Week 11: Vegas Vs. Fantasy

Using Vegas' lines and spreads, Fantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal attempts to predict how Week 11 will play out from a Fantasy Football stand point.

It was not until I began playing DFS that I started using Vegas lines as part of my research and 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 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.

Game

Open Total

Live Total

Movement

Colts vs. Titans

53

52

-1

Panthers vs. Saints

51.5

51.5

0

Redskins vs. Packers

51

50.5

-0.5

The Colts and Titans have a rematch this week after facing each other in Week 7. That game resulted in a 34-26 Indianapolis win.  In their last meeting, Andrew Luck threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, while Marcus Mariota threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns. This contest has the highest over-under of the slate at 52 points and just a three-point spread, while both teams are projected to score more than 24 points. You can roll out the usual suspects from each of these offenses. DeMarco Murray had over 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in their previous game. T.Y. Hilton caught seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Titans. Frank Gore combined for 83 yards and a touchdown. Delanie Walker caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. There is clearly plenty of fantasy goodness in this game, and it is one you want exposure.

Much like the game above, we have a rematch between the Saints and Panthers this week. The last game turned into a shootout as the Saints beat the Panthers 41-38. The issue is that their previous game was in New Orleans where Drew Brees tears it up. This week, however, it is in Carolina, so I am tempering my expectations for the Saints offense a smidge. With that said, the way you want to attack this Panthers defense is through the air as they are giving up 290.7 passing yards per game and have allowed 17 passing touchdowns. The Saints are poor defensively as well but have much more trouble stopping the run. Both offenses are in play in this contest, but I am less optimistic about the Saints offense due to this game being outside of New Orleans. The Panthers are four-point favorites, and both teams are projected to score more than three touchdowns.

The Packers head to Washington to take on the Redskins in what Vegas is projecting to be a high scoring game. Green Bay is a 2.5 point underdog, but both teams are projected to score over three touchdowns. The way to attack this Packers defense is through the air. They are yielding 270.1 passing yards per game and have surrendered 18 passing touchdowns. We witnessed Marcus Mariota carve them up nicely last weekend. The Redskins, on the other hand, are abysmal against the run, allowing 106.9 rushing yards per game and have given up 11 rushing touchdowns. The problem is that the Packers lack a running game and are on the road as underdogs. This is a contest where both passing offenses are intriguing.

The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.

Game

Open O/U

Live O/U

Move

Rams vs. Dolphins

40.5

40

-0.5

Much like last week’s Rams game, this is one with very little appeal to it from a fantasy standpoint. Both teams are projected to score fewer than three touchdowns. The biggest interest I have in this contest is in the Miami Dolphins defense because rookie quarterback Jared Goff will be making his NFL debut. Also, the Rams have one of the lowest implied team totals of this slate. Vegas does not seem very optimistic about this game being high scoring, which limits the potential amount of fantasy points being scored.

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

Teams

Spread

Patriots

-13

49ers

+13

Despite being on the road, the Patriots are 13 point favorites, and it comes to no surprise as they face the 49ers. This game is expected to be one-sided according to Vegas, and I would have to agree. I am on board with everyone on the Patriots offense this week, but the one player I lean most on is LeGarrette Blount. The Niners are atrocious against the run, allowing an average of 160 rushing yards per game and have surrendered 13 rushing touchdowns. Blount has been a touchdown machine this season, rushing for 12 touchdowns, and has scored at least one touchdown in five consecutive games. From the Niners side, you can throw a dart with Colin Kaepernick as they will likely be chasing points, but that is about it.

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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