What Sharps Think in the NFL For Week Two
What Sharps Think in the NFL
By Linesmaker Nick Bogdanovich
Back again to review what professional bettors think about this weekend's NFL action. Sharps, or "Wise Guys" have been very aggressive in several spots on the schedule. For your convenience, I'll go through the games in rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
CHICAGO AT NEW ORLEANS: Sharps took the opener from New Orleans -6.5 to -7. I can't say that we're talking about universal affection for the Saints though. The line didn't go past the key number. And, there's definitely some Chicago money out there waiting to see if the public takes this popular home favorite higher. Chicago money wouldn't hit early because there's no value. New Orleans money from sharps WOULD hit early below a critical number. I've told you before there are many out here in Nevada with Chicago roots or connections. Those guys were impressed with the Bears against Atlanta last week.
KANSAS CITY AT DETROIT: The total here was the big mover. An early line of 43 moved up to 45. That was because Detroit had a very good offensive day at Tampa Bay last week, while Kansas City was having a very bad defensive game vs. Buffalo. The team side line of Detroit by 8 is too high to attract sharps on the Lions bandwagon right now. They're not ready to lay more than a TD with this group yet. But, if that line doesn't move, Detroit is going to be in a lot of two-team teasers this weekend because moving six points would take you past the 3 and the 7. Detroit -2 will be a popular teaser choice. Many sportsbooks are doing what they can to discourage teasers because the market has gotten so sharp in recent seasons with this prop.
JACKSONVILLE AT NY JETS: Early support for the road dog here. As Jacksonville has moved down from +10 to +9. Sharps aren't ready to trust Mark Sanchez with a big line because he's still so mistake prone. The total is up from 37.5 to 39 given the high scoring nature of Dallas-NYJ last week. The weather's still nice in New York too. Sharps will play more Unders in the cold weather cities in later months.
OAKLAND AT BUFFALO: We have a two-point move on the Over here, as an early line of 41 is up to 43. Both offenses showed promise last week. Early support for the dog because sharps were happy to get more than a field goal with Oakland once they saw the good effort at Denver. Oakland +4 is down to Oakland +3. I can tell you some of the "bad body clock" guys will be stepping in on Buffalo -3 though some time in the next few days. This is a 10 a.m. body time kickoff for Oakland, in a short week after a Monday Night divisional game. Systems guys like the Bills. Power Ratings guys like Oakland because Buffalo isn't in a range where they can be trusted at more than a field goal.
ARIZONA AT WASHINGTON: Yes, Kevin Kolb vs. Rex Grossman is suddenly seen as a quarterback war! The total has gone from 42 to 45 after both of those QB's played well last week. Arizona's defense looked shoddy vs. Carolina and Cam Newton too. But, sharps have backed the dog here as Arizona +4.5 is down to Arizona +3.5. It's odd to see so much dog action early in the week because sharps generally wait for the public to bet. But, we're talking about favorites that the public may not step in on yet. Dog moves against Detroit, Buffalo, and Washington are fading favorites that probably wouldn't have received overwhelming public support. And, all three of those favorites are in the "should they really be favored by THAT much" category until they prove otherwise.
BALTIMORE AT TENNESSEE: Not much interest here yet. The total mas moved up from 37 to 38. Baltimore is a 6-point favorite...and most people I've talked to think that's a good line. Should the public come in on Baltimore after their blowout of Pittsburgh...I think we'd see some sharp money on Tennessee +7 as a home dog. Sometimes a lack of action from sharps isn't a "pass." It just means they're waiting.
SEATTLE AT PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh is a popular bounce back choice this week. This is a Super Bowl team that just played horribly, hosting a bad visitor who should be jet-lagged in their second straight road game. An early line of Pittsburgh by 13.5 is up to 14 now. Some places have nudged it higher than that. But, Seattle money comes in above the critical number of 14 to bring it back down. Sharps will take more than two touchdowns almost as a rule just because of long term dog histories at high numbers. The total is up two points from 38 to 40 because the weather should be nice and Pittsburgh should be in the mood to score. Remember from past years when I've discussed that you can often predict the weather based on line moves? Sharps follow those long term forecasts.
GREEN BAY AT CAROLINA: This total has jumped up from 43 to 46.5 because Can Newton had such a big day last week. Aaron Rodgers has a big day every week! Green Bay opened at -10.5, and is down to -10 because sharps will take double digit dogs over a critical number. Note that the Packers and Saints this week have a few extra weeks of preparation time because they played last Thursday. Sometimes that means fresh legs. Sometimes it means rust.
TAMPA BAY AT MINNESOTA: Not much interest here, with Minnesota standing pat as a 3-point home favorite. Both teams lost last week, and played worse than the final scores made it seem. Each team had a non-offensive touchdown that helped them out on the scoreboard. My discussions with sharps suggest there's more support for Tampa Bay at this line than for the host. Sharps tend to like dogs anyway. And, sharps don't have much faith in Donovan McNabb any more. The total has gone up a point from 40.5 to 41.5.
CLEVEALND AT INDIANAPOLIS: Weird game here. Indianapolis was awful last week, which didn't surprise anyone. But, Cleveland was pretty bad too, and that surprised everyone. The Browns were a popular sharp play vs. Cincinnati as the offseason developed. Cincinnati Under their team total was a very popular sharp pick. So, what do you make of this one? Cleveland dropped from -3 to -2 as a road favorite. The total went up from 37 to 40. I'm hearing that the math guys don't like either of these defenses, and thought a number in the 30's was too low for a game played in good scoring conditions.
DALLAS AT SAN FRANCISCO: Too bad it's not Troy Aikman vs. Joe Montana. It's mistake-prone Tony Romo vs. the horrible Alex Smith. Dallas has stood solid as a 3-point road favorite. Tough road trip in terms of travel for the Pokes. But, the 49ers didn't play well last week vs. Seattle outside of a couple of special teams TD's. The total went up from 41.5 to 42.5.
HOUSTON AT MIAMI: We've got a few three's on the board this week. As I've told you in the past, it takes a lot to move a game OFF the three because sportsbooks are afraid they'll get flooded with money back toward the critical number. You don't casually move a 3-point favorite to -3.5 because sharps will pound the dog at +3.5. You don't casually drop a line to -2.5 because everyone races to the window to bet that cheap favorite. (Hint...this is why any line that stays at -2.5 is telling you the dog is a great play!). Houston is laying three on the road. The total is up to 46 from 48...as beautiful weather continues across the country and sharps react to the lack of rustiness last week in the openers. Remember when the media was telling everyone offenses would be out of synch because of the lockout?
SAN DIEGO AT NEW ENGLAND: There was some early position-taking here because sharps know the public wants to bet on Tom Brady...and they want to bet on a high scoring game in his battle with Philip Rivers. So, and opener of New England -6.5 went right to -7. A total of 51 moved up to 53.5. We may see some buy backs on the dog and Under if the moves continue. We'll see more early week position-taking as the season progresses once the public is very clear about who they're going to bet on weekends.
CINCINNATI AT DENVER: Big move on the dog here after Cincinnati looked good last week and Denver looked awful. It's funny...sharps spent a month hating Cincinnati...and a month bragging about the great early number they got on Denver (-) vs. Oakland. Now...a game that starts off at Denver -6 moves down to Denver -3.5. Sharps are quick learners.
PHILADELPHIA AT ATLANTA: Here's an example of a game that's stayed at -2.5. The Eagles opened at that line, and it didn't move to the critical number for most of the week. As we go to press, it's even gone down to Philly by one. So, sharps like the playoff bye team at home in a bounce-back spot...and aren't that excited about Michael Vick playing his second straight road game. Any game that starts out at -2 or -2.5 and DOESN'T move to three is one featuring a respected dog that has the attention of sharps.
ST. LOUIS AT NY GIANTS: The injury situation in St. Louis moved this line from +3.5 all the way up to +6. It may come back down on game day if it's clear Sam Bradford isn't being bothered by his finger. But, the injury bug hit this team so hard that the line may not move. The public likes betting on home favorites on Monday Nights too. Sharps are pretty happy with their best on the Giants at -4, -4.5, and -5. They can buy off those positions on game day if need be.
That wraps up this weeks' look at what the sharps are thinking in the NFL. Personally, I'm coming off a board sweep in Week One of the NFL. I won Sunday with Buffalo and Washington (outright as underdogs, covering by double digits), then Monday Night with the Over in New England/Miami (also a double digit cover).
You can purchase my BEST BETS in pro football, college football, and major league baseball here at the website through the month of September. If you have any questions about my final days with VSM (I'll be leaving after baseball to devote my full attention to my work as Head Oddsmaker and Sportsbook Director at Cal-Neva), call my handicapping office at 1-877-822-2276. I won't be able to talk to you directly because it's a football weekend. One of my representatives will answer your questions.
Have a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who's been signing up daily and winning along with me during what's been a sizzling September.
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