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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 3 slate.
Sunday's most-bet game might also be its best, as bettors are split right down the middle on a clash of two NFC favorites.
The Saints opened as 3.5-point favorites over the Packers and were quickly bet down to -3, but the side action has remained even since then, with these teams just $500 apart on spread bets as of Friday afternoon.
"We're getting great two-way there," Rood said. "We're getting great two-way on the moneyline, as well. This is shaping up to be a pretty evenly wagered-on event."
That sounds great for oddsmakers, but there's a catch: The game is also drawing plenty of parlay activity on both sides, which is a dangerous proposition for a Sunday night affair. If favorites clean up during the afternoon, bettors on both sides could be awaiting big paydays on the last leg of their parlays.
"We could be looking at a little bit of a loser either way because of the parlays," Rood said. "That's a big game for us."
For the third straight week, sharps are buying the Raiders - this time in a different spot.
Las Vegas covered as a road favorite in Week 1 and won outright as a home underdog in Week 2. The team opened as a 7-point road 'dog against the Patriots this week, but wiseguys have driven that line down to +5.5 heading into the weekend.
The public is still backing Cam Newton and Co. with 60% of the tickets wagered, but the money leans 7-to-1 in favor of Las Vegas in one of the most-bet games of the weekend. Parlay activity is split down the middle, too, setting up Sunday's tilt as a classic Pros-versus-Joes affair.
The line has remained steady, though the Giants are priced at +4 (-120) after a run of money on the home underdogs, including one big bet Wednesday as Jimmy Garoppolo's status grew murkier for San Francisco. Bettors are taking the Giants on the moneyline, too, hoping for an upset over last year's top NFC seed.
"The 49ers are so banged up, I think it's driving some of this speculation," Rood said.
Despite San Francisco's injuries on offense, a handful of sizable wagers to the over at 41, 41.5, and 42 have driven up the total. The over had a 150-to-1 edge in money as of Friday afternoon, though the total could drop more in line with the market as kickoff nears.
Even one of the worst collapses in NFL history can't keep the public away from this high-powered Falcons squad.
The Bears opened as 3.5-point underdogs and drew a large wager to move that line to 3. Bettors have piled on Atlanta since then: The Falcons have a 6-to-1 lean in parlay bets and a 7-to-1 edge on the moneyline (-170), suggesting more spread bets could be on their way by Sunday to offset the early Chicago liability.
"I think we're gonna draw good money to them," Rood said of the Falcons. "It looks like it could be fairly balanced by game time."
Monday night games usually take some time to draw action, but this week is a clear exception with the league's two best teams set to face off in prime time.
The Ravens have drawn more money from the outset, but the Chiefs are still pulling roughly 40% of the handle on the game with parlay activity split both ways. Much of that is on the moneyline, as is to be expected for a game of this caliber.
"They're betting it like the Super Bowl," Rood said. "They're betting the point spread on the favorite and taking a shot on the moneyline."
Bets on the total are decidedly in favor of the over, which has drawn 40 times as much money as the under and pushed the total up from 53 to 53.5 - a number that could keep climbing as the public locks in on this game closer to kickoff.
(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.