Follow The Money: An SBR Picks Writer's Take on This Weekend's NFL Slate
The NFL oddsmakers are moving the numbers according to what teams and totals are getting the most action. Let’s see what the numbers are telling us in the NFL’s Divisional Round Playoffs.
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Seahawks vs. Falcons
The NFL oddsmakers initially installed the Atlanta Falcons as 3 ½ point home favorites but the money being flooded on the Dirty Birds has pushed that number skyward as the NFC South champs are now 5 point favorites over the visiting Seattle Seahawks. According to William Hill US, 62 percent of the tickets written and 80 percent of the money has been wagered on the Falcons laying the points.
But it appears as though the small bettors are taking a shot with the Seahawks on the money line as evidenced by 72 percent of the tickets being written on Seattle. However, the big money is clearly being bet by the chalk eaters as the money line has shifted from an opener of -200 to as high as -240 due to 94 percent of the total dollars being bet on Atlanta.
The total on this one opened at 49 but that has jumped to 51 due to 85 percent of the tickets written and 96 percent of the total money going high in this one.
Texans vs. Patriots
Many were shocked to see the Patriots installed as 15 ½ point home favorites but that lofty number has done little to deter bettors from wagering on the AFC East kings. The line has remained solid but the influx of cash at that number has been directed at New England with 70 percent of the tickets and 90 percent of the money earmarked on the Patriots.
The money line opened at New England -1300 with the return on Houston +875. That line has actually risen to -1500/+975 at shops like BetOnline. Once again the small bettors are hoping for an upset with 88 percent of the tickets written on Houston but the total dollars suggest there are big money bettors willing to lay the exorbitant lumber as illustrated by 93 percent of the money on the Pats.
The total on this tilt in Foxboro opened at 44 ½ and has largely remained there with a few books dropping to 44. The public is betting high with 57 percent of the action written over yet more money has been wagered under the posted total as 62 percent of the money is going in that direction.
Steelers vs. Chiefs
The Steelers opened as one-point road favorites in this one but the tables have turned and the Chiefs are now installed as 1 ½ point home chalk. That would stand to reason as 53 percent of the tickets have been written on KC and 61 percent of the money is on the home team as well in terms of the point spread.
Pittsburgh is getting back a return of about +105 in most shops with Kansas City at -120 to -125 on the money line. Seventy-one percent of the money line wagers have been written on Pittsburgh but 59 percent of the total dollars have been steered on KC. Once again, the smaller bettors are getting down on one side while the big money is being issued on the other.
The total has plummeted in this one as the opening number hung at 46 but it now stands as low as 43 ½ in some shops with most hanging the total at 44. Fifty-three percent of the tickets have been over the posted total but 52 percent of the money is headed in the other direction.
Packers vs. Cowboys
Dallas opened as 4-point home favorites and that line has moved ever so slightly to 4 ½ in most shops, though there are 5’s to be found. Green Bay has attracted 61 percent of the tickets written on the point spread but the home chalk has garnered 67 percent of the money.
The Cowboys opened as -210/+180 favorites on the money line but the action is heading in Green Bay’s direction with 92 percent of the tickets written and 75 percent of the money being wagered on the visitors. Despite this imbalance, the money line has only moved slightly to -205 on Dallas with a return of +175 on Green Bay.
Those who are including the total in their NFL picks for this one watched the opening number of 51 ½ inch towards 52 and 52 ½ in most shops. Not surprisingly 89 percent of the tickets written and a whopping 97 percent of the money is going high here. If the trend continues, expect to see the line to spike even higher.
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