Welcome back to the Playoff Edition of the NFL Joes vs. Pros breakdown. If you are interested in who the “sharp” money is on, or if games have reverse line movement, this is the place to be. If you have been following this column through the season, you should be up nicely, as the plays finished 17-9 for the year. This post should not be the end all be all for your wagers, but just another tool to consider while you are putting your card together. Sports Insights is where I get my percentages from.
Before we jump into it, some general betting terms to know:
Joes: Who the general public is overwhelming betting on. Around 60% or higher is a good baseline.
Pros: Sharps, Wiseguys, Syndicates, big bettors, whatever you want to call them. Basically, who the big money is on in the game.
Reverse Line Movement (RLM): When the majority of bets are on one side, but the line moves in the opposite direction. Usually an indicator of “smart” money.
Colts at Texans (-2) — Over/ Under 48.5
JOES VS. PROS TAKE:
There is currently 51% of the public money on the Colts. This game was hit by both the sharps and public early, pushing the line down from Texans -3 to -2 in most books. The Colts are shaping up to be a “trendy dog”, which usually spells trouble in the gambling world.
I am going to go with the team that has impressed me more this season. The Colts come into this game red hot, 9-1 over their last 10, due to Luck looking like his old self again. Their offensive line, led by Quenton Nelson, is one of the most improved units in the league, and should be able to keep Luck’s pocket clean. Hilton has also has played great against the Texans (who defend WR1’s poorly), posting lines of 4-115 and 9-199 the last two times these two teams have faced off. I see Luck and Hilton connecting for some deep bombs and pulling this game out at the end.
Seahawks at Cowboys (-2) — Over/ Under 43.5
Russell Wilson vs. this Cowboys defense is the key to this game.
JOES VS. PROS TAKE:
The ‘Hawks are another “trendy dog”, and that support has pushed the line from Cowboys -2.5 to -2 in most books. 55% of the public is on the Seahawks in this one.
The Seahawks are a completely different team on the road (4-4) than they are home, while the Cowboys are much better at home (7-1), especially their defense. Dallas also has the 5th best run defense, which is huge, as the Seahawks love to run the football. Chicago also showed Dallas the blueprint to beat the Hawks earlier this season by being physical against Wilson and co. I can see this ‘Boys team dominating the line of scrimmage, and Ezekiel Elliott eating. Defensively they will shut down the Hawks by playing a lot of man to man. Leighton Vander Esch, who reminds me of a young Brian Urlacher, will need to watch Wilson and make sure he does not extend plays with his feet. I see the Cowboys controlling this game like they did against the Saints a few weeks ago.
I also spoke with Jason Simbal, VP of Risk Management at CG Technology, who had the following to say about this weekend’s games.
Biggest needs: Texans on Saturday and the Bears to win by 1-6 points, because everyone is either on the Bears -6 or Eagles ML.
Sharps took the Seahawks/ Cowboys over (line has moved from 41.5 to 43.5)