In a season dominated by dogs and (most recently) unders, public chalk bettors struck back on Tuesday night as the Ravens beat the Cowboys 34-17 and covered as 8.5-point home favorites. Baltimore received early respected action at -7.5 and got bet all the way up to -9.5. We saw some late buyback hit the Cowboys at + 9.5, dropping the line back down to 8.5 where it closed. In the end, all liability and line movement toward Baltimore proved correct as the Ravens won and covered all numbers. The public also cashed the over, which rose slightly from 44.5 to 45.5.
Now it's on to Wednesday, where we have a loaded slate of 40+ college basketball games. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12 p.m. ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m. ET to offer an action update. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET. We'll be breaking down all the big college hoops line moves along with previewing NFL Week 14 games.
In the meantime, let's discuss where early money is flowing for NFL Week 14.
Sunday 1 p.m. ET: Houston Texans at Chicago Bears
This non-conference showdown features a pair of teams on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff berth. The Texans (4-8 SU, 4-8 ATS) had their brief two-game winning streak snapped last week, falling to the Colts 26-20 and failing to cover as 3-point home dogs. On the flip side, the Bears (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) are in a tailspin and have lost six straight. Last week the Bears lost to the Lions 34-30, losing straight up as 3-point home favorites. This line opened with Houston listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. The public sees the Bears as an auto-fade at this point. However, despite a majority of bets backing Deshaun Watson and the Texans, we've seen this line fall from Houston -2.5 to -1.5. Some shops are even inching toward a pick'em. This signals respected money buying low on the Bears as short home dogs. Dogs with a line move in their favor are 52-31 ATS (63%) this season. The total has ticked down slightly from 46 to 45.5. The forecast calls for cold temperatures (low 30s) and 10 MPH winds at Soldier Field.
Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
This NFC North grudge match pits two rivals at opposite ends of the division standings. The Packers (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) lead the division and have won two straight, crushing the Eagles 30-16 last week and covering as 7.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Lions (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) snapped a two-game losing skid with a 34-30 win over the Bears last week, winning outright as 3-point road dogs. It marked the first win under interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell. This line opened with Green Bay listed as an 8.5-point road favorite. This public has no problem laying the wood with Aaron Rodgers. However, we've seen this line tumble down from 8.5 to 7.5. This signals some respected money coming in on the Lions plus the points. Detroit has value as a home divisional dog (14-9 ATS, 61% this season) and a dog with a line move in their favor (52-31 ATS, 63%). Historically, late season home dogs + 7 or more have been a profitable bet. This is also a revenge game for the Lions, who lost to the Packers 42-21 on Opening Day. Keep an eye on star Lions receiver Kenny Golladay, who could make his long awaited return to the lineup here. The total is 55. Super high totals of 55 or more are 12-6 (67%) to the under this season. This also matches a profitable late season divisional under trend.
Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills
Bettors are in for a treat with this marquee Sunday Night Showdown. If the playoffs started today, Pittsburgh would be the 1-seed and Buffalo the 3-seed. The Steelers (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) just suffered their first loss of the season last week, falling to Washing 23-17 and losing straight up as 6-point home favorites. On the flip side, Buffalo (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) has won two straight and five of their last six, including a 34-24 win over the 49ers last week as 1.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Pittsburgh listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. Pro money immediately pounced on Buffalo as a short home dog and have flipped this line all the way to Bills -2.5. Essentially, wiseguys have flipped Buffalo from a dog to a favorite. If you like Buffalo but are worried about laying 1.5-points in what could be a close game, the Bills are roughly -125 on the moneyline. Pittsburgh has value as a buy low inflated dog off a loss. Primetime dogs are 25-13 ATS (66%) on the season. Short road dogs + 6 or less are 47-25 ATS (65%). We've also seen this total drop from 47.5 to 47. Primetime unders are 23-15 (61%) this season.
More Week 14 Early Moves
Dolphins + 7.5 to + 7 vs Chiefs
Washington + 3.5 to + 3 at 49ers
Falcons -2 to -2.5 at Chargers
Jets + 14 to + 13.5 at Seahawks
Patriots + 6.5 to + 5.5 at Rams