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Vegas vs Fantasy Week 12 2018
By 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 maybe a defense. 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 (for the main slate), paint a picture as to what to expect in different situations, and how to attack that game. 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|
|Buccaneers vs. 49ers||54.5||55||0.5|
|Colts vs. Dolphins||50.5||51||0.5|
The Buccaneers and 49ers game has the highest projected total of the main slate at 55 points. At this time, 62 percent of the bets are on the under, yet the over/under increased by half of a point, so it appears sharp money could be on the over in this one. Tampa Bay is favored by one point, after being favored by four points to start the week and are receiving 56 percent of the bets against the spread. Both teams have healthy implied totals, as the Bucs have an implied 28 point total and the 49ers have a 27 point implied total. Both offenses in this contest should produce points as neither defense is all that imposing. From Tampa Bay side, Jameis Winston will start this week and he makes for a great play. All of his pass catchers are in play. The order of preference for me is Mike Evans, Adam Humphries, Cameron Brate, and Chris Godwin. Although, it would not be surprising to see any of them have a huge game. DeSean Jackson is questionable, but even if he plays, he is my least favorite, as he and Winston do not have great chemistry. From San Francisco’s side, Nick Mullens is very intriguing to me this week. The Bucs secondary has been atrocious all season and they give up the world to opposing offenses. I like what I have seen from Mullens so far and think he can find plenty of success in this contest. Marquise Goodwin and George Kittle would be the pass catchers I roster this week, as they are both in great situations. Matt Breida is also a solid option this week. None of the defenses are in play for me.
The Colts and Dolphins have the second highest implied total on the slate at 51 points. The betting is currently bullish on the over as 67 percent of the bets are being placed on the over. The Colts are 7.5 point favorites and are receiving 59 percent of the bets against the spread. Indianapolis has a healthy 29.25 implied team total, while Miami has a 21.75 implied team total. This is a contest where I have much more interest on one side than the other, and it is with the Colts. Andrew Luck continues to play at a high level and should have no trouble finding success against this defense. He should be considered a top play this week. T. Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Jack Doyle would be the main pass catchers I would target from this offense. However, my overall favorite play from the Colts is Marlon Mack, as he should run wild against this week Miami run defense. Ryan Tannehill is starting for Miami, but I am a bit hesitant to trust him here, since he has not played in some time. That said, there is not much that pops out at me from the Dolphins side. The Colts defense is in play if you are searching for a streaming option.
The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.
|Game||Open O/U||Live O/U||Move|
|Bills vs. Jaguars||38||37.5||-0.5|
The Jaguars and Bills game is expected to produce few points and I am not at all surprised. The betting is currently on the over at 57 percent, but the over/under went down half of a point. The Jaguars are road favorites by three points and are receiving 59 percent of the bets against the spread. Both teams have implied totals of fewer than 21 points. This is really one of those games where I have nothing from, for the exception of Leonard Fournette. When healthy he should be treated as a must play in season long leagues and he remains reasonably priced in DFS, so he is firmly in play. Aside from him, I have nothing offensively from either side. Both defenses can be considered solid options this week.
The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.
The Chargers are 13.5 point favorites this week against the Cardinals, which is the highest spread of the week, and they are receiving 72 percent of the bets against the spread. Los Angeles has a 28.5 implied team total, while Arizona has a 15 implies team total. As you can see this is expected to be a lopsided game. From the Chargers side of things, Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon (check status) would be my top plays, while Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler would be considered secondary plays. If Gordon sits, Ekeler can easily be plugged in your season-long leagues as an RB2, while also being a very appealing value DFS play. There is not much from the Cardinals side of the ball that pops out, but I will never talk anyone off of David Johnson. The Chargers defense is a strong play this week.
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