There was some late action on the Denver Broncos Monday night. It would have been sharp action, but the L.A. Chargers messed up our NFL picks for Denver’s home-opener.
For three quarters, we looked like geniuses here at the ranch. We were considering both the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos as small home faves for the first Monday Night Football games of the 2017 campaign. In the end, we chose Denver as a 3-point chalk against the Los Angeles Chargers, and it looked like we’d get paid with the Broncos up 24-7 heading into the fourth.
Things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Denver coughed up the ball twice, the Chargers scored two touchdowns, and there goes the money flying out the window. At least we were guaranteed a push when the Broncos blocked what would have been the game-tying field goal to win 24-21. This was one case where taking the lower-variance strategy and grabbing Denver at -2.5 (-130) would have paid off. We also could have created a small two-team teaser to move off those key numbers and won big. Oh well. We live to fight another day.
SBR’s Jimmy the Bag also liked the Vikings and he recaps Sunday’s betting action
You’re Gonna Make It After All
As it turned out, the Vikings were the ones who paid out Monday night, beating the New Orleans Saints (+3) 29-19 in a magnificent performance by QB Sam Bradford. Make that 19-7 ATS at home for Vikes head coach Mike Zimmer. The expanded consensus reports at Sportsbook Review show pretty light action for Monday’s opener, and the Saints pulled in 60 percent of the amount wagered, so this NFL pick kind of flew under the radar. That’s what the Minnesota Vikings do.
The betting pattern on the Broncos was much different. The Chargers had the early support, but once the dust had cleared, Denver wound up with 65 percent of the amount wagered and an average bet size of $217. Only one team had a bigger bet size in Week 1: The Dallas Cowboys ($337) were 6-point home faves when they throttled the New York Giants 19-3. Big money is sharp money.
Both Sides Now
All right, the past is prologue. Let’s take a look at the early lines for Week 2. There’s been some action on the Cincinnati Bengals (-5 at home) for Thursday night’s game against the Houston Texans. These are very small bet sizes at around $25 a pop on both sides, but two-thirds of bettors are on the Bengals with two-thirds of the amount wagered. It looks like a tight line at this point, after the sharps threw a few Hamiltons at Cincinnati when they opened at -3 (-120).
The game I’m most curious about heading into Week 2 is Sunday’s matinee (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) between the New England Patriots and the aforementioned Saints. The Patriots have had plenty of time to recover from Thursday night’s shellacking at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. New Orleans is playing on a short week. It looks like a favorable situation for the Patriots, and indeed, they’ve already moved from -4.5 to -6 at some books as we go to press. However, you can still get them at -4.5. Ooooh… might there be some arbitrage on this game? Possibly maybe?
Yes! The moneylines tell the tale: New England is pegged at -197 over at Matchbook, while New Orleans is +220 at multiple locations, including 5Dimes. If you’re new to sports betting, you might not be familiar with the concept of arbitrage, but you can probably tell with these odds that betting both sides would be a pretty good idea. The SBR Arbitrage Calculator says you can lock in a profit of $3.65 by betting $100 on the Patriots and $47.11 on the Saints. That’s almost 2.5 percent profit on your investment, risk-free. Pleased to be of service.
Free Pick: New England -197; New Orleans +220
Best Lines: Matchbook and 5Dimes