Vegas vs Fantasy Week 9 2018
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, 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|
|Saints vs. Rams||60||57.5||-2.5|
|Panthers vs. Buccaneers||54||55||1|
The Saints host the Rams in what should be a high scoring game, with the highest over/under on the slate. At this time, 61 percent of the bets are being placed on the over, but it appears sharp money is on the under as the total has dropped nearly three points. New Orleans has a 27.75 implied team total, which is 3.25 less than it opened, while Los Angeles has a healthy 29.75 implied team total. The Rams are two point road favorites, but the Saints are receiving 53 percent of the bets against the spread. Plenty of fantasy goodness should come out of this game. From the Rams side, the usual suspects – Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Bradin Cooks – are all firmly in play. The Saints are weakest against the pass, so that appears to be the best way to attack their defense, and even though they have been stout against the run, a back like Gurley is matchup proof and always in play. From the Saints side, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Michael Thomas are all in play. Tre’Quan Smith can be considered a flier, as this game environment should be a favorable one for him. Kamara is my favorite option from this offense, and Ingram a close second, as I feel that the Saints will try to run the ball with these two backs instead of leaning on the pass. Neither defense will make my player pool this week nor would I not consider streaming them in season-long formats.
The Panthers host the Bucs in a game that should have plenty of points according to Vegas. The over/under has gone up a point since it opened, now at 55 points, and 61 percent of the bets are on the over. The Panthers are six point favorites and 59 percent of the bets are taking them against the spread. Tampa Bay has a 24.5 implied team total, while Carolina has a healthy 30.5 implied team total. This is a very good spot for the Panthers offense, as this Bucs defense has been horrific, more so against the pass. Cam Newton is my top quarterback of the week by a pretty wide margin. You can pair him up with D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, or Greg Olsen. Of the bunch Moore and McCaffrey are my two favorite options, making them primary targets for me this week. This offense should put up plenty of points this week and light up the box scores. Ryan Fitzpatrick will draw the start for the Bucs, and is an interesting streaming options, as well as a GPP candidate. The Panthers can be generous to opposing signal callers at time, and Fitzpatrick’s ability to sling it, gives him some nice upside. That said, he is also known to be volatile, so there is some risk. The pass catchers to target are Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard. Howard and Godwin are the two I like best of this group. Peyton Barber should see plenty of work this week, with Ronald Jones out. He can be streamed in season-long leagues and is very affordable in DFS.
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. Bears||38||37.5||-0.5|
The Bears head to Buffalo to take on the Bills in what Vegas is projecting to be the lowest scoring game and in addition to that, the Bears are the biggest favorites of the week, so I will be covering two sections of this article in this same slot. The current bets are favoring the over, as 59 percent of the bets are on the over. As I mentioned before, the Bears are the biggest favorites, as they are giving 10 points and still receiving 68 percent of the bets against the spread. Chicago has a 23.75 implied team total, while Buffalo has a 13.75 implied team total. This is a game that I have very little interest in, but there are some players that can be considered. Both Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard should be in a favorable game script, making them viable options. The passing game for the Bills is intriguing, but this is not a game environment that I feel is strong for them, therefore my focus is more on their running attack. The Bears defense is in a prime spot and should have no trouble shutting this Bills offense down. They are my top defense of the week by a wide margin. From the Bills side, I have zero, nothing, nada… I think by now you get the point. There is just nothing to like from a fantasy standpoint on this offense. You can consider their defense as a streaming options or a cheap DFS play if you really need to go there, but it is not one I am going out of my way to roster.
The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.
See breakdown above.
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