NFL Sharp Report: How Pros Are Betting Panthers-Packers, Rams Steelers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey
- Let's examine how pros are betting Sunday's Week 10 NFL slate.
- Find their picks for Bills-Browns, Lions-Bears, Rams-Steelers and Panthers-Packers.
The Cleveland Browns might be 2-6 entering their Week 10 game against the 6-2 Buffalo Bills, but Cleveland is favored ahead of tomorrow’s 1 p.m. kickoff. It’s one of a few curious lines this weekend, so what games are sharp bettors targeting in Week 10?
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns
1 p.m. ET I CBS
Who would have thought that the Bills would be 6-2 and the hyped Browns would be 2-6 at this point? Even those who weren’t high on Cleveland likely thought Freddie Kitchens’ team would have more than two wins by now. Instead, Baker Mayfield looks depressed and I had to go back to the Week 1 warmup to find a picture of him in a good mood.
There’s something you newbies may not realize, but I hope the regulars know it — professional bettors care about records as much as Deputy Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) cares about the fact that Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) didn’t kill his wife in The Fugitive.
Public bettors have finally lost hope on the Browns, as 70% of the tickets are on the Bills as 2.5/3-point road dogs. Pretty much all the books that opened at 2.5 remain at 2.5, while all the books that opened at three have remained at three.
The only reason why the line hasn’t trended towards a pick ’em is because the sharps have taken a chance on the Browns. A reverse line move was triggered on them earlier in the week, and they’re getting 40% of the money despite just 30% of the tickets. Buffalo’s somehow won over the hearts of the public, but the sharps aren’t swayed as easily.
Sharp Angle: Browns (line freeze at -2.5/-3)
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
1 p.m. ET I CBS
9:30 a.m. ET update: With Matthew Stafford ruled out, the over/under has reopened at 39.
Lions vs. Bears — which ferocious predator would win in a steel cage match? I suppose we’d first have to decide what species of bear we’re talking about. Black bear would lose in a landslide, grizzly or polar would have the upper hand. For more on this potential fracas, click here. For information about how sharp bettors are playing the Lions-Bears football game, please continue reading.
It turns out that the sharps don’t care who’s winning this bout. Instead, they’ve been quite interested in the game’s over/under.
Pros and Joes are somewhat hand in hand for this one, as 59% of bets and a whopping 85% of dollars are on the under. This money onslaught has resulted in the biggest line movement of the week — 2.5 points since opening — from 44 to 41.5.
One reason why the pros may be leaning this way is because of the weather, as it will be a chilly, dreary, windy November afternoon.
Games with 10+ mph wind speeds on average have gone under 55.5% of the time since 2003 per Bet Labs.
Another explanation for all the under bets may be because unders in divisional games have historically cashed, especially later in the season. Unders in divisional games have hit at a 53% rate overall and a 54.7% rate in weeks 10 through 17.
Sharp Angle: Under (moved from 44 to 41.5)
Los Angeles Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers
4:25 p.m. ET I FOX
The Rams are coming off their bye week and at 5-3, three games behind the Niners, may be best positioned for a wild card berth. One thing’s for sure — last year’s NFC champion can’t afford to lose to an offense led by Mason Rudolph.
The public is on their side, and guess what? Sharp bettors are too … but there’s a catch! We have tracked four Bet Signals on the Rams and all four have been on LAR -3.5. Meanwhile, we’ve tracked a whopping 13 Bet Signals on the Steelers and all of those have been on +4 and +4.5. Four doesn’t get the hype that three or seven do in the world of key numbers (because it’s not as key), but it is still an important line.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again—sharps are investing in numbers, not teams. The Steelers may not have value at +3.5, but sharps clearly seem to like them at +4 or higher. The line varies around the market, but most books who topped out at +4 are back down to +3.5, while books that topped out at +4.5 are down to +4. If you want to hop on Rudolph’s sleigh (early Christmas reference), make sure to shop around or wait to ensure you get +4 or higher.
Sharp Angle: Steelers (moved from +4.5/4 to +3.5)
Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers
4:25 p.m. ET I FOX
It’s officially Kyle Allen’s team for the rest of the year and quite frankly, I think the Panthers may be content with that. At 5-3, Carolina is right there with Los Angeles and a handful of other teams in what will be a tightly contested playoff hunt.
Allen and co. had a major hiccup against the 49ers, but are back on the winning (and covering) wagon. Carolina is now 5-1 straight up and against the spread since Allen took over.
Can they keep covering? Sharps think so.
After opening at +6 and initially moving to +6.5, the Panthers are now done to +5 and even +4.5 at several books. The +4.5 to +5.5 range is not super consequential compared to other numbers in NFL betting, which generally results in some non-uniformity across the market when games are in that range.
Like the other games we’ve discussed, the Panthers have seen sharp money indicators through Sports Insights’ Bet Signals and have a positive spread vs. dollar differential (38% of bets, 47% of dollars). Those who saw the opening line and waited in hopes of getting Carolina +7 look to be out of luck.
Sharp Angle: Panthers (moved from +6.5 to +5/4.5)