FOX Sports Betting Analyst
The Dallas Cowboys are on the road against an NFC North opponent for the second week in a row. After falling to the Green Bay Packers in overtime, the ‘Boys now face the red-hot Minnesota Vikings in arguably the most attractive game on the NFL Week 11 odds board.
Meanwhile, looking at college football Week 12 odds, can TCU really keep this up and land in the College Football Playoff? The Horned Frogs visit Baylor in the Big Noon on FOX game Saturday.
Those games and more NFL/college football betting nuggets are here!
Chiefs remain atop Nick’s Week 11 NFL Tiers; Cowboys, Bills plummet & 49ers rise
Nick Wright, Chris Broussard, Kevin Wildes and James Jones reveal Nick’s NFL Tiers entering Week 11 in the NFL.
You Like That!
We can only assume that Vikings QB Kirk Cousins very much liked what happened last week in Buffalo. In a crazy game that both teams tried to give away as much as win, Minnesota won 33-30 in overtime as a 6.5-point underdog.
It’s certainly a resume-building victory, taking down the Bills, who remain the favorite in the Super Bowl odds market at FOX Bet. Since the Philadelphia Eagles suffered their first loss of the season, the Vikings are now tied with Philly for the best record in the NFL. (More on the Eagles below.)
Minnesota is 8-1 straight up (SU) but a middling 4-4-1 against the spread (ATS). However, the Vikes are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games. And yet, the Vikes are short home ‘dogs against the Cowboys (6-3 SU and ATS).
What makes the line even more interesting for this game is this would be the first time since 1976 that a team 8-1 or better (starting its regular quarterback) was a home underdog, per FOX Sports Research. The Raiders’ quaterback Ken Stabler and coach John Madden were two-point home underdogs against the Bengals in 1976, winning outright in a Week 13 matchup.
To dig into the spread further, we spoke with WynnBet senior trader John Manica.
“Are the Vikings 8-1 good? It’s a fair question if you ask me,” Manica said. “[Vikings-Bills] was deemed the game of the year thus far in the NFL, and one could put it in the miracle win category for the Vikings. That’s coupled with a forgettable loss for the Cowboys.”
Indeed. Dallas let a 28-14 fourth-quarter lead slip away at Green Bay, ultimately losing 31-28 in overtime.
“You have the Cowboys favored on the road in this NFC showdown,” Manica said of a 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday kickoff. “The Vikings won a notable outdoor road game against a winning team, and that is worth something. Several bets came in on Vikings at +1.5 and +1, which got the liability and ticket count going up quickly. People will see an 8-1 team as a home ‘dog, making this feel like easy money.
“[But] the market did not react strongly to this action, keeping the number in the same spot. The Cowboys are live in the NFC, especially after the Eagles’ loss, and will pour out everything here against the Vikings. In the end, I believe we will see strong Cowboys backing. It just hasn’t shown up yet. The public is likely to find the Vikings, and the larger bets will show up on the Cowboys later on in the week.”
The Sharp Side
Meanwhile, Green Bay’s win over Dallas halted a five-game SU and 1-5 ATS slide. The Packers (4-6 SU and ATS) are now on a short week but playing at home again against the Tennessee Titans (6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS) on Thursday night.
The Titans are 6-1 SU in their last seven games and have covered the spread in all seven. But one sharp NFL bettor fired on the Packers early this week.
“I played Green Bay moneyline when it opened, at -123,” he said. “In my opinion, the line has now gotten away.”
The Packers are now in the -175 range on the moneyline, while the spread has gone from Green Bay -1.5 to -3.
The sharp bettor also likes the Saints and Commanders this week. He took the Saints at -2 and -3 at home against the flagging and injury-wracked Los Angeles Rams. New Orleans is now up to -3.5.
And he’s on Washington -2.5 at the Houston Texans, a number he bet last week on a look-ahead line. Washington is now -3.5.
“The Rams have the worst offensive line since I can remember. I would play New Orleans regardless of the number this week,” he said. “And the Commanders have one of the best rosters in pro football, they’re a very underrated team.”
That certainly appeared to be the case in the Week 10 Monday Night Football matchup. Washington (5-5 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) ran all over previously unbeaten Philadelphia, notching a 32-21 victory as an 11.5-point road underdog.
Have the Eagles Landed?
Speaking of the Eagles, they were the last of the NFL unbeatens for weeks, and most thought they’d run their record to 9-0 SU against the Commanders. But it wasn’t to be, and Philly now sits at 8-1 SU/5-4 ATS.
Up next: A trip to Indianapolis to face the Colts (4-5-1 SU, 4-6 ATS), who won in their first game under interim coach Jeff Saturday. Indy was a 4-point road underdog against the Las Vegas Raiders and notched a 25-20 victory.
Rex Beyers, a veteran oddsmaker and currently the head of wagering at PlayUp USA, has been an Eagles detractor throughout the season. And he’s not backing off that position this week.
“We need Philly to win and not cover as of now, but it’s very early,” Beyers said Wednesday night, noting the Eagles are 6.5-point favorites. “I like Indianapolis to win the game outright, and I would consider at least looking at some futures prices on the Colts to win the division/AFC, etc. As sorry as they have been most of the year, they are still somehow 4-5-1 and are getting healthy.
“The Colts will need Tennessee to falter some, or they’ll likely need to win no less than five of their last seven to get into the playoffs. But the schedule is hardly unmanageable, especially now that it seems they’ve found a coach with leadership qualities.”
Beyers attended the Colts-Raiders game and noticed a big difference with Indy.
“That was not the same team, especially on offense,” he said. “I think a healthy Matt Ryan and Jonathan Taylor help the Colts do to the Eagles exactly what the Commanders did Monday: Go up and down the field and run scads of plays while doing so, frustrating the Philly offense that’s stuck on the bench in the process.
“Do not be surprised with another outright upset. And Philly’s bye [in Week 7] seems to have come at exactly the wrong time. The season will continue to unravel here, me thinks.”
College Football Rocks on FOX
Let’s jump to the college gridiron and that aforementioned TCU-Baylor tilt in Waco. The Big Noon on FOX game is extremely big for the Horned Frogs, who are 10-0 SU and are the best-spread covering team in the nation at 8-1-1 ATS.
All TCU does is win and cash every week, and did so last week as a 7.5-point road underdog to Texas. The Horned Frogs posted a 17-10 victory to remain No. 4 in the CFP rankings. Baylor (6-4 SU and ATS) is coming off a stunning 31-3 home loss as a 2.5-point favorite against Kansas State.
TCU is a 2.5-point favorite against Baylor, and Beyers said there’s not much to this game yet at his shop. But he knows where the sharp play will be – if the number is right.
“Sharps would surely bet Baylor at +3,” Beyers said.
With the way the Horned Frogs have paid off for bettors all season, there’s no doubt the public/recreational clientele will be on TCU this week.
“The Frogs are coming off a tight, low-scoring game with Texas last week, and Baylor couldn’t find its offense, putting up 3 points against a ranked Kansas state team,” FOX Bet sports trader AndiRose Buccola said. “The line at TCU -2.5 is favorable for TCU fans, even playing on the road in Waco this weekend. The Frogs have their CFP lives on the line and will play like it on Saturday.”
FOX also airs a Pac-12 showdown Saturday night. USC (9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) – trying to remain in the College Football Playoff conversation – travels to face crosstown rival UCLA (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS).
The Trojans are consensus 2.5-point favorites for the 8 p.m. ET kickoff.
Wiseguys Back the Bolts
The Los Angeles Chargers were a trendy offseason play in the Super Bowl odds market. But more than halfway through the season, L.A. is a modest 5-4 SU (6-3 ATS).
After a tough road loss Sunday night at San Francisco, the Chargers again play on Sunday night and face another tough challenge, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS).
For the past two seasons, multiple oddsmakers noted that sharp bettors often like the Chargers as underdogs. That’s the case again this week, with Kansas City opening -7 and dropping to -5.5 by midweek.
“It has been all Chargers action thus far,” WynnBet’s Manica said. “We took respectable wagers [Wednesday], driving our price and the market down to the current number of 5.5. The 7s disappeared on Monday morning, bringing us to 6.5, where we stayed with little action until a bet at +6.5 and two more shortly after that took us from -6 to -5.5.
“I assume K.C. will find some backers at -5.5, but they have not shown up yet. I expect the usual tight game these two teams have played against each other recently. Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes is elite quarterback play and always worth the watch. The points are valuable in this prime-time matchup.”
Back in Week 2, the Chiefs held off the Chargers 27-24, though L.A. covered as a 4-point road ‘dog.
Why Josh Allen’s decline isn’t so shocking according to Nick Wright
Nick tells Colin why he is not shocked to see Allen and the Bills in this place after Week 10.
Buffalo (6-3 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) is certainly smarting from the aforementioned 33-30 home loss to Minnesota. The Bills get to stay home again this week as they attempt to bounce back. And it looked as if Josh Allen and Co. would have to go dashing through the snow if they wished to win on Sunday.
Said WynnBet’s Manica on Wednesday night:
“This is going to be an interesting clash on Sunday, as the excepted snow fall is in the [two-foot] range, with high winds also expected in Orchard Park. The Under got absolutely crushed once trustable weather data came to the forefront Tuesday. I arrived at WynnBET at 6 a.m. and immediately moved our number from 46 to 45, staying with the move down to 42.5.
“We saw some small resistance at different levels on the way down, but [Wednesday], we had serious Over bets at 41 and 41.5. Clearly, Under 46 or 47 is great, but that might have gone too far around 41.”
Indeed. With a 6-point range between the highest and lowest totals, WynnBet had a lot of real estate to guard against.
“People playing the total early will surely be looking for a nice middle,” Manica said, noting a bettor could’ve played Under 47 Monday and come back on Over 41 Wednesday.
However, on Thursday afternoon, the NFL moved the game from Buffalo to Detroit, indoors to Ford Field. That changed the whole dynamic of this matchup.
For starters, WynnBet refunded all wagers that were made before the NFL’s decision. But that wasn’t the case everywhere. House rules differ from book to book; for example, at The SuperBook, all bets are live action, regardless of where the game is played.
All sportsbooks then took the game off the board and reposted with odds better reflecting a neutral-site game at an indoor stadium. The consensus new line: Bills -7.5, with a total of 48.5.
Prior to the decision to move the game, Manica noted the Browns were getting early action. Bettors expected bad weather to hamper Buffalo and its high-octane offense more so than Cleveland, with the potential for a low-scoring and close game. The Bills opened -9.5 at WynnBet and got bet down to -8.
Now, even though the Bills have to travel, the line looks as if it will only adjust a half-point to -7.5, for the moment. And the total got that big boost, with no weather to account for.
Does This Look Right to You?
The New York Giants are far better than oddsmakers and bettors anticipated this season, currently sitting at 7-2 SU and ATS. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions are 3-6 SU/5-4 ATS. But the G-Men are only 3-point home favorites in Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff on FOX.
That’s in part due to the Lions rising up the last two weeks, with a 15-9 home win over Green Bay and a 31-30 road victory over Chicago. New York also won last week but was lackluster in a 24-16 road victory over Houston.
“Detroit outscored Chicago 21-6 in the fourth quarter last week, and the Giants needed every yard of Saquon Barkley’s 152 rushing yards to get past a weak Texans team,” FOX Bet’s Buccola said. “The Lions’ defense is improving weekly, and [the Lions are] finding a way to win at the end of their games. The Giants find themselves outside the top 15 in all four win-rate categories: pass rush, pass block, run block and run stop.
“This will be a tough matchup for New York, even as a home favorite.”
I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie
Sportsbooks haven’t yet reported much in the way of #MajorWagers on NFL Week 11 or college football Week 12 games. But a couple of leftovers from Monday Night Football found one bettor delighted and the other depleted.
Caesars Sports had a customer put $95,000 on the Commanders +11 against the host Eagles. As noted above, Washington nabbed the stunning 32-21 outright victory, Philadelphia’s first loss of the season.
On the flip side was a high-roller with BetMGM, hoping to just play it safe by betting the Eagles on the moneyline. All Philly had to do was win the game. The bettor put a whopping $331,000 on Eagles -550, and if Philly had won, that customer would’ve netted $60,182.
It’s pretty nice ROI – as long as the big favorite wins. If not, well, not so much.
So I’ll remind you all: Never bet more than you can afford to lose. Have fun with this. #ChilisMoney and all that. Enjoy the football this 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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