For all of you weekend warriors out there looking at this weekend’s NFL slate for the first time, here is what you need to know when making your bets.
A couple of the bigger “line moves” this week involve no movement at all. First, let’s talk about the Packers.
Green Bay’s season has slowly been unraveling the past month or so due to both poor play and injuries. Despite that, they are getting 82% of spread bets, which is tied for the 4th highest we’ve tracked this season. The top three have all been the Patriots, to nobody’s surprise. They opened at -3, but remain at that line after bouncing around between -2 and -3 this week. This appears to be a case of very square bettors all taking Green Bay because they see Green Bay vs. Tennessee and automatically take the Packers. If this had been sharper money, we would likely see that line up closer to -6, but there is a reason the books aren’t reacting to all of these bets. This appears to be a great spot to bet against the public and take the Titans plus the points.
The Patriots continue to receive the lion’s share of the bets this week at home against the Seahawks. Before the season, this was expected to be a close game, with the Patriots 2 point favorites according to CG Technology’s look-ahead lines back in April. Now, the Patriots are 7.5 point favorites, the second biggest favorites of the week. The Pats have put a hurt on the books this season, going 7-1 ATS. It also doesn’t help that they gotten more than 75% of bets each week since Tom Brady’s return. Currently, they are getting 74% of the spread bets, but as was the case with the Packers, books have been reluctant to move the line. This would generally be another good spot to fade the public, but the Pats have been the exception to that rule this season. Tread cautiously.
The Bears-Bucs matchup generally wouldn’t catch someone’s eye, but this game has certainly seen some sharp action that has caused the line to move. This game opened as a PK, but has since moved to Bears -2.5. The Bucs some injury question marks with Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin, but all are expected to play. Tampa Bay is getting almost 60% of the spread bets, but just 20% of spread dollars. All of the sharp action is on the Bears this week, but if you do feel that the Bucs should still take this one, consider taking them on the moneyline. Our research has shown that 2.5-3 point dogs are more profitable straight up than ATS.
For a more in-depth look at this week’s key line moves, read our Line Moves That Matter piece.
Alex Smith and Spencer Ware- Concussion- Probable. The Chiefs will have two of their best players back this week after both missed last week with concussions. The Chiefs are three point dogs this week in Carolina.
Jameis Winston- Knee- Probable. Winston injured his knee last week, but was upgraded to probable on Monday.
Doug Martin- Hamstring- Probable. Martin has missed the bulk of the season with a hamstring injury, but is expected to play against the Bears tomorrow. It is unclear just how many touches Martin will get, so be wary when playing him in fantasy.
Jarvis Landry- Shoulder- Questionable. The Dolphins may be without one of their best offensive weapons this week due to a shoulder injury. It’s looking like he may play, though, according to reports.
DeSean Jackson- Shoulder- Doubtful. The Redskins are coming off a bye week after playing in London, but Jackson remains banged up. After leaving the London game with what was believed to be a concussion, it was reported a few days ago that Jackson had limited range of motion in his shoulder and was held out of practice. He is not expected to play tomorrow.
Ryan Fitzpatrick- Knee- Probable. Fitzpatrick sprained his MCL last week, but is expected to be active tomorrow against the Rams. However, it is unclear whether he or Bryce Petty will get the start.
Other Notable Injuries:
Probable: Delanie Walker, Todd Gurley, DeMarco Murray, Matt Jones, Marcus Mariota, Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, Will Fuller, Muhammad Wilkerson, Kam Chancellor, Kenny Stills.
Questionable: Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, T.J. Ward, Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde, Allen Hurns.
Doubtful/Out: Victor Cruz, Jared Cook, Justin Houston, Jeremy Maclin, Aqib Talib, Tevin Coleman, Clay Matthews, Jacob Tamme, Derek Wolfe.
ODDS AND ENDS
Tom Brady remains the NFL MVP favorite, but Matt Ryan isn’t too far behind.
Tom Brady is still the favorite at +160 odds to win NFL MVP (via Bovada): pic.twitter.com/R7mgtul0sE
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) November 12, 2016
Oddsmakers have been a bit off so far this season on their totals, with overs hitting more often than not…
Lot of points being scored in the #NFL this season
Over: 74-59 (+11.4 units)
Under: 59-74 (-17 units)
Last season, the under went 131-120
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) November 9, 2016
…They are, however, doing a good job on the spread.
Oddsmakers doing a great job this season with #NFL spreads
Home teams: 62-63 ATS
Favorites: 62-66 ATS
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) November 9, 2016
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Dan and David discuss some of the week’s hottest topics in the latest Smarter Bets Podcast.
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