Sharps backing ugly 'dogs
There is a major sharp and public divide in NFL Week 7 action with respected money jumping on board the worst teams in the league while the public is handicapping a couple of losing teams last week to bounce back which goes against their normal routine of betting what they saw last.
The Week 7 card has a little of something for everyone, which may include snow Sunday in Denver, an offensive line in Las Vegas quarantined most of the week, a matchup of undefeated teams (Steelers-Titans), and the second "Battle of Ohio" with the Cleveland Browns (-3 -120) visiting the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Arizona Cardinals have stayed under in all six of their games this season, but their Sunday Night Football matchup at home against the Seattle Seahawks (-3.5 EV) has the second-highest total posted at 56, up from the opener of 55.
Also, good to note the Cards will have about 1,200 fans in the stands for the first time in 2020.
The Green Bay Packers (-3.5) road game at the Houston Texans has the highest total at 57, up from the opener of 56.5.
The point-spreads in each of the games haven’t moved at most Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Pros leaning to Jags, Panthers
“We had sharp guys take +9.5 and +8.5 with Jacksonville and +7.5 with the Panthers,” said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay.
“Money also came in on the Titans and they shifted from a small do into a small favorite.”
The Los Angeles Chargers are now 7.5-point home favorites against the Jaguars while the New Orleans Saints are -7 (EVEN) against the visiting Panthers.
The Titans are 1.5-point home favorites against the Steelers in a battle of undefeated 5-0 teams. The only Jaguars +8 remaining in Las Vegas is at the South Point.
The 1-5 Jaguars give this appearance of being scrappy each week but they’ve only covered the number twice while the 1-4 Chargers have covered four of their games. No fans will be in attendance again in the Chargers beautiful new SoFi Stadium.
The South Point’s Chris Andrews says they’ve taken sharp bets on Washington (now PK vs Cowboys), the Detroit Lions (+2.5 at Atlanta) and New York Jets (+11 vs. Bills).
There will also be no fans in the Las Vegas Raiders gorgeous new Allegiant Stadium on Sunday either as quarterback Tom Brady and the 4-2 Buccaneers roll into "Sin City."
The Raiders offensive-line didn’t practice all week and four of the starters have been placed on the COVID-19 list after testing negative. They’re not ruled out, but surprisingly the line hasn’t been affected as much as you’d think. The unit has been one of the Raiders' strengths, but yet Tampa Bay went from -3 EV to only -4 with a total that dropped from 53 to 52.
With the possibility of the game being postponed, NBC moved the Cardinals-Seahawks game to the 8:20 p.m. ET slot instead.
To be fair, with no fans coming and no travel plans being altered, the NFL should have moved the Vegas game to Monday night just to give the Raiders every shot at playing at full strength.
Public on Road Favorites
“The public loves the Packers and Bills (-11 at Jets) this week,” Kornegay said.
That public sentiment is the same at books everywhere such as the South Point and up north in Reno at Marc Nelson’s Atlantis sportsbook. The South Point’s Andrews said the public is also playing the Chiefs (-9.5 at Denver) while Nelson also included the Cowboys (PK at Washington) which I found interesting.
The public rarely bets a side that got blasted the week before (38-10 home loss to Arizona Monday night) and the Cowboys and QB Andy Dalton looked as awful as the word can mean.
I beleive Dallas owner Jerry Jones should knock on the Saints door and inquire about New Orleans back-up QB Jameis Winston.
It’s hard to believe the Cowboys paid more for Dalton’s tired arm than the Saints did for Winston, who led the NFL in passing yards last season with Tampa Bay. Couldn’t you visualize Winston slinging deep balls to all those Cowboys weapons?
Wynn sportsbook director Doug Castaneda said Friday that Chiefs were his biggest risk so far. There’s an 80% chance of precipitation on Sunday in Denver, Colorado with temperatures at 23 degrees and winds at 11 mph. The SuperBook and Circa Sports both have the Chiefs at -8.5.
Kornegay said they dropped the number on the snow threat alone, not Broncos money pushing it down. The 2-3 Broncos have covered four of their games and are come off a big road win at New England that paid +300 on the money-line.
San Francisco perfect on East Coast
The Patriots welcome the 49ers this week, who will be making their third trip to the East Coast this season. San Francisco is 2-0 in this region this season, outscoring opponents 67-22. The caveat -- the two victories came against the New York Jets and New York Giants, who are a combined 1-12 this season.
New England a much stiffer test and the Patriots are holding steady as two-point favorites at most books after opening -3.
William Hill is the only -2.5 in Las Vegas. If you watched QB Cam Newton last week in the Pats' 18-120loss to Denver, you had to be wondering what’s up with him. He threw two picks, but what’s worse is that he looked like the Carolina Cam that got benched.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo knew his job was on the line last week against the Rams and responded with 3 TD’s and no picks in the Niners' 24-16 win as home 'dogs.
L.A. to face defensive test in Chicago
Lastly, a fun fact for Monday Night Football where the Rams are six-point home favorites over the 5-1 Bears is that all four of the Rams wins have come against the NFC East.
That group of the Eagels, Cowboys, Football Team and Giants are a combined 6-19 this season.
With that being stated, are the Rams really six-points better than the Bears?
No fans in the stands at SoFi in Inglewood and a small rating edge for the Rams make the spread look too high. If you like the Bears, I would wait until Monday when the public bets the favorite up higher.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 16 years.