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Saturday NFL Christmas Day Sharp Report

packers

Merry Christmas! 

Today we have a pair of big NFL games to get down on while we celebrate the holidays. Let's discuss where the smart money is leaning in both matchups...

 

4:30 p.m. ET: Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers

The Browns (7-7 SU, 6-8 ATS) currently occupy the 11th spot in the AFC but are "in the hunt" for a divisional crown or Wild Card berth. Cleveland has rotated wins and losses the past eight weeks, most recently falling to the Raiders 16-14 but covering as 3-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Packers (11-3 SU, 11-3 ATS) own the best record in the NFL and can secure the 1-seed in the NFC by winning out the rest of the way. Green Bay just edged Baltimore 31-30, although the Packers failed to cover as 9-point road favorites. 

This line opened with Green Bay listed as a 7.5-point home favorite. At BetMGM,  70% of bets and 90% of dollars are laying the points with the Packers. This lopsided betting pushed the line to Packers -8.5 early in the week. But then we saw some Browns money hit the market as several of their COVID players cleared protocols, which dropped the line back to 7.5. The Browns  7.5 is juiced to -115, signaling a possible further drop to 7. Road dogs are 74-55 ATS (57%) this season. Road dogs off a loss are 38-28 ATS (58%). Saturday road teams are 29-16 ATS (64%) over the past decade. Those looking to back Green Bay could tease the Packers down from -7.5 to -1.5, which goes through the key numbers of 7 and 3. 

We've also seen some over money hit the market, driving the total up from 45 to 46.5. The over is getting 65% of bets but 85% of money at BetMGM. The forecast calls for low 30s at Lambeau. When the temperature is cold (35 degrees or less), the over is roughly 57% over the past decade. Green Bay is 4-0 to the over their last four games. 

 

8:15 p.m. ET: Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals

If the playoffs began today, both of these non-conference foes would be in. The Colts (8-6 SU, 9-5 ATS) are 7-2 over their last nine games and just beat the Patriots 27-17, covering as 1-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Cardinals (10-4 SU, 9-5 ATS) once had the NFL's best record but have since lost two straight and just fell to the lowly 30-12, losing outright as 13-point road favorites. 

The early lookahead line was Cardinals -4. As soon as this number dropped, wiseguys pounced on the red-hot Colts plus the points, dropping the line down Arizona -1 or even a pick'em. But then we saw COVID concerns pop up with the Colts, which caused major buyback on the Cardinals, steaming the line back up to Arizona -2 or even -2.5 at some shops. At BetMGM, 54% of bets and 58% of dollars are on Indianapolis. The line has the makings of a pros vs Joes game, with the Colts the trendy dog and the Cardinals the buy-low contrarian favorite. The Colts have teaser value at their current price ( 2 to  8). Short road dogs  3 or less are 24-12 ATS (67%) this season. 

Respected money has also hit the over, pushing the total up from 48 to 49. The over is getting 51% of bets but 63% of money. 

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