After most of the big dogs ended up croaking in Week 8, sharp bettors are keen on the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons for their Week 9 NFL picks.
Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 1: 25-21-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-26 Total
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again. The San Francisco 49ers were a sharp NFL pick for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams, getting 7.5 points on the road versus a decent, but average opponent. Final score: Rams 27, Niners 6. Why do we keep talking ourselves into these situations? Somewhere, an old-school handicapper wearing a checkered blazer and chomping on a stogie is nodding his head and saying “Never ask a bad team to do something for you.”
The Niners were one of three 7-point dogs or higher who failed to cover in Week 8. The only one who did: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8 away), who somehow managed a 23-20 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons. Yet it's the Falcons who are getting the lion' share of early support on our Week 9 NFL odds. Their opponents? The San Francisco 49ers. Go figure.
Bird Is the Word
There aren't a lot of teams drawing major interest in early betting for Week 9, but the Falcons were front-and-center when they opened as 4-point road faves for Sunday's matchup (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX). Our early consensus reports showed 71 percent of first responders taking Atlanta, moving the spread as high as –5 at press time. The UNDER is getting 65-percent support on the posted total of 45; San Francisco has scored seven points or fewer in four of its eight games, so why not.
The other team getting a strong early push is also a road favorite this week. The Philadelphia Eagles opened at –2.5 for their Sunday Night Football encounter (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) with the Dallas Cowboys, and right away, 100 percent of bettors were on Philadelphia like provolone on a hoagie. That consensus did quickly taper off to 52 percent, though. Our very early expanded reports show twice as much money coming in on the Eagles; we'll take a closer look at this matchup as the week rolls on.
Funky Dollar Bill
The fact that we've got expanded consensus numbers on a Monday morning is quite promising – should be a busy week for football betting. It also gives us a better chance to accurately gauge where the sharps are, and we've got a handful of games with what would otherwise have been hidden imbalances in the monies wagered.
The starkest example deals with the biggest chalk on the Week 9 board. Yup, the sharps are pounding the New England Patriots again, this time as 14.5-point home faves against Washington. Even though “only” 52 percent of early bettors are on New England, they're supplying over 82 percent of the cash, for an average bet size of $162 compared to Washington's $37. Would you like some wine to go with that chalk?