NFL Week 8 Sharp Betting Report: Vegas Bookmaker Questions Jets, Giants

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LAS VEGAS — Who better to gauge the legitimacy of the Jets or the Giants — both, or neither — than a Queens native who grew up favoring neither squad and is a career bookmaker?

Rampart Casino race and sports manager Duane Colucci, 50, was born and raised in the New York borough, where the Cowboys drew his unconventional support. He knows the numbers that matter and is practiced in the art of exposing imposters.

“What a question,” Colucci said with a laugh. “The public is starting to back [both], and things have changed a little.”

Waves of money backed the Jets last week at the South Point and its Rampart affiliate when Denver at home opened around a field-goal favorite and got wagered down to a pick’em.

Books sustained one of their rare Sunday losses — and not a minor one — when the Jets won, 19-6.

Zach Wilson is the 23-year-old quarterback who is 4-0 despite throwing for only 110 yards in a victory at Green Bay two weeks ago and a mere 121 yards in that triumph at Denver.

New York media questions the viability of the 5-2 Jets continuing to win with such low production by their field general.

The Giants, meanwhile, are 6-1 overall and against the spread. In fact, the two New York teams, who play home games across the river in Jersey, are a combined 11-3 against the number this season.

“I would have to say NAY on both,” Colucci said. “I mean, if you can’t follow the Cowboys’ blueprint on how to stop Daniel Jones from running the ball and averaging 10 yards a rush as well as Saquon [Barkley] …

“You shouldn’t allow that to happen. Let Jones beat you with his arm. They’re 6-1, but I don’t think they’re for real.”

NFL Week 8 Sharp Betting Report: Las Vegas Bookmaker Duane Colucci Questions Jets, Giants
Giants QB Daniel Jones and RB Saquon Barkley are featured in our NFL Week 8 sharp betting report. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Colucci highlighted a raft of injured Jets players.

“That will affect their playoff possibilities,” Colucci said. “They will go over their win total, but I doubt the Jets will make the playoffs.”

In August, at the South Point and Rampart, the Giants had a season-victory total of 7 (Over +105, Under -125), which had been bet up from a May figure of 6.5. Their 7-to-1 odds to win the NFC East had been sliced from 10-1.

The Jets had a victory total of 6 (+115 Over and -135 Under). They had 20-1 odds to win the AFC East. The Giants trail Philly (6-0) by a half-game, the same margin separating the Jets from Buffalo (5-1).

The football Giants’ lone defeat has come at home to Dallas, 23-16, in Week 3. Quarterback Daniel Jones threw a season-high 37 passes for 196 yards, no TDs, and had one pass picked off. He ran nine times for 79 yards and no scores.

Only one other pass has been intercepted this season. He threw for two TDs at Tennessee and at home against Baltimore, and he had two rushing TDs against the Bears and one at Jacksonville.

When Jones has taken off and run at least 10 times in a game, he’s 3-0.

Dallas held Barkley to double-digit yardage with 81, but he did score a touchdown. Plus, the Giants won three other games when the tailback was held below triple figures.

“I think Dallas will beat the Giants again” in Texas on Thanksgiving, Colucci said. “And [the Giants] haven’t played the Eagles yet, so we’ll see how that plays out, too. There’s a lot of football left, but I still doubt both teams.”

The Giants play host to the Eagles on Dec. 11 and finish their regular season in Philly on Jan. 8.

“The Giants are in a better position, naturally, because you have a lot of other teams faltering around them like Green Bay and Tampa Bay, and they’re well-coached” by Brian Daboll.

In sum, Colucci took a breath.

“So, of the two, I would say the Giants have the better chance to make the playoffs. But I would say they both are pretenders.”

New England Patriots (3-4, 3-3-1 ATS) at New York Jets (5-2, 5-2 ATS)

Mac is back, so say reports out of New England of QB Mac Jones. Understudy Bailey Zappe is 2-0 as a starter but threw two picks in that stinker against the Bears last weekend.

Jones is 1-3 as a starter this season with two TDs and six interceptions. There likely aren’t too many in the league who are sad about coach Bill Belichick’s quarterback conundrum.

The Patriots have a middling defense, allowing 0.326 points per play. They’ve sharpened that over the past three at 0.239. And, oddly, they play better D on the road (0.298) than they do at home (0.363).

Patriots seventh-year linebacker Matt Judon leads the league with 8.5 sacks.

Jet QB Zach Wilson is 0-2 lifetime — having completed fewer than 60% of his attempts — with no TDs and four picks against New England.

Read: NFL Week 8 betting tips and strategies | NFL Week 8 betting picks and predictions | NFL Week 8 survivor picks

New York Giants at (6-1, 6-1 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3, 4-3 ATS)

This Giants’ road test is against the league’s most efficient passer, Geno Smith, who is completing 73.5% of his attempts. The Rams’ Matthew Stafford (71.1) is the only other QB in the 70% range.

NY Giants vs SEA Seahawks Odds NFL Odds

NFL · Sun (10/30) @ 4:25pm ET

NY Giants at SEA Seahawks
Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington

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For the second week in a row, the NFL has one game pitting winning teams against each other. This is it.

Seattle cornerback Tariq Woolen is tied for the league lead with four interceptions, and he’s returned one into the end zone, so Daniel Jones might pay extra attention to avoid him.

The Hawks, however, had better hound Jones, who has a league-leading five game-winning drives this season. Also, the G-men are 5-0 straight up as an underdog; Detroit in 1999 and Jacksonville in 2004 are the last teams to win five outright as dogs in their first seven games.

Also read: Giants vs. Seahawks odds and prediction

Green Bay Packers (3-4, 2-5 ATS) at Buffalo Bills (5-1, 4-1-1 ATS)

Sun (10/30) @ 8:20 p.m. ET

Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

Bills -11, Total 47.5

This is a slide for the ages — well, for at least the past generation — for the Packers. For only the second time in 21 seasons, they have dropped three consecutive games while tallying 811 or fewer yards.

In that previous ugly trio in 2006, they accumulated only 787 yards in losing to New England, at Seattle, and against the Jets.

What Green Bay is doing now that it didn’t do in 2006 is especially pathetic because its yardage had dropped game by game, from 301 against the Giants to 278 against the Jets to 232 against Washington.

And now the Packers go to Buffalo, which was idle last weekend? How does that figure not continue to slip? Colucci spotted another historic number.

“You’ve never seen Aaron Rodgers getting double digits as a starting quarterback. This is the first time, as a starter, he’s getting double digits, ever! He has been hurt [right thumb], but I would look to take the points.

“Rodgers is one of the best ever. He doesn’t have a diminished skill set. I just think he has a young team around him, and they’re going through a lot of trials and tribulations. But it is hard to take the points against Buffalo. They’re a machine.”

Bills QB Josh Allen has 17 TDs and four interceptions, and his QB Rating (76.2) and yards-per-attempt ratio (8.3) are both second in the league.

At home, the Bills are dynamite, averaging 0.664 points per play. The only other squad above 0.500 on its own field is Detroit at 0.601. The Bills allow foes a mere 0.080 points per play in Buffalo, next come Denver (0.198), Dallas (0.203), and Jacksonville (0.207) on their own fields.

And at practice Monday in Green Bay, receiver Allen Lazard had his left arm in a sling, nursing a shoulder injury. In every way, this appears to be a bridge way, way too far for the Packers.

Tough times in Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers a double-digit underdog for the first time in his career | Packers fall down betting board

San Francisco 49ers (3-4, 3-4 ATS) at Los Angeles Rams (3-3, 2-4 ATS)

Sun (10/30) @ 4:25 p.m. ET

SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA

Niners -1.5, Total 43

This is a grand rivalry and the lone opponent the Niners have played at least 100 times, even though the Rams have bopped around a bit. San Francisco has a 75-67-3 edge over the Rams.

Lately, though, it’s been one-sided as San Francisco has won seven of the past eight and 11 of the previous 15. In regular season games in LA, the Niners have won five of the past six.

Games involving these two are a combined 10-3 to the Under this season, yet action at the South Point and Rampart has budged an initial 42 total up a point.

SF QB Jimmy Garoppolo had two TD passes last week, but he also had a pass intercepted and fumbled in a 44-23 home defeat to Kansas City.

“He didn’t look too good last week,” Colucci said. “It looked like he had cement boots on. He was immobile. They’re going to have to try to run the ball, so I would tend to look at an Under here.

“[Rams receiver] Cooper Kupp should have a big game.”

If Matt Ryan is indeed benched for the rest of the season in Indy, then Rams QB Matthew Stafford’s eight interceptions are the most in the NFL among current starters.

Also read: 49ers vs. Rams odds and prediction

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5, 3-3-1 ATS) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-0, 4-2 ATS)

Sun (10/30) @ 1 p.m. ET

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

Eagles -10.5, Total 43

The Battle of Pennsylvania has been all Eagles in Philly where they’ve beaten their in-state rival nine consecutive times by an average score of 27-17. Pittsburgh last won in Philadelphia in 1965.

Look for more of the same, as the Eagles own the fourth-stingiest scoring defense at 0.278 points per play in the league. The Steelers are 30th on offense both overall and on the road, where their 0.206 rate is only worsened by Detroit and Indianapolis at 0.153 apiece.

Fly, Eagles Fly: Betting-themed sports bar prepares for Eagles playoffs

Arizona Cardinals (3-4, 4-3 ATS) at Minnesota Vikings (5-1, 2-4 ATS)

Sun (10/30) @ 1 p.m. ET

US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Vikings -3.5, Total 49

The Cards have dropped their past 10 games in Minneapolis by an average score of 32-17. That includes a 41-21 defeat on Jan. 10, 1999, in a divisional playoff game.

What Arizona backers do have going for them is the current league trend of dogs of at least three points covering at a 44-22 clip.

Kyler Murray’s lone 300-yard effort for Arizona this season came in a 20-12 home loss to the Rams. Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, hasn’t hit 300 once. Take away a three-pick debacle at Philly, though, and he’s got eight TDs and two interceptions on the year.

Cards defenders will be busy with second-year Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, who leads the league with 14 yards per touch, is third with 654 receiving yards, and seventh with 46 catches

NFL Week 8 player props and TD scorer bets: Justin Jefferson pulls apart Cards’ D

Cincinnati Bengals (4-3, 5-2 ATS) at Cleveland Browns (2-5, 3-4 ATS)

Mon (10/31) @ 8:15 p.m. ET

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH

Bengals -3.5, Total 46

The Battle of Ohio doesn’t usually attract such a spotlight. But there it is, Cincinnati at Cleveland, enriching a Monday night Halloween with its black and brown and orange hues.

In his past two games, Cincy QB Joe Burrow has been in a groove, completing 62-of-79 attempts (78.5%) for 781 yards, six TDs, and no interceptions in victories at New Orleans and against Atlanta.

He’ll need to be sharp in this spotlight since he’s 0-3 against the Browns, having thrown for 1,004 yards, six TDs, and three picks.

To one South Point patron, however, the ramifications of this Browns’ outcome and their next three are significant.

Deshaun Watson, suspended 11 games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, returned to the Browns’ facilities on Oct. 10 and can begin practicing with the team on Nov. 10. He will be eligible to play Dec. 4 at Houston, his former team.

The Bengals and Ravens entered the week atop the AFC North.

All of which is pertinent to Chris Andrews, the South Point sportsbook director, because a patron recently risked $3,000 at 30-1 odds on the Browns winning the AFC and going to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona.

“Not huge, but big enough,” Andrews said. “I think the guy who bet us was anticipating this would be a close [divisional] race and once [Watson] got back, he’d do enough to get them in the playoff hunt. A reasonable assumption, I guess.”

The Browns lost AFC title games in 1989, ’87, and ’86, and its equivalents in ’69 and ’68.

Also check: Discover the best sports betting app for you | NFL Week 9 odds

About the Author
Rob Miech

Rob Miech

Rob Miech is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today, covering soccer and producing sports betting features. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. He is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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