In gambling circles, sharps (or wiseguys) are professional bettors who bet large amounts on games and have a long track record of success.
They don’t bet based on bias or gut instinct. Instead, they are 100% analytical and value-driven. Wiseguys bet numbers, not players and teams. When they get down hard on games, they force oddsmakers to move the lines.
After analyzing Sunday’s 14-game slate using Sports Insights’ Sportsbook Insider Pro betting tools, I’ve pinpointed three NFL bets that sharps are focusing on, starting at 1 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. ET.
Betting Terms to Know
Steam Move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the market caused by an overload of sharp action from respected players.
Reverse Line Movement: When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. It’s a top smart money indicator.
Line Freeze: When one side is getting heavy betting, but the line won’t budge, indicating sharp liability on the other side.
Juice: The tax or commission that bettors must pay sportsbooks in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettor would have to wager $115 to win $100.
Let’s get to the games!
- Sharp angle: Redskins (+2.5)
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
Give the public Aaron Rodgers on a short spread and they’ll take it every time.
Currently 60% of spread bets are laying the -2.5 with the road favorite Packers (1-0-1). However, the Redskins (1-1) are receiving 66% of spread dollars. This indicates almost exclusively five-dollar average Joe bets on Green Bay, but the vast majority of big sharper wagers on Washington.
The line opened at Green Bay -2.5. Heavy public betting pushed it up to -3. That’s when sharps pounced. Pros at Pinnacle, GTBets, SIA, Heritage and ABC got down hard on Skins +3, triggering seven different steam and reverse line moves. This overload of sharp action brought the line back down to GB -2.5.
Now that the key number of 3 is gone, late Skins backers would be wise to wait it out and hope it rises back to 3. If 3 isn’t available, the wiser play might be taking Washington on the moneyline (+125).
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San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs
- Sharp angle: Under (55)
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
Through two weeks, the Chiefs (2-0) are looking like the 2007 Patriots and the Greatest Show on Turf. Patrick Mahomes & Co. scored 38 points in Week 1 and 42 points in Week 2.
Oddsmakers know that public bettors will be hammering the Chiefs over once again, creating an inflated line for contrarian bettors to go the other way.
The total opened at 55. Currently 65% of bets are taking the over, however the total remains locked at 55. The fact that the total hasn’t risen to 56 or 57 behind such heavy betting indicates a sharp line freeze, with books reluctant to hand out extra points for contrarian under wiseguys.
Pros at Pinnacle, Heritage and Carib all got down hard on the under, triggering four separate steam and reverse line moves. We haven’t seen a single conflicting play on the over.
An added bonus for under bettors: Tony Corrente is the lead ref. Since 2005, under bets have hit at a 57.1% rate (+16.93 units) when Corrente calls games.
Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals
- Sharp angle: Cardinals (moved from +6 to +4.5)
- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
Two teams trending in totally different directions. The Bears (1-1) are riding high after acquiring Khalil Mack and beating the Seahawks at home in Week 2. Meanwhile, the Cardinals (0-2) have looked terrible so far, having lost their first two games by a combined score of 58-6.
The public sees an easy cover with Chicago, but sharps are buying low on the Cards at home.
Despite receiving only 26% of bets, Arizona has fallen from +6 to +4.5. This is a classic example of sharp reverse line movement. Even though the public is all over Chicago, the line has moved toward Arizona– indicating heavy smart money on the home dog.
Wiseguys at 5Dimes, Pinnacle and GTBets all hammered the Cardinals. Arizona also matches the profitable Bet Labs system Against the Public After Bad Offensive Game (61.4% ATS, +45.50 units since 2005).