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Monday Night Football Sharp Action Report for Steelers-Bengals

December 21, 2020 12:48 AM

NFL underdogs continued their year-long dominance on Sunday, going 7-4-1 ATS with four outright victories. The biggest and most shocking dog to cash was the New York Jets, who earned their first win of the season by beating the Rams 23-20 as 17-point underdogs. Only about one-third of bets were brave enough to take New York and the points. The Jets cashed + 1100 on the moneyline. Unfortunately for New York, they now relinquish the top pick in the draft to the Jags. By beating the Rams, the Jets will likely lose out on Trevor Lawrence.

Here are the three other dog outright wins

-Cowboys (+ 4) beat 49ers 41-33

-Bears (+ 3) beat Vikings 33-27

-Dolphins (+ 1) beat Patriots 22-12

The Cowboys and Bears came up huge for contrarians, as both of their opponents were heavy chalk favorites. Dallas had inflated line value (+ 1 to + 4) while Chicago received sharp reverse line movement (+ 3.5 to + 3). The Dolphins cashed for the public and killed the sharp money on New England. Pros loved the Patriots (+ 3 to -1) but the smart money got it wrong as Miami won comfortably.

Here are the three other dog covers

-Texans (+ 7.5) lost to Colts 27-20

-Falcons (+ 6) lost to Bucs 31-27

-Washington (+ 6) lost to Seahawks 20-15

The Texans, Falcons and Washington were all unpopular dogs who cashed for contrarian bettors. The Falcons (+ 4 to + 6) and Washington (+ 4 to + 6) were both home dogs with inflated lines. But on gameday we also saw late sharp moves in their favor, falling from + 6.5 to + 6.

Here are the four favorite covers

-Titans (-8.5) beat Lions 46-25

-Ravens (-12.5) beat Jags 40-14

-Cardinals (-6) beat Eagles 33-26

-Browns (-6.5) beat Giants 20-6

The Titans, Ravens, Cardinals and Browns were all popular chalk plays that came through for the public. The lone push on Sunday was the Chiefs (-3) beating the Saints 32-29. Although many pros cashed with the Saints, who were + 4 or + 3.5 for much of the week before sharp money dropped the line to 3. Savvy bettors may have also cashed with the Chiefs, who briefly touched -2.5 at some shops throughout the day on Sunday.

With a 7-4-1 ATS showing yesterday, dogs improve to 121-95-3 ATS (56%) on the season. Divisional dogs went 4-0 ATS yesterday (Dolphins, Bears, Texans, Falcons) and are now 43-31 ATS (58%) on the season.

Overs went 7-5 on Sunday.

Today a new week begins with Monday Night Football and a loaded college basketball slate. 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.

In the meantime, let's examine how lines are moving for tonight's MNF matchup.

8:15 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

This Monday Night divisional matchup looks like a layup on paper. The Steelers (11-2 SU, 8-5 ATS) occupy the 2-seed in the AFC playoffs but have stumbled as of late, losing two-straight games. Last week Pittsburgh fell to Buffalo 26-15, failing to cover as 2-point road dogs. A date with lowly Cincinnati might be just what the doctor ordered for the Steelers to get back on track. The Bengals (2-10-1 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) have been long eliminated from playoff contention and are fighting for a top pick in the draft. Cincinnati has lost five-straight and just got crushed by the Cowboys 30-7, failing to cover as 3-point home dogs. The Steelers are + 112 in point differential. The Bengals are -94.

This line opened with Pittsburgh listed as a 12.5-point road favorite. The public is absolutely hammering the Steelers, expecting an easily blowout win and cover. This lopsided support, along with some early sharp action, has pushed Pittsburgh from -12.5 to -14.5. Once the hook became available at + 14.5, we saw some buyback on the Bengals, dropping the line back down to 14 at most shops.

The Bengals look gross but have value as a divisional dog and a super contrarian dog with an inflated line in a heavily bet primetime game. Monday Night Football double digit dogs are roughly 65% ATS over the past decade. Primetime dogs are 26-17 (60%) this season. Home divisional dogs are 17-11 ATS (61%). Teams off a 20-point loss or more are 19-14 ATS (58%).

The total has fallen from 41 to 40. Both teams are profitable to the under with the Steelers 7-5-1 and Bengals 7-6. Primetime unders are 26-17 (60%) this season. Super low totals (42.5 or less) are 11-8 to the over this season (58%). In Week 10, the Steelers beat Joe Burrow and the Bengals 36-10, covering as 6.5-point home favorites. Burrow has been injured for several weeks. Ryan Finley will start in his place tonight.

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