NFL Sharp Report: Pros Betting Chargers-Bills, 2 Other Week 2 Games
Jake Roth, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Keenan Allen
- We've hit Week 2 of the season and a few teams have a chance to reverse their misfortunes from Week 1.
- Sharp bettors like two early games in Week 2 including the Chargers' matchup with the Bills.
Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us and sharps are locked and loaded for another big Sunday.
What exactly is a sharp?
In betting circles, sharps (or wiseguys) are professional bettors who have a long track record of success, win at a high rate and bet large amounts on games.
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 professionals are focusing on, starting at 1:00 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.
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills
- Sharp angle: Bills (moved from +8 to +7)
- Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Public bettors are victims of recency bias. If a team played well and posted an impressive victory the week before, Average Joes will bet on them the following week, no questions asked. If a team got blown out and looked terrible, they’ll automatically fade them.
With the Bills getting demolished 47-3 in Week 1, the public sees an easy layup with the Chargers laying a touchdown on the road. However, wiseguys are buying low on Buffalo.
In one of the most lopsided games of the week, the Bills are only getting 19% of spread bets, yet they’ve moved from +8 to +7 across the market .
Why would the oddsmakers drop the spread to give public Chargers backers a better number? Because sharps at several books all hammered Buffalo, triggering eight separate steam and reverse line moves.
The Bills also find themselves in a profitable historical spot. They fit the 80/20 Rule: teams getting 20% or less bets have gone 113-91 ATS (55.4%) since 2005.
Additionally, dogs off a blowout of 20 points or more have gone 266-218 ATS (55%) the following week. Buffalo also fits the profitable Bet Labs system Against the Public After Bad Offensive game (61.7% ATS since 2005).
An added bonus for wiseguys in the Bills Mafia: the Chargers are a West Coast team traveling East for an early 1 p.m. game, a difficult spot historically (fading road favorites in this spot has gone 61% ATS since 2005).
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Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Sharp angle: Steelers (moved from -5 to -5.5)
- Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs looked like the real deal in Week 1, defeating the Chargers 38-28. Meanwhile, the Steelers tied the lowly Browns. Public bettors are grabbing the points as fast as they can in this matchup, especially with Ben Roethlisberger banged up and the Steelers missing Le’Veon Bell once again.
But wiseguys aren’t taking the bait on a trendy underdog. Despite 70% of spread bets taking Kansas City, the line has moved toward Pittsburgh (-5 to -5.5). This sharp reverse line movement was caused by Goodfellas hammering PIT at five different books .
We haven’t seen a single conflicting bet signal on Kansas City.
Two more benefits for Steelers bettors: the total in this game is 53, the highest of any Week 2 game. Historically, high totals benefit favorites.
With more points expected to be scored, it’s easier for the favorite to cover the spread. Also, Jerome Boger is the head official. Since 2005, home teams have gone 57.5% ATS with Boger as the lead ref.
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Sharp angle: Jaguars (moved from +2.5 to +1)
- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
The Patriots are the exception to every betting rule. They are almost always a big favorite getting massive public support– and almost always still cover. Since 2005, New England has gone 145-88 ATS (62.2%).
Fading the Pats during this time would have cost a $100 bettor $6,235. As a result, you can’t blame Average Joes for hammering Belichick and Brady in this one, especially with the low spread.
However, wiseguys are fearless. They see value on a motivated Jacksonville team at home looking to avenge their heartbreaking loss in last year’s AFC title game.
This game opened at New England -2.5. Despite 71% of spread bets taking the Pats, the line has fallen to NE -1. Some books are even posting a pick’em .
This sharp reverse line movement was caused by pro bettors hammering Jacksvonille at four books. We haven’t seen a single move on New England, which means the Pats money is purely public.
One interesting variable to keep in mind: the game time temperature is expected to be in the mid-to-low 90s. The 41-year-old Tom Brady has only played one game at such a hot temperature: Week 2 in 2005 vs Carolina. The Patriots lost 27-17.
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