‘All the money is on Michigan so far’

In the NFL Week 13 odds market, you aren’t going to find a more intriguing matchup than 49ersEagles. There might not be a better matchup this entire regular season. All we need this time is for Brock Purdy to stay healthy so that the rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game lives up to its full billing.

The San Francisco-Philadelphia contest is rightly FOX’s Game of the Week.

It’s also conference championship weekend. The college football Week 14 oddsboard is lit up with interesting games, most notably OregonWashington in the Pac-12, GeorgiaAlabama in the SEC, and MichiganIowa in the Big Ten, with a point spread that looks more like a total for the low-scoring Hawkeyes.

Let’s get to it as oddsmakers and sharp bettors dive into this week’s NFL and college football betting nuggets.

NFL Rocks on FOX

Niners-Eagles is appointment viewing at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX and FOX Sports app. After a three-game hiccup, San Fran is on a three-game winning streak, improving to 8-3 straight up (SU), though the 49ers are a more modest 6-5 against the spread (ATS).

Philly has lost just once this season, somehow tumbling to the New York Jets. The Eagles (10-1 SU, 7-2-2 ATS) have since won five in a row SU, including a Week 12 screamer in the rain against the Buffalo Bills. A Jalen Hurts TD in overtime gave the Eagles a 37-34 victory as 2.5-point favorites.

In last season’s NFC title tilt, the Eagles rolled to a 31-7 victory. But as alluded to above, San Fran lost Purdy to an elbow injury early in the game. For Sunday’s showdown, PointsBet sports trader Ethan Useloff said action has swayed depending on whether the spread is 2.5 or 3 points.

“With this spread sitting around the field-goal mark, bettors are keen to back the 49ers at the 2.5-point handicap. However, as this has shifted to 3 points, the Eagles covering this spread has become the popular pick among the public,” Useloff said. “The movement came from sharp action on the 49ers -2.5, and the market looks to continue moving toward the 49ers.”

As of late Wednesday night, San Francisco is -3.5 (-105) at PointsBet. The moneyline — betting solely on which team will win the game, regardless of the point spread — is at San Fran -150/Philly +125. If you like the home ‘dog at plus money, then what that means is that a $100 bet would profit $125 if the Eagles win.

And early bettors like Eagles moneyline.

“Our moneyline liability sits with the Eagles as the underdog,” Useloff said. “So an ideal result would be the 49ers winning a low-scoring contest by a point or two.”

Indeed, that would be the sweet spot for bookmakers, narrow as it is: A 49ers win and an Eagles cover.

Are Eagles disrespected as (+2.5) underdogs vs. 49ers?

NFL Sharp Side

Professional bettor Randy McKay has no interest in Niners-Eagles or any of the other high-profile NFL games this week. Up first: Under 40.5 for the total in the ChargersPatriots matchup.

“What motivation do both teams have here?” McKay queried, alluding to L.A. and New England having poor seasons, particularly the Pats. “The New England QB situation lends to grinding it out with the running game. On the other side, the L.A. offense is banged up and not explosive. So this sets up for a game in which it will be difficult for either team to get into the 20s.”

McKay is also involved in PanthersBuccaneers, playing Carolina — awful as it is, at 1-10 SU/2-8-1 ATS — as a 5.5-point road underdog. The Panthers just fired coach Frank Reich.

“We have seen teams get a boost from firing a coach midseason. I believe we get that here with a one-win team,” McKay said. “Tampa Bay comes into this game banged up on defense, and Baker Mayfield (ankle) is banged up, as well. This is a plug-your-nose special. Take Carolina +5.5.”

McKay also likes the Titans +1.5 against the visiting Colts.

“The Colts won the earlier matchup 23-16,” McKay said, noting a Week 5 decision. “But Titans coach Mike Vrabel has owned Indy in the AFC South and is very good with his team as an underdog. QB Will Levis has played well in his rookie season, especially at home. Colts QB Gardner Minshew is a gunslinger, and Tennessee could win the turnover battle here.”

Oregon vs. Washington: Will Oregon get their revenge on Washington?

College Football Fiesta

On Friday night and throughout Saturday, a handful of teams will slug it out, hoping to be among the four selected Sunday for the College Football Playoff. Festivities kick off Friday night with an 8 p.m. ET clash between Oregon and Washington for the Pac-12 crown. The consensus is that whoever wins that game will get a playoff bid.

And Oregon is a sizable favorite, approaching double digits. That’s despite Washington’s 36-33 win — as a 3-point home favorite — over the Ducks in Week 7, in one of the more entertaining games of the season.

BetMGM opened Oregon at -8.5 and quickly jumped to -9.5 early in the week.

“It seems like both the sharps and public love the Ducks so far,” BetMGM senior trader Cameron Drucker said. “It will be interesting to see if that continues through the week for the public. But I expect we will be rooting for the Huskies.

“There’s also tons of sharp money on the Under so far. However, I expect most public money to be on the Over.”

That sharp play drove BetMGM’s total from 67.5 down to 65.5 by Wednesday afternoon.

At 4 p.m. ET Saturday, two-time defending national champion Georgia puts its CFP No. 1 ranking on the line against Alabama in the SEC title game. BetMGM opened the Bulldogs at -4.5 Sunday and stretched to -5.5 by Monday. Georgia was -5.5 (-115) late Wednesday night.

“It’s early sharp money on Georgia so far. However, I think the public will be all over Bama on both the spread and moneyline, as that’s been the case nearly the entire season,” Drucker said. “But Georgia could be the one exception. It will be interesting to see who we need come Saturday. Either way, it will be an awesome game to watch.”

In the Big Ten championship game, at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX, Michigan is a massive 22.5-point favorite against Iowa. For context, the closing total — not the spread, the total — in last week’s Iowa-Nebraska game was 24.5. And no surprise, the Hawkeyes and Huskers failed to reach that total. Iowa won 13-10 and Under bettors cashed, as they’ve done in 10 of the Hawkeyes’ 12 games this season.

“All the money is on Michigan so far. I would expect that to continue from the public through kickoff,” Drucker said.

BetMGM opened the total at 34.5, and it’s actually up to 35.5 as of Wednesday night. Early bettors are strongly on the Over, expecting Michigan to do enough heavy lifting to get there against offensively-challenged Iowa.

Drucker also touched on the other two Power 5 conference title games in the Big 12 and ACC:

  • Oklahoma State vs. Texas: The Longhorns opened -11.5 at BetMGM and sprinted to -14 Sunday night. By Monday night, Texas was up to -14.5, where the line remains late Wednesday for a noon ET Saturday kickoff. “All sharp money on Texas so far, driving the number [up]. I would expect more public money on Texas through the week, and we will surely be cheering for the Pokes on Saturday.”
  • Louisville vs Florida State: With the Seminoles’ shaky situation at QB, this line plunged at BetMGM. The ‘Noles opened at -5.5 and were down to -2.5 by Monday. “It’s all sharp money on Louisville and Under so far. I’m not sure if the public will end up backing FSU without Jordan Travis. But we’ll see come Saturday.”

Iowa’s Defensive Prowess: breaking down X’s and O’s

On-Campus Sharp Side

College football betting expert Paul Stone thinks there’s significant value on the spread in the Big 12 championship game between Texas and Oklahoma State. The Longhorns enter off a 57-7 trashing of Texas Tech. On the flip side, Oklahoma State had to rally from an 18-point halftime deficit at home to beat BYU 40-34 in double overtime.

And the Cowboys were 17-point favorites in that game.

But in Stone’s opinion, those two outcomes are holding too much sway over oddsmakers.

“So-called recency bias is hard at work in the Oklahoma State-Texas matchup,” Stone said. “The market is largely focusing on last week’s results and not giving proper weight to the other 11 games played by both teams. I made Texas a 10.5-point favorite here, so I believe there’s value in taking Oklahoma State and more than two touchdowns.”

Oklahoma State is 21-9 ATS as an underdog since the start of the 2015 season.

In the Pac-12 final, Stone also likes Oregon to avenge its lone loss of the 2023 campaign. Oregon is a consensus 9.5-point favorite in the rematch against undefeated Washington.

“Since losing to Washington, Oregon has won its past six games by an average of 26 points, and none have really been competitive,” Stone said. “Meanwhile, Washington seems to have played its best football during September and the first half of October.”

So mark Stone down for Oregon -9.5.

More NFL Numbers

In another notable game on FOX, the public darling Detroit Lions travel to face the New Orleans Saints. Detroit is coming off a surprising home loss as an 8.5-point favorite against Green Bay on Thanksgiving.

The Lions opened -3 against the Saints and are up to -4 at PointsBet.

“Spreads that sit between a field goal and touchdown typically see the favorite backed [on the spread], up to a touchdown, while the underdog is bet for the moneyline. Sunday’s tilt is no different, and this will more than likely remain the case until kickoff,” Useloff said.

The Denver Broncos are looking for their sixth consecutive win, traveling to face the Houston Texans, another team on the rise. Useloff was somewhat surprised that Houston saw enough support at -3 to move the number to Texans -3.5.

“Even more surprisingly, now the Broncos are the side the public likes,” Useloff said Wednesday night. “This spread will be a fascinating one to track in the coming days. But one piece is certain: Books will be rooting for the Broncos to extend their winning streak to six games as road underdogs.”

Useloff weighed in on two more matchups in the NFL Week 13 odds market:

  • Seattle Seahawks vs Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are 9-point home favorites Thursday night and are getting flooded with both spread and moneyline action at PointsBet. “Bettors like Dallas to cover and win. And the bet count and [money] both being higher for the Cowboys gives insight into how the public views Seattle. It’s surprising to see such a strong favorite being backed [on the moneyline].” Dallas is a hefty -425 on the moneyline, meaning it would take a $425 bet to profit $100, provided the Cowboys win the game.
  • Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers: It’s the Sunday night game, and K.C. is a 6-point favorite. “As the spread sits inside a touchdown, bettors are enamored with the Chiefs on the road. But, like the Cowboys, the Chiefs moneyline is being bet enough where the liability in that market is with them. The spread may still see movement as the market becomes more efficient, but it looks to be staying within the touchdown threshold.”

Cowboys vs. Seahawks: Can Dallas rely on Dak Prescott down the stretch?

I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie

There’s not much in the way of major wagers reported yet on NFL Week 13 or college football Week 14. But give it time because there will certainly be high-roller dollars landing this weekend.

In the meantime, here are a couple of leftovers from Monday Night Football at Caesars Sports:

  • $110,000 Bears +3 at Vikings
  • $100,000 Vikings -3 (even) vs. Bears

Those bets were made in the two hours or so leading up to kickoff. What those bettors — well, all of us, for that matter — were then painfully subjected to was an NFL game in which the prop bets of Player to Score First Touchdown/Anytime Touchdown didn’t get settled until well into the fourth quarter.

Minnesota tight end T.J. Hockenson caught a TD pass with just 5:54 remaining to put the Vikes up 10-9, the game’s only touchdown. However, a Cairo Santos field goal in the waning seconds gave Chicago a 12-10 win in a yawner of a game.

That made a winner of the Bears +3 bettor, who profited $100,000 for a $210,000 total payout. Imagine you’re the Vikings bettor, and you were told pregame that Chicago would score just 12 points. You’d rightly assume that the Minnesota -3 bet would cash. But that’s NFL betting for you.

All the more reason that you should keep it reasonable. Never bet more than you can afford to lose. Enjoy the upcoming football-wagering weekend!

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.


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