Vegas vs Fantasy Week 10 2017

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal
It was not until I began playing DFS that I started using Vegas lines as part of my research and a determining factor when setting up my lineups. These lines can provide so much information each week. It gives you an idea of the potential game flow we could expect. High totals and close spreads, usually indicates a potential shootout. Whereas, a low total with a low spread is a game that is not expected to have a lot of fantasy goodness aside from the defenses. These lines are set by math wizards and some of the best handicappers in the world. They spend countless hours studying patterns, teams, and situations. For those who are not familiar, spreads are the amount of points a team is expected to win or lose by. The point total is the amount of points both teams combined are projected to score.

My goal each week is to look through the lines and point out which offenses you should be targeting and which defenses are in good situations. Let’s dive right into it.

The chart below shows the two games this week with the highest point totals. I included where it opened and the current live line. This can give you an idea of where the public is putting their money on. Generally if the total opens at one number and it begins to rise, the public is betting the over and vice versa.

Game Open Total Live Total Movement
Falcons vs. Cowboys 53 48.5 -4.5
Bills vs. Saints 48 46.5 -1.5

This week has a lot of low scoring games as the highest total of the Week 10 is 48.5 points. This line opened at 53 points and with the Ezekiel Elliott news, to no surprise, the line has dropped 4.5 points. The betting on the over/under is at an even 50/50 split, but 68 percent of the bets are taking the Cowboys getting three points. Both of these offenses are amongst the top in the league as the Cowboys average the seventh most yards and fourth most points per game, while the Falcons average the fifth most yards and 21.3 points per game. In addition, these defenses have been somewhat generous, giving up over 20 points per game and 300 total yards each. This contest could end up being a shootout, as Vegas expects, as both teams still have a healthy implied team total of over 22 points. From the Dallas side, the passing game is what I would want exposure to in DFS or season-long leagues, and I feel the same about the Falcons offense. The Cowboys have actually been solid against the run in recent weeks. If we had some clarity on the touch situation in the Dallas backfield, I would have some interest as the Falcons tend to struggle against opposing running backs.

The Bills and Saints game is the second highest over/under of the slate at 46.5 points and quite frankly if I was a betting man, I would probably bet the under here. The general public tends to agree as 65 percent of the bets are going towards the under at this time, with 54 percent of the bets taking the Saints against the spread. Both teams are expected to score over 21 points in this contest, so there may be some fantasy goodness in this game. Looking at the numbers, the Bills have allowed 75 points in their last three games, compared to the 74 they gave up in their first five games. That said, this is still a defensive unit that is second in the league with 17 forced turnovers and a defense that is allowing the sixth fewest points per game. This will not be a walk in the park for the Saints offense, who in the Drew Brees era has historically played worse on the road. The only thing is that this is a Bills defense dealing with injuries, so they have been a little more exploitable recently. The Saints offense is averaging the second most yards and sixth most points per game, while turning the ball over just nine times. While I definitely think that the Saints offense could get going, I am tempering my expectations, but that does not mean I recommend you to fade this game. I just do not think we see as many points scored.

Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Bears vs. Packers 38 38 0

The Bears host the Packers this weekend and they are 5.5 point favorites. This game has the lowest implied total of the slate and 57 percent of the bets are on the under. The public also likes the Bears against the spread, as they are receiving 55 percent of the bets. That said, while this game appears to be one that people should avoid, based on the Vegas numbers and the matchup, I have a lot of interest in Jordan Howard. You can read a little more in depth about Howard in my Week 10 DraftKings Flex targets. Aside from Howard, the Bears defense is one that I would consider streaming. Brett Hundley has really struggled under center, turning the ball over four times and scoring just three total touchdowns in his last three games, while eclipsing 160 passing yards just once. The Packers offense has a talent on it, but without Aaron Rodgers they are far too volatile and are tough to feel confident about. In season-long leagues I would not bench someone like Jordy Nelson unless I have a better option, but if I am playing him, I have reasonable expectations given the circumstances. I am more bullish on the Bears defense than I am on the Packers offense.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.

Teams Spread
Lions -11
Browns 11

Unlike last week where the biggest spread was 7.5 points, this week we have four games with a spread of 10 points or higher. The Lions and Browns is one of two games with an 11 point spread, the Rams and the Texans being the other, Rams being the favorite. In both games, the favored team is at home and has a favorable matchup. Both the Rams and Lions are great offenses and defenses to target this week, the issue is that the blowout factor is certainly in play. The Lions are receiving 57 percent of the bets against the spread and the Rams are receiving 77 percent of the bets against the spread. This indicates that more people are expecting the Rams to blow out the Texans, making them a tad riskier to target this week because if the game does blowout, they may not play the entire game. That said, these matchups are just too good to ignore, so even with the risk, they are viable options because of the upside that they bring to the table. I will be targeting the usual suspects from each of the two offenses. The Browns have nothing that interest me aside from Duke Johnson in PPR formats. From the Texans side, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller are in play. Miller catches passes out of the backfield, which is why he is a viable option and both receivers should see plenty of targets as their team plays catch up.

Vegas lines are very helpful and prop bets can be as well. You can see yardage totals, projected touchdowns, and all sorts of different lines that can help you project what a player is expected to do. Best of luck to all this week.

If you have any questions, you can always find me on Twitter: @Armando_Marsal