What Sharps Think In NFL


Time once again to run through what sharps (professional wagerers) are thinking about this week's NFL action. As always, games are presented in rotation order...

OAKLAND AT JACKSONVILLE: Not much interest from sharps. Oakland opened at +4.5, and got bet down to +4. Sharps are generally leery of bad body clock games. This is a 10 a.m. start body time for the Raiders, who didn't play at all well in this same kind of spot at Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago. The Jaguars are hard to trust as a favorite too. This just isn't a game that appealed to Wise Guys out of the gate. I don't expect much game day action either unless one of the syndicates decides Oakland is going to struggle with the early kickoff.

CINCINNATI AT PITTSBURGH: A little early sentiment on the dog and Under, which I believe came on an initial weather forecast for bad weather. Cincinnati went from +9 down to +8.5. The total has dropped from 405. down to 39 or 39.5 depending on where you shop. I told you last week that early week total moves are often weather related. Sharps consider every angle. Sharps also believe Cincinnati will bring an effort against a hated divisional rival. Plus, the Steelers are in a letdown spot with a banged up quarterback after a huge TV win. Frankly, if Cincinnati hadn't been playing so badly lately, they would have been POUNDED here. It's only been a half point because it's hard to trust the Bengals with your money.

NEW ENGLAND AT CHICAGO: Big move on the total here, with an opener of 45 moving all the way down to 41 based on the anticipation of weather and respect for Chicago's defense. Also, New England's defense looked pretty good this past week...which impressed a few sharps I was talking to the next morning. There are usually a few reasons in play whenever a line moves THAT much. The team side is still locked in at New England -3. I would be surprised if the number moved off three because it's going to be such a high action game. The whole world will bet this game Sunday afternoon.

CLEVELAND AT BUFFALO: Another cold weather total, with an opener of 43 falling to 39.5 or so. The early weather moves did very well last Sunday. Sharps are re-investing this week with the same strategy. Not much interest on the team side. Both of these teams are easier to trust as bigger dogs. This game is near pick-em, and doesn't mean much in the standings to either team beyond pride. I'm impressed that both teams have showed a lot of pride in terms of ATS results in recent weeks.

NY GIANTS AT MINNESOTA: The Giants got pushed up from -2 to -3. I was a bit surprised about the enthusiasm for the Giants. They haven't played well versus good teams this year...and Minnesota has started playing better since the coaching change. It's true that this is a step up for the Vikings in terms of recent opposition though. And, I know several sharps who like backing Eli Manning at good prices indoors or in great weather, who then bet the other way in bad weather. Maybe that was an influence as well.

GREEN BAY AT DETROIT: Most interest here has been on the total, with the opener 44.5 moving up to 46. I do think it's interesting that the team side line of Green Bay by 6.5 didn't move up to seven. If sharps liked Green Bay, that would have happened instantly. The fact that it DIDN'T happen tells you sharps prefer the dog, and are hoping the public drives it up to seven on game day. Remember, when stuff DOESN'T happen near critical numbers, the sharps intentions are pretty clear.

ATLANTA AT CAROLINA: Kind of a dead game so far. Nobody wants to lay a big number on the road with the Falcons. Nobody wants to bet Carolina the way they gave things away in the second half last week. An invisible spot on the Sunday schedule in terms of betting interest.

TAMPA BAY AT WASHINGTON: Tampa Bay was bet from -1 up to -2, but not any further. Sharps have overcome their early skepticism about this coach and quarterback. It says a lot that they're willing to take them on the road in a letdown spot. Or, it tells you how little sharps think of Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb, and the Redskins right now. Probably a mix of both.

ST. LOUIS AT NEW ORLEANS: The total is up from 45.5 to 47, continuing a trend we're seeing this week of Under action at cold weather sites, but Over action in domes. Some interest in the Rams at +9.5, bringing the line down to +9. Again, we're near a critical number. If sharps had liked New Orleans they would have jumped in at less than ten. They didn't.

SEATTLE AT SAN FRANCISCO: Big move on San Francisco from -4 to -5.5. It's not big in terms of critical numbers being crossed. But, it's big in terms of a LOSING team getting THAT MUCH support against a team that leads their division. As a favorite! Sharps just do not believe in Seattle, particularly on the road. Who would have thought a top sharp opinion would have been laying more than a field goal with the 49ers?

MIAMI AT NY JETS: Support for Miami at the opener of +6 brought the line down to +5. The Jets are starting to look like an emperor with no clothes given their poor results vs. losing teams awhile back, and their awful showing at New England this past Monday. The Jets couldn't cover on this field vs. Houston or even win vs. Green Bay. Sharps want the defensive dog in a divisional revenge game. The total has dropped from 41 down to 39.5. Another Northern total.

DENVER AT ARIZONA: Tough to like either team here. Denver changed coaches, but is still better respected than Arizona is right now. Denver opened at -6 as a road favorite, but dropped a tick down to -5.5. The total has fallen from 43 down to 42. There will be very little betting interest in this game on Sunday, with fans much more interested in the late TV games in Chicago (a time change from an early start), New York, and San Diego.

KANSAS CITY AT SAN DIEGO: Sharps don't like betting games with confusion at quarterback, unless they're going against the new quarterback. Matt Cassel had an appendectomy midweek. That means Brodie Croyle will be determining who coves the spread. Tough to lay points with inconsistent San Diego. Tough to take less than a TD with a backup QB in a game that is no longer 'must win' from the Kansas City perspective. The Chiefs have a two-game lead on the field in the AFC West.

PHILADELPHIA AT DALLAS: The Eagles got support at -3 on the opener, and are now -3.5. I've told you before that it takes a lot of money to move off a critical number...then STAY off. So, this is a pretty strong opinion for sharps. The total is up to 50.5 from an opener of 49.5...another Over bet indoors for the totals specialists. This is the Sunday Night game on NBC...and squares (the public) usually bet favorites. Sharps knew this, and jumped in at -3 themselves before the public took it to -3.5. Sharps always get the best number!

BALTIMORE AT HOUSTON: Not much interest yet, as Baltimore -3 and 46 has been holding steady. Sharps may want to see how the playoff picture plays out before getting involved. Though, I have to say that's probably the right number in the first place. Houston is a dangerous home dog. Baltimore is the better team and badly needs a win. Sharps will probably fade any public action if the public drives the line one way or the other. This may be a Monday Night Home Dog that interests the public. That's about the only TV dog that gets attention from squares.

by Las Vegas linesmaker Nick Bogdanovich


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