FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Of course the San Francisco 49ers–Los Angeles Rams matchup is one of the most attractive games on the NFL Week 8 odds table. And the intrigues abound Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as double-digit underdogs on Sunday night at Buffalo Tickets.
Below is information on this contest, along with several other betting nuggets on NFL Week 8 Odds and College Football Week 9 Odds.
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Indianapolis Colts quarterback matt ryan suffered a separated shoulder in a Week 7 loss at Tennessee. So most people expected Ryan to potentially run out of time. But coach Frank Reich decided that would be it for Ryan, announcing on Monday that Sam Ehlinger would start the rest of the season.
Reich elevated the second-year QB above Nick Foles and even Ryan. Thus, the veteran in his 15th season will be the replacement when he recovers. The news quickly caught the attention of punters.
“The big change here came on Monday when the Colts coach announced the quarterback change,” said longtime bettor Rex Beyers, now head of betting at PlayUp USA. “They were all fighting for Washington +4 when this announcement came. But I’m not particularly worried.”
As the Commanders bets came in, Beyers first downed the Colts one point to -3 at PlayUp, then moved to -2.5. He’s since taken the Colts down to -3, and he likes his position on the other side of sharp clients who feel like he got a deal at +4 and +3 commanders. Especially since Beyers, who comes from Indiana, has heard nothing but good things from Ehlinger, the former Texas Longhorns star who will make his first start in the NFL.
“At this point, Indianapolis is better off with a mobile quarterback who has a better arm,” Beyers said. “Chances are the Colts have solved their two biggest problems – QB and offensive line – with this move if this guy is as good as the reports I’m getting from back home say he is. J ‘d upgrade the Colts, not downgrade them.
“So I’m perfectly fine needing the Colts for a decent pile on Sunday, like we’re doing right now.”
who wants the west
The Rams and Niners met in last season’s NFC Championship Game, with LA ultimately winning the Super Bowl. Neither team has had much to say so far this season. Currently, the Rams sit 3-3 straight (SU) and 2-4 ATS (ATS), while the 49ers are 3-4 SU and ATS.
In fact, at the moment both are trailing NFC West leaders Seattle (4-3 SU and ATS). San Francisco is behind LA in the division, but the Niners are one game short of Los Angeles. In Week 4 Monday night, San Fran cruised to a 24-9 victory as the home favorite with 1 point.
In FOX’s national slot at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, the Rams are hoping for revenge. WynnBet trader John Manica said the odds move has been interesting so far.
“This line actually opened on [last week’s] forecast at Rams -2.5. Since then, the 49ers have acquired Christian McCaffrey from Panthers. This is significant as reports have emerged that the Rams are clearly in contention for CMC as well,” Manica said. “The 49ers won that battle and the first meeting with the Rams. We saw the number move significantly after the [McCaffrey] trade to the 49ers, who are now favored by 1.5.
“The action has been small on the 49ers so far, but the wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is now a question mark for the game. The real action hasn’t happened yet, but the pressure is on the Rams to avoid the sweep by the 49ers, especially [after] lose on CMC.”
Dylan Brossman, senior director of business operations for FOX Bet, also identified the 49ers-Rams matchup.
“We’re seeing a little more confidence with the Niners, despite being down 1.5 points. Almost 57% of the money is behind San Fran on the road,” Brossman said. “The Niners defense has struggled the past two weeks, giving up 44 points to the Chiefs and 28 points to Atlanta. Although the Rams have struggled offensively this season, they could get some help in the form of a running back Kyren Williams and wide receiver Van Jefferson this week.
“The Rams have a healthier trend, thanks to a timely pass, while the 49ers stay bumped on both sides of the ball. I like the home Rams winning straight.”
By the way, if you want to know how the acquisition of CMC impacted the 49ers title chances, we i got you covered here.
Dog Days by Aaron Rodgers
The NFL Week 8 odds include a historical reference no one ever thought Aaron Rodgers would see: to be a double-digit underdog. But with Green Bay losing three in a row – at the Jets, giants and commanders – and now traveling to face a team from Buffalo in its bye week, a team led by Rodgers is an 11-point pup at WynnBet.
“Wow. I didn’t expect this game to be double digits at the start of the year,” Manica said. “It’s October, and the Bills have parted ways as Super Bowl favorites. The Bills are obviously a passing-focused offense, and since we’ve moved to that philosophy, the wind in Buffalo is important to note. High winds in Buffalo actually hurt home-court advantage, as the Bills are significantly better against the spread at home with light winds.”
As it stands midweek, Sunday evening calls for temperatures in the 50s and light winds.
“A great night is in the cards in Buffalo. It means trouble for the Packers,” Manica said. “The anticipation line was Bills -8 on this play. We opened at Bills -11, which is close to where the market is at -11.5. Green Bay will have to hope for a night’s rest Bills to keep up the pace in this one.
“So far, we have seen small actions in both directions both on the [spread] and the total, but no major bets. The Bills’ team total (over 28.5) is an attractive option for play if you’re not interested in placing a high number on the spread.”
The pointed side
A pro bettor in Vegas jumped on the 49ers last week on that +2.5 anticipation line. But beyond that, he’s not exactly excited about the NFL’s Week 8 odds chart.
“I’m honestly not liking this week so far. Injury reports from Thursday and Friday are imperative,” he said, pointing to the dolphins at the Lions match. “Detroit +3.5 will most likely be a game. As long as By Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown are ready to go, I’ll take the points.”
Swift (ankle/shoulder) looks set to play for the first time since Week 3. And coach Dan Campbell expects St. Brown to return from concussion protocol.
College football rocks on FOX
Beyers thinks the 15-point gap might be a little steep for the Buckeyes in the noon ET game.
“Ohio State didn’t play an offense with a pulse. Toledo is the best the Buckeyes have seen so far,” Beyers said. “That changes this week. It’s a big number to put on the road, even with an early start.”
DraftKings opened Oklahoma State -1 and quickly moved to Kansas State -1 when that line rose Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats touched -2 briefly on Monday afternoon and have since been flat at -1.5. But Wednesday night at DraftKings, the visiting Cowboys were pulling in 75% of early-release tickets and 76% of early-release dollars.
Eagles Win/Steelers cover?
On the moneyline — a bet in which a team must simply win, not cover the spread — the Eagles take 90% of all midweek dollars on FOX Bet. This is despite a high price on the favorite of -550, which means it takes a $550 bet to win $100.
But on the Eagles -10.5 spread, 60% of the money goes to the Steelers to avoid losing by more than 10. Brossman doesn’t like Pittsburgh’s chances of keeping this game in the numbers.
“The Eagles are coming off a bye, while the Steelers have a shortened week on the heels of their Sunday Night Football loss to the Dolphins,” Brossman said. “Pittsburgh hasn’t scored more than 20 points since Week 1, and I expect that to continue on Sunday. Philly’s offense will just be too strong for Pittsburgh to keep up. The Birds should cover the 10.5.”
I like big bets and I can’t lie
Sportsbooks haven’t shared many major bets on the NFL Week 8 or College Football Week 9 games. But the final match of Week 7 saw a Caesars Sports client go all the way with the big underdog Chicago Bears.
The New Jersey bettor launched $15,000 on the Bears +300 moneyline, hoping Chicago would pull the upset. As it turned out, the Bears, losing by 8.5 points, took a 33-14 victory. The punter didn’t even have to sweat before cashing in with a $45,000 win.
The same bettor also bet $40,000 on Bears + 8.5, so he cashed in that as well for another $36,364.
If only we had the bankroll to rack up a game as indescribable as Bears-patriots and exit in the lead by 80 grand or more. Here’s hoping you’re all just as fortuitous – but surely on a smaller scale – throughout this upcoming football weekend.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and a senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He is based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in the 110 degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.
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