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Week 8: Vegas Vs. Fantasy

Using Vegas' odds, lines and spreads, Fantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal gets a feel for how this week's matchups will pan out. It's not a perfect science; however, it illustrates trends generated by some of the world's best handicappers.

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The chart below shows the three 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. Generally if the total opens at one number and it begins to rise, the public is betting the over and vice versa. This week is an interesting one because of the top three games with the highest projected total, none has a spread larger than 2.5 points, so we may see a lot of fireworks.

Game

Open Total

Live Total

Movement

Falcons vs. Packers

52.5

52.5

0

Colts vs. Chiefs

49

50

+1

Buccaneers vs. Raiders

49

49

0

The highest projected game total this week is between the Falcons and Packers, which should be filled with plenty of Fantasy goodness. The spread is just 2.5 points, and both teams are projected to score more than 24 points. Players from both offenses are recommended in this contest. The Falcons have been vulnerable defensive in all aspects, against the pass, run, and even tight ends have fared well against them, so all the notables from the Packers offense are in play. The Packers have also been vulnerable against the pass, but have been a little tougher against the run. However, Devonta Freeman is still in play here because with Tevin Coleman possibly out; Freeman will get the majority of the work. Not to mention, his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. If you have players from either offense, go ahead and deploy them this week.

Colts vs Chiefs is one of two games with a 50 or more projected total, and this too is expected to be a close game as the Chiefs are favored by +2.5 points despite being on the road. The Colts have struggled immensely against the run this season and the Chiefs have been efficient running the rock, which should make Spencer Ware a must start this week (assuming he is expected to get the bulk of the carries). The Colts are also below average against the pass, so Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin, and Travis Kelce are also in play, especially if this game ends up shooting out, which is definitely in the realm of possibilities. The Chiefs have been a middling defense this year. They have been susceptible against the run, allowing over 100 rushing yards per game and against receivers who are averaging 201.3 receiving yards per game and have scored eight touchdowns. Frank Gore, T.Y. Hilton, and if Donte Moncrief plays this week are players you would want to be targeting in this contest. The Chiefs have been stingy against tight ends, but I would not hesitate to start Jack Doyle who has been very efficient covering for Dwayne Allen and has a high usage.

The Bucs and Raiders game could be an entertaining one as neither of these teams play the pass well, and both of these offenses like to throw the ball. Vegas has this game projected with the third highest total of the slate and just a one point spread. The Raiders have an implied point total of 24, and the Bucs have an implied point total of 25. The Raiders allow 308.6 passing yards per game and have given up 13 touchdowns, so Jameis Winston is in a great spot. Jacquizz Rodgers has topped 100 rushing yards in two consecutive games and will face off against a defense that is surrendering more than 100 rushing yards per game and has yielded seven total touchdowns to running backs, so he is in a good spot. Receivers are averaging 205.4 yards and have scored seven touchdowns against the Raiders, putting Mike Evans in a wonderful situation. The Raiders offense is also in a good spot, but more so the passing game as the Bucs have been somewhat stingy against the run. Derek Carr, Michael Crabtree, and Amari Cooper are all very good options this week. For the most part, both of these offenses 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

Bears vs. Vikings

41

40.5

-0.5

The game with the lowest projected point total is a battle of two NFC North teams, Bears, and Vikings. Despite the low projected total, Minnesota is expected to score more than three touchdowns as they have an implied team total of 23 points. The Bears have struggled immensely against receivers, allowing 17.1 receptions and 201.1 receiving yards per game, while yielding eight touchdowns, therefore, making Stefon Diggs an intriguing play. The Vikings defense is also very much in play here as they face a turnover-prone Jay Cutler and the Bears also have the lowest implied team total of the slate. There are no players on the Bears offense that are strong considerations; it may be best just to steer away for this week.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.

Game

Spread

Patriots

-6.5

Bills

+6.5

To no surprise, the Patriots are the biggest favorites on the board, but even as the biggest favorites, the spread is just 6.5 points, so this should not be a complete blowout. With that said, my main interest in this game comes from the Patriots offense as they have the second highest implied team total of the week (27). The usual suspects, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman are all in play. I would even be fine with LeGarrette Blount and James White in this contest. From the Bills side, it is tough to have much interest as they are dealing with a decent amount of injuries. Tyrod Taylor should be chasing points, which is usually the time you want to target a quarterback, but his lack of weapons at the time limit his upside. However, he is still worth considering as he will likely have to carry this offense on his shoulder. Aside from him, there is not much to be excited about, especially if LeSean McCoy is sidelined.

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.


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