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Vegas vs Fantasy Week 15 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|
|Steelers vs. Patriots||52||53.5||1.5|
|Colts vs. Cowboys||46.5||47.5||1|
The Steelers and Patriots game is the only matchup on the main slate with an over/under of over 50 points and at this time, 81 percent of the bets are on the over. New England has an implied team total of 28 points, while Pittsburgh has an implied team total of 25.5 points. The Patriots are road favorites by 2.5 points and are receiving 73 percent of the bets against the spread. This is a game that you definitely want exposure to this weekend, as it should offer plenty of fantasy goodness. From New England, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman are players to prioritize. Sony Michel, James White, and Josh Gordon are also in play considering the game environment. From Pittsburgh’s side, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Jaylen Samuels (assuming James Conner is out) are all very strong options. Vance McDonald can also be considered here as a secondary option. Neither defense is to be considered in this spot.
The Cowboys and Colts game is the second highest projected total at 47.5 points and 53 percent of the bets are currently on the over. Dallas has a 22.25 implied team total, while Indianapolis has a 25.25 implied team total. The Colts are favored by three points, but the Cowboys are receiving 51 percent of the bets against the spread. This is an interesting game for fantasy purposes. From Dallas, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Ezekiel Elliott are all strong options. From the Colts side, Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, and Eric Ebron are all in play. That said, I respect this Cowboys defense a ton, in fact, I would consider them a streaming option for the week. Therefore, I am tempering my expectations for this Colts offense. My favorite play from their offense, though, is Ebron.
The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.
|Game||Open O/U||Live O/U||Move|
|Jaguars vs. Redskins||36||36||0|
There are multiple games with low projected totals this weekend, but none are lower than this Jaguars and Redskins game, and to top it off, 58 percent of the bets are on the under for this contest. Jacksonville has a 21.75 implied team total, while Washington has a 14.25 implied team total. The Jaguars are 7.5 point favorites in this one and are receiving 60 percent of the bets against the spread. For me, this game does not offer a ton of fantasy appeal for the exception of Leonard Fournette and correlating him with the Jaguars defense. The Redskins have surrendered over 125 rushing yards in five games and have surrendered four rushing touchdowns, as well as an average of 27.4 fantasy points per game, so this is a great spot for Fournette who should be able to run at will against this unit. Aside from that, this contest does not offer much else.
The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.
The Falcons are the biggest favorites on the board this weekend, as they host the Cardinals. This contest has a 44 point over/under and 66 percent of the bets are currently on the over. The Falcons have a 27 implied team total, while the Cardinals have a 17 implied team total. Although Atlanta is heavy favorites, Arizona is receiving 59 percent of the bets against the spread. This is an odd game for me because the weakness for the Cardinals is against the run and the potential game script benefits the running backs for Atlanta, but neither Tevin Coleman or Ito Smith entice me all that much. They are certainly viable, but not priorities for me this week. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calving Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu are all in play as well this week. From the Cardinals side, David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald can be considered. Johnson gets one of the best matchups for a pass catching back, but his lack of consistent usage in the passing game is concerning. Fitzgerald should continue to see heavy targets in a game where Arizona should chase points. Aside from them, nothing else stands out.
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