Week 15 NFL Picks & Trends: Considering Meaningful Line Movement

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 8:30 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 8:30 PM UTC

We take an in-depth look at Week 15 spot meaningful NFL betting line moves in order to determine the spreads to wait on, spreads to bet on & where to fade the public with your NFL picks.

Week 15 Preview
On the heels of Sunday’s round of action, odds makers went to press with the week’s opening NFL Odds.

As table 1 demonstrates there are several intriguing moves from Advanced Lines posted by Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week. We compare both those lines to current NFL betting lines trading at Heritage Sportsbook in the same table, as well provide insight into current consensus betting trends according to SBR.

Week 14 NFL Betting Odds and Early Picks







TB Bucs

STL Rams

STL -1

TB -1

STL -1.5

STL 54.06%

NY Jets

DAL Cowboys

NYJ -3

NYJ -3

NYJ -3

NYJ 69.62%

ATL Falcons

JAX Jaguars


JAX -3.5

JAX -3.5

JAX 62.03%

BUF Bills

WAS Redskins

BUF -1

WAS -1

BUF -1

BUF 50.22%

CAR Panthers

NY Giants

CAR -3.5

CAR -4

CAR -5

CAR 59.18%

CHI Bears

MIN Vikings

MIN -4

MIN -5

MIN -5.5

MIN 58.54%

HOU Texans

IND Colts





KC Chiefs

BAL Ravens

KC -5

KC -7.5

KC -7.5

KC 61.23%

TEN Titans

NE Patriots

NE -10

NE -14

NE -14

NE 62.19%

CLE Browns

SEA Seahawks

SEA -13.5

SEA -14

SEA -14.5

CLE 55.37%

GB Packers

OAK Raiders

GB -3

GB -2.5

GB -3

GB 69.49%

CIN Bengals

SF 49ers

CIN -7

CIN -4.5

CIN -4.5

CIN 62.89%

DEN Broncos

PIT Steelers

PIT -4.5

PIT -6.5

PIT -6

PIT 52.97%

MIA Dolphins

SD Chargers

SD -1


SD -1.5

SD 51%

ARI Cardinals

PHI Eagles

ARI -3.5

ARI -4

ARI -3.5

ARI 66%

DET Lions

NO Saints

NO -1.5

NO -3.5

NO -3

NO 68.99%


Top Consensus Bets Week 15
Based on table 1 and the public betting trends recorded at SBR's consensus bets (or hot bets) in public circles are as follows:

NY Jets               69.62%
GB Packers        69.49%
NO Saints          68.99%
ARI Cardinals     66%
CIN Bengals       62.89%
NE Patriots        62.19%

Looking at the consensus betting numbers at SBR and following the money, all the aforementioned top consensus betting games demonstrate expected proportion between tickets wagered and money risked on the game. For instance, the 69.62% tickets wagered on the Jets amounts to 67.70% of the money risked on the game. Similarly, 69.49% of the tickets recorded on the Packers equates to 73.02% of the money risked, the 68.99% of tickets recorded on the Saints equates to 76.03% of the money risked, the 66% of tickets recorded on the Cardinals equates to 67% of the money risked, the 62.89% of tickets recorded on the Bengals equates to 77.24% of the money and, finally, the 62.19% of tickets recorded on the Patriots equates 77.95% of the money risked.

Spreads To Wait On?
What do these stats imply? Several things, really. On the surface, it underscores the public’s trend to bet the favorites with abandon. It’s what is commonly referred to as square betting.

To be fair, square betting is just a bit of a churlish reference by those NFL bettors that invest a lot of time, study and research into their NFL picks. Not unlike stockbrokers reading markets and determining where value is before the rest of the common world cottons on. What it shouldn’t be mistaken for is a losing strategy. On the contrary, it can be a winning strategy.

Week 14, for example, saw favorites go 11-5 SU and 9-7 ATS while home teams went 9-7 SU and 7-9 ATS. Those included some of the consensus bets recorded of which the favorites included Arizona, Carolina, Buffalo, Green Bay, New England and NY Giants. Of those only the Cardinals and Bills failed to cover.

In any event, the main noticeable aspect of this week’s consensus betting (as of 12/15) is the seeming absence of sharp money on these games. That’s nowhere more apparent than in the absence of NFL line moves worth taking stock of for your NFL picks. Aside from NFL betting lines swelling from Advanced Line servings, they are holding for the most part on their opening tenders.  In some instances, there have been positive moves such as the Packers moving from -2.5 to -3 at Heritage and the Patriots swelling to 15.5 at 5Dimes, but those are expected moves that fall in line with the amount of tickets and money wagered on the game.

To put it another way, insofar as the favorites are getting the bulk of action coming down the wire there’s also a disturbing lack of betting trigger signals that would suggest contrarian value on the underdog side. With the NFL betting trends so lopsided as a result, we’d suggest laying off some of these games for the time being and waiting until the dust settles before placing your NFL picks either way.

In short, these are spreads to wait on.


Seattle Seahawks -14.5 to cover over Cleveland
It’s no surprise that the Seahawks are heavy favorites over the Browns in week 15 of the season. They’ve thrown down the gauntlet behind a 4-0 SU and ATS streak in their last four games, making them one of the teams nobody wants to see in the playoffs. Surprisingly, consensus betting reveals a distinct lean towards the Browns with 54.26% of tickets record in early NFL betting markets going towards the Manziel circus coming to CenturyLink Field. Seriously? Granted the Browns recorded their first win in forever but they did it against a delinquent San Francisco 49ers for Pete’s sake? Hardly a ringing endorsement of their quality in the balance of a matchup with the Seahawks that have practically decimated all and sundry, including a respectable Vikings side a few weeks back. What’s most interesting about the NFL betting trends in this game is the fact that the money on the Browns is dramatically disproportionate to the tickets wagered. Seahawks are holding 61.32% of the money on this game despite recording just 45.75% of the tickets wagered.

Obviously, the public fancies the road underdog in this game but sharp money is all over the Seahawks. Such bet trigger signals are encouraging, not to mention the fact that is appears to be dangerous to bet against the Seahawks right now. Especially when the contrary bet involves risking money on Manzeil.

Seahawks are listed mainly as the 14.5-point favorites but some sportsbooks are trading them as high as 16-point favorites. So be sure to shop for the best NFL betting line for your NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Seattle Seahawks Against the Spread
Best Line Offered: -14.5 (-103) at Pinnacle

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Public Fade: St Louis Rams
So the St. Louis Rams didn’t pack it in after all, defeating the Detroit Lions on Sunday 21-14. Does that really warrant a favorable outlook on the NFL odds board against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football betting? For that matter, does it warrant the crush of betting on the Rams that amounts to 53.32% of the tickets but a whopping 86.30% of the money risked on the game? It appears that a lot of money has already come down on the wire on the Rams, some of which in the form of large bets that can be an indicator of sharp money.

It appears that this is one of those games where the public and the sharps are on the same side, and the NFL betting line has moved from an opening PK line on Sunday to 1.5-points with the Rams to the good.

Jameis Winston and the Bucs are infinitesimally better than Case Keenum and the St. Louis Rams in our opinion. Plus, they are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot, needing a positive result in this game to keep their slim hopes alive. That sums up to contrarian value on the Bucs as the nominal road underdogs.

Bucs are trading anywhere between +1 to +1.5 so shop around for the best NFL lines available before settling on your NFL Picks

NFL Picks: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Against the Spread
Best Line Offered: +105 (-105) at Heritage

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Public Fade: New Orleans Saints
The Saints are just one of those teams that are always going to get action in public betting circles. Now, that they’ve bounced back into the win column with a 24-17 win over the Bucs in week 14 on the road, it appears the public is back on their bandwagon. As of today, SBR has recorded 68. 39% of tickets wagered on this game going towards the Saints, comprising of 75.26% of the money. That lopsided betting has caused the NFL lines to jump from Advanced servings of -1.5 to -3 at many sports betting outlets.

According to various Football statistics at reputable outlets such as ESPN, Insiders and so forth, the optimal threshold for betting against the public is where teams receive less than 35% of bets. The Lions with 31.61% of tickets recorded and a mere 24.74% of the money fit this bill.

The Detroit Lions succumbed to a road defeat to the hapless St. Louis Rams, which is partly why the public might have gone off of them for their week 15 NFL betting picks. Some allowance though have to be made for the Lions, who’d just come off a heart breaking loss to the Packers – the now infamous Hail Mary. There was bound to be a let-down in week 14. On the flipside, is one win in their last five games enough to instil confidence in the Saints? In the entire season, they’ve only had one winning streak – a three-game winning streak which included wins over the Falcons, Colts and Giants. That’s not enough to convince us they are the sure NFL pick. As such, we’re fading the public and taking the Lions.

NFL Picks: Detroit Lions Against the Spread
Best Line Offered: +3 (-105) at BetOnline

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