Vegas vs Fantasy Week 13 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
Saints vs. Panthers 48 48 0
Bills vs. Patriots 49.5 48 -1.5

The Panthers and Saints game is one of two games this weekend with a 48 point over/under, which is the highest of the week. The implied total has remained the same from where it opened and at this time 57 percent of the bets are on the over. The Saints are 4.5 point favorites in this matchup and they are receiving 61 percent of the bets against the spread. The Saints come into this game averaging the fourth most points and second most yards per game. The Saints have ran the ball efficiently all season with the fourth most rushing yards and averaging 4.9 yards per carry. They do face a stingy run defense in the Panthers so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. The passing game for the Saints is interesting this week as the Panthers have been a tad more generous through the air in recent weeks. On the Panthers side, Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey are both in play this week. The Saints have surrendered 64 receptions for 548 yards and two receiving touchdowns to running backs, which bodes well for McCaffrey who leads the team in targets and receptions. The Panthers are also expected to be trailing in this one, so the game script is also a positive one for him. Both teams have healthy implied totals of over 21 points, so this game should produce some fantasy goodness.

The Bills and Patriots game opened with the highest total of the weekend at 49.5 points, but has dropped a point and a half since, while 52 percent of the bets are currently on the under, so we could see another minor drop. The Patriots are favored by 8.5 points on the road and are receiving 81 percent of the bets against the spread. Vegas is telling us that the Patriots should be leading in this game and they have an implied team total of 28.25 points. The Bills have really struggled against the run as of late and the potential game script favors the Patriots running backs, which makes this a great spot for them. The issue is that it is tough to predict this backfield as Bill Belichick switches things up quite a bit. That said, if I had to pick one, I would go with Dion Lewis. The rest of New England’s offense is firmly in play also as they are one of the better offense in the league and the Bills defense is thin due to all of their injuries. From the Bills side, I do not have a ton of interest as the Patriots have really become one of the better defenses in the league. I am not suggesting to bench LeSean McCoy and he has played better at home, but I would temper expectations as New England typically does a good job containing the opposing team’s best offensive player.
Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Jaguars vs. Colts 40.5 40.5 0

To no surprise a game with the Jaguars has the lowest total of the slate. This total has not moved since it opened and 52 percent of the bets are on the under at this time. The Jaguars are 10 point favorites, which is one of the highest of the week, and they are receiving 53 percent of the bets against the spread. They also have a healthy implied team total of 25.25 points. The last time these two teams faced off against each other earlier this season, the Jaguars shut this offense down and pitched a shutout. Taking all of this into consideration, Leonard Fournette has to be considered a very strong play this week for numerous reasons. The Colts struggle against the run, allowing 11 rushing touchdowns this season and over 25 fantasy points per game. The potential game script also plays heavily into his favorite as the Jags should have a healthy lead in this one and feed Fournette. You can also target Blake Bortles and Marqise Lee if you want because the Colts do struggle against the pass as well, but they are secondary options for me. The Jaguars defense is once again one of the better options at their position this week. From the Colts side, there is not much to like. You can make a case for Jack Doyle who should see plenty of targets, but that’s about it.
Teams Spread
Chargers -14
Browns 14

The Chargers host the Browns this week and are the biggest favorites on the board. The current line is -14, Chargers and they are receiving 70 percent of the bets against the spread, so a lot of money thinks that they will cover. The Chargers also have one of the healthier implied team totals of the week, which means that they should score some points in this one. I am interested in their passing game and think Philip Rivers, as well as, Keenan Allen are borderline elite plays this weekend. The Browns really struggle against opposing wide outs and quarterbacks, which makes this a great spot for them. The potential game script also favors Melvin Gordon, so this is a situation where you should feel confident in plugging him into your lineups despite the Browns being solid against the run. From the Browns side, Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon make for interesting plays, not because of their matchups, but because this offense should be chasing points and passing the ball often. You can also consider Duke Johnson in
PPR formats as he continues to be productive on a weekly basis. The Chargers defense has to be considered one of the better ones this weekend. The Browns average the fewest points per game and have turned the ball over 28 times, which is the most in the NFL. The Chargers pass rush is ferocious, so they should be able to get to DeShone Kizer and pressure him, forcing him to make mistakes, which he is already prone to.

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