Free NFL Picks: Identifying Early Sharp & Public Line Movement

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 6:42 PM GMT

Let’s take a look at these moves and try to figure out why the numbers have moved in the direction they have as well as offering up a couple of NFL picks.


New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
SuperBook Line Open: Patriots -3  Jan. 18 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Offshore Open: Patriots -3½ Jan. 17 (Sportsbook.ag)
Open Line Low: Patriots -2½  Jan. 18 (Treasure Island)
Open Line High: Patriots -4  Jan. 18 (TopBet)
Current (Monday) Lines: Patriots -3 -3½
Current Line Low: Patriots -3
Current Consensus: Patriots -3
Current Line High: Patriots -3½ (Sportsbook.ag, Station Casinos, Peppermill, Bovada)
Analysis: Like last week, some fairly solid movement on the Super Bowl champions, with probably a majority of it a combination of both Sharp and General Public money with most sportsbooks either moving their vigorish on the 3’s on the NFL odds board, moving their Money Lines a few cents and some actually moving off a number. Why? Tom Brady and the Patriots got WRs Julian Edelman (Broken Left Foot) and Danny Amendola back together in their AFC Divisional Round win over the streaking Kansas City Chiefs, 27-20, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Saturday and the team looked pretty good. Along with WR Brandon LaFell and TE Rob Gronkowski (Knee/Back, Probable)—who had another huge game against the Chiefs, making 7 catches for 83 yards and 2 TDs and catching the Kansas City Onsides Kick attempt to end the game—Brady has his weapons where he needs them unlike some other unfortunate NFL Playoff QBs this season.
Some bettors backing New England at -3 may feel there may be an influx of New England money throughout the week and don’t want to be put in a position of having to lay 3½, yet that’s the line already in some places (Sportsbook.ag, Station Casinos, Peppermill, Bovada, Coast Casinos, TopBet). Maybe some like the QB matchup and Brady is in much better shape and has played much more than his old nemesis, the 39-year-old Peyton Manning has. And New England has been the favorites in the AFC from Deflategate until today, and have been the team to beat in the conference for years. This line may possibly go up in some places, but it’s hard to imagine any 4’s or 2½ on gameday and there could be some decent action in the end, especially with Sharps ready to pounce on any 3½’s with the underdog Broncos should they appear. If the Patriots go strongly to either 2½ or 3½ at the majority of sportsbooks by Wednesday-Thursday-Friday, then there could be some decent two-way action in this game, but the line will likely stay on 3 it seems, and in the end the Sharps and Squares could be on the same side, the Patriots (-155 Money Line, at The Greek). With just two games this weekend and this such a classic matchup (AFC #1 and #2 seeds), the (money) volume could be high on this one. Mastermind Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has been preparing this team for the AFC Championship for about a month and will use what he learned in New England’s 30-24 loss here in Week 12 (NE -2½, 43).

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NFL Pick: Patriots Money Line -150
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
SuperBook Line Open: Panthers -3 -120  Jan. 18 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Open Line Low: Panthers -3
Current Lines: Panthers -3
Current Line Low: Panthers -3
Current Consensus: Panthers -3
Current Line High: Panthers -3½ (Bovada, Coast Casinos)
Analysis: Some early, Sharp money on the underdog Cardinals at many sportsbooks Offshore and here in las vegas but not enough to move the number, just the juice and just slightly, although Station Casinos did open their line up at Panthers -3½ and have gotten enough Arizona money to drive the Point Spread down to (Carolina minus) 3, now (Monday night) at -3 -120 (Arizona +3, +100). And maybe expect more Arizona money later in the week as the Sharps (Wiseguys) usually prefer to take the underdogs and as long as a team as good as the Cardinals is sitting there with a +3, there will be takers both early and late. But the significant movement in this game comes with the Total, where the number opened up at 47 and 47½ at most places but has already been bet up to 47½ and 48, like at the world’s largest sportsbook, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in Sin City. But will this Total (Points) be bet up to 50? Probably not, but with all that early money on the Over it’s hard to think either, or both, the Sharps and the Public will be wanting any piece of the Under, knowing the significance of the game, how good both Offenses are—Cardinals Offense #1 in NFL, 6,533 yards, 408.3 ypg, 30.6 ppg, Panthers Offense #11 in NFL, 5,871 yards, 366.9, 31.3 ppg—and how temperate the Weather will be in at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon (Sunny, 53°, Winds W 5 mph, Humidity 50%, Moonrise 6:38 p.m. EST). These two teams scored 43 points when they met last year here in Charlotte in the NFL Wild Card game, with the host Panthers winning, 27-16. And with the cats leading the NFL with a gaudy +20 TO Margin, expect a Defensive score or an Interception or Fumble to help lead to an easy 6 (+1 points) somewhere during this game. It seems both teams should be able to score 3 TDs and a FG here (24 points), and this one could be either very close or a Carolina double-digit win with the Cardinals rolling to an easy win in Carolina the hardest scenario to imagine. But if that does happen, this one should go Over for our NFL picks.

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NFL Pick: Arizona Cardinals Team Total Points Over 22 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365