Welcome to Week 15 of the NFL season. For Sunday betting analysis and line move updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll also be joined by Mike Palm, Amal Shah, Thomas Gable and William Hill. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and breaking down late sharp action leading up to gametime.
Until then, let's discuss a trio of NFL matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors today.
1 p.m. ET: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
There is a lot on the line with this AFC East showdown. The Patriots (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) are still in the hunt for the playoffs but will likely need to win their final three games (and get some help) in order to reach the postseason. New England just got smoked by the Rams 24-3, failing to cover as 5-point road dogs. The Dolphins (8-5 SU, 10-3 ATS) hold the 7th and final playoff seed but need to keep winning with several teams creeping up behind them. Miami just fell to the Chiefs 33-27, although they managed to cover as 7-point home dogs. This line opened with the Dolphins listed as 2.5-point home favorites. The public has given up on New England and is rushing to the window to back Miami at home laying a short spread. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen the line fall from Miami -2.5 to -1.5. This sharp reverse line movement signals pro money backing the Pats plus the points. New England has value as a divisional dog (55% ATS this year), a short road dog + 6 or less (63% ATS) and a buy-low dog off a 20-point blowout loss or more (59% ATS). The Patriots also have a rest advantage, having last played on Thursday while the Dolphins played Sunday. Pros have also hit this under, dropping the total from 42.5 to 41.5. This matches a late season divisional under trend. Both teams have been profitable to the under, with the Pats 9-5 and Dolphins 8-5.
1 p.m. ET: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Both of these NFC North rivals are fighting for their playoff lives and desperate for a win. The Bears (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) finally snapped their six-game losing skid last week, beating the Texans 36-7 and winning outright as 1-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Vikings (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) just fell to the Bucs 26-14, failing to cover as 6.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Minnesota listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public says give me the Vikings at home laying a short number. However, despite receiving a majority of bets, the Vikings have fallen from -3.5 to -3. This signals some wiseguy money gravitating to the Bears. Chicago has value as a road divisional dog and a short road dog + 6 or less (63% ATS this season). This is a revenge game for the Bears as Minnesota beat Chicago 19-13 in Week 10, covering as 3-point road favorites.
4:25 p.m. ET: Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Bettors are in for a treat with this possible Super Bowl preview. The Chiefs (12-1 SU, 6-7 SU) have won eight straight and just took down the Dolphins 33-27, although they failed to cover as 7-point road favorites. The Chiefs are 5-0 straight up but 0-5 ATS over their last five games. Meanwhile, the Saints (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS) just saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end last week, falling to the Eagles 24-21 and losing straight up as 7.5-point road favorites. This line opened with the Chiefs listed as 3.5-point road favorites. Some shops even opened at -4. The public has no issue laying this number as Patrick Mahomes and company are an auto-beat for recreational bettors every week. However, respected money has come down on the Saints at + 4 and + 3,5, dropping this line down to the key number of 3 or even 2.5. New Orleans has value as a short home dog off a loss. The Saints also have elevated contrarian value as they are receiving a clear minority of bets in what will be an incredibly heavily bet game. Drew Brees will return from his injury and start today.
More Sunday Moves
Texans-Colts Under 52 to 51
Bucs-Falcons Under 51 to 49
Bucs -4 to -6.5 at Falcons
Seahawks -4.5 to -6.5 at Washington
Jaguars-Ravens Over 46 to 48
49ers -1 to -3 at Cowboys
Jets-Rams Under 44.5 to 43.5
Cardinals -5.5 to -6.5 vs Eagles
Browns -3.5 to -6.5 at Giants