How Sharps are Betting Week One of NFLX
The first FULL week of NFL Preseason action has arrived. Everyone here in Las Vegas is happy to have football back on the board. Oddsmakers and bettors!
Sharps have been most active in just a handful of games, including the Wednesday night opener featuring the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers. I'm going to focus on those games of interest first before summarizing the rest of the 16-game card.
Houston at Carolina (Wednesday)
The Panthers opened at -3. There was a lot of sharp interest in the underdog from the get-go. We're now seeing pick-em in many spots Wednesday morning. Not clear yet if the Wise Guys will buy back on the Panthers at that number. Stores who aren't at pick-em are at Carolina -1. Why the interest in Houston? The most obvious reason is at the quarterback position. The Texans have Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson competing for the starting position. Sharps love investing in teams with "QB wars" because they're going to get effort deep into the game. Third string signal caller Brandon Weeden is very experienced in exhibition action too, and might win the second half as a result. For Carolina, Cam Newton is being held out as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. Sharps have loved Houston at anything higher than +1, and some are still investing at that number.
Minnesota at Buffalo (Thursday)
We've flipped favorites here. Minnesota opened at +1, and is now either -1 or -1.5 depending on the store. There are indicators that the line could go even higher because Minnesota's head coach has a good ATS history in exhibition action. Buffalo has told the press they'd play their starters more than just one series though...which has kept the line from climbing more toward the field goal. If Buffalo were playing it safe, this line would have shot higher.
Jacksonville at New England (Thursday)
We have a two-point move here...but it's not quite as big as that sounds because of the numbers involved. Jacksonville opened at +5.5, and has been bet down to +3.5. There's a contingent of sharps who are high on the Jaguars this season...and part of that is an assessment that there will be a better team attitude. So, that's part of what's in play with this move. I would be surprised if the key number of three came into play because the public would hit the Patriots hard at -3.
New Orleans at Cleveland (Thursday)
Another quarterback war has led to another big move. Cleveland opened at pick-em, but is all the way up to -3 at home against the Saints. No reason for New Orleans to show up with much effort here. While, Cleveland announced they'd be starting Brock Osweiler as they try to sort out who their quarterback will be. Only in the preseason would you see a team like the Browns move three points against a team like the Saints. Note that there hasn't been enough interest yet to cross the key number of three. Sharps would probably buy back some on +3.5 if it comes into play. Cleveland's QB contingent isn't as respected as Houston's is at this point. And randomness is still a very big influence in August football.
Pittsburgh at the NY Giants (Friday)
Even though this one only moved a point, it was the biggest point possible. The Giants opened at -2.5 and were bet past the key number of three all the way to -3.5. And, the number has stood pat rather than inspiring any buyback. So, very strong support for the Giants at -2.5 and -3. Pittsburgh is famous for sleepwalking through some of their exhibition games. Sharps believe this will be another example of that phenomenon.
We've seen one-point moves in the following games:
Atlanta (pick-em up to -1) at Miami (Thursday)
Denver (pick-em up to -1) at Chicago (Thursday)
Philadelphia (+2 down to +1) at Green Bay (Thursday)
San Francisco (+3.5, down from +4.5) at Kansas City (Friday)
No meaningful movement yet in these games:
Washington at Baltimore (-1) (Thursday)
Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (-2) (Friday)
Tennessee (-2.5) at the NY Jets (Saturday, might be a tug-of-war between -2.5 and -3)
Dallas (-2.5) at the LA Rams (Saturday)
Oakland at Arizona (-3) (Saturday, might be a tug-of-war between -3 and -3.5)
Detroit (pick-em) at Indianapolis (Sunday)
Seattle at the LA Chargers (-1.5) Sunday)
My game day selections will be available all week, all month, and all season online. As is the case with baseball, I don't have any "monster" releases in Preseason football. Like the sharps, I try to find smart bets at the right prices to grind out a profit. I want YOU to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp...so I hope you'll join me for all the fun.
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Thanks for reading. In the month of August, I'll take a look at how the sharps are betting on the first football game day of each week for you. That will usually be Thursday. We started on Wednesday this week because of that early Houston/Carolina kick. Best of luck to all of you. See you again next time!