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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Week 11 (Thur. Nov. 15 - Mon. Nov. 19)

  1. #16
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    BIRDS OF A FEATHER...

    Baltimore’s quarterback is one of the more intriguing storylines of the week and one that we still don’t have much clarity on. Joe Flacco (hip) still isn’t practicing and the fact that the bye last week wasn’t enough time to get him back on the field isn’t a good sign. Lamar Jackson also missed practice on Thursday with an illness, leaving Robert Griffin III as the only quarterback on the field.

    If Flacco can’t go against Cincinnati on Sunday, it’s also unclear as to who will start. The assumption is that it would be Jackson, as he’s already getting on the field in select packages, but some reports out of Baltimore say RGIII could get the nod. This scenario would make the most sense — start Griffin and have Jackson come into the game as he’s used to. If this is how it plays out, you can bet that we’ll see a lot more Jackson packages than we do when Flacco is on the field. The Ravens will need him as it’s unlikely RGIII moves the offense very well. We’re hoping we see lots of Jackson on Sunday as it’s a great spot for him against a Bengals defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards to quarterbacks so far this season. Keep an eye out and if Flacco is ruled out, take the Over on Jackson’s rushing yards total.


    COOK AT FULL SPEED

    Minnesota offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said that Dalvin Cook (hamstring) is a “full-go” for Sunday night against the Bears. Cook wound up missing Weeks 5-8 and returned in Week 9 before having the bye last week to get back to 100 percent. The second-year back gained 89 yards on 10 carries in his return two weeks ago against Detroit, though it’s important to note that 70 of those yards came on one run. Take away that big gain and Cook managed just 2.1 yards per attempt on his other nine carries against a Lions defense that is ranked 31st in rushing DVOA.

    On Sunday, Cook has a much tougher matchup against a Bears defense that is ranked first in overall DVOA and second against the run. Chicago is only allowing 68.3 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields and hasn’t allowed a running back more than 51 rushing yards over the past four weeks. Assuming he can stay healthy, Cook is trending up for the rest of the season but we’re fading him in a tough spot this week by taking the Under on his rushing yards total.


    ALLEN POPS UP ON INJURY REPORT

    Chargers receiver Keenan Allen popped up on the injury report on Thursday as a limited participant with hip and finger ailments after not being on Wednesday’s report. Allen was already looking like fade material before the injury news and this just puts it over the top. Allen faces the Broncos on Sunday and historically he has struggled mightily against his division rivals, averaging just 4.3 catches for 39.5 yards in six career games. In fact, Allen has never surpassed 41 receiving yards against Denver. Broncos slot cornerback Chris Harris Jr. is a big reason for that — he’s one of the best in the business at what he does, and he’ll be covering Allen for the majority of his routes. With Harris blanketing Allen in coverage, Phillip Rivers will be forced to look elsewhere and we’re taking the Under on Allen’s receiving yards total.


    RAIDERS THIN AT WR

    The Oakland Raiders might have a serious issue at wide receiver on Sunday as Jordy Nelson (knee) remained on the sideline at practice on Thursday and is questionable for Sunday, while Martavis Bryant is out multiple weeks with a knee injury of his own. Assuming Nelson can’t go at Arizona, it will leave Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts as Derek Carr’s top-two targets.

    The dumpster-fire Raiders are already offensively inept, having scored a grand total of three field goals over the past two weeks. This week, they head to Arizona to play a sneaky-good defense that is ranked sixth in overall DVOA and fifth when the same metric is isolated for the pass. The Cardinals held Patrick Mahomes to 249 passing yards in K.C. last week and that was the highest total an opposing quarterback has put up against them since Week 5. Arizona should have no problem containing Derek Carr as he tries to throw to receivers who would be on most other teams’ practice squads. Take the Under on Carr’s passing yards total.


    JOHNSON IS BACK

    In sticking with the Raiders-Cardinals matchup, we need to talk about David Johnson and how Byron Leftwich and Josh Rosen have turned his season around. Since the former Jaguars quarterback took over play-calling duties, Johnson has put up games with 100 and 183 combined rushing and receiving yards. Since the rookie out of UCLA took over under center, Johnson has had 20 or more total touches in five of six games.

    Last week was especially nice for Johnson backers as he ran for 98 yards on 21 carries and caught seven passes for another 85 yards, cashing our Over 4.5 receptions bet in the process. This week, Johnson and the Cardinals are in a rare situation as a five-point home favorite going against a defense that allows the third-most rushing yards per game in the NFL at 141. This is one of the best spots Johnson is going to have all season and we’re backing the Over for his rushing yards total.

  2. #17
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    NFL Underdogs: Week 11 pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    Ever wonder how the NFL schedules bye weeks? Yeah, me neither. But for those now interested, I’ll do you a favor and save you some dry-as-toast reading.

    There is a “science” behind it, which involves the previous season’s schedule, opponents’ calendars, and what markets a team’s games occur in between Week 5 and Week 12…

    Huh? Wha? Sorry, nodded off there for a sec.

    If there’s one thing about bye weeks you should concern yourself with, it's that they’ve given rested teams an advantage when it comes to covering the spread in recent years (teams off a bye cover at almost 56 percent since 2015), especially if those teams coming off a bye are playing on the road.

    Since 2015, road teams feeling fresh off the bye week are 39-19-1 ATS (67 percent), including a red-hot 9-3-1 ATS this season. It’s in this spot that we find the Minnesota Vikings, coming off the bye and playing in Chicago as 3-point underdogs in Week 11.

    The Vikings suffered through a bit of an identity crisis in the first half of the schedule, watching their top-ranked defense bow and flex under the will of opposing offenses. However, that stop unit started to look like its old self last week against the rival Lions, holding Detroit to just nine points on 209 yards and sacking quarterback Matt Stafford 10 times.

    Defensive end Everson Griffen was the foundation of that 2017 defense and has wasted little time returning as its beating heart since taking a month away to address his mental health. Griffen played 52 snaps and had 1.5 sacks in the win over Detroit and now sets his sights on young Bears QB Mitch Trubisky, who has kept his jersey fairly clean during Chicago’s three-game winning streak.

    He's been sacked only four times in the last three contests, with a QB rating north of 109 and a TD/INT count of six-to-one during that stretch. Don’t get me wrong; Trubisky has looked great, but since Week 3, he’s faced defenses ranked 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, and 28th. In his lone matchup with legit stop unit since September 23, Trubisky was 12 for 20 passing for 132 yards, one touchdown and one interception versus Buffalo (first in yards allowed) – a game in which the Bears defense did a good chunk of the scoring.

    This is a big game for the Vikings, especially if they want to keep pace with the NFC’s elite. Minnesota has an advantage over all those other contenders, possessing a legitimate defense that will win games in January. And that well-rested defense wakes up in the Windy City Sunday.

    Pick:
    Minnesota +3

    Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5, OTB)

    Cincinnati’s defense has looked bad, like “first snow storm of the year and you still have your summer tires on” kind of bad. Then again so has the quarterback situation in Baltimore.

    The Ravens are being very polite with Joe Flacco following the team’s three-game slide and tumultuous bye week. Using his hip injury - and not his piss-poor play - for a reason to start someone else under center in Week 11. Winning a Super Bowl will lend you that level of discretion.

    That leaves the Ravens with rookie QB Lamar Jackson (who missed practice with a stomach bug) or the refurbished Robert Griffin III – neither of which command this kind of spread. Books that have posted this game have gone as high as Ravens -5.5 for what is still a heated AFC North rivalry.

    The Bengals have been blown away in recent weeks, allowing an average of 39.5 points in their last four games. However, those were against fire-balling offenses like Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and New Orleans – four of the Top 5 teams in terms of yardage. Baltimore isn't on the same planet as those teams - regardless of who's taking the snaps.

    Cincy’s defense could return linebacker Vontaze Burfict and corner Darqueze Dennard. That D is also now under the command of head coach Marvin Lewis, after defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was let go and former Browns head coach Hue Jackson – still smoldering from his firing in Week 9 – was brought aboard to help run the show.

    The Bengals did a good job versus the Ravens in Week 2, winning 34-23 as 1-point home chalk, sacking Flacco three times, recording two interceptions, and forcing two fumbles while recovering one. Cincinnati plays divisional foes tough and are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 versus Baltimore.

    Pick:
    Cincinnati +5.5

    Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5, 46.5)

    I can’t wait to bet against the L.A. Chargers in the playoffs, but until then I’ll settle fading them in Week 11.

    The Bolts have built a six-game winning streak on the backs of broken teams, with a resume that includes “opponents” like Oakland (twice), Tennessee, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Los Angeles also has a win over Buffalo, putting the cherry on top of a sundae that is 86 percent whipped cream.

    The possible return of Joey Bosa could give this defense some teeth, but the Chargers have big issues on the other side of the ball, especially when it comes to covering this spread which is creeping up above a touchdown.

    Los Angeles is scoring TDs on just 56 percent of its red zone trips this season, and that’s dropped to 33 percent over the past three games. Another flashing warning light when it comes to this team: it can’t kick. The Bolts have blown boots in their blood, making only 78 percent of field goal attempts on the year. Kicker Caleb Sturgis was axed two weeks ago, leaving kicking duties to promoted practice squader Michael Badgley.

    Denver has gone 3-1 ATS the last four weeks playing some tough teams and has long been a thorn in the side of the Chargers franchise – in San Diego and L.A. – covering in five of its last seven roadies versus the Bolts.

    Pick:
    Denver +7.5

    Last week: 2-0-1 ATS
    Season: 21-8-1 ATS

  3. #18
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    JAGS’ O-LINE TAKES A HIT

    Jacksonville’s offensive line took a big hit on Monday with the news that center Brandon Linder is out for the season with a knee injury. Linder has earned top-five grades among centers from Pro Football Focus and is the second Jacksonville offensive lineman to go down for the season along with left tackle Cam Robinson.

    The loss of a starting center affects both Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette but when you add in the matchup for Week 11, it looks like Fournette’s production could take the biggest hit this week. Jacksonville hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday in a game where the Steeler have opened as a 6-point favorite. The Steelers are absolutely on fire right now and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them jump out to a big lead early; the Jags got down big last week and Fournette wound up with just 54 rushing yards. The Steelers have also been very tough against the run of late, allowing under four yards per carry over their last five games. We’re taking the Under on Fournette’s rushing yards total in Week 11.


    MIXON ALL SET

    Cincinnati removed running back Joe Mixon (knee) from the injury report on Friday, meaning he should be at full speed as the Bengals head to Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. With A.J. Green out, you’d think Mixon would be in for a huge day but that wasn’t the case last week as he had just 13 touches (11 carries, two catches) for 85 total yards. There were two reasons for his low usage: Giovani Bernard returned to the field and stole 12 snaps (four touches) and the Bengals got blown out of the water by the Saints.

    The Bengals will likely plan to use Mixon more this week, but it won’t necessarily translate into a big day against a tough Ravens defense that is allowing the second-fewest total yards to opposing backfields per game at 98.6. You also want to see Cincinnati playing with the lead, or at least in a tight game, if you’re a Mixon backer and that might not be the case this week as a road underdog. In the three losses Mixon has played in this season, he’s averaging just 73.3 combined yards per game; in the four wins he has played in, he’s averaging 122.3 combined yards. We see the Bengals losing this game, so we’ll be taking the Under on Mixon’s combined rushing and receiving yards total.


    NO MAGIC BUT FITZ WILL START

    Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter confirmed on Monday that Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue as the team’s starter despite throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble in the 16-3 loss to Washington in Week 10. Fitzpatrick did manage to throw for 406 yards on 29-of-41 passing but was unable to find the end zone. Fitz now has 649 passing yards in two games since reclaiming the starting job and four games with 400-plus passing yards on the season. In Week 11, Tampa Bay heads to New York to take on a Giants defense that was ranked 27th in passing DVOA before last night’s game at San Francisco. We’re expecting another big game through the air for Fitzpatrick and we’re taking the Over on his passing yards total.


    FUNCHESS TO GET SLAY’ED

    Detroit removed Darius Slay (knee) from the injury report on Friday, meaning the Lions will welcome the return of their top cornerback on Sunday when the Panthers come to town. This is bad news for Devin Funchess as Slay will be expected to shadow Carolina’s top receiver for most of the afternoon. Funchess is already in a funk over his past three games, with just 13 targets that he has turned into 10 for 103 yards. Another cause for concern in his target share, which has fallen from 23.5 percent in Weeks 1-7 down to 16.5 percent over the last three games. Greg Olsen is back to full speed and Cam Newton is looking to DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel more often. Funchess has a lot going against him and we’re taking the Under on his receiving yards total for Sunday.


    MCCAFFREY IS A MONSTER

    In sticking with the Panthers-Lions matchup, we’re backing Christian McCaffrey to have a huge day. This wouldn’t be anything new as he has evolved into one of the most explosive players in the NFL and has popped for 157 and 138 total yards in his last two games. On Sunday, he gets to go against Detroit defense that is ranked 30th in overall DVOA. The Lions are slightly better against the run (25th DVOA) than they are against the pass (31st DVOA) but they still gave up 109 total yards to Dalvin Cook last week and 124 total yards to Chris Carson the game before that — and both of those games were with defensive lineman Damon Harrison, whom they acquired just before the trade deadline, on the field. We also love the fact that McCaffrey is pretty much game-script proof, as he has gained 56.8 percent of his yards on the ground and 43.2 percent of his yards through the air. What does this mean? If the Panthers are ahead, they’re going to run the ball with McCaffrey as the running back and if they’re behind, they’re going to throw the ball with McCaffrey as the running back. We like McCaffrey to have his third straight monster game on Sunday and we’re backing the Over for his combined rushing and receiving yards total.


    JONES OUT

    Detroit receiver Marvin Jones is officially out of this matchup after being forced from last Sunday’s game against Chicago with a bone bruise in his knee. Jones has taken on a larger role with 15 targets in the two weeks since Golden Tate was traded, and if he can’t suit up on Sunday Matthew Stafford will be looking in Kenny Golladay’s direction.

    Golladay was also expected to absorb some of Tate’s production but it didn’t really happen until the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against Chicago where he turned eight targets into three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. This happened largely due to the fact that the Lions were down by a lot but that could happen again this week as a four-point home underdog. Assuming Jones can’t go on Sunday, Golladay is going to be a target monster and his usage alone will be worth backing. His opponent this week, the Carolina Panthers, have given up 300 or more passing yards in each of their past two road games. The second-year receiver is in a nice spot to possibly have one of the biggest days of his career on Sunday and we’re taking the Over on his receiving yards total.


    FREEMAN DUE BACK

    The Broncos will get a boost in the backfield as rookie Royce Freeman is set to return from injury for their Week 11 game at the Chargers. Freeman has been out with an ankle injury since leaving Denver’s Week 7 win at Arizona. With Freeman out, fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay has had games of 112 and 84 total yards, while Devontae Booker went for 101 total yards in Week 8 before being limited to just 24 total yards in Week 9.

    Before the injury, Freeman and Lindsay were getting close to an even split of the early-down work with Booker getting a few passing-down plays. Lindsay has clearly been the better back, however, averaging a full yard per carry more (5.4 yards to Freeman’s 4.4). Lindsay is also involved in the passing game (20 catches for 160 yards), while Freeman has just four catches for 21 yards on the season. Freeman returns to a decent matchup against a Chargers team ranked 20th in rushing DVOA, but as a seven-point road underdog, the game script may end up calling for Lindsay and Booker if the Broncos get forced into more passing situations. With ankle injuries, we also worry about the risk of re-injury, so we’re taking the Under for Freeman’s rushing yards total in his return.


    TATE FURTHER ALONG

    Eagles coach Doug Pederson said that receiver Golden Tate is “much further along this week,” leading us to believe he’ll be more involved than he was last week in his Philadelphia debut where he managed just two catches for 19 yards on four targets. He also ran just 15 routes last week against Dallas, but that number should go way up this week now that Tate has another week of practice under his belt. Philly will need him on the field and it’ll need a big day from the former Notre Dame star if they hope to keep pace with the Saints as an 8-point underdog.

    Sunday isn’t a great matchup for the Eagles but it’s really a great spot for Tate from an individual standpoint. The Saints are third in rushing DVOA and the Eagles don’t have much of a running game to begin with, so if Philadelphia hopes to move the ball it’s going to be through the air. New Orleans’ top cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, will likely follow Alshon Jeffery around all afternoon. Then there’s the obvious fact that the Saints are going to score — likely a lot with a team total of 33.5 — which, of course, will force the Eagles into a ton of passing attempts. We like Tate to get involved on Sunday and we’re taking the Over on his receptions total.


    BREES BEST AT HOME

    Speaking of the New Orleans Saints, they’re at home again this week which means we get to watch Drew Brees do amazing things. Well, Brees does amazing things pretty much every week but in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season he is completing 80 percent of his passes for an average of 9.59 yards per attempt and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio that results in an error when you try to calculate it (12 touchdowns, zero interceptions). The Eagles are struggling against the pass of late, having allowed 275 passing yards or more in the last three weeks and only one of those was to a good quarterback in Cam Newton (the other two were Dak Prescott and Blake Bortles). Philly will also be without cornerbacks Ronald Darby, who suffered a torn ACL last week, and Jalen Mills, who also missed Week 10 with a foot injury. Brees is going to light up the depleted Eagles secondary and we’re taking the Over 294.5 on his passing yards total.

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    Total Talk - Week 11
    Chris David

    Week 10 Recap

    The ‘over’ went 8-6 last week it’s and fair to say that the results were never in doubt in a dozen of the games. Total bettors riding the ‘over’ in the Patriots-Titans looked good at halftime with Tennessee ahead 24-10 but New England was shutout 10-0 in the second-half. Another tough outcome took place in Philadelphia as Dallas led 13-3 at halftime and the ‘under’ (45 ½) looked like the right side. Sure enough, the pair combined for 31 points in the final 30 minutes and helped bettors chasing SNF ‘over’ tickets. Through 10 weeks, we’re looking at a stalemate (74-74) and that back-and-forth action shows you how good the oddsmakers have been this season.

    2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half

    Week 10 8-6 9-5 5-9
    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Year-to-Date 74-74 77-71 68-76-4

    2018 Results - Other
    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Week 10 2-2 5-1 1-0 1-0

    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Year-to-Date 23-18 20-24 16-10 6-2

    Line Moves and Public Leans

    Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 11 as of Saturday morning.


    Dallas at Atlanta: 47 ½ to 49 ½
    Tennessee at Indianapolis: 48 to 50 ½
    Denver at L.A. Chargers: 47 to 45 ½
    Philadelphia at New Orleans: 54 ½ to 56 ½

    Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 11 as of Saturday morning.

    Dallas at Atlanta: Over 91%
    Oakland at Arizona: Under 85%
    Denver at L.A. Chargers: Under 82%
    Philadelphia at New Orleans: Over 80%
    Kansas City at L.A. Rams: Over 76%

    Divisional Matchups

    If you’re a believe that all things balance out in the long run, then you could’ve cleaned up last week by playing the ‘over’ in the divisional games. After watched the ‘under’ go 10-2 the last three weeks and 23-15 on the season, the ‘over’ bounced back with a 5-1 (86%) mark last Sunday.

    Cincinnati at Baltimore:
    As of Saturday morning, no numbers posted on this game and the quarterback issue for the Ravens is up in the air. I can’t imagine Baltimore moving the football if Joe Flacco doesn’t go and Cincinnati certainly showed how limited it is offensively without wide receiver A.J. Green. With healthy players, the ‘over’ went 2-0 last season but the ‘under’ was on a 3-0-1 run prior to those results.

    Tennessee at Indianapolis:
    The total split last season but that was without Colts QB Andrew Luck playing. Make a note that the signal caller is 9-0 in his career against the Titans and Indy is averaging 28.7 PPG in those contests. Something has to give here knowing Tennessee is 2-0 to the ‘under’ in divisional games while Indy is 2-0 to the ‘over.’

    Danver at L.A. Chargers:
    If you like to play home-away trends and tendencies for head-to-head matchups, then you may lean to the ‘under’ in this matchup. The last four games played in California (LA, San Diego) have gone ‘under’ while the ‘over’ has cashed in the previous four in Colorado.

    Minnesota at Chicago:
    (See Below)

    Fifty Something

    Totals that have closed in the fifties this season have watched the ‘over’ go 20-19 this season. There are four games currently in this neighborhood for Week 11 and that includes the sixty-something number posted on the MNF matchup.

    Listed below are the games with totals listed in the fifties and sixties for Week 11 along with their ‘over/under’ record listed in parenthesis and some notable trends too.

    Tennessee (3-6) at Indianapolis (6-3):
    The Colts have watched the ‘over’ go 3-1 at home and the Indy offense (30.8 PPG) has been very sharp.

    Tampa Bay (7-2) at N.Y. Giants (4-5):
    Something has to give in this matchup with New York only averaging 14.8 PPG at home this season, which has led to a 3-1 ‘under’ record. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are 5-0 to the ‘over’ on the road and the defense (40.2) has been atrocious in those games.

    Philadelphia (4-5) at New Orleans (5-4):
    Three of the four ‘over’ tickets for the Birds came on the road and the one ‘under’ took place in London. The Saints own a 3-1 ‘over’ mark at the Superdome behind the perfect total combo – a great offense (37.2 PPG) and a weak defense (30 PPG).

    Kansas City (5-5) at L.A. Rams (5-5):
    Chiefs stronger ‘over’ team (4-1) on the road and the offense (36.8 PPG) has been better as well. The Rams flipped their total results from last season, when they posted more ‘over’ tickets on the road. This season, the ‘over’ has gone 4-1 at the Coliseum.

    Bye Bye Rust

    The ‘over’ has gone 14-6 (70%) in teams playing off the ‘bye’ this season and while we saw a couple clubs struggle offensively last week, rested units are averaging 25.8 points per game so far. Four teams will be playing with rest this week and two of the clubs have shown solid numbers with their coaches.

    Bengals at Ravens:
    As noted above, QB issues key for Baltimore but John Harbaugh is 8-2 both SU and ATS in his last 10 games with rest and the defense has only allowed 13.7 PPG during this span.

    Texans at Redskins:
    Houston’s Bill O’Brien is another coach (3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS) who has put up solid numbers off the bye. The offense has averaged 23.8 PPG and what’s impressive is that all four of those games were on the road.

    Broncos at Chargers
    Vikings at Bears

    Under the Lights

    The ‘over’ posted a 3-0 record in the primetime games last week and we had another Thursday ‘over’ connect this week already as the Seahawks outlasted the Packers 27-24 at home. Including those four results, the ‘over’ sits at 18-15 on the season in games played under the lights.

    Minnesota at Chicago:
    The Vikings captured a pair of ugly wins over the Bears (23-10, 20-17) last season and those totals ranged from 38 to 41. This week’s number is higher (44 ½) and that’s a little surprising knowing Chicago (319 YPG) and Minnesota (322 YPG) are ranked fourth and fifth respectively in total defense. However, the Vikings offense (30 PPG) has been better away from home and the Bears enter this game on a 5-1 ‘over’ run. Chicago’s offense (34.3 PPG) has been on fire during this stretch but duplicating those numbers won’t be as easy versus Minnesota. Make a note that the ‘under’ has gone 7-3 on Sunday Night Football this season.

    Kansas City at L.A. Rams:
    It’s rare to see NFL totals this high (63 ½) but based on what we’ve seen from the Chiefs (35.3 PPG) and Rams (33.5 PPG) offensively, it’s hard to make a case for the ‘under’ here plus neither team is great defensively. Bettors daring to take the low side could make a case that the Rams have been suspect against the run recently and the Chiefs may follow the blueprint and try to grind out a win. I’m expecting both teams to get at least five scores and the ratio of touchdowns to field goals will likely decide this result. Kansas City hasn’t settled (41 TDs, 16 FGs) for three points often but we have seen Los Angeles (36 TDs, 21 FGs) stall a little bit more offensively. The Chiefs are averaging 32 PPG in two matchups vs. the NFC this season while the Rams have posted 30.3 PPG in three wins against the AFC West. For what it’s worth, the ‘under’ is 3-0 in the past three encounters in this limited non-conference series.

    Fearless Predictions

    I was greedy last week and take full blame for trying to double-up on Arizona in its game at Kansas City. The Cardinals only managed 14 points and the defense played surprisingly well. That outcome put us in the red ($220) for the weekend but we’re still ahead ($510) on the season. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Best Over: Tampa Bay-N.Y. Giants 52 ½
    Best Under: Denver-L.A. Chargers 45 ½
    Best Team Total: Under 23 ½ Chica

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    Gridiron Angles - Week 11
    Vince Akins

    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Bengals are 11-0-1 ATS (5.3 ppg) since Dec 14, 2008 as a dog off a game as a dog of more than three points where they gained no more than 18 first downs.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Steelers are 0-10-1 ATS (-7.9 ppg) since Oct 22, 2006 as a road favorite coming off a home win where they allowed at least 30 points.

    TOP NFL PLAYER TREND:

    -- The Titans are 0-9 ATS (-10.6 ppg) since Dec 13, 2015 coming off a home win where Marcus Mariota completed at least 60% of his passes.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Colts are 0-11 OU (-10.4 ppg) since Nov 23, 2014 at home coming off a game with at least 250 passing yards.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Eagles are 15-0 OU (9.3 ppg) since Dec 30, 2012 on the road coming off a loss where they allowed at least 24 points.

    NFL BIBLE ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Cardinals are 0-10 ATS (-8.05 ppg) off a doubledigit road loss in which their opponent had more punts than third downs converted.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-18-2018 at 12:42 PM.

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    According to reports, Ravens are expected to start Lamar Jackson at quarterback today at home vs. the Bengals. Robert Griffin III is also expected to see some snaps.
    Current Pointspread: BAL -6.5
    Current Total: 44


    As reported last night, Chargers DL Joey Bosa is expected to play today at home against the Broncos (although will likely be on a limited snap count).
    Bosa has yet to play a game this season.
    Current Pointspread: LAC -7
    Current Total: 46.5


    Bengals WR A.J. Green has reportedly made the trip with the team and will test his injured toe prior to today's game @ Baltimore.
    He is still listed as "doubtful".
    Current Pointspread: CIN +6.5
    Current Total: 44
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-18-2018 at 12:42 PM.

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    Essentials - Week 11
    Tony Mejia

    Sunday
    Carolina (-4.5/49.5) at Detroit, 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    Matt Patricia’s Lions have defeated Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers this season. Cam Newton has been reminded of this, as will Jared Goff in two weeks. Those upsets may put a target on the back of a team rebuilding on the run, having traded Golden Tate and entering a three-game homestand that includes Thursday’s Thanksgiving opener against the Bears. Detroit will have a better chance to stop Newton due to DE Ziggy Ansah and CB Darius Slay being available, so Patricia will have most of his chess pieces in play to try and contain an offense looking to rebound from a 52-21 loss to Pittsburgh. Newton is having his finest season since winning MVP in 2015, so Carolina has yet to lose consecutive games. Outside of WR Torrey Smith remaining out, the Panthers are relatively healthy. Detroit will be without DT A’Shawn Robinson, WR Marvin Jones, Jr. and TE Michael Roberts. QB Matthew Stafford has been sacked 16 times over the last two games and will need better protection to help him get the ball to young weapons Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay.

    Dallas at Atlanta (-3.5/50), 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Cowboys saved their season with a win over the Eagles and have to go out on the road and do it again before moving on to Thursday’s Thanksgiving clash with Washington. Dallas remains without LB Sean Lee, but was able to generate pressure against Philadelphia and will look to try and pick up where the Browns left off in hassling Matt Ryan into mistakes. Offensively, Ezekiel Elliott is playing at a high level and could make life difficult for a Falcons run defense that surrendered a 92-yard TD run to rookie Nick Chubb to swing last week’s upset loss in Cleveland. Atlanta had won three straight prior to the loss, which includes consecutive home games, and Ryan does have his full compliment of receivers to work with against a vulnerable Dallas defense.

    Cincinnati at Baltimore (-5.5/43.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Lamar Jackson will get his first NFL start with Joe Flacco legitimately hurt, nursing a hip injury that won’t require surgery. We’ll see if he ever gets his job back. Jackson hasn’t really played the position of quarterback this regular season, executing packages in the red zone but not getting a chance to find a rhythm and truly match wits with a defense, so we’ll see what rust has developed. The Bengals aren’t exactly humming defensively, having fired Teryl Austin after a 51-14 home loss to the Saints. Marvin Lewis will look to frustrate Jackson and will serve as his own defensive coordinator here in a humongous game for both teams. LB Vontaze Burfict may return, but that group will still be shorthanded even if he does go since Nick Vigil and Preston Brown are out. RB Joe Mixon is expected to play through a knee issue that cast legitimate doubt on his availability, while WR A.J. Green is out again. Can Jackson go on the road and keep his team’s realistic playoff hopes alive? It’s very interesting that the Ravens have been bet up as high as a six-point favorite. We’ll see if the public faith in Jackson is rewarded.

    Tennessee at Indianapolis (-2/51), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Marcus Mariota has looked like a different guy over the past few weeks, apparently getting healthy around the London trip and the bye that followed. He’s got four touchdown passes over the last two games, wins over New England and Dallas where he played almost flawlessly. Given how well the defense has been playing, coming in tops in the NFL in points allowed (16.8), the Titans have emerged as a serious threat to win an AFC South that they trailed by just one game entering this one. Indianapolis avoided slipping to last place in the division by banishing Jacksonville there last weekend and have seen Andrew Luck throw 10 touchdowns against just one pick during its current three-game win streak. He’s thrown for at least three TDs in six straight games, the third-longest such streak in NFL history. The ‘over’ is on a 5-1 run in Colts games, while the under has hit in four of the last five involving Tennessee. At 50.5 points approaching kickoff, this will be the highest total of the season in a game involving the Titans.

    Houston (-3/42) at Washington, 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Texans lead the AFC South and come off a bye, so we’ll get a good look at their killer instinct here. With a second date with Tennessee on tap next week, Houston can really take some pressure off itself by answering the bell after an extra week to heal and prepare. The time off has allowed DBs Jonathan Joseph (ankle) and Andre Hal (shoulder) to heal up and re-enter the mix. Rookie slot WR Keke Coutee is also back from a hamstring injury. The Texans have won six straight games, riding a defense that ranks seventh-best in points allowed and has excelled throughout the streak. Deshaun Watson has also improved and got an extra week with new acquisition Demariyus Thomas as Houston looks to solve a defense that has keyed Washington’s ascent to the top of the NFC East. Alex Smith leads an offense that hasn’t cracked 20 points in any of their last four games and will again be working with shorthanded with top tackle Trent Williams, guard Shawn Lauvao, RB Chris Thompson and WR Jamison Crowder all sidelined.

    Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants (-2.5/53), 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    This is one of Week 11’s two games featuring teams that have turned their attention to next season already. Still, there’s intrigue in Eli Manning making his last stand before he’s inevitably replaced by Kyle Lauletta and Ryan Fitzpatrick remaining ahead of Jameis Winston on the depth chart. The Bucs have already fired their defensive coordinator and will have offensive coordinator Todd Monken call plays today instead of head coach Dirk Koetter, so they’re in full-on experimental mode as they attempt to fix a red zone attack that failed to produce a touchdown in five trips against the ‘Skins last week. Manning led a fourth-quarter rally in Santa Clara to get past the 49ers on Monday night and will be looking to lead the Giants to back-to-back wins for the first time since December of 2016. He’s facing a depleted defense that is now down their second elite linebacker in Lavonte David, who suffered a knee injury last week and is one of a number of casualties on that side of the ball.

    Pittsburgh (-5.5/46.5) at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Steelers and Jaguars get together for the first time since last season’s divisional playoff shootout that the Jags won 45-42. Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes in that game and is coming off a five-touchdown effort last Thursday night in Carolina. He’ll be looking to take advantage of a Jaguars secondary that has looked nothing like last year’s elite group this season but does get A.J. Bouye back from a calf injury that has left Patrick Ramsey out on an island, quite literally, without his tag-team partner. The Jags forced seven Roethlisberger turnovers in last season’s two meetings, so this is a game that the future Hall of Famer has certainly had circled on the schedule. Although Le’Veon Bell is officially done, RB James Conner has cleared concussion protocol and will be available for a Steelers offense that is at full strength with the exception of tackle Marcus Gilbert. Pittsburgh owns a five-game winning steak and is intent on revenge, while Jacksonville has dropped five straight and is hoping that Leonard Fournette’s return in a losing cause last week can help spark a resurgence.

    Denver at L.A. Chargers (-7/46.5), 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Chargers are hoping to have Joey Bosa for the first time this season to help upgrade a defense that started slowly but has come together over the past few weeks as Melvin Ingram has found a rhythm and other injured key cogs played their way into shape. Philip Rivers has been excellent in letting RB Melvin Gordon lead the offense and will have WRs Keenan Allen (hip), Mike Williams (groin) and tight end Antonio Gates (knee) available to him, so an offense that has scored at least 20 points in every game this season will look to solve a Broncos defense that it has lost two in six of eight. The Broncos won’t have LB Brandon Marshall or safety Dymonte Thomas but have cleared DBs Darian Stewart and Bradley Roby to return. A new-look offense relying on young playmakers will have Royce Freeman (ankle) and DaeShawn Hamilton (knee) available and will be looking to make better use of rookie Courtland Sutton, who is stepping into Demariyus Thomas’ shoes.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-18-2018 at 12:43 PM.

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    SNF - Vikings at Bears

    After cashing with the Dallas Cowboys in last week's SNF game, this week we get a NFC North battle for first place in the division. Had I told you at the beginning of the year that a game with those kind of stakes wouldn't include Green Bay, there probably wouldn't have been too many out there that would have believed me. But without question, the Vikings and Bears have been consistently the two best teams in the NFC North this year and do deserve a showcase spot like this.

    Granted, it hasn't been smooth sailing for either side this year as the Vikings famously lost big at home against Buffalo as -17 favorites, while Chicago's got a questionable loss vs Miami in Brock Osweiler's first start on their resume as well. But both sides come into SNF playing some very good football currently, so where should your money be going here?

    Odds: Chicago (-2.5); Total set at 44.5

    This game has already seen some solid action all week on both the side and total as it appears as though the Vikings and 'under' are the popular ways to play this game. Each of those wagers are showing about 70%+ support currently on VegasInsider.com's betting percentages, and because of that action, both numbers have moved those respective ways. It's easy to see why both of those sides are likely, but there is one of those moves I'll be directly against.

    A big part of the success both teams have had of late is in large part due to their respective defenses. Both teams rank in the Top 7 of the league in terms of yards allowed per play (Chicago is 3rd, while Minnesota is 7th), and over the last three weeks they rank #1 and #2 in the league in that category.

    Both teams come in at allowing less than four yards per play over the past three weeks, and with stat lines like that you always knew the 'under' was going to get plenty of support. Heck, the Vikings even faced the juggernaut New Orleans Saints attack during that three-game stretch, and while Minnesota may have fallen short in that contest, holding down the Saints in any way possible right now is rather impressive.

    However, both teams have also faced the Lions and Jets respectively during those three-game stretches and shutting down those offenses hasn't proved to be that hard this season. Don't get me wrong, those numbers are still impressive, but had their recent schedules been even marginally harder, we might not be talking about such impressive defensive numbers for both sides right now.

    And yet, it's in large part because of those numbers that the 'under' on this game is the popular side, as the perception of both teams is that they are strong defense-first units that will now have a tough time scoring on one another. After all, each side has been allowing less than four yards per play right.

    Nearly all of that was already incorporated into the opening number though, and even with those great defensive numbers of late, Chicago's still 2-1 O/U in their last three games while the Vikings are 1-2 O/U. Only two of those six games in question have finished with fewer than 45 points, and going back even further, we've actually got the Bears on a 5-1 O/U run overall, with Minnesota 3-3 O/U during the same span.

    Minnesota is also off their bye week so having two weeks for their offense to draw up different ways of finding success never hurts, and it also means that the Vikings are also in that great post-bye week 'over' scenario that a colleague of mine here at VegasInsider.com outlined at the end of this piece.

    The Vikings have also found some consistent offensive rhythm over the past 6+ weeks as they've scored 20 or more points in six straight games – all coming after that embarrassing home loss to the Bills, while Chicago's offense has scored 24 or more in six straight games themselves.

    I've long been a believer that when the perception of NFL totals automatically lean the majority one way – ie two defensive teams equating to an 'under' play and two offensive teams equating to an 'over' play (hint for where I'm leaning on the MNF total this week) – that you should really be looking to go against those perceptions if for no other reason than the line is already shaded that perceived way. That means there is already inherent value in going against the grain with those totals plays and it appears as though that's exactly what we've got with the SNF game this week.

    Going against the grain is something I prefer to do as is, and with the Vikings on a 4-1 O/U run on the road, 5-1 O/U in their last six against a winning team, and Chicago 7-3 O/U in their last 10 division games, I'm expecting plenty of (relative) points on Sunday night as these two rivals should be able to combine for about 50 points.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-18-2018 at 12:43 PM.

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    MNF - Chiefs at Rams
    Kevin Rogers

    LAST WEEK

    The Chiefs (9-1 SU, 8-2 ATS) failed to cover the spread for only the second time this season as Kansas City held off Arizona at Arrowhead Stadium, 26-14 as 16 ½-point favorites. The Cardinals gave everything the Chiefs could handle as Arizona trailed Kansas City by six points heading into the fourth quarter. Spencer Ware’s three-yard touchdown run early in the fourth pushed the Chiefs to a 12-point lead, but Kansas City couldn’t produce any more offense in final few possessions to result in the non-cover.

    Patrick Mahomes threw for fewer than 300 yards for only the second time this season and the first time since Week 1 as the Chiefs’ quarterback posted 249 yards and two touchdown passes. Mahomes didn’t throw an interception for the first time since Week 4, while hooking up with Tyreek Hill on both touchdown tosses. Hill finished with 117 yards on seven catches, as Kansas City won its eighth consecutive regular season game at Arrowhead Stadium.

    The Rams (9-1 SU, 4-6 ATS) rebounded from its only loss of the season by holding off the Seahawks, 36-31 at the L.A. Coliseum. Los Angeles failed to cover against Seattle for the second time this season, as the Rams were laying 10 points last Sunday. The Rams had an opportunity to cash in spite of falling behind 14-7 early as L.A. stormed back to lead 36-24 in the fourth quarter on a Brandin Cooks nine-yard touchdown run.

    The Seahawks picked up the cover on a late Russell Wilson touchdown pass, dropping the Rams to 1-6 ATS in the last seven games. Quarterback Jared Goff put together a solid afternoon by throwing for 318 yards and two touchdowns, while MVP candidate Todd Gurley rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown for the Rams. The major concern was Seattle rushing for 273 yards on the Rams’ defense, which had allowed 105 yards on the ground through the first nine games.

    MOVING FROM MEXICO

    This showdown was originally supposed to take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, but the game was moved to the Coliseum due to poor field conditions. Since the Rams are listed as the home team, the game shifted back to Los Angeles according to NFL rules which state if there are any issues at a stadium in international contests, it will be moved to the site of the home team.

    ROAD-FIELD ADVANTAGE

    Who says the Chiefs only thrive at Arrowhead Stadium? Andy Reid’s squad has covered in all five games away from Kansas City this season, while winning four times. The only loss came in the Week 6 shootout loss at New England, 43-40, but the Chiefs cashed as 3 ½-point underdogs. This is the fourth time this season that Kansas City will be listed as an underdog, as the Chiefs have already won outright against the Chargers and Steelers on the highway.

    SERIES HISTORY

    The Chiefs have captured each of the last three meetings with the Rams as this is the first matchup between the teams since the team moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. When these teams were neighbors in Missouri, the Chiefs won six matchups from 1997 through 2014, as Kansas City blew out the Rams in the most recent meeting four seasons ago, 34-7. The Rams last beat the Chiefs in 1994 at Arrowhead Stadium, 16-0 as 14 ½-point underdogs.

    MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

    Kansas City has won three straight Monday night contests since the start of 2017, including a 27-23 victory at Denver in Week 4 as 3 ½-point favorites. Los Angeles is making its second appearance on Monday night football this season after routing Oakland in the opener, 33-13 as a 6 ½-point favorite. The Rams are hosting their first Monday night game since moving to L.A., while the franchise is playing at home on a Monday for the first time since hosting the 49ers in St. Louis in 2014.

    HANDICAPPER’S CORNER

    NFL expert Joe Nelson gives his take on this matchup, first on the impact of the dynamic offenses, “The young quarterbacks have both emerged as serious MVP candidates with Mahomes featuring 31 touchdown passes and the 2nd best quarterback rating in the league in his first season as a starter. Goff has only 16 fewer passing yards through 10 games and a higher completion percentage with one less interception. Gurley and Kareem Hunt are both in the top four in rushing on the season with Gurley only 12 yards short of 1,000 already this season while Hill and Cooks have been among the league’s top receivers.”

    From a totals perspective, this sky-high number may be hard to eclipse, but it’s not a crazy notion that the OVER can cash according to Nelson, “Monday’s game will feature perhaps the highest total in NFL history priced at 63. Since 1980, only two NFL games have closed with a total of 60 or higher with the last instance being the Saints playoff win over the Lions, 45-28 in January of 2012 with a total of 60. A Rams/49ers game in 2000 featured a total of 62, staying just UNDER in a 34-24 Rams win at Candlestick. Since 2000, 12 games have closed with a total of 58 or higher with the OVER hitting in 10 of those 12 games.

    GAME PROPS – According to Westgate Superbook

    Total Gross Passing Yards – Patrick Mahomes
    OVER 325 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 325 ½ (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Patrick Mahomes
    OVER 2 ½ (-150)
    UNDER 2 ½ (+130)

    Total Rushing Yards – Kareem Hunt
    OVER 85 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 85 ½ (-110)

    Total Receiving Yards – Tyreek Hill
    OVER 90 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 90 ½ (-110)

    Total Receiving Yards – Travis Kelce
    OVER 87 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 87 ½ (-110)

    Total Gross Passing Yards – Jared Goff
    OVER 320 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 320 ½ (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Jared Goff
    OVER 2 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 2 ½ (-110)

    Total Rushing Yards – Todd Gurley
    OVER 108 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 108 ½ (-110)

    Total Receiving Yards – Brandin Cooks
    OVER 95 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 95 ½ (-110)

    Total Receiving Yards – Robert Woods
    OVER 95 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 95 ½ (-110)

    LINE MOVEMENT

    When the line first opened last Sunday, the Rams were listed as one-point favorites assuming the game was going to be played in Mexico City. Now that the contest has moved to Los Angeles, the Rams have been vaulted to a three-point favorite and are even at 3 ½ at several books. The total is by far the highest in the NFL this season at 63 as the Rams and Chiefs have each eclipsed this number four times in 2018.

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    Saints' opening odds draw quick cash in NFL Week 12 contest vs. Falcons
    Patrick Everson

    Drew Brees has New Orleans on a nine-game SU and eight-game ATS streak, with Atlanta up next on Thanksgiving night. The Saints opened 12-point home favorites and were quickly bet up to 13.

    Week 12 of the NFL season includes a trio of Thanksgiving games to supplement your holiday feast. We check in on the opening lines and early action for two Turkey Day pairings and two other noteworthy matchups, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

    Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-12)

    New Orleans is both the immovable object and the unstoppable force, a winner of nine in a row SU and eight consecutive ATS. In Week 11, the Saints (9-1 SU, 8-2 ATS) steamrolled defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia 48-7 as 7-point home favorites.

    Like New Orleans, Atlanta was in the playoffs last season, but Dan Quinn’s troops are going to need a big turnaround to get back there this season. The Falcons (4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS) rallied to tie Dallas at 19 late in the fourth quarter, but lost on a last-second field goal 22-19 as 3.5-point home faves in Week 11.

    “We opened the Saints -12, and we have already seen the number get pushed up to -13,” Murray said of very early action on this 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff Thanksgiving night. “The public will be hammering the Saints in this game. If both favorites win in the early games, there will be a ton of parlay liability to New Orleans on Thanksgiving night, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number go even higher.”

    Later Sunday evening, the line was down a tick to 12.5.

    Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5)

    Dallas will play its traditional home game on Thanksgiving in a 4:30 p.m. ET start, in pursuit of its third straight victory. The Cowboys (5-5 SU and ATS) got the aforementioned last-second field goal to top Atlanta 22-19 as 3.5-point road underdogs in Week 11.

    Washington remains in first place in the NFC East, but is hardly comfortable in that spot. The Redskins (6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS) have lost two of their last three, including a 23-21 Week 11 setback to Houston as 3-point home pups.

    “There has been some early money on the Redskins +7.5, but we aren’t too worried about it, as we expect there to be a ton of support for the Cowboys in this game,” Murray said. “The book will need Washington by kickoff.”

    In fact, less than an hour after posting this game Sunday evening, The SuperBook moved Dallas to -8.

    Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3)

    Carolina was rolling along nicely at 6-2 SU, then got hit with back-to-back road losses the past two weeks. In Week 11, the Panthers (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS) were laying 4 points at Detroit and tumbled outright 20-19.

    Seattle ended a two-game skid in Week 10 to get to .500 and keep itself on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture. The Seahawks (5-5 SU, 5-3-2 ATS) trailed Green Bay most of the way in the Week 11 Thursday nighter, but came away with a 27-24 victory to push as 3-point home faves.

    Murray said this 1 p.m. ET Sunday tilt drew action on both sides shortly after posting.

    “Right away, we took money on the Panthers -3 and moved to -3 (-120), at which point more money showed up,” Murray said, noting the number then moved to 3.5. “A guy took Seahawks +3.5 right away for $15,000, and we went back to 3. But we weren’t there long, because the market was going up, so we moved to 3.5.

    “Seattle is off a good win over the Packers and will have three extra days to prepare for this game.”

    Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

    Green Bay has dropped three of its last four games to fall into must-win mode for the Week 12 Sunday night matchup. The Packers (4-5-1 SU and ATS) led much of the way at Seattle in the Week 11 Thursday nighter, but came up short 27-24 as 3-point road ‘dogs.

    Minnesota couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity to move into first place in the NFC North. Playing in the Week 11 Sunday nighter, the Vikings (5-4-1 SU and ATS) fell short at Chicago 25-20 catching 2.5 points.

    “We opened it Vikings -4.5 and haven’t seen any money either way,” Murray said, noting the line was taken off the board once the Vikes-Bears game kicked off, and it will repost Monday morning. “This number may change a lot, depending on the outcome of that game.”

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