Sports NFL Week 8 Pros vs Joes: Public fading Patriots, Dolphins

00:51  01 november  2020
00:51  01 november  2020 Source:   thescore.com

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Before you make your NFL bets this weekend, it's worth knowing who other bettors are backing - especially on games drawing sharp action.

We talked with Jay Rood, Bet.Works' chief risk officer and theScore Bet's head trader, to see how sharps and public bettors are playing the Week 8 slate.

Rams (-3.5, 46) @ Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET

The Rams are the public favorites this week as short road chalk against the well-rested Dolphins in Tua Tagovailoa's first start.

Los Angeles had a 5-to-1 advantage in money wagered and tickets placed ahead of the weekend, aided by an early sharp bet at -3.5 that helped push the line to 4.5 by midweek. Some offsetting money on the 'Fins has brought this game back to its opening number of 3.5, though the heavy parlay activity on the road favorite suggests more money could be coming in straight bets, too.

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"This game is trending very hard toward the Rams for the public," Rood said.

Vikings @ Packers (-6, 49.5), 1 p.m.

The Packers opened as touchdown favorites over the Vikings, though bettors have taken a hard stance the other way in this NFC North showdown.

Minnesota was drawing four times as much money, including at least one sizable wager, to nudge the line down to 6.5. That number dropped to 6 after news that Aaron Jones would miss Sunday's game, and that's where it sits as of Saturday afternoon.

Surprisingly, though, Green Bay is the most-bet team in parlays despite many public bettors favoring the Vikings on straight bets. That could make for a volatile situation for sportsbooks come Sunday.

"I'm assuming we're going to see significantly more Packer activity pick up over the weekend," Rood said. "I'm sure we'll need the Vikings to knock down some parlay liability and even some straight-bet liability, too."

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Patriots @ Bills (-4.5, 40.5), 1 p.m.

This was the most balanced game entering the weekend, as bets were separated by a mere $300 as of late Friday.

The Bills have seen three times as many bet slips in their favor, though the average wager on the Patriots is three times as large thanks in part to one sharp bet on New England +4. Strong parlay activity on Buffalo suggests more public money could tip the scales, as we've already seen with this line climbing to 4.5.

Bettors are taking a strong position on the total, too, which opened at 44 and has already dropped to 40.5. These two teams are 11-3 to the under in their last 14 meetings with a total of 40.5 or below.

Steelers @ Ravens (-4.5, 46.5), 1 p.m.

It's been a theme this year and it's true again this week: Bettors are mostly staying away from the best game on the board.

Those who are playing this game have favored the Ravens, who were drawing four times as much money as their bitter rivals entering the weekend. Parlay bettors are still siding with the Steelers at a 2-to-1 clip, though that hasn't been enough to keep this number from climbing a full point from its opening mark of 3.5.

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Still, even with the early Baltimore money, Rood says he's trying to "lay low" on this line in anticipation of some strong buyback before kickoff.

"We're kind of where we wanted to be on this game," Rood said Friday. "I would imagine we're going to see a bunch of activity on the Steelers coming in."

(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.

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