Heavy Volume for Broncos-49ers Spread; Take Moneyline Instead

Jason Lake

Saturday, December 8, 2018 1:33 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 1:33 PM UTC

Bettors are unloading their bankrolls on Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers. Why is this game such a popular Week 14 NFL pick?

Jason’s 2018-19 NFL picks record through Week 13: 6-13 ATS, 3-5 Totals

Denver (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) vs San Francisco (2-10 SU, 3-9 ATS)Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)Free NFL Pick: Broncos MLBest Line Offered: Matchbook

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The Denver Broncos have been about as average as an NFL team can get. The San Francisco 49ers are just awful. But for some reason, Sunday’s Broncos-Niners game is pulling in the most volume of any matchup on the Week 14 NFL odds board. Not only that, people can’t decide which team to support. San Francisco have the slightest of leans at press time, with 50.12 percent of bettors taking them as 3.5-point home dogs.

We’re going to recommend the other side for your NFL picks. But not on the point spread; we’re taking the Broncos on the moneyline, where they’re available at –190 after opening at –245. The fear of Denver winning by exactly a field goal is just too much to bear. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind the odds for this matchup.

Real Orange Taste

Maybe it’s because we’re getting down to the wire, but there seems to be a lot more volume in the NFL betting market this week. For example, the expanded consensus reports show heavy action on both sides of Sunday’s game (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. There’s also considerable interest in the Los Angeles Rams for Sunday night’s trip to Solider Field, where they’ll face the Chicago Bears at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

Still, it’s this Broncos-Niners game that’s bringing all the bettors to the yard. And while each team is pulling in roughly the same number of tickets, Denver is scooping up 58.32 percent of the amount wagered, for an average bet size of $180 – the largest on the board for Week 14. San Francisco’s average bet of $128 is good for second place. Big money is sharp money, right?

Mucosa for Bosa

I doubt the sharps are betting both sides here. The Broncos did move from –6 to –3.5 (which happens to match the stat-nerd projections at FiveThirtyEight) since the open, but there’s no room there for a serious arbitrage play. The extra money on the Broncos does make sense, though. They’re making a Wild Card push at 3-0 SU and ATS since their bye week, while the tanking Niners have dropped three straight SU and ATS.

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Nick Bosa leads a star-studded group of interior linemen that make up 8 of the top 10 prospects in @McShay13's Top 32 ranks.

📰 (E+): https://t.co/EQ6reuZM51 pic.twitter.com/nZdoS9N9Vi

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) 5 de diciembre de 2018
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It’s the tanking that has us willing to grab Denver on the moneyline. It’s going to cost us a premium in vigorish; a moneyline of –190 is about the same as a vig-free spread of 4.5 points according to Wizard of Odds. But we’re happy to hedge our bets in this situation. The Broncos are all about running and defense, generating low scores and making it more likely they’ll win by a relatively small margin. The Niners? They’re about getting the No. 1 pick (presumably Ohio State DE Nick Bosa) in the 2019 NFL Draft. May both teams find what they’re looking for this Sunday, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

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