NFL Betting: Identifying Early Sharp & Public Week 15 Line Movement

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 12:54 PM GMT

Let’s examine early moves, put theories on some of the line shifts & then make NFL picks in what could be some big blowouts by last season’s Super Bowl combatants, the Patriots and Seahawks.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Line Low:
Vikings -4, Dec. 13 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Current Consensus Line: Vikings -5 (Almost everywhere)
Current High Line: -5½ +110 (5Dimes, Bookmaker, Sportbet.com)

Betting Analysis:
This early on in the week a move that’s left only (Minnesota minus) 5’s and 5½’s has to be mostly Sharp money with probably a little bit of Public money on Teddy Bridgewater (35/36, 335 yards in Loss to Cardinals on TNF) and the host Vikings (8-5 SU, 10-3 ATS) in this NFC North game from TCF Bank Stadium which logically has seen movement this way because the game only has meaning to the Vikings, sitting a game behind the Green Bay Packers (9-4) in the conference and because of the way these two teams looked and played in their Week 14 games: The Vikings impressive in a close Loss at Arizona and the Chicago Bears (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS) disappointing at Home for a second straight week in a Loss to the Redskins, previously winless on the Road. When these two met earlier this year at Soldier Field in the Windy City, the Vikings won and covered as 1½-point favorites (on one play), 23-20 on Nov. 1 on a last-second Blair Walsh FG, while in this meeting last year in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota won 13-9 in Week 17 but failed to cover ATS as 7-point favorites. The Vikings—10-2-1 Under after Week 14—are a woeful 4-8 ATS the L12 in this series but Chicago, with some newfound spark from Rookie sensation Jeremy Langford (Michigan State) have absolutely nothing to lose after disappointing Losses to San Francisco and Washington at Home in Weeks 13 and 14. Thoughts the visiting Bears can possibly win this game have eroded while thoughts of the Under and backing the host Vikings on the Money Line (-220, Bwin)—in a must-win for them in a way—are dancing through the head.

NFL Pick: Vikings Money Line -220 (Bwin)

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Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Line Low: Chiefs -7 (Heritage, BetOnline)
Current Consensus Line: Chiefs -7½ (Almost everywhere)
Current High Line: Chiefs -9 (5Dimes, Sportbet.com)

Betting Analysis:
Just a half-point NFL Odds move for the most part with 7½’s the predominant number hanging on Monday night, with a couple of 9’s actually out there Offshore and this has to be Sharp, or perceived smart money on the Kansas City Chiefs (8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS) who have now W7 straight games and are currently the projected 5th-seed in the AFC Playoffs after Sunday’s 10-3 win over the Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Here against a really banged-up Baltimore Ravens (4-9 SU, 3-8-2 ATS) squad without starting QB Joe Flacco (Knee, done for season), veteran WR and future Hall of Famer Steve Smith and RB Justin Forsett, among others. The last time these two AFC teams met, the Ravens won 9-6 but failed to cover ATS as 6-point favorites at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas CIty in 2012, while the last time these two met here at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, it was the 2010 AFC Playoffs and the Ravens and Ray Lewis blasted the Chiefs, 30-7, easily covering the 3-point spread. The Chiefs are 3-1 ATS the L4 here in Baltimore and even though they are on a roll, laying 7½ to 9 points seems a risky NFL Pick after such a low-scoring affair against the Chargers at Home.

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Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots
Line Low: Patriots -12½ Dec. 13 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Current Consensus Line: Patriots -14
Current High Line: Patriots -15½ (5Dimes, Sportbet.com)

Betting Analysis:
Again, this looks like a blend of mostly Sharp money with maybe 20% or less overall from the General Public on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (11-2 SU, 6-4-3 ATS) and QB Tom Brady (65-48-1 ATS on Road) in this AFC inter-divisional meeting against Rookie QB Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans (3-10 SU, 4-8-1) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Sunday. The Advanced Line (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) here went from 10 to the -12½ at open on Monday to its current -13½ in no time after Sunday’s results were digested...New England downing the Texans and the Titans being blasted by the Jets. The last time these two teams met, the Patriots trounced the Titans, 34-13 in Nashville, covering ATS as 5-point favorites while the last meeting here in Massachusetts in 2009 saw New England violate Tennessee, 59-0 easily covering ATS by 49½ points as 9½-point chalks. The Patriots are 3-0 ATS the L3 in this infrequent series and New England and Rob Gronkowski are 3-1 ATS the L4 here at Home against Tennessee and should easily win here by 15 points or more with AFC Home-field Advantage in play again after Losses on Sunday by both AFC heavies the Broncos and Bengals.

NFL Pick: Patriots -13½ (Island Casino)

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Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks
Line Low: Seahawks -13½ -110 Dec. 13 (Treasure Island)
Current Consensus Line: Seahawks -14½
Current High Line: Seahawks -16 (5Dimes)

Betting Analysis:
Again, likely 80% Sharp and 20% General Public early money on Russell Wilson and Russell Wilson (5 TD passes on Sunday in Win at Ravens) and defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks (8-5 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) as the foam at the mouth waiting for Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns (3-10 SU, 4-8-1 ATS) to head three Time Zones (EST to PST) west to FirstEnergy Field on Sunday afternoon in an inter-conference game which will only hold importance to the host Seahawks. The last time these two met, the Seahawks lost 6-3 at Cleveland in 2011 but pushed ATS getting 3 points while the last meeting here in the Emerald City was way back in 2003 at an aptly-named place called Seahawks Stadium where the host Seahawks—the franchise’s second season in the NFC after leaving the AFC—pounded and covered ATS as 6-point favorites, 34-7. With the Seattle Defense now foaming at the mouth and rallying like they do in the 2nd Half of the Regular Season, expect Texas A&M product and former Heisman Trophy-winner Manziel to be frustrated beyond belief far, far from Home against a real, nasty professional NFL Defense. Even though seattle will be without TE Jimmy Graham and possibly RB Marshawn Lynch, this could get really ugly.

NFL Pick: Seahawks -13 (SportsInteraction)

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Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers
Line Low: Bengals -3½ Dec. 13 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Current Consensus Line: Bengals -4
Current High Line: Bengals -4½

Betting Analysis:
Even though the Cincinnati Bengals (10-3 SU, 9-2-2 ATS) are going to with backup QB AJ McCarron after starting QB Andy Dalton (Out, Fractured Bone in Hand) was injured in the Bengals Loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday, the early money is still on the visitors, which is obviously a vote by Sharp money against Blaine Gabbert and the San Francisco 49ers (4-9 SU, 6-7 ATS) who looked like crap again losing to the Browns on Sunday. The last time these two met, the Niners defeated Cincinnati at Home, 13-8 and covered ATS as 1-point favorites in 2011 while the last meeting here in San Francisco was at the old Candlestick Park in 2007 and saw the 49ers top the Bengals and win outright, 20-13 as big 9-point Home underdogs. The Bengals—who also saw starting TE Tyler Eiffert (Concussion) get hurt in their Loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday—are 6-2-1 ATS the L8 in this series and Cincinnati and WR AJ Green are 3-1 ATS the L4 here in San Francisco and may have too many weapons for the NFL-scoring low (188 points) hosts have actually played some good football under Gabbert. Even though Cincinnati will be heading west 3 Time Zones (EST to PST) and 2,384 miles to Santa Clara on Sunday in a desperate situation, it was enough for some early movement their way. The SuperBook had the Niners open up as 1½-point favorites here in their renowned NFL Games of the Year.

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Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
Line Low: Saints -2½ Dec. 13 (Treasure Island)
Current Consensus Line: Saints -3
Current High Line: Saints -3

Betting Analysis:
The obvious thought here is a Sharp—who else is dumping money on a meaningless Saints-Lions game 8 days out?—reaction to the Lions poor outing against the Rams—a game the Sharps took a beating on backing the Lions—as well as a positive reaction to New Orleans sort-of surprise win over the Buccaneers in Tampa in Week 14. And although just a ½ move and no sportsbook has got off that Key Number of -3 (-3 -125 is the closest), backing veteran QB Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) over Matthew Stafford and the Lions (5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in The Big Easy next Monday night seems wise, although it may also be some positioning. The last time these two NFC sides met, the Lions beat New Orleans, 24-23 in Detroit last season (2014), but failed to cover ATS as 2½-point favorites while the last meeting here in New Orleans saw the Saints roll the Lions 45-28 in the opening round of the 2011-12 NFC Playoffs, covering as 10½ favorites in Motown. The Saints are 5-0 ATS the L5 in this series and 5-1 ATS the L6 here at Home in New Orleans. The Saints were installed as 3½-point favorites in this game here at the SuperBook in their renowned NFL Games of the Year. This baby could rocket over the Total and there is, for now, still that low -2½ (-120) here in Sin City available over at the Treasure Island casino.

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WEEK 15 EARLY LINE MOVEMENT FREE NFL PICKS: Vikings Money Line -220 over Bears (Bwin), Patriots -13½ over Titans (Treasure Island), Seahawks -13 over Browns (SIA)

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