Mild weather across the National Football League game sites is forecasted for Week Three action.
The public is very sure of themselves this week.
Their three most bet teams are the Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans.
They agree on almost everything.
Huge numbers favor one side over the other in the Cardinals and Raiders games. Arizona meets the Jaguars in Jacksonville and the Miami Dolphins visit Las Vegas. Substantial edges are pinned on five other contests, namely the Tennessee Titans over the Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills over the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs over the Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns over Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos over the New York Jets.
In all five games, the public is backing the favorite, and in two of the most bet games the “smart money" is on the other side. While the public is lining up on the Raiders at home, the point spread on the game has ticked down from four points. Even with heavy action on the Bills, the opening number of Buffalo by 9½ points over the Washington Redskins has been shaved to seven.
The line has also ticked down two points on the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are a clear public choice over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Heinz Field contest opened with Pittsburgh favored by 4½ points, and this morning the posted line is 2½.
How is it that public opinion is clearly on one side and the point spread moves the other? The line shift is not in response to the number of bets made on one side or the other, but the amount of money. If the public is clearly one way, and the point spread is moving the other, we have a situation where “smart money” in sums significant enough to off-set the public action is in play.
Smart money doesn’t always win, but you don’t want the record against it.
Smart money is on the Redskins getting seven points in Buffalo. The Bills lost their home opener to the Steelers, then bounced back in a big way with a 35-0 road win over the Miami Dolphins. I can see the value in thinking that the Bills answered all their questions last week but are still the team that lost at home two weeks ago. Without a fear of failure, which was erased with last week’s win in Miami, the Bills would have to win this one on talent alone.
Talent is seldom enough to cover a big spread, but the wise guys who direct smart money don’t have the Redskins getting seven points, they are getting eight or more based on making their wagers before the line shifted. Same is true with Cincinnati, the Bengals were a much higher percentage prospect for a point spread win when they were getting 4½ points than they are now with a line under a field goal.
Still, smart money usually wins, and the line shift only shaves 7% off the winning margin.
As for Qoxhi final calls, we take into consideration where the smart money is going, but refine even those edges with additional elements to weigh. For instance, the Buffalo Bills are good enough to win on talent alone, and while I wouldn’t bet on it in today’s spot, I wouldn’t bet against it either.
The Bengals line has just shrunk too much to follow, and given the Steelers are both coming off a home loss and were beaten last December by Cincnnati, this is a no play for us.
Our two picks, which are now posted on this site, are ones that threaded the needle for rated plays. If a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that game will be added to the list of recommendations by 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.