GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
This “Thursday Night Football” matchup features playoff hopefuls looking to avenge Week 8 losses. After a 4-0 start, the Packers (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS) have lost two of their last three, most recently falling to the Vikings 28-22, losing straight up as six-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the 49ers (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS) saw their two-game winning streak end last week, losing to the Seahawks 37-27 as one-point road underdogs. This line opened with Green Bay listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. But it has risen all the way to Packers -5.5 thanks to the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will miss the game with an injury and Nick Mullens will start in his place. George Kittle will also miss this game due to injury. When the line reached Packers -5.5, we saw some buyback hit the 49ers at an inflated + 5.5, dropping it back to 5. San Francisco has value as a contrarian home dog in a heavily bet prime-time game. Historically, home teams have done well covering the number on a short week on Thursday night. Prime-time dogs are 17-8 ATS (68%) this season. The Packers could be short on running backs as Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon will miss this game due to COVID-19.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT BUFFALO BILLS
This nonconference showdown features division leaders with a combined record of 12-3. The Seahawks (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) rebounded from their first loss against the Cardinals in Week 7 with a 37-27 victory over the 49ers last week, easily covering as one-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Bills are riding a two-game winning streak and coming off a 24-21 win over the Patriots, though they failed to cover as four-point home favorites. This line opened with Seattle listed as a three-point road favorite. The public is all over the Seahawks laying a short number. However, despite two-thirds of bets backing Seattle, this line has remained at Seattle -3 or dipped to 2.5. This signals liability on the Bills getting the key number of + 3. Buffalo has value as a short contrarian home dog, and Seattle is at a disadvantage as a West Coast team traveling east for an early 1 p.m. ET game. Buffalo also has buy-low value as a bad ATS team (3-5 ATS) against a sell-high good-ATS team (5-2 ATS). The total has risen from 53 to 54.5. Both teams have been profitable to the Over, with the Seahawks 5-2 and Bills 6-2.
DENVER BRONCOS AT ATLANTA FALCONS
These nonconference foes have losing records but have played much better in recent weeks. The Broncos (3-4 SU, 5-2 ATS) started 0-3 but have won three of their last four, most recently defeating the Chargers 31-30 in thrilling come-from-behind fashion, winning outright as three-point home favorites. Similarly, the Falcons (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS) started 0-5 but have gone 2-1 in their last three, most recently upsetting the Panthers 25-17 as 1.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Atlanta listed as a four-point home favorite. The public is split, and we have seen no line movement yet. The next move is key. If this line drops to 3.5, that would be an indication that respected money sees value on Denver plus the points. The Broncos have value as short road dogs of + 6 or less (32-13 ATS, 71%). Atlanta enjoys a rest advantage, having last played on Thursday night, compared to the Broncos playing Sunday afternoon. We’ve also seen some sharp money hit this Over, pushing the total up from 47.5 to 50.
CHICAGO BEARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS
These nonconference foes have winning records but are riding losing streaks. The Bears (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) battled hard but came up short against the Saints last week, losing 26-23 in overtime, though they covered as 5.5-point home dogs. The Titans (5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS) are coming off a disappointing loss to the lowly Bengals, falling 31-20 and losing straight up as seven-point favorites. This line opened with Tennessee listed as a six-point home favorite. The public is split and doesn’t know whether to grab the points or lay them. Despite this ticket split, we’ve seen the line dip from Titans -6 to -5.5. In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t move at all if the bets are even. So this shift indicates respected money backing the Bears plus the points. Chicago has value as a short road dog of + 6 or less (32-13 ATS, 71%) and a road team with a line move in its favor.
DETROIT LIONS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS
This NFC North grudge match features teams coming off opposite Week 8 performances. The Lions (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) got crushed by the Colts 41-21, failing to cover as 3.5-point home dogs. The defeat snapped a two-game winning streak. Conversely, the Vikings (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) earned a massive upset victory over the Packers, winning 28-22 as six-point road dogs. This line opened with Minnesota listed as a three-point home favorite. Spread bets are split down the middle, and the public doesn’t know whom to back. However, this line has moved from Vikings -3 to -3.5. Some shops are even up to -4. This signals some respected money laying the points with the home favorite. Detroit has value as a road divisional dog and a buy-low dog off a blowout loss of 20 points or more. Short road dogs + 6 or less are 32-13 ATS (71%) this season. The total is 53. Both teams have been profitable to the Over this season, Detroit at 4-3 and Minnesota at 5-2.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
These AFC contenders have the same records but are coming off opposite performances. The Ravens (5-2 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) fell to the Steelers 28-24, losing straight up as four-point home favorites. On the other hand, the Colts returned from their bye with an impressive 41-21 win over the Lions, easily covering as 3.5-point road favorites. This line opened with Baltimore listed as a three-point road favorite. Some books opened closer to Ravens -4. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with Baltimore, expecting a huge bounce-back win and cover after a disappointing loss. However, despite this lopsided support, the line has remained at Ravens -3, with juice leaning toward the Colts at + 3 (-115). This signals a sharp line freeze and liability on Indianapolis as a short contrarian home dog. The Ravens will be down their top cornerback, Marlon Humphrey, who tested positive for COVID-19.
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
This nonconference matchup features teams trending in opposite directions. The Panthers (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS) have dropped three straight, most recently falling to the Falcons 25-17 on “Thursday Night Football,” losing straight up as 1.5-point favorites. On the flip side, the Chiefs (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) have won three straight, most recently crushing the Jets 35-9 and covering as 19.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Kansas City listed as a 12.5-point home favorite. The public could care less about the big number and is rushing to the window to lay the points with the powerhouse Chiefs. However, despite two-thirds of bets backing the home favorite, Kansas City has fallen from -12.5 to -10.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Panthers, with respected money backing the road dogs to keep it relatively close. Carolina has a rest advantage, having last played on Thursday, while Kansas City played Sunday. The Panthers are also a road team with a line move in its favor (38-23, 62% ATS this season). Teddy Bridgewater is 21-5 ATS in his career as a dog, including 4-2 ATS this season.
HOUSTON TEXANS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
These AFC South rivals have endured putrid starts, going a combined 2-12. Both are also well rested and coming off byes. The Texans (1-6 SU, 1-6 ATS) are coming off a 35-20 loss to the Packers, failing to cover as three-point home favorites. The Jaguars (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS) won their opener against the Colts but have since lost six straight, most recently falling to the Chargers 39-29, failing to cover as 7.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Houston listed as a 6.5-point favorite. The public is hammering the Texans, and this line may reach the key number of 7. The big X factor is the Jacksonville quarterback. With starter Garder Minshew injured, the Jaguars will start rookie sixth-round pick Jake Luton. The Jaguars have value as divisional dogs. These teams met a month ago, with the Texans winning 30-14 and covering as 6.5-point home favorites.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT WASHINGTON
These NFC East rivals have a combined record of 3-12 but are still mathematically in the hunt for the division title. The Giants (1-7 SU, 5-3 ATS) have been kind to bettors, winning only once but covering five of their eight games. Most recently, New York fell to the Bucs 25-23 on “Monday Night Football” but covered as a 12.5-point home dog. Washington (2-5 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) is coming off a bye and posted a resounding win last time out, crushing the Cowboys 25-3 as a one-point underdog. This line opened with Washington listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Bets are split, but we’ve seen smart money grab the Giants with the hook, dropping the line from Washington -3.5 to -3. New York has value as a road divisional dog and a short road dog + 6 or less (32-13 ATS, 71%). Washington has a rest advantage as a home favorite off a bye. Pro money has hit this Under, dropping the total from 43 to 41.5. These teams played three weeks ago, with the Giants winning 20-19 at home but Washington covering as a 1.5-point road dog.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
This AFC West matchup features teams heading in opposite directions. The Raiders (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) have won two of their last three and just took down the Browns 16-6, winning straight up as one-point road dogs. Meanwhile, the Chargers (2-5 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) blew yet another big lead, falling to the Broncos 31-30 as three-point road favorites. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a three-point home favorite. Pros and Joes seem to be in complete unison on the Raiders, with both betting cohorts rushing to the window to grab the points with Vegas. This lopsided action has dropped the Chargers from -3 to -1.5. Vegas has value as a road divisional dog and matches several profitable systems this season. Short road dogs + 6 or less are 32-13 ATS (71%). Road teams with a line move in their favor are 38-23 ATS (62%). We could also be looking at a higher-scoring game. The total has risen from 52.5 to 54.5. Both teams have been profitable to the Over this season, with Vegas 6-1 and Los Angeles 4-3.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT DALLAS COWBOYS
This nonconference matchup is about as lopsided as it gets on paper. The Steelers (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS) have the best record in the NFL and are the only undefeated team. Pittsburgh is coming off an impressive 28-24 win over the Ravens, winning outright as a four-point road dog. On the flip side, the Cowboys (2-6 SU, 0-8 ATS) have lost three straight and are the only team in the NFL not to cover a spread. Last week the Cowboys fell to the Eagles 23-9, failing to cover as 10-point road dogs. This game remains off the board and we don’t have a line because the Dallas quarterback situation is up in the air. Andy Dalton will return from his concussion or Dallas will turn to rookie Ben DiNucci. The public will assuredly be hammering the Steelers, providing contrarian value and likely an inflated line to back the Cowboys.
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS
These nonconference opponents are ascending the standings and riding three-game winning streaks. The Dolphins (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS) were victorious in Tua Tagovailoa’s debut last week, beating the Rams 28-17 and winning straight up as 3.5-point home dogs. The Cardinals (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS) are coming off a bye and just beat the Seahawks 37-34 as 3.5-point home dogs. This line opened with Arizona listed as a five-point home favorite. The public is split and doesn’t know which team to back. But this line has dropped from Cardinals -5 to -4.5, signaling some respected money backing the Dolphins and the points. Miami has value as a short road dog + 6 or less (32-13 ATS, 71%). Arizona has a rest advantage as a home favorite off a bye. The total is 48. Both teams have been profitable to the Under, with the Dolphins 5-2 and the Cardinals 5-1-1.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
This “Sunday Night Football” showdown between NFC South rivals and Super Bowl contenders could be an NFC championship preview. The Saints (5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS) have won four straight, most recently beating the Bears 26-23 but failing to cover as 5.5-point road favorites. The Bucs (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) are riding a three-game winning streak and just took down the Giants 25-23 on “Monday Night Football,” though they failed to cover as 12.5-point road favorites. This line opened with Tampa Bay listed as a 4.5-point home favorite. Steady action has hit Tom Brady and the Bucs at home, pushing this line from Tampa -4.5 to -5.5. If this line gets to 6, you would imagine some buyback on the Saints at a key number. New Orleans has value as a road divisional dog and a short road dog + 6 or less (32-13 ATS, 71% ATS). New Orleans also has a rest advantage as the Bucs are on a short week. Prime-time dogs are 17-8 ATS (68%). The total has fallen slightly from 54.5 to 53. Both teams are profitable to the Over this season, with New Orleans 7-0 and Tampa Bay 5-3.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT NEW YORK JETS
This “Monday Night Football” showdown features AFC East rivals desperate for a victory. The Patriots (2-5, 3-4 ATS) have lost four straight, most recently falling to the Bills 24-21, although they were covered as four-point road dogs. The Patriots have never lost five straight games in the Bill Belichick era. The Jets (0-8 SU, 1-7 ATS) are the only winless team in the NFL. New York is coming off a 36-9 loss to the Chiefs, failing to cover as a 19.5-point road dog. This line opened with New England listed as a 7.5-point road favorite. The public knows the Pats are struggling, but they can’t stomach backing the winless Jets. However, despite roughly two-thirds of bets taking the Patriots, we’ve seen the line fall from New England -7.5 to -7. This signals some smart money buying low on the Jets at home getting the points. New York has value as a divisional dog and a contrarian play in a heavily bet prime-time game.