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NFL Week 5 betting: 'Sharp gamblers' caused a big line move in Buccaneers-Bears on Thursday night

Frank Schwab
·2-min read

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting most of the bets and money for their matchup against the Chicago Bears.

You’d never know it from the line move.

The line at BetMGM went from Tampa Bay being a 5.5-point favorite to 3. Thursday afternoon it moved back the other way a bit, to Chicago +3.5.

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are coming off a nice comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers, while Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears offense looked bad last week against the Indianapolis Colts.

The line is shifting because some sharper gamblers are excited to back the Bears.

Public likes Bucs, sharps like Bears

BetMGM said 67.0% of tickets and 52.2% of money is on the Buccaneers as of early Thursday afternoon. Yet, the line has moved the other way.

When you see that, it’s a clear sign someone the sportsbook respects is on the other side.

“Despite a below-average performance against the Colts last Sunday, sharp gamblers are keen that the Bears will cover tonight,” BetMGM’s sportsbook manager Matt Cosgriff said. “Opening as 5.5-point underdogs, Chicago now finds itself as just a field goal dog against the Buccaneers. Also, bettors love our boosted odds (+200 to +260) on Tom Brady to top 300 passing yards. BetMGM will need the Bears defense to slow TB12 down.”

That would help the other big market on “Thursday Night Football.” The over/under for the game, which is 43.5, has gotten 69.6% of tickets and 62.3% of handle on the over. That follows the league-wide trend of overs hitting at a high rate with scoring going up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) will try to help his team improve to 4-1 on Thursday night. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) will try to help his team improve to 4-1 on Thursday night. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Big bet comes in on Bears

The line was already moving before a big bet came in on the Bears at BetMGM on Thursday.

After a couple of bad Thursday night matchups in a row, Week 5 should be a good one. The Buccaneers and Bears are both 3-1. There’s a fun side story of Foles and Brady, who famously were on opposite ends in Super Bowl LII, facing off again. There will be plenty of action on the game, and on opposing sides.

We’ll see if the sharp bettors are right to fade Brady on a prime-time stage.

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