The betting public is backing the Patriots and Vikings against the spread in their Week 2 matchups versus the Saints and Steelers. Perception is driving the action. Here’s why sharps are on the other side.
The Patriots-Saints matchup is seeing the most lopsided number of ATS tickets across multiple top-rated online sportsbooks as of Friday. The public is pounding New England with 81 percent of bets. The line originally opened -4 in favor of the Pats last Sunday, adjusting to 4.5 points within hours. Books pulled the game off the board at the start of the Vikings’ 29-19 win over the Saints on Monday night, readjusting to -6.5 after a lackluster New Orleans performance. The number has since dipped to -6 despite heavy public action.
The perception here is New England will bounce back after an embarrassing 42-27 loss at home to the Chiefs to open the season. The Pats went off 8-point chalk. The defeat marks just the 10th time the Super Bowl favorites have dropped a regular-season game outright when laying more than a touchdown under head coach Bill Belichick. In follow up efforts, the Pats are 7-1 SU and 7-0-1 ATS (two losses occurred on the final game of the season), covering the number by a whopping 11.9 points on average. Oh, and New England had nine days to prep for the game versus five for the Saints.
Sharp money backing the Saints is riding on two factors: 1) Tom Brady’s less-than-stellar passing attack in Week 1, and 2) New Orleans’ historical performances in the Superdome. Brady threw for 267 yards and no scores on 16 of 36 passes versus the Chiefs. Outside of the playoffs, his 70.0 QB rating was the second lowest recorded since 2014. With signs pointing to WR Danny Amendola missing the game due to injury (concussion/knee), Brady will have an even thinner receiving corps with Julian Edelman out for the year (knee). Bad timing for sure.
Will the Pats’ passing attack be able to match Saints QB Drew Brees through the air? This is a major dilemma for sharps. New Orleans is a different beast in the Big Easy. The Saints average 29.9 points per game at the Superdome behind Brees all-time, scoring 23 or more in all but one of its last 15 home games.
Brady has never started a season 0-2, but don’t count out the Saints upsetting here. Sharps believe it will be closer than the -6 on the board.
Vikings vs. Steelers (-5)
The public is backing the Vikings heavily with 67 percent of spread tickets. The spike came after their 29-19 win over the Saints Monday night. Prior to that contest, oddsmakers opened Pittsburgh 5-point chalk, adjusting all the way to a touchdown within 30 minutes of early wagering. Books reposted the line at -6.5 in favor of the Steelers following Minny’s win. Public action has since pushed the figure down to -5.5 less than 48 hours from kickoff.
Sharp money will likely move this number nearer a touchdown come kickoff. Why? Let’s look at the facts. Fact: the Steelers have scored 30 points or more in nine of their last 11 home games with QB Ben Roethlisberger under center. The team is averaging 32.7 points per game in this stretch. Sharps wonder if Minnesota can keep up. History says no. The Vikings have put up 30 points just three times in 24 road trips under head coach Mike Zimmer, averaging 19.3 per game.
Minnesota is also getting more than 75 percent of money line tickets at a price. Fact: Zimmer’s squad has never won a road game when allowing opponents more than 20 points. It will take an extra special defensive effort to hold the Steelers below this number at Heinz Field. With Pittsburgh likely to win, and the game at a dead number on the board, wiseguys will make a move.For More On This Matter Check SBR's NFL Odds Consensus Table