For line moves, we have all the latest update for the NFL Wild Card contests, plus the important college hoops action and a NBA game. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (71-61 since 12/01/16) when we post them, to see what we are thinking. See you back here Monday!
NBA – (511) MIAMI at (512) L.A. LAKERS 10:35 ET SUN, TWSN
Not exactly the marquee contest on the NBA board but somebody cares as the total has climbed from 210 to 212.5. Though Miami is 29th in scoring in the NBA at 98.4 PPG, even those betting basketball think the Heat will heat up enough to score on the Lakers who are conceding better than 110 PPG. Though my numbers suggest otherwise, I’ll back a free-flowing affair with players more concerned about scoring than defending.
Betting Trend – 74% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Over
NFL – Saturday – (101) OAKLAND at (102) HOUSTON 4:35 ET ESPN
It comes without any surprise the total on the first playoff encounter has sunk from 37.5 to 36.5, given the quarterback situations for both teams. In either case, one would surmise both head coaches will live or die with a war in the trenches, looking to run the ball and picks spots to throw, hoping nothing bad results when passing, like turnovers. Cannot imagine in either case when the starting quarterbacks are actually announced this would cause the total to rise and if anything only see it going lower.
Houston opened at -3 and was modestly bumped to -3.5, with many wondering how Oakland moves the ball at all if they cannot run the pigskin. Early bets placed favored the Texans and the Under. Update – On Friday the total crept back up to 37 at about half the books checked. Not seeing where either quarterback will impact contest in a positive manner and only way this goes Over is by two turnovers which lead to immediate touchdowns.
Betting Trend – 52% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Under
NFL – Saturday – (103) DETROIT at (104) SEATTLE 8:15 ET NBC
Both NFL teams come in playing far from their best football. Detroit after looking like a lock to win the NFC North for the first time in 23 years, closed 0-3 and 0-4 ATS. Seattle could not hold on to the No.2 slot in the NFC with a 2-2 and 1-3 ATS finish. Though around 70 percent of bets placed have been on the Lions, the Seahawks have gone from -7 to -8 at home.
Though Seattle is a noteworthy home team for years, there 4-3-1 ATS record is similar to last year’s at 4-4 against the spread, which might suggest Pete Carroll’s club is no longer has a true juggernaut in the Northwest. Though the Lions are laboring, defensively they could keep the score down and the Seahawks defense is not the same without safety Earl Thomas. Update – No changes as the week progressed, with Seattle locked in at -8.
Betting Trend – 60% backing Detroit
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Detroit
CBB – Saturday - (731) TCU at (732) WEST VIRGINIA 1:00 ET ESPNU
One of these teams is going to be saddled with a second Big 12 loss and will be playing uphill to catch Kansas and Baylor. TCU is 12-2 (7-5 ATS), but has faced a schedule considered softer than baby food. Unless the Horned Frogs can find ways to not be forced into a boatload of turnovers in Morgantown, they are facing a tumultuous day.
Anticipated Line – West Virginia by 15 to 17 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean West Virginia (at these numbers)
CBB – Saturday - (745) VIRGINIA TECH at (746) FLORIDA STATE 2:00 ET ACC-N
It might only be the start of the ACC season, yet it is odd to see Florida State (and Notre Dame) atop the conference standings. The Seminoles have more scoring to go along with usually rugged defense. Virginia Tech could not follow up big win over Duke and were no-show’s in allowing 104 points in drubbing at N.C. State. This contest could be precursor for both clubs the rest of January.
Anticipated Line - Florida State by 5 to 7 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Florida State
CBB – Saturday - (857) CINCINNATI at (858) HOUSTON 9:00 ET ESPNU
Going into the weekend, there are still four unbeaten teams in the AAC and at least one will fall because of this confrontation. Cincinnati is playing typical suffocating defense under coach Mick Cronin, but this will be best Houston team they have faced in years, with coach Kelvin Sampson having retooled the program. The Cougars are superior three-point shooting team which could be the difference.
Anticipated Line – Pick to Cincinnati -2
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Houston
NFL – (105) MIAMI at (106) PITTSBURGH 1:05 ET CBS
Pittsburgh was sent out by sportsbooks at -10 and briefly went to -9.5, before settling in at -10 again. This figures to be the biggest spread of the Wild Card round. The initial numbers find almost 70 percent of bets placed are on Miami, suggesting mostly ‘public’ money, which the oddsmakers are not impressed with. Unless a large influx of Steelers money were to come in, it is hard to believe the books would go to -10.5 or higher on Pittsburgh, because they would likely see a great deal of Miami money on what would be a key number in this situation.
The total opened at 47.5 and almost immediately was down to 47, in spite of nearly 80 wagered on the Over. Expect that betting ratio to come down. Update – As the week has gone ahead, the total has been sinking, now at 45.5. Look for Pittsburgh to exploit the Dolphins defensive problems.
Betting Trend – 60% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take - Play Over
NFL – (107) N.Y. GIANTS at (108) GREEN BAY 4:40 ET FOX
Late Sunday night, Green Bay was a -4 point favorite over New York and for a few hours dipped to -3.5, before climbing to -4.5 at all but a few offshore books known for attracting sharper action, who remained at -4. The wagering public numbers are also shading the Packers.
Backing the Pack comes with risks even with a white-hot Aaron Rodgers playing at Lambeau Field. The Giants are the superior defensive team and have the secondary that can curtail what Green Bay likes to do, especially if they can stop the run. New York is real mediocre on offense, yet two or three passes to Odell Beckham Jr. could change the game. The G-Men are 11-2 ATS as a wild card team in the playoffs. Update – The Packers have remained at -4.5 since Tuesday and based on the betting trend, this should hold unless go down with Giants money coming in.
Betting Trend – 52% backing Green Bay
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean New York
CBB – Sunday - (521) WISCONSIN at (522) PURDUE 4:30 ET CBS
Almost by default, Wisconsin has moved to the head of the class in the Big Ten early, though Michigan State and others will have a say. The Badgers don’t beat themselves and know how to execute. Purdue is still weaker at a few positions and lacks top notch athletes and has issues with opposing teams quickness. If anticipated spread is accurate, have to back the Badgers who can make this close.
Anticipated Line – Purdue by 7 to 9 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Slight Wisconsin
Public Consensus Record – 51% to 79% – 47-32 (since 12/01/16)
Public Consensus Record – 80% or Higher – 25-17 (since 12/01/16)
Line Movement Direction Record – 72-60 (since 12/01/16)