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.
This week hasn’t featured a ton of major line moves, but let’s take a look at a few of the more important ones.
With the Patriots looking excellent since Tom Brady’s return, it has become commonplace for them to receive over 75% of spread bets on a weekly basis. They have received at least 76% of spread bets in each of the past three weeks and are currently receiving 89% this week in Buffalo. The Pats are 6-1 this season and also 6-1 against the spread, both losses coming against the Bills in Week 4 with Jacoby Brissett under center.
Despite this one-sided action, the Patriots have only moved a half a point at CRIS, from -5.5 to -6. They are -7 at some of the more public books (Bovada, Sportsbook) and it will be interesting to see if it goes up to -7 at the sharper books, as well.
The Broncos opened as the biggest favorite of the week at home against the Chargers at -6.5, but have since dropped down a good amount due to some sharp action on San Diego. The Chargers took care of the Broncos at home just a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps odds makers placed too much value on Denver’s home field advantage. The Broncos are seeing the majority of the spread tickets at 52%, but just 32% of the spread dollars. Using the money percentage feature, it is easy to see why the Broncos have dropped from -6.5 to -4.
The beat-up Seahawks squad heads to the Superdome this week to take on the Saints. Russell Wilson is clearly not 100% and the Seahawks are also expected to be without two key players on defense, Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett. Seattle opened at -3.5, but have since fallen to -2.5. The Saints are getting just 43% of the bets, but 55% of the dollars, which has helped push that line. Another thing to take into account is Drew Brees. Since the 2010 season, Drew Brees and the Saints have been two completely different teams at home and on the road. Brees has gone 30-20 ATS at home over that stretch and just 21-28 on the road.
Something to also consider for this game is the moneyline. We recently looked at how 2-3 point dogs had performed ATS and on the moneyline and for this game, taking the Saints straight up is something to strongly consider.
One total that has seen a lot of movement is this weekend’s London game. The Redskins and Bengals will be playing the final London game of the season, with the Bengals currently sitting at -3. However, the total has gone from 46.5 to 49.5 since opening, by far the largest total movement of the week. Historically, the over has gone 9-7 in London and 1-1 this season.
For a more in depth look at this week’s line moves, read our line moves that matter piece.
C.J. Anderson- Knee- Out for the Season. The Broncos running back injured his meniscus on Monday night against the Texans, but stayed in the game. Despite initial optimism, Anderson ended up needing surgery that will end his season. Devontae Booker is expected to take his place as the starting RB.
Jordan Reed and Josh Norman- Concussion- Probable. Two of the Redskins’ stars will be back this week in London after both suffering concussions. Norman exited last week’s game with his head injury, while Reed hasn’t played since October 9th.
DeSean Jackson- Hamstring- Probable. Jackson has been dealing with a hamstring issue, but is also expected to represent the Redskins in London this weekend.
Matt Jones- Knee- Out. Jones is one key player that the Redskins will be without when they take on the Bengals.
LeSean McCoy- Hamstring- Doubtful. The Bills opted to play McCoy last Sunday after he injured his hammy during practice earlier in the week. However, he ended up aggravating the injury and is not expected to play against the Patriots.
Dez Bryant- Knee- Probable. Bryant is expected to return this weekend after missing time with a knee fracture. The Cowboys have done surprisingly well in his absence, led by their two star rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Other Notable Injuries
Probable- Julian Edelman, T.Y. Hilton, Patrick Peterson, Brandon Marshall, Devonta Freeman, Lamar Miller, Martellus Bennett, Vernon Davis, Aqib Talib, Travis Benjamin, Jimmy Graham, Jeremy Hill, Marvin Jones, Josh McCown, Marcell Dareus, Eric Ebron, Donte Moncrief.
Questionable- Haloti Ngata, Demarcus Ware, Clay Matthews, Jeremy Langford, Muhammad Wilkerson.
Doubtful/Out- Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor, Jamaal Charles, Tevin Coleman, Cody Kessler.
ODDS AND ENDS
Tom Brady’s MVP odds continue to go up. He was +650 after his first game, and has gone up to +250 and +150 over the past two weeks. A good game in Buffalo could put his odds past even money.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) October 27, 2016
Ezekiel Elliott has become the heavy favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Elliott, who is second behind Brady on the MVP list, is up to -250 to win OROY, followed by his QB Dak Prescott at +220.
NFL Rookie of the Year via @BovadaLV
Ezekiel Elliott -250
Dak Prescott +220
Carson Wentz +900
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) October 27, 2016
This week’s lucky winner to be the Browns starting QB goes to Josh McCown! After Kevin Hogan was initially placed atop the QB depth chart earlier in the week, it was announced that McCown’s shoulder was healthy enough for him to get the nod this Sunday against the Jets. As a matter of fact, the Browns have even gone from +4.5 to +3 despite getting only one third of spread bets. Last week’s starter, Cody Kessler, was concussed during the game and will be sidelined for the time being.
Dan and David discuss some of the week’s hottest topics in the latest Smarter Bets Podcast.
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