Without a marquee game on the Sunday schedule, sportsbooks will be relying on the overall power of the NFL to carry the day in Week 10.
The most interesting game – and not just because it’s one of only two games between teams with winning records – has the Buffalo Bills (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (5-4).
The Cardinals opened as 1.5-point favorites, and the line had moved to 3 on Saturday. That’s even though the public was backing the surging Bills following last week’s surprising blowout of the Seattle Seahawks. By Sunday morning, the line had settled at Arizona -2.5.
Even though we moved the points, we’ve got Bills money,” said Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, to Casino.org.
“This is a case of a sharp bettor’s initial move against the general public. It doesn’t surprise me. The Bills are up a game-and-a-half over the Dolphins in the (AFC East), and the Cardinals are a game behind in the (NFC West), and they need this.”
The total has soared from 53 to 56.5.
“You look at last week’s games with nobody stopping anyone. They think that trend will continue this week,” Avello said.
Last Call for 49ers?
The San Francisco 49ers almost won the Super Bowl last year and were among the favorites to win it this year. Now, because of a roster slammed by injuries, they’re 4-5 and almost out of time in the powerful NFC. A case could be made their top five players are on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Saints (6-2) look strong with the returns of receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
Predictably, the Saints have gone from 7.5-point favorites to 9.5.
This is probably the 49ers’ last shot to stay in the playoff hunt. The thing about the Saints is they’re 6-2 overall, but 3-5 in the spread. They’re just not a good cover team. But they have been bet up to 9.5,” Avello said.
The biggest favorite of the week is Green Bay (6-2), with the Packers 14-point favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The weather will be miserable – cold, rainy and windy – but the Jaguars (1-7) have lost seven straight.
“This will be in every, single moneyline parlay. The Packers will be heavily bet,” Avello said.
No Showdown on Sunday Night
The Sunday night game is usually the marquee showdown of the week. Not this one, with the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) being 7-point favorites at the New England Patriots (3-5).
While it’s simplistic to say, New England’s demise might have settled the question of who deserved more credit for its six-championship dynasty. While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are flourishing with quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots are struggling under coach Bill Belichick.
They were lucky to get the win against the [winless] Jets last week,” Avello said. “They’re not making the playoffs. You don’t usually hear those words. That’s something that’s been imbedded in our lives to see this team every, single year. But it’s just not going to happen this year.”
The Ravens are undefeated on the road and need a win to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC South.
“I expect to see Ravens money on the side, Ravens moneyline money. We’ll be loaded up on the Ravens,” Avello said.
Sure enough, at FanDuel, 92 percent of the money is on Baltimore, making it the most lopsided game of the week.
Week 10 Schedule
Here is the full schedule, with betting lines from DraftKings. The game of the week was played Thursday, with the Indianapolis Colts beating the Tennessee Titans, meaning Tennessee fans took another beating at their new sportsbooks.
- Buccaneers at Panthers (+6), 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Texans at Browns (-4), 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Football Team at Lions (-3.5), 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Jaguars at Packers (-4), 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Eagles at Giants (+4), 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Bills at Cardinals (-2.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- Broncos at Raiders (-3.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- Jets at Dolphins (-1.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- Bengals at Steelers (-7), 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- Seahawks at Rams (-2.5), 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- 49ers at Saints (-9.5), 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- Ravens at Patriots (+7), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
- Vikings at Bears (+3), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)