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Before you make your NFL bets in the divisional round, 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 this week's slate.
Green Bay opened at -7 (-120) and was adjusted down to -7 flat before a couple of sharp plays moved the juice even more. By Friday, that line was adjusted to Rams +7 (-120) thanks to a 3-to-1 advantage in money wagered on Los Angeles.
"We’ve been basically flip-flopping the juice back and forth," Rood said.
Still, the public is predictably riding the Packers, who have drawn twice as many straight-bet tickets and are pulling six times as much money in the parlay market. It's a similar story on teasers, where bettors are buying Green Bay as short chalk.
The tightest game in oddsmakers' minds has been a mostly one-sided play for bettors, who are buying into the Bills despite a letdown performance a week ago.
This contest opened at Buffalo -2.5 (-120), which drew some early attention from Ravens bettors and eventually nudged this line down to 2. A half-limit play on the Bills at that number bumped it back to 2.5, where bettors have played Buffalo at a 5-to-2 clip on money despite a marginal advantage in bet slips.
"Again, we’ve been basically flip-flopping to vig at 2.5," Rood said. “The last couple of big plays have been Bills, and I’d say they’ve been fairly sharp."
The week's biggest underdogs have also drawn a fair amount of attention from big-money bettors, who have prompted this line to shorten from 10 to 9.5 entering the weekend.
The Chiefs saw a small bit of action at -10 (even), but a couple of sharp plays on the Browns at +10 have prompted an adjustment and given Cleveland a 2-to-1 advantage in money wagered on a near-even ticket count. Some bettors have even taken a shot on the underdogs at +375.
"The Browns are making believers," Rood said.
Public bettors still like the Chiefs, laying twice as much money on them in parlays. That could be risky - the last 18 teams to rest their starters in Week 17 ahead of a first-round bye are 5-13 against the spread and just 9-9 straight up.
The final game of the divisional round has also drawn the least money entering the weekend. Those who are betting this one are taking the points in the third matchup between these division rivals.
The Buccaneers have enjoyed a 2-to-1 advantage in money wagered on straight bets on an even ticket count, thanks in part to one sharp player who took them at +3 (even). A few bettors have also taken a shot on Tampa Bay's moneyline (+145) after the team lost to the Saints in the prior two meetings.
None of that was enough to move this game off 3, where it'll likely remain barring a surprise flood of sharp money in either direction.
(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.