NFL Week 1 Pros vs Joes: Sharps targeting Raiders, Lions
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Before you make your NFL bets this weekend, it's worth knowing which side other bettors are backing - especially on games drawing sharp action.

We talked to Jay Rood, Bet.Works' chief risk officer and theScore Bet's head trader, to see how sharps and public bettors are playing a busy Week 1 slate.

Las Vegas Raiders (-3, 47) at Carolina Panthers

The biggest move in the early games has come on the Raiders, who opened as 1-point underdogs but have been bet to 3-point road favorites as of Friday.

Neither side drew much activity at the opening number, but bettors moved on the Raiders at -1 and came piling in at -2.5. Things have calmed at -3, but Las Vegas is still drawing 20 times as much money as the Panthers in side action.

That's come despite a 2-to-1 advantage in ticket count, as four or five sharp plays and a sizable advantage in parlays have moved the line in Las Vegas' favor. Sunday's game marks just the second time since 2017 the Raiders are a road favorite.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-2.5, 43)

The other big mover in the early games is Detroit, which opened at -1.5 and has climbed as high as -3 over division rival Chicago.

"The majority of sharp play is all on the Lions," Rood said, "but we’re getting good two-way action there from squares on the Bears.”

Despite decent play on both sides, don't be surprised to see this line return to three points by kickoff if wiseguys keep playing the new-look Lions, who have gone 3-7-1 against the spread in their last 11 division games.

Indianapolis Colts (-7.5, 45.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

With a new quarterback and high expectations entering 2020, the Colts enter Week 1 as massive favorites over the hapless Jaguars - and bettors are all-in.

Indianapolis has seen 25 times as many tickets as Jacksonville with a 1,000-1 edge in money wagered. Needless to say, books will be rooting hard for the gold and teal to spoil one of the biggest public plays of the week.

“Nobody’s betting the Jaguars," Rood said. "Nobody's betting them even with stolen money ... We’re going to need them to bust up teasers and parlays and everything.”

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-7, 48)

One of the surprising trends from early wagering is in San Francisco, where last year's runner-up is trending down against the upstart Cardinals.

The 49ers opened as 7.5-point favorites but have been bet down to -7 after some early money on Arizona. Those bettors are still backing the road dogs at +7, and this line could move off the key number if current action continues until kickoff.

“The sharps are on this one, as well," Rood said. "Everybody’s on the Arizona Cardinals.”

The Cardinals' high-upside offense is likely driving the action. That's reflected in the total, which opened at 45.5 but has jumped to 48 as of Friday. Arizona was 10-5 ATS as an underdog last year with a pair of ATS wins and overs against San Francisco.

Tennessee Titans (-2, 41) at Denver Broncos

No game has seen more movement than this one, which opened at Broncos -2.5 and sits at Titans -2 as of Friday. There's potential for it to move to -3, too, if bettors keep buying the road team.

This line moved in part because of the status of two key defenders. Rood saw an uptick in Tennessee money after the team signed edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, and it increased when Denver star Von Miller went down with a potentially season-ending injury.

As of Friday, the Titans are drawing 20 times as much money as the Broncos. Parlay bets swing 5-to-1 to the road favorites, suggesting more side action could be coming for Tennessee ahead of Monday night.

"That's a big game for us," Rood said. “To end the week, we’re gonna need the Broncos pretty big."

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.

NFL Week 1 Pros vs Joes: Sharps targeting Raiders, Lions
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