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Market Insights: Limit increases mean increased info as NFL gameday nears

January 8, 2020 11:19 PM

Happy Thursday! We're now only two days away from the NFL Divisional Playoff Round. After betting limits were kept low the past few days, we're starting to see them rise. This is the natural maturation the book goes through each week, first keeping limits low so sharps can come in at safe numbers and help the books shape the line, then the books will raise the limits once the number has been molded to a suitable number the books feel comfortable with. 

Here are the limits throughout the week on NFL spreads at Circa Sports

Sunday openers: $10K

Monday: $20K

Tuesday-Thursday: $50K

Friday-Gameday: $100K

Limits for totals are much lower, beginning at $3K and rising to $10K on gameday.

With this in mind, let's check out some recent moves the past 24 hours.

  • Packers remain steady at -4 and have even moved to -4.5 or -5 at some shops. This is notable because two thirds of bets are taking the Seahawks plus the points. So sharp liability remains on Green Bay. The over has ticked up from 46 to 47.
  • Chiefs have reached -10 intermittently, but then sharp Texans plus  10 money drops it off the key number back to 9.5. Most books are juicing up Kansas City -9.5 to -115, signaling KC liability even after opening at -8. The total has ticked up from 49 to 51.
  • Savvy bettors have a great shop for the best line opportunity on the Ravens-Titans right now, as some books are showing Ravens -9 while others are hanging Titans plus 9.5 or even plus 10. The total has fallen from 48 to 47 or 46.5. 
  • The 49ers are up to -7 after opening -6.5. The Vikings plus 7 is hanging heavier juice at some shops (-115), which signals it might be smart to grab the plus 7 now if you like Minnesota (or wait for the -6.5 if you like San Francisco. The total has dipped from 45.5 to 44.5. 

If you're looking to place a futures bet, here are the latest odds at the South Point.

Odds to win AFC

Ravens -140

Chiefs plus 160

Titans plus 1200

Texans plus 1500

Odds to win NFC

49ers -140

Packers plus 250

Vikings plus 600

Seahawks plus 600

Odds to win Super Bowl

Ravens plus 200

49ers plus 250

Chiefs plus 360

Packers plus 800

Seahawks plus 1000

Vikings plus 1500

Titans plus 2500

Texans plus 2500

Now back to betting . . . 

Thursday's action includes 4 NBA games, 11 NHL games and 54 college basketball games. For an updated breakdown of sharp action across the marketplace, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.

In the meantime, let's discuss the other college football championship game. 

Saturday at 12 p.m. ET: James Madison (14-1) vs North Dakota State (15-0)

For those unfamiliar, FCS stands for "Football Championship Subdivision," formerly referred to as Division I-AA. There are 126 FCS teams in the nation.

This year's FCS Championship takes place at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. James Madison is riding a 14-game winning streak after falling in the season opener to West Virginia 20-13. The Duke hail from the CAA (Colonial Athletic Conference) and scored 619 points for this season while allowing 223 against. James Madison took down Weber State 30-14 in the FCS Semifinals. The Dukes are led by the three-headed monster on offense of QB Ben DiNucci (3,237 yards, 27 TDs, 5 INTs), RB Percy Agyei-Obese (1,143 yards, 4.7 avg, 19 TDs) and WR Brandon Polk (72 catches, 1,153 yards, 11 TDs).

North Dakota State enters the championship game with an undefeated 15-0 record and an overall 36-game winning streak. Carson Wentz' alma-mater is a bit of an FCS institution (think the Patriots of Division 2). The Bison hail from the MVFC (Missouri Valley Football Conference) and scored 568 points for this season while giving up only 177 against. The Bison are led by QB Trey Lance (2,714 yards, 28 TDs, O INTs) and the 2nd overall total defense in FCS. 

This line opened with James Madison listed as a 1.5-point favorite (some books opened at -2). Bets are relatively even but we've seen some sharp action target the rare dog Bison. Most books are juicing up the North Dakota plus 1.5 to -115. Others have dropped to 1 or even a pick'em. The Bison have the big game experience advantage, having won seven of the last 8 FCS titles. The one year they didn't win or appear in the championship game (2016) it was James Madison who hoisted the title. These two teams met in the title game two years ago with North Dakota State winning 17-13. 

Pros have really targeted the under in this game. The total opened at 51 and has fallen to 49.5 or even 49. Aside from two great defenses going head-to-head, the weather provides a big edge to the under. The forecast calls for mid 30s and swirling 17-20 MPH winds. 



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