Today we take a look at the early line moves for upcoming NFL games along with the side and total of today’s biggest college basketball contest. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks when we post them, to see what we are thinking. See you back here tomorrow!
CBB – (519) BAYLOR at (520) WEST VIRGINIA 7:00 ESPN2 (side and total)
The most important basketball game of the day is Top 10 matchup in the Big 12 with No.1 Baylor at No. 9 West Virginia. The unbeaten Bears were elevated to this perch after Villanova lost last week, but the basketball bettors are not thinking they will enjoy it very long, taking Baylor from +5.5 to +7. For the Bears to cover, they have to not turn the ball over against the Mountaineers tenacious press and get more shots up, after only scoring 65 and 61 points in two home wins (non-covers) last week. Baylor however is 9-2 ATS on the Big 12 road, but this tough spot. On the total, that has plunged from 139 to 136.5 thanks to two stellar defensive clubs.
Betting Trend – 58% backing Baylor and 83% on Over
Doug’s VPID Take - Leans West Virginia and Over
NFL – Saturday – (301) SEATTLE at (302) ATLANTA 4:35 ET FOX
Once this matchup was finalized, a segment of football bettors took Atlanta from -3.5 to -4.5 in game against Seattle. They are counting on Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense to come out on like they have all year and take advantage of a Seahawks defense which is just not the same without safety Earl Thomas.
With this line of thinking, it matches the total being lifted from 49.5 to 51, with the belief Atlanta will score and it is expected Russell Wilson will generate points against a defense permitting 27.4 points per game playing at home.
The Over obviously has valid reasoning as the Dirty Birds were 8-0 OVER at the Georgia Dome this season. A little less sold on Atlanta as a favorite, with a 3-11 ATS mark when favored by a touchdown or less since 2014.
Betting Trend – 55% backing Seattle and 64% on Over
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NFL – Saturday - (303) HOUSTON at (304) NEW ENGLAND 8:15 ET CBS
New England opened as the largest playoff favorite at -16 over Houston in 18 years. While Texans coach Bill O’Brien has suggested he will not worry about such a thing, with his only real concern “what happens between the lines”. That sounds good coach but the fact remains, today’s modern very much concerns itself about “respect” or in this case the lack of it and O’Brien or his coaches would be buffoons not to use it as motivation.
At first glance, even those betting football are thinking this is rather high, considering Houston finished first in total defense and a slight regression has occurred to 15.5.
The total of 44.5 has also been walked back a little to 44, with many wondering how team like Houston, who averages just 14.7 PPG on the road, will score much more than that versus a New England defense allowing 15.6 PPG.
Betting Trend – 73% backing New England
NFL – (305) PITTSBURGH at (306) KANSAS CITY 1:05 ET NBC
Those placing football bets are wagering on what they are seeing. After Pittsburgh dispatched of Miami, later after the game, Ben Roethlisberger was seen riding in a cart in a boot. He downplayed the significance and had MRI on Monday, which showed not damage and declared himself “good to go” against Kansas City.
Bettors were less sure and moved the Steelers from -1 to +2 against the Chiefs. That was not the only reason for the rather large shift, as Kansas City was walloped by Pittsburgh 43-14 back in October on the road and for those thinking about revenge, this also plays in the process. However, the Steelers have obvious edges in the trenches on both sides of the ball and Kansas City is 2-11 ATS in the postseason.
The total has also taken a good-sized tumble, now at 44, after opening at 46.5. If you liked the idea of lower score, most of the value has dried up, even with Pittsburgh 14-4 UNDER on the road and 9-2 UNDER as an underdog.
Betting Trend – 52% backing Pittsburgh and 74% on Under
NFL – (307) GREEN BAY at (308) DALLAS 4:40 ET FOX
After Green Bay dismantled the Giants, they were sent out as four-point underdogs to Dallas. Once the news was reported Jordy Nelson has at least two broken ribs, the Packers went to +5 before most sportsbooks settled at +4.5 by Tuesday morning.
Look for Dallas to go back to at least -5, once everyone realizes the impact of Nelson’s presumed loss or severe limitations if reports are true. Though receiver Geronimo Allison has performed well the last few weeks, he’s not going to draw double coverage like Nelson would in many situations, which will allow Dallas to hone in on Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. No doubt Aaron Rodgers has been otherworldly, but taking away individual who has been such a key to their success is important.
Next is the matter of Green Bay defense, which has held up despite a plethora of injuries, taking on rested Dallas offense and its weapons all over the field, who was bludgeoned for 30 points by Cowboys at Lambeau Field back in October.
Betting Trend – 72% backing Green Bay
Public Consensus Record – 51% to 79% – 48-35 (since 12/01/16)
Public Consensus Record – 80% or Higher – 25-21 (since 12/01/16)
Line Movement Direction Record – 77-64 (since 12/01/16)