What Sharps Think in NFL



It's been a strange week in Las Vegas and Reno for NFL bettors. There are question marks at quarterback in a few places because of injuries. And, a full EIGHT games are either sitting on or within a half point of the magic number of 3 as we go to press.

As I've mentioned many times in the past, sharps (professional wagerers) will generally fade public action at a line of three because so many games land there. If squares (the public) support the favorite so much that the line goes to 3.5, then sharps will play the dog. If the squares for some reason line up on a high profile underdog, then sharps will take the favorite at 2.5

The public generally doesn't bet until the weekend. So, there hasn't been any action to fade!

A game I will make note of is Minnesota/Green Bay in the prime time matchup Sunday on NBC. That one opened at Green Bay -3. Sharps hit Minnesota plus the points early, driving the line down to Green Bay by 2.5. Otherwise, the three's are mostly sitting there waiting for something to happen.

That will force me to adjust my normal format. I don't want to say "here's another game at three, nothing's happening yet" over and over again. Let me list the games that are at three right now, then I'll only talk about other line moves and totals as we run through the schedule in rotation order.

First, here are the games at three at press time.
Pittsburgh (-3) at Miami
Atlanta (-3) vs. Cincinnati
Tennessee (-3) vs. Philadelphia
Chicago (-3) vs. Washington
San Francisco (-3) at Carolina
Tampa Bay (-3) vs. St. Louis
San Diego (-3) vs. New England

Remember that sharps tend to prefer underdogs. So, we may see sharp money on the 3-point underdogs Sunday in these highlighted games if the public doesn't act on the favorite. My sense from talking to sharps is that they're most interested in Philadelphia, Washington, and New England amongst that group.

Now, let's run through the card noting totals changes, or moves in games not on a three.

PITTSBURGH AT MIAMI: The opening total of 40 was bet up to 41, possibly with an expectation that Pittsburgh's offense will take steps forward each week as Ben Roethlisberger shakes off his rustiness.

CINCINNATI AT ATLANTA: An opening total of 42 is up a tick to 42½ Note that sharps bet Cincinnati (+4) on the opener down to the line of +3 that you're seeing currently.

JACKSONVILLE AT KANSAS CITY: It looks like Todd Bouman will quarterback the Jaguars...making this a tough game to put a number on. I'm seeing Kansas City -9 right now. Tough to lay that big a price with the Chiefs, and sharps aren't excited about investing in Bouman in a short preparation week.

PHILADELPHIA AT TENNESSEE: No move on the opening total of 42½. Tennessee's starting quarterback isn't locked in stone yet. Sharps will wait for news on that before acting.

WASHINGTON AT CHICAGO: No movement here either on the side or total since the openers. There's so much parity in the league right now that 3's are going to be common. And, oddsmakers have had several weeks to sharpen up their opening totals.

CLEVELAND AT NEW ORLEANS: Colt McCoy will get the start again for Cleveland. The Browns got early support at +14, and we're now seeing +13 everywhere. The total has dropped a point or 1½ points off an opener of 44½.

BUFFALO AT BALTIMORE: Big move on the total here, with an opener of 37 jumping up to 40. Baltimore tends to run up the score at home. Sharps didn't want to lay two touchdowns with them...but are basically investing in the Ravens offense anyway by betting Over the low total.

SAN FRANCISCO AT CAROLINA: The total is up a point from 34½ to 35½. I'm hearing this is a math move from the computer guys.

ST. LOUIS AT TAMPA BAY: Tampa Bay is sitting at -3 right now because of early support at -1½ on the opener. The total hasn't moved.

ARIZONA AT SEATTLE: Some support for Seattle at -6 because of Arizona's poor road play. We're seeing 6½ now. Some of that was position taking though on the assumption the public would drive the line up to a touchdown. Wouldn't be surprised to see some buy back form sharps if the game moves to seven.

NEW ENGLAND AT SAN DIEGO: The total has dropped from 49 down to 47½. A lot of guys out here love betting Unders on anything at 48 or higher. San Diego's also had some trouble turning their stats into points because of turnovers and other issues.

OAKLAND AT DENVER: Denver was hit at -7, and is up to -8.5 because of skepticism about Oakland's quarterback situation. I wouldn't be surprised if this moves to -9 just because sportsbooks want to discourage two-team teaser action on Denver at less than a field goal. The total has dropped from 44 down to 41.5 on the same quarterback issues.

MINNESOTA AT GREEN BAY: No meaningful action on the total yet, which opened at 44.

NY GIANTS AT DALLAS: The total is down a tick in the Monday Night game, from 44.5 down to 44.

That's it for this week's look at sharp action. It's mostly been a look at non-action! You regulars know the game day drill. Sharps will fade the public. There will be a general trend toward dogs and Unders. If the public doesn't create any bandwagon line moves, we may see sharps step in on dogs and Unders on the lines you see above.

I should also point out that Indianapolis and the NY Jets have byes this week. Their in the class of teams sharps will take early positions on to set up middles when the public action hits the board. They do the same with New England and San Diego, who are playing each other this week. I fully expect a lot more to talk about next week!

And, I'll definitely have something to say in the form of BIG BEST BETS this Saturday and Sunday in football. You can sign up for my service online. Great rates are available for the season. Game day releases go up a few hours before kickoff. If you have questions, you can talk to one of my handicapping assistants at 1-877-822-2276.

It's a wait and see day right now in terms of the sharps in the NFL. Ultimately, eventually, the best information about what to do this weekend is STILL going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!



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