NFL Week 12 “Sharps vs. Squares” Report

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Sharps vs. squares. It’s the biggest battle in the sports betting world, akin to the Hatfields and McCoys. The sharps are the professional bettors, while the squares are the Average Joes of the betting world. These two sides often don’t see eye-to-eye on the same game, creating an exciting dynamic in the betting market.

One of the easiest ways to track these “sharps vs. squares” matchups is by looking at the betting tickets vs. the betting dollars on each side of a given game. The sharps tend to place significantly larger bets, while the squares account for more betting tickets. When those numbers don’t align, there’s a good chance they disagree.

Let’s dive into some of the biggest “sharps vs. squares” showdowns in Week 12.

All lines courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) @ New York Giants – 45.5 total

Divisional matchups can often be battlegrounds for the sharps and squares, and this game is the perfect example. The Eagles have been impressive recently, winning their past two games by a margin of 70 to 42. They’ve been elite running the ball, racking up at least 176 yards in each of their past four games. Unsurprisingly, the public likes them against the lowly Giants.

However, the sharps see some value with the home underdog. The Giants may not be a good team, but they’ve been very competitive. They’ve won each of their past two home games, and they lost to the Chiefs by just three points on the road. Ultimately, this line suggests that the Eagles are nearly a full touchdown better than the Giants on a neutral field, and the sharps seem to have an issue with that assessment.

Carolina Panthers (-2.0) @ Miami Dolphins – 41.5 total

The Panthers are one of the heaviest bet sides of the entire season. They’ve received a whopping 71% of the tickets and 95% of the dollars, leaving just 5% for the Dolphins.

That said, the action that has come on the Dolphins has been significant. There have been two reverse line moves and one steam move tracked on the Dolphins, both of which are indicators of professional activity.

I think this line is very disrespectful to the Dolphins. They’ve played exceptionally well of late, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve won three straight games, including a dominant win vs. the Ravens on Thursday Night Football. They’re not the same team that they were early in the year.

Los Angeles Rams (-2.0) @ Green Bay Packers – 47.0 total

This is a potential NFC Championship preview, so there are arguments to be made for both sides. The betting activity on this game has been relatively even – the Packers have received 54% of the spread bets – but the Packers have a significant edge in spread dollars.

The Packers are currently dealing with a ton of significant injuries, but they will have Aaron Rodgers under center. That’s often enough for the Packers to win at Lambeau Field. He’s been one of the best home quarterbacks in football, posting a record of 62-33-3 against the spread during the regular season. That’s good for a 26.5% return on investment, and a $100 bettor would be up nearly $2,600 if they took the Packers in each of those contests.

Rodgers hasn’t been a home underdog very often, but he’s 4-1 against the spread in that situation.

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-7.0) – 43.5 total

This is another game between two outstanding football teams. The Patriots have been rolling recently, winning six of their past seven games, while the Titans won six straight before last week’s defeat against the Texans.

The sharps aren’t taking much of a stand on the spread in this matchup, but they see some value with the total. The over has received 69% of the total bets, but the under has racked up 55% of the dollars. There have also been multiple steam moves tracked on the under.

The Patriots tend to put together long drives with their run game, and their defense has been outstanding over the past three weeks. They’ve limited their past three opponents to just 13 total points, so there are reasons to believe in the under in this matchup.

New York Jets @ Houston Texans (-2.5) – 44.5 total

The public looks at this game and sees two bad offenses, so they are taking the under. However, the sharps are focused on the defenses. The Jets, in particular, have been abysmal on defense, ranking dead last in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA. The Jets and Dolphins combined for just 41 points last week, but the previous four Jets games all had at least 62 points scored. Overall, six of the past seven Jets’ games have hit the over on this number.

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