Despite a smaller than usual 11-game slate, Sunday proved to be another thrilling day of NFL betting. Yesterday's Week 5 favorites went 8-3 straight up and 6-5 ATS. Road teams continued to cash, going 7-4 ATS to improve to 41-34 ATS (55%) on the season. Road teams with a line move in their favor (think + 3 to + 2.5) went 5-2 ATS, improving to 22-13 ATS (63%) on the season.
Here are the six favorites covers.
- Rams (-7) over Washington 30-10
- Texans (-6.5) over Jaguars 30-14
- Cardinals (-7) over Jets 30-10
- Steelers (-7.5) over Eagles 38-29
- Ravens (-12.5) over Bengals 27-3
- Browns (-1) over Colts 32-23
The Rams and Cardinals were two of the most popular public favorites of the day, but we actually saw sharp action hit their opponents. More than two thirds of bets were on the Rams, yet we saw Los Angeles fall from -9.5 to -7 against Washington. Similarly, two thirds of bets laid the points with the Cardinals, yet we saw Arizona fall from -8 to -7 against the Jets. Both sharp line moves failed as the chalk rolled easily.
However, sharps were able to cash on a number of dogs yesterday, including three outright winners, led by the biggest upset of the day with Las Vegas.
- Raiders (+ 10.5) beat Chiefs 42-30
- Dolphins (+ 7.5) beat 49ers 43-17
- Panthers (+ 2.5) beat Falcons 23-16
All three dogs received sharp reverse line movement, which means they took in less than half the tickets but saw the line move in their favor. This is a dead-giveaway that pros were on their side. Vegas fell from + 12.5 to + 10.5 and cashed + 400 on the moneyline. Miami fell from + 9 to + 7.5 and cashed + 320. Carolina fell from + 3.5 to + 2.5 and cashed + 125.
Wiseguys also cashed on the Giants (+ 9.5 to + 7.5), who fell to the Cowboys 37-34 but covered the number. Pros also hit with the Vikings (+ 7 to + 6.5), who lost in the final minute to the Seahawks 27-26 on Sunday Night Football but also covered.
We also saw some long-awaited regression yesterday in terms of totals. After overs set the world on fire through four weeks, cashing at roughly a 57% clip, we saw unders bounce back and go 6-5 yesterday. It was the first winning Sunday for unders all season.
Today a new week begins with a pair of MLB playoff games along with Monday Night Football. Let's discuss where the smart money is flowing for tonight's NFL Week 5 finale.
For an updated breakdown of Monday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET. I'll also be joining Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher on The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m ET to offer a market update.
7:05 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints
This Monday Night showdown features a young pup quarterback in Justin Herbert against a grizzled veteran in Drew Brees. After posting a Week 1 win over the Bengals, the Chargers (1-3 SU, 3-1 ATS) have dropped three straight, most recently falling to the Bucs 38-31, although they hung on to cover as 7.5-point dogs. The Saints (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) bounced back from a two-game losing skid to beat the Lions 35-29 last week, covering as 3-point favorites. The Chargers are -12 in point differential this season. The Saints are dead even (0).
This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 7.5-point home favorite. The public is leaning on the Saints at home. This lopsided support pushed New Orleans from -7.5 to -8.5 early in the week. However, over the last 24-hour we've seen heavy sharp action hit the Chargers and the points, dropping this line down to 7. Late money closer to game-time is always the most meaningful because it comes when limits are raised and big bets pour in. Los Angeles has value as a contrarian play in a heavily bet, primetime game. The Chargers are also a road team and road team with a line move in their favor, two profitable trends in this COVID-19 year where we diminished home-field advantage due to limited or no fans in the stands. Also, the lead referee is Clay Martin. Historically, road teams have done well when Martin is the head official (24-10, 61.6%).
We've also seen some smart money hit the total. Despite two-thirds of bets taking the over, the total has fallen from 52 to 50. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the under. The over is 4-0 in Saints games this season but the under is 3-1 in Chargers games.
Star wide receiver Michael Thomas remains out for this game due to disciplinary reasons, not injury.