Vegas vs Fantasy Week 17 2018

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 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
Chiefs vs. Raiders 54 52.5 -1.5
Buccaneers vs. Falcons 49.5 52 2.5

The Chiefs and Raiders game has the highest over/under of the slate, but 54 percent of the bets are on the under, hence the negative 1.5 point movement. Although this is expected to be high scoring, it is also expected to be a lopsided game as the Chiefs are 14.5 point favorites, which is the biggest spread on the board. Kansas City has an implied team total of 33.5, while Oakland has a 19 implied team total, with the Chiefs receiving 67 percent of the bets against the spread. Since Kansas City is still playing for the top seed, their players should get a full run, making the usual suspects elite plays this week. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce should all be considered priority plays. Spencer Ware is expected back this week, but with Damien Williams playing so well, these two could share the workload, making both of them solid plays, but neither must plays. From the Raiders side, Derek Carr, Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook, and Jalen Richard are all viable options this week. None of which are must plays, however. This should be a lopsided game, as Vegas is expecting, because the Chiefs are by far the superior of the two teams.

The Buccaneers and Falcons have the second highest over/under on the main slate and currently 52 percent of the bets are on the under. This means that sharp money is on the over in this one, as the total has increased by 2.5 points since it opened. Atlanta has a 27 implied team total, while Tampa Bay has a 25 implied team total. The Falcons are two point road favorites and are receiving 62 percent of the bets against the spread. Despite neither of these two teams having something to play for, it does not appear that they plan on sitting any of their players, making this a nice potential game stack this weekend. From Atlanta’s side, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Austin Hooper, and Mohamed Sanu are all in play this week. Ryan is actually a quarterback to consider in DFS tournaments, as he is not projected to be all that popular. Tevin Coleman is expected to play this week also, and although this is a good matchup, he has been far too inconsistent and unproductive to fully trust. From the Bucs side, Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Adam Humphries, and Cameron Brate are all in play. This group of players could go overlooked in tournaments and offer nice upside, with a potentially good game environment. DeSean Jackson is doubtful and if he sits, Chris Godwin has to be considered a solid option as well. Neither of these defenses are in play.

The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.
Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Seahawks vs. Cardinals 38.5 38.5 0

The Seahawks host the Cardinals this week in what is expected to be a low scoring affair. That said, it is also expected to be lopsided and the Seahawks do have a healthy implied team total. Seattle has an implied total of 26 points, while Arizona has an implied total of 12.5 points. The Seahawks are 13.5 point favorites and are receiving 66 percent of the bets against the spread. This is a game where I do not have much interest in for the exception of Chris Carson who should smash in this spot and has been receiving a heavy workload in each of his last three games. He correlates well with the Seahawks defense who is also in a smash spot. You can consider Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and Doug Baldwin this week, but they are more secondary plays for me. There is nothing from the Arizona side that peaks my interest.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.
Teams Spread
Chiefs -14.5
Raiders 14.5

Since the Chiefs are the biggest favorites and this game also has the highest over/under on the slate you can see breakdown above for this contest.

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