Market Watch: Who Are the Sharps Betting? NFL Divisional Round Weekend

Last Updated: 2018-01-12

nfl market watch divisional roundIn a crazy year that had favorites historically dominate ATS, it would only be fitting, as we transition into Playoff season, for the underdogs to cover all four games in the Wildcard round. Sure enough, that is exactly what they did, resulting in affirmation of some sure-fire sharp positions on the Falcons and the Panthers, while at the same time blowing up a bevy of basic strategy teasers likely linked to the Chiefs. The Jags came through as far as Wong teasers are concerned, but with so many of these tied to Kansas City, the victory was of little consequence to sharp bettors employing Playoff teaser strategy.

As we advance on into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, I would expect teasers to once again play their role in one game for certain, while a couple of games have already shown some indicators for early week sharp involvement. The lines are once again, as they will be throughout the postseason, tight and efficient, but now with College Football season coming to a close, these 4 games will be the central focus of the betting community, and expect the recreational money to have its influence within the market. With this influence, comes reaction and adjustment in the marketplace, and when the public as a hole can match money with the sharps, expect Pros vs. Joes battles to ensue.

With a couple of these battles already brewing, we certainly want to be on the sharp side of those scuffles, and for the most part, this has been the sole purpose of MarketWatch. Therefore, with the sharp money on our side, and the Market as our guide, lets take our weekly look at the off-shore market for this Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles

Off-shore opening line: ATL – 3 -110
Consensus current line: ATL – 3 -101
Off-shore Betting Consensus: 66% ATL

With the Atlanta Falcons stock at an arguably all-time high this season, and the Eagles’ possibly at its low, it’s not difficult to see why Matt Ryan is receiving an overwhelming majority of the action against Nick Foles. With this number opening officially at 3 -110 off-shore at Bookmaker, we’ve seen it fall below 3 earlier in the week to as low as 2.5 -110 at some of the sharper books, with Pinnacle going all the way down to -2.5 -107. Eventually making its way back up to 3, where its been juiced to the Eagles side as a consensus for much of the week, that is where we are currently, with the juice creeping up progressively and collectively on the Eagles as the weekend approaches. The sharper books such as Pinnacle, BetCris, and The Greek are all just short of -120 on the Eagles at this point, while BetOnline is currently at -122 and 5Dimes, -113. Bovada is the only major off-shore book juicing the Atlanta side currently, and at -105, I would be highly tempted to grab this number now if I had access to it. All things considered, in Pros vs. Joes game 1 of the saga this week, the Eagles are undeniably the sharp side here, and even though Atlanta is receiving 66% of the bets, I’m not confident the 3’s are still available by game-time. With that being said, I would watch the market closely, and if you start to see shops going to 2.5, I’d take any 3 you can find, hopefully one of the -115’s or better available. If this number does creep below 3, I would also expect a barrage of sharp money buying into Eagles teasers, taking the 2.5, up through 3 and 7.

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots

Off-shore opening line: NE -13.5 -105
Consensus current line: NE -13.5 -110
Off-shore Betting Consensus: 73%

It appears that the betting community isn’t buying into the whole New England in disarray narrative that has surfaced as of late, and this is demonstrated through an overwhelming 73% consensus on the Pats. Opening at a soft 13.5, this number has held steady for the most part, with a mixture 13’s and 13.5’s available and one sole 14 posted at Bovada, juiced to the Titans side at -120. While most of the 13’s out there are juiced to the Patriots side, The Greek is interestingly the only major book juicing the Titans side at this number, while 5Dimes is offering reduced juice on both sides at 13, but charging -108 on the Pats to -102 on the Titans. Pinnacle and BetOnline are the two at 13.5, juicing the Titans side to -113 and -115 respectively, welcoming some New England money at this number. As far as sharp action is concerned, I don’t see any real indication in this game, though the market would tell me that the Titans would most likely receive support at 14, as Bovada has been the only book to post this number at their lower limits, and juicing it heavily to the Titans side. Therefore, I think this is definitely a game where you’re going to want to wait it out and see where this number goes by kickoff. In light of the lopsided consensus, we have reason to expect a late wave of recreational money to flood the market in support of the Patriots, and if this action produces 14’s in the marketplace, I believe the Titan’s buy sign will be illuminated for professional bettors.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Off-shore opening line: PIT – 7 -107
Consensus current line: PIT – 7 -110
Off-shore Betting Consensus: 61% PIT

For the second game of the Pros vs. Joes Divisional Round Playoff Showdown, it should come as no surprise that the betting public is in full support of the Pittsburgh Steelers, at home, against a Jacksonville team that advanced last week in ugly fashion playing host to the Buffalo Bills. Opening soft 7 at Bookmaker, the 7’s quickly became 7.5’s earlier in the week as the consensus climbed in favor of the Steelers, but as the week progressed, waves of Jacksonville money pushed this number back down to 7, where it has remained stable at a consensus of -110 across the off-shore market. Bovada is the only major book that hasn’t budged, posting a 7.5 -115 currently on the Jags, while the rest of the market was forced down to 7. At 7, the consensus is -110, while Pinnacle at -107, BetOnline at 7 -113, and 5Dimes at -110/+100 are the major off-shores juicing the Pittsburgh side at the key number. While the 7 isn’t quite attractive as the 7.5’s that were once available on Jacksonville, the Jags do appear to be the sharper of the sides here, and the move against heavy consensus is your indication. Unless you have access to a 7.5 currently, there is no rush to get involved here, as once again we can expect late recreational action to be in full support of the Steelers. 7.5 would be strong buy-point on the Jags, while 7.5 would almost certainly provoke sharp teaser play on Pittsburgh, down through 7 and 3. The sure-fire best case teaser scenario this week would be the Steelers and Eagles, if 7.5’s and 2.5’s show up respectively.

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings

Off-shore opening line: MIN -3.5 -110
Consensus current line: MIN -5 -110
Off-shore Betting Consensus: 63% NO

How do you NOT take Drew Brees getting 5 points against Case Keenum? I can assure you that this the predominant narrative in the mind of the recreational bettor this week, as the Saints travel to Minnesota in the final installment of the Divisional Pros vs. Joes Divisional Playoff Series. With 63% of the action in favor of the Saints thus far, the 3.5’s that were available at open, didn’t last very long and neither did the 4’s, as the professionals pushed this spread all the way up through the minor key of 4. Now at 5, in a dead zone, most of the major off-shores are at a solid -110 at 5, while Bovada is the lone book to remain at 4, now juicing that 4 to -120. At 5, Pinnacle is showing a slight lean to the Vikings at 5 -106/-104 while BetOnline is doing the same, at -5 -112/-108. 5Dimes is the only major off-shore charging a slightly higher price on the Saints at 5, charging -106 to -104 on the Vikes, while all of the others are at -110. It’s clear that the professionals have taken a fairly major position on Minnesota at 3.5 and 4, but at 5, the action has to settled down. Therefore, I believe this game warrants a wait-and-see approach, for with the number where it is, there is little chance of the 5 coming into play and little risk of losing a key number. With late public action expected to be in full support of the Saints, best case scenario would be some 4’s making there way back into the market, at which the Vikings are a strong sharp play.

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