|Who does Brent have?
Brent is licking his wounds from last weekend, but he’s ready to get back on the horse.
Jeff Fogle previews today’s NFL games . . .
In sports betting terms, high-profile football matchups are typically “Pros vs. Joes” affairs with the general public betting heavily on favorites while sharps patiently wait to bet underdogs at the highest available lines.
Early market action in today’s NFL matchups is showing that the classic divide is still in force.
Indianapolis (+5.5) at Kansas City (NBC, 4:35 p.m. ET)
First numbers up offshore were in the range of rested #1 AFC seed Kansas City -4 to -4.5. This was during Indianapolis comfortable 21-7 victory at Houston. The Colts have been getting a lot of sharp respect down the stretch (particularly last week). Oddsmakers wanted to guard against early Colts money from respected sources. Public betting took the line to Chiefs -5, and then to -5.5.
It’s not expected that a full 6 would come into play. Sports books know they’d get flooded with sharp money, and even some public money on the dog, at that relatively key number (two field goals, or a TD with a missed conversion).
Pro bettors who have been riding the Colts through a 7-3-1 run against the spread the past 11 games…or fading Kansas City through a 1-5-1 ATS slide the past seven games…won’t mind settling for +5.5.
Dallas (+7) at the Los Angeles Rams (FOX, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Mostly a solid 7 all week. Though some shops started charging extra vigorish to lay seven points with the Rams (-115 or -120 rather than the standard -110). That’s a sign that more bets are coming in on the home favorite.
Whenever a game sits on a key number this long, you can assume that any move in either direction would be pounced on quickly. A rested home favorite is going to win an NFL playoff game by EXACTLY seven points enough of the time to swing cover percentages. A rise to Rams -7.5 would see immediate sharp action on Dallas. Were the tide to somehow turn the other way, Rams -6.5 would see a flood of public money (particularly in Las Vegas, which is a virtual suburb of LA for sports betting purposes). Best expectation for the sharp/square divide to show up on the game day vigorish in Cowboys/Rams.
Contest corner . . .
We’ll monitor the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship to the extent we can today. There were 246 entrants by Friday night. The deadline is not until 1 p.m. ET today.