- Even though the public hasn't fully bought in on the Cleveland Browns, sharp bettors have hit them yet again against the Los Angeles Chargers.
- In one of the most lopsided games of the week, the public is on the Falcons as small home favorites against the Buccaneers, but the line is moving toward Tampa Bay.
- The Chiefs-Patriots game has a spread is near the key number of 3, and the over/under is approaching history.
Look, I’m not going to say that the Cleveland Browns are the crème de la crème or “cream of the cream.” This is mostly due to the fact that only a psycho would say cream of the cream.
Nevertheless, they are 4-1 against the spread (ATS). What are their ATS records in the previous two seasons, you ask?
- 2017: 4-12
- 2016: 4-12
Unless they go 0-11 ATS down the stretch, they’re trending in the right direction, and sharp bettors have taken notice.
Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Tennessee Titans
Do not let Baltimore’s loss to the Browns discourage you. Bettors are buying the Ravens and buying them quickly.
The Ravens moved from a pick’ em to -3 over a 16-hour window, leaving the laggards with slim pickings. Now that the Titans are 3-point dogs on their home turf, I wouldn’t be surprised if the line moved in their favor.
Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns (PK)
The most fearsome team in the league … the Cleveland Browns! Despite being such a damn juggernaut, they continue to get a Rodney Dangerfield level of respect.
- +3.5 vs. Pittsburgh (40%): Win
- +10 at New Orleans (38%): Win
- -3 vs. NY Jets (63%): Win
- +2.5 at Oakland (34%): Loss (Though some bettors pushed)
- +3 vs. Baltimore (26%): Win
And by win, I mean cover. This week, the Browns are getting 36% of bets at home against the Chargers, but the sharp fellas already hit Cleveland plus the points.
A steam move triggered on the Browns at +2 helped push the line down to +1 or a pick’ em across the market. It might be time to accept the fact that the Browns don’t suck and perhaps are even teetering on good.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Dallas Cowboys
The Jags had a chance to quiet Kansas City, but didn’t come close to doing so. Meanwhile, Dallas, with the league’s leading rusher, just cannot score points.
The Cowboys are averaging the third-fewest points per game in the league at just 16.6, and are welcoming one of the league’s best defenses.
Following Dallas’ loss to Houston, everyone is fading America’s Team as it’s receiving fewer than 30% of bets and dollars in the early going. This large wave of Jacksonville support has forced oddsmakers to move the Jags from -1.5 to -3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
This game caught my eye when I first saw the opener. The Falcons haven’t been good. In fact, at 1-4, they haven’t been “okay” either.
Nevertheless, this line is a puzzler. At just -3, these odds basically reflect that these two teams are equals when you consider how much home-field advantage is worth to the spread.
However, the Falcons are just a couple of plays away from a 3-2 record. They were blown out by Pittsburgh on Sunday, but their -30 point differential through five games is just three points worse than the Bucs’ -27 differential in four games.
The FitzMagic era is over, and nobody really knows what we’ll see from Jameis Winston. Like myself, it appears that most folks’ eyes were caught by this line, as 78% of bets are on Atlanta.
However, the Falcons have gone from -3.5 to -3, which pretty much guarantees some sharp bettors are on the Bucs.
Los Angeles Rams (-7) at Denver Broncos
The Rams almost lost in Seattle this past weekend, which put a smile on Chad Millman’s face. Their defense can be beat, but their offense has been there to bail them out.
Last week, Los Angeles went from -7 to -7.5 and has once again opened as a touchdown favorite on the road.
This hardly ever happens in Denver. The Broncos have been +7 at home just two times since 2003, meaning movement toward LA would make history. I’m not holding my breath, however, as Denver has gone from +7 (-110) to +7 (-119).
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-3.5)
As a Pats fan, I’ve been very curious as to what will happen to this line. A slight majority of bets has come in on the Chiefs, but the line moved off the key number of -3 to -3.5.
I expected it to move toward Kansas City, but you can never doubt the Patriots at home.
Since 2003, there have been 13 games in which a Tom Brady-led Pats team has been -3 or worse at home in the regular season. New England is 9-2-2 ATS in those games and 5-0-1 in this decade.
I would not be surprised if the line was bought back to 3 now that bettors can take the Chiefs plus the hook, but don’t forget that the Patriots are the Patriots.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (59)
Ah, this game again. This total opened high at 58, but has gone even higher. Now at 59, this is the second-highest regular-season total we’ve ever tracked.
More than 80% of bets and dollars are on the over, so it looks like sharps and squares alike are expecting points in New England.
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins (41.5)
Daaa Bears’ defense is much like it was back in the day. I wasn’t alive back then so I don’t know the specifics, but I heard it was good.
Chicago has allowed fewer than 17 points per game, which is good for second-best in the league. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are scoring fewer than 20 points per game, which is fifth-worst in the league.
With this garbage offense facing an elite defense, more than 70% of bets and dollars have come in on the under, dropping the total two full points since opening.