NFL Preseason Sharp Report: Pros Betting Broncos-Seahawks, 3 Other Thursday Games
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Denver Broncos receivers Juwann Winfree (15), Kelvin McKnight (16) and Brendan Langley (12).
- Using the Action Network's betting tools, we've analyzed how sharp bettors are getting down on four preseason games on Thursday.
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills
7 p.m. ET
- Spread: Colts -2.5
- Over/Under: 34.5
One of the two games that will get the night started at 7 p.m. ET, Colts-Bills has seen some of the most line movement of any game on the slate.
Initially, this thing was all Colts. Everyone and their mother was backing Indy, but what else can you expect? They opened as two-point pooches against the Bills and received 70+% of bets and 80+% of dollars in the early going, which helped move the line to a pick’em, where it sat for several days. Then more action came in on Indy, which moved the line all the way to the key number of -3 at some books.
That’s when the sharpies stepped in.
A steam and reverse line move were triggered on Buffalo on Wednesday evening, as pro bettors were clearly prepared to buy back the Bills on the key number. Betting on NFL spreads is all about numbers, especially around three and seven.
Per Bet Labs, over 8% of all games (preseason, regular season and postseason) that have closed with a spread of three have ended in a push. That’s pretty high considering how many games are right around that number. If you’re someone who makes a habit of getting bad closing line value, some of those potential wins could turn into pushes and some of those pushes could turn into losses.
With the line back at Indy -2.5, bettors who have yet to act are in a tough situation. Do you try and wait for Buffalo to hit +3 again or do you hop on the Indy bandwagon even though you’ve missed out on a handful of points over the week?
Sharp angle: Bills (moved from +3 to +2.5)
New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions
7:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Patriots -1
- Over/Under: 35
While the spread in Buffalo has been all over the place, it’s the over/under in Detroit that’s seeing the mayhem.
When it first opened at 36.5, the over in this game was pounded. More than 80% of the early tickets helped push it all the way to 38.5, which would be the highest of the slate had it remained there. However, sharp bettors have since taken a liking to the under in a big way.
Two steam moves have come in over the past three days and even public bettors have hopped on board the train ride to the underworld. The over, which had 80% of bets last Friday, is now checking in at just 29%! Those bets also account for just a measly 6% of the cash.
With pros and Joes both fancying the under now, the total is all the way down to 35 (u-120).
Sharp angle: Under (moved from 38.5 to 35)
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens
7:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Ravens -3.5
- Over/Under: 31.5
With 72% of spread bets, the Ravens are the most popular spread bet of the week at the time of writing. Perhaps folks have caught on to the fact that John Harbaugh is the most profitable preseason coach we have in our database …
As was the case with the Colts-Bills game, the sharps just couldn’t sit back and watch the Jaguars line go up and up without taking action.
After Baltimore ballooned from -3 to -5 and even -5.5 at some spots, a reverse line move came in on Jacksonville. Though it wasn’t enough to move them all the way back down to the opening (and key) number of +3, it was enough to get them back to +3.5.
And while the Ravens are the most popular kids in school this week, the cash is nearly split 50-50.
Sharp angle: Jaguars (moved from +5/5.5 to +3.5)
(BONUS) Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
10 p.m. ET
- Spread: Broncos -3
- Over/Under: 36
This game is different from the rest, but serves as an excellent example as to why you should pay very close attention to news during the preseason.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Russell Wilson would be sitting this game out. Not too shocking of a development to be honest, but evidently it was not already factored into the line.
Shortly after the news, the Broncos moved from +1.5 all the way to -2.5. Did people really think Russ was going to suit up for a large chunk of this game or something?
While that was more of a market readjustment than sharp action, there has since been some pro money on the Broncos that came in this morning. The latest steam move bumped them up from -2.5 to -3 (-120). If you were quick to act after the Wilson news, you’d have gotten excellent closing line value.
Will Denver move all the way through the key number or will buyback come in on the Seahawks?
Sharp angle: Broncos (moved from +2 to -3)