How Sharps are Betting NFL Week 5
New England barely covered the late spread (after Gronk was ruled out) with a 19-14 victory over Tampa Bay as four-point favorites Thursday night. That leaves us the rest of the NFL card to run through. Note that this is the first bye week of 2017 (though Tampa Bay and Miami both had weather-created byes in Week 1). Off this week are Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, and Washington.
As always, games are presented in Nevada Rotation order...
LA Chargers at NY Giants: Both teams are 0-4, so somebody will be celebrating their first win of the season. An opener of NYG -3 has been bet up to -3.5. But, dog money does come in with the hook because the Giants have been so shaky. Possibly a tug-of-war shaping up with bettors happy to take the Giants -3 going up against those who think percentages favor the dog at +3.5. Generally speaking, more of the sharps I've talked with prefer the dog in that exchange.
Buffalo at Cincinnati: Cincinnati opened at a cheap -1...but has been bet up to a solid -3 by smart money. Some market observers have been surprised by that because Buffalo just beat Denver and Atlanta. Old school sharps just see that as setting up a flat spot in a second-straight road game. Plus, Buffalo's offense hasn't exactly sparkled in those wins. Believe it or not, -3.5 might come into play based on rumblings I'm hearing.
NY Jets at Cleveland: An opener of Cleveland -1 is down to pick-em. Nobody wants any part of the Browns, particularly after they started so poorly at Indianapolis in a recent game against another bad opponent. The Jets are 2-2...and do have the more experienced starting quarterback in this matchup of ugly teams. I don't expect the public to touch this one, outside of Jets fans. Sharps aren't interested either...because it's hard to ask bad teams to win straight up on the road with any sort of serious investment.
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh: Not much interest here, with Pittsburgh sitting in the classic teaser window at -8 or -8.5. Sportsbooks will be FLOODED with Pittsburgh -2 or -2.5. in two-team teasers if the line doesn't move dramatically. Sharps probably won't play the team side unless Jacksonville moves to +9 at stores trying to dodge teasers.
Tennessee at Miami: No line yet, because sportsbooks are waiting to see if Marcos Mariota will be able to play for Tennessee. Clear difference between Mariota and the backup. Sportsbooks have to wait for news, like the rest of us.
San Francisco at Indianapolis: Another matchup of bad teams. Funny how often they're running into each other early this season. Indianapolis has been sitting on -1.5 all week. I don't expect much interest here. Sharps will look at San Francisco +7.5 in two-team teasers because the move up crosses both the 3 and the 7.
Arizona at Philadelphia: An opener of Philadelphia -6 is either standing pat, or up to -6.5 depending on the store. If sharps really liked the Eagles, this line would have moved more dramatically than that below the key number of seven. Tough schedule spot because Philly has been yanked around the map in early weeks. Arizona's playing poorly, only sitting at 2-2 because of overtime wins vs. bad teams. We would definitely see sharps come in on the dog at +7 if the public takes the line that high.
Carolina at Detroit: Just a half-point move...but it's a very important half point from Carolina +3 down to +2.5. It takes a lot of money, or clear respect from smart money to move a game off the three. Sharps definitely like the Panthers at +3, and they're going to love the Panthers at +8.5 in teasers since the team bounced back into form at New England last week. Detroit isn't a blowout team with this conservative offensive approach.
Seattle at the LA Rams: Some stores opened the Rams at -2 or -2.5. Others were down at Rams -1, which is what we're seeing now. It's funny how many pundits are saying the Rams are now the best team in the NFC West. If that were really true, they'd be favored by at least a field goal at this site. Home field advantage is worth something. Many sharps are high on the Rams, I must admit. But...tough to ask them to play great right after that come-from-behind win at Dallas. Remember that LAR lost on this field to Washington. The line might stay at Rams -1, because a move to -1.5 would invite teaser plays with Seattle at +7.5.
Baltimore at Oakland: Once it was clear Derek Carr was going to be out for awhile with a back fracture, the line hit the board below a field goal. We're seeing Oakland -2.5. everywhere. Sharps will look very seriously at Baltimore +8.5 in two-team teasers. There is concern about Baltimore's struggling offense. But, the defense is expected to keep Oakland's offense in check in a spot like this. The public hates laying points with backup quarterbacks. Frankly, there are a lot of games that squares will mostly be leaving alone this weekend. They've been losing badly in recent weeks anyway.
Green Bay at Dallas: The line keeps hopping between Dallas -2 and Dallas -2.5. Sharps will be happy if the game stays in the teaser window, because Green Bay +8 or +8.5 with extra rest and preparation is ideal for that strategy. Dallas appears to be regressing to the mean this season. Green Bay needs to perform better here than they did indoors at Atlanta.
Kansas City at Houston: Could be a great game. Houston is suddenly for real with the emergence of Deshaun Watson as an impact player. Kansas City might be the best team in the AFC, though the market would still have them as a neutral site underdog to defending champion New England. An opener of pick-em is up to Kansas City -1. Nothing would surprise me here. There's a lot of sharp respect for both teams. I believe some syndicates will come in over the weekend on Houston because KC had one less day to prepare off its Monday night win (and miracle cover!)
Minnesota at Chicago: Another game that's still off the board because of an injured quarterback. Sports books will wait to see whether it's Sam Bradford or Case Keenum getting the start for Minnesota. About 3-4 points in Power Rating differential between those guys. Maybe 4-5 after the Vikings played so poorly vs. Detroit last week. Sharps are interested in seeing Bears rookie Mitchell Trubisky in his first start. They won't be interested in betting him unless he's getting a field goal or more from Keenum, or seven or more from Bradford.