The weather may be getting colder but action at the sportsbook is heating up.
Oddsmakers have been moving NFL Week 15 lines all over the board as money pours in. We talk with veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro, of William Hill Nevada, about the biggest adjustments heading into the weekend:
New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons – Open: Pick, Move: -1.5
The early money has jumped on the Falcons, coming off an upset loss to the Panthers last week. However, Vaccaro expects the public to side with the Giants before kickoff Sunday.
“I think we’ll still end up rooting for Atlanta in the end,” Vaccaro told Covers. “The general public has been going against Atlanta the last few weeks.”
Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams – Open: -3, Move: -1
The Rams have been a solid home bet this season but bettors have moved them from field-goal faves to -1 as of Thursday afternoon, with the majority of action on Minnesota and red-hot RB Adrian Peterson.
“The early money is more a bet on Peterson than on the Minnesota Vikings,” says Vaccaro. Seattle Seahawks vs. Buffalo Bills – Open: +4, Move: +5.5
This spread has moved up since post, with money on the Seahawks. Vaccaro says having this game inside in Toronto and not in the December cold of Ralph Wilson Stadium is a big reason why Buffalo is becoming an even bigger underdog.
“This is worth something – I’m not sure how much,” he says of the venue difference. “The people in Buffalo don’t like it, having to blow a home game and you’re not going to get them packing up and heading to Canada to watch a football game.”
Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys – Open: Pick, Move: +1.5
The early bets came in on Pittsburgh, pushing this spread to Steelers -1.5, but Vaccaro expects that action to even out by Sunday, especially with the public following the Cowboys have.
“Both teams are 7-6 and you can basically color whichever team loses out of the playoff picture,” says Vaccaro. “If I’m staring at this one on Sunday before kickoff, I expect the action to be split right down the middle.”
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots – Open: -3, Move: -6
The Patriots’ win over Houston Monday is worth about three points to the spread, moving the opening number of -3 to -6 as of Thursday. Vaccaro says it’s been nothing but New England money this week.
“New England is one of those few teams that when they drub somebody, it’s hard for the public not to bet on them,” he says. “Early last week, we took Houston money and went as low as -3 for a while before we shot up to -6. That’s the power of the betting public.”
As for the total, this number has shrunk since opening at 48 points. Early money on the under had dropped the total to 46.5. Sunday night’s forecast is calling for a 53 percent chance of rain and temperatures in the low 30s.