NFL action report: Sharps hammering Jaguars in preseason opener at Patriots

Aug 10, 2017 |
NFL action report: Sharps hammering Jaguars in preseason opener at Patriots
“The sharps clearly dominate the market as opposed to the regular season. The disparity is enormous.”
Photo By - USA Today Images
“The sharps clearly dominate the market as opposed to the regular season. The disparity is enormous.”
Photo By - USA Today Images

The first full week of NFL preseason play is highlighted by Thursday night’s seven-game slate, including a return to the field for the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Covers checks in on tonight’s action with Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US in Nevada, and with the lines manager for offshore sportsbook GTBets.com.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots – Open: -4.5; Move: -4; Move: -3.5; Move: -3

Seven months ago, Tom Brady led the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, rallying New England from a 28-3 deficit to a 34-28 overtime victory against Atlanta. But not surprisingly, there’ll be no Brady on the field for this 7:30 p.m. ET exhibition, with Jimmy Garoppolo getting the starting nod.

Jacksonville starting QB Blake Bortles is expected to get at least a little time, and perhaps that’s influencing the wagering on this contest.

“They’re betting the ‘dog and the under there,” Bogdanovich said, noting the total dipped from 40.5 to 39.5 earlier today. “They’re thinking New England ain’t playing anybody.”

And as with most preseason play – particular the first week or two – it’s largely sharp action in play.

“I would agree with that 100 percent,” Bogdanovich said. “The sharps clearly dominate the market as opposed to the regular season. The disparity is enormous.”
GTBets opened the Pats -5.5 and, as at William Hill, has seen that line drop substantially.

“The Pats started the day at -3.5, with the line moving down to 3 (this morning), despite the fact that two-thirds of the action is on New England,” GTBets’ lines manager said.

Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins – Open: Pick; Move: +1; Move: +1.5; Move: +2.5; Move: +2; Move: +1.5

Miami lost starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a partially torn ACL a week ago, then scrambled to talk Jay Cutler out of retirement as the expected new starter. But Cutler won’t be starting tonight, with backup Matt Moore getting the call. Atlanta will trot out stud QB Matt Ryan, but probably for no more than one series.

“We opened Atlanta pick and got up as high as Atlanta -2.5,” Bogdanovich said of this 7 p.m. ET start. “Now we’re down to Atlanta -1.5. So there’s been some two-way action on that game.”

GTBets pegged the Dolphins a 2-point chalk on the opening line.

“But over the past few days, things have taken a turn, and they now sit as a 1-point dog to the away Falcons,” GTBets’ lines manager said. “Two-thirds of the betting action is on Atlanta, most of which was bet at the current line, so it would seem that the sharps missed out on their value, at least with GTBets. I would be surprised if we see this line move any more before the kick.”

Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens – Open: -1; Move: +1; Move: +1.5

Baltimore won’t trot out Joe Flacco for this 7:30 p.m. kick, as the QB continues recovering from a back injury, so Ryan Mallett will likely see plenty of action. Washington will have its top QB in Kirk Cousins, though he probably won’t hang around for long in this quasi-rivalry of NFL neighbors.

“This game has drawn pretty good action,” Bogdanovich said. “Baltimore was the favorite, but now Washington is. It’s been pretty much all Washington money.”


Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.


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