The Buffalo Bills may have some fight left in them after all. They're a fashionable football pick as 2-point road faves for Sunday's game against NFC East-leading Washington.
Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 19: 48-45-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-31 Total
What do the sharps look for when they make their NFL picks? Lots of things. We could spend a lifetime examining betting strategies and information systems and figuring out what the hell a Spider 2 Y Banana is. Or we could just take a look at some numbers and see which teams the sharps are betting on this week. Both would be nice, but you're not here for the Banana, are you?
For those of us working at home, the expanded consensus reports at SBR give us the info we need to figure out which teams are “sharp” picks. We're looking for teams with a sizable gap in percentage between Wagers Placed and Amount Wagered. In theory, larger bets come from sharper bettors who have crunched the numbers and are willing to take on the added risk. High rollers aren't always sharp, of course, but all these consensus figures have to be taken with a grain of salt, anyway. Statistics, amirite?
The statistics say the Buffalo Bills are in the “sharp” bucket this week. Buffalo's a 2-point road favorite on the NFL odds board for Sunday's matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) with Washington; at press time, our consensus reports show 56 percent of bettors on the Bills, providing 65 percent of the money. It's not the biggest percentage gap for Week 15, not even close, but it's a good first indicator that the sharps might be interested in laying wood on Buffalo.
A quick tour of the Interwebs will confirm that the Bills are indeed drawing some sharp interest. And for good reason: This team has been performing at a higher level than Washington. They may be two 6-7 teams, but the Bills (6-6-1 ATS) have played well enough to earn 7.0 Estimated Wins at Football Outsiders, while Washington (6-7 ATS) is sitting at 5.7 Estimated Wins. Those season-long efficiency stats don't take into account the games that Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins missed, either.
For the biggest percentage gap between Wagers Placed and Amount Wagered, we visit the Field of Jeans, where the San Francisco 49ers (4-9 SU, 6-7 ATS) are getting 5.5 points against the Cincinnati Bengals (10-3 SU, 10-2-1 ATS). Only 37 percent of bettors are on San Francisco at press time, but they're bringing almost 84 percent of the action. The average bet size on the Niners: $439. On the Bengals? A mere $51.
This is obviously because of AJ McCarron replacing the injured Andy Dalton at quarterback for the Bengals. But for added fun, the weather forecast for Sunday's game (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) calls for a 30-percent chance of rain on that miserable sod they call a football field. Also, TE Tyler Eifert (concussion) will be out for Cincinnati. Good times. Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.