Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
- The Steelers (-3.5) are not getting much public support against the Panthers on Thursday Night Football.
- The Bills-Jets game (1 p.m ET, Sunday) looks just awful, but has an interesting spread and over/under to monitor.
- After failing their first test following Hue Jackson's firing, the Browns (+5) are once again getting very little public support.
Look, when you take a glance at this week’s schedule, you may want to head for the hills. Although the games aren’t good on paper, bettors are still betting.
The games may be terrible, but there’s no shortage of interesting betting storylines for Week 10. Here’s how things are shaping up:
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
After opening at a pick ’em, an early wave of sharp action started to move the line in the Bucs’ favor. I mean, one team has a magician at quarterback while the other has just an average fella. Average Alex Smith.
It was not until Tuesday morning, however, that the line hit TB -3. At the time of publication, the Bucs are getting 55% of bets and 64% of dollars
Carolina Panthers (+3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
When Big Ben checks the schedule and sees he has to play on Thursday.
Go cry about it.
You can call both of these teams butter because they are on a roll. However, it’s the Panthers who bettors like early on, as Carolina is getting more than 60% of bets and dollars.
That support has driven the line from the inconsequential number of +5 down to +3.5, but there’ll need to be more input from sharper bettors to move it to the key number of +3.
Atlanta Falcons (-5) at Cleveland Browns
The Browns were my favorite bet last week at +9. I even put it in the staff favorites article, putting my unrivaled reputation on the line. But I was made a fool when they played a very 2017 Browns-esque game.
In their first five games of the season, the Browns weren’t outscored by more than three points in a game. In three of the past four games, they’ve lost by more than two touchdowns.
This week, the hot Falcons squad is seeing the same level of support that the Chiefs did last week. With over 80% of early bets and over 90% of dollars, the Falcons have moved from -3.5 to -5 since opening.
Buffalo Bills (+7) at New York Jets
Apparently, bettors were just so flabbergasted to see the Jets open as 8-point favorites that they just started hammering a team that has the offensive firepower of your local high school.
The Bills have not named a starting QB yet, but are getting 58% of bets and 80% of dollars in the early going.
It’s possible those folks are praying for Josh Allen to return, as he definitely gives the Bills a better shot than Nathan Peterman, Derek Anderson or Matt Barkley.
Allen has been progressing and could return this weekend, so keep an eye on the line to see if wavers off that key number.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
This game has been stuck on the key number since opening, but the juices are flowing big time. The opener was technically Indy -3 (-130) which is so juicy that even a ripe nectarine couldn’t compete with it.
Now, the juice has swung to the other side, with Jacksonville +3 (-122).
The Jags have not lived up to expectations at all, but are commanding more than half of spread bets and nearly two-thirds of the money. Both teams have 3-5 records, but the Colts have outscored their opponents by 18 points.
The Jags, on the other hand, have been outscored by 36.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (45)
This divisional total has already dropped from 46.5/47 to 45 around the market despite more than 60% of bets on the over. Though we’re still a ways out and can’t be certain as to what the weather has in store, early forecasts are projecting wind speeds of 14 mph.
Games with 10+ mph winds have gone under 55.5% of the time overall, but 59.4% in divisional matchups.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (36.5)
This riveting game has interesting betting storylines for both the spread and total. You readers are lucky!
At 36.5, this is the lowest over/under of the season and just the third over/under of 36.5 or lower since 2013. Surprisingly, more than half of bettors have liked the over so far despite the offensive ineptitude of the two teams.
The Jets are actually not that bad, scoring 22 points per game which coincidentally ranks them 22nd in the league. The Bills are scoring 10.7 points per game. Yeah …
That’s dead last in the NFL by a decent margin. Perhaps the total will rise a little bit if Allen is named the starter, but it should end up sub-40 regardless.