Two Underdogs to Avoid on Your Week 14 NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:05 PM GMT

In this space we look at underdogs that are getting more attention than they might be worth in NFL betting markets, serving up opportunities to fade the public on your NFL picks.

Falcons vs. Panthers
The Falcons haven’t covered a spread in October 4 when they beat Houston 48-21 and cashed as the 4-point favorites. Since then, it’s been a string of losses against the spread. Eight in a row to be exact, seven as the betting favorites and one as the mere 1-point underdog, the latter of which was week 13’s defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19-23). Yet, for some reason, the public is all over the Falcons as the 7-to-9-point road underdogs in Carolina. In all likelihood, this impetus towards the Falcons has nothing to do with the Falcons themselves rather it has everything to do with the way the Panthers were pushed up against the wall at the Superdome last week. Although the Panthers won the game to extend their winning streak to 12 in a row this season, 16 going back to the regular season last year, they failed to cover as the significant faves. Consensus betting at SBR reveals  and almost 50-50 split down the middle between this pair in tickets coming in, but the Falcons have the slight edge with the money raking in 53.49% of the amount risked. Typically, when the ticket-to-money ratio is disproportionate it’s an indication of sharp money coming down the wire at one point or other. Ideally, we’d prefer a greater gap to convince us the Falcons are the value bet.

Carolina’s league-leading 12-0 SU mark is complimented by a 9-3 ATS mark, underscored by a 10.8-point winning margin and a plus 7.8-point differential against the spread. If this season has shown one thing, it’s that betting against the Panthers might not be the right way to go.

NFL Picks: Panthers -7.5 (-110) BetOnline

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Chargers vs. Chiefs
The Chiefs were one of the only double-digit favorites at the start of the week 14 offering on the NFL odds board. Since then, the Seahawks have swelled to double-digit favouritism as well. Unlike the Seahawks game, which is gaining overwhelming traction on the favourite in public betting markets, the Chargers vs. Chiefs reveals the opposite. The public is pounding the Chargers as the road underdogs with almost 58% of the tickets coming down the wire according to SBR going towards the visitors at Arrowhead Stadium. In terms of the actual money, however, the Chiefs have 60.22% of the money risked on this game. If there ever was an indication of sharp money, that’s a good one.

The tickets-to-money ratio is ideally balanced with 42.49% of the tickets equalling 60.22% of the money. It’s surprising that the public is all over the Chargers given their poor account on the season. Then again it’s down to the double-digit spread. Bookies appear to be begging the public to pound it with their NFL picks.

For our money, this is one of those great opportunities for a public fade. 10-plus points is a lot to lay with the Chiefs at first glance. Consider the fact the Chiefs decimated the Chargers 33-3 on their trip to San Diego a few weeks back, not to mention the Broncos only recently handed the Chargers to a 17-3 loss. Nothing about the Chargers strikes an audible chord, least of all their 4-8 ATS mark which includes a 6.4-point losing margin and a negative 5.1-point differential against the spread.

NFL Picks: Chiefs -10 (-120) Bookmaker

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