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Before you make your NFL bets this weekend, it's worth knowing which side other bettors are backing - especially on games drawing sharp action.
We talked to Jay Rood, Bet.Works' chief risk officer and theScore Bet's head trader, to see how sharps and public bettors are playing a busy Week 2 slate.
Last week, no team was faded harder by the betting public than the Jaguars. After they stunned the Colts as 7-point underdogs, bettors changed their tune, backing Jacksonville more than any team in Week 2.
The Jags have drawn a couple of sharp plays against the Titans and plenty of public money, moving this line from 10 to 7. Jacksonville has seen nine times as many straight bet tickets with no offsetting money on Tennessee, and bettors are playing the road 'dogs in parlays and on the moneyline.
"To come all the way from 10 is a pretty strong opinion," Rood said. “We’re gonna be big Tennessee Titans fans."
It'll take a lot for the Jaguars to pull it off twice in a row. Teams coming off an outright win as a 7-point or more underdog are 6-23-1 against the spread in their last 30 games when getting at least seven points in the next matchup, with just two outright wins in that stretch.
Early bettors favored the Cardinals, who opened as 6.5-point favorites and settled at -7 later in the week. Since then, it's been all Washington, attempting to pull off a similar feat as the Jaguars in back-to-back spots as a hefty underdog.
"It's generally public play, and mostly good two-way," Rood said. "We just don't want to see this game land at 7."
The game of the week for bettors is easily this one, where sharps and squares are split between two talented but inconsistent NFC squads.
Public bettors are backing the Rams, who beat a banged-up Cowboys team Sunday night to open their new stadium. While L.A. sees twice as many tickets written, the money is 2-to-1 in favor of Philadelphia, which blew a second-half lead to Washington in Week 1.
"If the Eagles had held onto their lead, this game would easily be -2.5 or -3 in their favor," Rood said.
Instead, this line bounced around all week, opening at Eagles -1.5 and briefly flirting with pick 'em before moving toward Philly heading into the weekend. A run of parlay tickets on the Rams suggests more public money ahead, but sharps have taken a firm position on the home team.
"That's a game that's moving against the public, and they're probably scratching their heads," Rood said. "It's a typical 'fire right back' game for the sharp community."
The margins aren't quite so pronounced as in the Rams-Eagles game, but the betting community is also torn on an under-the-radar matchup from the AFC East.
The public is all-in on the Bills this week, buying them at a 3-to-1 clip in straight-bet ticket count with an 11-to-1 advantage in parlay money. Sharps are taking a contrarian stance, pushing Miami to a 3-to-1 advantage in money ahead of Sunday.
The Dolphins went 1-4 ATS last year when getting at least six points at home, while Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen has been a road favorite just twice since entering the league in 2018. He's 2-0 ATS in those games, including last year's 37-20 win in Miami.
The week's final game could prove to be the most important one for books, as the public is lining up its parlays on the big Week 2 favorites.
That includes the Saints, who are nearly dead even in ticket count and moneyline bets with the Raiders but have a clear advantage in parlay money. For the second straight week, sharp money sides with Las Vegas, as one big play on the home 'dog pushed the money to a 10-to-1 advantage in its favor ahead of Monday night.
That's just fine with Rood, who expects money to come down on the Saints as kickoff nears. If the favorites take care of business on Sunday, this game could carry an even greater significance.
"As the weekend progresses, we’re going to need the Raiders eventually," Rood said.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.