Sharps Views on Thursday Friday Games

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


With three NFL games going this Thursday, I wanted to make sure I checked in with an early report about what sharps (professional wagerers) are thinking about this week's action. I've put together this special report that covers those Texas A&M/Texas Thanksgiving well as select marquee games from Friday's card in the colleges (including Auburn/Alabama). I'll be back on Friday to run through the rest of the NFL card for you.


NEW ENGLAND AT DETROIT: There wasn't much early betting interest here. That tells me sharps DON'T like New England at -6.5, or they would have jumped in quickly to beat the public to the favorite. When something "doesn't" happen in this fashion, you can deduce that the sharps would prefer the dog, and they're waiting for the public to step in later in the week. I think we're likely to see this. Squares (the general public) will see Tom Brady at less than a TD as pretty appealing, particularly given all the blowouts Detroit has suffered on past holidays. Sharps will step in at +7 or better to take the improving Lions defense against the Pats in a letdown spot off the Steelers and Colts. The public will probably play Over 51 here. Sharps like any Under in a game in the 50's, but are probably waiting to see if they can go Under 52 or better.

NEW ORLEANS AT DALLAS: Early interest on the Saints at the opener of -3. We're now seeing -3.5. That's what I mean about reading the tea leaves. The game was on a critical number, and sharps stepped in before the public to make sure they got the favorite at the best possible line. They didn't do that in the game above. I've talked to a few sharps who think New Orleans is over its Super Bowl hangover now, and ready to play some football. The public will probably come in on the Over again here with Drew Brees playing in good scoring conditions. Sharps are waiting to fade that game day money.

CINCINNATI AT THE NY JETS: This is a tough one for sharps. The Jets opened at -8.5, and it's hard to justify either team at that spread. Cincinnati hasn't played a good game in weeks. Yet, you can't trust New York as a favorite that expensive given their recent form. They should have lost at home to Houston last week...and could have lost to Cleveland and Detroit the prior two games. You'll note that 8.5 is in the basic strategy teaser the Jets -2.5 will appear in a lot of sharp and square teasers if the line doesn't move (as Kansas City did vs. Arizona last Sunday). Sharps may be content to only have teaser action in this one...linking the Jets up to some Sunday games. The total is up a tick from 43.5 to 44 in early action.

TEXAS A&M AT TEXAS: Sharps bet Texas A&M at the opener of -3. You're seeing -3.5 right now. That move didn't inspire Texas you can tell that sharps are fairly unanimous on the Aggies. Horns money, if it existed, probably would have jumped at the hook. Sharps weren't impressed at all with Texas when they hosted Oklahoma State two weeks ago. That line was six...but Okie State won huge. The Aggies aren't far behind Okie State right now in quality. I wouldn't be surprised to see some "old school" rivalry underdog type money come in on game day from a handful of sharps. That hasn't happened yet.


AUBURN AT ALABAMA: I think many mainstream pundits were surprised that Alabama opened as a 4-point favorite over a team that's supposed to be #1 or #2 in the country. Then, they were even MORE surprised when the line moved to -4.5! Sharps have a lot of respect for the Alabama defense, and its ability to at least contain Cam Newton. There's also a thought that Newton may be suspended for the game (new unsubstantiated rumors seem to pop up every day). Sharps want to have position if that's the case...because the line would fly past 7 if Newton is scratched. My discussions with sharps suggest there is some Auburn interest out there. They want to make sure he's going to be in the lineup before investing. I wouldn't be surprised if this line dropped back down closer to a field goal on Friday morning if Newton is a sure thing. You don't often see rivalry underdogs this talented. The rivalry underdog money traditionally hits late rather than early to take advantage of the public's standard affection for favorites.

ARIZONA AT OREGON: The opener of -18 has already jumped to -19.5. There's a subset of sharps who loves betting this Oregon team at home (you saw them step in HUGE for the UCLA game...and they cashed easily). They think this fast-break offense isn't being captured properly in poinstpreads, providing a rare +EV favorite. There are others who just wanted to take position figuring a big move was on the way. Given the size of the move in the UCLA game...that makes a lot of sense. You might be able to lay -18 or -19 early, then come back on the dog at +21 or +22 (or even higher!) before kickoff and set up a nice middle.

BOISE STATE AT NEVADA: Interesting here that the home underdog got hit early. Boise State opened at -15.5. Sharps stepped in quickly on the dog because they thought anything over two touchdowns was too high. I want to emphasize, this suggests EXTREME confidence on the underdog. We didn't see position-taking because the public might drive the line to -17. We didn't see any math guys stepping in on the BCS contender who needs to run up the score. We saw sharps jumping in quick to beat each other to +15.5, +15, and +14.5. I don't believe this is hometown sentiment. This is respect for the Nevada attack. Now, sharps got burned respecting Nevada last year against Notre Dame! They do remember that the Wolfpack showed well on the blue turf though. The total has gone up from 67 to 68 even though the public hasn't bet yet. If the weather is going to be nice Friday Night, it may go up higher.

That wraps up my look at marquee holiday action. I'll be back Friday morning to run through the rest of the NFL in my weekly pro football feature. If you'd like some help making final decisions on the Thursday and Friday football, sign up for my full Thanksgiving Week package here at the website. You get my BEST BETS daily all the way through Monday Night Football. Or, pick out your spots on game days. Selections will go up a few hours before kickoff. If you're travelling and using your laptop, it will be easy to take care of business.

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I have several big plays planned in the very immediate future. And, I won't always be in agreement with the smart sentiment. I'm my own handicapper as you know. My unique position I the legal sports betting markets as oddsmaker, Sportsbook Director, big bettor, and proven handicapper guarantees to you that the best information throughout Thanksgiving Week will come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!



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