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Burke: Last-minute NFL handicapping nuggets

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

December 12, 2021 10:21 AM
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The holidays are a busy time of the year and carving out ample opportunities to bet early in the week for the NFL may be few and far between. Even though we talk a lot about trying to get the best of the number, an overwhelming majority of bettors don’t actually wager on the games until Sunday morning.

Let’s look at a few games with some quick ‘caps and some handicapping nuggets that should factor into your process this morning:

Ravens/Browns: Windy conditions are expected on the shores of Lake Erie today, with sustained winds in the 15-20 mph range and gusts approaching 30 mph. The Browns are off of the bye and apparently worked in some packages to have both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on the field at the same time, so we’ll see how they deploy that lineup. Throwing the ball will be tough for both sides, but they’ll have to keep the defenses honest. The total is down to 43.5, but some 44s are still lingering.

Raiders/Chiefs: After the parking lot party ends, there will be a game at Arrowhead today. The wind will kick up in KC and produce gusts north of 25 mph. This total had already dropped a bit early in the week with two struggling offenses and two defenses in solid form. The total is down to 48. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders take some money this morning with the expectation of a lower-scoring game.

Saints/Jets: Another total that had been moving down as well, but wind will also be a bit of a factor at the Meadowlands. These two teams don’t have much QB play to begin with, but the weather doesn’t appear to be cooperating, at least for the first half. The winds look to be dying down in the second half, so that could be a second-half betting angle.

Cowboys/Washington: A late movement on this game has been intriguing. It seemed like a lot of people were on Washington this week at 5 or 4.5, but the line has now shot up to 6 and even 6.5 based on late, influential Dallas money. This was unexpected, but is very much sharp-driven. If you liked Washington, but waited, you’ve got a great number now. If you liked Dallas, you’re getting the worst of it.

Lions/Broncos: A tough trifecta is impacting the Lions this week, as COVID, flu and injuries have left Detroit with a roster of around 50 players. The Lions are missing their top two running backs, four defenders and TE TJ Hockenson. The line is up to 11.5. This line did jump from 8 to 10 earlier in the week, maybe when whispers of the flu outbreak hit.

It has been a busy Saturday night and Sunday morning with everything in the news cycle. Make sure you’re shopping around to get the best number of what’s out there. Good luck today!

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