NFL 2018 Season - Week 14
 

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Smart Line Moves
by Dennis Ranahan

Weather is not a factor as the NFL plays their first weekend games in November. Perfect football weather is in store at the nine outdoor sites the NFL is scheduled for today.

As we hit the midway point of the regular season the Los Angeles Rams will look to extend their unbeaten string to nine games. They battle the Saints in New Orleans this afternoon in a game that could go a long way toward deciding home field advantage in the NFC playoffs. New Orleans, following their win last Sunday night in Minnesota, are now 6-1, a record that includes six consecutive victories following their opening weekend loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saints have also reeled off five straight point spread wins. The Rams, who are a perfect 8-0 this season, won their first three decisions against the point spread but are only 1-3-1 in their last five decisions against the point spread.

New Orleans is getting a slight nod from the betting public, 54% of the individual wagers on this game are backing the home team in this contest. But, the point spread doesn’t reflect the public play. Los Angeles opened as a one point favorite, but that line quickly shifted to the Saints being favored by one on Monday and up to two by Tuesday afternoon. Then, the line did a reverse on Friday, with the favored Saints suddenly shifting to a two point underdog, a line that has been as high as the Rams favored by 2½ points this morning.

Normally, a team like the Rams riding a perfect season is going to get public backing, but perhaps the nationally televised win by the Saints over the Vikings and the success Drew Brees has enjoyed at home is the driving force behind this week’s public opinion.

The Saints as an underdog against a Rams team that has only beaten the spread once in five weeks while still enjoy a perfect straight-up run, is reason to back the home team here. But, if the public isn’t shifting this line to the Rams being favored, then who is?

When I don’t know, I don’t tempt fate. As much as I honestly like New Orleans in this game I know better than to buck what must be smart money loading up on the visitors. We’ll skip this one in favor of other contests that line up in both motivation and point spread price.

The public’s three favorite plays today begin with the high scoring Kansas City Chiefs (-8) over the Cleveland Browns. We are backing the other side of this game and know this time we have the smart money on our side. Even with the public wagering on this game in huge numbers, the point spread has dropped from an opening line of the Chiefs favored by 10 points to spreads as low as Kansas City by 7½ points this morning.

In addition to the Chiefs, the next two most bet teams by the public are the Minnesota Vikings (-5) over the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers (-6½) over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As for our selections today, they are now posted on this site and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the first kickoff of the day, that contest will be added to the list of recommendations at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.