NFL favorites went 7-5 ATS (58.3%) on Sunday, securing their third straight winning week. Favorites are a combined 24-19 ATS (55.8%) since Week 14, but dogs still have the season edge (124-106 ATS, 53.9%).
In a big blow to the books, public bettors easily cashed the three most lopsided plays of the day with the Ravens (-10) beating the Browns 31-15, the Chiefs (-7) crushing the Bears 26-3 and the Saints (-3) taking down the Titans 38-28. All three favorites received more than three-out-of-four bets and all three covered.
Sharps cashed their biggest play of the day with the Eagles upsetting the Cowboys 17-9. More than two-thirds of bets laid the points with Dallas, yet the line stayed at Dallas -2.5 or even dipped to two, signaling sharp reverse line movement on Philadelphia.
The Eagles came up huge for the Borgata sportsbook in New Jersey. According to sportsbook director Thomas Gable, 80% of the money was on Dallas, including one bet for $405,000, which we reported on the Lombardi Line yesterday. It was the most heavily bet game of the season and biggest decision of the season, according to Gable. The house went home happy.
The Broncos cashed big for both Pros and Joes, beating Detroit 27-17. Denver received two-thirds of bets and moved from -6.5 to -8. Wiseguys also cashed the over, which rose from 37.5 to 40.
Contrarian bettors cleaned up on the Jets, who upset the Steelers 16-10 as 3-point dogs. Only one-third of bets were brave enough to take New York at home plus the points.
The Dolphins beat the Bengals 38-35 in overtime, handing the public a big win agains the sharps. Two-thirds of bets backed Miami yet the line moved from Bengals plus 1.5 to -2.
Sharps won big with the Giants, who beat the Redskins 41-35. New York opened plus 1.5 and moved to -1 behind heavy smart money.
The two biggest upsets of the day were the Cardinals (plus 9.5 to plus 8) over the Seahawks 27-13 and the Raiders (plus 5.5 to plus 7.5) over the Chargers 24-17. Arizona closed roughly plus 330 on the moneyline and Oakland plus 280 on the moneyline.
Sharps also cashed on the Colts (even betting but sharp -6.5 to -7 move, crushed Panthers 38-6) and the public covered with the Falcons (-7.5, beat Jags 24-12).
It was also a big day for unders, which went 8-4. December divisional unders went 4-1 and are now 14-8 (64%) on the season and 57% since 2003 according to Bet Labs Sports.
Monday's betting slate features 11 NBA games, 13 NHL games, 9 College Basketball games, a college football bowl game and, of course, Monday Night Football. 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.
Now let's discuss where the sharp money is flowing for the NFL Week 16 finale.
8:15 p.m. ET: Green Bay Packers (11-3) at Minnesota Vikings (10-4)
This Monday Night Football grudge match has huge implications for the NFC North standings and playoff seeding. The Packers lead the division and have clinched a playoff berth. Green Bay is riding a 3-game winning streak, most recently beating the Bears 21-13 as 4.5-point favorites. The Packers are 9-5 ATS and plus 47 in point differential, averaging 23.57 PPG on offense and giving up 20.21 PPG on defense. The Vikings have also clinched a playoff berth and have an outside shot of leapfrogging the Packers in the division. Minnesota has won two straight, most recently crushing the Chargers 39-10 as 1-point road favorites. The Vikings are 8-6 ATS and plus 119 in point differential, averaging 27 PPG on offense and giving up 18.5 PPG on defense. These two teams met in Week 2 and the Packers won 21-16 as 3-point home favorites.
This line opened with Minnesota listed as a 4-point home favorite. The Packers look too good to be true. They have a superior record and the Vikings will be without their top two running backs: Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. However, in a classic Pros vs Joes mismatch, two thirds of bets are taking the points with the Packers yet the line has moved to Vikings -5 or even -5.5 at some shops. This is a prime example of sharp reverse line movement, with wiseguys getting down hard on the Vikings and causing the line to move in their favor despite being the unpopular bet.
Green Bay has value as a road dog (82-57 ATS, 59%), divisional dog (26-17 ATS 60% this season) and a short road dog plus 6 or less (51-37 ATS, 58%). The Vikings have value as a primetime contrarian "fade the trendy dog" favorite in the most heavily bet game of the week. Two thirds of bets are taking the over, pushing the total up from 46.5 to 47.5. December divisional unders are 14-8 (64%) this season and 57% since 2003. Primetime unders are 20-18 (62%) this season. The under is 8-6 in Vikings games but 6-8 in Packers games. Bill Vinovich, the lead ref, has historically favored road teams (55.8% ATS) and unders (57.7%).