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.
On Wednesday, Broncos QB Trevor Siemian missed practice with a foot injury and was later seen in a boot. Though there isn’t a timetable on his return, he won’t be playing this week, leaving the door open for Paxton Lynch to make an impression. Oddsmakers, however, don’t feel that there will be much of a dropoff in performance between the two quarterbacks, as the line only dropped a half a point at the initial time of the injury, from -4.5 to -4. The Broncos have since gone down to -3 as it seems that sharp bettors don’t have as much faith in Lynch. Another thing to note is that the total in this game has gone from 43 to 39.5, making it the biggest total move of the week.
The Oakland Raiders have been one of the bigger surprises this year, which public bettors have obviously realized by now. This week, they are hosting the Bills, which would seem like an easy victory on paper. However, sharp bettors have been backing the Bills, which has moved their line from +3.5 to +3 over the week. The Bills are getting less than 50% of spread bets and moneyline bets, but more than 50% of dollars for both. Some people may feel that Derek Carr won’t be able to play at the same level he has this season after dislocating his finger last week, which could be the reasoning behind the Bills’ support.
The Packers season has been anything but pretty, but that hasn’t stopped public bettors from putting some money on the cheeseheads each week. Green Bay is currently getting over 75% of spread bets against the Texans, but the line has hardly moved all week. After opening as six point favorites and sitting at -6.5 for a good chunk of the week, they are back down to -6 despite all of that public money. With the Packers’ offense heavily dependent on Aaron Rodgers’ arm, it is worth noting that snow is expected for tomorrow’s game.
For a more in-depth look at this week’s key line moves, read our Line Moves That Matter piece.
Rob Gronkowski- Back- Out for the Season. The Patriots received some bad news on Thursday when it was announced that Gronk suffered a ruptured disc in his back and would be out an estimated eight weeks after requiring surgery. At about 4 PM on Saturday afternoon, it was reported that he would be placed on IR and would officially miss the rest of the season. Though the injury didn’t alter the Patriots’ Super Bowl odds too much, this was essentially how Pats fans reacted when hearing the news.
Andrew Luck- Concussion- Probable. After missing the Colts’ Thanksgiving game against the Steelers, Andrew Luck has been cleared to play this Monday night against the Jets.
T.Y. Hilton- Back- Probable. More good news for Colts fans as their star receiver is expected to play, too. Hilton, who left last week’s game with a back injury, has returned to practice and should be all set for Monday Night Football.
Earl Thomas- Hamstring- Questionable. The Seahawks hard-hitting safety (see Gronkowski) may miss his second straight game with a hamstring strain.
Kelvin Benjamin- Shoulder- Probable. Benjamin missed some time at practice earlier in the week, but returned Thursday and Friday and is expected to play against the Seahawks.
Jay Cutler- Shoulder- Out for the Season. Matt Barkley will get an extended look as the Bears’ starting quarterback as it was announced that Cutler would miss the remainder of the season with his shoulder injury.
Other Notable Injuries:
Probable: Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, Derek Carr, Sammy Watkins, Patrick Peterson, Jordan Matthews, Michael Crabtree, Kiko Alonso, Jacquizz Rodgers, Marvin Jones Jr, Clay Matthews, Martellus Bennett, Michael Bennett, Gerald McCoy.
Questionable: Lorenzo Alexander, Dee Ford, Mark Ingram.
Doubtful/Out: Jordan Reed, Tyrann Mathieu, Jeremy Maclin, Tavon Austin, DeVante Parker, John Brown, Robert Mathis, Julius Thomas, Allen Hurns, Chris Ivory.
ODDS AND ENDS
With winter weather upon us, we took a look at how bettors use weather forecasts to make a profit.
Tom Brady is no longer the MVP favorite at a couple of different books, including 5Dimes and Bovada. In fact, Bovada recently had him third on their list behind Ezekiel Elliott and Matt Ryan.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) November 30, 2016
Here is a look at Westgate’s post-week-12 Super Bowl odds.
Dan and David discuss some of the week’s hottest topics in the latest Smarter Bets Podcast.
If you have an ESPN Insider account, you can take a look at David’s most recent contrarian betting article posted on ESPN chalk.
We recently updated our coach of the year odds for the first time since the season began. Jason Garrett of the Cowboys tops the list with Jack Del Rio not too far behind.
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