4 Betting Trends to Help Set Your Week 12 Daily Fantasy Football Lineup
When making tough decisions in daily fantasy football, Vegas lines can be predictive of fantasy scoring, while providing an edge on the competition.
Unfortunately, as professional NFL handicapper Warren Sharp has pointed out, oddsmakers' primary goal is not to set the most accurate lines; their goal is to make money, and they do that by encouraging public action on a particular side. What does that mean?
Let's say a sportsbook opens the line on a game with Team X favored to beat Team Y by seven points. If 80% of the public money coming in is in favor of Team X against the spread but the book still does not adjust the line, that demonstrates that either there is sharp money on Team Y, or that they feel confident about Team Y against the spread. Either way, by examining how the oddsmakers are moving lines in comparison to where the public is betting, an edge can be gained when making lineup decisions.
Miami Dolphins (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts (O/U 51)
Betting Trends: Coming out of their bye, the Miami Dolphins take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12. The Dolphins dropped their most recent game to the Green Bay Packers 31-12, while the Colts are winners of four straight, including a 38-10 dismantling of the Tennessee Titans. Despite 55% of the tickets coming in on the Colts' side, the line has dropped from -10.0 down to -7.5, indicating some sharp money on the Miami side.
Takeaways: This line movement likely has to do with Ryan Tannehill's return after struggling through a shoulder injury for much of the season. The Colts have shown vulnerability with the NFL's 26th-ranked defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. They particularly struggle against the pass (28th), boding well for Tannehill in his return. Unfortunately for the Dolphins' signal-caller, Jakeem Grant is out for the season, while a few of his other pass catchers will be at less than 100%. However, the matchup does provide an avenue for success.
On the other side, a closer game actually boosts the fantasy prospects of the Colts' skill position players as well. The Dolphins have allowed the third-most rushing yards to opposing backs (1,228) this season. Averaging 18.4 touches per game since returning from injury, Mack could be in line for a massive day with game script on his side. Andrew Luck also cannot be ignored with at least three touchdown passes in each of his last seven games. Overall, the Colts' side should be littered with productive fantasy performances.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (O/U 53.5)
Betting Trends: Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter this contest struggling off loses. The 49ers finally had their bye, but fell to the New York Giants 27-23 the week prior. In similar fashion, the Bucs also dropped to the New York Giants 38-35 in their most recent game. To start the week, 57% of the tickets have favored the Bucs, but the line has actually moved towards the 49ers by half a point since open, showing some interest from sharps or bookmakers.
Takeaways: In the highest-projected scoring game on the main slate, line movement towards the 49ers boosts the outlook of Matt Breida in the run game. With Raheem Mostert on injured reserve, Breida took over as the 49ers' lead back, seeing 20 touches in his last game. Also helping Breida, the Bucs have struggled against the run recently, allowing the second-most rushing yards over the last four weeks (460).
On the other side, the perpetual underdog Buccaneers will lean on their pass game in this projected shootout. With Jameis Winston back under center, the Bucs should be able to move the ball against the 49ers' bottom-10 secondary. Unable to run the ball and with O.J. Howard on injured reserve, Cameron Brate and Mike Evans will likely take on a larger role in this contest.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Denver Broncos (O/U 47)
Betting Trends: Unlike the previous games, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos come into this contest fresh off victories. Pittsburgh defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16 on a last second touchdown in Week 11. Similarly, the Broncos narrowly slipped past the Los Angeles Chargers 23-22. Since taking 71% of the tickets to start the week, Pittsburgh has dropped from 3.5-point favorites to 3.0-point favorites, revealing some interest on the Denver side of the action.
Takeaways: This line movement may have to do with the Steelers' recent road struggles, including their narrow win over Jacksonville last week. With Ben Roethlisberger's well-documented home/road splits, the Steelers will likely rely on James Conner in this contest. The Broncos have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards to opposing backs (1,165) and Conner handled 100% of Pittsburgh's running back touches a week ago.
On the other side, the Steelers have played superb defense of late, ranking eighth overall per our metrics. With that said, the Broncos may be wise to rely on their top-five rushing attack, led by rookies Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay. Together, the two combined for 136 total yards and 3 scores in their narrow victory over the Chargers.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Buffalo Bills (O/U 37)
Betting Trends: In what has been a particularly disappointing season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have lost six straight games, while the Buffalo Bills routed the New York Jets 41-10 in their last game. Interestingly, 63% of the tickets have favored the Jags to start the week, but the line has fallen from -4.0 to -3.0 points in favor of Jacksonville. This indicates sharp money or bookmakers skewing towards the Bills' side of the line.
Takeaways: In this projected low-scoring affair, avoiding all major skill position players looks like a wise proposition. However, for those taking a contrarian approach, LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette look like the strongest fantasy options. McCoy handled 27 touches last week and with a likely close game in store, he should approach those same numbers.
On the other side, Fournette has touch counts of 29 and 30 in his two games since returning from injury. Jacksonville is implied for a low 20 points, but Fournette should see a majority of those scoring opportunities. Fournette remains playable based on volume alone.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.