Public Bettors' Miscalculations Open the Door for The Sharps in Week 13: Free NFL Pick

Nikki Adams

Friday, December 4, 2015 5:16 PM GMT

NFL betting lines are moving against the Bucs as consensus betting piles on top of the Falcons. Does the public have their NFL picks right? Where are the sharps betting?

Atlanta Falcons Road Underdogs
Atlanta Falcons take on divisional rivals Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC South showdown that carries postseason implications. That and the revenge component after the Falcons lost at home to the Bucs in 23-20 stunner at the Georgia Dome, which saw the Bucs cover as the 8-point road underdogs, only adds and additional dimension to this game.

Since going 5-0 SU on the season, the Falcons have seen their season go south with just one win in their last six games that puts their season on a precarious cliff. The Panthers are riding high behind an 11-0 SU record and have the divisional title practically sewn up, leaving the Falcons in stiff competition for a wildcard playoff spot.

During this rather head-scratching run of form, they’ve failed to cover the spread each and every time. By the stats, they are 1-5 SU in their last six with a 0-6 ATS record and a 0-5-1 OVER Record. On the season overall, they are just 4-7 ATS with a 2.4-point winning margin on average and a negative 0.8-point differential against the spread.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Home Faves
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finally showing a pulse, giving the fans in the Sunshine State something to cheer about. Nobody is saying they are Super Bowl 50 contenders just yet, but they’re already on course for a better finish than they had last year with their prize No.1 draft pick Jameis Winston.

The Buccaneers boast a 5-6 SU mark on the season, which includes a 6-5 ATS record. Although they boast a 2.8-losing margin on the season on average, they had a plus 0.6-point differential against the spread. Most recently, though, they’ve really elevated their play behind a 3-3 SU mark in their last six games, which includes three wins in their last five games and a 3-2 ATS mark comprised of 1.6-point winning margin on average.

 

Advanced Lines and Reverse Line Movements
Earlier in the week, we looked at the Advanced Lines for week 13 NFL betting. A serving of the scheduled games and the advanced NFL odds put forward by Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook ahead of week 12. At the time, the Falcons were matched as the 1.5-point favourites on the road.

At the close of week 12’s round of NFL betting, the Falcons emerged awful 20-10 losers at home to the Vikings, all while matched as the nominal 2-point home chalk. Granted the Vikings are surprising many teams in the NFL season, but the odds makers clearly didn’t put stock into it. Instead going high on the Falcons at home.

The Buccaneers also came away losers in week 12 NFL betting but they lost 25-12 to the Colts on the road as the 3-point underdogs. There’s an argument to be had that they never were expected to win as the underdogs, even though they were coming off a massive upset over the Eagles on the road in week 11 NFL betting. It was always going to be hard to follow up week 11.

The upshot of week 12 was a complete and utter line reversal of the NFL betting outlook on this game, with the Buccaneers emerging as the home chalk at 2.5-points. While that may have surprised some NFL bettors, the Falcons aren’t looking the part of contender these days. To perpetuate the myth would be a disservice.

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Yet, here’s the interesting bit: consensus betting according to SBR reveals a conspicuous lean towards the Falcons at the moment. Clearly, the public is buying what the Falcons are selling. Perhaps, even, the notion that the Bucs would actually sweep the series over the Falcons this season is unfathomable. Whatever the reason for this particular NFL betting trend, it’s down to emotional betting rather than anything substantiated by tangibles such as current form and prevailing stats.

 

Public Consensus Betting Heavy On Falcons
Looking at the run of form of these two teams, it’s obvious they are enjoying contrasting fortunes at the moment. The Falcons are conspicuously trending negatively, begging the question whether their perfect start to the season was just a mirage. On the flipside, the Bucs are trending positively and showing signs of improvement. Not to the extent that NFL betting experts and pundits alike would deem them as contenders but enough to spell promise for future seasons.

However, in spite of these glaring contrasts on form, current SBR consensus betting reveals a conspicuous lean towards the Falcons with 58.58 % of total wagering tickets coming down the wire going towards the Falcons and, in turn, just 41.41% of the tickets going towards the Bucs.

Breaking down those numbers further, though, we discover that things aren’t as they seem on the surface with these NFL picks.

Of those tickets submitted on the Falcons, the actual monetary value of those wagers makes up only 44.15% of the total pot. The 41.41% of the tickets on the Bucs make up the rest of the money, which amounts to 55.85% of the money wagered.

Chart 1: Wagering Amounts for Falconvs vs. Buccaneers by 12/04

If there’s ever an indication of sharp money, that’s one indicator that sharp money is on the Bucs. That and the reverse line movement that has occurred since sports betting shops went to press with early NFL odds

 

Lively NFL Line on Falcons vs. Bucs
The NFL line on this game is one of the liveliest on the NFL odds board, moving from Falcons at -1.5 in advanced offerings to Tampa Bay at -2.5 in early NFL betting markets this week. Then the NFL line moved to Tampa Bay -1 at some sportsbooks and at others to a PK. Current NFL Lines are sitting anywhere from -1 to -1.5 depending on your sportsbook of choice – for instance Pinnacle and Bet365 are offering the Bucs on a 1-point line with -110 money line odds while The Greek is offering the Bucs at -1.5 with -105 money line odds. 5Dimes, meanwhile, serves up the game as a pick’em, but with the Bucs on -120 money line odds.

 

Who is right? The Public or Sharp Bettors?
A widely accepted strategy for winning NFL picks is fading the public. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, otherwise sportsbooks would be out of the pocket fast as savvy NFL bettors cotton on to the practice. However, at times, it does prove profitable.

This is one of those games that provides such an excellent opportunity to fade the public and bet the Bucs as the nominal home faves. Frankly, with the Falcons not looking the part and riding a six-game streak without a cover against the spread, it’s surprising the public is behind them on their NFL picks. For our money, we’re taking the Bucs as the 1-point faves on our NFL picks.

Free NFL Picks: Bucs -1 (-110) at Pinnacle