NFL action report: How bettors are wagering on Cowboys-Bills spread, total

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The Dallas Cowboys are among the hottest teams in the league right now, both on the field and at the betting window. Dallas is on a five-game win streak, covering the spread in four of those games while charging hard toward the playoffs.

The Buffalo Bills are on a one-game win streak. Which isn’t even a streak. And Buffalo is fighting for its playoff life in a crowded AFC chase.

With that info in mind, which team do you think is favored on the NFL Week 15 oddsboard?

If you guessed the Buffalo Bills, then come collect your prize. Cowboys-Bills, the FOX Game of the Week, is one of a few intriguing NFL matchups on the schedule. And the college football bowl season gets underway, as well.

So let’s get to it, as oddsmakers and sharp bettors dive into this week’s NFL and college football betting nuggets.

NFL Rocks On FOX

Dallas is 10-3 straight up (SU) and a league-best 9-4 against the spread (ATS). Buffalo is a middling 7-6 SU and 5-7-1 ATS. Yet PointsBet customers are split on the point spread for Cowboys-Bills, which kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday. The ticket count is running close to even, with a lean toward road underdog Dallas.

And the Cowboys are becoming shorter underdogs. PointsBet opened Buffalo -1.5 and got as high as -3 early in the week. But on Wednesday, the line fell back to Bills -1.5 once again.

Opinion on the total is much more clearly defined.

“Bettors are hoping the high-powered offenses can continue to perform,” PointsBet sports trader Will Radice said. “[The] game has already shown some significant movement on the total. After opening at 49 and initially moving down to 48.5, it has now shot up to 50.5.”

The Over is taking 67% of tickets and 82% of money midweek.

Prior to Cowboys-Bills on FOX is a game that didn’t look that attractive a couple of weeks ago, but now is pretty interesting. The Cleveland Browns, with Joe Flacco riding to the rescue at quarterback, host Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears.

Chicago (5-8 SU/6-6-1 ATS) is coming off a modest upset of public darling Detroit. Cleveland (8-5 SU and ATS) is holding it together in the AFC playoff race, sitting in a Wild Card slot at fifth.

Bettors actually like the Bears as 3-point underdogs and +150 on the moneyline to win the game outright.

“We have most of our liability on the Bears moneyline and spread,” Radice said, while noting that early spread ticket count is 3/1 and early spread money beyond 9/1 on Chicago.

Is Dak Prescott or Josh Allen more trustworthy in Cowboys-Bills Week 15 matchup?

Is Dak Prescott or Josh Allen more trustworthy in Cowboys-Bills Week 15 matchup?

NFL Sharp Side

Professional bettor Randy McKay wants in on the Cowboys-Bills action. He’s already got a wager that he’s more than comfortable with on Buffalo -2.

“Dallas is a dominant team at home and not so much on the road,” McKay said, noting the Cowboys struggle against good teams on the highway, with losses to San Francisco and Philadelphia. “Now, the Cowboys have to travel to play a Buffalo team that has adjusted from defensive injuries. Bring on the Buffalo wind and cold against Dak Prescott, who isn’t used to it.”

It won’t be insanely cold in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon and evening. But temperatures will be in the 40s, and rain and some wind are in the forecast, as well.

McKay is also on the Thursday night game between the Los Angeles Chargers and host Las Vegas Raiders. Last week, the Raiders lost at home to Minnesota 3-0 in a contest of ineptitude. The Chargers fell to Denver 24-7 and lost QB Justin Herbert (broken finger) for the rest of the season.

That’s got McKay liking Under 34.5 on the total.

“The Raiders are playing Under-style games, and both teams come into this game on a short week with offensive line injuries,” McKay said, while also reminding that Vegas is starting rookie Aidan O’Connell at QB. “Unless turnovers hurt us, it’ll be tough for these teams to get to that number.”

McKay also likes the Tennessee Titans -2.5 vs. the Houston Texans.

“Tennessee is coming off a big Monday night victory vs. Miami and now has confidence,” McKay said. “Houston is a banged-up team, with Davis Mills possibly starting at QB and cluster injuries on the offensive line.”

Texas QB C.J. Stroud, in the midst of a strong rookie season, is still in concussion protocol as of Wednesday night. Stroud was hurt in a blowout loss to the New York Jets last week.

Cowboys top Nick’s NFL Tiers entering Week 15

Cowboys top Nick's NFL Tiers entering Week 15

Back To School

College football bowl odds creep into the football betting mix with a half-dozen Saturday matchups. Obviously, since these are the earliest games, they’re not hyper-attractive. But that often means there’s opportunity for the savvy bettor.

Paul Stone fits that description. And the college football betting expert has his eyes on the New Mexico Bowl, pitting New Mexico State (10-4 SU/10-3-1 ATS) against Fresno State (8-4 SU/4-8 ATS).

NMSU, which owns a huge road win over Auburn this season, is a 3.5-point favorite in a quasi-home game in Albuquerque. Stone noted that for most of this century, the Aggies have been dreadful, averaging just 2.7 wins per season from 2005-2021.

But under coach Jerry Kill, NMSU is 17-10 SU the past two years, and this year marks the first 10-win season for the Aggies since 1960. The Aggies are also top-five in the nation in covering the spread this season.

Stone is fine laying 3.5 points with New Mexico State.

“I just believe New Mexico State will be the more motivated team, playing in its home state, facing an opponent from a more prominent conference,” Stone said. “I look for NMSU quarterback Diego Pavia to have a big game and the Aggies to prevail by a touchdown or more.”

More NFL Numbers

Ravens-Jaguars is another marquee matchup in the NFL this week, and it’s in a marquee slot on Sunday night. At PointsBet, Baltimore (10-3 SU/8-5 ATS) is now the No. 2 choice on the Super Bowl odds board, at +500, trailing only +200 favorite San Francisco.

So even though Jacksonville (8-5 SU and ATS) is certainly a capable outfit and playing at home, early bettors are piling on the road favorite. On the point spread — currently Baltimore -3.5 — the Ravens are landing 86% of tickets/90% of money at PointsBet. On the moneyline — currently Ravens -180 — 83% of tickets/85% of dollars are on Baltimore.

“We have quickly built up liability on the Ravens moneyline and spread. That is no surprise, as there are still some injury concerns around Trevor Lawrence, who didn’t quite look himself last week,” Radice said, alluding to the Jags QB’s high ankle sprain. “The Ravens have also continued to stack up wins and score points. So bettors are hoping for that to continue, with the total moving up to 43 after opening at 40.”

The Minnesota Vikings-Cincinnati Bengals game, which opens a Saturday NFL triple header, is seeing spread bettors favor the Bengals early at PointsBet. Spread tickets are 2.5/1 and spread money 2/1 on Cincy. But the total is interesting, too, thanks to the aforementioned nondescript 3-0 win by the Vikes over the Raiders last week.

“After the Vikings’ game ended with a total of 3 points last week, and with two backup QBs most likely starting, it’s clear why bettors are favoring the Under,” Radice said.

The Vikings might start Nick Mullens over Josh Dobbs this week. And Cincy — which lost Joe Burrow weeks ago to a wrist injury — has backup Jake Browning under center, though Browning has been wildly effective the past two weeks.

In the Saturday nightcap, Detroit hosts Denver, and Radice said spread betting is two-way, with the Broncos getting more tickets and the Lions getting more money. Detroit opened -4 and got to -5, but on Wednesday backed up to -4. And a fair amount of bettors seem to think the Broncos could land a road upset.

“We have small liability on the Broncos moneyline, as they have continued to stay in the playoff hunt and are only one game behind the Chiefs in the division,” Radice said.

Radice also noted the Monday night clash between the Philadelphia Eagles — losers of two in a row —  and Seattle Seahawks, who are at home but flagging of late. The Eagles opened -4 at PointsBet and stretched out to -5, but as of late Wednesday night are down to -3.5.

Still, spread tickets and money heavily favors Philly.

“We have liability [on the spread], as well as on Eagles moneyline,” Radice said. “Bettors are hoping the Eagles can turn it around after back-to-back losses. The spread movement could also be related to [Seahawks QB] Geno Smith’s injury.”

Smith was out with a groin injury in a Week 14 loss at San Francisco. With the line moving toward Seattle, perhaps the thought is he might return Monday night. But at the moment, Smith is listed as questionable.

Will Russell Wilson’s Broncos challenge Chiefs for AFC West?

Will Russell Wilson's Broncos challenge Chiefs for AFC West?

I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie

There’s not much in the way of reported major wagers on NFL Week 15 odds yet. But how about this leftover from Monday night’s Titans-Dolphins affair: $110,000 on Miami -13 at Caesars Sports.

With 4:34 left in the fourth quarter, Raheem Mostert had a 5-yard TD run to put the Dolphins up 27-13 — just barely covering the spread, but covering it no less. So, the big bettor certainly had a chance.

However, Miami gave up two touchdowns in the final minutes, with Tennessee converting a 2-point attempt after the first TD. So the Dolphins not only didn’t cover, but lost the game outright 28-27.

And if you had Miami in a survivor pool, we should all pour one out for you. In Circa Sports’ massive Circa Survivor, which has a $9.2 million pot, there were only 30 entries alive in Week 14, out of 9,200-plus who entered preseason.

One entrant still had the Dolphins available in Week 14 and used them as a near-two-TD favorite. It probably seemed like the master lock of the week. But that’s the NFL for you.

Heading to Week 15, Circa Survivor has just 13 entries live, with each entry having an implied value of a whopping $712,846. Not bad for a contest that costs $1,000 to enter. No doubt these last contestants will be eager to hedge their bets to lock in a decent guaranteed win.

Jeff Benson, director of operations for Circa Sports, admitted as much earlier this week after the book got slammed by the two Monday night games.

It’d be great to have one of those 13 entries. We’ll instead just have to live vicariously through those contestants. Enjoy the (mostly) NFL betting weekend!

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.


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