Last week in this space, we previewed the Sunday night showdown between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts and explained why Indy was being severely undervalued. Although Chuck Pagano’s team was humiliated by one of the most bizarre fake punt attempts in league history, they were able to cover the 10-point spread.
In this week’s edition we decided to highlight a game that is receiving far less media exposure, but is nonetheless offering tremendous value to contrarian bettors — the AFC West showdown between the Raiders and Chargers.
Although San Diego has lost their past two games, they still opened as a 5.5-point home favorite at CRIS and have received 73% of spread bets at our contributing sportsbooks. Despite receiving a majority of public support, the Chargers have actually dropped from -5.5 to -4. That 1.5-point reverse line move is an excellent indicator that sharp money loves Oakland this week.
We also spoke with Michael Grodsky of the William Hill sportsbook who informed us that 63% of tickets were taking San Diego, but 56% of total dollars wagered were taking Oakland. This gives further evidence that the Raiders have been backed by sharp money this week.
Being ignored by the betting public isn’t exactly a new phenomenon for the Raiders, who have been a contrarian darling over the years. Since 2003, Oakland has received less than 30% of spread bets in 60 games which trails only Cleveland (65) for the most in our database.
In addition to the reverse line movement, there have been a number of additional factors which point to value on the Raiders. For starters, there has been a steam move triggered on Oakland +5 at CRIS. Although the move has gone just 43-46 ATS this season, historically CRIS and Pinnacle have been our top performing bet signals. That is because those two books (along with 5Dimes and The Greek) take the highest limits, which attracts the sharpest bettors, which leads to sharper lines, which subsequently creates more profitable bet signals.
The Raiders also fit the criteria for our ESPN Week 5 betting system which examines “bad” teams when they’re road dogs in low-scoring games. Since 2003, that system has gone 383-298 ATS (56.2%) including a mark of 39-25 ATS (60.9%) over the past two seasons.
Based on these factors, we would lean towards taking Oakland +4, although we’d like to stress that the only picks that we fully endorse are our Best Bets. Those picks are available exclusively to our Pro members, and right now bettors can save 40% off our Pro subscription with the Early Bird Special.
These numbers are subject to change before kickoff, so bettors should be sure to visit our free NFL odds page for the latest lines, injuries, public betting trends and more.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.