How Sharps are Betting NFL Week 2
Week Two is already under way with the Houston Texans and the Under cashing pretty easily Thursday night in Cincinnati. Sharps who moved the line from Cincinnati -3 to Cincinnati -6 didn't like that result! I took a shot on the value dog for an outright winner, part of a 2-0 night for clients that also included New Mexico (+14.5) at Boise State...fading a favorite that's been overpriced at home for quite a while now.
Let's get to the rest of the week's pro football action. As always, games are presented in Nevada Rotation order.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: Tennessee opened at pick-em, and was bet up by sharps to as high as -2.5. We're now seeing Titans -2 everywhere. Jacksonville money became convinced the full field goal was never going to come into play. This is right in the teaser window that sharps like to exploit. The Jaguars +8 will be in a lot of teasers over the weekend because the six-point move crosses both the 3 and the 7. The Jaguars may lead the division at the moment. But, the market obviously sees Tennessee as the superior neutral field team based on this price.
Cleveland at Baltimore: Baltimore opened at -7, and has been bet up to -8. That will also be in the teaser window (from the other direction to Baltimore -2) if the line doesn't move much before kickoff. I've talked to a few sharps who were impressed with Cleveland last week. But, betting support for the Browns is more likely to come in home dog rather than road dog roles unless Cleveland hangs close again this week.
Buffalo at Carolina: Looks like a tug-of-war developing between Carolina -7 and Buffalo +7.5. Sharps don't think much of Buffalo this season. But, it's hard to ask for blowouts early in the season with so many low scoring games being played. Sharps who won with Carolina over SF last week didn't mind laying the seven, but won't lay the hook. Dog lovers are brought in by that hook.
New England at New Orleans: Before the Monday nighters were played, some shops had posted New England -4.5. Once the Saints struggled in Minnesota, others opened at New England -6.5. We're now seeing a tug-of-war between New England -6 and New Orleans +6.5. Dog lovers know that Brees has a great chance to either spring an upset or come in through the back door at home against a Patriots defense that was soft vs. Kansas City. That said, systems players have noted New England has a huge edge in preparation. The Pats played a week ago Thursday. New Orleans is on a short week after MNF. So, different approaches can confidently point to their preferred selection in this price range.
Arizona at Indianapolis: Arizona's been a solid -7 all week. Many bettors are waiting to see which quarterback the Colts are going to choose. Scott Tolzien was awful last week in Los Angeles. Jacoby Brissett is seen as having a better shot to at least compete. Not likely to be a highly bet game because that's a high price for a shaky road favorite. Sharps might just fade any move off the key number of seven for value. Sportsbooks are hesitant to bring -7.5 or -8 into play because that will cause a flood of teasers with Arizona in them.
Philadelphia at Kansas City: Very interesting game and betting dynamic here. The sharps love Philadelphia as a darkhorse in the NFC East. You saw that line move at Washington last week...and then the Eagles covered easily. But, Kansas City looked GREAT last week at New England, and now has a lot of extra time to prepare. An opener of KC -4.5 has been bet up to -5.5 or -6 because Eagles money isn't sure if this is the place to make a stand against the systems players. Sharps would come in big on the dog if seven comes into play and possibly even +6.5. I'll be watching this line very closely personally.
Minnesota at Pittsburgh: Some similarities here to the game above. The host is a quality AFC team with extra preparation time. The visitor is a decent NFC dog that would get more support if not for the day differences from last week. An opener Pittsburgh -6.5 has been bet down to -6 or -5.5 because Minnesota has a very good defense and the Steelers couldn't get big scoreboard distance from the Browns last week. Of the two, sharps have clearly preferred taking a shot on the Vikings rather than the Eagles.
Chicago at Tampa Bay: We're now up to Tampa Bay -7 after the game opened at -5.5 earlier this week. Awkward handicapping spot because the Bucs could be very rusty after so much time off. Their game with Miami was postponed by weather last week...and the starters sat the exhibition final. Chicago covered vs. Atlanta, and could have won outright. But...they didn't have great stats in that game. So, quants are getting Tampa Bay for a grading at anything under a touchdown.
Miami at the LA Chargers: The Chargers opened at -5, but have been down to -4 or -3.5 because of a mostly poor showing at Denver. They did get close at the end because of turnovers. Poor performance overall. Late week money has come in on the "weather" teams Tampa Bay and Miami. Interesting. Definitly a "freshness" mismatch because Miami's starters haven't played in so long while San Diego is coming off the Monday Nighter. Rustiness or "rarin' to go." That's the choice for bettors in these last two games.
NY Jets at Oakland: Most stores opened around Oakland -13.5 or -14. For awhile, everyone was at -14. As I write this for you Friday morning, everyone is back to -13.5. Very interesting that the Jets would get that kind of support from sharps. They had horrible stats last week, and Oakland is a team that can put points on the board. Important to note that sharps didn't wait to see if the public pushed Oakland any higher (which definitely could have happened). They wanted their money in at +14. That's actually pretty strong support for this ugly dog.
Washington at the LA Rams: Looks like a tug-of-war is developing here between the Rams -2.5 and Washington +3. The opener of LAR -2 has been bet up through the week. Stores are finally testing the key number of three because nobody wanted Washington. Jared Goff beat Indy last week. Bettors will be more impressed if he cashes vs. Washington. I'm guessing Washington will either be in sharp teasers at +8.5, or on regular bets at +3.
Dallas at Denver: Some really good games this week. Dallas opened at -2, and has been either -2 or -2.5 since then. That puts Denver in the teaser window on a strong home field. How will the public bet a game like this? Squares normally love betting Dallas, and Denver at home. Those who went to bed after the third quarter late Monday Night will bet Denver, while those who stayed up for the whole game might go with Dallas! This will be a heavily bet game in the late afternoon TV window. Dallas might have to move down to pick-em or -1 for sharps to take them at this tough site. Denver (+) will be in sharp teasers, and as a team side if the key number of three comes into play.
San Francisco at Seattle: Seattle opened at -13 in a bounce back spot on a strong home field against an opponent that couldn't even hang with Carolina last week. The line was driven up to the key number of -14. That slowed down Seattle money and brought in some sharp dog money. I have seen a +13.5 or two out there. Might be a tug-of-war on game day around the key number. A lot of old school sharps will take any double-digit dog they can in this league.
Green Bay at Atlanta: Atlanta opened on the key number of three. Many stores may just adjust vigorish prices because they don't want to risk the game landing on three and having to pay out "only winners" afterward. Looks like there's more interest on Green Bay at the three...but Atlanta -2.5 would bring in sharps and squares alike, while also setting up Green Bay +8.5 in two-team teasers. Very tricky game for sportsbooks...and a lot of people will want to bet this playoff rematch that almost might be a playoff preview.
Detroit at NY Giants: The Giants are going to be -3 if Odell Beckham Jr. can't play, more like -3.5 or -4 if he can. The assumption now is that he's going to be out, or hobbled if he tries to go. Monitor the markets over the weekend to see how sharps end up betting this one once more information is known.