Written By Billy Attridge
Week 12 is here, and with it comes a fascinating betting board with three games that have seen significant movement that we’ll touch on below. An AFC West team with a backup quarterback is only catching four points at Buffalo; is that line done moving? Have we seen too much adjustment on the Falcons total? And finally, does Los Angeles have the personnel to challenge a red-hot Ravens club? Before investing your hard-earned money this weekend, find out why these numbers moved. As always, we trek west to the desert and reveal Vegas look ahead lines for Week 13.
Denver +4 (-106) at Buffalo:
At 7-3 off a trip to South Florida where Buffalo handled Miami, the Bills find themselves in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Meanwhile, Denver flies into Western New York after a second half meltdown at Minnesota, a game in which they led 20-0 at halftime. So we have a 3-7 west coast team starting a backup quarterback whose playoffs hopes are relatively dead, flying across country for a 1:00pm kick, against the AFC Wild Card leader … and the line dropped from +5.5 at FoxBet.com to the current number? The market is screaming Broncos here, and when we analyze why, it’s very apparent. Denver has faced a much more challenging schedule thus far; facing an average opposing offense and defense ranked in the Top 12, while Buffalo has faced the easiest schedule of offenses and the 3rd easiest slate of defenses. Digging further, we’ve mentioned multiple times in these articles how poor the Bills run defense has been (27th in rush defense efficiency against the EASIEST slate of opposing rush attacks), and now get to face the 10th most efficient rush offense in Denver that has Thunder (Freeman) and Lightning (Lindsey) to gash this Bills front. On the other side of the ball, we’ve seen Josh Allen really excel against bottom feeder defenses, but when the competition increases, the struggles begin. Against defenses ranked in the Top 15 in overall defensive efficiency this year, Buffalo is 1-3 with an average of 14 points per game. Denver+4 and money line +185 simply will not last.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta Over 51 (-110):
Two of the most disappointing teams in football play for the right to remain out of the NFC South basement. Instead of focusing on the spread, let’s take a peak at the total and the interesting movement we’ve seen thus far. 54.5 was the FoxBet.com opener, and we saw early money come in and shape the number down to 52.5, before more money (yes, professional), moved it down to the key of 51. This is where things get interesting, and knowing the intent of a move early in the week is imperative to have long term success in this business. It’s why chasing screen steam will not work in 2019. We saw a slight move back to the OVER at 51, and many shops are trending back towards 51.5. Atlanta, after coming off their bye has shown life on the defensive side of the ball after changing play-callers and making a few adjustments in the secondary (Trufant to the slot, Kazee to free safety). Overall, the energy is different and Atlanta has held New Orleans and Carolina to a combined 12 points on the road the past two weeks. Now, if you’re gauging defensive performance, you cannot simply look at “points allowed” over a two game sample size and think things have been magically fixed. The Falcons still allowed over 660 yards in those two games, but were fortunate that both opponents turned the ball over multiple times in their red zone. Both of these pass defenses still rank in the bottom five in defensive pass efficiency, and both offenses want to push the ball down the field. Say what you will about Jamies Winston, the guy consistently drives the ball deep when throwing. Both offenses should have plenty of success through the air in a Dome, and at the key number of 51, we’re not surprised some support for the OVER has shown.
Baltimore @ Los Angeles Rams +3.5 (-115):
Baltimore is the hottest team in football, and the ball club drawing the most attention from the betting public so far in Week 12. Let’s start with the number. On the look ahead lines for Week 12, Baltimore opened PICK’em at Los Angeles before last week’s games were played. Obviously, we saw Baltimore annihilate Houston; dominating in all aspects of the game, while the Rams once again looked lackluster in their win against the train-wreck that is Trubisky and the Chicago Bears. An adjustment out to the key number of “3”, and even through it, is a massive stretch. The Rams stack up well here, especially on the defensive side. LA has some of the tools to slow down Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense. Keep in mind, Baltimore has faced the 2nd easiest schedule of opposing defenses thus far, and they’ll be stepping up in class against Wade Phillips’ Rams defense currently ranked 8th overall in defensive efficiency — and they’ve really taken another step with the addition of Jalen Ramsey. LA is also boasts the 3rd most efficient rush defense in the NFL, which, again, is another step up in class for Baltimore, who has only faced ONE top ten rush defense (Pittsburgh), a game where they averaged only 3.8 yards per play. The total in this game has also dropped, from 49 to 46.5, which indicates agreement with the opinion that Baltimore may not torch the scoreboard. The Rams could have reinforcements back on the offensive side of the football, with Cooks coming returning and possibly Woods, as well. Bottom line, this number is inflated, but with all the support likely coming on the Ravens Monday, you may be best served waiting closer to kick to grab a better number on the Rams.
Vegas Look Ahead Lines for NFL Week 13:
Detroit -1.5 vs. Chicago
Dallas -7 vs. Buffalo
New Orleans -5.5 @ Atlanta
Green Bay -7.5 @ New York Giants
Carolina -9 vs. Washington
Baltimore -4.5 vs. San Francisco
Indianapolis -3.5 vs. Tennessee
Philadelphia -7.5 @ Miami
Kansas City -8.5 vs. Oakland
Jacksonville -4.5 vs. Tampa Bay
New York Jets -3.5 @ Cincinnati
Denver -2.5 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Pittsburgh -3 vs. Cleveland
New England -4.5 @ Houston
Seattle -3 vs. Minnesota