3 early point spreads to keep an eye on
13 weeks into the NFL season and we have almost achieved a perfect balance between favorites and underdogs.
Heading into Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, underdogs are 91-93-8 (49.46%) against the spread this season. The dogs actually hold a slight edge over the last month, going 38-36-2 against the number.
Keep those numbers in mind, as we examine three games today that all feature red flags pointing you in the direction of the underdog.
CLICK HERE for all of the Week 14 lines.
NEW YORK GIANTS (6-6, 3-3 road) at DALLAS COWBOYS (7-5, 5-1 home)
Time: 8:20pm ET (Sunday night)
Opening line: Dallas -4.5
Current line: Dallas -3.5
Current betting trends: 83% of the public is currently backing the Giants.
Analysis: The Giants and Cowboys get together for the first of two battles that will take place over the next four weeks with NFC East supremacy hanging in the balance. Big Blue is reeling—they’ve dropped four straight—and desperately needs a win on Sunday if they want another shot at the Green Bay Packers in the postseason.
ICONRomo and the Cowboys have had some problems with the New York Giants as of late.
Despite the fact that the Cowboys are 5-1 at home this season, keep in mind that Jason Garrett’s team is just 2-4 against the spread in those six matchups. The Cowboys may have won four of their last five games, but two of those wins include escape-job victories against the Redskins and Dolphins. And don’t forget about the embarrassing road loss that went down last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
It’s no surprise to see the early money coming in on New York in this spot. The Giants are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the Cowboys while the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four matchups between these two teams. Not only that, but New York is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games in Dallas.
Be sure to take note of the total (49) for this showdown. The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings between New York and Dallas, with an average of 62 points per game being scored.
Interesting trends: The Giants are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games as a road underdog of 0.5-3.0, while the Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against NFC East opponents.
The pick: Giants (+3.5) and the over (49)
OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-5, 4-2 road) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-0, 5-0 home)
Time: 4:15pm ET
Opening line: Green Bay -12
Current line: Green Bay -11
Current betting trends: 86% of the public is currently backing the Packers.
Analysis: Having watched the Raiders get lambasted at Miami last Sunday to the tune of a 34-14 ass-kicking at the hands of the Dolphins, it’s no surprise to see Green Bay getting 86% of the love early in the week.
What IS surprising is the fact that despite the action coming in on the Packers, the line has moved one point towards the Raiders. That means there’s some big-time cash backing the Silver & Black.
Prior to Sunday’s meltdown in South Beach, the Raiders had covered three straight spreads, including two on the road at San Diego and Minnesota. In fact, Oakland had covered the number in five of their previous seven matchups before last Sunday’s debacle. Be advised that the Raiders are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a straight-up loss.
As for the Packers, we all know this team can ball. Just remember that Green Bay is 8-17-2 ATS in their last 27 games as a favorite of 10.5 or more.
Interesting trends: The Raiders are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games, while the Packers are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games as a favorite.
The pick: Raiders (+11)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-3, 3-3 road) at TENNESSEE TITANS (7-5, 4-2 home)
Time: 1:00pm ET
Opening line: New Orleans -4.5
Current line: New Orleans -3.5
Current betting trends: 93% of the public is currently backing the Saints.
Analysis: Uh-oh. It looks like we have another potential trap game on our hands as the red-hot Saints travel to Tennessee to take on a Titans team that is still very much alive in the AFC playoff hunt.
Will a suddenly reborn Chris Johnson pave the way for a Tennessee upset?
93% of the early action has come in on the Saints, which means that oddsmakers should be moving the line up—but they aren’t. In fact, the spread for this game has actually moved one point towards the Titans, once again indicating that some big cheese has been placed on Tennessee.
New Orleans has covered the line in four straight contests, but is just 2-4 ATS on the road this season. I’m sure you all remember their two big letdowns at Tampa Bay and St. Louis.
Meanwhile, the Titans have quietly covered in four straight games and are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog of 3.5-10.0.
Interesting trends: New Orleans is 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as a road favorite, while the Titans are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as a home underdog.
The pick: Screw the trends. I’ll ride with the red-hot Saints (-3.5).
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh