#Betting101: Early Week 15 Bettors Digging Dallas, Atlanta

atlanta falcons

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:21 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 2:21 PM GMT

They haven’t been the strongest football picks this year, but the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are getting all the love on the early Week 15 NFL odds board.

Free NFL Pick: Falcons –5.5Best Line Offered: The Greek

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It can’t feel good to be the Oakland Raiders right now. They had the AFC West in the palms of their hands last week, but they lost 26-15 to the slumping Kansas City Chiefs as 4.5-point road dogs, falling to 6-7 SU and 4-8-1 ATS in the process. Now they’re going to host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC), and according to our expanded consensus reports nobody wants to put the Raiders in their Week 15 NFL picks. The very early numbers show 110 bettors on Dallas as a 2.5-point road fave, and zero on Oakland.

Life could be worse – you could be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are dead-last in the NFC South at 4-9 SU and 3-9-1 ATS. They’ll host the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), and once again the early reports have 98 bettors picking the Falcons at –6 on the NFL odds board, and none picking the Bucs. Sad trombone.

Davy Jones’ Locker

They say early money is sharp money. They also say big money is sharp money, in which case, the Falcons (8-5 SU, 6-7 ATS) might be a sharper pick than Dallas (7-6 SU and ATS). The Cowboys are pulling in an average bet of $79, while Atlanta has the biggest average bet size for Week 15 at $104, including two $1,000+ bets.

The Falcons also have some extra advantages going into Monday’s game. They’ll be playing on a very long week of rest, after beating the New Orleans Saints (+2.5 away) 20-17 on Thursday Night Football. And the Bucs are on a 0-3 SU and ATS slide that began with their 34-20 loss to Atlanta (–10.5 at home) in Week 12. RT Demar Dotson and center Ali Marpet suffered knee injuries in that game and went on injured reserve -– the team's two best offensive linemen.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/FPtfzVX0V0

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 10, 2017
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The Cowboys, meanwhile, have won back-to-back games SU and ATS, and both LT Tyron Smith and LB Sean Lee have returned off the injured list, so they’re in pretty good shape until RB Ezekiel Elliott returns from suspension next week. But FiveThirtyEight projects Sunday’s game as a pick ‘em, and Monday’s game at Atlanta –5.5, so once again, it looks like the Falcons are the sharper choice – if you’re going to take either team. We’ll put our faith in the Dirty South to exceed their projections with Tampa Bay playing out the string.

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