Editor’s note: Initial projections of single-digit temperatures in Kansas City on Sunday may be a little harsh. But with wind chill temps falling and rain and snow mix developing Friday evening, the fluctuating weather could make the AFC Championship Sunday evening more eventful.
It’s going to be cold in Kansas City for the AFC Championship game between the Chiefs and Patriots. Not cold like the subzero temperatures in Minneapolis during the 2016 wild-card game that saw the Seahawks escape over the Vikings 10-9 on a missed chip-shot field goal.
But the cold and severe weather impacts games in many ways, including the sportsbooks adjusting the over/under odds for the AFC Championship game early this week with more betting activity initially supporting under the total.
Then, as we get closer to the Sunday evening kickoff, the “Arctic blast” threats that had drawn bettors to the under started to dissipate.
Updated 'Artic Blast' conditions for Patriots-Chiefs: 22 degrees, zero rain, treacherous 6 mph winds: https://t.co/2YZSxFnxIE
— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) January 17, 2019
So, now what?
The line and total adjustments
However, FanDuel Sportsbook dropped the AFC Championship total to 54.5 on Wednesday as the fluctuating forecast shows even more severe weather over the weekend in Kansas City. That looks like the low point as other sportsbooks in New Jersey and Nevada have the total at 55.5 after opening as high as 58 at some sportsbooks.
Severe cold weather can greatly impact the play on the field and the betting total as witnessed in the 2016 Vikings Seahawks wild-card playoff game. The total opened 42.5 and closed 39.5. The temperature was minus 6 degrees, and the wind chill was minus 25 at kickoff.
In the midst of the December 2017 game at Buffalo, who could forget the cold, snow-covered field and heavy fog during the Bills 13-7 overtime win over the Colts?
Blizzard conditions and a foot of snow left the media and fans unable to see the scoreboard or lines on the field. Temperatures in Buffalo were in the low 20s — like the forecast in Kansas City on Sunday — and the total dropped from 40 to 36.5. Under the total bettors had fun watching that game.
Lions, Eagles in snow
The snow was insane in Philadelphia for the December 2013 game between the Lions and Eagles. It was not as cold with temperatures in the high 20s, but Detroit had four fumbles in the first quarter alone.
Last year’s Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was in the midst of his sick season passing for 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions. One of his interceptions was in that weather-impacted game. Detroit led 14-6 after three quarters, but the Eagles erupted for 28 points to win 34-20 and send the game over the closing total of 51; down from the opener of 54.5.
Weather impact can be difficult to determine, but wagering usually supports less scoring, and you want to have a good idea of the weather conditions at game time and anticipate what will happen in the betting market to get favorable betting numbers.
Explosive offenses present problems for under bettors
Kansas City’s offense led the league in scoring this season at 35.1 points per game with a league-high 426 yards per game. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes will win MVP honors, and his 50 touchdown passes and mobility combined with multiple motions and offensive sets make the Chiefs the most difficult team to defend.
The Patriots average 27.2 points per game and 393 yards per game and have the NFL’s greatest postseason quarterback leading the charge in Tom Brady.
Neither team has an above average defense. Thus, betting the under is more difficult, especially with the Patriots’ 43-40 last-second win over the Chiefs on Oct. 14 looming in bettors’ minds. The Patriots had 500 yards offense that game and the Chiefs had 446 yards on limited possessions and plays.
So the weather will be a determining factor in the play-calling, execution and scoring in the AFC Championship. The biggest bets will come during the weekend, and a majority of the bets will be made Sunday as kickoff approaches at 6:40 EST.
The Chiefs scored 31 points and the Patriots 41 points in last week’s playoff win to set up the showdown for AFC Super Bowl representative. The dilemma for sports bettors continues until kickoff, and in-game wagering will be worth watching and betting on as the possessions and weather changes.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas released the 2020 Super Bowl LlV odds Jan. 15. The Los Angeles Rams (6-1) are the early favorite to capture next year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy. Jeff Sherman, the vice president of risk management at the SuperBook, sent out the odds.
NFL – Super Bowl LIV (2020) winner
LAC, Chi 12/1
Min, GB 16/1
Phi, Dal, Bal, Ind 20/1
Sea, Atl, Cle, Hou, Jax 30/1
NYG, Car, SF 40/1
TB, Ten 60/1
Wsh, Det, NYJ, Buf, Cin, Oak, Ari 100/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) January 15, 2019
The four remaining teams in the conference championships are the early favorites in the 2020 Super Bowl futures market: Rams (6-1), Kansas City Chiefs (7-1), New Orleans Saints (8-1) and New England Patriots (10-1).
New England has opened at 10-1 odds or less every season this decade, and the Patriots are playing in their eighth-consecutive AFC Championship game this weekend.
A shot of optimism
The biggest longshot to win the 2020 Super Bowl heading into next season is the Miami Dolphins (300-1). But 100-1 longshots and fans from Washington, Detroit, New York (Jets), Buffalo, Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona can hold out hope that their team can be the next 1998 St. Louis Rams, who went 13-3 and won Super Bowl XXXlV after opening at 300-1 odds following a 4-12 season in 1997.
Those teams can look at this year’s Chicago Bears as another example of optimism going into next season. The Bears were 100-1 odds to win this year’s Super Bowl prior to the regular season. Chicago went from five wins the previous season to a 12-4 record and division title in 2018 before losing in the playoffs on a last-second “double doink” missed field goal — a bad beat for moneyline bettors but not for those who bet at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Don’t overlook the three Super Bowl Llll contenders that missed the playoffs this season at 12-1 odds or less as 2020 Super Bowl champions.
The Steelers (14-1), Vikings (16-1) and Packers (16-1) are among the top 10 favorites to win Super Bowl LlV next year. The Bears (12-1) and LA Chargers (12-1) are expected Super Bowl contenders next season after both made the playoffs this year with 12-4 records.
2019-20 Super Bowl 54 Futures Odds
|Team||Westgate SuperBook Odds||2018-19 Record|
Super Bowl 53 Advance Odds
Not ready to look ahead to next season? No problem. Maybe you’re interested in a wager on the Super Bowl LIII MVP. FanDuel Sportsbook has posted advance player odds for the coming game:
- Quarterback Drew Brees (+230)
- QB Patrick Mahomes (+300)
- Quarterback Tom Brady (+400)
- QB Jared Goff (+400)
- Running Back Todd Gurley (+3,000)
- RB CJ Anderson (+3,000)
- RB Alvin Kamara (+4,000)
- Wide Receiver Michael Thomas (+4,000)
- RB Damien Williams (+4,500)
- Tight End Travis Kelce (+4,500)
- WR Tyreek Hill (+4,500)
Four teams are in for this year’s Super Bowl Llll championship and evenly matched conference championship games remain with New England at Kansas City (-3) and Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans (-3.5).
The Super Bowl Llll champion is still difficult to predict. Regardless of the conference championship winners, this year’s Super Bowl is going to be a tossup. The SuperBook has also released Super Bowl Llll lines and over/under in advance of the conference championship games.
Possible SB LIII matchups @SuperBookUSA
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) January 15, 2019
The New Orleans Saints are expected to be a -1.5-point favorite over either the Kansas City Chiefs or New England Patriots. Should the LA Rams advance to the Super Bowl, the odds are expected to be ‘pick ’em’ versus either the Chiefs or Patriots.
Before the 2018-19 regular season, the Chiefs (20-1) were the longest shot to win the Super Bowl of the four remaining teams. The Patriots (6-1), Rams (10-1) and Saints (14-1) were among the leading Super Bowl Llll contenders.
NFL’s Wild Card weekend got wilder as emotions from fans and bettors were on full display Sunday night.
The Philadelphia Eagles escaped with a 16-15 win after Bears’ kicker Cody Parkey’s game-winning 43-yard field goal attempt hit the upright and crossbar and fell back into the field of play.
The “double-doink” kick became to talk of NFL fans and sports bettors were slightly tipped at the line of scrimmage by an Eagles’ lineman. But that provides little solace to Bears’ bettors and fans.
FanDuel Sportsbook awards customers up to $100 credit
All online FanDuel Sportsbook customers in New Jersey who placed a single, moneyline wager on the Bears to beat the Eagles on Jan. 6 will automatically receive a site credit matching their stake up to $100 in their account.
“We are thrilled for the Eagles, but it was a tough way for the Bears to lose,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group.
“With playoff season heating up, this was a way to prove there are more ways to win on the FanDuel Sportsbook, and once again, show why we are the most innovative and fun sportsbook in the United States.”
FanDuel’s creative approach
FanDuel continues its innovative approach to sports and gaming, and the company is changing the way consumers engage with their favorite sports, teams and leagues.
In November, the FanDuel Sportsbook made an impact in the industry with sports betting history. FanDuel became the first legal sports betting operator in the US to pay out future wagers on the college football national championship — more than a month before the final game happened.
The FanDuel Sportsbook awarded online customers early winnings and paid out all Alabama bets to win the national title. The Crimson Tide ended up losing in the national championship game to Clemson on Jan. 7, and the promotion cost FanDuel $40,000. Alabama bettors with future win wagers on the Tide rolled in the money more than five weeks ago.
FanDuel offers a sportsbook app in the state of New Jersey. FanDuel also has physical sportsbooks at NJ’s Meadowlands at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.
The company provides “More Ways To Win” through its live football sports betting TV show.
With the biggest single sports betting event approaching for Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, it will be interesting to see what FanDuel offers its customers next. It’s likely to be a touchdown catch for its customers.
The NFL’s wild-card weekend should produce some intriguing games and results, as three of the contests have home teams with less than three-point favorites.
Take this advice; there is no sure side despite market moves and sharp action. The betting activity on the NFL playoffs is increasing as the games near kick off, and the injury reports are nearing finalization.
Wagering activity and betting support on teams vary across the country at various sportsbooks. Which teams can be counted on to win, cover and advance to the divisional round of next week’s playoffs?
Recent wild-card round history
Last year’s wild-card round results were a dog lover’s delight.
Underdogs went 4-0 ATS with two outright winners as the Atlanta Falcons flew past the Los Angeles Rams 26-13, and the Tennessee Titans shocked the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21.
Recall that all four home favorites were laying at least six points.
The prior playoff season, the wild-card-round favorites went 4-0 SU/ATS with each winning by double-digits. Three of them were laying at least six points.
So where is the edge with this year’s wild-card games with all four games lined at 6.5 points or less and three of the home favorites laying three points or less?
NFL playoff betting activity and market moves
The two games on Saturday are expected to be close and also feature rematches from earlier season meetups.
Indianapolis at Houston (-1)
Houston Texans host this game as the AFC South champs.
These two teams met twice during the regular season with each team winning on the road by three points.
The betting activity on the side is nearly even on each team at a consensus of seven of the biggest online sportsbooks as tracked by Sports Insights.
The line has dropped slightly from the opener. FanDuel Sportsbook had Houston as a one-point favorite with added vigorish (-115) as of Friday afternoon.
The Colts started the season 1-5 but finished winning nine of their last 10 games. Indianapolis was only an underdog one time during that stretch, and they won outright at Houston 24-21.
The Texans started 0-3 this season and then went on a nine-game winning streak that began with a 37-34 overtime victory at Indianapolis.
According to John Murray, director of the SuperBook at the Westgate in Las Vegas, said there is “good two-way action and we did take a $30,000 bet on the Texans. There’s been a lot of moneyline action on Houston.”
Seattle at Dallas (-2)
Both teams finished 10-6. Dallas Cowboys hosts the game as NFC East champs.
FanDuel was the only sportsbook showing Dallas -3 (+100 vig) as of Friday. Similar to the AFC‘s wild-card game, Sports Insights betting activity tracker shows a 51-49 percent split on the side for each team.
“Another game with very good two-way handle,” Murray said. “We did take a bet for $20,000 on the Cowboys -2. It will be a very high-handle game between two high-profile teams in primetime.”
When the Cowboys and Seahawks met in Seattle in Week 3, the Seahawks prevailed 24-13. The yards were nearly even and both teams near 300 total yards offense. The Seahawks were just a one-point home favorite, and three Dallas turnovers were the difference in defeat.
Sunday’s wild-card games will likely draw even more wagering activity — especially the late primetime game.
The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles snagged a wild card by winning five of their last six games and now travel to the Windy City against the upstart Chicago Bears and their dominant defense.
LA Chargers at Baltimore (-2.5)
The Baltimore Ravens (10-6) host this wild-card game Sunday as AFC North champs after holding on last week against Cleveland.
Baltimore finished the season on a 6-1 run after rookie QB Lamar Jackson was inserted as the starting quarterback and the Ravens went to a run-heavy approach on offense to compliment their No. 1 defense.
The Chargers (12-4) couldn’t get by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West but are tied for the second-best record in the NFL this season.
This game is -2.5 across the board at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but -3 (+100) at FanDuel on Friday. Major online sportsbooks are split between 2.5-3, favoriting the Ravens. However, a playoff-high 72 percent of the bets are on the LA Chargers, according to Sports Insights.
“So far, most of the larger bets have come in on the Ravens and pushed the number to Ravens -2.5 (-120),” Murray said.
Philadelphia at Chicago (-6.5)
The Chicago Bears (12-4) host the Eagles (9-7) as NFC North champs.
The Bears, like the Houston Texans, went from worst to first after finishing last in the division a season ago. As the sun sets near halftime of this primetime game, it will be near freezing temperatures in the mid-30s with winds 10-20 MPH.
Quarterback Nick Foles will try to lead the Eagles on another magical playoff run. Foles was a full participant at practice Thursday after suffering injured ribs during the Week 17 win at Washington.
Foles and the Eagles offense will have to play their best to pull out a victory, as the Bears were dominant with their defense at Soldier Field this season going 7-1 SU/ATS including 6-0 SU/ATS as favorite.
Chicago also closed the season on a 9-1 SU/ATS run.
The Bears are a six-point favorite across most of Las Vegas, but the major online sportsbooks in New Jersey have the Bears at -6.5. According to Sports Insights’ bet tracker,
Chicago is taking 53 percent of the bets while the Eagles are getting 62 percent of the moneyline bets.
“We took a $20,000 bet on the Eagles +6 and moved to 5.5, but we are back up to Bears -6, as the majority of the bets have come in on the Bears,” Murray said.
“Historically speaking, the fourth and final game of each playoff weekend is a high-handle game with big liability to the book, as all the moneyline parlays and teasers that are alive will be going to that game.”
Take teaser bets into consideration as the lines are set and moved at playoff time.
With tight lines and close contests expected, professional bettors are taking a stance with some underdogs this week, crossing over the key numbers of 3, 4, 6 and 7 to get +7.5 or more on six-point teasers supporting three underdogs on the Colts, Seahawks and Chargers.
The FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey and the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas release NFL advance look-ahead lines, and Week 17 is usually filled with much uncertainty. That’s the case 11 days in advance of the games with the difference in point spreads by the two sportsbooks providing look-ahead lines.
There are no Thursday or Saturday games and no Sunday night game in Week 17. Every game in Week 17 a division game. The motivational and situational angles will change based on Week 16 results and playoff potential of teams. Same with other teams that will have nothing to play for and some coaches preparing their teams for a final regular season game knowing they too will be given a pink slip the following week.
Many sportsbooks will hold off releasing betting odds on selected Week 17 games until more information is available. Review the NFL Week 17 look-ahead lines below but understand there will be more to consider as the Week 16 results come in along with other information throughout next week.
Adjusting to market moves
Last week, two road favorites went down in defeat as New England lost at Pittsburgh 17-10 and Seattle fell in overtime at San Francisco 26-23. The Patriots were an underdog on the advance look-ahead line, and then became the short favorite leading into Week 15 action. Sharp money came in on San Francisco, and also on the Tennessee Titans, who went from a 2.5-point underdog to a 2.5-point favorite on game day and in their road win against the New York Giants.
Over the last three weeks, road favorites are just 9-11 SU and 7-12-1 ATS. Teams that took the highest percentage of bets in Week 15 and lost ATS were road favorites New Orleans, New England and Seattle with the Patriots and Seahawks losing outright. The other big bet team was the Texans, who closed a 7-point road favorite on Saturday and were losing 22-19 with less than 3 minutes remaining before a miraculous ATS push or even a win for early Houston bettors in a 29-22 win against the NY Jets.
There are plenty of market moves and adjustments for Week 16, and the market will move and adjust faster in Week 17 with more information and situations to consider.
NFL Week 17 look-ahead betting lines
All 16 games are division contests in Week 17. Key games likely still impacting playoff positions includes Chicago at Minnesota with a line that reflects the Bears will likely be resting starters and a slim chance to improve their No. 3 NFC playoff seeding. Minnesota will likely need a win to make the playoffs. Philadelphia at Washington could be a key game for the final NFC wild card pending Week 16 results. Same with Indianapolis at Tennessee in the AFC.
Much to look forward to as the final two weeks play out. Stay tuned.
|Game||Westgate Line||FanDuel Line|
|Dallas at NY Giants||NYG -2.5||NYG -1|
|Oakland at Kansas City||KC -13||KC -14.5|
|Carolina at New Orleans||NO -5.5||NO -9.5|
|NY Jets at New England||NE -13||NE -12.5|
|Philadelphia at Washington||PHI -5.5||PHI -5.5|
|Detroit at Green Bay||OFF||GB -4|
|Jacksonville at Houston||HOU -7.5||HOU -7.5|
|Cleveland at Baltimore||BAL -4.5||BAL -6|
|Atlanta at Tampa Bay||ATL -3||TB -1|
|Miami at Buffalo||BUF -3||BUF -1|
|Indianapolis at Tennessee||IND -2.5||TEN -1|
|Cincinnati at Pittsburgh||PIT -13||PIT -10.5|
|Chicago at Minnesota||MIN -6.5||MIN -1.5|
|LA Chargers at Denver||LAC -5.5||LAC -4.5|
|Arizona at Seattle||SEA -10.5||SEA -10|
|San Francisco at LA Rams||LAR -9||LAR -9.5|
Bettors can’t help themselves when it comes to betting NFL favorites. Despite back-to-back weeks in which road favorites went just 6-9 SU and 5-10 ATS, including a Week 14 that left NFL bettors baffled with the Miami Miracle, more bets including huge wagers on the favorites came flooding in during Week 15.
As sports betting continues to expand in the U.S. and more states and casino’s cash in with a successful launch, the betting activity grows. So does the popularity of in-play betting, and the “event within the event,” as lines and odds change rapidly as bettors fire for more action and the chance to profit.
But betting on the teams of choice is still the most standard approach. And instead of laying the points on their favorites of choice, some bettors prefer to lay the bigger price on the moneyline feeling they have a better chance to cash in and profit.
If it was only that easy.
Bettor loses $569,000 on Seahawks moneyline
One of the bigger bets reported on Sunday was on the Seattle Seahawks to beat the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks were a 4-point road favorite, but a better apparently thought this would be an easy Seahawks win, so he played Seattle on the moneyline. First, he bet $235,00 at -230 odds. MGM then raised the moneyline, and the same bettor bet $334,000 at -250 odds. The total wagers of $569,000 would have returned $804,774, or a profit of $235,774.
Final score in overtime: San Francisco 26, Seattle 23.
The 49ers’ upset win produced MGM Race & Sports’ largest win on a single NFL game this season.
The Seahawks had beaten the 49ers 10 straight times. Reminder: trends don’t pay the rent. Neither does wagering on NFL road favorites, especially greater than three points.
The Hawks weren’t the only road favorite that struggled and lost on Sunday. New England (-2.5) had 14 penalties in a 17-10 loss at Pittsburgh, and the Patriots took a week-high 73% of the consensus side bets according to SportsInsights, which monitors real-time betting activity at seven online sportsbooks. It was closer to 80% at one point, and New England did have 65% of the moneyline bets. The Seahawks were next highest bet team with 72% of the side bets.
Two games that flipped favorites from the Week 15 look-ahead lines were the Titans and Patriots, who were initially projected as underdogs. Tennessee, along with the LA Rams had the biggest market moves on game day, and the Titans delivered the cash in a 17-0 shutout win at New York against the Giants while Los Angeles got ‘rammed’ in a 30-23 defeat against the Eagles.
In Monday night’s game, the Saints took 63% of the side bets as game time approached in their division road game at Carolina against the Panthers.
More Week 15 moneyline losers
As the games concluded Sunday with only the Sunday night game remaining, the LA Rams (-13) were the biggest favorite of the week hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Money poured in on the Rams with the news that Eagles QB Carson Wentz would not play due to injury.
Another bettor couldn’t resist the ‘easy’ money, betting $180,000 to win $20,000 on the Rams (-900). That didn’t work out too well.
MGM sportsbook took a $180,000 money-line bet on the Rams to beat the Eagles last night at -900 odds, according to supervisor @scottatmirage. The bettor would have won a net $20,000. The Eagles won 30-23. [First-reported by @darrenrovell, @Covers_Vegas].
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) December 17, 2018
In Thursday night’s Chiefs and Chargers showdown in Kansas City, a bettor placed a $200,000 moneyline bet on the Chiefs (-3.5) at odds of -200. The bet would have returned a $100,000 profit, but Kansas City couldn’t hold onto a 28-14 late 4th quarter lead as the Chargers rallied and won 29-28 on a two-point conversion with four seconds to play.
DraftKings Week 15 NFL Winners
Now to the winners. DraftKings Sportsbook reported some solid scores on big and small bets.
One player placed a $3,000 moneyline bet on the Eagles (+600), and returned $21,000 for a solid score when Philadelphia beat the Rams Sunday night as a 13-point underdog.
A bettor turned a $5 bet into $867 on a 9 leg NFL parlay (321-1). One game pushed (Texans). But the Browns, Falcons, Colts, Lions, Titans and three UNDER the total picks CHI/GB, BAL/TB and JAX/WSH secured the winning online wager.
Another online user at DraftKings cashed out a $6 bet after hitting 8-of-9 totals and spreads for $655. The final bet was on the Seahawks, but the bettor cashed out before kickoff and was correct as Seattle lost as a favorite at San Francisco.
Week 15 betting activity
Regional bias in U.S. sports betting was on display in Week 15.
At Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, 91% of the moneyline bets were on the Eagles against the heavily favored Rams, according to ESPN Chalk.
At Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, 83% of the moneyline bets were on the Steelers.
Other major wagers in Week 15 included a $55,000 bet on the Titans (-1) to win $50,000 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. Tennessee won 17-0.
Overall, the most bet teams in Week 15 by moneyline and point spread, according to DraftKings, were the Texans, Seahawks, Patriots, Rams, and Eagles. Houston (-7) was a fortunate win for early bettors, and the Eagles (+13) won outright as the biggest underdog of the week. Seattle (-4), New England (-2.5) and the LA Rams (-13) all lost.
The FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey and the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas release NFL advance look-ahead lines each week, and Week 16 features six division games as teams race down the stretch trying to secure a playoff spot. The Vikings try to tame the Lions in their den and Minnesota needs a win to hold onto their wild card position while the Panthers host the Falcons with Carolina needing to help themselves heading into a Week 15 Monday night match-up with division rival New Orleans.
Two Saturday games will kick off Week 16 action with no Thursday night game on the schedule. A potential playoff preview and key AFC contest has Baltimore traveling west to tackle the LA Chargers.
Review the NFL Week 16 look-ahead lines below and start preparing to watch and wager on some key division games and primetime games with playoff contenders.
Adjusting to market moves
Road favorites struggled for the second straight week as bettors poured their money on the favorites and came up short. Week 14 road favorites went just 3-5 SU/ATS with all five ATS losses in straight-up fashion. The last two weeks have seen road favorites go 6-9 SU and 5-10 ATS. Week 15 has four road favorites, including some key contests as New England visits Pittsburgh and New Orleans at Carolina on Monday night.
According to Sports Insights, which monitors sportsbooks and betting activity, the Saints (-6.5) are taking 73% of the bets against the Panthers while the Patriots (-2.5) are taking a week-high 82% of the bets against the Steelers as of Thursday afternoon.
The two other road favorites are Houston (-7) at the NY Jets and Seattle (-4.5) at San Francisco. The Texans are taking 75% of the bets while the Seahawks are taking 68% of the bets.
Those four teams as road favorites are taking four of the five most bets and betting action, as the Rams (-11.5) have been bet up and are taking 71% of the bets at home against the Eagles. So a majority of bettors are not adjusting but more often chasing market moves. That includes on Seattle, who despite taking a majority of the bets has seen the line drop and reverse line movement. More bets have come in on the Seahawks, yet the line has dropped, indicating more sharp action on the 49ers.
Adjusting to the market moves and even optional bets like teasers is a strategy to consider and employ, but hard habits are tough to break if you just wager on favorites and like to tease them down. Last week the Patriots (-8.5) and Steelers (-10) lost outright as big road favorites, and the last play touchdown and Miami Miracle by the Dolphins took out all teasers and money line bets on the Patriots as well.
Despite many teams being eliminated from the playoffs, we saw last week that even the dregs at the bottom of the standings like the Oakland, San Francisco, New York Jets, Cleveland and even Miami as big underdog can rise up as beaten ‘Dogs. The previous week, the NY Giants, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, who had lost seven straight games, also rose up in victory as ugly underdogs as the market moves on the favorites increased.
The contrary nature of the NFL produces surprising results on a weekly basis. Are you adjusting to the market moves and making the right reads and in-game betting adjustments as you make your wagers?
Week 15 look-ahead lines and major moves
Many bettors react more to recent results and are often unwilling to bet on bad teams. That’s what happened the past two weeks and is continuing in Week 15. Injuries can clearly impact the market and major moves, and we’ve seen a number of teams turn to backup quarterbacks as the starters suffer injuries.
Mark Sanchez (WAS), Cody Kessler (JAX), Chase Daniel (CHI), Jeff Driskel (CIN) and Nick Mullens (SF) have started in recent weeks, and now Josh Johnson (WAS) will start at quarterback for the Redskins in Week 15 after saying, “a week ago I was home in the hood, chilling with the kids.” Not exactly a positive profile or position to support with your betting dollars, nor is laying 7.5 points with the Jaguars and their mess and quarterback situation as Jacksonville tackles Washington in Week 15. Yet the Jaguars are taking 64% of the bets just two weeks removed from a seven-game losing streak and a home game against the Colts when Jacksonville was taking less than 35% of the bets.
The biggest line moves from the Week 15 look ahead lines to the current lines are:
- Cleveland at Denver (DEN -6, SuperBook) – Current line Broncos -2.5
- Washington at Jacksonville (JAX -5.5, FanDuel) – Current line Jaguars -7.5
- Seattle at San Francisco (SEA -7, SuperBook) – Current line Seahawks -4
- Philadelphia at LA Rams (LAR -8, FanDuel) – Current line Rams -11.5
NFL Week 16 look-ahead betting lines
Key games to look forward to in Week 16 includes the aforementioned Ravens and Chargers in Los Angeles on Saturday. The pressure mounts on the Steelers Sunday afternoon as they travel to New Orleans, followed by the primetime Sunday night game between Kansas City and Seattle.
Don’t’ forget to tune in Monday night as the Raiders host division rival Broncos in what may be the final home game in Oakland. The Raiders are looking for a new stadium to call home for the 2019 season as the city of Oakland recently filed lawsuits against the Raiders and the NFL. The Raiders move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season, and the NFL recently announced that Las Vegas will host the NFL draft in 2020.
|Game||Westgate Line||FanDuel Line|
|Washington at Tennessee||TEN -10.5||TEN -10|
|Baltimore at LA Chargers||LAC -5||LAC -5.5|
|Tampa Bay at Dallas||DAL -7.5||DAL -6.5|
|Buffalo at New England||NE -13||NE -13.5|
|Atlanta at Carolina||CAR -6||CAR -5|
|Jacksonville at Miami||MIA -4||MIA -6|
|NY Giants at Indianapolis||IND -6||IND -6|
|Houston at Philadelphia||PK||HOU -2|
|Minnesota at Detroit||MIN -3||MIN -3.5|
|Green Bay at NY Jets||GB -3.5||GB -4|
|Cincinnati at Cleveland||CLE -7||CLE -7.5|
|LA Rams at Arizona||LAR -11.5||LAR -9.5|
|Chicago at San Francisco||CHI -6||CHI -5.5|
|Pittsburgh at New Orleans||NO -7||NO -6|
|Kansas City at Seattle||SEA -1||KC -1|
|Denver at Oakland||DEN -2.5||DEN -4|
Week 14 NFL action featured a season-high eight road favorites, and many of those favorites took a majority of the betting action from recreational bettors. The results left many scratching their heads.
Losing outright as road favorites were the Panthers (-1), Patriots (-9), Rams (-3), Broncos (-3) and Steelers (-10). Road favorites went 3-5 SU and 3-5 ATS in Week 14. Those results followed a Week 13 in which seven road favorites went 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS with the Saints (-7.5), Colts (-3), Panthers (-3.5), and Bears (-3.5) all losing outright as road favorites.
The Miami Miracle
The biggest result that left bettors baffled was the New England loss at Miami, now known as the “Miami Miracle!” The Dolphins (+9) covered the spread from start to finish against the Patriots. The game was clean with no turnovers, and New England led 27-21 at halftime after Tom Brady took a sack inside the Miami 10-yard line in the closing seconds of the 2nd quarter and the Patriots were unable to attempt a field goal.
Still, Patriots side bettors along with moneyline and teaser wagers on New England were still okay. But following a rare missed field goal of 42 yards by Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski midway through the third quarter, Ryan Tannehill completed four straight passes covering 69 yards including the 23-yards touchdown strike to Brice Butler to put Miami ahead 28-27. The Patriots responded with a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter including the latter after New England failed to score a touchdown from 1st and goal at the Miami 7 yard line in the final minute. Miami got the ball back at their own 31 yard line with 16 seconds left down 33-28, and then the Miami Miracle left the players and fans in mayhem.
“A Miracle … Miraculous in Miami” is how the announcer described the Tannehill pass to Kenny Stills, hook-and-lateral to Devante Parker and shuffle to speedy running back Kenyan Drake, whose shifty moves and circling inside the 40-yard line led him to the end zone and the Miami Miracle.
Drake gets credit for a 52-yard touchdown reception after the wild hook-and-ladder walk-off touchdown. Miami is now 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS against New England in the Patriots last seven visits to South Beach. Three times in the last four seasons Miami has beaten New England as at least a 9-point underdog. Tom Brady passed for 358 yards and 3 touchdowns in defeat, and New England had a week-high 35:14 minutes of possession time to 24:46 for Miami, and the Patriots ran 75 plays to just 45 for the Dolphins.
The desperation Dolphins score to complete the Miami Miracle keeps Miami (7-6) in the playoff chase and a 4-way tie for the final AFC wild card playoff spot with Baltimore (7-6), Indianapolis (7-6) and Tennessee (7-6). The LA Chargers (10-3) lead the AFC wild card chase, and Los Angeles has the huge Thursday night contest this week at Kansas City (11-2) with the AFC West division title still to be decided.
The Tennessee Tornado
Week 14 started with Tennessee trouncing Jacksonville on Thursday night, 30-9. That result was a good start to the week for bettors as a majority of the bets were on the Titans, who were bet up from -4 to -5.5 at kickoff. Derrick Henry ran his way into the record books in the rout with a 99-yard touchdown run that featured multiple stiff-arms down the sideline on his way to tying Tony Dorsett’s record run from 1983. The Titans had a week-high 264 rushing yards in the victory to keep them in the AFC playoff chase.
Week 14 NFL betting action
Sports Insights, which tracks sports bets from seven contributing sportsbooks, noted the highest moneyline odds tracked on the Dolphins was +820. That’s unusually high, and most sportsbooks closed Miami (+9) with Dolphins moneyline near +350. Many sportsbooks had significant action on the Patriots with many moneyline bettors laying more than -400 and 60% of the side bets on New England.
The Sunday night feature in the freezing temperatures of Chicago saw the Rams (-3) go down to the Bears, 15-6. Los Angeles received 80% of spread bets and 75% on moneyline bets at FanDuel Sportsbook, costing many bettors more money as they chased losses on the Sunday night game. Under the total (51) received 56% of the bets at BetStars Sportsbook, so more bettors were rewarded betting for a lower-scoring result.
Other road favorites that took a higher percentage of bets that proved costly for more bettors included:
- Sharp money came in on San Francisco, dropping the line from -5 to -3 at kickoff. Reverse line movement due to wise guy money supporting San Francisco.
- Oakland received sharp money early in the week against Pittsburgh (-10) as the line dropped from the opener of -13. The Raiders pulled off the upset, 24-21.
- The spread on Carolina (-1) at Cleveland fluctuated from PK to -2 all week. Panthers QB Cam Newton failed to help Panthers bettors in the closing minutes. Trailing 26-20, Carolina had 2nd and goal at the Browns 3-yard line and Newton threw incomplete passes on 3rd and 4th down, and then an interception on the first play after Carolina got the ball back at their 35 yard line in the final minute. Carolina has lost five straight games and is now given just a 7% chance to make the playoffs according to fivethirtyeight.com.
The most popular game of the week for bettors, according to SugarHouse, was the Bears vs. Rams matchup on Sunday night. That was followed by Cowboys vs. Eagles and Saints vs. Buccaneers.
The FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey and the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas release NFL advance look-ahead lines every week, and Week 15 features four division games headlined by a pair of primetime playoff previews. The Los Angeles Chargers visit Kansas City in a key AFC West contest that could be for first place, and Monday Night Football has the New Orleans Saints traveling to Carolina to tackle the Panthers.
Then there’s the Eagles and Rams on Sunday night. We’re seeing more meaningful games down the stretch as teams push for the playoffs, and these conference games will impact the standings and playoff positioning. And the betting odds set by sportsbooks seem to be getting tighter by the week.
Review the NFL Week 15 look-ahead lines below and start preparing to watch and wager on some key division games and prime time games with playoff contenders.
Adjusting to market moves
Last week we noted the big adjustments in the betting lines and season-high seven road favorites taking a majority of the betting action. Most bettors took a hit wagering on favorites, as those road favorites went 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS in Week 13 action. The Saints started the down week losing at Dallas Thursday 13-10 as a 7.5-point road favorite.
Adjusting to the market moves and even optional bets like teasers is a strategy to consider and employ, but hard habits are tough to break if you just wager on favorites and like to tease them down. The Saints were not the only big favorite to get stung last week, as the Packers (-14) were upset at home by Arizona 20-17, and head coach Mike McCarthy was fired by Green Bay. Other road favorites or more than 3 points that lost in Week 13 included the Colts (6-0), Panthers (24-17) and Bears (30-27) in overtime. The Falcons were not a big favorite but took a ton of betting action going from a 2.5-point home underdog to a 2.5-point favorite. But the Falcons were dominated by the Ravens, and Atlanta gained a week-low 131 yards at 2.9 yards per play in a 26-16 beatdown by Baltimore.
Despite many teams being eliminated from the playoffs, we saw last week that even the dregs at the bottom of the standings like the NY Giants, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, who had lost seven straight games, can rise up and win as an ugly underdog. The contrary nature of the NFL produces surprising results like the Cowboys over the Saints, the Colts getting shutout at Jacksonville and the Giants upset of the Bears. Those results are almost always a good result for the sports books, so evaluate the games and match-ups and be willing to change your approach and thoughts throughout the NFL season.
Week 14 look-ahead lines and major moves
Many bettors react more to recent results and are often unwilling to bet on bad teams. That’s what happened last week with so many ugly underdogs and home puppies gaining some footing. Injuries are derailing some team’s seasons, and Week 14 will see a continuation and addition of more backup quarterbacks getting the call to lead their teams. Mark Sanchez (WASH), Cody Kessler (JAX), Chase Daniel (CHI), Jeff Driskel (CIN) and Nick Mullens (SF) will likely start at quarterback. Those teams will take fewer bets (again), and all are underdogs.
As of Thursday, four of those teams were taking less than 30% of the bets on a consensus of public betting trends from seven sportsbooks tracked by SportsInsights through The Action Network. The other team, Jacksonville, was taking 37% of the bets in their Thursday night game at Tennessee.
The biggest line moves from the Week 14 look ahead lines to the current lines are:
- Baltimore at Kansas City (KC -9.5, SuperBook) – Current line Chiefs -7
- Indianapolis at Houston (HOU -3, SuperBook) – Current line Texans -5
- NY Giants at Washington (WASH -3, SuperBook) – Current line Giants -3.5
NFL Week 15 look-ahead betting lines
Along with the three primetime games featuring first place teams and a few others pushing towards the playoffs, the Dallas at Indianapolis and New England at Pittsburgh games are likely to draw the most betting action.
|Game||Westgate Line||FanDuel Line|
|LA Chargers at Kansas City||KC -4||KC -3|
|Houston at NY Jets||HOU -7||HOU -6|
|Cleveland at Denver||DEN -6||DEN -4.5|
|Miami at Minnesota||MIN -8.5||MIN -9|
|Oakland at Cincinnati||CIN -4.5||CIN -3|
|Tampa Bay at Baltimore||BAL -7||BAL -7|
|Dallas at Indianapolis||PK||IND -2.5|
|Detroit at Buffalo||PK||DET -1|
|Green Bay at Chicago||CHI -6||CHI -4.5|
|Tennessee at NY Giants||NYG -1.5||NYG -2.5|
|Washington at Jacksonville||JAX -6.5||JAX -5.5|
|Arizona at Atlanta||ATL -7.5||ATL -7|
|Seattle at San Francisco||SEA -7||SEA -6|
|New England at Pittsburgh||PIT -1.5||PIT -1|
|Philadelphia at LA Rams||LAR -7.5||LAR -8|
|New Orleans at Carolina||NO -6.5||NO -6|
The NFL has backloaded the second half of the regular season schedule with more meaningful division games, and those division duels will have much of the betting action while determining which teams reach the playoffs and playoff positioning and seeding. Review the NFL Week 14 look-ahead lines below and start preparing to watch and wager on some key division games and prime time games with playoff contenders.
Adjusting to market moves
The Saints look-ahead line (-7.5) for Week 13 did not move, but bettors that sided with the streaking Saints or got tricky with a teaser bet on New Orleans found out the hard way that riding hot streaks or paying a price on the betting line can have consequences. Will the Cowboys 13-10 upset of the Saints on Thursday kickoff more upsets in Week 13? There are a total of seven road favorites in Week 13 action, and much of the betting action is on those road favorites, which is often a lower-percentage play from a betting perspective.
We continue to see some of the big adjustments in the betting lines based on the previous week’s results, and while more favorites have continued to cover over the past month, perhaps the Cowboys cashing in will be the game that turns the tide heading into December. As mentioned in last week’s look ahead lines article, “Don’t expect that to continue into December … a correction is likely in order.” That despite many teams being eliminated from the playoffs while taking more points as underdogs. The contrary nature of the NFL produces surprising results like the Cowboys over the Saints, and the sportsbooks cashed in on Dallas knowing that many bettors continue to ride the hot teams like the Saints and other winning teams.
Week 13 look-ahead lines and major moves
Many bettors react more to recent results and are often unwilling to bet on bad teams. Those teams will take fewer bets and less betting action in Week 13: Cowboys (+7.5), Jaguars (+4), Buccaneers (+3.5), NY Giants (+4), Bengals (+5), Lions (+10), Raiders (+15), 49ers (+10) and Vikings (+5). All but Minnesota and Dallas are losing teams, and the Vikings and Cowboys play the powerful Patriots and Saints, which many public bettors like to support.
According to the Action Network and their betting platform partner Sports Insights, which tracks public betting trends from consensus sportsbooks, those underdogs listed above are all taking less than 37% of the bets. So the percentage of bets on the public favorites are at least two out of every three side bets wagered.
For the Week 13 games on Sunday, Dec. 2, these are the games where there was at least a two-point difference from the look-ahead line in Las Vegas or New Jersey and current line: Notice the huge point spread swing from Cincinnati a 2.5-point favorite vs Denver to now the Bengals a 5.5-point home underdog to the Broncos.
- Indianapolis at Jacksonville (IND -1.5, FanDuel) – Current line Colts -4
- Buffalo at Miami (MIA -6, FanDuel) – Current line Dolphins -3.5
- Denver at Cincinnati (CIN -2.5, SuperBook) – Current line Broncos -5.5
- LA Rams at Detroit (LAR -7, SuperBook) – Current line Rams -10
- Arizona at Green Bay (GB -11.5, SuperBook) – Current line Packers -14
- NY Jets at Tennessee (TEN -5.5, FanDuel) – Current line Titans -8
- San Francisco at Seattle (SEA -7.5, SuperBook) – Current line Seahawks -10
The major adjustments and market moves are against the losing teams again except for the Dolphins and Bills game, which had Miami too high on the look-ahead line but last week’s Bills win has dropped that line. The Dolphins have also lost four of their last five games with their only win over the bottom-feeding New York Jets.
The sportsbooks understand the need to adjust with most bettors unwilling to bet on the losing teams. Value will be available the rest of the year on many underdogs, like the Cowboys who beat the streaking Saints, and even the worst teams.
Scoring is at a record high 48.0 points per game this season, but follow the weather more closely at this time of year. Try to anticipate both side and totals moves in advance as potential poor weather conditions as game day nears.
NFL Week 14 look-ahead betting lines
The Week 14 NFL look ahead lines show seven division games (*) with some key games of interest impacting playoff positioning and teams pushing for the playoffs (Indianapolis at Houston and Philadelphia at Dallas). The two prime time games lead the TV ratings and betting action. Sunday night the LA Rams play at Chicago with both teams in first place, and Monday night’s feature are two teams leading the NFC wild-card chase with Minnesota at Seattle.
|Game||Westgate Line||FanDuel Line|
|Jacksonville at Tennessee||TEN -6||TEN -5.5|
|Baltimore at Kansas City||KC -9.5||KC -8.5|
|New England at Miami||NE -10||NE -7.5|
|New Orleans at Tampa Bay||NO -10.5||NO -9|
|New York Jets at Buffalo||BUF -3||BUF -3|
|Carolina at Cleveland||CLE -1||CAR -1.5|
|Indianapolis at Houston||HOU -3 (-120)||HOU -3|
|NY Giants at Washington||WASH -3 (+100)||WASH -3|
|Atlanta at Green Bay||GB -7.5||GB -6|
|Cincinnati at LA Chargers||LAC -15.5||LAC -13|
|Denver at San Francisco||DEN -4.5||DEN -4|
|Pittsburgh at Oakland||PIT -12.5||PIT -11|
|Philadelphia at Dallas||DAL -3.5 (+100)||DAL -3|
|Detroit at Arizona||DET -3 (-120)||DET -3.5|
|LA Rams at Chicago||LAR -3.5||LAR -3|
|Minnesota at Seattle||SEA -3 (+100)||SEA -3|