Vegas vs Fantasy Week 9 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
Cowboys vs. Chiefs 51 54 3
Saints vs. Buccaneers 50 52 2

The Cowboys and Chiefs game is one of my favorites to targets this week for fantasy goodness. This game opened at a 51 point over/under and has moved up three points since. The betting remains strong on the over as 67 percent of the action is still on the over, so it would not be surprising to see this total continue to move up before Sunday. This game has a 2.5 point spread, the Cowboys a slight favorite and both teams are projected to score over 25 points, so we should see a close battle. The Chiefs come into this game averaging the third most yards and third most points per game, while the Cowboys come into this matchup averaging the eighth most yards and fifth most points per game. Both off these defenses have really struggled against the pass all season, so that would be the best way to attack them. That said, these two teams have some of the best backs in the league, so they should also be considered in this contest as points are expected to be scored. Some of my favorite plays of the week are in this game, including Dez Bryan and Tyreek Hill. This is definitely a game you want exposure to in DFS and in your season-long leagues as well. The Saints and Bucs game is also an interesting one this week. This game opened at a 50 point over/under and has moved up two points since. The majority of the bets are still on the over, but at just 56 percent it is nowhere near as high as the game above. The Saints are 6.5 point favorites and are receiving 66 percent of the bets against the spread, but they have dropped half of a point since the line came out. The Bucs have been atrocious against the pass all season, so Drew Brees is in a very good spot, as well as his pass catchers. The Saints have scored 31, 19, 37, 42, and 41 points in their last five home games against the Bucs, so they have put points up on the board at ease against them. Looking at the flipside of this game, the Bucs are underdogs, but still have a healthy implied team total of 22.75 points, which is 1.25 points higher than it opened. This is an offense that could go overlooked this week, but it is a passing attack that offers a lot of upside. They should be chasing points, forcing them to pass a lot and the Saints secondary is not elite by any means. If you are looking to get low ownership plays in high upside spots in DFS this week, the Bucs may be a team to look to. Both sides of the ball offer appealing options, but the Saints will be the more popular of the two and rightfully so. Michael Thomas is my favorite play of this matchup. The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.

Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Cardinals vs. 49ers 39 39 0

The over/under of this game has not changed and the betting has been somewhat even as 55 percent of the action is betting the over. The 49ers have an 18.25 implied team total and the Cardinals have a 20.75 point implied team total. It appears that more people like the Cardinals in this matchup as they are receiving 62 percent of the bets against the spread. Generally this is a game where I just look at and skip right over, but I sort of have some interest in Carlos Hyde. This is far from a good matchup for him, but his role in the passing game and the fact that game script does not affect him, really intrigues me. I am not expecting a huge performance from him by any means, but I do think that he can be productive in this contest and in DFS is his priced very reasonably. Larry Fitzgerald also has a phenomenal matchup in this contest, but with Drew Stanton under center, it is tough to trust Fitz. Aside from that, this is a game I will be staying away from and not really investing much in. For those who take a chance on Hyde, I will be hosting a Hyde intervention post game just in case. The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.

Teams Spread
Eagles -7.5
Broncos 7.5

This week there is not a huge favorite on the board and two teams are favored by 7.5 points, but I decided to go with the team who has the best shot at covering. The Eagles are receiving 64 percent of the bets against the spread. They come into this contest averaging the fourth most points and sixth most yards per game. This will be a tough task as the Broncos are a good defense, but they are not as stout as they have been in previous years. The Broncos have also made a quarterback change and will start Brock Osweiler who has been a below average quarterback throughout his career and faces a ferocious pass rush. The Eagles have been vulnerable against the pass this season, but this is not a passing attack from the Broncos I am concerned about. Zach Ertz is dealing with a hamstring injury, but is expected to play in this contest, so long as he does the Eagles should roll. He is the top play from this contest as the Broncos have shown vulnerability against tight ends this season. The Eagles defense is also in play this week and make for a fine streaming option.

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