Two Underdogs to Avoid on Your Week 13 NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Saturday, December 5, 2015 10:14 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 10:14 PM GMT

Week 13 NFL betting serves up several underdogs that have a lot of stock invested in them as per SBR consensus betting. Should savvy NFL bettors shade or fade those underdogs accordingly.

Eagles +8.5 vs. Patriots
Advanced Line: Patriots -13
Opening Line: Patriots -11

The NFL betting line on this game has been hopping furiously since advanced lines last week had the Patriots down as almost two touchdown favorites at home to the Eagles. More significantly, it’s moving against the Patriots,  despite healthy betting going towards the home favorites.

On the heels of the Patriots’ loss to the Broncos on the road as well as the injury to Rob Gronkowski (listed week-to-week) and the Eagles’ loss to Lions on Thanksgiving in Detroit, the opening line this week was around the 10-to-11 point mark depending on the sports betting exchange. Now, the NFL betting line is as low as 8.5-points at certain sportsbooks such as Pinnacle, Bookmaker, BetCRIS and JustBet

Under normal circumstances, few NFL bettors would balk at the Patriots being installed as the double-digit favorites at home. In 2015, they are 3-1-2 ATS with a 16.8-point winning margin. Since 2014, they are 7-5-1 ATS with a 16.1-point winning margin on average – both trends include approximately a plus 7.5-point differential against the spread on average.

These aren’t normal circumstances though, if SBR consensus betting trends were any indication as the betting coming down the wire on this game is very nearly split down the middle. The Patriots are only taking in 56% of the total wagers on this game while the Eagles are garnering 44%. The actual money reflects a more appropriate split with the Patriots accounting for 84% of the money and the Eagles just a paltry 16%, but the fact that the amount of tickets placed on this game is almost commensurate is interesting.

Clearly, there are those that are reacting to the injuries that have hit the Patriots on offense, which are significant, make no mistake. Amendola, Edelman, Lewis and Gronkowski are all side lined for the foreseeable, which leaves Tom Brady without his favorite targets. However, we are talking about Tom Brady and his master Bill Belichick, who have a knack of turning just about any player into a lethal target when push comes to shove.

Consider the Eagles’ woes this season as well and it’s not hard to imagine the Patriots would run riot over Chip Kelly’s hastily assembled ramshackle side. Or is it?

Why in the last two games, the Eagles conceded 90 points combined to Jameis Winston and Matt Stafford. Not to be churlish here to either of those quarterbacks or their teammates, but they’re not Tom Brady nor are they presiding over a team of the same ilk as the defending champions Patriots.

In any event, the most interesting aspect of this game and the NFL betting trends is the reverse line movement currently taking place on NFL odds boards. Despite logging in 56% of wagering tickets, which amount to 86% of the money, the NFL line is moving against the Patriots and in some cases dramatically. That could be an indication of sharp money coming down on the Eagles at some point or other during the week.

For our money, we’re wary of the Eagles altogether. Sharp betting or not. Chip Kelly has built a reputation for being an offensive guru in the league, but this year’s experiment has fallen way short of the mark. Neither Sam Bradford nor Mark Sanchez has shown the kind of promise that would indicate they have what it takes to capitalise on the Patriots’ current injury woes. So don’t be surprised if the Patriots render the NFL betting line a moot point. We’re banking on the Patriots to come through at the lower 8.5-point spread.

NFL Picks: Patriots -8.5 (-110) Pinnacle

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Panthers vs. Saints +6.5
Advanced Line -3.5
Opening Line: -7

This is another game that is experiencing intriguing betting action this week. Advanced betting lines had this game on a 3.5-point spread ahead of week 12 NFL betting with the Panthers to the good on the road. However, following the Panthers’ win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day and, in turn, the pathetic Saints’ loss to the Texans on the road, in which they managed to score only six points, the NFL betting lines reopened with the Panthers installed as the whopping 7-point road faves.

At first glance, this reinvigorated NFL betting outlook makes complete sense. The Panthers are undefeated on the season with an 11-0 SU mark (15-0 going back to last season) and they are 9-2 ATS in 2015 with an 11.5-point winning margin and a plus 8.9-point differential against the spread on average.

Yet, SBR consensus betting reveals some intriguing trends. Although the Panthers appear to have the bulk of the wagering tickets at approximately 58% while the Saints have just 42% of the tickets, they actual money on the Panthers is a drop in the bucket. The money riding on the Panthers is just 5% of the total money risked on this game! That’s ridiculously lopsided!

Clearly, there’s some big money riding on the Saints to come through as the underdogs on this game. Some sharp bettors or syndicate betting group like the look of the Saints. That’s somewhat puzzling given the Saints are just 4-7-1 ATS on the season with a 7.1-point losing margin and a negative 6.5-point differential against the spread. In any event, books look rather exposed on this game and they’re sure to be rooting for the Panthers as a result to both win and cover.

Fittingly, the NFL betting line now appears to be moving down as a result of this lopsided and conflicting betting. The Saints are now trading at 6.5-points on the road and the lines may well come down further if this NFL betting trend continues.

Sharp bettors don’t always get it right otherwise bookies would be quickly out of business. This is one of those instances where we’re going with the books and taking the Panthers with our NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Panthers -6.5 (-110) Bookmaker

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