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.
The Miami Dolphins have been surprisingly good this season, but bettors have sided with the disappointing Arizona Cardinals this week in a big way. Miami opened up at -2.5, but that line has practically flipped due to action on Arizona. With 70% of both the spread and moneyline bets, the Cardinals have moved to -2 at CRIS.
This game stayed at a pick ’em for most of the week, but has seen the line shift over the past two days. The Redskins head into Philadelphia for a divisional matchup against the Eagles and bettors have been hammering Washington. The Eagles started off hot this season, but have lost five of their past six games. They lost to the Redskins in Washington earlier in the year and with Washington still in the playoff hunt, bettors expect them to take care of business this weekend.
Monday night’s game features a betting rarity. At the moment, the Patriots are receiving just 44% of spread bets, which simply does not happen. Since Tom Brady’s return in Week 5 this season, the Pats have received at least 66% of spread bets every week. While that streak will certainly end this week, it will be interesting to see if they can hit 50% of bets before the game starts. Since 2003, they are 26-13 against the spread when receiving less than 50% of spread bets. The Ravens have given the Patriots trouble over the years and with Rob Gronkowski out, public bettors that generally take the Pats each week might be a bit weary. New England has dropped from -8 to -6.5 since opening so we could see some buy-back to push the line back up to -7.
For a look at some more of this week’s key line moves, read our Line Moves That Matter piece.
Robert Griffin III- Shoulder- Probable. RGIII is back. The Browns, who are still searching for their first win, will turn to their Week 1 starter for the first time since Week 1. The Browns have gone through a lot of QBs during Griffin’s three month injury hiatus and they hope that he will be their only QB for the remaining four games.
Trevor Siemian- Foot- Questionable. Paxton Lynch filled in for Siemian last week, but may not need to tomorrow against the Titans. Siemian is listed as questionable, but is reportedly on track to play. This game has remained off the board at many books for the majority of the week, but the Broncos are +2 at most books with the game available.
Julio Jones- Toe- Probable. Jones injured his toe late in last week’s game and missed some practice time this week, but should be available to play tomorrow. However, there are reports that he will just be a decoy so he probably isn’t a good option for fantasy whether he suits up or not.
Earl Thomas- Leg- Out for the Season. The Seahawks suffered a huge loss when Earl Thomas was carted off with a leg injury during last week’s game against the Panthers. It was later revealed that he fractured his tibia and was placed on season-ending IR.
Jordan Reed- Shoulder- Probable. The Redskins star tight end should be back after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury.
Luke Kuechly- Concussion- Out. The Panthers’ season has been a disaster and it doesn’t look like they are going to risk their defensive star’s safety any time soon. Kuechly will remain sidelined with a concussion for the third straight week.
Other Notable Injuries:
Probable: Jordan Matthews, Jadeveon Clowney, Ryan Matthews, Doug Martin.
Questionable: Muhammad Wilkerson, Derek Wolfe, Marvin Jones Jr, Robert Quinn, Chris Ivory.
Doubtful/Out: Mario Williams, Kiko Alonso, Tyrann Mathieu, Mohamed Sanu, Julius Thomas, Allen Hurns, Danny Amendola.
ODDS AND ENDS
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) December 7, 2016
…Meanwhile, the Bengals, Browns, Cardinals, Jets, Packers, and Panthers will all fail to reach their preseason win totals.
The Browns and Jaguars are both at home this week and they are both overdue for a solid performance…
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) December 6, 2016
The Jets will give Bryce Petty the nod this week against the 49ers. Petty took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, but books don’t seem to have much faith in him…
NFL odds/percentages: https://t.co/m8ZX71nzo2
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) December 6, 2016
Ezekiel Elliott has become a pretty large favorite to win the MVP over the past few weeks. He sits at +200, while Derek Carr, Tom Brady, and Matt Stafford are all at +700.
— David Solar (@TheDavidSolar) December 9, 2016
Here’s a look at Westgate’s week-by-week Super Bowl odds throughout the season.
If you have an ESPN Insider account, you can take a look at David’s most recent contrarian betting article posted on ESPN chalk.
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