Sunday was a mixed bag for sharps, sportsbooks and public bettors as favorites went 7-6-1 ATS, with the one push being the Seahawks -6 against the Panthers (Seattle won 30-24).
The public beat the books with big wins on four popular favorites and one trendy dog: the Patriots (-10.5, beat Cincinnati 34-13), Vikings (-1.5, crushed Chargers 39-10), Buccaneers (-6, beat Lions 38-17), Packers (-4.5, beat Bears 21-13) and Bills (plus 1, beat Steelers 17-10). All of these teams received roughly two-thirds of bets or more.
Contrarian bettors were able to cash with the Cowboys (plus 1, beat Rams 44-21), Cardinals (plus 3, beat Browns 38-24) and Jaguars (plus 6.5, beat Raiders 20-16). All three teams received roughly one third of bets or less. The Jaguars secured the cover of the day as they trailed 16-6 entering the 4th quarter but then scored two late touchdowns to win 20-16 and spoil the Raiders' final game in Oakland.
The Falcons secured the upset of the day, beating the 49ers 29-22. It was a big win for sharps and contrarians as only one one-third of bets took Atlanta, who received sharp reverse line movement plus 11 to plus 10. The Falcons closed plus 425 on the moneyline.
The bad beat of the day (and arguably the year) went to the Redskins. In a back-and-forth affair, Washington, who ranged between plus 4.5 and plus 7, was covering all game and even led Philadelphia 27-24 late into the 4th quarter. The Eagles scored with 26 seconds left to take a 31-27 lead. Dwayne Haskins then fumbled the ball on the final play of the game and Nigel Bradham returned the fumble 47 yards for a touchdown with no time left on the clock to give Philadelphia the win 37-27. Absolutely devastating for Redskins backers and sportsbooks, as majority of bets laid the points with the Eagles.
The Giants took down the Dolphins 36-20, rewarding brave contrarians who faded trendy dog Miami (only one-third of bets laid -3.5 with the G-Men).
The public beat the sharps with the Chiefs, who crushed the Broncos 23-3. Sharp action dropped the line from Denver plus 11 to plus 9 but it was all for naught. Pros were able to cash their snowy, windy divisional under, though (45.5 to 43).
The final dog play of the day to cash was the Texans, who upset the Titans 24-21. Bets were split down the middle in that game and Tennessee closed -3.
Friday's betting slate features 7 NBA games, 5 NHL games and 17 College Basketball games. For an updated betting breakdown of Friday'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.
For now, let's discuss where public and pro money is flowing for the final Week 15 game.
8:15 p.m. ET: Indianapolis Colts (6-7) at New Orleans Saints (10-3)
It's been a roller coaster of a year for the Colts. After losing Andrew Luck to retirement in the preseason, Indianapolis started the year a surprising 5-2. However, Indy has fallen on hard times, dropping three straight and five of their last six, most recently losing to the Bucs 38-35 as 3-point dogs. The Colts are technically still alive for a playoff spot but they would need to win out and catch some major breaks to sneak in. The Colts (6-5-2 ATS) are the definition of average: plus 1 in point differential, 22.77 PPG on offense, allowing 22.69 PPG on defense.
The Saints (8-5 ATS) are tied for the 2nd best record in the NFL and have already clinched the NFC South division. New Orleans looks to bounce back after losing a heartbreaker to the 49ers 48-46 as 1.5-point favorites last week, which snapped their three game winning streak. The Saints are plus 48 in point differential, averaging 26.46 PPG on offense and allowing 22.77 PPG on defense.
This non-conference matchup opened with the Saints listed as 8-point home favorites. The public is hammering New Orleans to the tune of three-out-of-four bets. This heavily lopsided action (along with some early smart money at -8) has pushed the line up to Saints -9.5. That's when you saw some wiseguy buyback on the Colts at an inflated price, which dropped the line back down to 9 at most books.
Indy has value as a contrarian dog in a heavily bet game, a road dog (79-53 ATS, 59.8% this season) and a road dog off a loss (43-24 ATS, 64%). The total is has ticked up from 45.5 to 46.5 behind nearly eight-out-of-ten bets taking the over. Both teams have been profitable to the over this season (Colts 8-5 and Saints 7-6). The over is 73-59 (55.3%) in Saints home games at the fast-track Superdome since 2003. It improves to 19-14 (57.6%) in non-conference games. Primetime unders, however, are 28-17 (62%) this season. Shawn Hochuli, the lead ref, is profitable to road teams (16-9 ATS, 64%) and virtually neutral to the total (13-12 to the under). One big injury to monitor is Colts star WR T.Y. Hilton (questionable, ankle).