NFL Betting: Big Favorites Drawing Big Money in Week 10 Market

Jason Lake

Sunday, November 15, 2015 2:21 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 2:21 PM UTC

This is what happens when people get disposable income – they dispose of it by betting the biggest favorites on the NFL odds board. As if they'd bet on Cleveland.

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 14: 31-30-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 21-27 Total

We're living in an age of abundance. At least it feels that way, for those of us who are getting our basic needs met. Disposable income has been on the rise pretty much ever since money was invented. Poverty is down across the board. According to some stuff I saw on the Interwebs which I won't bother citing, every country will be a “first-world” country in about 150 years.

Is it any wonder the NFL has turned into this juggernaut? People love to bet on football, and the more money they earn in the outside world, the more they dump into the betting market without worrying too much about the outcome. That's the money we're going after with our NFL picks. And if you look at our expanded consensus reports going into Sunday's games, you'll find plenty of big fish in the sea.

Whaling for Dummies
Speaking of fish, in the poker parlance of our times, there are some high rollers out there whom we could classify as whales. Okay, whales aren't fish, that's not the point. In poker, when you find someone with a lot of money and not a lot of know-how, you want that whale at your poker table, making bad decisions and keeping you and your family in blubber.

So it is with betting on football. Generally speaking, we expect bigger bets to come from sharper bettors, and that's still the case. But the more disposable income there is, the more nouveau riche there are, making the same “square” mistakes as everyone else. Let's take a look at three of the most popular teams on the Week 10 NFL odds board, based on how much action they're getting:

Detroit at Green Bay –12 (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX)
Cleveland at Pittsburgh –6 (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Houston at Cincinnati –12.5 (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Again, we might be biased here at the home office after picking the Lions, Browns and Texans. But even though there are some massive bets out there for the favorites – especially on the Steelers – it's hard to call any of those favorites “sharp” picks. They just don't fit the profile. Sharps love double-digit underdogs. Squares love big favorites, especially at home.

I suppose there's some merit in taking the Steelers now that Johnny Manziel has officially been given the start. There's a crazy-huge average bet of $1,254 on Pittsburgh at press time, compared to $39 on Cleveland. Over 97 percent of the action on this game is on the Steelers. But where's the profit margin when Landry Jones is going to start for the favorites? We weren't salivating over picking either of these teams, but that $39 bet looks a heck of a lot sharper, no matter which side it's on.

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