampa Bay. And, their new head coach runs the “Chiefs system” that’s well-suited to attack the limits imposed on defenses by rules changes. The market is currently pricing Chicago as a playoff-caliber team with that point spread. Total has dropped two points from 43.5 to 41.5. I’ll only mention big line moves on Over/Unders. That total move shows respect for Chicago’s defense too.
CAROLINA AT WASHINGTON: We’ve crossed pick-em, as an opener of Carolina -1 is now Washington -1. Tough to love Washington any more than that after they played so poorly this past Monday night. Carolina. Will be interesting to see if the public shows any preference here over the weekend. For now, sharps didn’t think Carolina should be the favorite, and preferred the host slightly at pick-em.
INDIANAPOLIS AT THE NY JETS: We’ve been painted on Jets -2.5 all week, which tells you emphatically that sharps think Indy is the better team. Home field is worth three points in the NFL, and the Jets just had a good home result vs. Denver. Yet, New York ISN’T getting respected money just below the key number. Indy will be a popular choice in two-team teasers where you move the line six points. That would take the Colts from +2.5 to +8.5, crossing both the three and the seven. Already a loser for that approach Thursday, though, as the Giants laid a big egg. This game is an example of how you can “read the sharps” even when a line stays frozen. The Wise Guys don’t trust the Jets as a favorite.
PITTSBURGH AT CINCINNATI: Clear respect for the Steelers, who snapped into form last week in a blowout of Atlanta. The Bengals opened below the key number of three at -2.5. The line has moved AWAY from the key number. We’re now seeing Cincinnati at anywhere from -1 to -2 depending on where you shop. Many sportsbooks don’t want Pittsburgh as a dog in that teaser window. Big move on the total, with a drop from 54.5 to 51.5 in this NFC North rivalry game.
TAMPA BAY AT ATLANTA: The market has fallen out of love with Atlanta! After another bad result last week (at Pittsburgh), the Falcons only opened at -3.5 at home over the Bucs. Tampa Bay got the money (partly because they’re the other team coming off a bye this week), moving the line to a solid three. Remember, home field is worth that. The market currently rates these teams close to even. Big difference from late summer.
SEATTLE VS. OAKLAND (in London, England): Don’t forget about the site change here. This is a neutral field game overseas, with Seattle opening at -3. We’re now seeing stores testing -2.5. Most of the money was coming in on the dog obviously. Kickoff will be three hours earlier than you’re used to seeing when two West Coast teams play each other. If you want to bet it, don’t wait too late! Sharps aren’t being aggressive here, but do prefer the underdog at the key number. And, those same dog bettors will LOVE the Raiders at +8.5 in two-team teasers.
BUFFALO AT HOUSTON: An opener of Houston -9.5 has been bet up to -10. That suggests hobbled DeShaun Watson will be back in the lineup after getting banged up Sunday night vs. Dallas. Old-school dog lovers are waiting to see if they can get +10.5 or more through the weekend. I’m not expecting the public to bet this one. Those who had been fading the Bills lost big last week vs. Tennessee, and three weeks ago at Minnesota. Houston’s offense hasn’t been playing well enough to lay a big number.
LA RAMS AT DENVER: Sharps are waiting to see game-day weather here. There’s a good chance this will be the first snow game of 2018. But, you don’t want to bet dog and Under on weather against a potent offense like the Rams only to find out it’s sunny and clear at kickoff. The team side line has been painted Rams -7 all week. Over/Under has only dropped from 53 to 52 on the early forecast.
JACKSONVILLE AT DALLAS: A lot of sharp support for the Jaguars early on. An opening line of Jacksonville -1 was bet up to the key number of three, and then through it to -3.5 at some spots. There is buyback on the Cowboys with the hook. The Dallas offense has really struggled this season, and Jacksonville’s defense is great. Jags are in a bounce-back spot off the bad loss in Kansas City too. Sharps like Jacksonville at -3 or better. Dog lovers do jump in at +3.5. Let’s see if that creates a tug-of-war through the weekend.
BALTIMORE AT TENNESSEE: Surprised to see Baltimore get so much early respect. An opener of pick-em has been bet up to -2.5 or -3 depending on where you shop. Titans money does come in strong on the three. So, Tennessee will either be a big sharp investment at +8.5 in teasers, or at +3 on the game. Two great defenses means points could be at a premium.
KANSAS CITY AT NEW ENGLAND: An opener of New England -3 was bet up early to -3.5, where it’s been painted ever since. There’s a perception that Patrick Mahomes isn’t ready to win on the road against Tom Brady. But, it’s not like the line has risen to four. Those preferring the dog are waiting to see if public betting brings that into play before the Sunday night kickoff. Squares (the public) love betting Brady at cheap home prices. Over bettors jumped on the opener of 58. We’re now seeing 59.5 or 60 in this projected shootout.
SAN FRANCISCO AT GREEN BAY: The opener of Green Bay -9 was bet up to -9.5. I’m now seeing a GB -10 out there as I’m about to finish up the report. I do think sharps will like the dog on the key number. San Francisco did rally to cover a tall line on the road against the LA Chargers two weeks ago. Aaron Rodgers is still hobbled by a knee injury. The public will still want to bet the Packers in a Monday Night game. So, I’m expecting a tug-of-war between GB -9.5 and San Francisco +10 next Monday.