How to interpret early NFL Week 14 action

December 3, 2019 12:21 AM

The Seahawks beat the Vikings 37-30 on Monday Night Football, handing public bettors a big win over the sharps. More than two-thirds of bets laid the points with Seattle but the line stayed at 3 and even dipped to 2.5, signaling pro money backing Minnesota. But in the end the public got the last laugh, much to the chagrin of wiseguys and sportsbooks. Russell Wilson is now 68-50 ATS (57.6%) since coming into the league in 2012, according to Bet Labs Sports. 

Today we have a buffet of 50 plus college basketball games, 7 NBA games and 10 NHL games. For an updated betting breakdown of Monday's action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.

As we turn the page on NFL Week 13, let's discuss early sharp action hitting the Week 14 slate.

Windy Unders 10 MPH or more 

(27-16, 63% this season and 56% since 2003)

16 MPH: Browns-Bengals 

14 MPH: Bills-Ravens

13 MPH: Eagles-Giants

12 MPH: Packers-Redskins

10 MPH: Bears-Cowboys 

10 MPH: Patriots-Chiefs

Baltimore Ravens (10-2) at Buffalo Bills (9-3)

The Ravens stretched their winning streak to eight games last week, defeating the 49ers 20-17 (but failing to cover as 6-point favorites). Baltimore has a league-best plus 187 point differential, averaging 33.83 PPG on offense while allowing 18.25 PPG on defense. The Bills have quietly won three in a row and are only a game-back of the Patriots in the AFC East. Buffalo is plus 69 in point differential, averaging 21.42 PPG on offense while allowing 15.67 PPG on defense. Buffalo most recently upset the Cowboys 26-15 on Thanksgiving Day as a 6.5-point dog. Baltimore is 6-5-1 ATS. Buffalo is 8-3-1 ATS.

This line opened with Baltimore listed anywhere between -5.5 and -7. The Ravens are an auto-bet for the public at this point and roughly three-out-of-four bets are laying the points with Lamar Jackson and Co. Sharps immediately pounced on the Bills getting the points at home, dropping the line down to 5.5 or even 5 at some shops. Betting against elite teams has been profitable late in the season due to the public overvaluing top squads. Since 2003, betting against teams with a win percentage of .800 or higher has produced a 57.7% cover rate. The total is 43.5. The forecast calls for 14 MPH winds. The over is 7-5 in Ravens games this season, but the under is 9-3 in Bills games. 

San Francisco 49ers (10-2) at New Orleans Saints (10-2) 

This showdown between NFL elites could be an NFC Championship game preview. Both teams are 10-2, tied for the best record in the league. San Francisco came up just short last week against the Ravens, losing 20-17 but covering as a 6-point dog. The 49ers are plus 166 in point differential, averaging 29.08 PPG on offense and allowing 15.25 PPG on defense. New Orleans has won three straight games, most recently beating the Falcons 26-18 on Thanksgiving as 7-point favorites. The Saints are plus 50 in point differential, averaging 24.83 PPG on offense and allowing 20.67 PPG on defense. San Francisco is 7-4-1 ATS and New Orleans is 8-4 ATS.

This line opened with the Saints listed as 3-point home favorites. With oddsmakers typically awarding 3 points for home-field advantage, this means books view this game as a coin-flip at a neutral site. Pros and Joes have both sided with the 49ers at the key number of plus 3, forcing sportsbooks to drop this line down to 2.5. San Francisco fits several profitable systems this season: road dog (69-44 ATS, 61%), road dog off a loss (38-21 ATS, 64%) and short road dog plus 6 or less (46-32 ATS, 59%). The total opened at 45.5 and has dipped to 44, signaling smart money on the under. 

Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)

This non-conference matchup features two teams trending in opposite. Indianapolis (6-6) started the season 5-2 but has gone 1-4 since. The Colts are riding a two-game losing streak and just lost to the Titans 31-17 at home last week as 1-point dogs. Indianapolis is desperate for a win to stay alive in the Wild Card race. The Colts are plus 4 in point differential, averaging 21.75 PPG on offense while giving up 21.42 PPG on defense. Tampa Bay started the season 2-6 but has won three of their last four, including two in a row. The Bucs just beat the Jags 28-11 as 3-point favorites. Tampa is -6 in point differential, averaging 28.33 PPG on offensive while giving up 28.83 PPG on defense. The Colts are 6-5-1 ATS and the Bucs are 4-8 ATS.

The line opened with Tampa listed as a 3-point home favorite. While the number has yet to move, the plus 3 with the Colts is being juiced up to -115 or -120, signaling liability on the road dog and a possible next move down to 2.5. The Colts have value as a road dog (61% ATS this season), road dog off a loss 64% ATS) and a short road dog plus 6 or less (58% ATS). The Colts are 3-1-1 ATS on the road while the Bucs are 0-5 ATS at home. Pros have also sided with the under. After opening at 49 the total has fallen down to 47.

More early sharp action

Bears plus 3 to plus 2.5 vs Cowboys

Falcons -2 to -3 vs Panthers

Dolphins plus 6 to plus 5.5 at Jets

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